Make Everything Bread

Angel Bread Rolls

There’s a bread recipe that I use many weeks of the year — one batch will make two or three days’ worth of bread. Many times, I’ll make it early in the week and there will be enough for me to make a small-ish challah on Friday. I use it to make rolls, loaf bread, and just whatever. Crazy easy and it keeps in the refrigerator.

Bread Dough

Ingredients:
1/2 c warm water (apparently 95* is optimum, but don’t let it get warmer than 140* which is the point it kills yeast)
1 packet dry yeast (1/4 oz)
1 tsp sugar
5c all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
5 tsp baking powder
3 tsp salt
1/2 c butter cut into small pieces
1/2 c butter-flavored Crisco (seriously, Crisco)
2 c buttermilk
additional butter for baking

1/ in a measuring cup, combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 tsp sugar. Let that work and bubble five minutes.
2/ in a large bowl (I use the Kitchenaid) combine the flour and other dry ingredients. Next, add the yeast mixture. Add the butter and Crisco last. Just stir this until everything comes together — not long.
3/ in the fridge, place the bowl with a dishtowel or saran on top. The dough will be ready to use after a couple of hours. Keep unused dough in the refrigerator.

To bake:
1/ preheat oven to 400*. Shape into whatever you like — rolls, loaf bread, challah…good for so many things. In general, smaller things will be ready at :20-:25, larger things may take up to :45. Add butter toward the end of the bake to get the crust more nice and brown.

Angel biscuits

Rewind: E.T. Wickham’s Tennessee Sculptures

I was contacted by E.T. Wickham’s great-granddaughter earlier this year about a project she’s working on, and have been watching this talk she gave on his sculptures

in part:
“E.T. Wickham: The Intersection of Family and Preservation” by Brittany Wickham Walker
In the back woods of Palmyra, Tennessee, a small community southwest of Clarksville, dozens of concrete statues line a road near the Cumberland River. Although many of these sculptures have been vandalized since their creation in the mid-1900s, they play an important role in the settlement and identity of the area. These sculptures were created by Enoch Tanner Wickham, a self-taught artist who created nearly forty concrete works during the last twenty years of his life, using only the materials around him. Although his period of artistic significance lasted less than twenty years, Wickham’s work had a notable impact on his community. His formal education ended in the sixth grade, but his knowledge of and interest in American history and politics inspired his work. His sculptures included politicians, religious figures, wildlife, American presidents, and soldiers. A descendent of one of the first families to settle in Montgomery County, Wickham was surprisingly liberal for his age and location, inspired by figures like John F. Kennedy. The artist had a reputation of being a mischief-maker, often playing practical jokes on his conservative (and not receptive) Palmyra neighbors.

I visited this environment a few years ago — here are some of the images

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

It’s Getting to be Fruitcake Weather

Fruitcake

I finished reading Wayne Flynt’s new Afternoons with Harper Lee (here signed at Alabama Booksmith, here at Bookshop, here at Amazon) about a week ago; in it, she mentions Truman Capote, whom she played with as a child (he lived with his Faulk family in Monroeville in a house by the Lee home). The Faulk home is no longer, and on the site now, a dairy bar. A historic marker stands:

Truman Capote, Monroeville AL

and reads in part: Capote himself lived in this home between 1927 and c. 1933, and for several years spent his summer vacations here. Two of the Faulk sisters operated a highly successful millinery shop located on the town square. The third sister, affectionately known as “Sook,” was the inspiration for characters in the Glass Harp, The Thanksgiving Visitor, and A Christmas Memory.

Nelle Lee mentions to the Flynts one day that Sook was her favorite of the Faulks, and made her out to be a poorly educated but faithful Baptist except when she would sample the moonshine whiskey used in her fruitcakes — and that those fruitcakes truly deserved all the praise heaped upon them.

The accents here are just not right, but I’ve clipped the scene in ACM where Sook brings her ingredient shopping list:

These cooler temps do indicate that it’s fruitcake time, because a proper fruitcake requires weeks of maturing…letting the alcohol mellow out some.

Fruitcake

I make quickie fruitcakes — cupcakes! — the night before they’re enjoyed, and the alcohol has not mellowed out. It’s THERE. (Hi, if you’re one of those people who’s going for wine-level descriptors of the complex flavors that come with cakes that have set for weeks, that’s great too, but just get started early). And here’s the most important, important, important thing about fruitcakes no matter what you’re going for: only put in what tastes good that you’d eat on your own otherwise. Citron peel? No thanks. Make these like a crabcake: only enough filler to hold things together. A good fruitcake has all the yummy bits — pineapple, cherries, golden raisins all generously bathed in whiskey plus pecans, even chocolate chips if you like. It’s so customizable. Here’s my recipe.

