Archives for January 2011

Break-in at Calhoun City tobacco store caught on video

Calhoun City Police are investigating a break-in at the Tobacco Superstore on the Calhoun City Square early Tuesday morning.

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Melany Taylor

Melany West Taylor of Calhoun City has a goal of making a cookbook of family favorites to pass along to them, a project which she has already started on. She has had some good experience in this department as chairwoman of the Calhoun City Centennial Cookbook. Working on this cookbook, she was able to gain a lot of helpful information on recipes from cookbook co-chairwoman and former Calhoun Home Economist Melissa Clanton. Melany has also done some work through the years with cookbooks at school and church at Derma.
She didn’t enjoy cooking when she was younger as much as she does now, and she really looks forward to her children, Brandon and Courtney Shankle, coming home and cooking their favorites. Some of their favorites, besides vegetables, include spaghetti salad, chocolate cobbler, and the cheese ring, which are also frequent requests from other people.
The first thing Melany learned to make was probably divinity, according to her mother, Shirley West, but she doesn't make it now. She learned to cook by watching her mother, who didn't use recipes, and although she makes most things without recipes, she does love to try new ones.  She bakes a lot of breads--strawberry, banana and blueberry--and has given them for  Christmas gifts for years. And she does a lot of holiday cooking. Melany says her favorite food is just “a good ole hamburger", but she also likes soups of different kinds, especially vegetable, which she makes a lot of this time of year.

Baked French Toast Casserole
1 loaf whole wheat or white bread
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 T. sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping (below)
Generously butter 9 x 13” baking dish.  Arrange bread slices (I use whole wheat) in several rows overlapping the slices.  In a large bowl, combine eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; beat with rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly.  Pour mixture evenly over bread, spooning some mixture in between slices.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, preheat oven to 350°.  Spread Praline Topping evenly over bread and bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Can serve with maple syrup but is sweet enough without it.
Praline Topping
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 T. corn syrup
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Topping can also be done the night before but should be refrigerated; if refrigerated, reheat before using. Spread topping evenly over bread and cook as directed above.

½ cup oil
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tsp. Tony Chachere’s
2 tsp minced garlic
5 cups of chicken broth (can use 3 cans of broth)
4 cups shredded chicken
½ lb. Cajun sausage – cut into small slices or chunks
2 cups fresh or frozen okra
1 – 1 ½ lb peeled, large raw shrimp (the more the better)
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in flour and cook; whisking constantly until flour is chocolate colored, about 5-10 minutes. (Do not burn.) Reduce heat to medium and stir in celery, onion, bell pepper, Tony Chachere’s, and garlic. Cook several minutes and gradually begin adding broth. Add chicken, sausage, and okra.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turns pink. Serve over rice.

Cheese Ring with Hot Pepper Jelly
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
¼ - ½  c. mayonnaise
½ c. chopped pecans
8 slices crisp fried bacon (or 1 jar of real bacon pieces)
½ bunch green onions, chopped
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 jar pepper jelly
Combine cheese, mayonnaise, pecans, bacon, green onions, and seasoned salt in a large bowl.  Mix well.  In a ring mold sprayed with Pam, press the cheese mixture evenly and put in freezer until completely frozen. It can stay in freezer for several weeks. (For a larger ring, double the recipe.) Remove from the mold when ready to serve and put on a platter.  Add jelly mixture to center of the cheese ring, and serve with crackers layered around the outer edge.

Spaghetti Salad
1 lb. spaghetti
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-8 oz. bottle Wishbone Italian dressing
1 small pkg. Good seasons dry Italian dressing
1/4 bottle bacon bits or cooked, chopped bacon
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 small can black olives, chopped
1 small can green olives, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
Cook spaghetti in large amount of water with olive oil and drain. Mix Wishbone dressing, Good Seasons dressing, bacon bits/bacon, pepper, olives and onion; add this mixture to spaghetti and toss.  Add tomatoes just before serving. This recipe can be made up to two days before serving.

Jan. 20 will always be a bad day for me

Jan. 30, 2002 – Historically, January 20 has been a bad day for me. Thirteen years ago it was a car wreck. Then six years ago it was a serious heart malady that manifested itself. The wreck almost got me, but I didn't really know it. The heart problem almost got me, and I knew it.

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King Edward, Parlor Market among leaders in revitalization of Downtown Jackson

For most of my life the King Edward Hotel in Downtown Jackson was nothing more than a pigeon roost. Last weekend I witnessed first hand how it could be the centerpiece to the revitalization of our state's capital city.

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Bruce wins two at home Tuesday night against Vardaman

Bruce won a pair of games against Vardaman Tuesday night, the girls' game easily, the boys' game not so much.

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Calhoun City earns district title with Tuesday win at West Lowndes

Calhoun City Wildcats all but clinched the district title with a 78-67 win at West Lowndes Tuesday night.

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Bruce teams looking to eastablish momentum headed to district tournament

Bruce boys’ and girls’ basketball teams look to establish some momentum in the next two weeks before entering post-season play.

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Wildcats want consistency as post-season approaches

Calhoun City rolled up a couple of easy wins last week against Grenada and East Webster.

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Lady Rams earn only win of past week for Vardaman

Vardaman lost five of six basketball games last week with the lone win by the Lady Rams over Immanuel.

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Calhoun City releases powerlifting schedule

Calhoun City High School recently released its powerlifting schedule for 2011, which opens with the Wildcat Invitational this Saturday.

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