Garden & Gun Magazine

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The Funny Life of David Sedaris

Gut-busting laughs. Heartache. The North Carolina shore. David Sedaris weaves them all into a new memoir<p>One of the few writers in the world whose name alone can sell out Carnegie Hall, David Sedaris is widely considered America’s leading humorist. And though his new book, <b>Calypso</b>, does nothing but …

North Carolina

Beautiful to Boot

From their Dallas store-front, two sisters give traditional cowboy boots a stylish makeover<p>While other young women were given family heirlooms or jewelry for major life events, sisters Lizzie Means Duplantis and Sarah Means always received one thing: a new pair of cowboy boots. Starting in high …

Frank Lloyd Wright

Nectarine and Berry Cobbler

Extra juicy and with a secret layer of buttery dough, chef Maya Lovelace’s cobbler is a link to home<p>“I feel like I’m a cultural ambassador,” says Maya Lovelace, a Beaufort, North Carolina–born chef who moved to Oregon six years ago after working with Sean Brock at Husk in Charleston, South …

Dessert

An Easy-Sipping Madeira Cocktail

A light-buzz summer drink perfect for the front porch<p>Consider the Madeira and tonic the most surprising of Southern cocktails.<p>First of all, Southern? Really? After all, Madeira comes from a set of exotic islands off Morocco—a dense and rich fortified wine crafted to prevent souring when ships …

Madeira

Madeira and Tonic

A low-alcohol summer sipper that quenches without consequences<p>Ingredients<p>3 oz. Rainwater Madeira (Broadbent recommended)<p>4 oz. tonic water (Boylan Heritage if you can find it)<p>1 long lemon peel garnish<p>Preparation<p>Fill a tall collins glass with ice cubes, then add the Madeira and tonic. Stir lightly. …

Madeira

A Gusty Proposal

Whipping up some enthusiasm for one of life’s elemental pleasures<p>Years ago, in a little book about New Orleans, I wrote of my aspirations to become a French Quarter character known as Mr. Appreciate-a-Breeze Man. In a seersucker suit and a straw hat, and mopping my brow with a kerchief, I would …

New Orleans

The Power of Parker Millsap

One of Nashville’s most dynamic young voices turns it up<p>Just south of downtown, Nashville’s Pinewood Social, a combo restaurant, bar, and work space, serves as a clubhouse for Music City’s creative set. It’s lunchtime, but open laptops outnumber plates on the rustic-chic wooden tables. A couple of …

Country Music

Southern Lake Escapes – Garden & Gun

Travel

Greers Ferry, the South’s Sporting Lake

Pristine waters brimming with blue-ribbon fish beckon anglers to Arkansas<p><b>LAKE:</b> Greers Ferry <b><br>LOCATION:</b> Cleburne and Van Buren Counties, Arkansas <b><br>SIZE:</b> 40,000 acres <b><br>SHORELINE:</b> 343 miles <b><br>ELEVATION:</b> 481 feet<p><b>WHY WE LOVE IT:</b> Greers Ferry Lake spread like two large inkblots spilled from a bottle when the U.S. …

Red River

Discover Alabama’s Lake Martin

The South’s social lake<p><b>LAKE:</b> Martin <b><br>LOCATION:</b> Tallapoosa, Elmore, and Coosa Counties, Alabama <b><br>SIZE:</b> 41,150 acres <b><br>SHORELINE:</b> 880 miles <b><br>ELEVATION:</b> 491 feet<p><b>WHY WE LOVE IT:</b><br>If the beaches of Gulf Shores are Alabama’s front porch, then Lake Martin is its living room. The 41,150 acres of glistening water, …

Living Rooms

An Ode to Days on the Lake

Adventure, romance, wonder—a lifetime of memories shaped by the water<p>Every few years, when I’m passing through my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, I take a short detour from wherever it is I’m going and point my car down a vertiginous hill that opens onto a cul-de-sac called Lelias Court. …

South Carolina

Five Underrated Southern Lakes

Spend your next vacation exploring one of these refreshing watering holes<p><b>Caddo</b><p><i>LOUISIANA/TEXAS</i><p>Just enough sunlight streams through the cypresses rising out of Caddo Lake, a swampy ecosystem straddling the Louisiana–Texas line, to render the scene surreal. The area around the South’s largest natural …

North Carolina

The Old-Fashioned Allure of Lake Rabun

Turn back the hands of time in a quiet Georgia enclave at the South’s Mountain lake<p><b>LAKE:</b> Rabun <b><br>LOCATION:</b> Rabun County, Georgia <b><br>SIZE:</b> 843 acres <b><br>SHORELINE:</b> 25 miles <b><br>ELEVATION:</b> 1,690 feet<p><b>WHY WE LOVE IT:</b> As you approach Lake Rabun, the decades seem to vanish right along with your cell service. A …

United Methodist

Explore Lake Travis, a Lone Star State Retreat

Luxe digs make savoring this Texas Hill Country recreational paradise a breeze<p><b>LAKE:</b> Travis <b><br>LOCATION:</b> Travis and Burnet Counties, Texas <b><br>SIZE:</b> 18,930 acres <b><br>SHORELINE:</b> 270 miles <b><br>ELEVATION:</b> 681 feet<p><b>WHY WE LOVE IT:</b> From a satellite’s view, Lake Travis looks like an emerald snake wriggling its way through …

