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This week’s playlist. Enjoy! xoxo!
Paradise Garden: Howard Finster’s Legacy won ‘Best Documentary’ at the Orlando Film Festival last month:
Wonderful! Kathyrn Tucker Windham will be inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame. Beautiful.
Here, KTW on her friendship with Nelle Harper Lee, E.O. Wilson, Alice Lee, and getting bitten by Nelle Harper Lee:
She even thinks I’m a good cook. She likes my cornbread. I even take her cornbread down to Monroeville sometimes. Some people down there, regretfully, they put sugar in their cornbread. I hope nobody here does that. It is a desecration! If you want cake, make cake! Leave that sugar out of cornbread. It’s as Yankee as it can be.
The former American Art curator at Crystal Bridges, Kevin Murphy, is apparently made of elitist material that must be dutifully maintained. This, from Lee Rosenbaum:
Describing Northwest Arkansas, tongue-in-cheek, as “the Afghanistan of curatorial posts,” Murphy told me he was “still recovering from the post-traumatic stress of that place” and confessed that “it was hard for me, after two and a half years, to acclimate to living in Fayetteville, AR” (a town near Crystal Bridges).
Thank you, wonderful Cabot Creamery! I was randomly chosen to win *A Year of Cheese* from Cabot because I had signed up to volunteer for something in our community via volunteerspot.com. This was our first box of four over the course of the next year.
Kisses, Cabot, for being sweet to volunteers!
“Beyond the Stereotyped South” images by Tamara Reynolds are in the NYT but so many of these images appear just as I suspect so many others expect of us. Very little ‘beyond’ in that collection.
Baby in a gun store. Old car in a yard. Baby on mother’s hip while she’s running the register at a convenience store. Dumpy motel-turned-home with clothes on line.
Her images are very fine, but the title the NYT gave to the series should have been given more consideration.
Ever had brisket so good it just fell off the bone? Me neither (brisket = boneless). But the Washington Post did, in its piece, Austin, the Best New Barbecue Destination (honest mistake as the correction now notes that the author meant the ribs, but it was good for a giggle).
“Untitled: The Art of James Castle” is open at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Washington Post titles its piece as ‘James Castle, Subject of Smithsonian Show, Puts the ‘Taught’ in Self-Taught‘:
Experts are divided on how museums should contextualize works such as Castle’s. On a panel at the American Art Museum in October, moderator Bell asked panelists what it would take for them to be satisfied that Castle had received due recognition. “To walk into the prints and drawings department at the British Museum and see his work alongside Jasper Johns or Rembrandt,” said Lynne Cooke, a senior curator at the National Gallery of Art.
“I’d like to see him make it into the American art history books and be understood as an artist who ranks among any that the country has ever seen,” echoed Leslie Umberger, curator of folk and self-taught art at the American Art Museum.
above, from the Jim ‘N Nick’s in Hoover, Alabama. *That’s* a potato.
Jim ‘N Nick’s (based in B’ham) and Dinosaur (Syracuse, NY) have formed a holding company called ‘Good Smoke’ to better their collective purchasing power, including health insurance for employees. It looks as though the holding company was filed back in June. This is all a back-office maneuver and is designed to never affect either’s menu; both establishments figure they are concentrating on specific parts of the US and shouldn’t run into any conflict in that manner.
Just looking at the Brooklyn Dinosaur’s menu, they’ve got everything from fried green tomatoes (with pimento cheese and chow chow on top) and deviled eggs to to chili con queso nachos, but they have some things we don’t — poutine (which I would completely embrace), something called Harlem potato salad, and bbq fried rice.
Also: is this odd? The Brooklyn Dinosaur does, but the Harlem Dinosaur Barbecue menu doesn’t have ‘Harlem potato salad’ (trying to figure out what the ingredients are) — it has ‘Creole potato salad’.
For those of us thinking turducken, NPR serves up the rôti sans pareil, the roast without equal, from a 1807 recipe:
The daredevil-ish recipe calls for a tiny warbler stuffed in a bunting, inserted in a lark, squeezed in a thrush, thrown in a quail, inserted in a lapwing, introduced to a plover, piled into a partridge, wormed into a woodcock, shoehorned into a teal, kicked into a guinea fowl, rammed inside a duck, shoved into a chicken, jammed up in a pheasant, wedged deep inside a goose, logged into a turkey. And just when you think a 16-bird roast is probably enough, it’s not. This meat sphere is finally crammed up into a Great Bustard, an Old World turkey-turned-wrapping paper, for this most epic of poultry meals.
Above: All Saints Chapel at Sewanee
The Future of College Football is… The University of the South? from Deadspin:
While they haven’t faced a SEC giant since World War II, Sewanee has sent three inductees to the College Football Hall of Fame and still boasts a winning record against the likes of Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, and Georgia. It’s the name itself— the University of the South, where pigskin just had to be played, and played with passion. But it’s also something more. For Majors, it’s the camaraderie forged in isolation, at a non-scholarship school of roughly 1,500 atop the lush Cumberland Plateau, 1,000 feet in the air and miles from anything.
