Food Well Soil Fest at Truly Living Well by Kelly Jordan

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Weekly potluck dinner turns Atlanta friends into family

The bonds of family and friendship can be created through the sacrament of a regular shared mealtime, and it  doesn’t have to be as seldom or elaborate as the big Thanksgiving event many of us will travel thousands of miles to celebrate this Thursday.

For several years, Owen Mathews has hosted what he calls Potluck Dinner every week at his Midtown studio. It has grown into a broad range of young to early-middle aged professionals of assorted ethnic backgrounds and experiences.

“It’s almost like we have family dinner once a week,” said Sara Le Meitour, who is engaged to another potluck regular.

Southern misperceptions tackled in Decatur author's "Eat Drink Delta"

So much of the South is misunderstood by outsiders, and a trustworthy guide like Susan Puckett helps the rest of us understand where we live. Her new book, “Eat Drink Delta: A Hungry Traveler’s Journey through the Soul of the South” (University of Georgia Press), takes readers on a trip into the complicated culture and food of a strip of Mississippi often maligned for its poverty, obesity and backwardness.

Her ground-level stories of the people and crops, their traditions and dishes, bring to life the coexistence of different races and classes in one of America’s most fertile areas. The Delta is synonymous with blues, and Puckett, a Decatur author of six previous books who served as food editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 18 years, explored the connection between the hard stories and soulful food.