In 2002, Chris Paulk came home to start a new venture on his family’s farm and muscadine vineyard: creating products made from muscadines that would highlight their flavor and health benefits.
Today, Paulk’s Pride is a line of dietary supplements, juices, and jellies, and Chris employs 8-10 people year-round at his manufacturing facility located in the middle of Paulk Vineyards.
People are always amazed to see what’s hidden away in our rural county. Driving through 600 acres of muscadine vines makes folks feel as if they’ve been transported to a southern version of Napa Valley!
Processing such unique fruit requires some impressive equipment, beginning with presses which separate the juice from the seeds and skins, to a state-of-the-art bottling line to fill bottles with that juice, to many other machines which turn the seeds and skins into dietary supplements.
Making the jellies has become a joint effort, as The Southern Mercantile actually produces Paulk’s Pride Muscadine Jelly, Sauce, and Preserves, and they’re available in our store!
If you’re interested in Paulk’s Pride Muscadine Juices or supplements, visit paulkspride.com. You can learn more about the Paulk Family and Paulk Vineyards by going to paulkvineyards.com.
And, yes, Chris is Jorjanne’s husband! You can read more about their story in Jorjanne’s blogs "Muscadines, Grandma, & a Husband" or "Faithful in the Little Things".
In honor of Mother's Day this weekend, I thought I would share one of my Mom's favorite recipes! There are two dishes that come to mind when I think about her; Sweet Potato Souffle and Buttermilk Salad. Both of these dishes seem to make it to every family gathering or holiday meal--usually per request of one of my cousins! Since summer is upon us, I thought I'd share her sweet and simple Buttermilk Salad Recipe.
Since my mother has made this recipe my whole life, I've never had to! She let me borrow her coveted Big Creek Church Cookbook for me to attempt it myself. This book has been well loved over the years, with paper clips marking her favorite recipes.
All you need are four simple ingredients to make this refreshing treat. In our family, this "salad" is a part of the meal, not dessert. Although it may look deceiving, this definitely pairs well with fresh peas and cornbread.
It wasn't until I started to make the recipe that I realize my Nana was the one who submitted this selection! Come to find out, Nana made this for her family and now my Mom carries on the tradition.
It only takes a few minutes to whip up, but you must let it set up overnight. My mom likes hers to be extra fluffy, so she uses 16 oz. of Cool Whip rather than 8 oz. If you think you'd like it to be tart, use two cups of buttermilk. If not, just use one!
If my mother had made it, it wouldn't be so lumpy. If my mother had made it, it would be a little fluffier! Some things are just best left to Mom.
I am so thankful to come from a long line of women who love to cook and serve. If you'd like to reminisce with us about our Mothers a little more, check out our Mother Memories blog! I hope you'll try this recipe as well as some of the others we've shared. Don't forget, you can always check out our Recipe Archive when you are in need of a new one to try!
A couple of weeks ago we headed to Braselton, Georgia to set up shop at the Braselton Antique and Artisan Festival. We had a beautiful start to the weekend with warm, sunny weather. Perfect for an outdoor venue.
An outdoor set up is a little different for us. A tent, dirt floor, and no walls posed a small challenge that we eagerly met. The outcome of this design challenge was a success as we ended up with a charming little space filled with cool vintage finds.
We embraced the atmosphere of being outdoors and brought plenty of garden items, vintage tools and porch & patio decor.
We livened up our space with silk sunflowers and a good assortment of our faux pot plants and succulents.
This was the first show that we were able to show off our line of dresses from Mata Traders. Mata is a fairtrade business that provides women in India and Nepal with employment. They provide a fair wage, as well as support in learing life skills to better care for themselves and their families. We are thrilled to be partnering with this company! Check out their website for more information about their mission and check out the selection of beautiful dresses in our store!
Tara and Roxie enjoyed getting to model their favorites!
Necklaces, by Sweet Auburn Studio, made from vintage pocket knives are the perfect accessory sass up our dresses by Mata Traders. We are thrilled to be adding Leigh Ann Harris, the designer and creator of Sweet Auburn, to our talented list of Southern Mercantile Makers! You can check out a selection of her work in the store and, don't worry, there is more to come!
These sweet gold bells are our new favorites! They are perfect to hang in the garden, in a wreath on your front door, or group on top of your favorite lantern. They are in stock and available in the store!
While we had great weather on Friday and Saturday, our luck ran out on Sunday. It rained ALL day. We made the best of it and had a good time, until the very end! That's just the chance you take with an outdoor venue!
Our next travels will take us to Augusta, GA and then to Atlanta. After that, we'll be taking a little travel break until the fall. If you haven't made it out to see us yet, we hope to meet you in the coming weeks!
