Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Historic Village Celebrates 175 Years

Dr. George D. N. Coletti
By Doc Lawrence

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA – Literally beside the namesake landmark mountain, the historic Village of Stone Mountain continues its 175th anniversary celebration on Saturday May 3, featuring a book signing by author Dr. George D.N. Coletti, food and dance at a popular restaurant, a tour of the historic cemetery and an opportunity to meet local officials and celebrities.

The commemoration activities begin this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. with an Archaeology Field Day. One of the day’s highlights will feature Dr. Coletti’s appearance and signing of his acclaimed book, Stone Mountain: The Granite Sentinel at The Village Corner Restaurant.. Good food is available along with May Day festivities..

Mayor Pat Wheeler
“This is going to be a fun-filled day for Stone Mountain Village. Volunteers have been working for several months to gather stories to tell about the people and families who have found their final resting place in the cemetery,” says Mary Beth Reed, chair of the 175th Anniversary organizing committee.
A noted historian and prominent Stone Mountain civic leader, Dr. George Coletti will greet guests and sign his acclaimed book beginning at noon, with a second signing scheduled at 4:00 p.m. at The Village Corner Restaurant. The restaurant will then host a May Day Dance to celebrate 40 successful years as one of the region’s top restaurants at 4, 5 and 6:00 p.m.

“Days like this,” says Mayor Pat Wheeler, “hold something for everyone. We hope to see history buffs, families and people who just want to learn more about our Village enjoying the day. We are proud to show off our heritage.”

One of the region’s most successful restaurants, The Village Corner is a traditional German tavern with a European bakery, a café style dining room and a biergarten.

A perfect place to celebrate an anniversary.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Baseball Feast With The Atlanta Braves

By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA-Tailgating and baseball fit like a a ball in a glove. Former Atlanta Braves front office executive Frank Spence, one of the top authorities on tailgating says there is a historic connection. “Baseball was popularized during the Civil War and tailgating was born right after the first Battle of Manassas.”
Hammerin' Hank is Baseball's Finest Image

The weekend series with the Cincinnati Reds was even by baseball standards, almost perfect. The pre-game aromas and sounds of laughter filled the parking lots around Turner Field, and with Atlanta’s magnificent skyline as a backdrop, it was time for great food from the grill and some delicious beverages.

This year, the Braves and all baseball fans celebrate the anniversary of Hank Aaron’s mighty blow that broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. “Hamerin’ Hank,” as he is affectionately know to millions, is baseball’s finest image, a man of dignity who handles his fame about like he did his triumphs in baseball: with pure class.

Chef Lara Lyn Carter, the star of Albany Georgia’s WALB-TV cooking show whose new cookbook, Southern Thymes Shared (Pelican Publishing, Gretna, LA 2014) is fast becoming a big hit throughout the South, is a Braves fan. “I literally grew up loving the Braves,” she proclaims with laughter. It is appropriate to salute Hank Aaron and the Braves with one of Chef Lara Lyn’s original recipes. We enjoyed it a couple of hours before the first pitch and everyone shouted their approval. “Home Run!”.
Pregame Fun at Turner Field

This is a dish that I found perfect with a good quality Riesling. Whether from Germany, Alsace, New York State or Washington State (Chateau St. Michelle is available everywhere), this wine, served chilled, starts a baseball weekend tailgate ritual with some wonderful and compatible flavors.

Enough talking. It’s time for food and wine just before entering Turner Field.

Hammerin' Hank’s Hot Wings
      Chef Lara Lyn Carter

 For the Chicken
Chef Lara Lyn Carter
3lbs. White Oak Pastures chicken wings
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. coarse salt
1 ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Canola oil for frying
Cut the wings at the joint to remove the tips. Marinate chicken for two hours in the buttermilk. Combine the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large paper bag. Remove the wings from the buttermilk and drain. Toss the wings in the bag with the flour mixture to coat. Heat one quart of canola oil in a cast iron skillet to 350 degrees. Fry the wings in batches for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with dipping sauce.
For the Sauce
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1/ tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. Creole mustard
2 tbsp. jalapeño pepper jelly
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve with wings.

MOTHER’S DAY GIFT. Southern Thymes Shared is a gorgeous new cookbook with original recipes and wine pairings galore. It is lovely on a coffee table and makes a wonderful gift for her special day. Available at bookstores everywhere, and the Museum gift shop at Monticello.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Red Door’s Production Is Uplifting

By Doc Lawrence

UNION SPRINGS, Alabama- The story behind the musical Cotton Patch Gospel is almost as fascinating as the songs. Clarence Jordan, a Southern Baptist preacher in Americus, Georgia, founded Koinonia, a farm refuge for the oppressed and unwanted. Christian to the core, the only requirement was that you leave your worldly possessions behind and work as you could. The farm is still there and a visit will inspire you to buy pecans and other farm products. If you are lost or lonely, they will offer refuge and love.

