My daughter Kara married a Mississippi gentleman, and our lucky family can enjoy his family’s lake house built in 1840 which was once used as a hospital for the soldiers in the Civil War. The huge home is three stories with giant porches, super high ceilings inside, long steep staircases, and the perfect party house. When the giant door is opened, the first thing you see is the very, very long table just waiting to be filled with good Southern dishes.
To the right of the photo nearest the door is the fabulous kitchen, which includes a Viking stove but also George Washington to smile upon you as you wash your hands.
Next to the kitchen is the stunning dining room where all the desserts will eventually be displayed, including my husband’s birthday cake, because his birthday is July 5th but we always celebrate it on the 4th too.
Across the hall is the music room.
Out in the hallway awaits the pram to take the babies for a stroll in style around the estate.
Climbing to the top of this stunning staircase leads to two more stories but it would be a very long blog if I included everything. Just trust me that this beautiful American home belongs in a magazine!
While all the food is being prepared by family cousins, the tradition is to hold a croquet tournament out on the lawn. The winning team gets to have their name engraved on a plaque displayed proudly in the house. The game is taken very seriously…
You will never catch me entering the tournament because it goes on for hours and Mississippi is HOT!! Too hot for me, thank you. I’ll stay inside playing with the babies and drinking lots of iced tea.
The food is prepared in a special building next to the house. There wouldn’t be enough room or enough burners in the kitchen to make everything to fill that giant table. When the food starts coming in, your nose will know. First up was the hush puppies, followed by the fried catfish.
And it kept coming: beer can chicken, incredible rolled pork with a spiral sausage filling, the best baked beans ever, cole slaw, potato salad, chips, strawberry sausages, and so much more.
The table was groaning with good Southern cooking. I think we could have fed all the Civil War soldiers.
The day was spent chatting, laughing on the huge porch, rocking babies in the rocking chairs or swinging on the porch swings, and watching the croquet tournament. It’s a very relaxing time in a most incredible setting.
When it started to become dark, everyone headed for the pier to watch the fireworks, or some watched from the porch, like me, who heard the lake had alligators so I passed on that one. Instead I was bitten about a million times by some kind of Southern bug who thoroughly enjoyed my Northern blood.
It was a most enjoyable 4th of July, over too soon, but there is always next year. Hopefully the alligators will move on, or if they don’t, I’ll make them into some shoes or a handbag.