Dearly beloved, we gather here today to say goodbye to 2017, the year that’s sort of like the neighbors you’re not sorry are moving to Utah—it was great knowing them, but let’s get some fresh faces up in here. To help you put 2017 in the rearview mirror in style, we’ve prepared a Shot of the finest good luck, goodbyes, and good vibes from around the South. See you in 2018!
Lighten Your Lucky
The genius of Southern traditions is that you can eat nearly all of them, including the New Year’s Day menu of black-eyed peas and collard greens for good luck and good fortune. But instead of the usual pot of peas and greens, we’ve got two updates on the classics. Alex Harrell, owner and executive chef at Angeline in New Orleans, serves his tasty collard slaw on a fried pork chop sandwich, but you can add it to any New Year’s plate for freshness and crunch. And by way of the famous tailgates at the Grove at Ole Miss, Mary Allyn Hedges, the director of Visit Oxford, has a pass-me-down black-eyed pea dip to freshen up your pea game. Both recipes are just as lucky as Meemaw’s, but sporty enough to serve during a bowl game on New Year’s, and whose team doesn’t need luck in a bowl game on New Year’s?
ALEX HARRELL’S COLLARD SLAW
1 lb. green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 lb. collards, washed and thinly sliced
1½ tbsp. kosher salt
1½ tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. celery seed
1½ cups mayonnaise
¼ cup red wine vinegar
In a large mixing bowl, combine the collards, cabbage, salt, and sugar and toss until well mixed.
Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes until the cabbage and collards begin to release liquid.
Add celery seed, mayonnaise, and red wine vinegar. Toss to combine.
OXFORD BLACK-EYED PEA DIP
2 15 oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, diced
½ large red onion, diced
1 small or ½ large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
2 tbsp. canola oil
½ tsp. organic cane sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Toss to combine black-eyed peas, tomato, red onion, pepper, jalapeno, and green onion in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in vinegar. Whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over bean mixture. Toss to coat. Stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve (the longer it sits the better the flavor will be). Serve with tortilla chips or dip vehicle of your choice.
Thank You, Mama
January 1 is the first day of 2018, but it’s also the last day of service at Marshside Mama’s, the much-loved waterside original on South Carolina’s Daufuskie Island that Beth Shipman started twenty-one years ago. Although Daufuskie has seen substantial development in recent years, Marshside Mama’s has been a constant on the island, which can only be accessed by private boat or public ferry. For anyone seaworthy enough to tie up at the local dock, the reward was Shipman’s menu, which changed with the tides, plus concrete floors, terrific bands, and the kind of laid-back vibe that only comes from feeling like you’re a thousand miles from nowhere.
Shipman tells G&G she started Marshside Mama’s because it had been a dream to own a restaurant. In the years that followed, it became part honky tonk, part beach bar, part family supper destination. Shipman says she’s not sure what’s next. “After 21 years of so much fun, friends, music, and all-around shenanigans, I have decided to move on toward another life adventure,” she writes on Facebook. “I don’t know what that adventure will be, but it’s out there and there’s probably shenanigans involved!” And while Shipman can’t pick favorite customers from over the years (“everybody became family”), she says hosting Curtis Stone for Beach Eats USA ranks up there as a personal highlight. “We had a ball together.” She says she’ll miss the staff and regular musicians, and the fun she’s had every step of the way. We’ll miss you, too, Mama.
Decorate, Rejoice, Treecycle
Anyone who has trimmed a Christmas tree knows it’s a lot more fun going up than coming down. But instead of just kicking your Christmas to the curb, you have options, as states and cities across the South are making it easier than ever to rejoice and recycle your tree. Kentucky, West Virginia, and Alabama all have state-run tree recycling programs to re-use discarded Christmas trees as fish habitat in lakes and reservoirs (genius). Keep Georgia Beautiful is sponsoring “Bring One for the Chipper” drop-off sites across the state, while cities in South Carolina are sponsoring “Grinding of the Greens” days for you to drop off your tree to make especially merry mulch. Sponsors remind you to undress your tree completely before you send it to its new home—and of course, real trees only.
After hosting too many birthdays, bachelorette weekends, and Sugar Bowls to count, it’s finally New Orleans’s turn to have a party of its own in 2018, when the Big Easy will turn the big 3-0-0. It should come as no surprise that New Orleans has been pre-partying since September, with a full cultural calendar of tricentennial events to recognize the milestone, but the main event starts at midnight on New Year’s Eve, as 2018 arrives. Highlights of the year will include the Tricentennial Mardi Gras, Tobasco: A Burlesque Opera from the New Orleans Opera, a tall ships parade, and a week-long international party in April. Along with tributes from the incomparable makers, bakers, creatives, and artists in the city, we fully trust New Orleans to throw itself a party worthy of one the country’s most beautiful and unique jewels.
This week, the team at The Shot is: Skipping dinner after discovering the horrifying culprit behind the French Quarter’s unsavory stench. NOLA.com did a deep dive into stink, and we warn you, it includes the term “grey peanut butter.” … Retaking the SAT in hopes that we can go to Harvard the next time around. The Ivy League powerhouse has just wrapped up its first semester offering a course on the Gullah language, a first of its kind, taught by Charleston artist and activist Sunn m’Cheaux. …Still wiping away tears after this story about a mom and her son, who has cerebral palsy, who graduated together last week from Middle Tennessee State University. … And finally, we’re saying goodbye to the famous Jackson Magnolia that has been growing on the South Lawn of the White House since 1828. Scientists from the National Arboretum have been trying for decades to save the failing tree with a complex series of cables and supports, but declared this week it’s time for the famous tree to come down. But because we refuse to end the year on a low note, we’re happy to share CNN’s reporting that, knowing of the tree’s poor health, arborists have been cultivating a sapling from the tree, which has grown to between eight and ten feet tall. The baby tree will be planted where its ancestor grew, and the Jackson Magnolia will live on.