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Southern Hospitality and Catfish Bread: Party Tips
Mississippi is the Hospitality State for a reason: we love to plan, host and execute a good time ...
Mississippi is the Hospitality State for a reason: we love to plan, host and execute a good time with family and friends as often as possible. Any holiday or occasion is an excuse to throw a party or invite loved ones to gather in your home. We’ve put together a list of tips for your upcoming Super Bowl party, straight from the hospitality experts – and we even threw in one of our best crowd-pleasing recipes for Catfish Bread.
- Keep your guest list under control. Inviting too many people is a great way to sabotage your own hard work. A good way to estimate the number of people you should invite is to take a look at your seating arrangements. How many people can you comfortably seat? Keep in mind that some folks will naturally gather around the kitchen table, the bar area, and all over the living room in order to find a place to sit and eat from their plate. Make sure you have an actual chair or resting place for each person you invite – then estimate your guest list number.
- Don’t overdo it with the food. This is not Christmas dinner – forego the six course meal. Instead, focus on things people can easily grad and eat in one bite. Having a variety of appetizers ready to eat when folks walk in the door is a good plan. If you want to add a “main course” feel to the party, consider having a food bar. Potatoes, hot dogs, nachos and wings are all great food bar options – simply compliment the items with all the fixins, like salsa, sour cream, green onions, chili, a variety of sauces, etc. This is a fun and interactive option.
- Stick to a budget. Take a look at your bank account and determine a hard number for how much you’re willing to spend, and stick to it! It’s still possible to throw a great party without going overboard. The food bar items mentioned above are fairly inexpensive, especially the potatoes and hot dogs. Appetizers can be inexpensive, too, by avoiding the overpriced pre-made and pre-packaged foods, starting from scratch instead. Avoid the cost of water bottles by supplying a pretty pitcher of ice water with tumblers, and ask guests to bring any alcohol themselves by mentioning “BYOB” on the invitation.
- Consider the kids. This is an important detail that often goes overlooked – should you invite children to the party? If your home is not kid friendly, you should be specific on the invitation that the party is adults only. If the answer is yes, you should automatically assume that every family invited will bring all of their children. This can easily double the number of guests. Although children are more easily seated than adults (they are fine sitting on the floor), they consume quite a bit of food. Plan to offer kid-friendly bites and have a designated play area that you don’t mind getting messy.
- Offer more than just the game for entertainment. Not everyone attending the party will be a football enthusiast, so plan to offer some additional fun by organizing a football grid pool, a commercial score card, a Super Bowl pop quiz, or even a good old fashioned game of touch football in the yard between quarters. A fun adults-only game is to have your guests each bring a craft beer and host a blind beer tasting competition. Offer good prizes for each game, such as gift cards or a cash pool – it will entice more people to play.
- Plan to stay up late. Typically, the Super Bowl lasts well into the evening, and because it’s a Sunday night, most people will need to get up early for school and work the next day. If possible, take the next morning off and leave the mess until then. If that’s not an option, consider taking a nap early in the day on Sunday to prepare for a late night of entertaining and cleaning up afterwards.
- Serve at least one guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Our favorite recommendation comes from Simmons Catfish, a family owned and operated business in Yazoo City. Their catfish bread is warm and savory, and is usually the first thing to go! You can find the recipe on their blog.
Photo Credit: Kevin Jones
Mississippi’s B.B. King to be Honored at GRAMMYs
The late B.B. King, affectionately known as the “King of the Blues,” will be honored at ...
The late B.B. King, affectionately known as the “King of the Blues,” will be honored at the 2016 GRAMMY Awards. Musicians Chris Stapleton, Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt will join in the tribute.
King died May 14, 2015, at age 89. He grew up in the town of Berclair, near Itta Bena at County Roads 513 and 305. His parents, Albert and Nora Ella King, were sharecroppers who lived in a simple home southeast of Berclair along Bear Creek. After his parents separated when he was four, King lived in Kilmicael and Lexington before moving as a teen to Indianola, which he referred to as his hometown. It was on an Indianola street corner, when King was 17, that locals first heard the musician destined to become the “King of the Blues.” A museum dedicated to the musician is located in Indianola.
The GRAMMY Awards, hosted by LL Cool J, air Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. CT on CBS.
