Welcome to Down South Today, a blog and podcast journey to the higher life of food, arts, wines/cocktails, tailgating, books, music and more. Join us for Dare2Pair, a gourmet state of mind.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
FARM TO TABLE IN SOUTH GEORGIA
LAURI JO BENNETT’S PICKLED DELIGHTS
“When I want you in my arms,
When I want you and all your charms Whenever I want you,
all I have to do is dream.”
Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, recorded by The Everly Brothers
By Doc Lawrence
NORMAN PARK, GA—This small town nestled deep in South Georgia is nearer to Tallahassee, Florida’s capital city than the great metropolis of Atlanta, unofficial headquarters of the New South. Colquitt County is the home of the Georgia Baptist Convention and the fertile soil grows almost anything that roots. Nearby Moultrie was the home of the great songwriting team, Boudleaux and Felice Bryant who as husband and wife wrote over 1500 songs for legends like the Everly Brothers, The Grateful Dead, Buddy Holly, R.E.M., Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan and others, and they penned “Rocky Top,” the official song of the University of Tennessee,
Drink the wonderful water here and you might feel an itch to write a love song.
Lauri Jo Bennett has her jams, jellies, and pickled vegetable headquatered in this fertile land. A highly respected schoolteacher, she longed to plunge into the challenges of entrepreneurism and began making gourmet delights from local sourced fruits and vegetables. This family effort now sells a couple dozen different products like pickled green beans, asparagus, okra and fabulous Strawberry pepper jelly in over a slew of states. Everything is made by hand from scratch including the labels. Laurie Jo is emblematic of farm-to-table and needs no hype.
Lauri Jo is the real deal: impossible not to like and admire. Leaving Norman Park I wondered if any state official ever thinks of having her as a representative of Georgia’s best. I can see Laurie Jo serving her goodies to the communist rulers of China served along with the wines of nearby Horse Creek. Friendships are crafted this way. It’s part of the magic of South Georgia’s hospitality tradition, something as natural as a smile and handshake.
Laurie Jo began her company with a dream. This is a place where dreams are revered because they often come true.
Enjoy more about the food and wine of this great part of Dixie: