This Week’s Various

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

Governor's Suite, Marriott Shoals Hotel, Florence AL

The custom Sun Records guitar made by Gibson, presented to Sam Phillips, celebrating “50 years of Sam’s Sun Records and the birth of Rock ‘n Roll.” It’s in the Governor’s Suite at the Marriott Shoals Hotel, Florence AL. From a stay there in 2018

Primary Wave Music in NY has purchased Memphis/now Nashville-based Sun Records‘ assets — that means the recordings, the logo, the brand — from the family that owns the corporation, the Singleton family who bought it from Sam Phillips in 1969. 80yo John A. Singleton says one part in selling it was that he doesn’t have anyone in the family to hand it down to.

The only thing that wasn’t included was Elvis Presley’s releases, because they already belong to Sony, and some small labels and some songwriting copyrights. From the NYT:

 In total, about 6,000 recordings are part of the deal, among them some epochal classics: Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line,” Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” Carl Perkins’s “Blue Suede Shoes” and the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love.”

Walker Evans American Photographs is a traveling exhibit of 60 photographs celebrating his landmark solo show at MoMA in 1938. Its first stop is the Art Museum of West Virginia University, and its on currently through April 25.

Gallery, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock

from a visit to the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, in 2015

The Arkansas Arts Center is now the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts. Currently, it is being developed as part of a $142M plan that includes design by MacArthur Foundation “genius award” winners Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects and Kate Orff of SCAPE Landscape Architecture. It is scheduled to open spring 2022.

Studio Gang and SCAPE also worked together on the upcoming Tom Lee Park in Memphis.

Square Books is promoting pre-orders for A Place Like Mississippi: From Faulkner and Welty to Wright and Ward (Square Books here, Amazon here). Via the publisher, this review:

“Ralph Eubanks’ A Place Like Mississippi is the book all of us Mississippi writers, dead and alive, need to read. It is indeed a strange but glorious sensation to see your literary and geographic lineage so beautifully and rigorously explored and valued as it’s still being created. A Place Like Mississippi is further proof that while Mississippi is 50th in many things, when it comes to riveting, textured, literary art, we one of one, as is the genius of Ralph Eubanks.” —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: An American Memoir

Country Store near Moundville, Alabama by Walker Evans. From the Library of Congress, Control Number 2017762321. No known copyright restrictions on image.

February 4, Swann Galleries will host auction The Artists of the WPA, featuring paintings, prints, photographs, posters, books, and more by artists who were employed by the Works Progress Administration.  Among the 230 or so lots:

Thomas Hart Benton lithographs // Lester Beall posters promoting the Rural Electrification Administration // Marion Post Wolcott silver print of a man in the Camden, Alabama area // Charles Crutch silver print of men playing checkers in Red Bank, Tennessee // files & photographs of Arthur Getz projects, including “Cotton Field” in Luverne, Alabama // Dorothea Lange silver print of a tenant farmer near Anniston, Alabama // Russell Lee silver prints of Appalachian life // Walker Evans silver print of Vicksburg, Mississippi neighborhood, a country store near Moundville, Alabama, and a showbill from Demopolis, Alabama

Arnold's Country Kitchen, Nashville TN

from a visit to Arnold’s, 2016

Nashville’s beloved meat & three, Arnold’s, is starting Arnold’s After Dark, with the restaurant transforming after its existing hours, beginning Feb 11. This, from Eater:

…transform the original buffet line into a bar (the new daytime buffet line is just a few feet back) — and Pendley’s brews from TennFold will be on offer alongside cocktails from Urban Grub’s Wil Schultz. Arnold’s hasn’t shared the final cocktail or food menus just yet, but teases frozen mint juleps and other refreshing Arnold’s-inspired cocktails alongside some new food offerings…

The Neal Auction Company Winter Estates Auction Feb 5-7 includes the estate of Julia Reed, from which I found five works by William Dunlap, including the 40×82″ ‘Mississippi – Father of Waters – History of Mud’ and 39×52 ‘Jeffersonian Democracy: A Work in Progress’ as well as some very fine photography, including Jane Rule Burdine’s 1971 ‘Curtain, College Hill, Lafayette County, Mississippi’ and Jack Spencer’s 2014 ‘M&E Service Center, Greenville, Mississippi’. On page 66-67 of the catalog, a few Ida Kohlmeyers. Lot 554: ‘I am in the House’ woodcarving by James Surls. Lots 598-601, George Rodrigue Blue Dogs.  Day three includes works by Mose T, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Bernice Sims, Joe Light.

O'Hanlon's in Geneva, Georgia

fatback biscuit, 2017

Atlanta Magazine on 11 Places to find Fluffy, Comforting Biscuits in Atlanta includes that really pretty one from Sun in My Belly. Also: really like Matt’s post at SIMB about hosting: One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was, “You have to invite yourself to the party.” Every time we host, my wife and I aim to finish preparation 30 minutes before our guests arrive, so that we can have a private drink together and set the tone for the evening. It’s really cool when you think of a party as a living, growing entity: the party starts with my wife and me; we establish its identity by peacefully enjoying that first cocktail, and then we invite each guest that arrives following into this positive ambiance.

And: Redbird looks beyond fab.

George Ohr

(these pieces not included in the sale) examples of George Ohr pottery, 2012

The Slotin Southern Folk Pottery Extravaganza auction will be Feb 13. It’s 327 lots, including many one would expect; was very happy to see several works by George Ohr — those seem to have very conservative estimates.

Christie’s Outsider and Vernacular Art auction came in at  $2,137,750; that’s  > 2x the total low estimate. The hammer price of $293,750 for Bill Traylor’s 1939-42 ‘Two Dogs Fighting; Man Chasing Dog’ was also more than double the low estimate. Thornton Dial’s 2003 ‘Creation of Life in the Blackberry Patch’ realized $150k.

From the NYPL:

In this episode, NYPL’s Joshua Chuang and renowned art historian Svetlana Alpers, author of the recently published Walker Evans: Starting from Scratch will discuss how the great American artist came to develop his eye, as well as the influential encounters Evans had as a young artist at the NYPL.

