The sugary Southern tradition of baking artful - and delectable - cakes for special occasions is celebrated in this story looking back at some of the town's best bakers.
- story by Denise Jacobs
Still, beloved as she was, Ruth Thompson, owner of Ruth’s Cakery in Bay St. Louis, was just one of several cherished cake makers in the Bay St. Louis/Waveland area.
And there was Inez Blaize Favre (1900-1983).
In the ‘60s, Inez and daughters Udell and Inez—or “Little Inez” as she was known—baked from their house on Felicity Street. Little Inez became Inez Favre Pope. She baked from her home on Highland Drive in her retirement from the late ‘80s until Katrina destroyed the house.
Rachel Pope Cross, one of Mrs. Pope’s daughters, remembers her father building a special kitchen on the back of the house to have a proper home bakery. “A delicacy was always in the oven,” Mrs. Cross said, “and friends and neighbors popped in almost every day of the year to pick up their sweet treats.”
Mrs. Cross remembers her mother baking over 500 petit fours for the opening of a Biloxi casino. “It fell to me to put dots on sugar cubes to resemble dice.”
Danita Scianna Luttrell, another of Inez Blaize Favre’s 40+ grandchildren, remembers her Aunt Udell as the master decorator. “Aunt Udell once baked a five-foot tall lighthouse for a Hancock Bank anniversary; I can still see it sitting in the lobby of Hancock Bank down on the beach.”
Both Luttrell and Cross remember customers bringing party-themed napkins to Little Inez and Udell. Danita or Rachel would transfer the design onto the cake with a toothpick, and the bakers would fill it in with icing or hollowed-out sugar mold designs. As the girls tell it, all the relatives got in on the act at one point or another by washing mounds of mixing bowls, delivering cakes, or answering the front door.
Luttrell remembers her grandmother as an amazing cook and a woman who did everything to perfection. “She would spend more money making something perfect than she made selling it!” Luttrell attributes this to a convent-based education. “She just wanted everything to be beautiful, and she passed down all her talents, from cookery to crewel to cakery, to her children and grandchildren.”
L: wedding cake by Inez Favre Pope for daughter Rachel Cross. Top R: wedding cake for Inez Favre Pope made by Inez Favre. Lower R: cake by Inez Favre Pope for Rachel Cross's daughter. Photos courtesy Rachel Cross
Other cake bakers in the Inez line include Laurin LaFontaine, daughter of one of Inez Blaize Favre’s sons. LaFontaine baked from the mid-1970s through the late ‘90s. Also, Mary Ann Benvenutti, another grandchild, began baking out of her home in the late 1980s. Benvenutti no longer bakes except for special family events. At Christmas, her red velvet cake graces the family dinner table.
Luttrell said that all the women have Inez Blaize Favre’s cake recipes but are sworn to secrecy. “The red velvet cake frosting was not the typical cream cheese type,” she says. “It was almost like a whipped cream, but it’s not whipped cream.”
More cakes by Inez Farve's descendants: Top left - Moana cake by Paul Scianna, top right, graduation cake by Mary Ann Scianna Benvenutti, Car birthday cake (center) by Mary Ann Scianna Benvenutti, lower left - chocolate cake by Laurie Benvenutti, lower right - Berry Chantilly cake by Laurie Benvenutti. Photos courtesy Danita Scianna Luttrell
Women were not the only ones working the cake angle. Other FB commenters mentioned Gregory Morreale, who is said to have made birthday, holiday, and christening cakes that were works of art.
While it is likely that Katrina washed away many photographs of cake-worthy occasions—and there were many—our fondest memories are intact, right down to the aroma of delicate vanilla and warm butter baking, a cake’s soft velvety texture, and the distinctive and delicious taste of childhood—an essence we have never quite been able to replicate.
Special thanks to "You Know You're From the Bay" Facebook page and contributors.
A new grassroots group seeks to support both the Bay St. Louis Historic District and the volunteer commission that oversees it.
- by Grace Wilson
The Bay St. Louis Historic District, created after Hurricane Katrina with the overwhelming support of property owners within its boundaries, helps preserve the city’s unique ambiance and charm. It’s overseen by a Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) made up of volunteers, each with experience in some relevant field – history, restoration, architecture, real estate and construction.
