This Week’s Various

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As always, all images unless otherwise noted copyright Deep Fried Kudzu. Like to use one elsewhere? Kindly contact me here.

Franklin Barbecue (we survived the line!), Austin TX

Brisket from Franklin, 2016

No $1.50 pimento cheese sandwiches at Augusta National this year, but Patrons with tickets are gaining access to an online store, from which one may purchase the $150 ‘Taste of the Masters’ collection (shipping cost included). It’s 1 lb pimento cheese, 1 lb egg salad, 1.5 lb pork bbq, 8 bags potato chips, 6 chocolate chip cookies, 6 bags caramel popcorn, 25 commemorative Masters cups, and logo checkerboard serving paper.  In 2015, it was reported that the club takes in a little less than $50M annually just in the merchandise pavilion

If I’m spending money on food to be shipped over, it’s going to be Russ & Daughters, Zingerman’s (I love the look of their catalogs, and their babka is awesome), St-Viateur Bagels (yassss), or — Thanksgiving is coming up and those Greenberg smoked turkeys from Tyler, Texas are mighty fine.

Update: since I first wrote this in draft, Greenberg had a fire on 11/6 and their inventory and ability to ship for Thanksgiving and Christmas is completely gone. They say they will be back and stronger than ever for next year. They are really nice people. We had one of their turkeys a few years ago and will plan to have one again for next year to support them. 

Sold out on Goldbelly, but because this is such an unconventional year, if I can secure a Snow’s or Franklin brisket, that might be what we do for the holiday instead.

Cotton District, Starkville MS

Starkville’s Cotton District, from a visit in 2011

The NYT ran an obit for the developer of Starkville’s New Urbanism Cotton District, Jim Camp.

“At any given time he might also be patron to a writer, a sculptor, a wild impressionist, a barefoot juggler, a lost intellectual or an ethically sourced hippie apparel shop,” he said. “He wanted a carousel of creatives in the neighborhood by design.”

Small world: the family said Camp’s mother was Elvis Presley’s 6th grade homeroom teacher

Sundog Books, Seaside FL

Sundog Books, Seaside, from a visit in February

On November 17, Swann Auction Galleries is offering in its Fine Books & Manuscripts sale a first edition To Kill a Mockingbird, with signed and inscribed “Best Wishes, Harper Lee” leaf laid in loose, 1960, est $4,000-6,000.

Margueritte Littman has joined the ancestors. In the NYT obit, it was mentioned that she was a “honey-voiced Louisianian and literary muse who taught Hollywood to speak Southern, but who left her most enduring legacy as an early force in the fight against AIDS.”

Her friend Truman Capote “is said to have distilled (her) charm into his most famous character, Holly Golightly of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

An oft-told story about Ms. Littman goes like this: Mr. Capote and Ms. Littman were sitting at the pool at Cipriani’s in Venice in the late 1970s when Ms. Littman pointed out an extremely thin woman. “That is anorexia nervosa,” she declared. And Mr. Capote replied, “Oh Marguerite, you know everybody.”

She studied philosophy at Newcomb, taught long flat vowel sounds to Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman for the movie version of ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,’ left a husband saying she was going out for pork chops, and first thought Princess Diana was judging her wardrobe when she told her she was going to give her all her dresses (to auction for AIDS research).

…Ms. Littman gave what became storied lunch parties that began with Champagne laced with orange liqueur, moved onto jambalaya made with apricot jam, and ended with a nap. 

The first and third part of the lunch party, okay, but apricot jam in jambalaya? Fully waiting the NYT to run a correction along the lines of “re: jam in jambalaya: LOL jk fam.”

Anyway, it’s a lovely, lovely story of her beautiful life. Here’s the trailer for BaT:

All that made me think of Eugene Walter’s interview with Truman Capote for ‘Intro Bulletin’ which he did without much letting on that the two had a history — here.

