Mid-Month Catch Up (Nov. 2017)

November has been a fun month so far in Hattiesburg.  There have been a ton of events going on and I have been taking full advantage.  It has also been a bit chilly here, which means fall food time.

Zach and I have been craving winter squash, so that has been on our menu a lot lately.  We have found butternut and acorn squash, but if anyone in the Hattiesburg area knows where I can find some delicata squash, I would literally jump for joy.  I have been craving it and so far can’t find it anywhere in town.

Acorn squash and onions
Roasted acorn squash and onions. Yummm

I made a pretty tasty turkey chili/stew concoction last week and we ate that pretty much all weekend on top of squash.  I ended up making up my own recipe because I was in the mood for a chunky chili with a lot of vegetables, which made it more like a stew, and I couldn’t really find what I was looking for online.  Thankfully, it worked out well.  I made my own tomato sauce with Roma tomatoes and chili spices, browned the turkey with onions, garlic and an Anaheim pepper. I used a ton of vegetables cut into chunks including baby bella mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, and celery.  I threw everything into the Crock-Pot and six hours later we had a delicious meal.

 

Acorn squash topped with chili
We topped an acorn squash with the turkey chili. Squash and chili go together so well.
Butternut squash topped with chili
We also tried the chili with butternut squash. It was also a nice addition.

Last Thursday I went to “An Evening with Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters” at the Hattiesburg Library.  I am really grateful to the owner of Main Street Books.  When my best friend, Lianne, was in town we went to Main Street Books and Lianne ended up buying a beautiful Wyatt Waters 2018 calendar.  The owner of the bookstore told us all about him and he also had some Robert St. John books on display.  Wyatt Waters is a famous watercolorist from Mississippi and Robert St. John, amongst other things, owns multiple restaurants in Hattiesburg, is a chef, and food writer.  Together, the two have created multiple cook books with Wyatt’s paintings and Robert’s recipes.  Their newest book is titled A Mississippi Palate and highlights all things Mississippi.

A Mississippi Palate
This book cover makes me hungry…

The library had a book signing, Q&A, and viewing of their Hattiesburg episode of Palate to Palette, a show they have together on PBS.  This was such a fun event for me because it helped me to know more about the city I just moved to and I enjoyed seeing the passion they both have for Mississippi.  I was able to meet them and of course bought a copy of the book.  I would definitely suggest checking out their show online.  Fair warning, the Hattiesburg episode is going to make you extremely hungry for blueberries.

signed copy of A Mississippi Palate
My first Mississippi cookbook and it is signed. Makes me happy!

Robert St. John had such a love for food and the culture of his state, it made me instantly feel the need to try one of his restaurants.  Zach and I decided to try out Crescent City Grill on Friday night.  As usual, we were hungry for a lot of veggies so we both ended up getting the vegetable sampler and adding chicken.  It was nice because we both got to try four different sides.  I enjoyed all of the sides, but I think my favorite was the creamed spinach…I say I think because I am looking at the picture of my plate right now and it really is hard to decide.

On Saturday, I got Java Moe’s coffee to start our day.  I really like that Java Moe’s is a Hattiesburg chain with three locations.  Their coffee has been great every time I have been and I was excited to get a rewards card.  Don’t you worry, I will be utilizing that for sure!  Coffee makes us happy.

Zach and Steph with Java Moe's coffee
Getting caffeinated!

Saturday evening, I went to the Hattiesburg Downtown Art Walk and Holiday Open House.  The streets were closed off and there was art and music everywhere.  I went by myself and enjoyed taking in downtown with so many other people around me.  There was even a wedding reception going on in the street and I saw the bride and groom walking around taking photos downtown.  I think Hattiesburg does a great job of showcasing their love of the arts and this event was no exception.  People here seem to really enjoy creativity.  It makes me happy.

 

On Saturday night, I met up with a networking group I joined at Branch, which is a cocktail bar and also one of Robert St. John’s ventures.  It was such a fun night getting to know some new friends and discussing life in Hattiesburg.  I got a lot of great ideas of restaurants I need to try and places in Mississippi and Louisiana I need to take an excursion to.  The deviled eggs were pretty dang awesome.  They each had a different flavor and all sat on top of a pickle slice which was unique and great.

Zach made a raspberry and strawberry coconut milk ice cream over the weekend too.  I will post that recipe in a separate post because it was really delicious and easy to make.

It has been a fun start to November.  This week we have a few Friendsgiving events that I am excited about and Zach has a bit of time off this weekend to explore with me.  I will keep you updated on the Hattiesburg happenings.  Have a great rest of your week my friends!

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