A PLACE TO CALL HOME
By Ethan Payne
“When I moved to Mississippi in 1995, I became a quick regular at Bottletree Bakery, just off the square, across from the church that my family would subsequently join. At that low counter, with a thick china mug in hand, I ate scones pocked with crystallized nuggets of ginger and pored over grad school texts. I befriended the charming misfits and dreamers who poured refills and stared at their shoes and beamed guileless smiles. And then I quit the place. Because I got jaded. Because I got busy.”
—John T. Edge, “Oaxaca Wreck”
John T. Edge, the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and author of The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South, has served as an Oxford American food columnist since 1997; under the shingle “Local Fare,” he interrogates trends, profiles innovative figures, and upends assumptions (sometimes his own previous assumptions) with passion, style, and intelligence. In his latest column, “Oaxaca Wreck,” he writes about his injury in a car accident and the discovery that “I had not wholly embraced my hometown of Oxford or my place in it.”
For this video, filmmaker Ethan Payne interviewed Edge and Cynthia Gerlach, owner of Bottletree Bakery in Oxford, Mississippi, to discuss how the bakery fosters a sense of home in the community.
Camera/Sound/Edit: Ethan Payne
Produced with funding from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts
For more, read “Oaxaca Wreck” by John T. Edge, published in the Spring 2019 issue.