Fall brings ‘naked ladies’ to Southern landscapes
I’ve been thinking.
(Buckle up, people, he’s at it again!) I returned to my hometown just over eight years ago, and one of the annual events that has not only been the most consistently attended, but perhaps life-shaping as well, has been Forks and Corks, a fund-raising chef competition sponsored by the Starkville Area Arts Council. (So, Jay, by “life-shaping” are you referring to the resulting shape of your body? No, not exactly, though I’d love to share the blame with someone.)
Here’s what I mean. I did the math and realized that out of eight years back in town, I’ve been to Forks and Corks six times – and I’m pretty sure one of those missing years they didn’t even have the event. I’d say that’s pretty consistent. The first time was as a judge, the next was as an attendee, the following three I was involved in planning it, and this year I returned to attendee status. Each year has varied when it comes to how many chefs and restaurants were represented, but no matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of forks. And it’s an event I don’t ever want to miss. Sure, you can eat at most of the restaurants represented on any day of the week – but what you may not get is the uber-creative ways they play with their food at events like this. Side note: In this era of celebrity chefs, culinary competitions and food television, Starkville is more than holding its own.
As for the life-shaping aspect of Forks and Corks, it’s a little wild to think about where I might be today without it. (Does that sound a little dramatic? Do you have an oddly cartoonish mental picture of a fork and a cork dragging me out of a gutter somewhere? Probably not. But hear me out.) That first night as a judge set the stage for more food judging down the line for at least a half-dozen different events. Contests like that feed my need for variety even better than a four-line Chinese buffet or a ten-page Mexican restaurant menu.
When I was in the thick of planning these feast nights, I had the chance to meet the chefs and other restaurant personnel that are usually behind the scenes for typical date night dining, not to mention the folks who run the venues, make the medals, bring the chairs and provide the “corks and taps”. It does indeed take a village, and I feel like I’ve got a condo in the village now. And let’s not forget the thorough education in the basics of event planning I received – a streetwise education perhaps, but a schooling nonetheless.
But you’re probably not here to read my resume. You probably want to hear about the food. So let’s get to it.
First, let’s talk award winners. Historically – at least over the past few years – if a single dish really stands out, it tends to win a lot of the awards. This year was no different.
The panel of distinguished judges chooses the awards for Taste, Presentation and Originality. All. Three. Awards. Went to Chef Leon Jefferson and his crew from Central Station Grill. Chef Leon is a big fan of brisket, and this year he wrapped a piece around a jumbo shrimp, set it next to a butternut squash puree, which was topped with a harvest arugula salad featuring candied pecans, goat cheese and dried cranberries. Oh, and a little cup of watermelon gazpacho on the side. Every bite seemed to have a new blend of sweet and savory, which is right up my edible alley.
The other awards, the People’s Choice, are decided by the people, of course. I like this two-pronged approach. Expert judges are on something of a peer level with the chefs, but when it comes to the restaurants themselves, the people are the ones who are going out to eat, and we the people know what we like. And apparently, we like the same things the judges did, because Central Station Grill took the second place People’s Choice Award, too.
Third place went to Harvey’s and Chef Jonathan Boyd for their smoked pulled pork shoulder over a cornmeal hoecake, topped with Mississippi Caviar and sweet tea gravy and let’s not forget the little cup of apple pie moonshine on the side. To me this was a wellexecuted, but playful dish. Sweet tea gravy! No lie.
First place went to Chef Thad Elmore and the Camphouse for their Southern Smoked Brisket on Spanish cornbread with a generous drizzle of barbecue cheese sauce. I still can’t accurately define barbecue cheese sauce, but it somehow brilliantly brought the brisket into a beautiful friendship with the spicy cornbread. Is it not interesting that two of the winning dishes, though completely different in taste and appearance, both featured smoked meat over a corn-based bread topped with a wildly unique sauce? This is the kind of thing that makes me smile.