With mother's day approaching I thought it would be appropriate to write a quick tribute to all of you mothers out there. While I am not a mother myself, I am blessed to come from a line of wonderful women who have made wonderful mothers. In addition to my own loving mother, I grew up experiencing the mothering love of grandmothers, aunts and cousins, even teachers and employers, all who helped shape me, and all who helped "mother" me into who I am today.
All mothers are a powerful influence on their children in different ways. Some with a soft and quiet strength, some with loud and boisterous ways of filling life with so much fun. Most all have the heart of a mighty warrior, ready to go to battle for their children, through prayer, sacrifice and an unfailing love outmatched only by our heavenly father. I found a sweet poem that sums up all that a mother should be.
In growing older you realize that moms are not only for teaching life skills, washing clothes, and cooking supper. They are your place of refuge, your one true, unfailing friend. If you are lucky enough to still have your mom or grandma, make it a point to let her know how special she is! I know that there are some of you out there that may not have been blessed with a caring mother like the one described above. If the story of your life is not so happy, take heart in knowing that the legacy of women in your family can start over with you! There are many mother substitutes that would be overjoyed to pour their love and knowledge into you. We women would be nothing if not for the strong women that went before us, let's make sure they know how thankful we are for them this Mother's Day!
And now for the shameless plug! Need some gift ideas for Mom? We've got some great options in the store, including this sweet Mother's Day Gift Package compiled of a few of our favorites from Rifle Paper Company and Pre de Provance. Our first five customers to order a mothers day gift will recieve a Free mother's day card by Rifle Paper Company. Just let us know in the notes that you are purchasing for your mom! Happy shopping and Happy Mother's Day!
As you probably know by now, my husband’s family grows muscadines, America’s native grape and “Superfruit of the South!” If you didn’t know, be sure to read my blog posts, Muscadines, Grandma, and a Husband or Faithful in the Little Things. If you’ve read these, you’ll know muscadines are so inherently southern and have been such a large part of my life. The first role muscadines played for me as an adult was actually at my wedding. We wove muscadine vines into an arch to use as a backdrop for our vows, and we served Muscadine Punch.
Chris and I got married on Memorial Day weekend, which signals the end of spring and the start of summer. I don’t know about where you live, but around here, temperatures are already rising into the upper 80s and low 90s. We had a very mild winter, but it’s as if we’ve skipped spring altogether and headed right into summer weather!
Of course, this is not only the season for weddings, but also showers, Mother's Day gatherings, and graduation parties, not to mention impromptu cookouts and porch parties. And, here in the South, although you can of course serve sweet tea and lemonade, no gathering is complete without some sort of punch! Muscadine Punch is so easy, you can pour it up at the last minute! Just combine one bottle (750ml) of Muscadine Juice with a 2-liter bottle of ginger ale and add ice. My mother-in-law made ice rings with pansies for our wedding reception, or you can also float pieces of fruit to dress it up.
If your soiree is more appropriate for a sangria, we also have a Muscadine Sangria Recipe Card! Visit our Recipe Archive to print your copy.
We served Muscadine Sangria at a Ladies’ Night Out event we hosted recently, and everyone had a fit over it! I'm sure your guests will, too!
On the last Beech Street Bungalow update, I shared our progress in the kitchen. Since then, we are excited to say that we have moved in! This means we are living in a construction zone, but it is so nice to finally have our own little nest.
We had quite a time drawing up our master bathroom, but I had no trouble at all dreaming it up. When you get down to the nitty gritty of planing out a solid floor plan, you realize that the space you thought was plenty of room for a toilet turns out to only be half of the space you need. The area for the bathroom we were working with was limited in order to avoid relocating an exterior door. The space was also made a bit tricky due to the location of a window, keeping the brick along the bottom left wall, and including a bathroom door (original re-located glass french doors to be exact) and closet door. After hours upon hours of trying different layouts, we finally agreed on one we thought would work.
Now, the fun part. Remember all that dreaming I was doing before the drawing got in the way? Back to that. I loved the look of the subway tile with the dark grout. I thought it was so classic, yet edgy! I also loved the gold hardware and fixtures. Phillip wouldn't let me use gold in the kitchen (he thought it was a bit trendy), so he compromised with the master bath. Here were my pinterest inspirations for the look I was going for in our bathroom.
You may not know this about me, but I'm pretty crafty. When we talked about doing a tile shower, I was like, "Yeah, I can do that." So confident, and so mistaken. Luckily, my Dad has tiled a shower or two in the past, so he agreed to help me! With a handy-dandy tile book, his past experience, and my determination - we tiled our shower. Let me just tell you, it was miserable.