(via Square Books, via Amazon)

Lonnie Holley and Matthew E. White collab on Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection, out April 19. In the meantime, they released This Here Jungle of Moderness/Composition 14:

Super random section:

The Washingtonian with 10 Decadent Pie Recipes from DC Chefs for National Pie Day includes some from shuttered restaurants; the list: Baked and Wired’s Peaches-and-Cream Pie // BlackSalt’s Caramel/Apple Streusel Pie // NoPa’s Peach-Melba Handpies // Founding Farmers’ Chicken Pot Pie // Bar Pilar’s Buttermilk Pie // General Store’s Coconut-Cream Pie // Againn’s Banoffee Pie // Buzz Bakery’s Brown-Sugar Pie // Tabard Inn’s Crab Tart // Red Truck Bakery’s Pumpkin Pie

Botticelli’s circa 1480 “Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Roundel” (or, to me, “Guy Who Really Looks Like My Boyfriend, My Sophomore Year of College”) sold at Sotheby’s for a record-breaking $92.2M this week, which I guess also means I told my kids a lie when I explained “nobody is spending serious money during a pandemic and that includes us”

I mean, I want a melted disco ball but we’ll pass for now

Joanna Mang at Jezebel with We Have to Save Books from the Book People

The restored Apollo Mission Control at Houston’s Johnson Space Center

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is being made into a ‘big-budget’ television miniseries, though it has not yet been sold to any premium cable / streaming service. Blake Hazard, a great-granddaughter of Scott and Zelda, and trustee of the Fitzgerald estate, will be a consulting producer

Eleanor Torrey West, who worked to protect from developers and over-tourism the 26k-acre Ossabow Island off the coast of Georgia, has passed away at the age of 108. The island is home to a variety of birds, sea turtles and even feral pigs, which were believed to have been introduced by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Mrs. West kept some of the animals as pets, including Lucky, who was injured by a hawk as a piglet; she nursed him back to health in her laundry room.  “They used to go on walks around the island,” Mr. Gilothwest said, “and then he would lie down on a riverbank, and she’d lean her head on his belly and read a book.”

No one was kidding when we said Chick-Fil-A would have this whole process go faster, and that was just proven. Now we need to get a trifecta of Chick-Fil-A, Niki’s West, and The Varsity to push this through, and boom, we done.

Pellet Ice is the Good Ice by Helen Rosner, in the New Yorker. Besides when the biscuits were really good, wasn’t the pellet ice the only other reason to go to Hardee’s?

San Antonio Murals

San Antonio murals, 2016

For the Best Enchiladas in Texas, Go Back to School in San Antonio at Texas Highways

If you didn’t grow up in San Antonio, I can’t explain the cultural significance of enchilada day (aka Wednesday). The enchiladas were so good, they would actually chart increased school attendance on enchilada day.

…“The races to the cafeteria were amazing,” says Dr. Richard Middleton , a graduate and former superintendent of San Antonio’s North East ISD. “At our 50th high school reunion, people were talking about how if there was one thing they wish they could relive, a lot of them said Enchilada Day.”

…According to Sharon Glosson, executive director of school nutrition for North East ISD, when San Antonio schools started restricting access due to COVID-19, parents “wanted to know if they could still come visit on enchilada day.”

Here’s the recipe on the NEISD’s FB page

The Outsider Art Fair New York opens January 29 and runs through Feb 7. Online viewing rooms here. There are seven curated exhibitions across the city. Of particular note:

To Be Human: The Figure in Self-Taught Art at Hirschl & Adler, 41 East 57th Street Features figurative works by some of the most beloved artists in the field, including Henry Darger, Morton Bartlett, James Castle, Mose Tolliver, James Edward Deeds and Bill Traylor.

Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning at SHIN Gallery, 68 Orchard Street Curated by Scott Ogden (SHRINE), the show features iconic African-American artists from the Deep South like Thornton Dial, Mary T. Smith, Ronald Lockett, Bill Traylor, and the Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers. The Realm of Minnie Evans, a solo exhibition of works by the revered North Carolinan artist, will accompany.

The NYT wrote that the standout at the SHIN Gallery is the work of:

Hawkins Bolden, a blind artist who, before he died in 2005, made minimal but roughly textured scarecrows in his Memphis backyard. One untitled work, another basin overturned on a rusty metal chair, has bits of rubber affixed for ears and a goatee, and it throbs with spiritual energy. Another, a kind of altarpiece made from a hubcap and scraps of carpeting mounted on a window frame, deserves to be looked at for days.

Peanut Butter - Chocolate Chip Babka

Maybe the best thing I made last week was this peanut butter & chocolate chip babka and the second I perfect the recipe, I’ll publish it here. Although I’m thinking next time: nutella. How does nutella and white chocolate sound?

At the 2021 Mississippi Governor’s Arts Awards, on February 19 the Tutwiler Quilters will be honored with the award for “Arts in Community.”

Other recipients: Arthur Jafa: Excellence in Media Arts, Nellie McInnis (Music), Raphael Semmes (Cultural Ambassador), Jesmyn Ward (Literature), Benjamin Wright (Lifetime Achievement)

Turn the Knob. Greensboro AL

Instructions. found in Greensboro, Alabama earlier this month

Yes yes yes to Brandon Dill’s Thanks For Looking photo essay at Southern Spaces

…a collection of (mostly) unpublished photographs I made just off to the side of what was supposed to be the main attraction. As a daily news stringer and freelance commercial photographer, I’m lucky to provide a livelihood for my family with my camera, but I’m also at the mercy of the assignment gods. Often, I find that the photos I care most about—that feel most powerful and truthful and interesting—are of no interest to the editors who send me out to make them.

Emmett Till’s former home in Chicago (on Google StreetView above) was declared a landmark this week. There are plans to turn home into a museum.

Here are five other Till-related places found nearby: McCosh Elementary, where he attended, was later renamed  Emmett Louis Till Math & Science Academy // a Mamie and Emmet Till Memorial Garden (community garden) // Honorary Emmett Till Road is a named section of 71st Street // less than a mile from the home, Mamie Till Mobley Park // the Roberts Temple Church of G-d in Christ achieved landmark status in 2006. This is where the funeral took place.

Roberts Temple CoGiC was named on the 2020 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

It’s truly only the inclusion of the deepfake of Willie Nelson that’s keeping this out of the super random section. Here’s Meow Wolf‘s new permanent installation (opening Feb 18) in Las Vegas, Omega Mart. Also, if Meow Wolf can get people to ride this AND eat at the same time, we’ve just figured out every nine-year-old’s birthday party dreams.

Turtle Soup, Commanders Palace, New Orleans

turtle soup, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans, 2016

Turtle Soup Recipe, Memphis Junior League Cookbook

Flipping through my 1952 Junior League of Memphis Cookbook, and ran across this for ‘Jellied Clear Green Turtle Soup’ (so, really an aspic, I think).

Beat 13, Hale County AL

Finally visited Beat 13 in the forest in Hale County, Alabama this month. Feels like it will always belong to William Christenberry…what an emotion just to be there. Planning some time to adventure in the country this weekend and hope you’re getting lots of fresh air too. xoxo!

This Week’s Various

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

Graceland, Memphis TN

from a visit in 2002

Graceland is going to start having virtual, two-hour guided tours, January 27, Feb 25, and March 25, with more dates expected. Tickets are $98.50 and will include viewing the home, Meditation Garden, the plane, jet, and more of the complex.