Here’s the skinny on food contests. There were five judges and about 250 people in attendance that night. Those 255 souls picked these winners. If there had been five different judges, and 250 different attendees, we can’t
The study of Family tradition and personality has attracted attention of social scientists. Ernest W. Burgess, Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago, has defined the term in these words: “Whatever its biological inheritance from its parents and other ancestors, the child receives also from them a heritage of attitudes, sentiments, and ideals which may be termed the family tradition, or the family culture”. Sometimes, family traditions are associated with practices and beliefs which are handed over from one generation to the next generation, and during this process of transmission such family traditions also acquire an aura of spirituality. Ed Buckner who played on stacked crossties in 1927 when Longview was the Cross-tie Capital of the World.
This is the time of year many gardeners have been waiting for all summer.
If you’re thinking about the cool front that blew through this past weekend, I’m afraid you’re incorrect. What I’m talking about is the emergence of naked ladies in gardens all across Mississippi.
I’m talking about the seemingly magical plants known botanically as Lycoris. Common names include magic, surprise or resurrection lily, but some gardeners simply call them nekkid ladies.
The names derive from the plant’s odd-seeming growth. In the late summer and through the fall, all varieties of Lycoris produce tall flower stalks without any foliage -hence the naked or magic references. After the flowers have faded, straplike foliage appears to replenish the bulb’s energy supplies. The foliage fades away by late spring.
Another common name is spider lily, as the individual flowers are exotic and spidery looking.
There are several species of Lycoris, all with different colors. I grew a pink variety when I lived in the cold climate of Illinois. The most common species we see in Mississippi is Lycoris radiate, a popular Southern heirloom. It’s common to see these growing in large clumps in the middle of nowhere with no homes in sight, but marking an old homesite.
Driving along Highway 90 on the coast, it’s easy to see where homes once stood before hurricane family light continues to shine brightly in Starkville
Longview High classmate, Edward Avery Buckner took Louise’s hand in marriage at First Baptist Church, Starkville in 1939. They enjoyed 62 years together before Ed’s death in 2001.
Their adventures together took them to Mobile during World War II where Ed worked in the shipyard and then back to Starkville and Mississippi State University (MSU) where “Mr. Ed” served as MSU’s first Director of Support Services, retiring after over 40 years of service. Louise enjoyed working at MSU registration each year as she greeted students from all over the world.
Having grown up very active in church in the Craig Springs community, Louise joined her husband as he served as a deacon at Longview Baptist Church. When they moved to Starkville Katrina came through.
In the fall, the flower stalks seem to come out of nowhere and are topped with a bright-red, azalea-like flower. There are even yellow-flowered varieties scattered about. One great attribute is that these plants are deer resistant.
If you have a friend with a large clump, you could collect some for your garden. Bulbs also are available online. They’re a bit pricier than daffodils but well worth it.
Plant in a sunny landscape bed that is well drained and gets sun for about half the day. A drill and a bulb auger will make quick work of digging they faithfully served at Calvary Baptist, Meadowview Baptist and First Baptist churches. With generous and pioneering hearts, Ed and Louise enjoyed helping new mission churches get started. They became founding members and leaders of Meadowview Baptist and Broadmoor Baptist churches. As a widow, Louise became a founding member of New Horizons Christian Fellowship.
Louise was a much loved Sunday school teacher for senior ladies at Meadowview Baptist. Passionate for missions, she led in WMU circles at Meadowview and First Baptist. She was an avid member of the Gideon’s Auxiliary supporting placement of Bibles around the world. Louise and Ed were local pioneers in ministry to international students and teachers at Mississippi State University. For many years Ed and Louise weekly the holes. If you don’t have one of these, get one; bulb planting has never been easier.
Place the bulbs rounded side down with the neck just above the soil line. Water them well and then sit back and enjoy being surprised by nekkid ladies in your garden for years to come.