Eugene asks what he thinks about modern lit:

Faulkner, McCullers, they project their personality at once. So does Thurber. So does the late James Agee, one of the two or three best American writers of the decade. And I’ll tell you a young writer who has what I mean: let’s don’t say personality, it is such a cheapened word. That’s J.D. Salinger. He makes an immediate electrical contact. I like his stories very much. How’s your martini?

Also continuing this stream of consciousness, I watched the trailer for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof just now (ugh, not a fave) and it’s such an odd thing to be my generation and watch these actors for whom I associate with completely different things — Elizabeth Taylor is ’80s big hair and Passion perfume, Paul Newman is Sundance and groceries with profits to charity, and Burl Ives is:

Ran across this in the description for the 2018 #followme exhibit at the Desert Center in LA:

The works from the 15 artists in #followme…examine the historical and contemporary allure— especially in times of existential crisis—of the poetic vague leader who promises everything and leaves followers with little more than an emotional- spiritual hangover that punishes the mind, wallet, and perhaps even the body.


…a series of cement sculptures by Steve Hash invoke the psycho-trauma of being raised in a radicalized pentecostal religious group in southern Mississippi’s De Soto National Forest

Super random:

Gingerbread Cottages at Oak Bluffs Campground, Martha's Vineyard MA

The pink house in Oak Bluffs (Martha’s Vineyard), one of my dream summer homes, is on the market at $635k. Suzanne and I visited MV in 2017 (and took this pic above) and fell in love with the whole neighborhood. Article on the home from the Vineyard Gazette here. The cottage has been the subject of many well-known photographers, including Alfred Eisenstaedt and Walker Evans. Shots of the cottage appear in historical postcards, including a photo from a stereoscopic card taken in 1870 and a Polaroid from 1970 that is archived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Helen Nugent’s gorgeous pies

The Atlantic gets to Mississippi with their collection of images (mostly from the news services, like AP, Reuters, Getty — so not particularly offbeat) of each of the 50 states

A FLW Usonian, Chicago-ish, on the market for the first time since 1965, for $1.7M

Sucre in New Orleans is coming back — same recipes, new owner.

Now’s the time to start making egg nog

I’ve told my boys for years that what the world needs = many things beginning with a good place kicker at Alabama, but what I should have been prioritizing is that the world needs more art restorers because apparently the botched restoration of Borja’s Ecce Homo wasn’t a one-off;  we’re now dealing with ‘The Potato Head of Palencia

How to pronounce Atlanta & Georgia placenames: Grady County, it’s K-Row, not pronounced like Cairo in Egypt, and in Dooly County, it’s VIE-enna, not Vienna

Behind on this, but Galerie did a feature on Jan Showers’ Colonial Revival in Texas and while maybe that’s not the style for me, in the movie of my perfect life, it’s where my perfect mother will live (mama, my colors are blush & bashful!)

Making this week: the chocolate cake from Truth Barbecue in Brenham

This fall foliage prediction map

There’s a Futuro on the market in New Zealand

Le duh: the moment this week when I was flipping through some of the European chocolatiers including La Maison du Chocolat, Edwart, Pierre Herme, & Pierre Marcolini to see what they had interesting for Thanksgiving…and then realized why they didn’t (but this, from Francois Payard, a Thanksgiving cake I found on a 2015 visit, is beyond)

NYT Cooking with their food staff’s 21 fave Thanksgiving dishes. I’ve made the #1, Kenji’s cheesy hasselback potato gratin, and if you’re looking for a good potato dish, that’s a great one

Save Tip’s, a livestream to benefit Tipitina’s in New Orleans, is this Saturday 11/14 at 8p and includes a truly amazing lineup of featured performances, including Willie Nelson / Wilco / St Paul & the Broken Bones / Professor Longhair / Preservation Hall Jazz Band / North Mississippi Allstars

Faulkner House Books

Faulkner House Books in New Orleans, from 2012

The National Review’s podcast, The Great Books, features this week Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury

Greenbrier Restaurant, Madison AL

hushpuppies from Old Greenbrier

Robert St. John proclaims, rightly (in a piece about comeback sauce, but nevertheless): Coleslaw and Captain’s Wafers are the chips and salsa of the fish house world. 