Christenberry: In Alabama Exhibit at the Mobile Museum of Art

from a visit to the Christenberry: In Alabama Exhibit at the Mobile Museum of Art, 2017

Washington City Paper on the destruction of Lou Stovall’s print studio there due to a tree falling on it; there’s currently an exhibit of his work — through April 11 — at the Columbus Museum in Georgia. Really enjoying “Fruits of our Lives, 1971” by his wife, Di Bagley Stovall.

As an aside, one of Stovall’s neighbors: the Christenberrys.

Since William Christenberry died in 2016, his wife Sandy has slowly confronted reconfiguring the space in their home that includes her late husband’s work. For now, his studio space is less of a work space and more a storage unit. “You know, it’s been four years since Bill passed away,” she says, “and I’m still trying to figure out what to do … Because I want to have people come to visit the studio again.”

Business District TUPELO First TVA City

the Tupelo First TVA City neon sign, 2019

Among The High’s acquisitions last year, an important Ruth Clement Bond TVA quilt. This via Artfix, though just to note, the one at the TVA site doesn’t seem to depict what we usually think of as a banjo — I’d go with a guitar:

In July, the High purchased an exceptionally rare “Tennessee Valley Authority” quilt (designed 1934, made ca. 1937), featuring a design by Ruth Clement Bond (American, 1904-2005) and made by an unknown quilter from the Pickwick Dam Negro Women’s Association. One of only six known examples of this design, the quilt is full of symbols, including a sun, vegetation and a banjo — a likely deliberate reference to the African-derived musical instrument that came to the United States with enslaved people. 

…and…this correspondence from Dr. Maurice Seay, who was gifted one of the TVA quilts in appreciation for his work there, notes it as a guitar, as noted by the presenter, the president of the association. Maybe this one is different, though.

BTW, the NYT obit for Ms Bond in 2005 notes:

Designed by her, the quilts were sewn in rural Alabama by the wives of African-American workers building dams there for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Visually arresting and contemporary-looking even today, the T.V.A. quilts are considered pivotal in the history of American quiltmaking.

While most quilts of the period were based on the traditional geometric and floral designs that had endured for more than a century, the T.V.A. quilts are dynamic works of modern art.

Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah GA

the Kessler Mansion on Forsyth Park, from a stay in 2019

Kessler is offering buyouts of their hotel properties for events, or just whatever. From their email:

Enjoy private access to our entire property—whether unwinding in our elegant guest rooms, sampling award-winning cuisine at our inspired restaurants or browsing one-of-a-kind works of art in our galleries. 

Intersect by Lexus in NY is now hosting Savannah’s The Grey for delivery and carryout there, January 21-24. Copies of Bailey and Morisano’s new memoir/cookbook, “The Black, The White and The Grey” (via Bookshop, via Amazon) will be available with three-course meals.

The meals are $65pp and the meat option includes smoked catfish dip (hardboiled eggs, cornichons, rye crackers), yardbird (garlic trencher, captain sauce), and devil’s food cake (whipped cream, candied pecans, bittersweet chocolate). That all comes alongside sourdough bread, collards, and pickles.

I’m trying to come up with what a garlic trencher is, and it’s something like bread-as-plate and so — is it like the slice underneath beef tournedos (which, I kid you not, my friends and I still like to joke about how we’re going to order the “steak tornados” when the waiter comes by, because we’re still 12 on the inside)?

Also: The Grey’s Salted Honey Chess Pie recipe is here

Lusco's, Greenwood MS

the separated dining rooms at Lusco’s in Greenwood, from a visit in 2016

The Grey is doing outdoor dining with yurts and I’m suddenly thinking of how perfect the setups at Lusco’s and Giardina’s are for people who are comfortable with eating inside.

BTW, the Grey’s yurts are part of an AmEx + Resy program called Yurt Villages, and others doing it:

Super Random Section: 

Mixtape at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas begins Feb 6 and runs through Sept 26 this year is an exhibit — a “compilation of ‘tracks'” made up of items pulled from the permanent collection. Nasher felt the need to explain mixtapes:  Nasher Mixtape takes its title from a practice, born in the 1980s, of selecting a sequence of songs from different sources and recording them on a single audio cassette. Writer Nick Hornby compared making a mixtape to writing a letter: “[There’s] a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again.” A labor of love and a versatile creative activity, the mixtape has survived into the digital era in many different forms.

The WSJ with A Professional Photographer Builds a Picture Perfect Loft in Northern Alabama, and they’re talking about Robert Rausch‘s home studio

The 1901 Crisco House in Macon GA (so named because the gentleman who owned it created…) is on the market at $1.65M. It was sold in the 19-teens to William Jordan Massee Sr., “Big Daddy,” who *may* have been the inspiration for *that* Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. And how over-the-top wonderful is it that there’s a fireplace at the grand staircase landing (pic 15)?

I missed this from last year, but Mississippi’s Amy Miller won Huntsman’s (very traditional English, bespoke, equestrian/sport) annual tweed competition

Smithsonian on The History of Charleston in Three Mouthwatering Meals for a March 23 event they’re co-sponsoring with the Chas C&VB. Foods to expect? Shrimp and grits, red rice, and berbere spiced salmon

Asheville NC has a Zelda Fitzgerald Week in March, and this year’s event concludes with excerpts of the musical based on her life (which was created by Roger Cook (who wrote “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”) and the late Les Reed)

Penta on Bank of America’s Masterpiece Moments series of videos of works from museums across the US

Yet another Derby Pie trademark lawsuit

The Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956 exhibit opened January 16 and runs through September 5 this year

These free to print retro-future posters from NASA JPL

Austin’s Lonnie Dillard obit goes viral

This piece is a couple of years old, but Wild Photos of Louisiana’s Rural Mardi Gras

Wild Ground Alabama restorative sanctuary for caregivers

(hi, I mentioned this was the super random section) Realizing it’s J. Crew Factory, but when they’re selling It’s Fall Y’all tees with a leaf as the apostrophe, J. Crew forgot who J. Crew is. Instead, someone should have ordered a (beloved) Tweeds catalog from the 80s off eBay and just copied everything. Ugh. As an aside, the (formerly J. Crew) Jenna Lyons show on HBO Max is a little frustrating (y’all put a ping pong table by that big glass-front china cabinet!? The Baccarat collection we inherited from Aunt Pearlie is in there!) but mostly wunderbar

Really, really like this wheel-thrown colander by potter Jake Johnson, at the Southern Highland Craft Guild

Beignets, minus powdered sugar, plus icing glaze, from Antoine’s in Gretna

Wow at these 2018 pics of an abandoned house in (I think) Birmingham with the indoor pool, velvet rope stair railing, and so much vintage glam that’s just gone awry, and whuuut is with this one in Chattanooga

Here’s Gehry’s design for the 150 anniversary decanter for Hennessy X.O cognac and if there’s a part of you that’s like “I wonder if it’s going to evoke crumpled up aluminum foil…” well…

In 2015, Matthew Teague’s piece in Esquire, The Friend: Love is Not a Big Enough Word about his wife’s terminal illness, and their mutual friend, has been expanded and made into a movie. In the NYT, a story — When Some Critics Reject the Film that’s about Your Life — about how the film (shot in Fairhope AL, where Matthew still lives) has been largely panned by media outlets though audiences have been more kind, and what that’s like for him. It’s being released in theaters and streaming today.

