Family Reunion Soul Food Restaurant
Birmingham AL, 2008.
As always, all images unless otherwise noted copyright Deep Fried Kudzu. Like to use one elsewhere? Kindly contact me here.
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Elvis in the window at Stereo Jack’s in Cambridge MA, 2017.
The art collection of the late Texas heiress Anne Marion (Four Sixes Ranch) has been consigned to Sotheby’s and is expected to sell for $150M at auction later this spring in New York. Among the works: Andy Warhol’s Elvis 2 Times. Estimate: $20-30M.
Memphis’ oldest bbq restaurant, 99-year-old Leonard’s Barbecue, has been put on the market. It was founded by Leonard Heuberger, credited with ‘inventing’ the pulled pork sandwich.
Photographer William Abranowicz‘ new book out earlier this month, This Far and No Further: Photographs Inspired by the Voting Rights Movement (available here at Bookshop / at Amazon). From the publisher:
…This Far and No Further, a collection of photographs from Abranowicz’s journey through the American South. Through symbolism, metaphor, and history, he unearths extraordinary stories of brutality, heroism, sacrifice, and redemption hidden within ordinary American landscapes, underscoring the crucial necessity of defending—and exercising—our right to vote at this tenuous moment for American democracy.
I see pics in Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham, Jackson…
His instagram, here.
Photographer Alec Soth is doing “rambling talks” on his Youtube; here’s the one he did on Eggleston’s Democratic Forest
Pencil bus at the School Bus Graveyard, Alto GA, from a visit in 2017
Indre Rockefeller’s piece at NYMag on pencils:
The pencil was the tool of choice for many notable writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Walt Whitman, John Steinbeck, and Truman Capote. George Washington owned a gilt-clad mechanical pencil, and Abraham Lincoln wrote part of the Gettysburg Address in pencil.
My boys take Ticonderogas to school, but have what I consider expensive Blackwings (John Steinbeck and Stephen Sondheim = Blackwings) at home; the were purchased at a writing workshop we did for a few weeks. I don’t think they really even have a preference. Does/did anyone else use the jumbo-barrel pencils in early elementary? I loved those in first grade.
Really glad I found this piece, actually, because doing a quick pencil search, I found the 100+yo Musgrave Pencil Company based in Shelbyville, Tennessee and their Tennesse Red Cedar Pencils, in a cedar box. They’re also making the red TWA pencils at the TWA hotel in NY.
From YGM: “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
Tennessee Williams Home, Columbus MS, 2011
Can a woman after marriage maintain the same attitude toward other men as she held before marriage? Can she drink, smoke, and pet with them? Those are questions of really great pertinence to modern married life. In recounting my own unhappy marital experiences, perhaps I can present convincing answers . . .
He earned $5 for the story.
Whitney Plantation, Wallace LA, from a 2015 visit
A $250k grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation was gifted to Whitney Plantation; the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Mississippi is the recipient of a nearly-$700k grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
El Arroyo’s books, straight from them (best) or from Amazon:
El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs, Vol 1
El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs, Vol 2
El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs, Vol 3
El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs, Vol 4
Recipe for The People’s Biscuits from Bradley Nicholson and Susana Querejazu of the gorgeous Commodore Perry in Austin
Thinking of submitting a Window Swap. Maybe an aspic lamp? The glory of having two refrigerators in the NYT. For your enjoyment: my emoji wallpaper and you can customize it too. Walter the Sausage Dog chocolate at Marks & Spencer is fab — and so is this possum cake by Oracle Bakery
Podcast: Duchess, exploring the most historic homes of the UK and the women who lead these estates (read: castles). They are all so so so nice
Artist M.T. Liggett lived to provoke, But who’s getting the last laugh in Mullinville? in The Journal, a publication of the Kansas Leadership Center Journal. The restoration by Kohler is going, and there’s a 2,500sqft tourism and visitor center — a grand opening will take place July 2021
Among the winners of the 2021 US Wood Design Awards, The Miller Hull Partnership in collaboration with Lord Aeck Sargent, a Katerra Company on The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. It’s GT’s first timber structure since the 1880s
I think I heard a collective gasp from my ancestral grandmothers upon clicking on a post at Guest of a Guest with feet (and standing) on a dining room table, even though it was a prop for a photoshoot. In the next emoji release, I will be fervently campaigning for a symbol for “the clutching of the pearls” 😂
The only not-fruitstand/farmers market jam/jelly/preserves/etc in this home from here on out: Bonne Maman — and here’s why
Delysia Chocolatier in Austin has a Taste of the South collection for spring 2021 that includes one of each of the following: mint julep chocolate truffle, sweet tea vodka chocolate truffle, Frito pie chocolate truffle, chicken fried steak chocolate truffle, Cajun fried chicken chocolate truffle, green chili queso chocolate truffle, collard greens and bacon chocolate truffle, hummingbird cake chocolate truffle, and banana pudding chocolate truffle and I feel like reading those flavors I’m thinking yes no no no no nooooo whaaaaaat no yes yessss
In Memphis, the new-ish: Hazel’s Lucky Dice Delicatessen, in the same space as The Beauty Shop on 966 Cooper St. “When I started college at The Memphis Academy of Arts, I went to lunch at Burkle’s Bakery on Madison and the waitress asked me what I wanted. I asked her what was Catfish? She looked at me, with one raised eyebrow and her teased bright orange hair and said, “Shug, where are you from?””