Now there's a grass-roots group to support both the district and the HPC, the Bay St. Louis Historic District Supporters (BSLHDS). It was started this spring by Ellis Anderson, publisher of the Shoofly Magazine.
Anderson served on the HPC for five years and was its co-chairman until May. She's also a board member of Mississippi Heritage Trust. Earlier this year, Anderson began hearing rumors of a behind-the-scenes effort by some elected officials to dissolve the HPC. When she began organizing a defense, she was abruptly dismissed from the HPC by the council.
The Supporters group is a continuation of her efforts to preserve the group that helps preserve the city. In the first few weeks after establishment, the group garnered 400 followers/members as word spread about its Facebook page (see BSL Historic District Supporters) and website.
The Bay St. Louis Historic District Supporters (BSLHDS) website calls historic Bay St. Louis the place “where good things come together.” The group connects the dots between economic development, quality of life and community heritage engendered by the district. There are no dues and no meetings. Information is relayed to members as threats to the district or positive news about the district occurs.
The website encourages citizens to attend the public meetings by posting the schedule and agendas. Basic information about the district itself is also made available so people can learn more about this valuable city asset.
“Property values in the historic district of Old Town Bay St. Louis are the highest and most desirable along the coast,” said Terie Velardi, a group member and a state certified appraiser. Velardi was also instrumental in helping create the district and served on the HPC for several years.
“Historic preservation is a significant component in support of property values and the character of Old Town,” said Velardi. “The blending of the old and thoughtful new development protects and enhances the interest and value of all properties.”
Lolly Rash agrees that new development can complement the historic district.
“By setting the bar high, you get better development,” Rash said. “Bay St. Louis is not a blank slate. It has a unique character. If you’re smart about developing, you are respectful of that fabric.”
The city charges the volunteers of the HPC to oversee all building within the district. Applicants for most building permits within the district also submit applications to the HPC. The HPC is an advisory board that meets monthly and oversees about 150 applications each year. New building projects – whether restorations or new construction within the district - are brought before the commission while they’re still in the planning phase.
At the monthly public meetings, the commission refers to the written, adopted design guidelines while inspecting the plans. The majority pass through without issue. A few are passed with stipulations.
On rare occasions, a property owner will disagree with the commission’s decision and appeal to the city council. In the past five years, only six property owners have opted to appeal the commission’s decisions.
The supporters’ website credits this less than one percent appeal record on the fact that the BSL HPC “has a long-standing reputation for ‘going by the book.’ Decisions are based on written guidelines adopted by the city, not politics or the personal preferences of commissioners.”
The BSLHDS website also points out that the Historic District Design Guidelines are akin to the covenants property owners must adhere to when they buy into upscale neighborhoods. Property values are protected from unsightly/inappropriate development, which offsets any minor inconvenience at having to apply for an additional permit.
While property values and economic development are the backbone benefits of historic preservation districts across the country, honoring community heritage plays a part as well.
Rash recalled post-Katrina Bay St. Louis as a place where residents were determined to preserve the remaining historic buildings that had survived the devastating hurricane (the city lost hundreds during the storm).
“I remember very vividly the lead-up to the original ordinances and how passionate the community was on these historic priorities,” Rash said. “But citizens need to continue to let elected officials know how important their community character is.”
She continued, “It can be discouraging when you feel like you don’t have a voice or you feel like you’re being dismissed, but you have to step up and stand for what you believe is important in your community.”
A savvy entrepreneur and nature lover finds that making camping easy for others isn't just fun - it's a growing business. Meet Kristine Lyons of Gulf Coast Camper Rentals.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos courtesy GCCR
Kristine Lyons has held on to fond childhood memories of family camping trips to Buccaneer State Park, exploring nature trails and pulling in fish and crabs on the seawall with her brother.
Those special memories were so strong that she wanted her own kids to have similar experiences, so Lyons continued the tradition of camping at Buccaneer with them as they grew up.
Lyons knew that the camping tradition was successfully passed when her daughter asked to go camping on a visit home from college. But there was a hitch.
“I had just sold my camper, and when we started looking for one to rent we couldn’t find one. I ended up buying one,” she said. Always the entrepreneur, Lyons decided on that very camping trip to start renting her new rig to help make payments on it. That was in late 2014 and in short order Gulf Coast Camper Rentals was officially in business.
