Monday, June 30, 2014



By Doc Lawrence

Michel McKinley (L),  Susan Coletti (C) and Pat Wheeler
STONE MOUNTAIN, GA-The season’s first local grown heirloom tomatoes quickly sold out. Peaches just hours from being picked in Pearson Orchards in middle Georgia were bagged and headed home for that special recipe cobbler or homemade ice cream. Farmers Markets, once just local produce stands, have been cropping up in the Atlanta region for a few years and now one of the newest is making a statement in the historic Village of Stone Mountain.

Mechel McKinley, the city’s Downtown Development executive director said the market was “a great idea that benefits the city and something new everyone can enjoy.” She addedthat with so much tourist and bicycling traffic generated by Stone Mountain Park’s continuing popularity, the city’s new market is a natural stop off for visitors.

Dekalb County is no stranger to these havens of freshness. Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market near Decatur lays claim as the largest indoor market of its kind on earth. And it just launched a 100-acre expansion. The City of Decatur has a well-established popular street market and the list goes on.

Smoked Goat cheese with Horseradish is Hot Item
Stone Mountain’s market has a bunch of advantages. First, it is highly accessible, located in the parking area on Main Street. Then, there’s all the stunning history. The old train terminal survived the Battle of Atlanta. The March to the Sea began in the area. There is even a monument to “Sherman’s Neckties” at the end of the market space.

Art Station, a center for live theater and cabaret plus a gallery of original art is a block away and shopping at places like Sassy’s can yield some handmade jewelry, collectible books or one of resident Olivia Thomason’s heralded paintings.

Fresh food is the draw at the market. Artisan cheeses, herbs, a variety of fruits and vegetables and pastries come with good conversation. There’s no charge for friendly chats.

Stone Mountain’s market has a very bright future. Where else in America can you climb landmark granite mountain and after the trek, go shopping nearby and come home with a bag of delicious heirloom tomatoes?

The Farmers Market in Stone Mountain Village is every Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m. Parking is free. More information:

Olivia Thomason (left) Buys Vegetables from Circle M Farm

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Jim Sanders Georgia Brunswick Stew

By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA. He was the unchallenged “father of fine wine” not only in Atlanta but the entire Southeast region. A French-trained chef, Jim Sanders stayed true to his Southern roots, producing a cookbook pairing the great dishes of the South (his recipes) with the great wines of France. No counterpart exists today.
Brunswick Stew with Barbecue Ribs

Each July 4, Sanders served his barbeque pork along with his treasured recipe Georgia Brunswick Stew, something he learned during his childhood days in Covington, Georgia. It is the traditional accompaniment to genuine Deep South barbecue and his recipe is credible.


1 four-pound baking chicken
4 pounds ground pork
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1-tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup red wine, preferably Rhone style
3 to 4 tablespoons bacon drippings 
36 ounces tomato juice
4 ounce tomato catsup
3 cups cut corn
Kosher salt and black pepper

Boil the chicken until it is very tender, cool, de-bone and chop the meat finely. Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, braise the pork until half done. Add half the chopped onions, one chopped garlic clove, chili powder, thyme, cayenne pepper and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper. Continue to braise until the meat is well browned, stirring every few minutes to break up any lumps and combine with chicken. Add the tomato juice and catsup and simmer for 11/2 hours. Add the rest of the chopped onions, another chopped garlic clove and simmer for another 30 minutes. Taste for salt and spoon off the fat before serving.
Jim Sanders Wines are Spectacular


Beaujolais goes well with Brunswick stew. It does not fight the spices and it has a lot of refreshment value. Otherwise, fairly heavy red wines like Cotes du Rhone complement the spice and flavors nicely as do several Italian reds like Chianti, Bardolino and Montepulciano.

Over three decades, Jim Sanders taught thousands in his wine classes in Atlanta, a rich mixture of governors, members of Congress, physicians, Georgia Supreme Court Justices and regular men and women of Atlanta. Although a product of the Deep South, Jim was more French than anything. After World War II, where he was wounded five times in the Pacific campaigns, he went to France, bicycled the countryside and found his passion in wine and food. He learned to cook in Lyon and Paris and met Armand Cottin, president of Labourie-Roi and through this brotherly friendship, developed his own cuvee of 179 Burgundies garnering numerous awards. Each day, in the rear of his retail wine shop in Atlanta’s Buckhead, Sanders served most anyone who came in wonderful dishes he prepared along with pours from countless bottles of perfectly paired wines. There was no charge.