“I think football meant more to us than it did at the big schools because we didn’t have to go through the drudgery of being obligated,” he says. “There is no obligation here. The motivation is inside.”
College football is grappling with a series of crises—financial, moral, existential—that will inevitably transform the sport. How so, nobody can say for sure. It’s conceivable, though, that the professionalized, money-drenched version of the game we’ve come to know could peter out, whether because of public disenchantment, the workings of the legal system, or some as yet unforeseen development. Stripped and scaled down and more than nominally amateur, the sport of the future may well look a lot like it does here, from Majors’s lonely vantage point at Hardee-McGee.
What I Discovered by Visiting Every Disney Park in the NYT
There’s a new community at DisneyWorld, and ownership starts at $1.8MM
What was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving from Smithsonian
What to do when your home is boring/non-descript
Four words that just went together for the first time: LSD-tainted WalMart steak
Two others: mistletoe drones
And you know not to ever deep-fry a frozen turkey right?
Spotify is giving you a playlist to accompany your turkey cooktime
Salted caramel Moon Pies
Small-batch salt from South Carolina
Above: my buttermilk pumpkin pie
The NYT does a feature on Thanksgiving dishes from each state (plus DC and PR) and Alabama’s is Lucy Buffett’s oyster dressing, although Lucy admits she puts sugar in cornbread (a big no-no) and often uses a box mix. Sigh.
Florida: Mojo Turkey
Georgia: Pecan Pie
Louisiana: Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons
Mississippi: Ale-Braised Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock
Tennessee: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Peanut Vinaigrette (never thought of BrSp as Southern, but okay)
Texas: Turkey Tamales
Minnesota got Grape Salad which kind-of started grapegate, as Minnesotans were apparently put off by this dish (some of whom didn’t know what it was, others say it’s regional):
“It’s lazy and it’s dismissive. And I think that is why everyone has risen up saying ‘No, you’re not going to pin this crazy thing that you invented on us,’” Grumdahl said.
The paper says the recipe comes from an unnamed Minnesota-born heiress. Within hours a new Twitter account named @MNBornHeiress began been spewing pro grape salad tweets.
For another opinion we turned to Sue Zelickson, Minnesota food critic for more than 40 years.,
“I’ve never heard of it and I am 80-years-old. And it’s never shown up on any of my Thanksgiving dinners,” Zelickson said.
…but there’s also this by the NYT which tries to clear grapegate up — and from this, ***you have to wonder what it was the NYT was trying to accomplish in the first place*** — check out that first sentence, second paragraph here:
Updated, Thursday, 7 p.m.: I heard from Julia Moskin, a reporter with The Times’s Food section, who offered some background on the project.
“The recipes were not intended to be traditional, popular, or fully representative of the state’s traditions — agricultural, Thanksgiving, or culinary,” she wrote in an email to me. “We didn’t make stupid errors, or fail to check our facts with perfunctory phone calls. We worked hard — writers and especially editors — to generate a mix of 52 recipes that would not be cliched, repetitive, unhealthy, or unappetizing.”
Disappointing news on super-talented Dwight Henry, owner of Buttermilk Drop Bakery in New Orleans, who had parts in ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ and ’12 Years a Slave’.
83 of Zelda Fitzgerald’s artworks are now available via art.com.
Above: a pink perfection camellia at the Monroe County Courthouse
The Dothan Eagle reports on the death of Alice Lee, 103, sister of Nelle Harper Lee and legend in her own right. Thing is, this is the headline:
Our View: Alice Lee Has Passed.
(was it up for debate, Dothan Eagle?)
Her obit ran in Christian Today, the Christian Science Monitor, media who run the AP, the Washington Post, and more.
From the AP via NPR:
Everyone trusted Alice Lee and her brilliant mind, Butts said. “Whenever there was a question in the community that no one could answer, the saying was, ‘Go ask Miss Alice,'” he said. “Her death is like the closing of a great library.”
Storybook Buildings, Authors Unknown in the NYT on the little buildings collected by a couple in North Carolina. Video, too.
Thinking of summer camp for grown-ups: 2015 Barbecue Summer Camp:
We will gather together deep in the heart of Texas for this meat and smoke-filled (wood smoke that is) weekend, where we will roll up our sleeves and learn about unique barbecue traditions, methods, and styles. Featuring award-winning professors from Texas A and M’s Meat Science Section, well-known pit masters, and regional barbecue authorities, the seminar will provide attendees with cooking and butchery demonstrations that will focus on the different types of meat, smoke, and spices used throughout the state and beyond. In addition, attendees will tour legendary Martin’s Place in Bryan, Texas, before learning about barbecue history and regional differences. Please join us in College Station as we investigate and celebrate one of our state’s great traditions.