A Facebook page and word of mouth quickly attracted customers, so she doubled down on inventory based on high demand. “I bought another one and it stayed booked. Then two more,” Lyons said. “Once I got to six I quit my day job. Selling furniture wasn’t my thing anyway,” she said.
Today there are 13 2017-2018 model campers for rent in an assortment of sizes for $120 to $155 a night with a two-night minimum. The largest can comfortably accommodate four adults and four children.
But Lyons takes it one step further by offering delivery and set up of the campers at several campsites in Hancock County and beyond. Her brother, Robert Miller, and his wife, Michelle, take care of delivery and pick up, servicing and cleaning up everything when you’re headed back home.
Yes, all the renters have to do is show up and, well, camp. “That’s what we do the best,” she said of the unique delivery, set up and pick up service. “We’re living in a society where nobody has enough time. They would rather me do the work so they can just show up and have fun. Our motto is, ‘We do the work, You enjoy the adventure!’ ”
Locally, Gulf Coast Camper Rentals sets up at Buccaneer State Park, long Mississippi’s most popular state park, McLeod Park, the campsites connected to the Silver Slipper Casino and Hollywood Casino and nearby Flint Creek in Stone County. The convenience will cost you an additional $85 for locations in Hancock County. Farther afield you pay by the mile.
Lately they have set up for campers at the new Reunion Lake facility in Robert, La., as well as at popular campgrounds in Lumberton and throughout Louisiana and over to Gulf Shores, Ala., and Destin, Fla.
Lyons said the campers aren’t used strictly for camping. They’re popular with participants at festivals, Cruising the Coast, ATV events and the annual Gulf Coast Winter Classic horse show in Harrison County. “People use them for mother-in-law suites in their yard and for weddings. Film companies use them when they’re shooting commercials and just to hang out in.”
She’s also thinking about adding some special packages for honeymooners and customized services customers may request.
“We’re flexible. We just want you to have good time.”
It seems that when people get a taste of camping, they enjoy it enough to want to do it again and that means plenty of repeat business for Gulf Coast Camper Rentals. “Some of our best customers owned campers in the past and are not interested in owning one now. They want to camp a couple of times a year and renting is cheaper.”
The success of the camper rentals led Lyons to buy a building on Highway 603 and open a camper store which is stocked with camper parts and supplies, everything from water hoses to backup cameras.
“We’re doing camper service now too,” she said. She and her brother are newly certified recreational vehicle inspectors available for those looking to invest in an RV. “We’re trying to be a one-stop shop,” Lyons said.
And she’s keeping the family camping tradition going these days by taking her grandchildren camping at Buccaneer. “Basically, camping is making memories. Even the most miserable times we had camping we still laugh about today.
Gulf Coast Camper Rentals
10381 Highway 603, Suite A
Bay Saint Louis, MS 39520
During the Second Saturday Artwalk each month in Old Town Bay St. Louis, you'll find cool deals, fresh meals and lots of art and live music! The good times roll year around with this family-friendly event celebrating life and art in the Bay.
- stories by Denise Jacobs
Be sure to check out "Hot Spots" Bodega Sales and Rentals (111 Court Street) and California Drawstrings (216 Main Street).
Day Tripping - June/July 2018
-story by Lisa Monti, photos courtesy Denise Curtis, Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce unless otherwise attributed
Fairhope, Ala., is as charming and attractive as a small town can be, especially for a place that started out as an economic experiment.
It was established in 1894 by reformers who wanted to test the single-tax principle whereby residents paid tax on land value and nothing else. The colony’s name came from a founder who thought the tax plan had a “fair hope” of succeeding.
The colony idea eventually fizzled and in 1908 the town of Fairhope was officially formed. With its prized location on the sweeping eastern shore of Mobile Bay, Fairhope is now a magnet for visitors, retirees and others who come for the coastal scenery among other natural assets and civic amenities.
Bragging rights include local connections to Jimmy Buffett, Fannie Flagg and Forrest Gump writer Winston Groom. And there’s plenty to connect with. Parks are spread around the city and colorful flowers are bursting out everywhere in large plantings along streets and hanging from light posts. Museums, shops, art celebrations, restaurants and assorted landmarks make for thick guide books and dot filled maps.
