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Victuals Dispatch Archives

A Trip Back in Time: A Review of Bob Keefe's "Stories From the Okefenokee"

In 1969 a young Marine returning to civilian life after a tour of duty as a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam found refuge in a remote and primal place in the Deep South, the Okefenokee Swamp. The Marine's name was Bob Keefe, and he spent five wonderful years in the swamp, working as a read more...


Mayberry is Alive and Well in Rogersville, Alabama

Henry David Thoreau went to the woods because he wanted to "live deliberately." I go to Rogersville, Alabama. Rogersville is a progressive little town that has managed to keep the flavor of a time gone by. read more...


Life Lessons in The Big Easy by Martha Gragido

There’s something maternal about a train. It carries you where you need to go and rocks you along, sheltering as new horizons flash past your window. Places you’ve never been. Places that have never known the press of your weight. (The bathrooms on the train read more...


Alabama's Own Wickedly Spicy Wickles Pickles---Made in Dadeville, AL

2011 was the year of Alabama music, and 2012 is the year of Alabama food. Several months ago I wrote about two phenomenal products unique to Alabama:


New Orleans in Alabama: Brenda Marie Osbey--and Lagniappe--Poet Jane Hirshfield

This October I traveled to New Orleans to see my good friends David Lummis (author of


The Nerve Balm of Athens, Georgia's Terrapin Brewery

Terrapin Brewery On The Rise The Athens, Georgia, brewery Terrapin Beer Company was founded in 2002. Owners Brian Buckowski and John Cochran decided to name read more...


Chuck Leavell's Mother Nature Network

 Chuck Leavell's Mother Nature Network Rolling Stone keyboardist and tree farmer Chuck Leavell started the


"The Coffee Shop Chronicles" Featured in New Orleans Course at University of Montevallo

David Lummis' novel The Coffee read more...


The Secret To a Happy Ending: The Decoys, DBT, and a Sunday Jam at Dick Cooper's

According to The Drive-By Truckers, the secret to a happy ending is knowing when to run the credits. This week in the Shoals the secret to a read more...


New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Begins Friday

2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival The 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival begins on April 29 and continues until May 8. A wide variety of music, food, parades, culture and crafts will be available to supporters.


The Never Ending Soul Food Tour: H & H Restaurant Macon, GA

H & H Restaurant 807 Forsyth Avenue Macon, GA 31201 478-742-9810 www.mamalouise.com James Calemine’s “Never Ending Soul Food Tour” includes documented visits to barbecue joints, read more...


Meet Tasia Malakasis of Belle Chevre--Alabama's Artisanal Goat Cheese Creamery

If you have not yet tasted Belle Chevre, Alabama's fabulous artisanal goat cheese, you are in for a treat. A couple of weeks ago Randy and I drove about twenty minutes north of Athens, Alabama, to the tiny fromagerie of Belle read more...


Merry Christmas From Swampland

Merry Christmas From Swampland Ho, Ho, Ho…I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from Swampland. Thanks for all the support. A Happy New Year to you all! Don’t let the Devil get you down. I’ve included a couple of read more...


Caught Glove-Handed: Stone Crabbing in the Gulf of Mexico

"Did you catch them or buy them?" I asked my son John Laubenthal when he sent me this photo. " I caught them glove-handed," he replied. John lives on the lagoon in Panama City and catches/eats all things marine. The apple does not fall far from read more...


Nobel Peace Prize Campaign For Willie Nelson

Nobel Peace Prize Campaign for Willie Nelson A Nobel Peace Prize Campaign has been launched for Willie Nelson and his FARM AID efforts. For the last 25 years Nelson has assisted the American farmer through FARM AID as well as raised awareness of healthy foods.


Inside Alabama Politics: Fish Frys, Barbecues, and Chittlin' Suppers

According to my friend Dr. Susan Parker, Alabama politics is not just about politics; it is about food and lots of it. No political rally is complete without a read more...


