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Day 31 - Jackson, Mississippi

Like I told ya Friday, Ziggy and I took a like little ride on the E.E. Smith. This is the Tow Boat I worked on for 3 years while in college. It was an experience I'll never forget. During the Summer months, besides during wirk on the barges and going in an out of locks and dams, we painted and painted and did more painting.

On the way into Jackson, I told Ziggy that Mississippi was the 20th state in the USA and it became a state on December 10, 1817. When we got into Jackson, I thought they were having some kind of festival. There was a bunch of kids in tutus and they were all dancing in a circle. I found out later that it was the USA International Ballet Competition week. There were people from all over the world. Ziggy reached in her bag and instead of pulling a hat out, she pulled this out and put it on. Everyone went nuts!

I told Ziggy that I hope she wasn't wearing that around Mississippi and she just winked at me. What a pistol!

We ran into subscriber Roy M. from Mississippi and he told us we had to have some Mississippi Fried Catfish from the Delta. Ziggy's eyes bugged out and she meowed, "You say fish?"

We took Roy's advice and had some Mississippi Fried Catfish from the Delta and Mississippi Mud Cake. Which one was dessert? Here's the recipes.

Mississippi Fried Catfish
Serves 2 to 4

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets

Vegetable oil for frying.

Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Coat farm-raised catfish with mixture, shaking off excess.

Fill deep pot or 12-inch skillet half full with vegetable oil. Heat to 350°F. Add catfish in single layer, and fry until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes, depending on size. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Mississippi Mud Cake (Pie)
Serves 8 to 12

One gooey 9-inch round cake for 6 or more

For the cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan
1 1/2 cups alkalized cocoa
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups marshmallows

For the topping
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup alkalized cocoa
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 sticks butter, melted and cooled

MAKE THE CAKE
Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan.

Sift together the flour and cocoa. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Add the chopped pecans and the vanilla extract and continue mixing until combined.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the cake and sprinkle the top with the marshmallows, then return it to the oven and continue baking until the marshmallows melt and start to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan set on a rack.

MAKE THE TOPPING
Sift together the confectioners' sugar and the cocoa into a medium bowl. Add the pecans, evaporated milk, and melted butter, and mix until combined.

TO SERVE
Slice the cake into wedges to serve, and drizzle topping over cake as desired. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Here's Mississippi Mud Pie in your eye.

_______________________________

Before we left, we asked the waiter what it meant to him to be an American. He said, "I am working as a waiter to put myself through school. I am studying to become a doctor. America provides many opportunities and if you work hard enough, you can fulfill just about any dream you have. But you have to work and work hard."

We thanked him and wished him the best. We're off to Indiana for tomorrow and have to catch a flight. So, with that said, see ya in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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