Variations on king cake can get a little weird, sometimes tiresome because whoever is trying too hard, but the sushi king cake at Rock-n-Sake looks fun

Salsa macha, yeah

Freddy Mamani is the “King of Andean Architecture” — he’s featured in the new Beatrice Galilee book, Radical Architecture of the Future (via Amazon), and here’s why. Interview with the book’s author here at AD

Hmmm going to have to check out the Jewish Cowboy popup in Nashville with the cornbread latkes made with Marsh Hen Mill Jimmy Red cornmeal

Galerie with a small piece titled How History Continues to Influence the Rich Design Legacy of New Orleans with mentions, among others, of Bevolo, Andrew Hopkins, The Chloe.

“Vieux Carré lights have that little post that runs across,” explains the third-generation leader of Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights. “It’s called a ladder rack, because you had to lean the ladder against it when you lit the gas.”

National Shrine of Saint Roch

from a visit to the National Shrine of Saint Roch, 2013

Back in September, the Historic New Orleans Collection did a post about Five Real New Orleans Stories that Should be Made into Movies, one being the story of St Roch Chapel:

In 1868, New Orleans was gripped by a grave yellow fever outbreak…Rev. Peter Leonard Thevis, who preached at the Holy Trinity Church (which is now the Marigny Opera House) sought to protect his parishioners from the outbreak. Thevis made an appeal to Saint Roch, patron saint of the diseased and disabled, who achieved his sainthood amidst the Black Death.  

Thevis prayed to Saint Roch—commonly invoked against plagues—to heal the sick in his church, promising to erect a chapel in the saint’s honor. Miraculously, no one in Thevis’ church succumbed to yellow fever. Thevis, making good on his promise, laid the cornerstone of what would become the St. Roch Chapel on September 6, 1875, and the legendary St. Roch Cemetery soon sprang up beside it. For generations, the cured left tokens—also known as ex-votos—such as crutches, prosthetic limbs, and even dentures on the altar in the chapel. The ex-votos serve as an offering for a cure or improved health. 

We still leave those today.

I was reading Eudora Welty: On William Faulkner (at Lemuria, this limited edition, via Amazon), and in it she told an interviewer in 1972:

I used to take a lot of the state newspapers and in the old days I loved to read the Oxford Eagle. There was one woman whose name kept turning up there, but I always felt any name around Oxford was automatically the property of Mr. Faulkner. He had such perfect names. I don’t know if this is true, but somebody once told me they mentioned a name to Mr. Faulkner and he said, “Yes, I know the name well. Can hardly wait for her to die” so he could use it. 

Gypsy Lou Webb, co-publisher of literary magazine The Outsider (in its pages, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Bukowski), one-of-a-kind, inspiration for Bob Dylan’s Gypsy Lou (above, a cover of it), passed away earlier this month in Slidell.

From Vice in 2013, A Pilgrimage to Gypsy Lou Webb, New Orleans’ Patron Saint of Literature (which shows she wasn’t particularly romantic about certain things: on her outfits, she says, “when you’re selling paintings, you talk funny, you look funny, the whole damn thing. Those days are done.”” and on living in New Orleans, “I don’t want to live in the French Quarter! I lived there for 32 years! I’ve had enough of it!”).

On Bukowski:

Lou’s eyes widened like she must be misunderstanding this woman: A show about me? She looked back down at the program and pointed out a photo of her husband’s old printing press. “The University of Tulane gave him that press,” she remembered. “He tried to give them money for it. They didn’t want to take it. But they took it.” She pointed to another photo: “And that’s Charles Bukowski. Went by the name of Hank. That was one hell of a nice guy. He drank a lot.”

Mosca's, Westwego LA

Chicken a la Grande, from a visit in 2017

Mosca’s Chicken a la Grande recipe at the Washington Post

Loretta Lynn in Concert, Alabama Theatre, Birmingham AL

from a concert at the Alabama Theatre, 2007

Celebrating 50 years of the album Coal Miner’s Daughter, MCA Nashville will reissue it on black vinyl Feb 12. New album out March 19. Here’s her new recitation of the song:

Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) Target Bldg, Mulga AL

the Noli Me Tangere building in Mulga AL, 2020

The Marathon Mini Target is Gone, Long Live the Marathon Mini Target at Texas Monthly:

While the Prada Marfa stands as highbrow, moneyed commentary on consumerism, stocked with real designer handbags and armed with a security system, the ramshackle railroad structure slapped with a Target logo like an afterthought served as its sillier, more accessible (and theoretically affordable) counterpart. 

Courtyard at St. James Hotel, Selma AL

the St James’ courtyard, from a stay in 2005

The St James Hotel in Selma is part of the Hilton Tapestry collection, and is accepting reservations for stays beginning January 26

Herbert Buchsbaum’s My Search for Lost Time in a Slice of Jewish Rye at the NYT

“My wife wisely suggested that perhaps the best rye was whichever one you grew up with. I’m sure there’s truth to that. Especially if you grew up in Savannah when Gottlieb’s was around.”

Firing Line, with William F. Buckley and guests Eudora Welty and Walker Percy. I remember from reading Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald (via Bookshop, via Amazon) that she wasn’t crazy about this appearance, though she did just fine

Smoked turkey legs have long been a thing at fairs and amusement parks, but they’ve epicuriously (ha I don’t that’s a word, but you’ll see) leveled up. At Texas Monthly:

…massive smoked turkey legs stuffed with mac and cheese and your choice of chopped brisket, smoked sausage, fried chicken, or fried shrimp. When they say stuffed, what they and every other restaurant mean is that the turkey legs are smothered with a combination of toppings. The legs may be falling-apart tender, but they’re not deboned or actually filled with the ingredients. If you don’t like different foods on your plate mixed together, this trend isn’t for you.

Our Very Poor English (but we love it) Congrats Cake

Shugie & Cake

Congrats Cake

Haha! We like to joke around with each other and in honor of Shugie winning the District Spelling Bee, I made him a cake with some very poor English on top (and we cut it the new way, by taking inverted wine glasses and scooping it straight up/down (you can prob figure out which was Shug’s piece)). We’ve had a great week and are looking forward to some relaxing outdoor time this weekend. Hope you’re doing really, really well and making some fun plans. xoxo!

This Week’s Various

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

Old Scotland Church, Old Scotland AL

Old Scotland Church, Old Scotland AL, 2006

I guess because in part I’m thinking of how hard last year was on everyone, Faulkner’s 1950 Nobel banquet speech:

I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.

Holiday Inn sign, Gatlinburg TN. John Margolies Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. No copyright restriction.

