Katie Bryant’s bridesmaids’ brunch celebrated not only her bridesmaids, but many other special ladies in her life. From loving family friends and her dad\’s hair stylist of many years, who were the hostesses, to Katie\’s mother, godmother, aunt, and grandmother, who have been examples of wonderful wives and mothers who shared their china for the event, many ladies were honored.

Katie wanted her brunch to be all about elegance, the Governor’s Mansion, hats, and the essence of Southern style. She has always loved “My Fair Lady,” and she enjoys entertaining. The tone was set when a beautiful invitation with a watercolor illustration of china arrived inside a lace doily stating “Wear your favorite hat.” Invitations, menu cards, place cards, and china description cards were designed by Joanna Keith of Unink Designs.

Ladies in beautiful attire and amazing hats entered the mansion door decorated with a wreath of white hydrangeas hung on a pink silk rosette ribbon to find a greeting table in the front hall with the special china and descriptions. Katie’s own antique Wedgewood china, Gray Friar, is a gift from her great-great-aunt.

Appetizers were served in the front parlor as guests enjoyed posing for photos with one another in the beautiful, historic room amid period antiques.

Brunch was served in the dining room, where Katie’s brother Patrick created table arrangements of colorful blooms in tall cylinders filled with lemons on each end of the banquet table. The hostesses gifted each lady with a vintage brooch that was attached to their napkins with large satin and tulle bows. The delicious meal, including grits, tomato aspic, Morning Glory muffins, and biscuits, was prepared by the hostesses.

A pink ombré, rosette cake with charms for each bridesmaid to pull from a ribbon was served for dessert. Bridesmaids’ gifts were Ronaldo prayer bracelets and pearl drop necklaces designed by Tinkye Cooper of Hattiesburg.

Katie and all her honored ladies enjoyed a morning of Southern elegance, style, and hospitality. Katie says, “My favorite part of the party was visiting with all the women in my life that mean so much to me.”



5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup chopped Canadian bacon
¼ cup chopped green onions

In a saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat until bubbly. Slowly add milk and 1 cup cheese and cook until thick; set aside. In a saucepan, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add bacon and onion and sauté until soft. Add eggs, and cook until set, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper. Fold in mushrooms and cheese sauce. Spoon into greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining 1 cup cheese. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 350-degree preheated oven for 30 minutes. May be made 2 days in advance. Yield: 16 servings

Elise Smith, Brandon



1 pound bulk sausage with sage
1 (8-ounce) package corn muffin mix
1 cup hot cooked grits
1 stick butter, melted

In skillet, brown sausage and drain; set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, combine corn muffin mix, grits, butter, eggs, and milk and mix well. Pour half the grits mixture into greased 2-quart baking dish. Top with sausage. Top with 1 cup cheese. Add remaining half of grits mixture. Top with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake for 45 minutes. Cut in 3″ or 4″ squares.



6 cups V-8 or tomato juice
8 tablespoons unflavored gelatin softened in
1½ cups cold water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste

In a saucepan, scald juice; add softened gelatin. Cool slightly, and add remaining ingredients. Let mixture slightly jell, and pour into 9 x 13-inch dish or individual molds. Chill until firm. Serve with a teaspoon of mayonnaise, and garnish with a sliced olive. Yield: 12 servings

Elise Smith, Brandon



1½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup honey

In a blender, combine lemon zest and juice, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Process until blended. With blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Drizzle over fresh seasonal fruit. Yield: 1½ cups

Southern Lady Magazine



4 cups all-purpose flour
2½ cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
2 cups vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together; set aside. With mixer, beat eggs just until smooth. Add oil and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients. Stir in carrots, raisins, coconut, fruit, and pecans. Spoon into greased muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 3 dozen large or 6 dozen small muffins

Notably Nashville, Nashville Junior League



1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups cake flour, sifted 2½ teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans, and line with wax paper. Grease and flour wax paper; set pans aside. With mixer on medium speed, beat shortening until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to shortening mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix after each addition. Stir in flavoring. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks. With a bread knife, slice layers in half horizontally to make 6 layers. Place 1 layer cut side up on a cake plate; spread with 2½ tablespoons preserves. Repeat procedure with remaining 5 layers and preserves, omitting preserves on top layer.

2½ cups butter, softened
6 tablespoons lemon juice

With mixer on medium speed, beat butter, lemon juice, and zest until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until frosting is spreading consistency. Divide frosting into 4 parts. Tint 1 part darkest shade. Tint 1 part medium shade. Tint 2 parts lightest shade. Ice cake with a thin layer of lightest shade of frosting. Using a large star tip, pipe darkest shade of frosting in large rosettes around the bottom third of the cake. Next pipe a row of rosettes with the medium shade of frosting around the middle of the cake. Using the lightest shade of frosting, pipe rosettes around the top of the cake and pipe rosettes on top of cake.

From Among Friends, Tracey Carter