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On the back burner

Welcome summer. We'd have bet you rolled into town weeks ago.

Whatever the season, we do a lot of cooking over the weekend, as a rule, but this two-day time off may send us in search of a burger "fix" closer than Bay St. Louis (you always and ever will remain my favorite, dear Swamp Burger). Might even spend some gas on a trip to Hattiesburg for fried green tomatoes at one of Robert St. John's restaurants there. You met him a million posts ago just before his new cookbook "New South Grilling" was released, and his fried greens are legend.

Cornbread Salad definitely is on the weekend agenda. This concoction combines the most remarkably compatible flavors, sort of like a BLT in salad form. Even newsroom colleagues -- notorious gobblers of anything remotely edible -- deserve a taste of this. Should you pay this post a visit for the recipe, while you're there -- or here, for that matter -- leave us some ideas about how you use Jiffy. Take for example the person who told us how they make a kind of chili pie simply by plopping gobs of mixed up Jiffy on top of leftover chili and pushing it all into the oven to bake. The chili makes the topping a little oogy, the Jiffy benefits from the chili juices. Delish, but no details.

We anticipate a report from Jackson County about a cookbook brewing over there, and speaking of cookbooks, we have in our trusty tote bag a huge and heavy one from the folk's at Brennan's in New Orleans. If you haven't had breakfast there, as every tourist does, you really must. And this book truly is a beauty, just not something you'd use for everyday meal preparation. These recipes are dinner-party ready. More about the book on the Your Life food pages of the Sun Herald next Wednesday.

And we're also in the market for a grill/smoker to fit our particular lifestyle, but that's more a dream weekend pursuit than an actual plan.

All righty then, drop in at the "comment" button and tell us what plans you have. Who knows what you might inspire.

Photo by Paul Rubier/Miami Herald/MCT