Fred Sauceman in the Times News with The Chipburger: An Edible Reminder of a Town’s History

(Greenville, Tennessee, 1960s:) In this lost world, The Blue Circle served hundreds of sliders a day. Ham’s Drive-In accompanied every sandwich order with “free” fries, served on paper plates that looked like wood grain. The Brumley Hotel downtown served ethereal rolls and chicken gravy. The Friday night fish fry at the local Holiday Inn was a social event.

Spent the last couple of days listening to Ruby Dee (wow she’s great!) narrate the audiobook for Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching G-d, which is now in a new paperback, Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, from Amistad / Harper Collins (Amazon, Bookshop)

JW Marriott, Nashville TN

The Frist, 2018

The Frist in Nashville is going to be the only stop for the Musée National Picasso-Paris exhibit of 75 pieces, Picasso, Figures. It will be on from February 5 – May 2.

K-Paul's, New Orleans

collage, from a visit in 2012

The space previously home to the late Paul Prudhomme’s now-shuttered K-Paul’s at 416 Chartres is on the market at $6.5M

K-Paul’s is included in the NYT’s Remembering the Restaurants America Lost in 2020

Lunch at Swett's

from a visit to Swett’s in 2009

With the renovations at BNA, the Nashville International Airport, two nice food additions: Prince’s Hot Chicken, and Swett’s.

Brennan's New Orleans

Brennan’s, 2015

Brennan’s is making king cakes for the first time this year: Traditional ($20), Pink Parade ($24), and Chocolate ‘Black and Gold’ ($24).

The Pink Parade is obv a nod to the color of the façade; it’s filled with cream cheese and has Ponchatoula strawberry jam and pink cocoa powder. On top: white icing and pink sparkles and sprinkles.

Besides on Royal, it can also be picked up at Ralph’s on the Park, Cafe NOMA, and King Cake Hub (btw, they moved from the mortuary to the Broad Theater this year). Local delivery is via the D’livery app and nationwide ordering at

Brennan’s notes that they use the tangzhong technique to make the cakes stay fresh longer.

Artist Philip Morsberger passed away in Augusta earlier this month. He was the Morris Eminent Scholar in the Visual Arts at Augusta State University, and the Morris Museum of Art there announced his passing.

From his obit:

My favorite memory with Philip was a lazy summer evening in his Augusta studio listening to chamber music and talking about poets, specifically Robert Frost. This line from A Servant to Servants came to mind upon learning of Philip’s passing:
‘He says that the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through.'”

NPR interviews Annye C. Anderson, author of Brother Robert: Growing up with Robert Johnson (Bookshop, Amazon), and she has several things that she wants to set straight regarding the mythology around him.

Greil Marcus, who reviewed the book for the New York Review of Books, said he went through the list of popular American music that was going through the household: “And the list just grew and grew until there were maybe 20, 30, 40 different examples. And I realized no one could have a richer, broader, more mainstream American cultural life than the one that Robert Johnson lived out”

The author, Johnson’s step-sister, mentions:

“Brother Robert is the one that got me into country music,” she says. “‘Course, Jimmie Rodgers was his favorite. I will never forget ‘Waiting for a Train’ and doing it with Brother Robert.”

The two would bust up laughing at the line “Get off, get off, you railroad bums.” And then came Rogers’ famous yodel.

“I tried to yodel,” Anderson says. “But brother Robert could yodel. He could mimic anything.”

Super Random Section:

The AJC critics name the 10 Best Southern Books of 2020 and among them, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (via Square Books, via Amazon)

Alabama Indigenous Mound Trail

I have no idea who needs to know this but if you’re sick of straight taper candles, this is a thing. (hi, I mentioned this was the super random section)

Thinking of taking the NYT’s advice and pretending I’m in Quebec City tonight because that looks positively wonderful

One of the winners of a 2020 ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) Award was the team behind the Learning Garden Installation at Galloway Elementary in Jackson, Mississippi. Associated, the Fertile Ground Jackson website with facts & figures about this project, as well as the state of food scarcity & abundance in Jackson. There are workshops and other projects. Also: their tomato shirt is fab

Loving the Cow College tee at Standard Deluxe, too

There is a Buddhist Monastic institution in Batesville, Mississippi where one may go to practice mindfulness — Magnolia Grove

Fly TWA / New York poster via the LOC, free to print and use

If you need a good cry with a side of go-get-’em, here’s a mother’s letter, Live a Life Worth Living

The Vatican’s Nativity scene is more interesting each year than one might have otherwise considered (it’s donated by a different Italian town or artist); here is this past year’s. The St Peter’s Diocese (which has much better images): “The teachers and students wanted to immortalize important events of the contemporary world…within the work we find eccentric statutes compared to the traditional figures of the nativity, such as the astronaut, which is a reference to the conquest of the moon.”

I misread a piece on Damien Hurst’s Mental Escapology as “Mental Landscaping” and I’m going to remember that with mindfulness — smoothing over rough patches, planting and nurturing what’s native and easy to grow.

The Best Museum Gift Shops in NYC according to Conde Nast Traveler. I now want a Vestaboard from the MoMA shop.

Burger King’s new cheerful retro re-do is fun. And so are these.

At Bow & Arrow in Auburn, there’s the Alabama Tamale: sweet potato masa, venison jalapeño-cheddar sausage, Alabama white sauce, Hill Country hot sauce, wrapped in a collard leaf

We should be kind, kind, kind this year — and I’ve been thinking so much about this piece in the NYT about how instead of ‘canceling’ things and people, we should be bringing people closer in a loving way: What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called them In?

This Ohio home on the market for $949k has the 80s turnt uuuupppp.

We DO have some pretty terrific themed drops in the south for the new year — from a taxidermied possum to a meteorite to a flea (Lawd, a ceramic flea) and others

Shipley’s has been bought by a private investment firm, but thankfully it’s Texas-based. Last month, the Texanist tackled the whole ‘how can Whataburger still claim it’s family-owned & operated’ when, you know…Chicago

Mansion Global is featuring a turnkey on 30A’s Seagrove Beach at $3.75M

Anybody else besides me (and Robin Brown of Magnolia Pearl) see this ~1850 $149k South Carolina Greek Revival and think that the only thing those walls need is a good (mold-eliminating) cleaning? I will keep the torn wallpaper and the mottled hues of paint. Gorgeous.

