Google has just brought it to my attention that on this day (May 22nd) in 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant began his siege on Vicksburg.
I have driven through Vicksburg twice in my life, in the span of a couple of years . . . ages ago. (About 1996.) I was burning rubber down the highway from Washington, DC to West Texas. And then back again.
Vicksburg was a convenient spot on the map for food and rest.
On our first stop, my husband and I wandered onto the battlefield and eased our way into a group that was enjoying an historical tour. I remember little of the tour, except that it was fascinating at the time, that the Union victory was a turning point in the war and so strategically important to securing communication and trade/supply routes on the Mississippi River, and fire ants. I remember the battlefield was full of fire ants. Very angry fire ants.
My other memory of Vicksburg involved dinner at Walnut Hills Restaurant. This old restaurant is still around and still in a house in the historic district of the city. The restaurant bills its food as “Southern Plantation Cuisine,” but I find that very hard to stomach. It’s just good, even great, southern food– could we drop the word “plantation,” please?
The food is served home-style– brought to your table in dishes to be served around. The fried chicken was great, the cornbread was amazing, and everything was delicious! We dropped back in for another meal as we drove though Vicksburg and back to the east coast, in ’97 or ’98. And if I ever find myself in Vicksburg again, I’m sure that I’ll give it another go. It is some seriously good food!
So there you go. Vicksburg is worth our consideration for much more weighty issues, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t weigh in on the great food at Walnut Hills. In a world of jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, Walnut Hills today is a pretty great find!
As a parting gift, here is the Walnut Hills recipe for Bourbon Pie: (*I’m reticent to vouch for any pie that lists marshmallows as an ingredient . . . but given the track record of this place, and the fact that it’s the only recipe they have published online- LOL- I’m sharing it.)