Jim’s wines, all under his JSANDERS label, are sold exclusively in Atlanta’s Sherlock’s retail wine shops.

On the eve of his death in 1999, Jim Sanders entrusted me with his priceless wine notes, lectures, stories and recipes.

              Celebrate America and enjoy the Fourth of July!

Brunswick Stew Historic Marker

Wednesday, June 25, 2014



“A wonderful book honoring the culinary legacy of Thomas Jefferson.”

NORMANDY, Tennessee. “Thomas Jefferson would be very proud,” David Hazelwood declared at the conclusion of a highly successful wine dinner. Southern Thymes Shared, the cookbook with wine pairings that follows Jefferson’s dining tradition of serving fresh Southern food with Old and New World wines, inspired the gourmet event. Hazelwood, who has read many scholarly books about Thomas Jefferson, added that the evening at Corner Mill, the gourmet restaurant on the Duck River in Normandy, Tennessee, had “historic implications.”
Celebrating with David and Claudia Hazelwood (holding book)

Prior to the five-course dinner, Southern Thymes Shared was introduced to the public at large and dinner guests with co-author Doc Lawrence on hand for signing and personalization. Speaking before a packed restaurant, both Hazelwood and Lawrence elaborated on the recipes and the wine selections. “Every wine,” said Mr. Hazelwood, “came from a respected Southern winery.” The wines hailed from producers like North Carolina’s Biltmore Estate in Asheville to Natchez Hills Vineyard in Hampshire, Tennessee. But it was Louisiana’s Ponchartrain Vineyards just north of New Orleans that claimed the evening's favorite, a delightful white wine, Roux St. Louis.
Doc Lawrence Signing a Book

Each course was prepared by Cortner Mill Chef Mason Heath and connected deliciously to many of the original recipes created by Lara Lyn Carter in Southern Thymes Shared. “We met with Chef Mason along with other knowledgeable friends and came up with a menu that was true to the spirit of Southern Thymes Shared,” said Hazelwood. He added that the wines were chosen according to compatibility with the flavors of each dish.

“This All-Southern wine dinner happened because of this wonderful cookbook,” Hazelwood observed. “Our evening of food, wine and good cheer honored Jefferson’s living culinary legacy.”

Owned by David and Claudia Hazelwood, Cortner Mill Restaurant, once an important 19th century gristmill, sits beside the roaring waters of the Duck River where the food connection remains. Today, diners enjoy gourmet dishes with wines where local farmers originally came to have corn ground into cornmeal and grits. A short distance away is the Hazelwood’s resort, Parish Patch Farm & Inn, a popular tourist and corporate conference destination acclaimed for its beautiful natural surroundings and superb amenities.

NOTE: Southern Thymes Shared (Pelican Publishing, Gretna, LA 2014) is available on Amazon, at local bookstores and the Monticello Museum Gift Shop in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Friday, June 13, 2014



By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA. It’s not your ordinary parking lot. On the hallowed grounds just outside Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, the picnic baskets are open, the grills hot, coolers are full and space-from card tables to the bed of trucks- is set aside for Tailgating. This weekend has something extra special:  We are honoring Dad. Baseball fans and Fathers seem to fit nicely.

Braves Star Evan Gattis
Perhaps more than any other sport, baseball brings generations together. My father, at 95, lives in Tennessee now and regularly watches the Braves on television. Early memories of growing up in Atlanta include watching Eddie Mathews play for the minor league dynasty Atlanta Crackers just before the third baseman and future Hall of Fame member became a Braves legend.

Before all the chopping and chanting begins, let’s get the Tailgating soiree underway. Chef Lara Lyn Carter, along with her three boys and husband is a Braves fan. And she is devoted to her father. A special treat for Father’s Day? We decided to share a wonderful and original hot weather dish that salutes a young man who has quickly become a fan favorite, Evan Gattis. He’s from Texas and you’ll enjoy the taste the connection.

