Living in the South has its contradictions. No one seems more attached to place, but it is difficult for a Southerner to stay put. We are the definition of social animal. Keeping away goes against the code of our DNA. As we muddle through these difficult times, we must suppress our natural tendency.
This sense of connection to home, land, and people is a hallmark of being Southern. Life is never boring here, nor is it lacking in warmth, gentility, and humor—or beauty, compelling art and literature, casseroles, painterly landscapes, loyal dogs, fine barbecue and slow-cooked everything, collards as good as gold, elegance, tradition, ingenuity, progress, people who care. It is truly a feeling place—a soul stew packed with flavor.
We have a bit of everything in this edition, our seventh Southern Culture Issue. Art & Light Gallery shows a wealth of artists, from here and elsewhere, in a charming bungalow in West Greenville. Paula Rallis Home features a modern curation of interior goods and accessories. Southern women writers deliver honesty and history, while enlightening and entertaining us through their work. Husk Smokin’ Barbeque, whose cast-iron cornbread graces our cover, has transformed its West End space into a diner’s fever dream of smoked meat, decadent sides, and lots of bourbon. It’s delivering the food and drink Husk fans have come to know—with a tighter focus on the pit.
We also share favorite recipes in this issue, one for braised collards and another for a flaky chicken pot pie. As we tuck into another month at home, consider making these for your family or deliver to the doorstep of a friend. After all, it is the Southern way.
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Photo by Kim McMillian