This Week’s Various

A super-short This Week’s Various.

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

Affiliate links are sometimes used. That means that if you purchase something via one of the links, it costs you nothing extra, but may generate a commission, offsetting the cost of DFK… e.g. as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Also: remember that Bookshop is fab because they’re giving orders to indie booksellers. Grateful for your support. xoxo!


Purchased Wayne Flynt’s new book, Afternoons with Harper Lee, this week at Alabama Booksmith which has a stunning attribute: every book there is signed by the author and sold at the regular publisher’s price. And they’ll ship. Before it was this way, I got an amazing collection of (unsigned) Eugene Walter books that were almost impossible to get anywhere else.

Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham AL

Nelle Harper Lee Books at Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham AL

Nelle Harper Lee Books at Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham AL

BTW, Mobile is spending 2022 celebrating its late renaissance man, Eugene Walter (and namesake of my cat — I’ve waited since the ’90s to have a boy cat to name Eugene). They included this quote:

“I know when they took him to the hospital, when he was dying and they were carrying him into the hospital and on the way in, one of the nurses asked him if he was allergic to anything and he said ‘only one thing…Fob James,’” said Haines with a chuckle at the joke at the expense of Alabama’s former Governor.


In Arkansas: Rural Teacher Prep Program Delivers ‘Job-Embedded’ Degrees — For $75 a Month, at Daily Yonder



Scottsboro Boys Museum, Scottsboro AL

The Scottsboro Boys Museum reopened this week and I attended the dedication and ribbon cutting. Will make a post later this week (and the exhibits are new and fabulous).


At the NYT: How Did a Minister Come to Own Hundreds of Edward Hoppers? An exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art exploring Hopper’s vision of New York has also rekindled questions about how a Baptist minister came to own so much of his art.

Edward Hopper, New York Office, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery AL

Saw this Edward Hopper, his 1962 ‘New York Office’, at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts last year. Part of the permanent collection there since 1989.


Spotted around UAB last week:

Bible Verses Car, Birmingham AL


Finally got to the Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur, Alabama to view the Daisie Hoitsma + Jason Tanner Young: reach exhibit, which was on through November 5 — nice, nice, nice. Really looking forward to the Sophie McVicar Symbols of Transformation exhibit that opens Nov 15 and goes through Jan 15.

Carnegie Visual Arts Center: Daisie Hoitsma + Jason Tanner Young: reach, Decatur AL

Carnegie Visual Arts Center: Daisie Hoitsma + Jason Tanner Young: reach, Decatur AL

Carnegie Visual Arts Center: Daisie Hoitsma + Jason Tanner Young: reach, Decatur AL

Carnegie Visual Arts Center: Daisie Hoitsma + Jason Tanner Young: reach, Decatur AL


In Helvetia, West Virginia, from the Johnson City Press:
The fresh flowers that grace each table at The Hűtte, the collection of black-iron skillets purchased over the years at estate sales, and the meticulously waxed floors are all testament to the enduring lessons and influence of Eleanor, who insisted on being called “Műtter,” to honor her father’s family heritage and her adopted hometown’s reason for being.

…Although the population of Helvetia has remained below 100 people for years, Eleanor felt it was the center of the universe. “Thank G-d, it’s not easy to get here. It’s just wonderful,” she said.

Some 85 people live there today, and they celebrate their life together often, bringing home-baked cakes to the annual community ramp dinner in the spring and roasting a whole pig in a pit in the fall.

Several of the recipes used at The Hűtte came from families in the community. From the umlaut in the name of the business to the sauerkraut served with a dill pickle slice on top, the menu strongly reflects the Swiss-German heritage of Helvetia.

The aroma of frying potatoes is ever present in The Hűtte’s kitchen as cooks prepare order after order of rosti, a Swiss potato dish fried in butter in one of those black-iron skillets.


At the National Gallery of Art in DC, through March 26, 2023, Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South. The 40 works include those by Gees Bend Quilters, Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, Joe Minter, Joe Light, Ronald Lockett, Purvis Young, Nellie Mae Rowe, and Georgia and Henry Speller.


Super random.

Reebok x Eames

Just a reminder that McMansion Hell is still fire

Speaking of, one printing of Farenheit 451 came in asbestos binding


Forgot to mention we had supper at Mary Ruth’s in Georgiana, Alabama — this is the town where Hank Williams Sr grew up.

