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M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I | Susan Rebecca White


Just returned from a writing retreat in Greenwood, MS with friends Todd Johnson and Kathryn Stockett.  We were in Greenwood for such a cool reason–that’s where they are filming the movie The Help.  Not that I have anything to do with the movie, but it was cool to see the location and meet some of the cast and crew.  Mostly Todd and I just wrote.  And drank bourbon.  It was weird; bourbon is usually way, way too strong for me.  But somehow when it’s 10 million degrees outside, and you are in Faulkner’s home state, you just have to reach for the brown stuff.

You also reach for the fried stuff, and the hot glazed stuff (in the form of donuts) and the barbequed stuff.  And Todd and I stopped at the farmer’s market and got MS field tomatoes, so sweet you could eat them for dessert.  We wanted to make tomato sandwiches (white bread, tomato, salt, pepper, mayo) but had no mayonniase.  It was my bright idea to go through the DRIVE -THRU liquor store and see if they happened to sell Duke’s.  The woman looked right pissed off when I asked, but she begrudingly got me a small bottle of some off brand of mayo.  We went home and made tomato sandwiches.  Now I’m not sure if it was simply the fact that the mayo used wasn’t Duke’s, or if mayo that has been sitting around a liquor store is perhaps not the world’s freshest, but that sandwich was nasty.  I only ate half.  Todd and I went to the supermarket, got our lazy butts out of the car and went inside to refrigerated air where we bought a big ol’ bottle of Duke’s.  An hour later, and I was fixing pimento cheese for everyone.  But listen, I also did some writing.  I swear.


Todd rocks a GRAVY baseball hat along with his YALE shirt.


Todd eats a biscuit, I drink bourbon and prepare for a photo I thought was happening later than it did, and Kitty mugs for the camera.

4 Responses to M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I

  1. Anonymous July 25, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    tomato sandwiches

    Reading your description of tomato sandwiches, and esp. the importance of mayonnaise therein, I couldn’t help but be reminded of one of my all-time favorite children’s lit characters: Harriet from _Harriet the Spy_. Harriet insists on taking a tomato-mayonnaise sandwich to school every single day, to the fury of the family cook. And when the kids at school want to be really, really mean to Harriet, they steal her tomato sandwich. As I recall it nearly sends her over the edge.

    Sorry your tomato sandwiches were nasty! — Susan (Gilbert-Collins)

  2. Susan White July 27, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Re: tomato sandwiches

    Susan, hi!!
    I remember reading HARRIET THE SPY and having no idea–at the time–what a tomato sandwich was. Oh, I could imagine it alright, but I had never tasted one. I didn’t really taste a good tomato until I was 16 and visited my friend’s grandmother who scoffed at my declaration that I “hated tomatoes” and made me eat one of her homegrown ones. Major paradigm shift. That was the summer I started liking tomato sandwiches. (Cue nostalgia inducing music.) My friend’s grandma was a total steely southern dame and she ate her tomato sandwiches on white Pepperidge farm bread with mayo, salt and pepper, accompanied by a Coca Cola in a glass bottle, glistening with sweat. I picked up a lot from that lady.

    Reminiscing aside, I loved reading your comment and thinking about Harriet the Spy. And now I want to re-read that book. And hey, speaking of great books, your pub date is really soon, isn’t it! I’m so excited for you!

    • Anonymous July 29, 2010 at 12:33 am #

      Re: tomato sandwiches

      Yes, it comes out Tuesday! Thanks!

      White Pepperidge farm bread also makes great cucumber sandwiches. Add a little horseradish mixed with mayo, and some mint leaves, and yum. Great, now I want high tea at 8:30 at night. :-)


      • Susan White August 3, 2010 at 3:12 am #

        Re: tomato sandwiches

        Okay, I’ll make a cucumber sandwich on Pepperidge Farm bread in your honor tomorrow!!