It was about as fun as it looks. I was so involved that I totally forgot to take pictures along the way. With only being able to work on it two days out of the week, it took us almost two months to completely finish the shower. Knowing what I know now, I would have chosen a larger tile and built a smaller shower. Haha! It is full of imperfections (as you can imagine), but honestly, I do love our shower.
Here's a look at the bathroom once it was sheetrocked, somewhat painted and tiled.
The bathroom fixtures that I chose were Champagne Bronze by Delta. This is similar to gold, but much softer, giving you the gold look. The hardest thing to pick out for our bathroom was the lights! I knew we would have can lights, but I really wanted sconces on either side of the mirror. Trying to find a sconce that matched the finish of our fixtures was impossible! Finally, I took a chance and just ordered the lights that I liked. When they came in, I realized that they were in fact the wrong color. Roxie suggested spray painting them rather than heading back to my search. This made me nervous, considering how expensive lights are these days, but I finally decided to give it a shot. The closest match in spray paint that I could find was a shade of Rust-Oleum Metallic. I taped up the parts that didn't need to be painted and sprayed away! Below you can see the difference in the Champagne Bronze and the original color of the light fixtures.
I thought that the lights turned out beautifully! It still isn't an exact match, but it is much better than the original finish. We chose to use the same cabinets and counter tops as in the kitchen, so those will look familiar to you.
Now, here is a look at our finished master bathroom! Notice the glass french doors--one set was relocated here from the living room!
I love the paint color for this room, Artistic Taupe by Sherwin Williams. Phillip wasn't sure about it at first, but he loves it now! I think it is the perfect complement to the bright white trim, gold fixtures and hardwood floors.
Here's a closer look at the Champagne Bronze fixtures with our tile and quartz counters.
The hardware on the cabinets was our finishing touch to the master bath.
You probably don't remember, but we decided to push into the hallway in order to add a master closet. This choice made the most sense because all we had to do for it to work was make the opening to the kitchen a bit smaller. Phillip added custom built-ins to maximize our hanging and storage space.
There you have it. Our master bath was a slow process but well worth the wait. The guest bathroom will also have tile, but after this, my tiling days are over! The master bath was a very educational experience for me, and though I joke about it, it is nice to gain a skill like tiling. I am so thankful to be as far along as we are, but I cannot wait for it to be completely finished. We are enjoying life in town, and Breeze sure does love our back yard.
Last week made it an entire year that we have been working on our home. After some reflection, I have realized that I have allowed the last year of my life to revolve around a house. Though it seems (and to some extent is) honorable and good to work so hard towards building a home, I believe that I have allowed this renovation to steal my purpose and joy this past year. Luckily, I have realized the effect it has had on me and have made a decision to now put people first. The house can wait, loving people cannot. Though it seems as if I have fallen short this past year at loving the people around me, I will strive to love them even better than before in the years to come. It is a fine line finding a balance between the responsibilities and stressors of everyday life and living as Jesus calls us to. I am thankful for His grace and all of the support Phillip and I have had throughout this journey. We look forward to the day when our home is used as a tool to love others. Until then, we will make time for the people around us - including each other.
Here in the South, no Easter meal is complete without deviled eggs. In fact, most meals are not complete without deviled eggs. And, they must be sprinkled with paprika. Growing up, I never saw my mother use paprika for anything other than to garnish deviled eggs and potato salad.
Although I am not much of a fan of deviled eggs - or eggs in general - somehow, I have become the official “deviled-egg maker” for Easter lunch at my grandmother’s. The first time I was asked to bring the deviled eggs, I had never actually made deviled eggs before. Since then, I have not only learned to make traditional deviled eggs, but also some delicious variations. I have even found a deviled egg recipe I like to eat - Blue Cheese and Bacon Deviled Eggs!
I am sharing the recipe with you, just in case you are feeling adventurous and want to try something new for Easter! You find this recipe card, and other delicious recipes, in our recipe archive.
I have also discovered that some people are quite purists when it comes to their deviled eggs. “Why in the world would you put olives on a perfectly good deviled egg?” is a question I have actually had to answer. Alas, I now know to bring two plates of deviled eggs - with labels to warn my brother-in-law, among other purists.
Now I'll share with you my simple Southern classic recipe:
Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs
6 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons pickle relish
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop out yolks into a medium sized bowl. Use a fork to crumble and mash yolks. Add mayonnaise, pickle relish, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir together. Scoop yolk mixture into empty egg white halves. (For a prettier presentation, use a piping bag and star tip to pipe mixture into egg white halves.) Sprinkle paprika on top.
If you need more southern cooking inspiration for your Easter feast, we reccomend "Dinner on the Grounds" by fellow Georgian, James Farmer. You are sure to find a recipe for the perfect southern dish for your gathering! Pick up one of our cute Easter towels while you are in the store. They make perfect hostess gifts!
