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Cornbread: the cornerstone of Southern cuisine

The humble cornbread sits at the very heart of Southern cuisine. Whether you prefer to eat it with buttermilk late at night or alongside some soup beans or collard greens for dinner, most everyone south of the Mason-Dixon line has had the pleasure of having the hearty bread with a meal. 

On Saturday, the Pickens Arts and Cultural Alliance (PACA) held their second annual Cornbread Reunion festival and what fun for the entire town. Along with a cornbread contest, PACA hosted musical guests all day, artists with all types of wares including metal jewelry, handmade afghans and scarves, paintings and decorations like angel ornaments made from sea glass found on a beach in Italy. How cool is that for a small town like Jasper? 

The Cornbread Reunion was filled with good, old-fashioned fun for the whole family and accompanied by downtown merchants who jazzed up downtown with music and super deals. 

And what cornbread festival would be complete without a  cornbread cookoff? Retired pastor Max Caylor walked away that day with first place for his jalapeno and sausage inspired recipe. Many recipes were classically-inspired, lacking any form of sugar or flour. For us traditionalists, cornbread is a simple, not sweet bread. And flour? You should go north if you use anything except ground cornmeal.

We couldn’t be more proud of PACA and the artists for all their work in putting together a wonderful day. And a special thanks too to all the downtown merchants who supported the event by opening their doors, providing street music and featuring great deals throughout their stores. Many retailers reported terrific sales that day, with festival-goers moving between the artist vendors and area retailers.

If you visited the festival, you could sample cornbread or eat country fried ham and griddle cakes, garden gumbo, three-berry cobbler with fresh peaches, and of course, sweet tea. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday - supporting both our downtown merchants and our local artisans and craftsmen.

In the words of Little Jimmy Dickens in his song Cornbread and Buttermilk: “Keep a-eatin' that cornbread and buttermilk, a country boy's delight

I eat it ev'ry mornin', I eat it noon and night

Some people like fried chicken while others like their ham

But cornbread and buttermilk made me what I am.”

We hope that one day our little festival can grow and rival the National Cornbread Festival that will be taking place next spring in a small town just west of Chattanooga. Or at least we could be a good warm-up to that larger festival.

Not proposing anything, just thinking out loud here, would the community be better served with a festival of humble southern food, rather than hard, cold rock?

And while the jalapenos and Amish cornbreads ruled the day Saturday, we’ll take ours the old-fashioned Southern way - no sugar, no flour and preferably in a bacon greased-up cast iron pan. 

Pickens High School fall sports preview

   football1

Damon Howell / Photo

The Pickens varsity Dragons scrimmaged the Denmark Danes last Friday with a 21-28 loss at half-time. JV teams played the second half of the night, pulling out a win of 18-12. The 2018 football season officially opens this Friday at home against the Stone Mountain Pirates. 

Kick off is at 7:30 p.m. and everyone is welcome to come out to Dragon Stadium to support the team. Pictured is Michael Burrell sweeping around a Dane defender. 

     As the students roll back into the school routine and summer draws to an end, it marks the time for fall sports to get under way at Pickens High School. There are over 200 student athletes competing in fall sports in 2018, each hoping to contribute to an athletics program that has seen participation steadily rise over the last decade. The fall sports offered at PHS Football, Softball, Cross-Country, Cheerleading, and Volleyball. Over the course of this fall the Progress will be following each of the teams as they compete. Here is an overview of each team and the season to come.

RV fire takes life of popular Jasper McDonald’s employee

glenda w

One of her co-workers described Glenda Wilson as "...the funniest, happiest person I have ever met."

 

By Larry Cavender

Contributing writer

 

A memorial service was held last Friday, August 10th, for a Ball Ground woman and Jasper McDonald's restaurant employee who died in a tragic accident on Sunday, July 29th, in Bartow County.

The ceremony, held at the Gospel Outreach Church on Mineral Springs Road in Ball Ground, celebrated the life of 56-year-old Glenda Wilson, a long-time McDonald's employee who perished in a fire. According to the Bartow County Sheriff's Department, Wilson died in the fire which apparently started in the engine of an older model recreational vehicle she had recently purchased. 

Don’t kill non-venomous snakes; watch out for the bad ones

snakes at bargain barn

     “Snake Master” Steve Scruggs and his wife look on as kids handle two corn snakes during the Bargain Barn’s snake presentation Saturday.

 

Steve Scruggs, “the snake master,” entertained, educated and possibly frightened a few at the Bargain Barn Saturday with his collection of rattlers, copperheads and a big nasty cotton-mouth.

Scruggs’ presentation, sponsored by Rocky Boots and the Bargain Barn, Highway 515 in Jasper, drew a packed crowd who heard a mixture of snake facts and practical information on serpents  mixed in with Scrugg’s stories and general views on the outdoors.

Veterans Memorial Park dedicated

front looking at brick 640 bricks were ordered to honor individual veterans

By Ralph O. Dennis

Contributing writer

 

It took two attempts and more than three years of hard work but the Pickens County Veterans Memorial Park has been dedicated. With a gathering estimated to be between 500 and 600, the members of the Pickens County Veterans Memorial Park Association (PCVMPA) held an impressive ceremony Thursday.

The park project came about by the desire of several residents wanting to honor those who served in our armed forces not just those that gave their lives in service. Pickens County has the largest percentage of residents that are veterans of any county in the United States. Twelve  percent of our residents have served.