The American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) purchased the remaining known diary (the other was already in its collection) of Henry Darger

These Elretron typewriter-inspired keyboards are fun

(pls remember this is the super random section) Now that someone mentioned that the BMW iX has beaver teeth for a front grill, I can’t unsee it. Just to add: I had a X3 for a few years when the boys were little (love this story: their double stroller wouldn’t fit in my Volvo S40’s trunk so it was the perfect excuse to get a SUV) and once it reached 80k miles, I could have just kept a standing appointment at the dealer because there was seemingly every single month some little annoyance that needed to be fixed (well, the air went out once and that was a quite large, quite expensive annoyance). Kinda done with BMW, plus their new subscription plan and warranty shaming is not something I want to deal with. One other addition: I drive a Lexus now and happiness, happiness, happiness. Last addition: I had a series of truly awful cars in college (Buick, Buick, Chrysler, Mercury — one of them sported bondo and primer) and the Chrysler, besides having a serious head gasket problem, had this gorgeous digital dash that ***caught on fire*** one day and the everlasting PTSD of that carbecue got triggered this week when I saw the new hyperscreen on the upcoming Mercedes EQS EV

It’s Peak Season for Tamales in Los Angeles in the NYT: “Yes, you can buy a tamal on the street for two bucks, but it’s not street food,” said Ms. Serrato. “It’s a portal, it’s a storyteller, it’s a carrier of ancestral memory, and it’s gone through a lot of hands.”

Nononononooooo: Good-bye to Sammy’s Roumanian and its Glorious Schmaltz, New York’s favorite “Jewish disco” has closed its doors

It’s the Biltmore, but in Colorado, and it’s $12M

Newsweek publishes Aimee Mayo’s piece about the letters she and Nelle Harper Lee wrote after Aimee’s dog died in Monroeville. BTW, Aimee wrote ‘Amazed‘ that Lonestar performed, and received the BMI Most Performed Country Song of the Year in 2000. If you’ve slow-danced to more than five country songs at wedding receptions in the last twenty years, rest assured you’ve slow-danced to Amazed

Love everything about the new restaurant, Best Quality Daughter, in San Antonio, and can’t get enough of this chinoiserie wallpaper with SA icons

Casamento's, New Orleans

Lunch at Casamento’s, 2014

Esquire with The 100 Restaurants America Can’t Afford to Lose— that if they were to close, it would be like losing a part of our culture — and among those in the south:

Arnold’s in Nashville
Bouquet in Covington KY
Brigtsen’s in New Orleans
Busy Bee in Atlanta
Casamento’s in New Orleans
Cochon in New Orleans
Cozy Corner in Memphis
Curate in Asheville
Dooky Chase in New Orleans
Franklin BBQ in Austin
Galatoire’s in New Orleans
Huynh in Houston
Lehja in Richmond
Louis Mueller in Taylor TX
Marcel’s in DC
Metzger Bar & Butchery in Richmond
Mosquito Supper Club in New Orleans
Seviche in Louisville
The Grey in Savannah

Was reminded of this earlier this week: former Alabama AG Bill Baxley’s 1976 letter to a “grand dragon” — give this a listen (and bless bless bless Bill Baxley for being so polite he didn’t want to repeat it in public. I grew up to think that kind of thing is everythingggggg. It is.).

Clementine Hunter, Ogden Museum

Clementine Hunter at the Ogden, 2017

From Christie’s, Clementine Hunter: ‘Success was about direct encounters with the people who admired her art’ with a reminder that a nine-panel work of hers at Melrose Plantation’s African House can be seen via Google Street View

Ignatius J. Reilly Statue outside Hyatt French Quarter, New Orleans LA

Ignatius Reilly statue outside the Hyatt French Quarter, 2015

In The New Yorker, Tom Bissell’s The Uneasy Afterlife of “A Confederacy of Dunces” and how it’s aging; I think we have to be careful to — wow, this is a leap, but — read it keeping in mind the time/place it was set as we would, say, Shakespeare or anything else. That shouldn’t take away the merits of the book (though Bissell himself said he was surprised how much he enjoyed the book, reading it again).

Sidenote: did you also notice the typo “a shoddy, lost-cost affair held in the basement of some dubious funeral parlor” in the piece? That should be “low-cost,” obv. Tweeted them so maybe they’ll fix it (hoping to balance annoying with helpful, but read it three times thinking “why is Ignatius calling it a lost-cost affair? Surely he didn’t” and sho ’nuff…).

Also, in Bissell’s piece, this part of the book was quoted:

“I dust a bit,” Ignatius told the policeman. “In addition, I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”

“Ignatius makes delicious cheese dips,” Mrs. Reilly said.

…which reminded me about the Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook (Amazon, Bookshop) published by LSU Press a few years ago. And of course, there’s an “occasional cheese dip” recipe (it’s chipotle goat cheese) and interestingly, cookbook author Cynthia LeJeune Nobles imagines Ignatius including a stop at Bob and Jake’s in Baton Rouge, and she includes the recipe for Sensation Salad, which though they closed long ago, is still a popular dish in town. Here’s apparently Ruffino’s and City Club’s version of the salad recipe, as well as the original from Jack Staples.

Crechale's Cafe, Jackson MS

The comeback at Crechale’s in 2019

This all has me thinking about cities and specific salad dressings tied to them, e.g. you could go in ten restaurants and order this location-specific dressing and get pretty much the same thing — I go to Niki’s and order John’s slaw, same thing at Bright Star, same thing at (ha) John’s, they all put their version of the same dressing on.

Birmingham = John’s slaw dressing
Jackson = comeback
Baton Rouge = Sensation

Kindly contact me with others. This is a thing, right?

Bell at Auburn

Samford Hall Tower bell at Auburn, from a tour in 2017

Nicolette Polek in The Paris Review with Fear is a Three-Thousand-Pound Bell on her experience learning to play the bells at the National Cathedral in Washington. It’s a practice one of the author’s friends described as “religious adjacent” —  “historically, those who didn’t care for Sunday mass would ascend the tower to ring and drink.” Among famous ringers, John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress; the silversmith Paul Revere; Jon Shanklin, who discovered the hole in the ozone.

There are stories of inexperienced ringers getting knocked out of towers, the rope launching them into the air, lacerations, near hangings. A sign in the bell chamber reads: A STANDING BELL IS LIKE A LOADED GUN. IT ONLY TAKES ONE JERK TO KILL YOU

…and I’m especially fond of the variation she does on an analogy her mother would tell about fear.

Chess Pie with Meringue, Arnold's Country Kitchen, Nashville TN

Chess pie at Arnold’s, 2016

Arnold’s Country Kitchen in Nashville is shipping pies — chess, chocolate chess, pecan, and spicy chocolate — via Goldbelly

And only on Goldbelly, GooGoo is shipping a ‘3rd Avenue Heartache’ *cake* —  with both “buttermilk chocolate cake and old-fashioned peanut butter cake, a thick layer of peanut butter buttercream, chocolate buttercream, and a hefty portion of chopped Peanut Butter Goo Goo Clusters”

One item included in the fall 2020 auction of American stoneware & redware pottery at Crocker Farm was a Ernest H. Galloway (Paducah KY) face jug, signed, and featuring a distinctive hairstyle, described here. It sold at $24k.

