Steeped in tradition, the holidays are a source of vivid childhood memories for many. This week's episode is a compilation of some of our favorites: three Mississippians from very different backgrounds share their stories of that special time of year.
Lou Mallory of Natchez grew up in South Georgia, the daughter of a sharecropper. She remembers having little money at Christmas, but never feeling poor.
As a girl, Ellen McCarley would ride the train from Port Gibson to Vicksburg to go Christmas shopping with her mother. She recalls her mother’s Christmas parties as having something for everyone.
Charles Wright would travel with his grandmother each Christmas to their family gathering in Bude. He describes the large spread of food and the atmosphere of Love.
Happy Holidays from the Mississippi Moments family to you and yours!
PHOTO: Robert C. Waller collection, USM Archives
Marcelle Bienvenu grew up in Saint Martinville, Louisana. In this episode, she discusses her family’s passion for cooking and how Chef Paul Prudhomme introduced the world to Cajun cuisine. Bienvenu was working at Commanders Palace restaurant in New Orleans when they hired Prudhomme. She recalls his “Trinity” of spices.
Bienvenu is a columnist with the Times Picayune and has published several cookbooks. She also teaches cooking classes and courses on culinary traditions of the American South.
Podcast Extra: Bienvenu explains how which part of Louisiana you’re from determines the way you cook Creole food.
Kris Gianakos of Meridian comes from a large Greek family. In this episode, he discusses his favorite way to prepare leg of lamb. Lamb is a staple of Greek cooking. For his family, it was a dish usually served during the holidays. He also describes avgolemono soup, a traditional Greek chicken soup and explains why it always reminds him of home.
PODCAST EXTRA: According to Gianakos, wherever he travels, he runs into other Greeks eager to share their traditional foods. As examples he cites two Greek-owned restaurants in Memphis and Oxford.