On March 5, 2016, the city of Cleveland, Miss. will celebrate the grand opening of GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, the first of its kind outside of Los Angeles.
Built and operated by the Cleveland Music Foundation — a non-profit organization developed in 2011 — the 27,000-square-foot museum will be housed on the campus of Delta State University, home of the Delta Music Institute — Mississippi's sole accredited music industry studies program.
Similar to its sister Museum — the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE — GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will be dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music, and the cultural context from which it emerges, while casting a focused spotlight on the deep musical roots of Mississippi. The Museum will feature a dynamic combination of public events, educational programming, engaging multimedia presentations, and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a Mississippi-centric display that will introduce visitors to the impact of Mississippi's songwriters, producers and musicians on the traditional and modern music landscape.
Additional information on grand opening events will be available soon. To learn more about GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, visit their website.
For more information on B.B. King, the Mississippi Blues Trail, or other Mississippi information, see www.visitmississippi.org. To see this year’s Mississippi GRAMMY Awards nominees, read our post here.
5 Romantic Getaways in Mississippi
When you truly want to get away from it all, relax, unwind and reconnect, ...
5 Key Civil Rights Sites in Mississippi
Older than statehood itself, Mississippi’s African-American history is an integral part of ...
Older than statehood itself, Mississippi’s African-American history is an integral part of our makeup. Mississippi continues to observe, discuss and learn from that history, with Civil Rights often leading the conversation.
In 1955, the murder of Emmett Till brought about one of the most important periods of American history – the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. Other historical events, such as the murder of Medgar Evers, pushed the state to the forefront. It’s impossible to deny Mississippi’s role in the nation’s great struggle for equality. We hope you'll visit five of the most important Civil Rights locations in the state, which we've compiled below.
This collection of markers commemorates people, places and events of the Civil Rights movement. With locations spanning the state, the markers honor events like the Capitol Rally, Woolworths Sit-In, Freedom Summer Murders and more, telling Mississippi’s Civil Rights story one marker at a time.
This tucked-away gem of a museum is located in Jackson, the state’s capital, and offers a look into the complete African-American history of the state. From the time slaves first arrived, to the leaders of the Civil Rights movement, this museum has it all. Through art, artifacts, and photography, the work, lifestyle, and artistic contributions of African-Americans are celebrated, evoking a greater understanding of the African-American experience in the Deep South.
Known more commonly as Ida B. Wells, the African-American journalist, editor, sociologist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement hailed from Holly Springs, where a museum honors her memory. The museum showcases African and African-American contributions towards fields of history, art and culture in the United States and throughout the world. Of special importance is the Ida B. Wells Room, which contains a collection of person memorabilia, awards and belongings of this courageous American figure.
The Jacqueline House African-American Museum is Vicksburg's only museum for the exclusive study of history and culture of people of African descent in the Vicksburg-Warren County area. The collection of over 20,000 items has material in all formats: Photographs, books, manuscripts, music, posters, newspapers and rare ephemera. In addition, the collections house selected artifacts, including items dating back to the slave period.
Evers was the first field secretary for the NAACP in Jackson at the time of his death, June 12, 1963. The small house and site of his assassination, and the neighborhood of similar houses that surround it, make palpable the very simple longings for freedom and opportunity that drove the Civil Rights Movement. As a museum and house in a historic district, the renovated structure informs those who visit of the many sacrifices that took place in Jackson and in Mississippi, and presents a modern link in the succession of Mississippi landmarks that communicate the history of the state.
Mississippi Couple Host HGTV Pilot
Mississippi natives Erin and Ben Napier have been keeping a secret from their Laurel community ...
Mississippi natives Erin and Ben Napier have been keeping a secret from their Laurel community – this Sunday, they’ll be the stars of an hour-long HGTV pilot episode called Home Town. Premiering on Sunday, January 24 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and 11 a.m. Central Time, the show features the Napiers journey as they help a new family find an old house in historic Laurel, and then bringing together a team of local architects, builders and craftsmen to use the couple’s design and vision to restore the house.
The Napiers are the owners of Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence and Scotsman Co., where they make and sell their art. Lucky Luxe is an internationally acclaimed event and wedding stationery boutique that has been featured by Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides Magazine, WellWed Magazine, Mississippi Magazine, and many respected wedding and design industry blogs and websites. “We’re not home flippers,” said Erin Napier in her recent blog post. “We’re just a woodworker and an artist who love our town and want to see it brought back to life the way it was in Laurel’s heyday.”
