When visiting Natchez-Under-the-Hill, we discovered GUMBO. The name of this spicy stew originates from an African word, 'kigombo' meaning okra.
Primarily eaten in the Southern states, it combines a variety of flavors and consistencies, using seafood, chicken, red meat or pork with rice and vegetables.
Ordering it for lunch, I found it to be a rich and filling meal accompanied with saltine crackers. Although I usually avoid spicy foods, this version of gumbo was not all that hot.
One can find this dish served often in Louisiana and South Carolina and even in some areas along the Gulf of Mexico.
Breakfast was provided each morning at The Burn, where we lodged. Grits appeared on our plates daily, soon to be followed by other eats.
"grits--coarsley ground hominy, usually boiled and served for breakfast or as a side dish"
I don't find grits particularly appealing, but I did eat most of what was on my plate. I guess it goes back to my "clean plate club" days as a child. But...when in Rome (or Natchez, to be exact).
Southerners love this stuff--why? I can't imagine!
Although this document is not easily read, it states that the bearer has received amnesty for his participation in the Civil War.
Individuals from the 'rebellious' states had to receive this pardon if they wished to be involved in commerce of any type. I was hoping to find out more information on this process, but was unable to do so.
This particular letter of pardon was displayed in one of the historic homes open to the public during the Natchez Pilgrimage.
As we toured home after home during the annual Natchez Pilgrimage, it became obvious that there was more than one common thread between all of these homes....#1 they were all historic and #2 they all gave homage to General Robert E. Lee.
It was a custom for all sons and daughters of the South, to have a portrait of the famed Confederate General gracing their home. No self-respecting confederate would be without one!
Robert E. Lee was born in Stratfort Hall, Virginia. He served from 1829-1861 in the United States Army and served from 1861-1865 in the Confederate Army. His greatest victories were the Seven Days Battles, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Fredericksburg and the Battle of Chancellorsville. He was recognized as a "crafty and daring battlefield tactician.*
Believe or not, I've only recently been introduced to Pralines...but I am a great fan of these scrumptious treats.
"praline--a confection made of nuts, often almonds, and sugar cooked until carmelized; a cookie size confection originating in New Orleans chiefly made of brown sugar, pecans and butter".
As we toured house to house, this woman seemed to appear out of nowhere. She was duly stationed at several of the homes we visited--after a time I was worn down and decided to try her pralines. Oh my goodness, so glad I didn't resist! These sugary delights were absolutely wonderful and comparable to any we sampled in New Orleans. I brought a box home, which I shared with some friends.
The charge: $10 per box
In Mississippi you may notice cars with bumper stickers saying :
" Eat More Possum ".
which is interesting .
Also. You may notice that "Grits " are on menus in restaurants . If they are , order "Grits ". If you want to learn more about grits just Google " Quaker Grits" and they will explain everything .
Natchez is the oldest civilized settlement on the Mississippi river - older by two years than New Orleans. For centuries, it was inhabited by prehistoric Indians and later by the Natchez Indians. The first 'white' men arrived in 1716.
In 1798, Natchez became the first capital of the Mississippi Territory, and in 1817, became the first capital of the new state of Mississippi. The city boomed in the first half of the 19th century with the exportation of tons of cotton by steamboat - cotton grown on plantations in Mississippi and across the river in the rich Louisiana lowlands.
Enormous fortunes were made from the area's natural resources: the land and the river. Cotton was king, money was plentiful and men spent it - particularly on dazzling mansions filled with the finest furnishings money could buy.
Today , Natchez is one of the most desirable small cities in the United States.
Every year, about thirty antebellum mansions, many of them private residences, open their doors to visitors during a five-week Pilgrimage every Spring and Fall.
Listen to the stories these venerable historic houses tell. Guided tours are conducted daily by hoopskirted hostesses who interpret the rooms, furnishings and history of each house.
We were in Natchez during the War in Iraq. In many places, we saw yellow ribbons and US flags hanging outside around a tree or a fence or whatever was available. It is an American custom of showing their sympathie and support to the troops.
Winter months are usually mild with cold spells of short duration, with an average temperature of 53F. The summer months are warm, with an average temperature of 80F.