This Week’s Various

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

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Collards in my Trunk

Collards bought for New Year greens, 2012

Tennessee Farm Table talks with Kelly Smith Trimble, whose book Vegetable Gardening Wisdom (here on Bookshop // here at Amazon), came out in 2019. She’s great — she and I worked together years ago on a project for the magazine Lowe’s hardware stores puts out. Now, she’s the senior digital editorial director at HGTV, where she does the Dig It feature. In the podcast, Kelly talks about the Heirloom Collard Project:

The Heirloom Collard Project is a collaboration between Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Seed Savers Exchange, Working Food, and the Utopian Seed Project. This project aims to build a coalition of seed stewards, gardeners, farmers, chefs, and seed companies working to preserve heirloom collard varieties and their culinary heritage.

Ocmulgee National Monument

Many thanks to Stephen Rahn who has this image of the Ocmulgee mounds on Flickr, in the public domain

At Bitter Southerner: Getting a National Park in Central Georgia: many voices — including botanists, archaeologists, and Joy Harjo, the US Poet Laureate — are calling to create an enormous national park along the Ocmulgee Ruver that runs through the heart of Georgia

President Donald Trump signed into law the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. It authorized the National Park Service to turn Ocmulgee Mounds National Monument into a National Historical Park — an important change — and quadruple its size. More importantly, The National Park Service (NPS) would implement the sought-after Special Resource Study that would look at the possibility of an even larger park — as much as 50 miles — along the undeveloped corridor of the Ocmulgee River between Macon and Hawkinsville, Georgia.

Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors is on display now at the High in Atlanta. It is *not* to be missed — left me in sweet/happy/wistful tears when I saw it at the Frist.

Pittman Theatre, Gadsden AL

Pittman Theatre, Gadsden AL, earlier this month

In the Mississippi Woods Where the Southern Myth Ends: W. Ralph Eubanks Gets Deep Into the Piney Woods, Literary and Otherwise at LitHub.

Polk believes that residents of the Piney Woods grow up outside the Southern myth, “that portion of Southern history, that part of the public image of the South, that belongs to Natchez, Vicksburg, and Oxford, and that attaches itself to all the rest of us, no matter where we are from.” 

His new A Place Like Mississippi (here at Bookshop // at Amazon)

William Bradford Huie

William Bradford Huie Library in Hartselle, Alabama

This interview with William Bradford Huie on the civil rights era — warning on language and attitudes of that time, but eye-opening. Ordering his He Slew the Dreamer: My Search for the Truth about James Earl Ray and the Murder of Martin Luther King now (here from Bookshop // here from Amazon). So much to learn from this interview: his friendship with the McNair family and the story about Denise in Look; Emmett Till and the Army story of his father; his investigative techniques and how he got the interview with Till’s killers; what their motivations were; desegregating the University of Alabama and how that was almost a *lot* easier.

From WTOK in Meridian this week:
Mississippi U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith have joined Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth to introduce legislation that would establish Chicago’s Roberts Temple Church of G-d in Christ, the site of Emmett Till’s funeral in 1955, as a national historic site.

Rural Studio Projects

The Rural Studio Glass Chapel in Mason’s Bend, Alabama, from a 2009 visit

This year’s Pritzker Prize, “considered the “Nobel” of architecture” goes to the French team of Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, a team in France whose work, according to the Pritzker jury, is a “demonstration of strength in modesty.” Via the CS Monitor: Regarding a request they received to look into a redesign for a public square in Bordeaux, they responded “Embellishment has no place here…Quality, charm, life [already] exist.”

Hoping one day Sambo Mockbee and his work with Rural Studio will be posthumously recognized as a Pritzker Laureate. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000.

Spanish Moss, Selma AL

Living in the South and becoming Terrain’s spanish moss supplier would have to be like buying Doge at half a penny

Terrain is selling a clump of fresh Spanish moss that is to be tacked onto a wall (they call this a ‘chandelier’) for $275 . Individual clumps = $44. If I stuck a clump of spanish moss to a wall of this home and called it a chandelier, there’s not a person I know who wouldn’t wonder if it wasn’t time to place a call to a certain specialized hospital in Tuscaloosa. 😂

From the University of Mary Washington: their William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series presentation earlier this month by Gary Richards on Zora Neale Hurston (the first part of the speech) & Eudora Welty (starting at 34:00).