Featured on the pilot episode are Ross and Laura, a couple who moved to Laurel recently and have been living on the far north side of town, but fell in love with the historic district in recent months and decided to make the move closer to the heart of the city. Ross and Laura together make up Tew Studios, and are creators of pet portraits, pottery and other fine art in Laurel.
Together, the Napiers worked to build custom pieces of furniture and design a home inspired by Ross and Laura’s personal history and family story. If well-received, the pilot could advance into a full series.
“Finding the common thread of a family’s history and how to make that art is what I’ve been doing all along with invitations at Lucky Luxe, and it sure is fun to do that for a home,” said Erin Napier in her blog. “Especially when that home is in Laurel. I really think I would enjoy doing it for the long haul. I think home is the best place on earth.”
Celebrating Mississippi Mardi Gras
With roots leading back to medieval Europe, Mardi Gras, translating to “Fat Tuesday,” ...
With roots leading back to medieval Europe, Mardi Gras, translating to “Fat Tuesday,” has become one of the Gulf Coast’s most anticipated holiday seasons. Parades with floats, marching bands, beads, moon pies, coins, cups and candy; king cake; masquerade balls and more all make up the unique Mardi Gras season.
The season officially begins on the twelfth night of Christmas, January 6, also known as King’s Day, and culminates the day before Ash Wednesday.
Mardi Gras celebrations have been a part of Mississippi Gulf Coast tradition since the early 1900s, with the Gulf Coast Carnival Association as the first officially chartered group. Since then, the season’s traditions have grown and spread all the way across the Mississippi coastline to include almost every city from New Orleans to Mobile, AL.
We’d like to invite you to come and experience our style of Mardi Gras for yourself this year. You’ll find it’s a bit more laid back and family oriented than some of the larger New Orleans parades and events, without skimping on the fun. Here's a listing of parades and Mardi Gras-themed events on the Gulf Coast.
Mardi Gras fun facts:
-The official Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold, symbolizing justice, faith and power.
-Small, plastic babies are hidden inside King Cakes. Tradition says whoever gets the baby in their piece is obligated to provide the next cake.
-Mardi Gras beads are said to have originally been made of glass.
-The tradition of wearing masks during Mardi Gras season first existed to encourage the breakdown of social barriers, allowing people to escape class constraints.
Photo credit: Caitlin Regan
2016 Historic Vicksburg Getaway Sweepstakes
Enter now for a chance to win Visit Mississippi’s first sweepstakes of 2016 – the ...
Enter now for a chance to win Visit Mississippi’s first sweepstakes of 2016 – the Historic Vicksburg Getaway Sweepstakes! The winner will receive a trip for two, including a two-night stay at one of the city’s bed and breakfast inns, two dinner certificates, $100 downtown dollars, a guided tour of the Vicksburg National Military Park, attractions passes, and a Vicksburg Trolley Express pass.
You and your guest can also enjoy the experience of Vicksburg casinos and resorts, choosing from four world-class Mississippi casinos.
Vicksburg is a place bursting at the seams with local culture, character, art, entertainment and outdoor adventure. With sweeping views of the Mississippi River, Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions.
From upscale shopping, dining and spas to some of the most fascinating historic sites, architecture and antebellum mansions in the nation, Vicksburg offers an authentic Southern experience you don’t want to miss. Vicksburg is located along the Great River Road at the crossroads of Historic Highway 80 and Highway 61- America's Blues Highway. Home to five Mississippi Blues Trail markers, Vicksburg offers delta blues music on the weekends at various venues across the city.
You’ll discover you have everything you need for the perfect getaway at one of the South’s premier gaming and family vacation destinations… And all you have to do to win this free trip is register here!
5 Stops in Jackson for Blues Marathon Runners
We are pleased to welcome visitors to Jackson for the annual Mississippi Blues Marathon on ...
We are pleased to welcome visitors to Jackson for the annual Mississippi Blues Marathon on Saturday, January 9th! The 2015 marathon welcomed more than 3,000 runners from all 50 states and seven countries. This year's marathon celebrates the life of B.B. King, who passed away on May 14, 2015. King's image will appear on the finishers' medals and other items.
