Thursday, July 29, 2010

Magnolia Springs: A Delightful Taste of the Old South

Recently I  spent a languid afternoon in Magnolia Springs, a small town located along the headwaters of the Magnolia River in Alabama. With jasmine and bougainvillea in bloom, it seems like a true Southern Gothic (in the good sense of the word) type of place with historic mansions, postal delivery by boat (the only place in American to do so) and a great place to eat -- Jesse’s Restaurant inside the Moore Brothers Market, which first opened in 1922 and is on the National List of Historic Places. I ordered more oysters and then head down Oak Street, where live oaks create a living canopy above the roadway, past the 19th century Episcopal Church and to the Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast, which dates back to 1897, for a peek inside.

 Co-owner Dave Worthington took me on a tour of the place which has been a hotel since it opened. He also showed me his guest book from the early 1900s and the place was a hit, even though it took two days and three modes of transportation to get down there back then -- first by train, then by boat and then, finally by horse and buggy, with people from around Southwest Michigan including those from Grand Rapids, Lawton and Chicago. Dave also shared some of his recipes as well. For more on the inn, visits

David’s Apple Dumplings

1 Red Delicious apple-peeled, cored and cut into 4 quarters or thirds (can also use a pear, peach, blackberries or a ball of cranberries, anything that makes a good cobbler will make a good dumpling)
1 can crescent rolls


Warm the following three ingredients till dissolved:

1and 1/2 cup orange juice
¾ cup sugar
½ stick butter

Wrap 1/4 of apple with one piece of crescent roll and seal all edges. Place seam side down in a 9 x 13 inch Pyrex pan. Pour sauce over them then sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 min. till done. Baste dumplings with sauce in the pan before moving to plate.

Dave also drizzles a small amount of sweetened vanilla yogurt on top as icing.

David’s Eggs

8 eggs
1 can of green chilies
1 16oz. 4 % milk fat cottage cheese-large curd
8 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. flour

Shred cheese and coat with flour. Beat eggs w/green chilies then add cottage cheese & then cheddar cheese and mix. Pour into 9 in. pie pan & bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

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