The graves of Jordan and his wife are on a Koinonia hill. When you enter the farm, there’s a sign that says Koinonia is the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity. The mission of Jordan and his followers lives on.

I interviewed Tom Kay, the creator of the stage production back in the 1990’s and learned that everything audiences enjoy from the musical is the direct result of inspiration. The story is true to the life of Jesus. Key, a playwright and actor is also a native of Birmingham. He used Jordan’s colorful substitutions of places and people, and Harry Chapin added a bluegrass gospel score. The result is a highly entertaining two hours that appeals to audiences from Broadway to London. On an Easter afternoon, I took my late mother to see it at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and remember her smiles and laughter.

Unlike Jesus Christ Superstar, another Broadway/Hollywood hit, Cotton Patch Gospel is consistently uplifting with all the energy of those revivals and outdoor singings I recall from my baby days around country churches. Gospel music buoys the sagging soul and lifts the poor in spirit. What we lacked in material things were replaced with the joyous voices and harmonies celebrating the birth, life, death and resurrection. And everything was fun.

Tom Key is a Birmingham Native
Cotton Patch Gospel is based on the book The Cotton Patch Version of Matthew and John by Reverend Clarence Jordan. The Gospel is presented of rural Georgia and the events of Bethlehem are transferred to Gainesville in North Georgia, The first song is "Somethin's a-brewin' in Gainesville." Herod is the evil mayor of Atlanta and Pontius Pilate is Georgia's governor.

Critics everywhere praise Cotton Patch Gospel. The story is everlasting. And who said that the greatest story ever told couldn’t entertain? My Alabama-born mother, as devout a Christian as possible, loved every second of this live stage wonder.

Where Cotton Patch was Born
ast as Georgia’s governor. Jesus is lynched by criminals only to rise triumphant.
And so will you.

 Union Springs, a charming and very friendly city, is an easy drive from Montgomery or Atlanta. And it’s very close to Koinonia. Red Door Theatre is in an old church, just perfect for Cotton Patch Gospel.  Four performances are offered: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 24-26, 2014,
Contact (334) 738-8687.


Mother’s Day is near. Remember her with a gift that lasts. Southern Thymes Shared, the new hardcover cookbook with wine pairings looks wonderful on a coffee table and she will love the recipes and stories. Available at and bookstores everywhere. Details:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Chef Carter Talks about Easter Recipes
Easter Recipes with Wine Pairings

PANAMA CITY, Florida — Chef Lara Lyn Carter is featured in the food section front page story in this coastal Florida city's newspaper, The News Herald. The highly-respected food editor Jan Waddy interviewed the TV chef and author of the hit cookbook Southern Thymes Shared (Pelican Publishing 2014) during two cooking demonstrations at Somethin’s Cookin’, a popular Panama City bistro and Florida Panhandle gourmet center. The article quotes Chef Carter, highlighting her favorite dishes for Easter and other family gatherings.

“When families come to the table for Easter dinner, it is about more than what’s on the menu,” observed Chef Carter. “Our family has always been big on holidays. As a Christian family, we celebrate Christmas and Easter.” The article includes her recipes for Easter dinner included in Southern Thymes Shared along with wine pairings by co-author, Atlanta journalist Doc Lawrence.
Grillin' on TV with Chef Lara Lyn Carter

Chef Carter, who cooked and entertained, also discussed some of her recipes from the critically acclaimed cookbook while guests sat around the bar and talked. “This cookbook,” states the personable Chef, “is perfect for Mother’s Day gifts and wedding presents.”

Read and enjoy the full feature story and be sure to purchase a copy of Southern Thymes Shared from Amazon or your local bookstore.
Perfect Gift for Mother's Day

Monday, April 7, 2014


“Perfect Mother’s Day Gift” says Bookstore Owner

Linda Parks (r) with Shelby tourism executive Jackie Sibley
SHELBY, NC. Linda Parks is a bookstore owner that you dream about meeting. Eloquent and cerebral, she oversees a successful retail operation in this picturesque city heralded for its beautiful town square. A visit inside affirms the importance of independent bookstores to American business. Brimming with bubbly enthusiasm, Ms. Parks hosts many author events in her very busy operation and took time to introduce her clients to the wonders of the hit cookbook, Southern Thymes Shared.

Before the two book signings with co-author Doc Lawrence, there was a special evening for Shelby. Carl White’s acclaimed TV show, “Life in the Carolinas” was in town for the premiere of a tribute to Shelby at the magnificent Art Deco performance hall, the Don Gibson Theatre. Doc Lawrence was a special guest on stage with Mr. White where they talked about Southern Thymes Shared before the sold-out auditorium. “There’s so much about North Carolina in your book,” White observed, “and the original recipes are even paired with some great Carolina wines.”
Linda Parks Welcomes Distinguished Guests for Signing

During the opening segment that preceded 90 minutes of spectacular Bluegrass, Gospel and Jazz performances, Carl White asked Doc if he would recommend a wine to pair with a local Shelby delicacy, Liver Mush, a pate-like food with origins in Germany. “Champagne,” Doc answered, “or a wonderful sparkling wine from Asheville’s Biltmore Estate.”