Mary Ruth's, Georgiana AL

Mary Ruth's, Georgiana AL

we knew we were in for some good food when they put the pepper sauce in Crown Royal bottles

Mary Ruth's, Georgiana AL


A visit to Juniper in Birmingham a few days ago

Juniper, Birmingham AL

big remembrances of the Caribbean Room at the Pontchartrain in New Orleans (Jack Rose is in that space now)
Caribbean Room, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

Caribbean Room, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

with this Ashley Longshore


At West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Inside Appalachia: This week, we travel to Charleston, West Virginia, to learn about the importance of funeral singers to Black communities (& more)


David Zwirner Gallery in NY has an exhibit of (mostly) never-before-seen images by William Eggleston, William Eggleston: The Outlands, on view through December 17.

From the press release:
A photograph of a glass of iced tea resting on a table in a diner seems to almost self-consciously reference Eggleston’s now iconic image of a drink resting on an airplane tray table, also taken during this period. A photograph of a blue 1956 Dodge station wagon appears to have been captured on the same street and from the same low vantage point as Eggleston’s well-known image of a tricycle, which donned the cover of William Eggleston’s Guide.2 A view of the corner of a graffitied interior, drenched in a deep pinkish-red hue, brings to mind another of the artist’s best-known images, depicting a lightbulb projecting from a bloodred ceiling. Familiar yet startlingly fresh, these images conjure a sense of déjà vu–like reverie, reflecting the poignancy of Eggleston’s artistry.

Here, a few Egglestons from an exhibit at the Ogden in 2017

William Eggleston, Ogden Museum

William Eggleston, Ogden Museum

and here, from the Memphis Brooks, also from a 2017 visit

William Eggleston at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art


Horseback Riding at Rusted Roof Barn, Oak Mountain State Park

Great time last weekend horseback riding with an adventure group I lead. Recommend Rusted Roof Barn at Oak Mountain State Park. Had TWO huge wins last week. Such really terrific things, both of them, and each are embargoed for a few days but will absolutely show up here when they can be announced. Everyone’s doing great and enjoying autumn. Hope you are too. xoxo!

Ilse’s Linzer Torte

Several years ago, my friend Ilse gave me a handwritten recipe card for making linzer torte. She knew I was a baker, and she most certainly was too. Ilse was a Holocaust survivor and I enjoyed her so much; when my boys were little, I ran as a volunteer our Sisterhood Gift Shop and she would come in to volunteer. There were days I would literally sit at her feet and listen to stories.

Ilse's Linzer Torte

When my boys were little, we’d see Ilse and her sister Ruth at shul, and I’d make a point to very gently remind the boys that the sisters were survivors and to remember them, as they’ll be the last generation of children to know survivors personally.

One year as Sisterhood Programming Co-Chair, we put on a conversation between Ruth, who had just written “My Father’s Blessing” with Ann Mollengarten, and it completely filled up our social hall. It was absolutely terrific for all of us.

This summer, Ruth and Ilse passed away eleven days apart. The NYT even ran their obit.

I’ve made Ilse’s linzer torte a few times just in the last couple of months, as part of a dessert table at a Break-The-Fast to our sukkah party, and another occasion. My one change to her recipe is that I’ve upped the sugar by 1/4c. It’s a terrific recipe — enjoy.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 c butter
1 c ground almonds or pecans
1 c raspberry or other preserves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*. Mix all the ingredients together except the preserves. The mixture will be somewhat crumbly.

Ilse's Linzer Torte

In a springform pan, take just over 2/3 of the dough and spread evenly.

Ilse's Linzer Torte

Out of the oven, spread the preserves (I’ve made this with a few different flavors but my favorite favorite favorite is the Bonne-Maman Peach-Mango Preserves. A little note: some of the berry flavors seem to run a little bit more than other fruit preserves, so you may want to consider using a tiny bit less if you go with, say, raspberry.

Ilse's Linzer Torte

Ilse's Linzer Torte

Spread the preserves on. I leave a little space on the edges without any preserves, but that’s just a preference.

Ilse's Linzer Torte

With the just-about 1/3 raw dough left, take little scraps and dot here and there on top of the preserves, all around.

Ilse's Linzer Torte

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a nice golden brown. Always a super easy process to remove it from the springpan. Cut into triangle slices like a pie. Delish!

Ilse's Linzer Torte

This Week’s Various

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

Affiliate links are sometimes used. That means that if you purchase something via one of the links, it costs you nothing extra, but may generate a commission, offsetting the cost of DFK… e.g. as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Also: remember that Bookshop is fab because they’re giving orders to indie booksellers. Grateful for your support. xoxo!


