About: Katie Howerton
Originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Katie Howerton moved to Jackson in 2011 to study Graphic Design and Drawing at Union University. She discovered Our Jackson Home in January 2015 and used it as a guinea pig for her senior design project, creating the first issue of Our Jackson Home: The Magazine. After graduating she was given leadership over Our Jackson Home at theCO, where she now runs the blog, designs the magazine, and coordinates events. She and her husband Jordan live in Midtown and are active members of City Fellowship Baptist Church.
Check out Katie's latest contributions to Our Jackson Home:
Confession: I used to love instant grits. Perhaps that’s not a huge deal to those of you who don’t care much for grits, but to those of you who grew up in the deep South, you have every right to “tisk-tisk” me. On the other side of a few culinary experiences, I now understand the miles of distance between instant grits and the real thing—you know, slow-cooked, creamy, and enough butter to remind you that ignorance is bliss. And what goes better with a big bowl of grits than some juicy shrimp?
It’s mid-afternoon on St. Patrick’s Day, and West Alley BBQ is a beehive. Residual customers grab a late lunch, employees make preparations in anticipation of a busy evening, and I sit to one side, shuffling through my bag to find a notepad. I am late for the interview, but I had told her I would be. When I walked in, the fellow said she was waiting for me, which I tried not to feel bad about, knowing neither he nor she was upset.
With Easter kicking off the month, April is bound to be full of spring fun, from a few special chances for you to get outside with the fam and plenty of local music opps, too. And don't forget to be at our 6th edition of A Night of Storytelling on the 13th, too!
WOW. We did it. We ate at 100 local restaurants. It seems like just yesterday we were launching this fun campaign to #eatlocal on that first day of spring in 2016. Here we are, two years later, glad for all we've learned about our city along the way and our bellies hungry to return to some new favorite spots. Enjoy this final #OurJacksonTable review by Katie Howerton of the last few restaurants we visited this winter.
March means spring, and for Jackson, that means more races, concerts, shows, and overall fun for our community. Find out what special guests are heading to West Tennessee this month, what organizations you can support, and how your family can celebrate St. Patrick's Day. (It's on a Saturday this year!)
Generally speaking, January is known as the reject-event month following the glitz and glam of the holiday season, but we're determined to make the most of it, especially with our new year's resolutions fresh on our minds. Here are five events we're especially excited so that our January is full of meaning and fun, but make sure to check out our full community calendar here.
2017 has been a year to remember, and much of that is thanks to our talented contributors who have poured themselves into telling the stories of Jackson in such a compelling way that they become part of our lives. With that, we are proud to share this year's top ten stories from our blog, encouraging you to read any you missed and to high-five the writers, photographers, and subjects featured.
This fall we cozied up at some favorite local spots for warm meals, including a handful of food trucks and a couple of new businesses, too! If you're unsure where to go for dinner tonight, check out Katie Howerton's reviews below, then join us for our last season of #OurJacksonTable this winter as we hit 100 local restaurant visits.
It’s been six years now since I enjoyed a week’s vacation with my family in London, England. Before visiting I had the suspicion that I was a true Brit at heart, between my Beatles addiction, affinity for a hearty breakfast, and wardrobe of heavy layers and muted colors, but upon landing at the Nashville airport, Styrofoam cup empty from a poor rendition of the real Earl Grey in which I had indulged myself for the last week at every opportunity, I knew I would forever miss that place.
The Duncan family greets you as a soon as you arrive. At first you see a quaint gift shop atop a hill, and below to the left, you see a few rows of trees of the first farm. As your wonder begins to take over, you get closer to that tiny shop, and you notice they have hot cocoa for you to enjoy right there on the doorstep. You walk in, and the shop explodes with color and warmth. There are beautiful homemade wreaths, ornaments, and holiday decor that just seem to resonate in a place you’ve long forgotten.
There is nothing quite like southern suburbia. It’s filled with people who just want to sit you down and offer you a proper sweet tea, cars nearly big enough to fly to space, and monograms embellishing almost everything you own. Like most of you readers, I was born and raised in Jackson, Tennessee. I grew up with two loving and supportive parents, a beautiful nanny whom I would come to know as family, a hilarious sister two years younger than me, and a huge black lab named Winston. (He was named this after the prime minister Winston Churchill, of course.)
We've got the perfect selection of local goodies that make for unique gifts and even better entertaining ideas. Check out details below.
Eating is an incredibly sacramental act. In fact a feast, regularly celebrated, is one of the universally recognized rites of the Christian Church. It can be a reminder of our lack of complete self-sufficiency. We need things outside ourselves in order to survive even on the most basic of levels. The sacred is also something that is meant to be experienced with other people. Meals are often communal, and I would argue that the best meals are always shared experiences. No matter how good the food is it is always better shared with other people
We are so proud of the dozens of local students who submitted their artwork and poetry to our contest in collaboration with the Jackson International Food & Art Festival! If you missed the festival last weekend, make sure to check out our winners in this virtual gallery, then go see them for yourself at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital's new gallery later this month.