The roses were in bloom when we arrived at the Fairhope Pier on the west end of Fairhope Avenue. The first pier was built in 1895 and served as the commercial dock for boats in Mobile Bay. The current pier, wide and concrete sturdy, was reinforced in 2006 after being badly damaged by back to back hurricanes Ivan and then Katrina in 2004 and 2005.
With a steady flow of car and foot traffic, it’s easy to see why the pier is considered the town square. You can fish, cast a net or walk along the long pier, eat at the restaurant, enjoy the rose garden and fountain, stroll along the walking paths while taking in the breezes from the bay.
After enjoying the pier and before shopping downtown, we had lunch at another waterside spot, Sunset Pointe at the Fly Creek Marina. There are loads restaurants in and around Fairhope, so many that there’s a separate walking guide just for the ones downtown.
The chef/owner Pete Blohme, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, also owns the popular Panini Pete’s in town and has appeared in several Food Channel shows.
Besides sunsets, the place is known for seafood.
The menu has an assortment of small plates, or bights, a reference to a curve in the coastline or a shallow bay. The South “Mediterranean” bight was a delicious combination of tuna, cukes, radishes and red onions with fried capers and feta, dressed with lime juice and zest, olive oil and feta. The Grouper Bights, fried chunks of fresh Gulf Grouper with tangy Gulf Coast Remoulade, was a treat.
Staying with the Gulf seafood theme, we also tried the grilled Gulf Snapper Throats in garlic butter, a seasonal specialty that I had to Google before ordering. Different, but very tasty. The Eastern Shore Bouillabaisse with fresh local shellfish and fish, Gulf shrimp, leeks, fennel, red and green tomatoes, fresh herbs with a white wine seafood broth was as delicious as it looked, served with crusty bread topped with pimento cheese.
Downtown is pleasantly walkable and easy to navigate with a concentration of amazing shops, assorted great restaurants, galleries and museums. About a dozen stores specialize in antiques and specialty shops stock merchandise from handbags and children’s items to cigars, chocolate and olive oils.
The Eastern Shore Art Center, which has a gallery with rotating exhibits, offers classes and presents the monthly First Friday Art Walk.The center is just completing a major renovation.
Book lovers can’t miss the well known Page & Palette, a 50-year-old family-owned landmark that’s a combination book store/Latte Da Coffee Shop/Book Cellar bar. The book store has a wonderful assortment of new and old books, including many relating to the Gulf region, interesting gifts and a wall of greeting cards. Book signings and other events are frequent so check the website before you go. There was a signing the day we visited.
As you walk around downtown, you may notice the sign on a wall that says, “Life is good in Fairhope.” That’s more than a fair assessment.
Fairhope Municipal Pier & Parks
1 Beach Dr.
Fairhope Welcome Center
20 North Section St.
Eastern Shore Art Center
401 Oak St.
831 N. Section St.
Page & Palette
32 South Section St.
Sponsor Spotlight - June 2018
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
Bay Life Gifts owner Janice Guido can’t say enough good things about her shop’s new location in Century Hall and what it means to her customers.
“Of course I love the fact that it’s in a historic building. I come from Natchez so I appreciate old things. It’s wonderful here,” she said.
Bay Life now is rubbing shoulders with a collection of unique shops inside the two-story building. Guido’s friend Joanne Saucier is a fellow shopkeeper from New Orleans who owns The Porch. Having fellow owners close at hand is an added bonus.
“Business today is tough, so we all brainstorm on things like how to get more foot traffic here. It’s nice to have synergy when we’re facing challenges as small businesses in a small town. It takes a concerted effort.”
Guido points out that she sells only original artwork in Bay Life, another advantage that makes her shop special. There’s also home decor such as lamps and pillows, table settings and jewelry.
Local artists Tehle McGuffee and Tracy Stieffel have been with Bay Life since it opened three years ago. A new artist, Donna Cowart Martin, sells her glass work there.
The shop’s merchandise is meant to reflect the Southern charm of life on the Bay, and shoppers can pick out the perfect gift or something special for their own homes.
There is one more bragging point about Bay Life Gifts making Century Hall its home and it’s a major convenience for customers: free parking. That amenity is evident just about every day. A customer came in to Bay Life recently on her lunch hour to buy a wedding gift and pulled right into one of the reserved parking spaces alongside the building.
