Friday, May 24, 2013




By Doc Lawrence

Travel Rangers Lazelle Jones (r), Lynne Brandon
and Doc at Laurel and Hardy Museum
STONE MOUNTAIN, GA-It’s good to be back home, again. After a journey through wonderful Deep South destinations in Georgia accompanied by two North Carolinians Carl White and Lynne Brandon along with Lazelle Jones, the gifted journalist who has mastered the art of raising tomatoes at his home in the California desert, the trek was over, leaving precious memories of time
spent at “Andalusia,” Flannery O’Connor’s home, in Milledgeville, the Blue Willow Inn smack dab in the middle of Social Circle and the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival in Thomson, my home near the great gray granite monolith was a place to reflect and refresh.

Television Producer Carl White at Blue Willow Inn
With the Memorial Day holiday weekend approaching, some recipes created by Georgia’s TV celebrity chef Lara Lyn Carter seemed appropriate. “Something different,” I hinted. “Who says burgers can only be beef?” she replied, offering up three originals, including amazing pork sliders, accompanied by her incredible slaw and delicious potato skewers.

Marinated Slaw

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. Olive Oil

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. celery seeds
1 cabbage shredded
1 cup shredded carrots
Put cabbage and carrots together in a large bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients together and pour over vegetables. Cover, chill, and allow marinating for 2-3 hours.

Pork Sliders with Mustard Sauce

2 pounds ground pork

2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Mix ingredients by hand until combined. Form in to 16 mini burgers. Grill over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Serve sliders with sliced Vidalia onion and mustard sauce (recipe follows) on Kings Hawaiian Rolls.

Mustard Sauce
1 2oz. Jar of dry mustard
1 ½ cups of white sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
51/2 tbsp. Malt vinegar
24 oz plain prepared yellow mustard

Potato Skewers

2 ½ pounds of Baby Dutch Gold potatoes
½ cup honey
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Boil the potatoes until partially cooked. Thread potatoes onto 8 wooden skewers that have been soaked in water to prevent burning. Mix honey, mustard, and vinegar together to make a glaze. Place potato skewers on grill over medium heat and baste with glaze. Cook 6-8 minutes and flip over. Baste the other side and cook another 6-8 minutes.

Wine Pairing-Doc’s Sangria Salute

After some brainstorming with Chef Lara Lyn, we agreed that this was the perfect weekend to make some Sangria. The wine punch originated in Spain, but here, deep in Dixie, we call it our own after having made it even before the Civil War. Few wines make better Sangria than the rich, delicious Muscadine from Still Pond Vineyards in Arlington, Georgia.
4 bottles Still Pond Plantation Red Muscadine Wine
1/2 cup Tupelo Honey
1 tsp. lime zest
1 bottle club soda
2 cups vodka
Juice of 1 lemon

Blend in punch bowl, add minimum ice and tropical fruit chunks just prior to serving. Note: Muscadine wines are widely available throughout the South and any make a perfect substitute.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013



By Doc Lawrence

Lara Lyn Carter’s popular television cooking show on Albany Georgia’s WALB-TV, provides viewers with a regular experience of fresh ingredients, skilled preparation and gentle presentation. While others do research, hoping to learn something about the reality of farm to table, Lara Lyn simply does what she’s been doing from the first time she put a skillet on the stove. “Everything I’ve enjoyed cooking has always been available close to my kitchen. This area of Georgia is fertile and produces the finest vegetables you can find anywhere. And have you tried our olive oil yet?”

Here’s Lara Lyn’s original recipe for shrimp and grits. Note that it is an all-Georgia production. I’ve added a wine from Crane Creek Vineyards in North Georgia that pairs beautifully with all the flavors.