Happy Easter Y'all, hope it is a good one!
A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves on the road again, headed to Mobile, AL. We set up shop at Vintage Market Days of Mobile, a show that has become a bi-annual event there.
This show had a garden theme so we packed plenty of old windows, vintage pots, plant stands, and garden furniture. We decked out our old windows with a few of our favorite wreaths, made by Roxie, Terry and Aunt Janet.
Little pots, votive holders and vintage garden accessories were tucked away throughout the booth, just waiting to be discovered by treasure hunters!
Our handmade flower crowns were on display and caused quite a stir! These are on trend for spring and are perfect for weddings, graduation pictures, and fun parties! You can check out our selelction of handmade flower crowns in the store. We are happy to chat with you about a custom flower crown for your event, just shoot us an email!
We are expanding our little collection of handmade wedding items. Be sure to check out our hand embroidered vintage hankies and our handmade ringbearer pillows HERE.
We were so excited to make friends with LeeAnn from Sweet Auburn Studio while we were in Birmingham and we are now carrying a selection of her work. Her necklaces made from vintage pocket knives stole Roxie's heart! Keep and eye on the website as she will be showing up as our newest Southern Mercantile Maker!
Our antique elevator indicator was quite an attention grabber and one of the coolest treasures we have found!
We're having so much fun on the road, but must admit we are glad to be home for a few weeks! Our next trip will take us to Braselton, GA April 21-23. You can always keep up with our schedule on our events page! We hope to see you at one of our next stops or come see us anytime in Ocilla, GA!
With Easter around the corner, I started thinking about what recipe to share with y’all. A couple of years ago, I wrote about Deviled Eggs. You can even find our Blue Cheese and Bacon Deviled Eggs Recipe Card in our Recipe Archive.
One of my favorite desserts has always been carrot cake. I mean, what better way to get your veggies than in dessert? Apparently, carrot cake has been around for centuries in Europe. Carrots were used to sweeten the cake instead of sugar, which was much more expensive. It became popular in the 1960s-70s in the United States. As is the case with so many things, here in the South, we’ve perfected carrot cake and made it our own. I’m not sure if carrot cake is a traditional Easter dessert for everyone, but it certainly is in my southern family!
I’ve seen carrot cakes decorated with cute little carrots made from marzipan or icing, as well as some that include candied ginger for a little extra zing, but my favorite is generously iced with the perfect cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with extra pecans or walnuts on top! Of course, like any cake, it’s imperative that carrot cake be moist. There’s not much worse than a dry cake. I enjoy a glass of milk with a piece of cake, but I don’t want to need the glass of milk to wash it down!
This recipe is precisely that perfect balance of moist cake and sweet, creamy frosting. Brenda, Roxie’s mother, created this cake for Terry, Roxie’s father, after he went wild over the carrot cake at the Smithsonian Museum restaurant one summer. She tried different recipes, then put together a patchwork of a recipe by combining parts of several to come up with the one Terry thought was wonderful. Terry likes to see and taste what is in the cake, so the pecans aren’t chopped very fine. Using crushed pineapple helps keep the cake moist, and Brenda is known for ensuring there is plenty of frosting to go with each bite of cake. She also saves a step and a bit of time by freezing the grated carrots when they’re close to going out of date, so she can be ready to make a carrot cake whenever she wants.
Click here to go to our Recipe Archive to find the Carrot Cake Recipe Card to print! We’d love to know if you use Brenda’s Carrot Cake recipe this Easter or any other time, for that matter! Take a picture and tag us on Facebook, so we can celebrate with you! If you have any other tips or ideas for Easter, feel free to share those with us, too!
The first weekend in March we traveled to Birmingham, AL to be a part of Cottontails Village, a Birmingham tradition for the last 25 years. After a late night drive on Wednesday, and a long set up day on Thursday, we ended up with a beautiful result!
We carefully chose our favorites for Spring to fill our Southern Mercantile
mini-shop. We had a blast choosing fun pops of floral and bright colors to fill our space.
We took a nice collection of old windows to spruce up the walls. We are happy to announce that all of our old beauties went home with happy treasure hunters!
The peach and white floral dish towel turned out to be one of our favorites, and you can now shop this look online!
With this being our first Spring show, it gave us an opportunity to showcase our handmade wedding items! We completely sold out of our Vintage embroidered hankies, but don’t worry, we will be restocking soon! Our flower crowns turned out to be a hit as well. Did you know that we will do custom orders? Just shoot us an email to strike up a conversation!
We can’t go anywhere without our favorite Maileg bunnies and Jellycat friends. The Jellycats were a hit with our customers, young and old, perfect for Easter baskets!
Shop our Cottontails selection now!
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