The National Endowment for the Humanities grants have been announced, and one of the 213 sharing that $32.8M will be group supporting the creation of the Yoknapatawpha Humanities Center in Oxford, Mississippi


Abbeville, Alabama

from a visit to Abbeville, 2017

One visit to Abbeville, we had lunch at Huggin’ Molly’s and were told that a Coca-Cola sign we were admiring was very valuable due to the scarcity of its form. Sure enough, as I was reviewing the results from a Morphy’s October auction, I found the very same sign, “triangular double-sided porcelain Coca-Cola sign, 1935, marked for Tennessee Enamel Manufacturing Co., Nashville, had its original porcelain wall bracket and fetched $21,600 against an estimate of $9/15,000.”

OG Arby's Hat Sign, Forestdale AL

original Arby’s sign, Forestdale AL, 2017

Nobody Loves Arby’s Like I Do, by Nathan Smith, in the NYT Magazine

My childhood was defined by two rituals: three hours of Mormon Church service on Sundays and a trip to Arby’s almost as regularly. The Arby’s location in my Texas hometown possessed all the visual splendor that the church I was raised in did not: stained glass and smoky wood paneling, sauce packets stored in a long buffet under heat lamps. 

The official UK trailer for Ebs Burnough’s documentary, The Capote Tapes

The High has been gifted 114 wood-carved sculptures by self-taught artists from collectors Anne and Robert Levine. Incredibly impressed with violin maker Moise Potvin’s diorama of FDR and his 1933 cabinet.

Mound Bayou, Mississippi

Mound Bayou, Mississippi, from a visit in 2011

The NYT writes of the passing of H. Jack Geiger. He used medicine to take on poverty, racism and the threat of nuclear destruction. Two groups he helped start won Nobel Peace Prizes.

With a sponsorship by Tufts University and grants from the Office of Economic Opportunity in DC, he along with two other doctors and others set up in Mound Bayou, Mississippi a health center, a copy of the Pholela project he had been a part of in a Zulu reserve in South Africa. It opened in 1967 and the monies were utilized to “dig wells and privies and set up a library, farm cooperative, office of education, high-school equivalency program and other social services.

The clinic “prescribed” food for families with malnourished children — to be purchased from Black-owned groceries — and the bills were paid out of the center’s pharmacy budget.”

After the governor found fault with these disbursements, a government official came down to remind Geiger that pharmacy money was to cover drugs for treatment of disease.

“Yeah,” Dr. Geiger replied, “well, the last time I looked in my medical textbooks, they said the specific therapy for malnutrition was food.”

The official, he said, “shut up and went back to Washington.”

Savannah riverfront

Savannah, 2019

Jessica Defino writes in Vogue about how Savannah could be the country’s new ‘clean beauty’ capital and especially how that’s thanks to the native yaupon plant, scientific name: Ilex Vomitoria. It’s actually a holly, and it’s incredibly popular all along the south

Posted by the National African American Museum of Music, opening January ’21 in Nashville: Michael Harriot’s G-d Lives in a Juke Joint based largely around the now-closed Gip’s Place in Bessemer, Alabama

Thinking of Kate Medley’s Gas Station South series. I love it love it love it.

From America Magazine, The Jesuit Review: Americans Equate Beauty with Youth. That’s No Way to Build a Country, perhaps spurred by his stay at the Westin St Francis Hotel in San Francisco and considering the maxim ‘form follows function’ and further, what Pope Francis has called the “throwaway culture”:

In this country, we value youth but we don’t value beauty, mainly because we think they are the same thing. But beauty is related to memory in a way youth cannot be. Memory is the soul of conscience, but it is also the muse of art and culture. The persistent desire to create beautiful things stems in large measure from the wonderful memory of what it felt like to first encounter someone or something beautiful.

Tujague's, New Orleans

The sign in 2016

164yo Tujague’s has reopened in its new space on 429 Decatur, and if you’re visualizing…that’s where Bubba Gump used to be. My friend Tom Robey is still chef so we’re all still in great hands. Only bad thing: the neon sign didn’t make the move.

A letter F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to a fan is being auctioned

Except for Benediction, The Ice Palace, & The Cut Glass Bowl my collection of stories is trash—to tickle the yokelry of Kansas and get enough money to live well. I doubt if I shall ever do such stuff again. 

This piece at Scroll about Hemingway includes his moving his family in 1926 when his son developed whooping cough to Villa Paquita at Juan-les-Pins.

By evening, everyone gathered for socially-distanced cocktails with the Murphys and Fitzgeralds, who stayed outside the garden fence. Empty bottles, drained and upended, were mounted like heads on the spiked fence. Each one marked another day of quarantine for the Hemingway child.

BTW, that home was on the market in 2013 at $35.5M. The view from the building’s tower and those terraces is the same one that appears on the cover of some editions of “Tender is the Night,” which Fitzgerald wrote on and off for more than a decade.

Also: US copyright on Gatsby expired January 1, 2021. Since it’s now in the public domain, it can be adapted. The Farris Smith prequel, Nick, was be published January 5. Short review in Town & Country here. (Publisher, Amazon)

And: from the NYT, Nearly a Century Later, We’re Still Reading — and Changing our Minds About — Gatsby

The Colonnade, Atlanta GA

Colonnade menu, 2018

There is a GoFundMe to help save Atlanta’s nearly 94yo The Colonnade. From Atlanta Eater:  “The perfect snapshot of Atlanta is a Friday night at the Colonnade. You have everyone and of all walks of life in there enjoying each other’s company and the food. It’s an experience. I just can’t imagine Atlanta without the Colonnade.”

The NYT on the documentary, The Last Blockbuster

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

National Gallery, 2019

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has received 40 works of art of 21 artists via the Souls Grown Deep Foundation based in Atlanta.

Some highlights of this important acquisition are nine quilts by the artists of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, including Mary Lee Bendolph and Irene Williams; three paintings, three drawings, and one sculpture by Thornton Dial; works on paper by Nellie Mae Rowe, Henry Speller, Georgia Speller, and “Prophet” Royal Robertson; four sculpted heads by James “Son Ford” Thomas, which were featured in the National Gallery’s Outliers and American Vanguard Art exhibition (January 28–May 13, 2018); and three sculptures by Lonnie Holley.

We’re grateful to have had a fun, safe holiday season and hope you did too. Looking hopefully to a wonderful new year for us all. xoxo!

This Week’s Various

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

Eudora Welty, Thank You Books, Birmingham AL

Thank You Books, Birmingham, 2020

Eudora Welty’s “One Writer’s Beginnings” (via Bookshop, via Amazon) was reissued last month by Scribner, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway wrote the introduction.