 Lara Lyn’s Shrimp and Grits
 With Caramelized Vidalia Onions

1 cup Gayla’s Grits (
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon pepper
8 ounces of Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill Cheese
1 large Vidalia onion chopped
2 tablespoons of Georgia Olive Farm Olive Oil
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 pound of large wild Georgia shrimp peeled and deveined
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 stick of butter melted
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary

For the grits-

Bring the chicken broth, butter and pepper to a boil.  Add the grits to the broth mixture and cook covered over low to medium heat for one hour stirring frequently.  Add water ¼ of a cup at a time as needed during the cooking to keep the grits from sticking.  During the last 15 minutes of cooking add the cheese to the grits and stir to allow it to dissolve into the grits.  This part alone is creamy delicious comfort food.

For the Onions-

Place the olive oil in a skillet over low to medium heat and add the Vidalia Onion, salt, and sugar.  Cook for 20 minutes until caramelized.

For the shrimp-

Spread the shrimp on a greased baking sheet.  Melt the butter and mix in the garlic and rosemary.  Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp and roast the shrimp in a 400-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

To serve-

Ladle the grits into 4 large serving bowls and top equal portions of the onions.  Place equal portions of the shrimp around the edges of the bowls.


Traminette, a delightful white wine from North Georgia’s heralded Crane Creek Vineyards makes this a meal for spring and summer. Your guests will enjoy this delicious and original experience created by one of the fastest rising culinary stars, Lara Lyn Carter.

NOTE-Enjoy the visit to Montgomery and the home of Zelda Fitzgerald:

Saturday, May 11, 2013



By Doc Lawrence

During the hallowed baseball ceremony, the seventh-inning stretch, fans at parks all over America serenade our country with “God Bless America,” preceding baseball’s anthem, “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” The former, now almost on par with The National Anthem, was penned by the incomparable Irving Berlin and today is his birthday.

We should revisit the lives of our great artists on occasions like today. Ameica’s music continues to be a mighty force in the world of popular culture and few have contributed anything approaching the works, (should I say standards?) composed by Berlin.

With a catalogue that boasted over 1000 songs, Irving Berlin epitomized Jerome Kern's famous maxim that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music -- he is American music." When his father died, Berlin, just turned 13, became a singing waiter in a New York City Chinatown CafĂ© and soon had his first major international hit — "Alexander's Ragtime Band."

Over the next five decades, Irving Berlin produced an outpouring of ballads, dance numbers, novelty tunes and love songs that defined American popular song for much of the 20th century. A sampling of just some of the Irving Berlin standards includes "How Deep Is The Ocean," "Blue Skies," "White Christmas," "Always," "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Cheek To Cheek," "Puttin' On The Ritz," "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody," "Heat Wave," "Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning," "Easter Parade" and "Let's Face The Music And Dance." In a class by itself is his paean to his beloved country, "God Bless America."

He was equally at home writing for Broadway and Hollywood. He wrote seventeen complete scores for Broadway musicals and revues, and contributed material to six more. Among the shows featuring all-Berlin scores were THE COCOANUTS, AS THOUSANDS CHEER, LOUISIANA PURCHASE, THIS IS THE ARMY, MISS LIBERTY, MR. PRESIDENT, CALL ME MADAM and the phenomenally successful ANNIE GET YOUR GUN.  Recent musicals culled from his screen work include IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS (Broadway, across the USA, Canada and Great Britain), and TOP HAT, currently in its 2nd year in London's West End and winner of the 2013 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Among the Hollywood movie musical classics with scores by Irving Berlin are TOP HAT, FOLLOW THE FLEET, ON THE AVENUE, ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND, HOLIDAY INN, BLUE SKIES, EASTER PARADE, WHITE CHRISTMAS and THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS. His songs have provided memorable moments in dozens of other films, from THE JAZZ SINGER (1927) to blockbusters like HOME ALONE (1991) and TITANIC (1997). Among his many awards were a special Tony Award (1963) and the Academy Award for Best Song of the Year for "White Christmas" in 1942.

On September 22, 1989, at the age of 101, Irving Berlin died in his sleep in his town house in New York City.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Berlin. God indeed blessed America when you set foot on the shore in New York City.
Hope you make plans to see “The Great Gatsby” Enjoy this story, a prelude to the highly recommended movie: