Deep South Year in Review
2011 was a great year at Deep South. We celebrated our second year in business, overhauled our website and launched a Southern Literary Trail App! We’ve got lots of Southern stories on the books for 2012, but wanted to take a minute to remember a few of our favorite, and most commented on, stories from the past year. Have an idea you think we should cover in the coming year? Send an e-mail to [email protected]
1. Summer Reading List & Giveaway
Our second-annual Summer Reading List and book giveaway garnered 63 comments from readers telling us what books they planned to read over the summer. A few of the comments asked for a Fall/Winter Reading List, which we delivered in November.
2. MoonPie Giveaway
In March, Pelican Publishing sent us a box of MoonPies to give away, along with a copy of “The Great MoonPie Handbook.” We asked readers to tell us about their most memorable MoonPie experience and were blown away by the responses – all 47 of them. We got so many stories of days spent eating MoonPies that we chose 12 winners who received packages of marshmallowy goodness.
3. Fall/Winter Reading List & Giveaway
After several requests, we debuted our Fall/Winter Reading List in November. Compared to the beach reads on our summer list, this one was a bit darker, with plenty of mysteries, ghost stories and nonfiction reads. We didn’t give away every book on the list, but a few lucky winners (among 36 entries) received copies of four tiles. We also partnered with Better World Books, located in Atlanta, for this list. They give away a book to someone in need every time you order one and graciously provided a discount code for Deep South readers!
4. Anthony Bourdain in Cajun Country
Host of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” and Chef Anthony Bourdain visited Cajun Country and the Lafayette-area the weekend of June 17. We shook his hand out at a boucherie in Eunice, where his show filmed part of its August 29 episode, and didn’t waste any time sharing pics and a recap on the blog. Our web traffic spiked to its highest numbers yet after the post, and y’all weighed in with 16 comments, several from locals who played a part in showing Bourdain what life in Cajun Country is all about. See our video from the boucherie here.
5. Mind Your Holiday Manners
When Atlanta-based etiquette expert Patti Davis emailed us about writing a column, we said we’d give it a go and see what kind of response it got. Well, y’all made the decision of whether to make Patti a regular contributor for us by responding with 13 comments and a question or two to her holiday party tips. Patti’s No. 1 tip, “Always bring a gift,” was a hit, as was her suggestion to stay away from the rifles. Stay tuned for more etiquette tips from her in the New Year!
6. Ghosts of Huntsville
As part of our “Haunted South” Halloween section, contributor Carol Marks attended a ghost tour in Huntsville, Alabama, and wrote about meeting her town’s resident spirits for us. The story was a hit with 11 comments and inspired many of you to visit Huntsville and sign up for your own ghost tour.
7. King of Cakes
In February, Editor Erin Z. Bass was invited to judge a King Cake Tasting in Baton Rouge. Her post that followed included a list of the winners and some mouthwatering photos of the official food of Mardi Gras in South Louisiana, prompting 11 comments.
8. Anatomy of a Southern Belle
We asked Southern Belle Simple blogger Kate Spears to write a guest post on what it means to be a Southern belle in honor of the 75th anniversary of “Gone With the Wind” over the summer. Her post about what we can learn from Scarlett O’Hara continues to be a favorite and got eight comments, one that said: “The only disappointing thing about this post was that it had to end.”
9. Pimento Cheese, Please!
The first food story to appear on our newly redesigned website in September, “Pimento Cheese, Please!” featured Richmond, Virginia, filmmakers Nicole Lang and Christophile Konstas’ movie about the South’s beloved spread. Former intern Sarah Matalone interviewed Lang about the project, and we announced the film’s following premiers in Oxford and Richmond. Five of you weighed in with your favorite ways to eat pimento cheese, proving the filmmakers’ point that people are fascinated by our humble little cheese spread.
10. Virgin Snow
The story of a boy who loses his neighbor’s dog in the ice by North Carolina writer Susannah Sharp Cecil resonated with readers in November. “Virgin Snow”‘s five comments included “Love it!,” “Wow … a great read, poignant and captivating!” and “I’m waiting for the novel.”
Photo credit: Pimento cheese pic courtesy of Nicole Lang and Christophile Konstas.