McKendree United Methodist Church, Danville AL

McKendree United Methodist Church, Danville AL, earlier this month

Ken Burns Still Has Faith in a Shared American Story at the NYTMag. Really looking forward to his Hemingway documentary, out April 5 on PBS. Here’s Bloomberg’s piece on it.

My bantam hen, Zelda


We ordered our August shipment of new chicks. Can’t wait for these new bantam babies. Shug is especially excited about getting a Barred Plymouth Rock, and Shugie loves the idea of the Buff Silkie he’s getting, that he’s already named LiMu Emu. Our other chickens who are seven years old now, Tallulah and Zelda, are doing great, and Zelda decided this week to lay two eggs, even though (I thought) they both retired from laying about a year ago.

At Daily Yonder, Q&A: Author Ashleigh Bryant Phillips on the “Inspiring, Intense” Stories of Rural Homecoming — raised by rural people who “told stories all day long,” the author’s award-winning “Sleepovers” was deeply shaped by connections to her Woodland, North Carolina home.

Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Together Always, in a Dollar General bag

A $4 Dolly & Porter on vinyl in a DG bag, earlier this month at an outdoor market

Super Random:

John S. Chase’s Extraordinary Modernist Home Helped Shape Houston’s Political and Architectural History

At 64 Parishes, Richard Campanella writes On That Word ‘Delta’

Re-watched Christopher Guest’s Best in Show this week (after seeing some of Haute Dog on HBOMax) — fave line in the movie was Parker Posey talking about J. Crew, L.L. Bean, etc: “We were so lucky to be raised around catalogs.” 

Goat towers (hi, I mentioned this was the super random section)

Yes to these pressshhhhh Peter Rabbit pattern Hunter boots

Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop in NY has closed, after ~100 years. “We’re trying to carry on the tradition, but there’s not much of it left anymore,” one of the more recent owners, Josh Konecky, told me a few years ago when I dropped in for my usual BLT at my preferred spot at the front, entrance end of the famously long counter, which was crowded, as usual, with a lunchtime pageant of cops, off-duty doormen, and business folk with their jackets carefully foldedot on their laps.

Banksy Creates Bob Ross-Narrated Process Video of New Work Depicting Oscar Wilde Escaping Prison

What Happened to Pickup Trucks? on safety and efficiency at Bloomberg uses the term “petro-masculinity”, refers to them as “Giant, furious trucks” and quotes another on grille design: “seems to be… about creating a massive, brutal face of rage and intimidation.” The people I know are using them to get their boats in and out of the water, their cattle/horses back and forth from the stockyard sale, their campers up and down mountains to the middle of nowhere, and I’ve never perceived rage or intimidation from a truck part, but I’m from a rural area and spend many of my weekends there. Granted, though, there’s lots of grocery-gettin’ in them too and safety does absolutely have, have, have to be a priority. PS: Jeep angry eyes are a thing.

There will be a Pashko production pod in Gee’s Bend

Fellow font lovers: Service Gothic

Carrot sandwiches: y/n?

Houstonia Mag came up with a Rodeo Test Kitchen to try to make up for those cravings that may have otherwise gone unanswered since the 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been canceled, and here’s their recipe for deep-fried banana pudding

March 22 this year will be declared by Gov John Bel Edwards as Louisiana’s Red Beans & Rice Day, and even if it doesn’t fall on a Monday, every subsequent March 22 will be known by that designation

The Inn at Little Washington (Washington, Virginia) has Craig Claiborne House with  two bedrooms, two and one half baths, a living room, dining room, media room, and library containing many of Claiborne’s books and memorabilia from his illustrious career at the New York Times

The NYT mentioned their most popular recipes on Instagram; one of them is caramel cake but let’s please put more caramel than what we see here (ideally, one can’t see the cake through it). Protip: besides your kitchen and those of your ancestors, the best caramel cakes come from little gas station kitchens and barbecue places. The pan-banging chocolate chip cookies from Sarah Kieffer they mention are going on the to-make list, though. And clicking around her site, Sarah’s white chocolate cheesecake bars look crazy good too

Through June 26, 2021: Work, Worship & Community Photographs by Paul Kwilecki at Georgia’s Albany Museum of Art. The Butch Anthony: Art, Nature, and Intertwangalism exhibit runs through July 31

Niki's West, Birmingham AL

The line at Niki’s West, 2018

This piece in The New Yorker is about *much* more than pastry identification A.I. but can it truly be quicker or more accurate than the person who figures up the amounts at the end of the line at Niki’s West? “Did you not want a roll, hun?”

