The legacy of Miss Clotee’s biscuits continues with demonstration at Catfish Row Museum

Published 10:48 pm Sunday, February 25, 2024

“Miss Clotee raised us. We loved her dearly.”

Those words came from a member of the audience Saturday afternoon at Catfish Row Museum just before Story Ebersole began sharing another thing people loved dearly about the aforementioned Miss Clotee: her famous recipe for biscuits.

Catfish Row Museum Executive Director Linda Fondren said she felt Black History Month was the perfect time to ask Ebersole to help revive the recipe for others to enjoy.

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Ebersole, a former CPA, switched careers to pursue her love of cooking and owned the catering business Storycook Favorites for 25 years. But that doesn’t explain just how it came to be that Ebersole would find herself sharing the late Miss Clotee Lampkin’s famous recipe at Saturday’s event.

That story’s genesis dates back to 1974 when Ebersole’s mother, the late journalist Laurin Stamm, wrote a column about the famous biscuits for The Vicksburg Evening Post.

“It was their light, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth texture that prompted me to drive to Anguilla to learn first-hand how to make [them],” she wrote. “And it was well worth the trip.”

Following Stamm’s death in 2016, Ebersole donated her mom’s collection of more than 600 cookbooks to the University of Southern Mississippi. She also donated her collection of the food columns, which Stamm clipped from the newspaper every Sunday and filed in a binder in chronological order.

“Story has given us many generous donations to the museum,” Fondren said. “She’s given us time; she’s given us knowledge; she’s given us archives. There are so many things that she has donated right here to the museum. So, with this special recipe of Miss Clotee’s biscuits, we’re thankful for Story’s dedication and support for Miss Clotee and her mother’s legacy.”

Ebersole herself said she retired from catering after 25 years and it has allowed her to focus on her many interests and to “do what I want to do.” And what she wanted to do Saturday was share her love for people and food the same way Miss Clotee did: through her famous biscuits.

“My husband and I sit down every night to a meal that I’ve cooked,” she said. “And, at least once a week, I try a new recipe. So, I owe all that love of cooking to my mother.”

A love for cooking her mother wrote about extensively, including her column featuring Miss Clotee. Saturday, that love found its way from Miss Clotee to a 1970s encounter with Stamm to new taste buds in 2024 in downtown Vicksburg.