This is margarita weather. Mix those cocktails before leaving home and for goodness sake use fresh juice and natural ingredients instead of that hideous garbage called pre-mix. Limes, oranges and Agave nectar are plentiful this time of year. Tequila? Your choice. No distilled spirit deserves more respect for being 100% natural.

        “Gattis gotta have it” Chicken Burritos
                    By Chef Lara Lyn Carter
4 large boneless skinless chicken breast cooked and shredded
1 can of cream of chicken soup
Chef Lara Lyn Carter
12 ounces sour cream
½ cup milk
8 ounces Pepper Jack cheese shredded and divided
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded and divided
1 4.5 can of diced green chilies
8 large flour tortillas
In a large bowl combine the chicken, soup, sour cream, milk, half of the Pepper Jack cheese, half of the Monterey Jack cheese, and the chilies together. Dividing the mixture evenly among the tortillas and roll them up. Arrange them in a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake the burritos covered with foil at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover the burritos and top them with the remaining cheese. Return the burritos to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes

                                                                                    Don Julio Blanco Margarita
   (Serves eight Braves fans)
18.75 oz.
Don Julio® Blanco Tequila
3.75 oz.
orange liqueur
11.25 oz.
Fresh lime juice
7.5 oz.
Agave nectar to taste

Monday, June 9, 2014



By Doc Lawrence

A Dad is special and one day each year is dedicated to honoring him.  In today’s world he might enjoy something more oriented to his creativity than a lawnmower or set of wrenches. Good food ranging from entrees to delicious desserts will bring a big smile.

A sparkling wine produced in the French-style Méthode Champenoise like Wolf Mountain Brut Rosé from Dahlonega, Georgia or Asheville’s renowned Biltmore Estate Pas de Deux makes a thoughtful gift.

Consider the new high-quality cookbook, Southern Thymes Shared (Pelican Publishing, Gretna, Louisiana 2014). More men are cooking today, honing skills that go beyond barbecue and grilling steaks. Cooking is a relaxing and rewarding hobby and establishing a useful kitchen library is something that will last and can be passed on to future generations.

The highly respected Midwest Book Review praises this one-of-a-kind cookbook: “Southern Thymes Shared is an indulgent collection of original Old South recipes paired with excellent choices of wines of world wide fame. Scrumptious examples of Southern cuisine are presented in accessible recipe format with frequent inspiring color photos of finished delicacies.”

This collectible cookbook is one of the most original in years, filled with tried and true recipes. Chef Lara Lyn Carter is not only a television cooking celebrity, but hones her skills daily by preparing meals for three boys and a husband. ”You really learn about preparation and taste by satisfying the appetites in my family,” she says with laughter.

Here is the cookbook that pairs modern interpretations of traditional Deep South dishes with Old and New World wines including regional wines from Southern and Southwestern states. The imagination sours with these pairings and Dad will be inspired to expand his wine preferences.

Southern Thymes Shared is a work of art, stunningly beautiful with a cover that brightens a room when displayed on a coffee table.

Dad will love Southern Thymes Shared. It will bring precious memories of Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving feasts and football Saturdays. The wine pairing suggestions will entertain him.

Why not prepare a dish from the cookbook for Father’s Day? “This dessert is one of my dear father’s favorites,” says Chef Carter, “and it’s absolutely delicious.” A wine with this exceptional creation: “Eiswein” is a German term meaning ice wine, specifically a rich, flavorful dessert wine. Germany and Canada produce the best ice wines and they will pair seamlessly with Chef Lara Lyn’s special dessert saluting a great man on his day.

By Chef Lara Lyn Carter
(From Southern Thymes Shared)

¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter melted
1 ½ cups crushed chocolate cookie crumbs (chocolate vanilla wafers or chocolate fudge cookies)
Mix together by hand and press into a pie plate.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes and allow to completely cool.
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Blend first 5 ingredients of pie filling until creamy. Then whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream. Fold cream gently into mixture. Pour into prepared pie crust. Garnish with chopped peanut butter cups, shaved chocolate or chopped peanuts!
Chill for 4-6 hours before serving or place in freezer for 1 hour so that pie will become firm and slice easily.
This is beautiful served on clear glass plates drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with chopped salted peanuts.

NOTE: Southern Thymes Shared is available on, local bookstores everywhere including the Monticello Museum gift shop in Charlottesville, Virginia.