Georgia’s On My Mind


IMG_2251I’m on my way home from a trip to Georgia where I presented a Taste of Home Cooking School Thursday evening in Kingsland. I decided to tack on an extra day to my trip so I could explore the area. It was delightful.

If you’re not familiar with your Georgia geography, don’t worry. That was not my best subject in school either! Kingsland is located in the Southeast corner of the state. In fact, the nearest airport is in Jacksonville, Florida, so I flew there and drove 20 minutes up to Kingsland.

We set up for the cooking school on Wednesday afternoon, so I had a little extra time that morning. I drove over to nearby Jekyll Island for lunch at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. This hotel was built in 1887 and is loaded with southern charm. It made me feel like I was stepping back in time.

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As I was parking my van outside the entrance I noticed a couple playing crochet out on the lush green lawn in front of the hotel. Since it was lunchtime I decided to treat myself to a meal in the Grand Dining Room which features beautiful white columns and elegant chandeliers.

I had the pork tenderloin with apple chutney, fingerling potatoes and sautéed chard.IMG_2219

 

Then, I splurged and had the chocolate dessert. When it was delivered to the table, I think I may have heard the angels sing. It tasted as good as it looks!

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Besides this historic landmark, the island also has bike paths, shops, and a sea turtle center. I hope to return with my husband, Scott, for vacation sometime in the future.

Our Thursday cooking school went off without a hitch thanks to these smiling faces. Each of these folks helped throughout the day, as we prepared 10 recipes for our audience that evening.

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With the school complete, I woke up Friday morning and headed north to Savannah. I was eager to check out the area. It was an overcast, soggy day, but I wasn’t going to let that rain on my parade. I popped out my umbrella and marched right ahead with my plans.

The quaint sites of Savannah are nestled under canopies of trees draped with moss. The spring flowers were blooming, and after leaving Iowa where our yards are still brown, I loved seeing all the green grass and foliage.

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The historic old homes are just beautiful, and I love the architecture.

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The streets are teaming with trollies taking visitors on tours. I highly recommend taking one of those to learn more about Savannah and the various landmarks.

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Savannah has several beautiful churches. This was the Christ Church, which was the first one established back in 1733 and is considered the Mother Church of Georgia.

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I debated long and hard about where to eat for lunch, since there are so many great choices. I decided to go with the Lady & Sons, because after hearing so much about Paula Deen over the years, I was curious to experience her restaurant. Some of the online reviews were just so-so, but I had a great experience!

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I decided to have the buffet so that I could try a variety of southern specialties. I tried a little of almost everything: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, lima beans, green beans, sweet potatoes, collard greens, and okra.

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My waiter also brought a Cheddar biscuit and a hoecake to my table, because I guess I looked like the mound of food on my plate wasn’t enough. Ha ha! Anyway, it was a fun way to try various dishes.

The buffet included one choice of three desserts. I chose Paula’s signature Gooey Butter Cake.  Because by that point — why not? It was rich and decadent.

After lunch I spent time strolling around the many shops that line the streets (and burning off a few calories). Then, I headed back to Kingsland, stopping at St. Simons Island to check out some beautiful views along the ocean front. It was a little overcast but still so pretty.

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Georgia, including the warm, kind hospitality from the people I met along the way!

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