Naked Ladies is one of the common plant names that is endearing to gardeners and nongardeners alike. There are many other garden and landscape plants with common names that make you wonder how they got that name.
My friend and well-known horticulturist hosted international students in their home as they taught conversational English 649967and led in Bible studies.
Ed and Louise were sent by MSU Presidents to represent MSU in Taiwan (where they helped start the Taiwan MSU Alumni Association) and to Mainland China (where they forged sister relationships between MSU and premier Chinese universities.) They became lovingly known as “Big Pa” and “Big Ma” to all MSU Chinese students and teachers. They were honored with memberships in the MSU Association of Chinese Students and Scholars and the Taiwanese Student Association.
After retirement, Louise and Ed lived and served as missionaries for an extended time at a Boy’s Dr. Allan Armitage recently wrote a book examining the unique, funny and odd names of garden plants. His booked titled “Of Naked Ladies and Forget-Me-Nots: The Stories Behind the Common Names of Some of Our Favorite Plants” is an interesting read. The holidays are right around the corner, and this would be a great gift idea for that favorite gardener of yours.
We produced a Southern Gardening TV segment that took a fun look at these nekkid ladies. View it at http://extension.msstate.edu/ southern-gardening/video/2016/ naked-ladies.
Vocational School in Belize, Central America. Finally returning to Starkville, they traveled to China, Thailand, Hong Kong, England, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and Australia, visiting and serving alongside their children in foreign missions.
Louise also pioneered with her husband in local jail ministry where. Ed visited and led weekly Christian services and Bible studies in the Oktibbeha County jail for over 25 years. They were both awarded a Prison Bar Cross for long term involvement with Bill Glass Prison Ministry, making ministry trips to prisons in several states. Louise blessed many incarcerated women with love and attention, as she shared the life-changing good news of Jesus.
Ed and Louise were faithful and generous supporters of their home church, New Enterprises International (NEI – foreign missions), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Youth With a Mission (YWAM,) The Gideons, Beautiful Feet Outreach Ministry in Ft. Worth, Bill Glass Prison Ministry, March of Dimes, Jews for Jesus, and Global Outreach to name a few.
Louise’s passions for foreign missions and her loving care for those hurting around her
was contagious. It is a living tribute to the Ed Buckner, Sr family that all six of their children, and many of their grandchildren and greatgrand children have served in Christian ministry and community service around the world.
Their children include one deceased daughter,Barbara Buckner Tyree and five sons, Ed Buckner, Jr. (Tricia), Donald Buckner (MaryBob) and Johnny Buckner (Debbie) from Starkville along with William “Bill” Buckner (Patti) from Madison, MS, and Joe Buckner (Suzanne) from Brandon, MS; Grandchildren: Donnie Buckner, Robert Buckner, Susan Tyree Bates, Caroline Buckner Woomer, Corrie Buckner Murphy, Joshua Buckner, Matthew Buckner, Josiah Buckner, Caleb Buckner, Luke Buckner, Hannah Buckner and Isaac Buckner, all of Starkville, MS, Lydia Buckner of Brandon, MS, Ann Marie Buckner of Philadelphia, MS, Jonathan Buckner of Washington, D.C., Eddie Buckner and Wendy Buckner Sewell, both of Nashville, TN, Patrick Tyree of Harrison, TN, Bryna Buckner Martin of Collierville, TN, Becky Buckner Estabrook of Birmingham, AL and Brooke Buckner Mazzei of Tulsa, OK and 45 great-grand children. When the Buckner clan gets together with their spouses there are over 100 people..
The photo on the left pictures Ed Buckner and Willard Jurney at the rail depot when Longview was the Cross-tie Capital of the World and in the middle is Ed Buckner, MSU’s first Director of Support Services,,and an employee as they look at all the different types of light bulbs used on campus, and on the right is Louise Murphy Buckner..
Lycorises, commonly called naked ladies, surprise lilies or spider lilies, are beautiful annual additions to the landscape.
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