John T. Edge Draws a Crowd at Splinter Creek

Sonia Thompson

Fans of food and Southern history recently gathered at Splinter Creek to hear author John T. Edge read from his newest book, "The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South‎" (Penguin), on June 15.

Author John T. Edge signs his new book "The Potlikker Papers" at Splinter Creek.

Edge, who is also director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi, visited Splinter Creek as the last stop on his book tour for an intimate conversation on some of the extraordinary figures who have shaped Southern food. He charmed the crowd of about 20 with his eloquence and signature laugh, and he fostered lively discussion on topics he is passionate about: race, gender, class, and immigration.

"Something to Take the Edge Off" punch, made with Bristow dry gin, Amaro Montenegro, Potlikker Gastrique, lemon juice and Angostura bitters.

The evening began with "Something to Take the Edge Off" cocktails, served on the screened porch at the Splinter Creek Boathouse residence, and created for the event by mixologists at Oxford's Snackbar restaurant.

Book party attendees mingle before the event.

Guests also enjoyed massaman sweet potato curry from local restaurant Zaap Thai Kitchen. Edge suggested the meal was an example of themes from his book. It's what he finds so compelling about the evolution of Southern food: a family-owned restaurant in Oxford using a Mississippi staple to create a unique dish that is both Southern and Thai.

Edge reads from his book to a captivated Splinter Creek audience.

The food theme of the evening continued with a donation to the Oxford School District Summer Meal Program. Guests raised more than $700 to help fund the program, which provides free and nutritious meals to area schoolchildren during the summer. Program Director Daniel Westmoreland was present to collect the gift, which he said was deeply appreciated by the Oxford School District.

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