The Valdosta Daily Times
I don’t pat myself on the back very often, believe it or not, as I’m far more critical of myself than anyone else could ever be, with a few exceptions, but Brandon Powers and I outdid ourselves in the July Scene.
With the retirement of Elizabeth Butler last year, The Times decided it was time to revamp the cooking contest held annually and next year will be the first year. This year, we decided to do a “Best of” recent winning recipes in the Scene magazine to honor those many years of Taste Offs. As you all know by now, I enjoy cooking, so I volunteered to cook several of the award-winning recipes from past years for a photo shoot for the cover and inside spread. Brandon remembered a recent Homefront feature at the home of Dr. Eric and Libby Anderson, whose home features a gorgeous backyard with a pool, seating area with fireplace and dining area, all of which served as the perfect backdrop for our shoot.
Setting the scene, keep in mind that this was early June when the thermometer hit 100 degrees or close to it for several days. I cooked for hours, literally, and we decided to do the shoot at 6 p.m. on a Friday night so that the lighting would be better and when it might not be so hot. We were wrong about the heat. It was stifling, and we were in very real danger of the food literally wilting. The Andersons were kind enough to allow us to store the food in a side room off the porch so that we could bring it out at the last possible minute, after we had set the scene. Long story short, about two hours later, we had the perfect shots, the perfect setting, the perfect lighting, and the food looked fabulous. Alas, the key lime pie began to melt very quickly and when I tried cutting a piece to serve with the accompanying raspberry sauce, well, let’s just say it was a puddle on a plate.
Fortunately, despite the heat, we were able to artfully arrange a gorgeous tableau. The food photographed beautifully, the setting was ideal, and the Scene looks as good as many national magazine covers do.
The recipes were easy to follow, simple and delicious, and the highlights from previous cookbooks showcase some of the best of the best from years past.
You will also find a feature on Jekyll Island, which I wrote and photographed while at the Georgia Press Association conference in early June; the results of our Valdosta Scene model search; a delightful take on national parks at night by our traveling friends, the Scotts, a great historic piece by Dean Poling, and much more.
Pick up your copy of the July Scene at Books-a-Million or at The Times’ office.
It looks like the former Rascals/Vegas, etc., nightclub on Highway 84 is going to reopen, but not sure when. There’s a sign that says Deja Vu out front, but it hasn’t opened for business yet.
I heard this week that the Cornbread Skillet on North Ashley Street is making plans to move into the old Shoney’s building on Highway 84, so they must be doing well.
For trendy clothes shoppers, this is the week that the Buckle will open in the Valdosta Mall.
Officially, the grand opening is July 11.
Work is continuing on the Mill Pizza Buffet and Games location in Remerton Square off Baytree with an eye towards an August opening.
It looks like there is going to be a Family Dollar store opening in the Walmart plaza on Inner Perimeter. The sign only says “coming soon” but doesn’t say where in the plaza it will be.
The new Dollar General should be breaking ground anytime on North Valdosta Road near El Toreo. Also, the new Ashley Furniture Home Store is now open next to Badcock’s.
No word yet on whether the Wild Wings folks have found their local entrepreneur to partner with but there’s been a lot of interest in the franchise by readers who apparently know the concept from other areas and are looking forward to one locating here.
The only large construction going on right now continues to be the SGMC patient tower and the VSU health sciences building.
The tower should be opening in August and the sciences building should open around the first of the year.
That’s it for this week, but if there’s something I missed, please let me know!