Carl White has praised Southern Thymes Shared, describing the book as “a true celebration of Southern charm and elegance that gives tribute to our tables and traditions of the past.”

Doc Lawrence was Carl White's Guest
The first book signing event with Doc Lawrence was at the VIP reception after the live stage show with the other during business hours at Fireside Books hosted by Ms. Parks. Many local dignitaries attended including Carl White along with  award-winning Native American recording artists Chief Joseph RiverWind and his wife, Laralyn. During the signing, Linda Parks lauded Southern Thymes Shared for the beautiful cover and original content. “This is a perfect gift for Mother’s Day,” she said, “ and every new bride deserves a copy for her kitchen.”

"Life in the Carolinas" appears Sunday mornings on FOX46 in Charlotte, North Carolina and is syndicated throughout North and South Carolina.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Signing Her New Cookbook Near the Gulf Waters

PANAMA CITY, Florida-Off to show her recipes to the denizens of the Florida Panhandle, Chef Lara Lyn Carter has a full day scheduled this Saturday at the renowned Somethin’s Cookin’. Combining gourmet food and wines into a bistro Bill and Hannalore Holland have established their enterprise as a centerpiece for elevated lifestyles in this popular vacation city.
Chef Lara Lyn Carter

Two demonstrations are schedules for Saturday and Chef Carter might have a few surprises. One thing that for certain is the introduction of Southern Thymes Shared the new cookbook which she co-authored with Atlanta journalist Doc Lawrence. “I created the original recipes in the cookbook,” says Chef Carter, “and Doc paired the wines.” The finished production has garnered acclaim from many quarters.

A television star on Albany, Georgia’s WALB-TV, Chef Carter says she “wanted the cookbook to be lovely and useful enough that we would give it for Mother’s Day or as a wedding gift.” Former Atlanta Braves ranking executive Frank Spence, a frequent commentator about things Southern, described the new cookbook as “a work of art that deserves a place on a coffee table.”

Southern Thymes Shared has earned praise from respected professionals like Michelle M. Winner, president of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association and James T. Farmer III, editor-at-large, Southern Living. In a recent review, Lynne Brandon applauded the work for promoting the “Jefferson culinary tradition of open-ended, warm hospitality and farm-to table freshness. Pairing wines with Southern recipes,” she observed, is “part of the joy in having Southern Thymes Shared in your kitchen..”

Book Signing & Menu preparation with Chef Lara Lyn Carter is Saturday, April 5; 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Meet Lara Lyn and have her personalize a copy of Southern Thymes Shared for you or as a Mother’s Day gift. Details and directions: 


“Life in the Carolinas” Honors Shelby, Home of Earl Scruggs

SHELBY, North Carolina-The buzz intensifies as the world premiere of the TV story about this special town nears. “Life in the Carolinas,” hosted and produced by Carl White unveils the Shelby town square story this week at the Don Gibson Theater, a beautiful facility named after Country Music Hall of Fame member and native son Don Gibson. The stage will sparkle, according to the ever-ebullient TV veteran Carl White, with talented entertainers, local celebrities and even one book author from Atlanta.

Southern Thymes Shared, the new cookbook by Chef Lara Lyn Carter and Doc Lawrence will be available for purchase from Fireside Books in Shelby with a special signing backstage in the theater just after the show. Doc Lawrence, a guest on the “Life In The Carolinas” special, will be on hand to meet new friends and autograph copies of the book.

Greensboro-based journalist Lynne Brandon will cover the Shelby gala for an upcoming magazine feature story. Ms. Brandon, a veteran writer with deep expertise in North Carolina’s food heritage and modern lifestyles, praised the cookbook in a recent review for extending the  “Jefferson culinary tradition of open-ended, warm hospitality and farm-to table freshness. Pairing wines with Southern recipes,” she observed, “resulted in  a great cookbook, a big part of the joy in having Southern Thymes Shared in your kitchen.”

A television star on Georgia’s WALB-TV, Chef Carter said she “wanted the cookbook to be lovely and useful enough that we would give it for Mother’s Day or as a wedding gift.” Former Atlanta Braves ranking executive Frank Spence, a frequent commentator about things Southern, described the new cookbook as “a work of art that deserves a place on a coffee table.”

Southern Thymes Shared has earned praise from respected professionals like Michelle M. Winner, president of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association and James T. Farmer III, editor-at-large, Southern Living. Carl White, often compared to the late CBS star Charles Kuralt, recommended the cookbook as  “a tribute to Southern cooking and hospitality.”

"Life In The Carolinas Town Square Special Featuring Shelby" will be presented at the Don Gibson Theater in Shelby on April 3, and shown on Charlotte’s  FOX 46 Carolinas  Sunday morning, April 6 at 8:30. Here’s a sneak preview: