Springtime soirees in Mississippi usually include homemade ice cream and listening to cricket concerts at dusk. For the Magnolia Social Club it means that it’s time to “Go to Glory.”
Not literally mind you. Glory is an historic home located at the fringes of Oktibbeha County. Tucked deep into the backwoods, it is second home to Paquita and Jack Denson. It serves as their escape from suburban living, and a place to piddle and putter to their hearts’ content.
For me, it’s a step back in time.
“We don’t know much about the history of Glory,” said Paquita,, “but Jack met a lady years ago who had grown up on the land around “Glory.” All she could tell him was that it was built during the ‘Wawah.”
Jack assumed that she meant the “Civil Wawah,” and the architecture bears that out. It is constructed completely of square nails and hewn pine. Roomy porches on both the front and back of the house, provide the perfect spot for casual dinners and choice seats to watch the wildlife roam freely. You can practically hear the thundering hooves of the Confederate troops in the early days before the wawah got nasty.
as the Magnolia Garden Club.
“We have been going to Glory each year for each of the 21 years since we acquired the property,” reported Paquita. “But we began meeting monthly about 20 years before that when we were still the Magnolia Garden Club. That seemed like it was too much work, so we changed the name to the Magnolia Social Club.”
Meanwhile, its members have gone from raising toddlers, to welcoming their great grandchildren. The social club has no particularly agenda other than being an enjoyable means of keeping their friendships strong.
Everyone brings a salad entrée and takes home a recipe to call their own. I’m having my own salad luncheon on Mothers Day and I’ll be using at least two of the recipes.
Here are several of the most popular which II managed to wrest away from the cooks:
Bettye Wilson’s Mississippi Cornbread Salad
1 16-ounce package corn bread mix
10 slices bacon
1 package ranch dressing mix
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped green onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 (11 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained.
Prepare corn bread according to package directions. Cool, crumble, and set aside.
Place bacon in a large deep skillet. Cook over medium-high head until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Whisk together the dressing mix, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Crumble half the corn bread in the bottom of a large serving dish. Top with half the beans. Layer the beans with half of the tomatoes, green bell pepper, and green onions. Sprinkle with half the cheese, corn, bacon, and the salad dressing mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and chill at least two hours before serving.
Florence Meadow’s Southwest Chicken and Rice Bake
1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and chopped
1-1/2 cup instant rice, uncooked
1 16-ounce jar mild Picante Sauce
1 can (11 ounces) corn and peppers
2 cans (10 ounces) red enchilada sauce
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8-ounce package shredded Mexican Style Cheese
Sour cream and crushed tortilla chips crushed, optional
Combine all but last two ingredients in large bowl, reserving one cup shredded cheese. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with reserved cheese and bake 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.
My friend Yvonne introduced me to the Magnolia Garden Club before she decided to become an Arkansan. We missed you Yvonne and I expect your ears were burning. Maybe you can come home and join us next year!