Any Way You Slice It

Five new tomato recipes from some of the South's most inventive young chefs

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The Southern Agenda: August/September 2015

Goings-on in the South and beyond »

Why Duke's Mayonnaise Matters

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJuly 29, 2015

In many of the most popular restaurants below the Mason-Dixon line today, diners can practically trace the sprigs of parsley garnishing their plates to the wholesome hands of local farmers. So it’s surprising when the same chefs who preach about heirloom seeds and heritage animals embrace a factory-made food. But one variety of mayonnaise still arrives at upscale kitchens from Texas to Tennessee in decidedly non-artisan plastic tubs.

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A 90-Year Chincoteague Tradition—and a New Legacy

By CJ LotzBelow the LineJuly 27, 2015

You might remember Misty, but what about Surfer Dude? “Misty was probably the most famous pony of all,” says Chincoteague Island firefighter Denise Bowden of the mare who was immortalized in Marguerite Henry’s 1947 classic children’s novel and 1961 film. “But Surfer Dude comes in a real close second. He was that iconic stallion. He was a handsome thing.”

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Perfect Porch Ceiling Colors

By Haskell HarrisBelle DecorJuly 25, 2015

You don’t have to look far in the South to see that porches—and porch sitting—are a cultural mainstay. So is the tradition of painting a porch ceiling blue. Some say the idea stems from the notion that blue porch ceilings prevented insects and birds from nesting. But more often than not, the color is attributed to the story surrounding the Gullah/Geechee shade known as “haint blue” and its influence on American design over the centuries. “The ‘haint blue’ color that is found on homes and buildings throughout the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor is a visual representation of the power and legacy of Gullah Culture,” says Michael Allen, Community Specialist for the National Park Service. “We know through research that people of African descent brought that tradition surrounding the color with them to the United States. It is a color they believed defended the home from troubled spirits: a bright, Caribbean blue.”

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A Music Festival Like No Other

By Elizabeth HutchisonSouthern SoundsJuly 24, 2015

More of an old-fashioned backyard barbecue or laid-back house party than a sprawling, sweaty Coachella-style rager, Wildwood Revival (August 29-30), offers a boutique music festival experience. “It’s a festival for people who don’t like festivals,” says founder Libby Rose. “It’s an anti-festival.”

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A Perfect Southern Match: Tomatoes & Biscuits

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJuly 24, 2015

Leave it to Willie Foster of Biscuit King’s Fun Barn in Fairhope, Alabama, to make the tomato sandwich on our cover into a why-didn’t-we-think-of-that breakfast treat. The self-taught baker’s signature Ugly Biscuit is an all-in-one meal of sausage, bacon, egg, and cheese tucked into a football-shaped lump of dough that appeared in our 2014 roundup of the best breakfast joints in the South. But while visiting family in the Holy City earlier this week, he treated the Garden & Gun staff to an off-menu special.

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The Caladium Capital of the World

By CJ LotzBelow the LineJuly 22, 2015

Holland has its tulips. Japan has its blooming cherry trees. And Florida has its caladiums.

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An 84-Year-Old Jewel Thief Strikes Again?

By Jessica MischnerBelow the LineJuly 21, 2015

Doris Payne is more than a jewel thief. She’s a magician. At 84 years old, the convicted cat burglar has six decades of criminal activity under her Burberry trench coat belt, having pilfered gems from high-end department and jewelry stores in the United States and abroad, armed with nothing but her nerve and her sticky fingers. Her estimated haul as of 2014: roughly $2 million. And now, according to the Charlotte Observer, there's cause to believe she’s up to her old tricks.

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Five Southern Tree House Getaways

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineJuly 17, 2015

There’s something magical about spending the night high up in the treetops. This summer tap into your inner twelve-year-old and indulge latent Swiss Family Robinson fantasies at one of these five arboreal retreats that range from rustic riverside hideouts to refined mountain top escapes.

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The Wild Southern Belle You’ve Never Heard Of… Til Now

By CJ LotzBelow the LineJuly 16, 2015

Every family has its secrets—a recipe or fishing spot, perhaps. But for the storied Bingham family, of Louisville, Kentucky, the secrets could fill volumes. And, for more than a century, they have. In the 1980s, the power struggle that resulted in the dismantling of the family’s media empire, which included the Louisville Courier-Journal, was the topic of countless newspaper and magazine stories, even books. In 1917, the subject was even more sensational: the death of Mary Lily Kenan Flagler, the second wife of family patriarch Robert Worth Bingham, who launched the family to fame and fortune with her Standard Oil inheritance. Kenan’s body was exhumed by members of her family to test for evidence of poison. “MRS. BINGHAM WAS DRUGGED,” a tabloid headline screamed.

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Why Traveling Musicians Love Asheville

By CJ LotzSouthern SoundsJuly 15, 2015

For the past twenty years, a musical movement has been growing in Asheville, North Carolina. While famous cities like Nashville, Tennessee, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, are known for their legendary recording studios, Asheville has emphasized something more pedestrian—quite literally. Traveling street performers—called “buskers,” who play everything from guitars to banjos, washboards, and spoons for a living—are pulled toward this Southern city and can be found everywhere from the corners of Pack Square to the sidewalk in front of Woolworth Walk.

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