This year for Mother’s Day, we’ve got you covered with three products that will take you from nibble to sweet finish and all with recipes that came from mom (or grandmom).
Southern Straws Cheese Straws
Margaret and Neal Amos, mother and son bakers, prepare made-from-scratch bite-size cheese straws in their commercial kitchen in Columbus. Margaret started the business in 2011 and when Neal graduated from college, he joined her. Together they make crisp little wafers using a recipe based on one Margaret learned from her mother. The Amos’s offer original, mild and spicy versions, with the spicy getting just a little extra kick from some additional cayenne. No overwhelming heat here. We enjoyed them all and appreciated that the mild straws were right for those who swear they’ll never touch anything spicy. Their cheese straws have been finalists in several Flavor of Georgia competitions, and the Amos's bring them to events all over the state. In June, you’ll find them at Virginia-Highland’s Summerfest. Last Labor Day, you might have nibbled on their products at the Decatur Book Festival.
Straws come in 3- and 5-ounce individual packages as well as gift tins. Two 5-ounce packs are $20, four 3-ounce packs are $24. Available at Boxwoods Gardens & Gifts, Periodot, Strippaggio and Sherlock’s Wine Merchants or at southernstraws.com.
Chicken Lady BBQ Sauce
Three generations of Newton women are the heart of Minnie’s, a Columbus, Georgia, meat-and-three. The restaurant serves lunch six days a week in the city’s Uptown neighborhood, the central business district near the banks of the Chattahoochee. Minnie Newton opened her namesake restaurant in 1988 and daughter Rosie soon became part of the business. Now granddaughter Melinda is known as the “Chicken Lady” and is widely acclaimed for making the “best fried chicken in Georgia.” Lucky us, the family is sharing their BBQ sauce with those of us who can’t drop in for lunch. We sampled the original which had plenty of kick and the hot version which was just that - hot. Both are so tasty we even enjoyed using them to top a serving Minnie’s cornbread dressing which is available frozen, again for those of us who can't enjoy lunch in the restaurant. Need to clean up after your meal? The Chicken Lady has branched into sweet potato and peach cobbler foaming hand soaps, too.
$5.99 per 16-ounce bottle. Available at Piggly Wiggly and Publix stores or online at chickenlady.shop. If it’s not in your store, you can ask the grocery manager to stock it for you.
Olushola Nizam and Robert Holmes named their Smyrna-based candy making business for Mattie Lee Jenkins, Nizam’s grandmother. We stopped at their booth at the Green Market at Piedmont Park and heard the story of Mattie and her zest for life. She died just this year two months shy of reaching her 102nd birthday. It was her recipes that inspired Nizam and Holmes to begin their business and they opened it last year. We sampled white chocolate clusters and dark and milk chocolate clusters with a variety of nuts and dried fruits. They make solid chocolates as well with special designs for all holidays and occasions, and especially for Mother's Day.
$10 for a solid chocolate “LOVE,” “MOM” or a dozen roses. Available at the Green Market at Piedmont Park and online at mattieschocolate.com.