A tree was planted at the U.S. Capitol this month to honor Emmett Till.
The exterior of Brennan’s, years ago before the restoration
Brennan’s looks positively lovely after the ~$20MM remodel by Richard Keith Langham (who was born in Brewton, AL and became famous doing designs for Jackie Kennedy Onassis, among others), and will reopen November 25. Can’t wait.
Ted Brennan’s Decatur will open early next year.
CBS did a story on Bergeron’s in Port Allen, Louisiana:
There’s a 10 percent discount to anyone with a firearm. Not just cops — anyone — and all you have to do is prove it to one of the workers.
“Show it to me out of your purse, out of your back pocket, show it to me,” Bergeron’s restaurant owner Kevin Cox said said. “Show that you have one so if something goes wrong here today I know you’re here to protect me.”
…The restaurant’s lunch business has jumped 25 percent. Cox has also added a dinner menu and hired four more employees. He said his customers are helping him send a larger message: other stores that have banned guns, like Target, are making themselves targets.
“You make a gun-free zone, that’s where bad people with guns are going to go — dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Cox said. “So I’m trying to prove that this is the right route to go. Somebody gets robbed every day, not me.”
…”You feel calm, like your cameraman came up behind me a while ago saying, ‘I want to take a picture of you from behind, I don’t wanna scare you.'” Hughes said. “I said ‘You don’t scare me, I’m the one that’s got the gun.'”
Had a delicious supper last month at Cotton Blues in Hattiesburg. It used to be that we almost couldn’t drive through H’burg without stopping at Leatha’s (we sure did love her) but the food is just *so sweet* and and I was turned off last time when I asked to share a plate with Av (no extra sides or even an extra plate, as I wasn’t very hungry and just wanted a couple of bites) and they were going to charge me several dollars to do so. I just passed on the whole thing.
Looking for something new and initially considering one of the Robert St. John restaurants, I opened Yelp and found Cotton Blues as #1 with *tons* of great reviews. It really was terrific. The bread they brought out was from the Breadsmith there in town, and it came with three spreads: lima bean, potlikker, and butter. Everything we were served (especially the catfish) was amazing — and the servers were great and loved chatting with our boys. Yes, yes, yes.
To be developed in City Park, opening 2017: the $38MM Louisiana Children’s Museum Early Learning Village. The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi is now a Smithsonian affiliate. This is what the Lucas Museum in Chicago will look like. The 1950s FLW Bachman Wilson House is now being reconstructed at Crystal Bridges. The Whitney’s new home will open May 2015. What to do with the Gurlitt collection. The Hobby Lobby family, the Greens, are behind the Museum of the Bible which will be opening in DC in 2017. Nothing by Analia Saban will be hanging over Doug MacCash’s couch. The Schindler factory in Krakow. And as Slate put it, Detroit Exits Bankruptcy, Thanks to its Art Museum.
Above: a slice of my grits pie
On pie supper culture, at Modern Farmer:
Across the Midwest and Southeast, the box social slowly morphed into the more dessert-focused pie supper: all the same rules, just sweeter. The soirees were particularly popular in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, where the pie suppers were typically held in conjunction with square dances. A large portion of the one-room schoolhouses constructed in the late 19th and early 20th century across the mountainous region were partially financed by pie suppers. (Typically, the cash box at the end of a pie supper totaled no more than $50.)
While the fundraiser was the stated goal, pie suppers were ripe with courting rituals: lovelorn boys would try for months to secretly learn which girl crafted which pie, praying for a shot to share a slice with his beloved after successfully bidding on her sugary concoction.
Andy Warhol’s ‘Triple Elvis’ sold at $81,925,000 at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale.
There’s an Indiegogo campaign to raise the money to paint Waverly Plantation in West Point, Mississippi:
Another Indiegogo, for a second season of ‘BBQ with Franklin’:
Spent almost three hours at Audubon Zoo while daddy had an event at the Audubon Tea Room with friends, and had a great time!
Auburn’s Rural Studio Outreach program is taking applications now.
Rethinking Sherman’s March at the NYT.
…and from the C-L, Matthew McConaughey has signed on to play Newt Knight, who led a group of anti-slavery Confederate deserters in Jones County during the Civil War.
The movie, “Free State of Jones,” is written by Gary Ross, of “The Hunger Games,” “Pleasantville,” and “Seabiscuit” fame. It details the story of Newton Knight, an American farmer, soldier and Southern Unionist, who became the leader a band of Confederate Army deserters that turned against the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith make a trip to Knoxville, and speak at UTK. But first:
Well, We arrived in Knoxville Tennessee. First stop: WalMart at 12:30AM. Hello America. pic.twitter.com/MRb86C6cjH
— Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz) November 20, 2014
Nice, on my beautiful friend Joe Minter:
Joe Minter’s African Village in America from 2threefive on Vimeo.