You know you’re really in the South when deviled eggs are on the menu at three out of four meals. Even besides the deviled eggs (which y’all know I have an affection for), I was well fed during the 22nd Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration in Natchez, MS. The theme was sports in the South, so I was asked to talk about tailgating and my book “Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home.”
Yes, North Carolina is the South, but not in the same way as Natchez, which is nestled by the Mississippi River and covered with antebellum homes that would make Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood look like a trailer park. The bed-and-breakfast where I stayed, Pleasant Hill, was built in the 1830s. It was moved about a block down the street in the 1850s, using large logs as rollers. It took nearly two years to move the house, completely furnished, and the owners lived in it the whole time (a baby was even born in it, in the middle of the street).
Yes, this is a different place. If you ask for water during cocktail hour, a genial host always asks, “Don’t you want a li’l vodka in that water?”
After my talk, the chef of the Carriage House, which is on the grounds of Stanton Hall mansion, prepared a lunch inspired by tailgate food. Chef Bingo Starr – he mispronounced Ringo as a child – has cooked with Emeril Lagasse and John Besh in New Orleans. I had crispy fried chicken, a burger slider with pimiento cheese and house bacon, then pecan tart. And deviled eggs.