Filming "The Help": News and Blues in the Delta-- Greenwood, MS

About seven miles east of Greenwood, MS, the rolling hills suddenly go flat, a sure sign you are entering the Delta.  We had driven to Greenwood via the leisurely


Southern Soul Barbeque Featured on BBQ Pitmasters & Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Southern Soul Barbeque on BBQ Pitmasters & Diners, Drive-ins & Dives Since their business burned down at the end of March, Southern Soul Barbeque managed to rise above the ashes. Until the rebuilding on the original structure is complete at the end of October, read more...


Jimmy Dean--"Thirty Years of Sausage, Fifty Years of Ham"

Jimmy Dean, who died on June 13 of this year, would have been 82 years old today, August 10.  In honor of his birthday, I prepared his fabulous low fat turkey sausage for breakfast. To tell the truth, I have read more...


Roadtrip to the Shoals: Billy Reid Couture, Trowbridge's Ice Cream, and Sweetwater Plantation

 I just bought my first Billy Reid. No, not Armani or Versace. Much better!!! Billy Reid, whose creations read more...


More Music, Moviemaking, and the Annual Helen Keller Festival in the Shoals

You know it's summer in Alabama when the annual Helen Keller Festival week is about to commence. This year the 32nd annual festival in Tuscumbia, AL, (one of the four cities in the Shoals) will run read more...


Sister Schubert: From a Sunporch in Alabama to the Corporate Boardroom

I have been a fan of Sister Schubert rolls since I popped the first delectable morsel in my mouth some 15 years ago. The name Sister Schubert is a household word in my family, my sister's family, my daughter's read more...


April is the Busiest Month: Alabama and New Orleans

Every week in April has been busy with a literary or cultural event in the state of Alabama including the Alabama Book Festival, an annual event in


Excursion to New Orleans

What an amazing adventure I have had in Louisiana this past week. I am starting a series on Swampland about my adventures in the Crescent City (see New Orleans


The Wiregrass Road To Wanee

The Road To Wanee   “Odds and Ends Lost time is not found again…” On the road to the Wanee read more...


The Day Southern Soul Burned Down

The Day Southern Soul Barbeque Burned Down  “May this shovel, Release your trouble Lay them far away…” --Chris Whitley “Dirt Floor Not a good day for the residents of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Around 11 AM read more...


New Orleans and the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival 2010

I don't get down to New Orleans nearly so often as I would like although it is a place close to my heart. New Orleans is one of my top three cities in America, along with


Frigid February Is Hot Month for Arts in South

Temperatures may be hovering around freezing in the south in February, but the mercury is rising in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama when it comes to the fine arts The first weekend in February marks the 7th Annual Oxford read more...


In Spartanburg, SC We're All About The Beacon

We Spartans have known about it since childhood, but now thanks to a cool TV show and You Tube, you can see what all the excitement is about. The World Famous Beacon Drive-In. Buffalo says "Check it out." Keep moving! It is fine to pass in line! Keep read more...


Merry Christmas

Mystery And Manners Christmas Dispatch   Ho Ho Ho Folks, Merry Christmas! I'd like read more...


Shades of Thanksgivings Past: Post Thanksgiving Stress Disorder

As we approach another holiday season, I thought I would repost an article I wrote the week after Thanksgiving one year ago. I called it "PTSD: Post Thanksgiving Stress Disorder." . ------- December 7, 2008 Well, here we are again. Thanksgiving has read more...


Southern Soul Barbeque's Griffin Bufkin Offers Brisket Chili Recipe

Southern Soul's Soul by the Bowl Swampland Victuals Editor Griffin Bufkin offers Southern Soul Barbeque's Smoked Beef Brisket Chili Recipe. Read read more...


Guest Swampland Victuals Editor: Southern Soul's Griffin Bufkin

Griffin Bufkin's Soulful Recipe For Smoked Oysters Griffin Bufkin owns


Announcing Our New Athens, Georgia Pages - on Swampland and on Facebook

Join Swampland Facebook Pages Hillsides of kudzu lead you into the town of Athens, Georgia.  Athens, located on the Oconee River, serves as the home to The University of Georgia, read more...


