This Week’s Various

Actually, really, this is last week’s various, but I couldn’t finish with all the design work I had going on. Missed sending this to you; it’s a little like catching up with friends, and I missed the reactions in my email. Somehow, this one is food-heavy whereas I look at others and think “wow this is art heavy” or “architecture heavy” — maybe because we’re thinking of yummy things for Valentine’s Day. Was yours great? I hope so.

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

Motlow Ad, Birmingham AL

Motlow’s Corn Jack Daniel’s (with two “L”s here) mural, Birmingham, 2012.

Does whiskey, bourbon, what-have-you, need to be hacked? From the NYT: Can a Fine Whiskey Age Overnight?

Their company, Bespoken Spirits, in Menlo Park, Calif., says it can make whiskey in just a few days, using heat and pressure to force alcohol in and out of small pieces of wood that give the spirit its characteristic flavor and color.

“With modern material science and data analytics, we can change this antiquated industry,” Mr. Aaron said.

I’m good with the old ways. Pass the Jack.

BTW, I’m reading Wright Thompson’s still new-ish Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things that Last (here at Bookshop, at Amazon)

Peter's Pottery

one of my pieces of Peter’s Pottery

Jewel of the Jewel: Peter’s Pottery of Mound Bayou in the winter 2021 Mississippi Folklife journal. After working for many years with Lee and Pup McCarty at their pottery studio in nearby Merigold, the Woods family made the leap to their own studio in 1998 when Peter Woods sold his home to get the business going. Later, the family asked the city of Mound Bayou to stretch to reach their property so that the sales tax revenue could stream to the city’s coffers.  “We wanted to put Mound Bayou back on the map,” Woods said. 

All their hard work paid off when the Woods family had their grand opening at the Talk of the Town store in Batesville on December 1, 1998. People lined up to see their pottery. “From that day forward, we’ve been blessed,” said Woods. Peter’s Pottery sells about 8,000 pieces each year in their showroom, in stores all over Mississippi and neighboring states, and through mail orders. 

Interior, Dreamland in Tuscaloosa (the original)

Dreamland, Tuscaloosa, 2005.

Season 18 of Top Chef, this time in Portland, includes Gabe Erales (Austin), Sasha Grumman (Houston), Roscoe Hall (Birmingham) — he’s currently at Post Office Pies in Avondale/Bham, Brittany Anderson (Richmond). Roscoe Hall is the grandson of “Big Daddy” Bishop, who started Dreamland. The show premieres April 1.

Lionfish, Hot and Hot Fish Club

lionfish, Hot and Hot Fish Club, 2015

The Eat the Problem book — the pics (it’s also a podcast): a super-deluxe food and art compendium featuring a series of ‘recipes’ using invasive species—both real and surreal. Over 544 decadent pages, with artwork, poetry, essays and interviews by the likes of James Turrell, Marina Abramović, Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz, Germaine Greer, Heston Blumenthal, Mike Parr, Pablo Picasso, Enrique Olvera of Pujol, Laurie Anderson, Tim Minchin… 

That’s by Kirsha Kaechele, who at one time was living in New Orleans, St Roch, maybe about a dozen years ago. This interview includes her experience, but also, you know, cringe-y too at points. The story of the Warhol Foundation supper she put on is not to be missed. Those people should have — every one — counted themselves lucky to have been there.

Further aside: this, from the interviewer. They covered a lot of ground.

It makes me think about what the tech guys would say—‘Is it a bug, or a feature?’ It makes me think about relationships as well. To turn the flaw of your loved one into a feature rather than a bug, that’s the goal.  

Super Random:

Added to my wishlist, Open Studio: Do-It-Yourself Art Projects by Contemporary Artists (at Bookshop / at Amazon): Join George Condo as he creates a paint-by-numbers portrait, William Wegman as he watercolors whimsical scenes of his beloved Weimaraners, and Mickalene Thomas as she makes an artist’s book out of collage. Other artists include: Marina Abramovic, Will Cotton, John Currin, Thomas Demand, Rachel Feinstein, The Haas Brothers, Alex Israel, Rashid Johnson, KAWS, Maya Lin, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu, Sarah Sze, and Lawrence Weiner

The Presbyterian Church annually celebrates “Mr. Rogers’ Day”

The Case for Semicolons

Exploring America’s Kitsch Fantasy Hotels at Trendland

This for $165k in Natchez. And what is this for $140k in Marion AL (if you’re a realtor, and you’re uploading pics like this for the MLS…um…)?

Peach cobbler cheesecake. Yes or no?

The UK’s Ann Carrington, specifically the pearl ships (I can see even just this picture of them printed huge in someone’s dining room) she made, and bouquets of flatware

Neiman Marcus is selling Jeff Koons pieces, including 35 of limited edition of 599 of the 2020 Diamonds, made in porcelain at Bernardaud in Limoges: Five unique colors (Green, Pink, Blue, Yellow, Red) made in mirror polished stainless steel with transparent color coating measuring 78 x 87 x 87″

Fun by Any Means Necessary: Punk Rock in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in the fall Mississippi Folklife journal

In the WSJ, a nutria mention: Authors often become identified with an item of clothing—Zadie Smith, for instance, is known for her head wraps, and Fran Lebowitz is never without a blazer—so I have taken the pre-emptive step of wearing, everywhere I go, a long black vintage trench coat lined with the fur of nutria

Beaver cake pops

If one is thinking “what this world needs is Ted Cruz, Andrea Mitchell, and thousands of people on Twitter going on about “sound & fury” and whether that’s Shakespeare or Faulkner” well then then here you go

Emma Amos: Color Odyssey going on now through April 25 at the UGA Georgia Museum of Art