…and I’ve often thought the very same of the hushpuppies and white bbq sauce at places like Old Greenbrier in north Alabama.

PS: those hushpuppies are so perfect that the restaurant actually sells what they call the Hushpuppy King, the device they use to make them. And here — this last part in the parentheses — maybe something you’d never read otherwise:

All you have to do is turn the handle and hush puppies spit out like nobodies business.  (You might even call it a hushpuppy Gatlin Gun)

Indeed. Indeed.

Know why Shreveport has all that amazing architecture? It’s that perfect mix of money and the architects to pull it off (sidenote: that’s what makes great cemeteries too — affluence and talented monument designers).

Unexpected Moderinism, a doc about the Weiner brothers, architects in Shreveport, had its virtual world premier this week: .

William Edmondson Ram, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

a William Edmondson Ram at the Memphis Brooks, 2017

A historic marker was unveiled last weekend in Nashville to honor artist William Edmondson.

Gee's Bend Collage

various pics from Boykin / Gees Bend, from a visit in 2009

On 11/14, Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center’s Pride of Place III presents: Quilt vs Architecture, A Design Debate at the Gee’s Bend Ferry Terminal/Welcome Center, 12021 Co Rd 29, Boykin AL. There’s a light brunch at 9:15a followed by presentations 10a-noon. The event is free but reservations are required, and seating is limited. 334.682.9878 to register.

On the new William Eggleston 414 book, from the publisher, Steidl:

William Eggleston 414 is Harmony Korine and Juergen Teller’s visual memoir of a road trip they took ten years ago with William Eggleston and his son, Winston, from Memphis to Mississippi. Featuring photos and short introductions by Korine and Teller, this record of their spontaneous, intimate journey captures their love for each other through the shared experience of the American road, and combines images of gas stations, abandoned trucks, evangelical households, banal landscapes and hotel rooms with candid portraits. Certain photos cleverly re-visit Eggleston’s own famous motifs—strings of colored electric lights, road signs, people in cars—and yet the star of the show is without doubt Eggleston himself, always impeccably groomed, whether seated at the kitchen table, holding the hand of cousin Maude Schuyler Clay, or playing the grand piano.

And…maybe a spoiler alert: does a full flip-thru.
At Amazon here; I don’t see it at Square Books, but pretty sure they can special order or source through another indie.

Laura Pope Forester

one of Laura Pope Forester’s works, from a visit in 2012

Laura Pope Forester will be inducted into the Georgia Women’s Hall of Fame this coming March.

“As a pioneer in both art environments and women’s history, Laura Pope Forester exemplifies what the Georgia Women of Achievement Organization stands for,” Dean said. “Her artwork combined excellence in her craft with a message of patriotism and love of family and the military, rising above the limitations society placed on women in the early 20th century.”

Scott's Style Shop, Yazoo City MS

Scott’s Style Shop in Yazoo City, from a visit last year

Missed this interview from 2016 in Deep South Magazine, but Rick Bragg explains how Dickens should have been a Southerner and he claims it with A Christmas Carol, but can we all give a moment for Miss Haversham and see it? Thought so.

When asked about writers who had an influence on him:

But Willie Morris — the great Mississippi writer is the one. One night, he got pretty drunk in a catfish restaurant outside Jackson, Mississippi. We went back to his house and we went to his study and he picked up my first book; it had just come out. He picked it up and he just started reading out loud in this beautiful Mississippi Delta accent. He read and read and read, and after a while I began to wonder if he even knew that I was in the room. After what must have been an hour, he snapped the book closed and he looked at me and he said ‘See, son, you say it’s the story that people love. I say it’s the language.’ And that stuck with me. It doesn’t have to be a grand story if the language is grand, if the language is truly heartfelt, then small stories and small people can be just as powerful.

I LUV Video, Austin TX

I LUV Video, Austin TX

I Love Video in Austin has closed.