“As a retailer, that’s key to your business, especially if you’re trying to keep good local customers,” Guido said. “In today’s world, a lot of people are working and everybody is in a hurry.”
Besides shopping with her and her Century Hall retail neighbors, Guido says locals and visitors can take advantage of shopping and dining at the other unique buildings along and around Second Street. That’s more synergy for merchants and shoppers take take advantage of in Old Town.
With all those selling points at Bay Lift’s new address, it’s easy to see that Guido made the right move. “I’m very happy to be here. It feels right, and everybody really likes the way things look here.”
112 S. Second St (at Century Hall)
Bay St Louis, MS
Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Or anytime by appointment
Coast Cuisine - June/July 2018
- story by Lisa Monti
It’s safe to say Rickey Peters has a following. Fans have followed him over the years from one location to the next, and waited out the times when Rickey was in between kitchens.
His self-named restaurant on Coleman Avenue in Waveland was generally packed with customers enjoying the chef’s fare but then Katrina swept through and it was a long while before Rickey’s restaurant was reconstituted in the Zuppardo Shopping Center. Once again fans filled the booths and tables to order their favorites. (Mine regular order was gumbo and the stuffed shrimp.)
These days, Rickey is running the kitchen inside Bodega’s on Court Street, another Kevin Jordan production, where the Parrot Head Bar has tacked on “Grill” to its name. Doors opened March 15 and fans, along with visitors, quickly found their way to the tropical themed Bodega venture that includes a liquor store, yoga studio loft and bike, golf cart and water sports rentals.
The menu is abbreviated compared to the Waveland and Zuppardo kitchens where Chef Rickey presided. It has just three categories: the Krewe of Sandwiches, Hola Tapas and A Bite of Cultcha.
Witness the rich Gumbo Ya-Ya, Cochon deLait and Chicken and Boudin sandwiches and the Banana Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce, along with the Shrimp Remoulade Salad with Cajun Remy Sauce, Rickey’s Potato Salad and Mardi Gras Slaw.
The Cubano - roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese and honey mustard - is a swirl of salty/sweet goodness. And there’s a reason the homemade dressed meatloaf sandwich tops the list of signature sandwiches. Fans say it’s the best they have tasted. Sandwiches come with the classic casual sides: chips and a pickle spear, dressed with lettuce, tomato and mayo.
Rickey has added some new menu items in the Bodega location. Tapas fans are enjoying the flavors of the Dollar Taco, the 3-to-an- order Cheese Burger Sliders and the Shrimp Salad Rolls (boiled shrimp mixed with Cajun dressing), also three to an order. French Pizza Bread, Wings of Fire and Chili Cheese Nachos round out the bites.
Soon, the outdoor eating space will be expanded. The addition of a large balcony in the rear of the building will cover the bricked courtyard. Look for Rickey to be happily minding the new brick oven and grill there that will be expanding his kitchen – and the delicious possibilities.
Parrot Head Bar and Grill
111 Court Street
Bar & Grill hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11 a.m. to closing
Talk of the Town - June 2018
- story by Ellis Anderson
A ground-breaking Gulf-wide movement kicked off in Bay St. Louis at the end of April with a pilot program geared to wean restaurants off their single-use plastics addiction. The Mockingbird Café (110 South Second Street) has partnered with a group called Plastic-Free Gulf Coast (PFGC) and has committed to providing their customers with eco-friendly options instead of conventional plastic products.
The café will also be collecting data and providing feedback to PFGC, hoping to make it possible for other Gulf Coast restaurants to follow more easily in their wake.
Talk of the Town
Englebretson says the effort stems from the fact that plastic pollution is continuing to increase, despite efforts to curb it. Calling it “a pandemic,” she believes the only way to stop the pollution is to cut back use of it to begin with, by using biodegradable options like paper and sugarcane-based “plastic.”
The Mockingbird Café pilot program is being funded by a small grant through the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. Some of the grant money is being used to help pay for biodegradable non-plastics during the weaning away period. Customers are also being asked to pay a quarter extra.
The pilot program grew out of inspiration from the Starfish Café’s successful effort to go plastic-free. The Starfish (211 Main Street) is a project of the non-profit, Pneuma Winds of Hope. Di Fillhart is the organization’s executive director and manager of the Starfish Café. Fillhart says the café started going plastics-free four years ago.