Willie Nelson

The Untamed Heart of Lake Jocassee

Cool Blue Ridge waters feed this secluded lake—and the soul<p><b>LAKE:</b> Jocasse <b><br>LOCATION:</b> Oconee and Pickens Counties, South Carolina <b><br>SIZE:</b> 9,000 acres <b><br>SHORELINE:</b> 75 miles <b><br>ELEVATION:</b> 1,100 feet<p><b>WHY WE LOVE IT:</b> The kayak settles on a pebble-sand beach, with the sound of a contented sigh. Behind you lies Lake …

Hiking

A Goat Paradise in Georgia

Meet the farmer behind the goat cheese Atlanta chefs are ga-ga for<p>Mary Rigdon’s verdant patch of land, dotted with wildflowers and forty white dairy goats, is tucked in an industrial corner of south Atlanta. In this unlikely spot, beneath a thunderously loud flight path of the nearby world’s …

New Jersey

Inside Columbia, South Carolina’s Historic Hampton-Preston House

Columbia’s <b>Hampton-Preston House</b> and its grounds—built in 1818 on the corner of Pickens and Blanding Streets—survived General Sherman, a stint as the governor’s mansion, and four turns as various institutes of higher learning. But commercial real estate development during the mid-twentieth century …

Real Estate

Catching Up with Widespread Panic’s John Bell

The jam-band frontman on his new festival, favorite Southern eats, and the art of making a set list<p>The Athens, Georgia-bred band <b>Widespread Panic</b> first performed together in 1986 at what was then known as the Mad Hatter Ballroom. Now, more than thirty-two years later, the iconic Southern jam-band’s …

Americana

Writing America’s History

Season 3, Episode 3: Author Jon Meacham discusses writing about U.S. presidents, the Southern literary canon, and smoking cigars in the basement<p>Pulitzer-prize winning presidential biographer and Chattanooga native Jon Meacham has written books on the lives of Thomas Jefferson, George H. W. Bush, …

Winston Churchill

The Southern Name Game

Making sense of Southern appellations and sobriquets<p>I come from a long line of people on both sides of my family who named their children after folks they were actually related to. For this I am profoundly grateful. Had my mother made like, say, Gwyneth Paltrow and named me after a fruit, I might …

New York State

Okra’s Deep Roots

More than just the South’s signature pod, okra carries thousands of years of history<p><i>Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the G&G book</i> S Is for Southern: A Guide to the South, from Absinthe to Zydeco<i>. A compendium of Southern life and culture, the book contains nearly five hundred entries</i> …

Thomas Jefferson

You Know Your Mama Is Really Southern If…

The endearing (and endearingly exasperating) traits and tactics of the Southern Mother<p>You probably think there’s no one quite like your mother. But survey a cross-section of Southerners, and some consensus starts to take shape about the ties that bind the women who raised us. Whether your mama’s …

Side Dishes

Behind the Merle Haggard Classic “Mama Tried”

A song for Mother’s Day<p>When Merle Haggard was nine years old, his father passed away from a brain hemorrhage. Haggard’s two older siblings, Lowell and Lillian, were in their twenties at the time, which left Merle to be raised solo by his mother, Flossie, at their house in Bakersfield, California. …

Country Music

Non-Invasive Wisteria 101

Why native wisteria is a friend in the Southern garden<p>Have you spent half your life battling invasive wisteria? Don’t be discouraged—it has a 200-year head start. <i>Wisteria sinensis</i> arrived in America in 1816, while <i>Wisteria floribunda</i> was introduced to America in the 1830s. They were both brought …

Thomas Jefferson

Let the Good Times Crawl

This weekend, a New Orleans institution hosts the “Slowest Second Line on Earth”<p>In addition to a potent milk punch and the country’s preeminent bananas Foster, the team at Brennan’s—the pink-and-green-clad culinary grande dame on Royal Street in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter—makes a …

Turtles

Mom Cooks Best

Chefs share the recipes their mothers and grandmothers taught them to make<p>There’s a reason the Southern writer Rick Bragg’s book about his mother’s cooking is on the <i>New York Times</i> bestseller list. We Southerners treasure the memories of our mothers and grandmothers showing us how to make biscuits …

Food Preservation

Linda Louise’s Poppy Seed Dressing

A “sacred” (and delightfully easy-to-make) family recipe from Arlington, Virginia chef David Guas<p>David Guas, the New Orleans-born pastry chef and owner of Bayou Bakery in Arlington, Virginia, and Lil’ B in Washington, D.C., long tried to re-create his mother’s “sacred” poppy seed vinaigrette. For …

Spices

Ma Ma’s Egg Custard Pie

Chef Alex Harrell learned this dessert from his grandmother, “Ma Ma.” Today, it’s on the menu at his New Orleans restaurant Angeline<p>As a child, Alex Harrell would visit his grandmother in Chipley, Florida, and he could count on her custard pie to be waiting in the fridge. “It was one of her staples …

Baking

Grandma’s Zucchini Bread

Charleston, South Carolina, chef Nate Whiting shares the recipe for his grandmother’s summertime staple<p>Nate Whiting’s grandmother always made loaves of her spiced zucchini bread when the summer squash boom hit gardens—and it paired perfectly with Whiting’s childhood love of sweet cream butter. “I …

Baking

Mama’s Egg Salad

The secret ingredient? Durkee sauce, a tangy sandwich spread. “You’ll never open my refrigerator without finding a jar of it,” says Augusta, Georgia, caterer Vera Stewart<p>The caterer Vera Stewart grew up in Macon, Georgia, where her mother’s classic egg salad was a staple. “We ate it between two …

Eggs