Here are five attractions in the greater Jackson area that blues and fitness fans won't want to miss:
1. Mississippi Blues Trail
Throughout the state, you'll see historical markers that commemorate important people, places, and events in blues history. The front of the marker tells the story of the site's importance, and the back features more details and images. Visit the markers in Jackson and the Capital / River region, and download the Mississippi Blues Trail app to create your itinerary and get directions.
2. F. Jones Corner
Frank Jones Corner, known as F. Jones Corner, is a live music venue that serves up tasty deep south food and cold beer. Built as a filling station in 1923, the building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The friendly staff and variety of music -- including folk, jazz, blues, rock, and hip-hop -- attract regulars and visitors alike. You can hear live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights until 4 a.m.
3. Ridgeland Multi-Use Trail
The Natchez Trace is known for its beauty, but its automobile traffic can be a challenge for runners. To accommodate them -- as well as bicyclists, roller bladers, etc. -- the City of Ridgeland built the Multi-Use Path that parallels the parkway from Highland Colony Parkway (near milepost 101) to Harbor Drive (near milepost 103). Find more details and a map here.
4. Restaurants with Specials for Runners
You're sure to have a number of memorable meals in Jackson, given the selection of high-quality restaurants old and new. Whether you're in the mood for classic homestyle cooking, upscale Southern cuisine, or global flavors, you'll find what you're looking for. A number of area restaurants are offering deals and special menus for runners, and our Food Lover's Guide to Jackson will point you to plenty of local favorites.
5. Live Music
Listen to live Mississippi blues music all day Saturday and into the night. There will be music at the Start/Finish line, located at the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., at Pascagoula and Lamar streets). Listen to live music along the course, and celebrate the end of the race with a Blues Crawl. Each runner will receive a Blues Crawl wristband in the race packet, and non-runners can buy them at the Blues Expo and at the Start/Finish line. Take the Blues Trolley to ensure a fun and safe evening.
We hope that you enjoy your stay with us and come on back and see us soon!
Photo of F. Jones Corner by Tate Nations
Sweet Treats for A Mississippi Christmas
Dessert is often the biggest, and most anticipated part, of a Mississippi Christmas celebration. So ...
Dessert is often the biggest, and most anticipated part, of a Mississippi Christmas celebration. So much, in fact, we usually have a designated table for desserts only! Here are a few of our favorite Southern holiday dessert traditions. We hope these sweet treats will bring a little bit of the ‘Sip to your Christmas table, wherever you are.
Cinnamon sugar pecans
No Mississippi holiday party is complete without cinnamon sugar roasted pecans. Plentiful across the South, pecans can be found in most back yards. Tossed in egg white, sugar and cinnamon, the nuts are roasted on a baking sheet, cooled and served.
This coconut cake makes an appearance at most Christmas tables due to its beautiful, white, flaky outside, which is the closest to snowflakes some Mississippi Christmases get. The traditional Southern recipe includes at least three layers of tender white cake with a fluffy meringue frosting. The outside of the cake is packed with sweet, shredded coconut.
There is nothing quite like traditional Southern divinity. Those who grew up in Mississippi can remember at least one family member, neighbor or church member bringing divinity to every Christmas party. This candy is made with sugar, corn syrup, pecans and egg whites. The resulting texture is crunchy, airy and fluffy.
For the adults at the party, these bourbon balls pack quite a punch. Sugar, cocoa, corn syrup, toasted pecans, bourbon and crushed vanilla cookies are combined and rolled into balls. When chilled, they can be dipped into melted chocolate or powdered sugar for a festive look.
Although these tea cakes may appear to be basic, simple sugar cookies, they have an unmistakable buttery flavor and a light, lovely texture. The ingredients are staples found in most pantries – flour, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, butter and vanilla. Tea cakes are wonderful all on their own, but can also be decorated with frosting and toppings for a Christmassy feel.
Originating in the New Orleans area, bread pudding ventured over the Mississippi border long ago and has become a classic dessert for Christmas. It takes only minutes to prepare, and is made with days old French bread, cream, butter, sugar, eggs and spices to form a custard. Traditionally, raisins are added in, and the pudding is topped with a vanilla sauce. Variations include chocolate chips, blueberries, rum sauce, strawberries, bananas and anything else you can dream up.
For more information on Mississippi Christmas celebrations, visit our See & Do page.