Fillhart believes that the straws by request only is a good way for a business to get its feet wet in the burgeoning new green-market economy. “Our first step was to start with paper straws. Now we’re using a plant-based plastic straw.”
Cutting back usage of the seemingly insignificant drinking straw might seem like a wasted effort. How could that alone make a dent in the enormous amount of waste produced in this country? But Englebretson says that US citizens alone use 500 million plastic straws each day. To put it in perspective, in a single year those straws could fill Yankee Stadium.
Not once, but nine times over.
Bay St. Louis is the hub of the pilot program that is slated to spread across the five Gulf Coast states, and the city is also the birthplace of PFGC itself. The organization began in 2016 as a project called Plastic-Free April. Three local women concerned about plastic pollution - Kerr Grabowski, Carole McKellar and Ann Weaver - led a public challenge asking people to go without using plastic for one month.
“In the Gulf states, we don’t have a green economy where people have access to plastic alternatives,” Englebretson says. “We’d like to create one. And we’re even finding that some of the alternatives to plastic are now less expensive.”
The Mockingbird has already explored sustainable-practice options through the years. The newly launched program, overseen by manager Whitney LaFrance, has is pushing the sustainability-business model envelope. Owner Alicein Schwabacher found herself asking, “Do we even need some of these products? And if if we do, can we replace the plastic with something less harmful to our ecology and customers?”
“All of us at the Mockingbird want to be part of the solution,” said Schwabacher.
Englebretson believes that sort of attitude can lead to big changes.
“We just all need to work together and support each other,” she says. “We can make this happen.”
Across the Bridge - June/July 2018
- by Rheta Grimsley Johnson
Wild boars have always been good to me.
It was an Atlanta newspaper assignment to cover a wild boar hunt in Louisiana that led me to buy a houseboat on the Atchafalaya, which led me to spend 14 years of my life exploring the most exotic and regionally distinctive part of these United States, which led to my book Poor Man’s Provence, which, as Hank would say, has bought me a lot of bacon.
That original story – wild boar hunt as bachelor party – wasn’t much, but at least I got the idea of how flat-out ugly a 200-pound pig with tusks can be. Didn’t make my mouth water.
Now my prolific writer friend Anne Butler of Butler-Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, La., has her name on the cover of yet another book: Big Badass Boar Cookbook.
Across the Bridge
Recently her home was the setting for a Hallmark Channel movie, one of those romance stories that has scenery so beautiful you don’t mind the show is missing good acting and a plot.
This time out my author friend is wearing her good citizen hat, helping to tackle what’s become a real problem in the woods of Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana and, yes, her own lush but manicured backyard.
The Big Badass Boar Cookbook, co-authored by Amanda McKinney, reports that wild pigs are more destructive than nutria and may be “the most prolific large mammal on the face of the earth.” Feral hogs average six piglets per litter and can have several litters per year.
“When prepared properly so that high temperatures destroy any internal bacteria, they are safe, tasty and cheap.”
Being a responsible sort, Anne includes in her book a list of diseases that humans and hunting dogs can get while cleaning, butchering, handling or eating wild pigs. It sounds a little like the inevitable side effects list whispered quickly at the end of television ads for pharmaceuticals.
Swine brucellosis, leptospirosis, trichinosis, toxoplasmosis tularemia and swine influenza are reasons, for instance, that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries no longer provides any recipes for cooking your wild boar kill.
This cookbook, however, gets past the warnings about safe butchery and cooking to share both high- and low-church recipes. Famous Chef John Folse is included. So is John “JD” Desselle with his “Wild Hog Street Tacos” and Kerry Bordelon with “Real Hog Headcheese.”
I haven’t been offered any of the 180,000 pigs killed in Louisiana per year, or from anywhere else, so I probably won’t be using the recipes, though I love game and love to eat and try to keep an open mind when it comes to food. I’d sure try a hog if I knew the source – and the cook. The taco especially sounded good.
The cookbook mentions nutria and how Louisiana chefs also concocted recipes for those rats. It took pseudo-sophisticated New Yorkers to belly up, however, and then only after menu writers got creative and used the French for nutria -- ragondin -- and made the rat sound better than it tasted.
