Welcome to The Shot, G&G’ers, a nip of Garden & Gun to get you through. The forecasters swear cool weather is coming, so consider this a hotty for your toddy, made exclusively with what’s happening around the South this week.
Slow & Low
You say “fall,” we say “slow cooker,” the one-pot wonder that used to help your mom make pot roast and has now evolved into a chef’s super tool. Just in time for the cool snap this week, Athens, Georgia-based chef Hugh Acheson (Five & Ten and Atlanta’s Empire State South) is releasing The Chef and the Slow Cooker, his latest cookbook that uses the once-humble appliance to turn out craveable concoctions like fig jam, coq au vin, Hoppin’ John, and Mexican sipping chocolate. Acheson completes the book with lots of back stories and line drawings, but honestly, he had us at “crock pot.”
B is for “book tour” for S Is for Southern, the latest in hardback from the editors at Garden & Gun. Like the title says, it’s a collection of more than 500 of our favorite Southernisms, from absinthe to field peas to pluff mud and zydeco. If you’re Southern by birth, marriage, relocation, or affiliation, we hope you’ll join G&G editors, including Editor in Chief David DiBenedetto, along with other friends of the mag at an event in Dallas, Atlanta, or Charleston to celebrate our very favorite topic.
Sometimes we think the people behind the MacArthur genius grants might be geniuses themselves based on the list of innovators, thinkers, and creatives they honor with their five-year, no-strings-attached $625,000 grants. The list of winners this year includes several G&G favorites, including Mississippi author Jesmyn Ward and North Carolina’s Rhiannon Giddens, a classically trained opera singer who is also one of the best banjo pickers alive. Giddens expanded her fan base last year as a member of the cast of Nashville. But with or without Juliette Barnes as her TV gospel protege, expect to see more of Giddens—and her genius—in the future.
The need in Puerto Rico is nowhere near over and thankfully neither are the efforts of people like chef José Andrés, who is putting together a one-night-only dinner in Washington so unique that it’s being called a “Marvel fever dream.” The meal will be prepared by Andrés, Patrick O’Connell from the Inn at Little Washington, and Aaron Silverman, the chef/owner from Rose’s Luxury. With six Michelin stars between the cooks, the $600-per-plate price tag seems like a bargain, while the efforts of Andrés and his fellow chefs on behalf of Puerto Rico continue to be priceless.
Straight to Shell
It’s not just gourd season, G&G’ers, it’s oyster season, too. But with a shorter-than-normal harvest and oyster habitats under stress, the need for recycled shells has never been greater. Luckily, organizations from the Chesapeake to the low country to the bayous are ready to help you say a proper goodbye to your bivalves. Just one shell is enough for 10 baby oysters to get their starter homes and support critical Southeastern habitats, so repeat after us: Shuck … suck … recycle.
This week, the team at The Shot is: Waiting in line for: Tickets to The Princess Bride limited theater release, because human ice pick Mrs. Frank Underwood (Texas native Robin Wright) was once our precious Buttercup. … Planning: A fall hike through the Shenandoahs with the National Park Service’s handy Fall Color Guide, or at the very least checking out the fall color on their Live Leaf Cam. That still counts as exercise, right? … Saying so long to: The Black Bear as Ole Miss’s sideline mascot. And hello to the Land Shark. Yes, it’s real and it’s happening, starting next year. … Regretting: The Dynasty reboot. It may be set in Atlanta, but even the Atlantans at The Shot wish we could have those five minutes back.
Until next week, friends …