Lisa Slominski has a terrific piece about Minnie Evans (whose work is at the Venice Biennale, through November) at Burnaway


Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta GA

from a visit to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, 2022

Jennifer and Kevin Box, who created the Origami in the Garden exhibit that closes this weekend at the Atlanta Botanical Garden will open the exhibit at the Huntsville Botanical Garden in early March 2023


The Ritz of the Bayou: Nancy Lemann’s Shabby-Genteel from The Paris Review — the Fall ’22 issue includes her ‘Diary of Remorse


Dave Drake (Dave the Slave) jar, Birmingham Museum of Art

Dave Drake jar at the Birmingham Museum of Art, from a 2022 visit

The NYT does a piece on fall exhibitions, including Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in concert with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

and

Roberta Smith writes Nellie Mae Rowe Levels the Wall Between Insider and Outsider Art: The artist has been a major — if underrecognized — American talent. But the biggest look yet at her achievement gives it a whole new stature. The exhibit is at the Brooklyn Museum through January 1.

Also written up at the New Yorker,.


There’s a documentary on Rowe, This World is Not My Own, coming out soon.

A curator talk, from the exhibit at The High in Atlanta


For no reason other than omgggggg what a classic


Remembering a piece Food & Wine did on Travis Milton’s (Kat Kinsman called him “an evangelist for Appalachian cuisine” with a sidebar on what Hillbilly Elegy portrayed the region) restaurant, Hickory at Nicewater Farm and Vineyards in Bristol VA, and you know, the first thing on the menu is ‘Whipped Spam: nori, miso pickles, yuzu hot sauce, fried saltines’ and I have to put it out there: I think this is missing the mark. Hard.

I *did* enjoy the chef’s piece: The Fettuccine Alfredo at the Wendy’s Superbar Turned Me into a Chef


One of my friends is selling one of her homes: a fab 1835 raised cottage with six fireplaces, on the Register, in Eutaw, Alabama

Did Kenworthy Hall in Marion sell? It’s an Upjohn. Almost positive it’s on the market.

1854 Snowdoun in Columbus MS had a $200k price change down to $500k now and how is that not getting snatched up?


Lucky Dog Cart

A Lucky Dog cart in the Quarter, from 2006. IYKYK.

At French Quarter Journal: My Son, the Genius: An Interview with Thelma Ducoing Toole who was of course the mother of John Kennedy Toole, whom we all know as author of Confederacy of Dunces. It’s a must-read, really.

Well, he was the talk of Touro Infirmary where he was born. He had facial expressions. The nurses crowded, they were laughing, they were delighted. He had the face he carried all his life. Now that’s rare. A baby. It takes a while to become attractive. They’re great miracles, yes, but
anyway, the head nurse would sit in my room, a Swiss-born woman. They were trying to see the enigma, who produced [him]. He was marking time. Yeah, I knew him. He raised himself out of the blanket they brought him in to me. I said, “Good spine.”

And all his life he was invulnerable. Modest, discreet, born sophisticated, born mature. And I was so afraid the older boys would pommel him. If he were a puny, bespectacled little boy, they’d have pommeled him. He was tall for his age. And his classmates were two years older than he and he’d call them “those children.”

and

He entered Tulane at 16 on a merit scholarship; he worked hard. I didn’t have the money to pay the tuition. I offered [Sheldon] Hackney, who was the former president, to reimburse him now. He didn’t want to. He said, “He’s credit enough.”

[John] did work in the summer months at Haspel’s Clothing Company on Bruxelles. He did typing for Wise Cafeteria. Very industrious fellow; he wanted to help me. I taught, I had a scant income. No one knew it.

And huge sidenote; of course you know Haspel…it was Joseph Haspel who brought seersucker to the South and made it an icon here. And if you’re the sort who likes to hate on Picadilly for being the end of Morrison’s Cafeterias, you can hate them for the same reason in being a large part of the demise of Wise.

and

I was wondering after reading America Magazine’s repost of a 1981 article how many copies A Confederacy of Dunces has sold. At that time, it was 45000. LSU Press says now it’s up to two million, in more than two dozen languages.

Also, don’t miss Margaret Eby’s John Kennedy Toole’s Hot Dog Carts, at Five Dials. So, so, so many good bits.

