Grab me my gun. The best magazine you’re not reading.

I’ve always felt like I lived in the wrong part of the country and born in the wrong time period. I really should have been a southern belle in the 1950’s. Maybe I’m pulling a Shirley MacClaine and really was??? Spooky… or maybe it’s just because of my roots I feel so drawn to the south. My Grandmother was born and bred in Texas. Her little sister is even named Dixie. Seriously.  So my grandmothers Southern blood coupled with spending summers with an aunt in Virginia it’s made me a total wannabe debutante. That is why this magazine has replaced Martha Stewart Living as my monthly must have.

My mom lives in North Carolina during the week for work and commutes back to Minnesota on the weekends. On one of these trips last summer she grabbed an issue in the airport and brought it home for me knowing full well, it was my magazine soul mate. Oh, don’t y’all have magazine soul mates too? (See what I did there?)

The photography is  breathtaking and the subjects covered are true Southern Americana.

Isn’t this photo haunting and beautiful at the same time?

The magazine not only features sporting and food,  but it also highlights Southern musicians

The Avett Brothers.

The magazine was launched by Rebecca Wesson Darwin in 2007. Ms. Darwin envisioned a magazine about the South, the sporting life and the land. She had recently moved back to Charleston, South Carolina following a successful publishing career in NYC, and in hindsight, launching a lifestyle magazine in the beginning of the recession was probably not the smartest choice, but she steered them through it and the magazine is thriving.

The magazine also highlights true Southern fashion.

The recipes and food photography is incredible. Traditional southern barbeque with coleslaw and deep fried Okra. Doesn’t get more Southern than that.

Oh wait it does. Pimento cheese spread!

They also offer true southern cocktail recipes like the 610 Magnolia 
Old-Fashioned.

1 large and uneven slice of lemon peel
1 rough-cut brown 
    sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash Regan’s Orange 
Bitters No. 6
No more than 1 oz. branch water (or bottled water)
2 large ice cubes
2 oz. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12-year bourbon
Small triangle of orange slice for garnish

Add the lemon peel, sugar cube, and both bitters into the bottom of an old-fashioned glass. Using a wooden muddler, begin to muddle the ingredients firmly but not violently in the bottom of the glass, working the muddler in a circle. The tapered shape of the glass allows you to perform this task with ease.

Add the water, and continue to muddle for a bit longer. Add the ice and then the bourbon. Stir with a spoon. Float the thinly sliced orange on top of the drink (not wedged onto the side of the glass), and serve.
I also love that the magazine prominently features animals.

As their masthead says, it truly is the Soul of the South.

With that, I’ll leave you with this truly Southern recipe from one of their recent issues.

Arnold Palmer Cake

From Momufuku Milk Bar
Makes a 6″ Cake, Serves 6 to 8

CAKE COMPONENTS
1 Lemon Tea Cake
1/4 cup Bitter Tea Soak
1 cup Tea Jelly
1 3/4 cups Lemon Mascarpone
2/3 cup Almond-Tea-Crunch

LEMON TEA CAKE INGREDIENTS
8 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
9 bags Lipton black tea leaves
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt

LEMON TEA CAKE PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream the butter and granulated sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. After 2 or 3 minutes on medium-high, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and egg yolks one by one until they disappear into the butter and sugar.

Scrape down the sides again and turn the mixer to low speed. Stream in the oil, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Mix on medium until everything is homogenous and fluffy—about 5 minutes.

Combine the flour, tea leaves, baking powder, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. With the mixer running on low, incorporate the dry ingredients into your main bowl. You don’t want to overmix the cake; just mix until the dry ingredients disappear (45 seconds or so).

Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat. Spread the cake batter on the pan and give it a little jiggle to even things out. Bake for about 30 minutes, then give it a gentle poke. You’re looking for it to bounce back and for the cake to have pulled back from the edges a bit.

BITTER TEA SOAK AND TEA JELLY INGREDIENTS
(makes a little more than you need)
2 1/4 cups water
8 bags Lipton black tea
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup instant Lipton unsweetened iced-tea powder
1/2 tsp. pectin NH
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

BITTER TEA SOAK AND TEA JELLY PREPARATION
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove it from the heat and add the tea bags. Let the bags steep for 5 minutes, or until the tea is very bitter. Discard the tea bags and store the bitter tea soak in an airtight container.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, pectin, and tea powder until thoroughly combined. Over high heat, slowly whisk in 3 cups of bitter tea soak and the lemon juice, and bring to a full rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 2 minutes. This activates the pectin and will turn the tea and lemon into a beautiful jelly. Transfer the jelly to an appropriate container and refrigerate. Once set, the jelly will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.

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