Spotlight On The Classic City: Athens, Georgia

Spotlight On The Classic City: Athens, Georgia This week I’d like to shine a spotlight on Athens, Georgia. Like many, I graduated from The read more...


Possums Tales and Other Southern Fare

I was inspired to write about possums when I first saw this sign in front of  Hickory Barn read more...


News From Athens, Georgia

Music, Food And Film in The Classic City Upcoming news out of Athens, Georgia…on August 18,


Automatic Y'all: Weaver D's Guide To The Soul

Weaver D’s Guide To The Soul "I'm going to be 'Automatic for the People."         -Vice read more...


That's What I Like About the South: Whitt's, White Sauce, Dale's Sauce, and Sundrop

In this series of blogs, I would like to talk about victuals (pronounced "vittles") that are uniquely southern. The first stanza of the song "That's What I Like about read more...


Billy C Farlow, Delta Blues, and More News from Elk River

Well, we have survived yet another holiday weekend on Elk RIver. This weekend we did not burn down read more...


Smoke on the Water, Fire in the Sky: Mother's Day Weekend on ER

"No matter what we get out of this I know we'll never forget Smoke on the water, fire in the sky "


Big Medicine Come Soon

"Beyond the horizon, in the Springtime or Fall Love waits forever for one and for all." --Bob Dylan Greetings read more...


Jayhawks Down South

Gary Louris & Mark Olson Interview I interviewed Jayhawks Mark Olson and Gary Louris this afternoon. They were driving to Atlanta for a show read more...


Alabama In the New York Times and on NPR: Southern Sheriffs, Archaic Laws, and Colorful Criminals

From Sut Lovingood: Yarns Spun by a Nat'ral Born Durn'd Fool to Smokey and the Bandit, read more...


Alvin Ailey, Otis Redding--and Fifty Golden Years!

I recently returned from taking a very small bite out of a very big apple. I traveled to New York City this past weekend with my daughter and a longtime friend to experience Christmas in the city and to attend read more...


PTSD--Post Thanksgiving Stress Disorder

Well, here we are. Thanksgiving has come and gone, the carcass has been picked (in more ways than one), the leftovers frozen, the hangovers have been medicated with the hair of the dog, and families continue to perpetuate the myth that


Back To The Island

Swampland/Mystery And Manners Travel To St. Simons Island for Cultural Celebration 11/02/08  "Odds and ends, odds and ends,


Filmmakers in the South: Spotlight on Alabama

This week I would like to celebrate southern filmmakers, particularly those who hail from Alabama or who have made films about Alabama. One of these outstanding


Back from the Blue Ridge

Just a quick note to say that I have been "on the road" for the past five days, and I have lots of exciting adventures and observations to share in the coming weeks. Although I have traveled extensively in the continental US and in Central America and abroad, this was my read more...


Barbeque is Not a Verb: A Musical Tribute To Southern BBQ

There's nothing us Southerners like more than barbeque. Football comes close, as does Southern Rock, NASCAR, professional wrestling and cold beer, but when all is said and done, the pork will always rise to the top. Well, some guys from read more...


The Dog Star Rages and Leos Roar

It is August and the dog days of summer are upon us. The ancient Romans noticed that the hottest days of the year, late July and early August, coincided with the appearance of


Where Have All the Small Towns Gone?

The centuries old ubi sunt query—where are those who went before us? or where are the snow of yesterday?—has always been a question with no answer. But this particular question is not read more...


Alabama: A Place in the Sun

It is July in Alabama and the corn is literally as high as an elephant’s eye. Jungles of lush green flank the country roads. Where formerly one could see for miles, one can barely see the road directly ahead.


Friends of New Orleans and Swampland.com Join Together!

Swampland.com is proud to announce that we have joined Friends of New Orleans (FONO) as an official cultural partner for this worthy charity.  Here is the mission statement of FONO direct from the official read more...


