This Week’s Various

As always, unless otherwise noted, all images here copyright Deep Fried Kudzu. Ask me before using in any fashion. Thank you.

Very happy about this: last year, I wrote to Governor Bentley about getting a pardon for eight of the Scottsboro Boys. Governor Bentley wrote back to me on April 4, 2011, copying the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. Essentially he said that the Governor’s office does not have authority to grant pardons as such, and that the ABoPP would have to take it up:

Letter To Me re: Scottsboro

Well…thanks to the efforts of many, many people, the Governor — according to the AP — is looking into alternative ways to grant the pardon, because right now, no one has the authority to grant a posthumous pardon.  The legislature will probably have to pass some act in order to accomplish this.

One of my best friends’ husband was quoted in the article:
“It’s never too late to correct an injustice,” said Birmingham lawyer Richard Jaffe, who called the Scottsboro Boys case “a dark blemish on the state of Alabama.”

“It’s the closest thing I know to a real-life ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ times nine,” Jaffe said. “I cannot imagine the state of Alabama not wanting to right a wrong and correct what is obviously a horrific injustice.”

Thank you, Richard!

FolkFest is this weekend in Atlanta.

(antique king cake babies I found in a museum:)
Antique King Cake Babies
From the Times-Pic: ‘Two-Story King Cake Baby Sculpture to Blaze at Burning Man‘ — it’s called ‘Bebe Bon Temps Brulee’.  Burning Man is August 27-September 3 this year.

Mostly fabulous article at Highbrow Magazine on Why Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Other Literary Luminaries Hated Hollywood:
In the 1940s, Faulkner co-authored screenplays for “To Have and Have Not” and “The Big Sleep” for director Howard Hawks. One famous story involves Hawks, Faulkner, and Clark Gable dove-hunting together in Imperial Valley. When Hawks and Faulkner began discussing books, Gable, doubtlessly the least well-read of the three, posed a naive question: “Mr. Faulkner, what do you think somebody should read if he wants to read the best modern books?” Faulkner named Hemingway, Willa Cather, Thomas Mann, John Dos Passos, and himself as the best living writers. “Oh,” Gable said. “Do you write?” Faulkner’s response: “Yes, Mr. Gable. What do you do?”

Faulkner found Hollywood to be a shallow, uninspiring place. He once told a friend “this is a place that lacks ideas,” Blotner’s biography reports. “In Europe they asked me, what did I think? Out here they ask, ‘Where did you get that hat?’”

Beautiful cotton flowering earlier this month:
Cotton, Jackson TN
Looks like a good crop this year.

SOFAB (Southern Food and Beverage Museum) is moving — and after they do, just down the street will open the South’s largest culinary library, thanks to a partnership with the New Orleans Public Library.

The museum already has more than 9,000 volumes of cookbooks, menus, recipes, archivial documents and other literature about food and foodways of the South that will be housed there.

The collection will not circulate, and will be open to the public, including home cooks and chefs as well as scholars and students…


Marcelle Bienvenue wrote earlier this month about the popularity of pimento cheese here in the South; she printed the recipe for it in the T-P from Mammy’s Cupboard in Natchez, above

This other article, via Scripps, came out last month, addressing the history of PC:

…Emily Wallace of Raleigh-Durham, N.C. In 2010, Wallace wrote her master’s thesis in Folklore at the University of North Carolina on pimento cheese — in particular its beginnings and how it helped shape the society and work roles of the South… 

Wallace reports that pimento cheese became widely popular around 1900, probably after being made at home on a small scale long before that.

In these early days, it was a delicacy. Cheddar cheese was expensive. Jarred pimentos were imported from Spain and carried a high price tag as well. The upscale and tasty mixture of the two with homemade mayonnaise and seasonings would be spread on thin slices of white bread with the crusts removed and served to ladies alongside other elegant tea-time nibbles.


The earliest recipe for pimento cheese I could find is from “Dishes and Beverages of the Old South,” by Martha McCulloch-Williams, published in 1917.

“Pimento cheese needs to be softened with French dressing (vinaigrette), until like creamed butter,” the recipe reads. “The finer the pimento is ground the better. Spread evenly upon the buttered bread, lay other buttered bread upon it, and pile square. When the pile gets high enough, cut through into triangles or finger shapes, and lay under the damp cloth.”

The cookbook she referenced above, ‘Dishes and Beverages of the Old South’ I found available in full, online.

Mississippi River at Memphis TN
The Mississippi River is *low* — there are lots of news stories out about it right now (the ACoE had to address salt water from the Gulf coming upriver this week, too).

The WSJ does a piece on Andy Coolquitt of Austin, slideshow here.

…he studied under sculptor Paul McCarthy—but the compound-style home he’s building near downtown Austin owes something to that offbeat Texas tradition. He repurposed parts from a merry-go-round for a grand staircase. He dotted an exterior stucco wall with hundreds of beer-bottle tops. He crafted his kitchen’s rainbow-hued chandelier by gluing together rows of plastic lighters he found on the streets nearby.

Nicoise Salad, Bottega, Birmingham AL
Oh how I love the nicoise salad from his Bottega, above.
Frank Stitt’s small series in the WSJ, ‘Slow Food Fast‘.

Two weeks ago I was there for lunch with some girlfriends, and who was at the next table but Martie Duncan from Next Food Network Star.  We tweeted back and forth later, she’s great — and she’s working with Alabama Tourism, going around the state for ‘Restaurant Week’.  You can find out where she is now, on Twitter.

How To Eat (Miss Myra's, Cahaba Heights AL)

Esquire understatement-headline: When it comes to Barbecue; New York Just Isn’t the South…but the article itself is pretty good.

I try not to read comments on most articles as they’re mostly populated by ‘topic extremists’ but couldn’t help myself this time, then regretted it all over again because one of the comments at on the article read in part:
“Plus, this is basically a poor person’s food, if you are NOT worried about your life in the South when ordering barbecue from some shack, you are probably not getting the good stuff.” 
Really? Who says/thinks/dreams such a thing as this?

The NYT on the ‘Living Walls’ art project in Atlanta, to brighten hurting neighborhoods:
The Atlanta-based project, which began last week and ends Sunday, gives 28 artists their own spaces: sides of buildings, foreclosed houses and subway underpasses. All paintings are done with owners’ permission and city permits…

This year, its third, Living Walls has invited only female muralists. The goal is to showcase the creations, in aerosol and latex paint, of women from around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Spain. The project, which includes lectures and parties celebrating street art, is also meant as an alternative to larger conferences, like Art Basel Miami or the Congress for the New Urbanism.

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