One morning in the spring of 2019, I entered a pastry shop in the Ueno train station, in Tokyo. The shop worked cafeteria-style. After taking a tray and tongs at the front, you browsed, plucking what you liked from heaps of baked goods. What first struck me was the selection, which seemed endless: there were croissants, turnovers, Danishes, pies, cakes, and open-faced sandwiches piled up everywhere, sometimes in dozens of varieties. But I was most surprised when I got to the register. At the urging of an attendant, I slid my items onto a glowing rectangle on the counter. A nearby screen displayed an image, shot from above, of my doughnuts and Danish. I watched as a set of jagged, neon-green squiggles appeared around each item, accompanied by its name in Japanese and a price. The system had apparently recognized my pastries by sight. It calculated what I owed, and I paid.

PS: I miss the doorbell at the end of the line at Morrison’s.

Pickled Eggs

beet-pickled egg salad, 2020

I decided Southern Living on social media wasn’t for me when in the comments for one pic, people were criticizing each others’ manners (over moving a piece of cake with the help of fingers) using expletives.  Then — this is what really did it for me — things got wiiiild over a tiktok SL did about tomato sandwiches. I’m not a Puritan, but Mama did not raise me to be in those circles. “See y’all later! I’ve gotta go now!” Backing away. Byeeeee.

You know the world is weird when the Southern Living comment sections have gotten vulgar. 😂

This is what I get for reading the comments (for years, we said that the comments section at was the sole reason the aliens wouldn’t make contact). ANYway, SL just published Vera Stewart’s mother’s egg salad recipe which uses Durkee Famous Sauce and I’m beginning to understand that a lot of us grew up with that. One of my friends said her mother used Durkee’s in shrimp salad, stuffed eggs, potato salad, ham sandwiches, and more. Other friends didn’t even know what it was. Do you use it or is it in your family recipes? I’d love to hear more — and I’m ordering some for grocery delivery this week, so kindly teach me.

Thornton Dial, Smooth-Going Cats and the Hard-Headed Goat, High Museum Atlanta

Thornton Dial’s Smooth-Going Cats and the Hard-Headed Goat, from a visit to the High in 2017 (not included)

Thornton Dial: Strange Fruit at Google Arts & Culture

Strawberry Picking at Jerry Marsh Farm, Cleveland AL

strawberry picking at Jerry Marsh Farm, Cleveland AL, 2013

Many of us are very close to u-pick farm season. A reminder that many states have a directory of these farms, and this one is good as well.

Frances Lam in Cornbread Nation 7 (Bookshelf here // at Amazon):

And then there’s the exchange between Katherine Anne Porter and William Faulkner that occurred at a swanky French restaurant that was probably Maxim’s. They had dined well and enjoyed a fair amount of Burgundy and port, but at the end of the meal Faulkner’s eyes glazed over a bit and he said, “Back home the butter beans are in, the speckled ones,” to which a visibly moved Porter could only respond, “Blackberries.” 


PBS American Masters: Flannery will air March 23

World Record Blue Catfish (mounting by Archie Phillips) at Ezell's Fish Camp, Lavaca AL

world-record blue catfish at Ezell’s Fish Camp in Lavaca, Alabama, 2005

For whatever reason, thinking of the description Eudora did about driving down to Katherine Anne Porter’s home after Katherine Anne had suffered a broken hip and had cataract surgery. From Conversations with Eudora Welty (at Bookshop // at Amazon):

“Darling do you like catfish?” she said. At that time I had never eaten a catfish in my life. I don’t know why, I lived in catfish country where you could get all you could eat for a dollar eighty. But she said she was going to cook some. She is a wonderful cook. So when I came down from New York, Katherine Anne had been cooking all morning. She had cooked these dainty little catfish fingerlings, I guess you call them, little tiny things which you dip in something. She had fresh asparagus, it was early spring and we had champagne and strawberries. We celebrated.”

There was stormy weather here this week and I’m ready to be out at the lake. I’m sure there are branches down everywhere and we can use them to make a nice fire and grill out and just play around outside. This warmer weather that we’ve had a taste of was so good, and it’s coming back around. I hope you’ve got fun things going on. There’s going to be banana bread baking and seed catalog dreaming here this weekend. What about you? xoxo!