Tying The Knot: East Meets West in the Deep South

This weekend I attended the wedding of two young friends at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The wedding (or more accurately the weddings) involved both a traditional


Too Much Fun

When Deryle Perryman contacted me last week to say that he and fellow filmmaker Moises Gonzales were coming to Alabama and would I like to read more...


April in Alabama

Nothing could be more beautiful than April in Alabama and, in my case, nothing could be more exciting. I recently returned from the Alabama Studio Weekend in the


Alabama: Places to Be and People to See

The Alabama Book Festival held in Montgomery, Alabama, is only in its third season and already it offers a unique opportunity for participants to meet and listen to over seventy authors, among them read more...


Dickinson's Eats & Dylan's Prize

Bob Dylan Wins Pulitzer Prize & Jim Dickinson's Best On The Road Eating 4/7/08 Evening Folks, I hope all is well on this read more...


Looking for Some Real Southern Recipes

I wanted to make sure y'all didn't miss the call from the Southern Foodways Alliance for good Southern recipes. Check out the information here. But don't send your recipe for fried possum fritters with read more...


The Southern Foodways Alliance Needs Your Recipes!

Swampland has the utmost respect for the Southern Foodways Alliance so we thought we would share this recent request for recipes that they have sent out to folks around the Footprint. Help them out if you read more...


LIghts, Camera, Action! Film Festivals and Film Debuts in the South

Late winter and spring of 2008 will see the blossoming of a host of film festivals in the South. A number of the festivals showcase original films and present cash awards to the best new films. Others bring classic, hard to find, topical, or thematic films to the read more...


Music and Movie Making in Alabama

Sorry to have been incommunicado since Thanksgiving. This time I was overwhelmed by the holiday madness and computer problems (my three year old monitor died). But now all is well, and I am looking forward to an exciting 2008 on Swampland. Today I am posting a read more...


Mama Hill of H&H in Macon Passes Away at 94

Mama Inez Hill, the co-owner of Macon's H&H Restaurant has passed away at 94.  Inez Hill, 94, died early this morning (Tuesday, December 18th) of natural causes at The Medical Center of Central Georgia. Hill, and her sister "Mama Louise" read more...


On the Road Again

Sorry I have been incommunicado lately. I am still struggling with allergies that seem to get worse rather than better. Ah, fall in North Alabama. Speaking of fall, this weekend my sister, her husband, and two of our friends made a road trip to the hills of middle Tennessee read more...


Hot and Wet or Hot and Dry?

The state of Alabama made the national news on two consecutive days this week: first regarding the referendum that could have reversed the legal sale of alcohol in the city of Athens (billed as "Alabama City Mulls Return to Prohibition") and secondly for the read more...


Turtle Tracks

In the fall of 2005, my sister Peggy bought a 1985 Toyota Dolphin RV from her son in Seaside, CA, and in late October Peggy, our friend Carol C, and I flew out to California to drive the vintage RV the three thousand miles from the west coast to north Alabama.


A Quiet Fourth of July

It is a strangely quiet Fourth of July on the river. Due to the devastating drought, the water level is unusually low, discouraging most boaters and skiers at read more...


Dysfunction Junction

There is a interchange in Birmingham, Alabama, that is so infamous it has been dubbed Malfunction Junction. After the last deadly crash, the powers-that-be declared that the interchange should be completely revamped, resulting in a slightly more functional junction. This is read more...


Uneasy Rider

Last weekend I traveled to Austin, Texas, for the 90th birthday celebration of Dr. Elva Mclin, my mentor, friend, and longtime colleague. Another former colleague and friend of the honoree accompanied me. Because neither of us had ever been to Austin before, we elected to stay in read more...


Celebrations On The River: Derby Day

Today marks the 28th annual Cotton Row Run , a 10K race through the city of Huntsville, AL, and up Heartbreak Hill. In the early 90s I was still running the race. There were days hotter than this one but not nearly read more...


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