included: Quitman County, Mississippi. This visit to the county seat, Marks, from 2004.
Philanthropy’s Rural Blind Spot at the Stanford Social Innovation Review:
University of Michigan professor of social work and public policy Luke Shaefer, along with colleagues at Princeton University, developed an Index of Deep Disadvantage to identify the most disadvantaged communities in the United States. They found that while grant makers can name some of these communities—Flint and Detroit in Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; and Camden, New Jersey—most remain invisible. The 100 most disadvantaged communities are on tribal lands or clustered in less densely populated geographic regions, like Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta. These communities are in what we call our “blind spots,” and, as Shaefer and his colleagues have contended, “our poverty policies suffer when social science research misses so many of the places with the greatest need.”
On that Index of Deep Disadvantage, 10 of the top 15 are in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia.
from a visit to Africatown in 2011
The Rothko Chapel is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, including an interfaith service Vimeo livestream Sunday afternoon. Events include book release for the new Rothko Chapel: An Oasis for Reflection (pre-order here at bookshop / here at Amazon), published by Rizzoli (I’m sent a lot of books because of my job, and Rizzoli are alwaaayyyysssss just incredible). From their site:
The Rothko Chapel–home to 14 monumental modernist paintings by the pioneer Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko–is an interfaith sacred space dedicated to global human rights, art, and spirituality, located in Houston. The Chapel was founded in 1971 by arts patrons and philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil, who placed their utmost faith in Rothko’s vision to express the profound, the miraculous, and regard for the sanctity of the human spirit in this oasis for the intellect and the spirit.
Through photographic testimony and the insights of scholars, this large-format volume gives an intimate look at this sacred space, where visitors seek solace and inspiration within this truly ecumenical sanctuary featuring Rothko’s iconic paintings. Pamela Smart discusses the spiritual side and Stephen Fox puts the architecture in the context of Houston.
Artist Charles Gaines, who was born in Charleston, is in Wallpaper in their Artist’s Palate feature with yam sculptures, and a provides a recipe for candied yams that he attributes to his mother, Amelia.
Long-haired Country Boy by Elizabeth Nelson in the Winter 2020 Oxford American, on Charlie Daniels:
Charlie Daniels was a musical genius and a human charm offensive. This is the best available explanation for the scarcely credulous, Zelig-like life that saw him write for Elvis Presley, become a crucial sideman to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, befriend Beatles and presidents, and invent an entirely novel form of country boogie over the course of a five-decade career in music.
I saw Charlie Daniels perform once; was fab. Just this week saw him mentioned in the Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President doc on HBO Max, which was great great great.
…and all that above reminds me about Dylan’s new Heaven’s Door Whiskey, distilled in Nashville. The 1871 (or maybe not) building they’re using, the former Elm Street Methodist Church, which most recently housed an architecture firm, was purchased for $6.2M. While the distillery hasn’t opened to the public yet — though it was originally slated for fall 2020 — it will also include a whiskey library, an art sanctuary, restaurant, and 360-seat live performance venue.