‘Over the years I have become very good at getting out of things I don’t want to do,’ (Walker) Percy later wrote in the introduction to Confederacy. ‘And if ever there was something I didn’t want to do, this was surely it: to deal with the mother of a dead novelist and, worst of all, to have to read a manuscript that she said was great and that, as it turned out, was a badly smeared, scarcely readable carbon.’


Through March 26, 2023: Some Boys, a Few Bunnies, and One Lousy Unicorn: Sculptures by Alex Podesta at the LSU Museum of Art will be a must see.


From the NYT: Alice Gerrard Didn’t Plan a Bluegrass Career. She Broke Its Glass Ceiling. Six decades ago, the singer’s duo with Hazel Dickens revolutionized the genre. As their albums are reissued, she reflected on her unexpected life in folk music and what’s next.


Super random.

Serious thought: We need to be endowing more scholarships at community colleges

Goth luxe baguette bag

I went to a meditation center last week (just because) and was so tickled with the sweet memories that popped up with fantastic clarity, and afterword read about the ‘Non-Toothache Meditation

Yessss to The Secret Garden restaurant in Amsterdam

Only four of the 2022 MacArthur Fellows live in the South

At Bookriot, a cookbook showdown: the best lemon pie recipes, tested and #spoileralert: Mary Berry’s is best

Why do the editors at Bon Appetit think this should be a thing

We lost Billy Sothern this month

May you always be a bit much

Definitely thinking of making this roll-up lasagna from W-S

I’ve taken Eurail from Venice to Paris, but the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is beyonddd

The founding fathers were actually super young

The Helis Foundation John Scott Center is now open in New Orleans’ CBD


Cornbread

pan of cornbread, 2012

There’s now a Lodge Cast Iron Museum


Dublin Dr. Pepper

Dublin Dr Pepper, 2007

The tasting notes on Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon:

“The nose rolls in sweetly and gently. Reminiscent of a new pair of hand-made leather boots. Or maybe monkey bread. Finishes subtly with spring jasmine. Dark as cacao chocolate with the fattest legs ever seen slowly rolling home. Syrupy Dublin Dr. Pepper and brown sugar on the center of the tongue. Blackstrap molasses. Carob and dates. Finish is chocolate bark from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.”


…had an armadillo absolutely ripping up my yard last year in central AL

armadillo


Austin-based collage artist Deborah Roberts is suing Birmingham-based Lynthia Edwards and her Brooklyn gallerist for $1M for copyright infringement

“(Beavers) and Lynthia Edward have substantially copied and offered for sale… works of visual art that replicate the composition, content, style, framing, color, narrative and artistic intent of Ms. Roberts’ work.”


Dennery's in Jackson MS

The Dennery’s sign, 2005

Louis Vuitton just brought back Fred’s at Barney’s as part of its 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries project but I’d prefer Dennery’s in Jackson


Ruby C. Williams, Kentuck Festival, Northport AL

Ruby, from Kentuck 2009

The NYT ran an obit for Ruby C. Williams


sidenote that a very nice place to live is in the intersection of the Venn diagram of Grapico and Sun Drop distribution


Dr. Pemberton's Country House, Columbus Georgia

Pharmacist, Dr John S Pemberton country home in Columbus GA, from a 2008 visit. He came up with the original formula for Coca-Cola 

I am maybe the last person to unerstand that pharmacists were coming up with drinks (like colas, milkshakes, whatever) because they were looking for ways to “concoct something to put the medicine in that would taste good” as Nick Harrel at his charming 1916 pharmacy in Kingsville, Texas explains


 

CACHE (Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange) is hosting Pony Gate through next month at The Famous Hardware Store in Springdale:

…an uncanny dream of lush embodiments. Pony Gate acts as a series of dioramas, where each window operates as a model, animating the indescribable nature of our formative selves and our personal mythologies. The colors, shapes, and lines associated with the toys, games, and objects from the artist’s youth get broken down and pieced together to form bloated objects that appear to be inflated. Acting as relics, each artwork is personal and universal, inviting us to question each of our individual experiences, bringing us closer to our own personal identities that have been shaped over time.


Amish Community of Mississippi

Amish community outside Pontotoc, Mississippi, from a 2008 visit

Apple Butter in Appalachia, at Tennessee Farm Table


 


Brennan's New Orleans

Brennan’s, from a 2015 visit

Love that the NYT’s list of 50 restaurants they’re most excited about right now includes Brennan’s, because “What sets Brennan’s apart? It’s fun.” And it’s especially fun to go to bed knowing you’re getting dressed up early ‘cuz that’s what’s for breakfast.

And really want to give Yeyo’s a try the next time we’re in Bentonville.


So much more I’ll post next week. xoxo!