It gave me unspeakable joy just to take it in when we visited two years ago.

From Texas Monthly, The Oldest and Biggest Video Store in the World Recently Closed. Can a Library Buy Its 130,000 DVDs and VHS Tapes?:

Since the closing was announced, Bejarano has been deliberating on who might be the best candidate to take care of this massive collection, which he wants to keep together and accessible to the public. “My only stipulation,” Bejarano wrote in the Facebook post announcing the store’s closure, “is that whomever [purchases this collection] gives the community access to our vast video library.” 


the Welty home in Jackson

Literary Hub posts Eudora Welty: How My Parents Built a Childhood of Books, an excerpt from her One Writer’s Beginnings (here at Square Books, Amazon)

It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they came from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them—with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself.

From Munchies: Bánh Mì Isn’t Just a Vietnamese Po Boy

Though Vietnamese and Cajun cuisines share a lot of common ground, it wasn’t until a community of immigrants and refugees came to New Orleans in the 1970s that the flavors fused. Over time, their descendants have begun to experiment and introduce new ideas, from Cajun crawfish to brisket bánh mì (and even a phở-rrito).

Vienna Sausages at Lexington, MS Grocery Store

Viennas (“vye-enna” same as the Georgia, town, see above) at the Sunflower in Lexington, Mississippi, from a visit in 2017

SO much love for the small-town grocery stores.

Banana Day at Bitter Southerner:

Every Wednesday, Hudson’s Supermarket in Harrison, Arkansas, hosts Banana Day, where bananas sell for 19 cents a pound and people come from far and wide to greet neighbors and get a deal. Due to COVID-19, Hudson’s had to cancel its 100th Anniversary Celebration this fall. Two locals — photographer Terra Fondriest and writer Robin Seymore — put together this tribute to the simple pleasures of a small-town grocery store.

Robert Johnson Mural, Clarksdale MS

Robert Johnson mural in Clarksdale, MS, 2017

New York Review of Books runs Greil Marcus’ The Devil Had Nothing to Do with It, on three books on Robert Johnson:
1/ Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson by Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow (Amazon)
2/ Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson by Annye C. Anderson with Preston Lauterbach, and with a foreword by Elijah Wald (Amazon)
3/ Love in Vain: Robert Johnson, 1911–1938 by Mezzo and J.M. Dupont, translated from the French by Ivanka Hahnenberger (Amazon)

Blunt criticisms from the reviewer: ““Robert” (he is always Robert, sometimes with such proprietary familiarity that you wonder why the authors don’t just call him Bob)” and ““At this point,” they say in their first pages, as if to place a KICK ME sticker on the back cover of their own book, “whatever remains unknown about Robert Johnson will probably remain unknown forever.”…

Allan Benton, from one of our first visits, in 2010

The October 31 Tennessee Farm Table PodcastAllan Benton’s Tennessee Country Ham “Prosciutto” Made in Madisonville, Tennessee:

On the show today, we are setting the table with Country Ham, and how through the dry aged process, and sliced paper thin, is then called “Prosciutto. Our guests on the show today is Allan Benton, of Madisonville, TN – he shares his story on how he learned what the word Prosciutto meant, and how he positioned his product to the world of fine dining – and now, his prosciutto goes to to tow with some of the most expensive, and well known high dollar prosciuttos from all over the world. And Allan Benton’s dry aged, country hams are produced right down the road, in East, Tennessee. 

Truly, Allan Benton is one of the nicest people anywhere. He has a beautiful, humble, low-key demeanor but is a great talker, and one time I brought one of my besties who’s in the barbecue business to visit with him (ah, for the love of smoked meat) and they could have gone on and on all day. We love taking a trip to Madisonville just to load up a cooler with anything we can at Benton’s (and we’ve brought his prosciutto (thin country ham) home too). Wishing all good things for Allan always and forever.

No particular plans, but thinking of staying busy, busy, busy this weekend. Hope whether you’re running around in the great outdoors or just staying comfy at home, you’re doing really well. xoxo!