This summer was full of lots of food trucks, a few meals out, and a whole bunch of trips to the farmers' market, and we had a blast. Check out Katie Howerton's review of our summer 2017 #OurJacksonTable dozen, and join us in trying even more local restaurants this fall!
Call me crazy, but my first time ever at a state fair was Friday, September 15, 2017. Yep. Last week. Perhaps I was hidden from this curious world throughout my childhood because my parents prioritized safety and sanitation, two things fairs aren't known for; but germs and fire hazards aside, I stepped onto the Jackson Fairgrounds on Friday night not sure of what to expect.
We've all been there: It's a Friday night, and you're craving a burger like nobody's business. Fast food won't suffice, and while local staples like Burger Barn always hit the spot, you're looking for something a little more unique. It begs the question: What is Jackson's best burger? Well, in honor of the upcoming National Cheeseburger Day, we're taking you on a tour of three of Jackson's most creative and tasty burgers—but only you can decide which reigns supreme!
Our second annual celebration of 731Day was an absolute blast, and Shelby Kee and Katie Howerton have put together this highlight video to show you how much fun we have! Go ahead and mark your calendars for next year; Tuesday, July 31 will come faster than you think! Featuring "Rebels" by Coopertheband.
It's been another great season of flavors classic and adventurous, hot and cold, casual and elite. Check out Katie Howerton's review of our spring 2017 #OurJacksonTable dozen, and join us in trying even more local restaurants, food trucks, and snack shacks this summer!
Confession: I don't love barbecue. I know. Shameful. I grew up in the South and everything, but barbecue isn't something I crave—but sometimes I wonder if that's because my tastes have for so long settled for whatever is slopped on a bun at a sporting event, church picnic, or drive-thru. Whether a barbecue fan or not, it can't be denied that West Tennessee is home to some of the nation's best, and interpretations of the vague title continue to surprise and impress locals and visitors alike.
Having been a hairstylist for nearly sixteen years, Tamara Reed takes pride in beautifying her clients with the latest hairstyles. And with a keen eye for fashion, she chose to incorporate more options for clients at her salon, Studio 31. Tamara didn’t stop there, though. Her love for fragrance influenced her to turn an idea into a reality, which was creating her very own perfume line. This soft, elegant aroma is an oil-based perfume called Aramat.
We are proud to bring you our very first edition of the #OJHjournal—Vol. 3, Issue 1: Identity. Order your copy or subscribe today at our shop online or at theCO. (Don't forget—individual issues are now $6 and subscriptions just $20!) This April-March 2017 journal will be available April 7, premiering at A Night of Storytelling, Vol. 3.
As I walked into the bustling and brightly colored waiting room of Pat Brown’s dance studio, I was immediately hit by a rush of memories from my days in leotards and tights. I heard the combinations being called out with extreme zeal in the studio, an extremely familiar sound for the sixty dancers who make up the Ballet Arts of Jackson troupe. The older group of dancers were hard at work rehearsing a routine to Thriller for a Halloween event while younger girls peeked in from the hallway.
In his essay collection Heretics, G.K. Chesterton extols, “Once men sang around a table together in chorus. Now one man sings alone, for the absurd reason he can sing better.” In other words, as our scientific age has grown in competency and achievement we have become isolated from the rootedness which gave rise to our confidence in the first place—experts in everything but being human. Can there be any question this is more true today than when Chesterton wrote almost a century ago?
She made the best mincemeat pie,” Cousin Diane recalled, and everyone nodded. The minister for the funeral service had asked what made Janet Bennett unique, and this couldn’t be left off the list. Together with her love of Jeopardy, her skills at sewing clothes for the family, and her impeccable penmanship, the mincemeat pie stood out as an example of Grandma Bennett’s talent, service, and love. Grandma Bennett was a great cook.
2016 has been full of a lot of Our Jackson Home firsts and the celebration of growth throughout our second year. Check out this stop motion by Katie Howerton highlighting some of our favorite moments. Featuring "Wolves" by Asha Moody of Small Town Big Sound.
After you crank your car down from the sixty-five miles-per-hour speed limit, you’ll make a turn onto a shaded, gravel road, and if you are lucky you’ll catch your first glimpse of the exotic: radiant peacocks, enormous camels, ancient buffalo, and vibrant zebras. In a way, you will feel that you have just stepped into a new world filled with wonder and excitement. And you’ve only just pulled in. Tennessee’s only drive-through safari park is truly a captivating place.
We've got the perfect selection of local gifts that will cover everyone on your list. Check out details below.
“Crows are family.” This wasn’t precisely the first utterance from Denton Parkins, but it was certainly the most arresting. He’d already gone through a list of remedies for crows and mice, his major competitors in the pumpkin and strawberry market. Crows, it seems, are wily creatures and sociable; he proposes to me that, “the crows scope us out.” I sense that he and the crows, from long dwelling together, have become familiar with one another’s faces.
Some might say Jackson has its fair share of Mexican restaurants, and now that food trucks keep popping up, it seems impossible to decide where to go when you're in the mood for a good taco. While plenty of our local establishments have excellent options, a few have dipped their toes into more daring ingredients, bold flavors, and unconventional combinations.