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From the Curious Cook :: Field Trip

Mon, June 25, 2012

A few weeks ago, a Coton Colors team made up of Laura, Paige, Eric, and I took a field trip to Norman Park, Georgia to meet with Lauri Jo Bennett. Lauri Jo has agreed to bottle Big Milt’s BBQ Sauce {a recipe featured in The Happy Everything Cookbook} and we made the road trip to tour her facility and iron out some final details. Here we are pictured below with Lauri Jo {Eric is behind the camera}. 


We met Lauri Jo at her newly built retail and canning facility. She started her business from scratch just a short three years ago and it has quickly grown into an impressive operation. Laura and Lauri Jo especially enjoyed the visit, because they have had so many of the same experiences being women that have started and now operate a family based business. Lauri Jo’s mother-in-law heads up the “kitchen” and they hand fill every bottle and even grow or locally source almost all the fruits and vegetables they preserve. Her motto is “Preserving the South one jar at a time”! Love it.




After being introduced around the facility, Lauri Jo took us to the Norman Park Cafe to experience some local flavor. Her family joined us and we and other local folks enjoyed a southern fried feast of catfish, bream, hushpuppies, chicken, sweet potatoes, eggplant and tasty sides of cole slaw, potato salad, cheese grits, and of course lots and lots of Lauri Jo’s pickled green tomatoes. A true taste of the South!


Later, Lauri Jo and her husband Mike loaded us up and took us “picking” out at the farm. We enjoyed seeing row after row of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and watermelon.



When the green tomatoes grow to be about the size of the palm of your hand (cupped), Mike says they are ready for picking and pickling. Laura was loving the baby watermelons which can be sliced and prepared like fried green tomatoes – who knew?!?


A few nights after our visit, Ed and I had some friends over for hamburgers. I can honestly say that Lauri Jo’s Pickled Green Tomatoes are the perfect pickle for hamburgers. The size is right to almost cover the whole burger and because it is one big pickle it doesn’t slip out, plus getting pickle in every bite is a beautiful bonus! I also topped mine with a slice of fresh red tomato, a little bit of onion, baby salad greens and a touch of ketchup and mayo. Just had a thought…Lauri Jo needs to make homemade ketchup from all those tomatoes they grow. That would be Yummy! Our Coton Colors store in Tallahassee is so excited to be selling a variety of Lauri Jo’s homemade jellies, pepper jellies (I love the Strawberry Pepper Jelly) and pickles.


Visit  for additional information or opportunities. They are handmade products that add an extra special touch to your Sunday southern dinner, backyard BBQ or make a perfect summertime gift. Summer is here, and the tomatoes, corn, peaches and watermelon are ripe and ready for you to fix something tasty & get to making memories with your family and friends!


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