I never tried it; I owe nutria nothing.
Once, in Leland, Miss., city hall tried to solve a beaver problem in the town’s picturesque Deer Creek by introducing alligators. You can guess how that story ended.
I call it The Kudzu Syndrome. The story often ends badly when something is plopped into an environment not its own. Anne’s book says Spanish explorers brought us the wild boars. My alma mater Auburn, or at least its extension service, gets the blame for kudzu. Louisiana fur farmers for nutria.
The moral of this story? Look before you leap. Cook before you eat. One man’s beast is another man’s pate. A wild boar in the pot is worth two in the bush.
Stop me before I hurt myself.
- photos by Lionel Haynes, Jr. and Ellis Anderson
Dear Residents of Waveland and surrounding areas,
2018 has been a prosperous year thus far for the City of Waveland and the future outlook looks even brighter. Residential structures are springing up throughout the city. We currently have 27 active building permits open for residential homes compared to a total of 45 for the entire year of 2017.
The hotel at the intersection of Highway 90 and Highway 603 has been bought and the planned project will help that intersection regain its popularity as the most important intersection in south Hancock County.
What's Up, Waveland?
I’m very excited that the lease was awarded to Studio Inferno to take over the vacant spaces of the Waveland business center. I’m really pleased that this business is now open on Coleman Avenue. We believe that it will promote growth in the downtown area of Waveland. These artists are wonderful people and bring a unique type of art culture to our charming little city. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Mitchell and Erica Gaudet, please do so. You will not be disappointed.
This project is a true partnership between the Board of Supervisors and the City of Waveland. The lowest and most responsive bid received was $1.9 million. The Hancock County Board of Supervisors pitched in more than $800,000 from Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funds and the balance is being paid through tidelands funds. This means the cost to taxpayers is zero. We owe a huge “thank you” to the Board of Supervisors.
One very important note: many residents do not understand that the monies being spent on the lighthouse/bathroom facility cannot be used for other projects such as paving streets, or any other project not connected to the beach.
The citywide sewer repair project will begin shortly, now that the few remaining ROE (Right of Entries) were signed. Please be patient in the areas that are to be replaced. It will be aggravating until these repairs are completed. Major work areas will be Meadow Lane, Herlihy Street and a portion of Gladstone.
A small bathroom facility will soon be constructed at Elwood Bourgeois Park, thanks to the revenue received from the sale of the city’s remaining mobile homes that were previously used as the police station and for Public Works.
The Wikoffs have completed the overview of the Coleman Avenue Plan, which consists of an elevated boardwalk. Businesses would be located along the boardwalk to overcome the challenges with the drastic flood elevations imposed by FEMA. Once the architectural drawings are complete, we will have those available for review, and hopefully garner the support of the community.
We have been approved for funding by the Mississippi Development Authority to build a brand new community center in Martin Luther King Park to replace the center that is there now. The existing center is full of mold and rot and is unsafe to use. The new center will be 1,200 square feet, with a kitchen, indoor restrooms and outdoor restrooms. The center will be available for weddings, birthday parties, etc. The required fee and deposit for the use for these facilities will help defray the cost of insurance and maintenance.
2018 will be an aggressive year for blighted properties throughout Waveland. The Days Frontier property has been demolished and plans are being submitted for two businesses at that location. Other properties are making their way to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for demolition. Mr. George Coatney (litter control) has been hired and is working diligently to keep the city clean, along with help from the Public Works department. Great job!
As you may have noticed, ditches are being dug throughout the city to help alleviate the flooding and will be in a neighborhood near you soon.
The golf cart legislation has passed through the state Senate and will go into effect as of July 1st. The Waveland and Bay St. Louis ordinances almost mirror each other, so that the cart drivers can cross city lines and not have to worry about different requirements.
In closing, I would like to thank each and every citizen for the opportunity to serve as your mayor. It is a pleasure to serve the city I love.
Across The Bridge
At Home In The Bay
Beach To Bayou
BSL Council Updates
Casting My Net
Coast Lines Column
Friends Of The Animal Shelter
Growing Up Downtown
House And Garden
Legends And Legacies
Mother Of Pearl
Murphy's Musical Notes
Old Town Merchants
On The Shoofly
Shore Thing Fishing Report
Talk Of The Town
The Eyes Have It