Schwartz’ Deli in Montreal, mentioned in the podcast. This pic from a 2005 visit
From Bagels and Crawfish Boils to Chicken Frico — Savouring North America’s Complicated French Roots at the North Americana Podcast. They spend a lot of time with Isaac Toups in New Orleans, whom I’ve met — he’s one of the kindest people ever
The Old Monroe County Courthouse, from a 2006 visit
Goodee is selling brooms from Berea College in Kentucky — this is their intro for them:
Established in 1855 as the first non-segregated, coeducational college in the South, Berea is a private liberal arts college with a remarkable mission — to offer tuition-free education to everyone regardless of income, gender or ethnicity. Deeply rooted in Appalachian culture and history, the trailblazing Kentucky institution combines strong academics with a one-of-a-kind work-study program designed to dignify all labor, keeping the region’s craft heritage alive.
Are you thinking: “brooms? Yawn.” Nope. These are gorgeous. The broom workshop at Berea is now in its 101st year. There’s more selection at the school shop here, and in particular, hearthsweep broom in multi is beautiful. Anyway, Goodee is fun to browse, like Baba Tree Basket Company. And if you’re looking for a special baby present, this this this.
Village Church Yard by Ralph Stanley
The only place (other than Ninfa’s) with the good green sauce
As if it’s possible to love H-E-B any more, from Texas Monthly: No Store Did More: How H-E-B Became a Model of Emergency Preparedness
Louise Bourgeouis, Spider
Robert Indiana LOVE. Both these sculptures are at the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans
Departures comes up with their list, 20 of the Most Legendary Pieces of Public Art in the World which includes Prada Marfa, Robert Indiana’s LOVE in Philadelphia, and Louise Bourgeois’ “Maman” in London. Another LOVE and Spider are at the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA in New Orleans
Millionaire’s shortbread from this past week. Delish.
This is only staying out of super-random because here’s the very cool Hebrew alefbet typewriter at my home:
and this made me very very very happy
Hope you’re taking joy in the easy things too this week…feels good to get into the groove and just roll with whatever. We had Purim and gave away and got bags of goodies (shalach manot) and I made everything challah for Shabbat today. Those pretty hamantaschen above were left on my porch by a friend this afternoon! There’s going to be just a world of baking here the next couple of days. Keeping things sweet and simple. Have a relaxing weekend, friends. xoxo!
Made banana bread again last week — bananas aren’t anything that we eat regularly here, but I love to get them occasionally and let them sit out to get nice and dark so they’re perfect for either ‘nana puddin or this banana bread.
1 stick butter (8 tbsp) softened
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar
3 nice-size bananas, with a nice dark, spotty peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c chopped pecans but you can really add more if you like
— ps: those pecans could be walnuts if you like. Also, some people add coconut or chocolate chips to their banana bread. Do what’s yummy to you —
Preheat the oven to 350*
In a Kitchenaid, put the peeled bananas in with the softened butter and eggs. Let this get nice and light and incorporated while stirring together the flour/salt/b-powder/sugar in another bowl
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet in the bowl of the Kitchenaid, with the beater on the lowest speed. Get that incorporated, but don’t overbeat
Now, add the pecans and vanilla. Give it a little whirl just to evenly distribute the pecans
Total aside: I have three loaf pans — a clear glass Pyrex, a fab red LeCreuset (here’s their Heritage pan), and this one, from Williams-Sonoma. I don’t see any really interesting ones at W-S right now, but at the holidays, they will often offer something with a good design
Here, I sprayed the pan with baking release, and the batter fits in nicely
Check with a toothpick or butter knife for doneness. Oftentimes, I find that it will look gorgeous on the outside, but need extra time right in the middle. If it starts getting too dark, you can gently place a length of foil over so the heat can get the middle done. Begin peeking at :45 but usually I think it’s perfect between one hour and 1:10.
So good. Some people like it room temp, but it’s also great hot with a pat of butter, and others will even shmear the top with some chocolate icing, and I’m betting that Nutella or Biscoff would be fab too
Of course, rather than make a loaf of banana bread, you can generously fill muffin tins and make those instead — and I’ve found that you can hold some batter back, and they make amazinggggg pancakes. Just pour in a nice warm skillet with butter and cook like usual. Just so, so good.
While I’m thinking about it, Galatoire’s serves a banana bread pudding that’s terrific. Here, from a visit several years ago
That recipe, from Chef Brian Landry when he was at Galatoire’s, here.
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’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.
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.
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, 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.
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”
Exploring America’s Kitsch Fantasy Hotels at Trendland
Peach cobbler cheesecake. Yes or no?
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
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
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” 😂
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:
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.
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.”
Centerville, Tennessee artist Ricky Pittman, featured above with his grapevine creations and Minnie Pearl sculpture from chicken wire
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;
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.
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:
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!