One of my girlfriend groups that usually gets together and does a volunteer activity for Galentine’s Day — Rise Against Hunger — couldn’t do it this year, so made floral arrangements for ourselves and friends



Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Savannah GA

above, not the Ponce KK sign, but has the retro style like this one in Savannah

Atlanta’s iconic 60+yo Krispy Kreme on Ponce was damaged by fire last week; the owner, Shaq, vows to rebuild. Saw someone on Twitter call it “Atlanta’s Notre-Dame” 😂

From A Krispy Kreme Burned in Atlanta. The Losses Go Far Beyond Delicious Doughnuts at NPR:

It’s really a matter of place, first and foremost. It sits on a street called Ponce de Leon in Atlanta that is home to a lot of landmarks. We have Majestic Diner, open since 1923. There’s Clermont Lounge…Mary Mac’s Tea Room since 1945. It’s just a place where there’s a lot of really quintessentially old Atlanta buildings. And if you know anything about our history, we don’t have a lot of old stuff, really…

Jake Peavy’s (he’s from Mobile; was a MLB pitcher) Southern Falls Plantation in Alberta, Alabama is on the market at $8.5M (those last pics, especially!). I cut out a lot of the drone-time here, but check this:

WalMart Museum, Bentonville AR

re-creation of Sam Walton’s office, Bentonville AR

Yes, this should technically be in super random, but it’s one of the greatest ideas ever, from the NYT:

It’s the Shultz hour, from when George Shultz was Secretary of State in the ’80s. The concept is that one hour a week would be dedicated to thinking about big ideas, not tasks like “what’s next on the list”. Apparently he told his secretary to only disrupt this hour if either the president or his wife called. Beyond that, he was there with his paper and pen, ready to let the ideas flow.

Shultz, who’s now 96, told me that his hour of solitude was the only way he could find time to think about the strategic aspects of his job. Otherwise, he would be constantly pulled into moment-to-moment tactical issues, never able to focus on larger questions of the national interest. And the only way to do great work, in any field, is to find time to consider the larger questions.

The piece references that concept in The Undoing Project (via Bookshop, via Amazon). Putting that on the reading list right now. Oh, and:

Task-positive mode allows us to accomplish something in the moment. Task-negative mode is more colloquially known as daydreaming, and, as Daniel J. Levitin of McGill University has written, it “is responsible for our moments of greatest creativity and insight, when we’re able to solve problems that previously seemed unsolvable.”

Prob Gypsy Vanner horses

Prob Gypsy Vanner horses

Ran across these gorgeous horses this weekend — my friend Anne thinks these may be Gypsy Vanner. They have an interesting history.

Centerville, Tennessee artist Ricky Pittman, featured above with his grapevine creations and Minnie Pearl sculpture from chicken wire

His blog on the development of his Dolly Parton sculpture that’s now at the Graduate Hotel in Nashville is here.

Tommy’s Ham House in Greenville SC was issued an injunction against the owner retiring and closing the business, in the sweetest way, including:

2/ That the large number of patrons of Tommy’s Country Ham House will be irrevocably damaged in that they will have no other place to be treated in such an outstanding manner by the warm, kind, and gentle staff…nor have any other suitable venue or location to adequately discuss politics, religion, and the weather;

3/ That candidates for nation-wide political offices will be irrevocably damaged by their inability to have a location and venue to espouse their campaign ideas and promises, while at the same time enjoying exceptionally large servings of eggs, grits, and ham biscuits; 

Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island FL

view of the beach and Atlantic Ocean from our room there in 2019

Hospitalitynet on the renovation at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, one of our faves. It’s being done by Wimberly Interiors. That’s Wimberly as in Glam Pod (though the RC design is much more understated). RC’s release on it, here.

Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak at the JW Marriott, Nashville TN

Nashville at night from the JW Marriott, 2019

Williams-Sonoma is offering a Nashville hot chicken kit for $79.95. As they put it:

Chef Matt Bolus has been creating innovative cuisine at Nashville’s 404 Kitchen since 2014, when it was nominated as the year’s Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation. One of Bolus’ specialties is celebrating and elevating Southern food traditions, and now you can savor his house-made dishes at home. Our kit makes it easy to whip up a platter of Nashville-style spicy chicken – and you decide how much kick to give it.

I wince every time I see it written that someone is “elevating” some region’s food. Anyway. The heat-and-serve kit comes frozen and includes 10pcs chicken, hot chicken spices, and chili oil.

They’re also offering a Three Nights of Southern Entrees for Four, for $299, which includes a hanger steak night, a shrimp & grits night, and a pasta bolognese night and I’m wondering what’s especially southern in this package with hanger steaks and pasta bolognese, but okay.

NYT’s The World Through a Lens visits Plaquemines Parish: Beauty, Serenity Stillness: An Ode to the Final Miles of the Mississippi River

Afterward, it was hard to avoid the endless ruin that lingered all around me. But I was determined not to convert my work into an ode to hurricane destruction. I remember being incensed at all the cheap volumes of post-hurricane photographs that suddenly appeared up on bookstore shelves and intruded on the privacy of particular people’s losses, images of ruined interiors and portraits of storm survivors sitting outside their gutted homes. When shooting for this project, I tended instead to seek out beautiful things that were still there in spite of the storm.

The author, Matthew White, is based in New Orleans. His tumbler, here. And:

Ritz Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee in Georgia

Soooo this kid got second place in the county-wide spelling bee. Proud, proud. We’ve had a pretty good week! It wasn’t particularly amenable to being outside due to the wet, cool weather, but we got a lot of work done and ate some yummy food (the carryout from Blueprint on 3rd in B’ham, especially my duck confit, rocked).  Hope you had a fab Valentine’s Day! xoxo!