Thinking of this passage from the book, about her father being given credit for saving her mother from septicemia — by champagne:

I once wondered where he, who’d come not very long before from an Ohio farm, had ever heard of such a remedy, such a measure. Or perhaps as far as he was concerned he invented it, out of the strength of desperation. It would have been desperation augmented because champagne couldn’t be bought in Jackson. But somehow he knew what to do about that too. He telephoned to Canton, 40 miles north, to an Italian orchard grower, Mr. Trolio, told him the necessity, and asked, begged, that he put a bottle of his wine in Number 3, which was due in a few minutes to stop in Canton to ”take on water” (my father knew everything about train schedules). My father would be waiting to meet the train in Jackson. Mr. Trolio did – he sent the bottle in a bucket of ice and my father snatched it off the baggage car. He offered my mother a glass of chilled champagne and she drank it and kept it down. She was to live, after all.

The NYT’s obit for 101yr-old self-taught Kentucky artist Helen LaFrance

Medgar, Myrlie Evers Home / Museum, Jackson MS

the Medgar & Myrlie Evers home, 2013

The Medgar and Myrlie Evers home in Jackson is now a National Monument.

“We are so pleased that the National Park Service has made our family home in Jackson, MS, a National Monument. Our parents sought justice and equality for all Mississippians and knew such change locally would impact globally. Living a life of service, our parents didn’t make sacrifices for accolades or awards. Our father fought for his country during World War II, and our mother equally served on the battlefields here in America…” said Reena and James Van Evers, the two surviving children of Medgar and Myrlie.


El Quetzal, Russellville, Alabama

boots for sale, El Quetzal, Russelville AL, 2020

I only just found out what hand-lasted means in terms of shoes/boots and Texas’ Rios of Mercedes has been doing that since 1853. Also: this is everythingggg.

Possum Pottery at Black Belt Treasures

my possum necklace by Kristin Law

(gentle warning: language and, well, descriptions of marsupial anatomy) ‘Ode to the Virginia Opossum‘ by Sarah Ebba Hansen from the fall Story South

Also, because #funfact, in 1907, Helen Longstreet, a postmistress in Gainesville GA fed two possums persimmons for months, then shipped them to the White House as a Christmas supper present for Teddy Roosevelt and family.  She wrote on the box, “These o’possums surrendered near the Wren’s Nest, Atlanta, both contending smilingly for for the honor of furnishing the Christmas dinner for the American Prince and his family.”

White House China

Clinton White House china on display, William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum, Little Rock AR, 2015

Of all the Presidential Christmas supper menus in the Mental Floss piece linked above, I’m most drawn to the Clinton’s in ’93, mainly because beyond the usual, they included ambrosia, watermelon pickles, eggnog and syllabub. According to the NYT, there was also a sweet potato punch:

… a recipe Mrs. Clinton recently clipped from an Arkansas newspaper. It is made with pureed sweet potatoes, the juices of pineapple, orange and lemon, ginger ale, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

“Before you make a face,” she said, “I’ll send you a copy. I haven’t tried it yet, but friends of mine who have say it takes a little courage to try, but it’s actually good. Here we try everything.”

Quick google search and — here’s the recipe

Hazelrig Orchard, Cleveland AL

Hazelrig Orchard, Cleveland AL, 2020

Sorghum, sorghum, and more sorghum at the Tennessee Farm Table podcast.

Super Chikan talking about the guitars he makes and his house-sized diddly bow:


Not sure currently, but Roger Stolle used to sell Super Chikan guitars at Cat Head in Clarksdale

Super random:

Banksy Camera Man and Flower, Park City UT

the Banksy in Park City UT, 2017

The full-circle that is the family who owns the Bristol home of the new Banksy work, Aachoo!!, protecting it with a sheet of acrylic.

The Thompson Dallas Hotel has been called the largest adaptive reuse project in Texas’ history, as it was a $460M preservation of the 52-story 1965 First National Bank of Texas, designed by Thomas E. Stanley and George Dahl. It was at one time the tallest skyscraper W of the Mississippi.

airbnb: the Area 55 Futuro — here’s a 1955 Sears kit A-frame in Alabama  — a 1990s castle around Knoxville

I guess some people are eating red velvet cake like this now

A South Carolina man is offering to reimburse plus pay a finder’s fee for a family heirloom cast iron skillet that his father accidentally donated to Goodwill: “this item has immense sentimental value as my mom grew up in a farmhouse with a wood stove in North Carolina. This skillet was what her mother cooked with on that wood stove. My mother has moved this skillet from Greenville to Hilton Head to Greenville.” It’s a lidded Griswold, #8, 9, or 10. 

There’s a Waffle House beer

Super Mario World is opening next year in Japan (hi, I mentioned this is the super random section)

Z Ranch in Marfa would like to remind everyone not to come to Marfa

The mom of one of my besties has 8x10s of her ultra-80s mall Glamor Shots session (as of last year, there were still five of their studios open) displayed prominently in her living room. It definitely belongs with the other greatness at OldSchoolMoms.

Town & Country’s list of Best Books to Read this December includes one throw-back: Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory: One Christmas, and The Thanksgiving Visitor (Modern Library). (Square Books here, Amazon here).

The keyboard-playing gorilla at Showbiz Pizza used to creep me out, but now it’s the $10k 25th anniv Jay Strongwater one at Neiman’s. Also: I wish I had a delightfully dotty grandmother who would carry this Judith Lieber.

Missing parties with cheese balls, like this one with spiced pecans, from Bon Appetit

Prefacing this with: there’s a television in my office and I can pack away an incredible amount of ambient Amazon/Netflix in a week. But haaaa the most unbelievable — there are…a few — part of the newish ‘The Secret’ movie (hey, these are hard times and we all need movies in which we know it’s all going to work out): the characters from Louisiana and Tennessee calling the highways “The 59” and “The 65”.  Cue SNL’s The Californians. Also: ‘ambient television’ (can I just watch something I don’t have to pay attention to?) is a term we’ve needed for a while now, and thank you Kyle Chayka in The New Yorker.

Little Chinatown Restaurant, Kenner LA

Little Chinatown, Kenner LA, 2013

The Museum of Food and Drink in NY is doing a zoom, Jews and Chinese Food: A Love Story Dec 21.

In fact, for many Jewish families, the tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas is almost as sacrosanct as avoiding leavened bread on Passover or eating latkes during Hanukkah.

As Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan famously responded to Senator Lindsay Graham when asked where she was on Christmas, “You know like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant.”

While we have our regular place we go for Christmas Day Chinese, I will say that one year we did Christmas Day at the now-shuttered Creole Kosher Kitchen in the Quarter. An Asian family walked by, looked in the windows, shrugged, walked in, and — in the sweetest, most good-natured way, everyone just burst into laughter. Love.

Old Store (closed) in Collbran, outside Ft Payne AL

Collbran AL, 2020

Southern Spaces posts an excerpt of Writing Appalachia, an anthology of Appalachian literature published by University Press of Kentucky (via Bookshop; via Amazon)

Yet beginning in the mid-nineteenth century and flowering fully in the post–Civil War era, fueled by an enormous body of writing in the popular press, Appalachia became known as a land apart, home to what William Goodell Frost, president of Berea College, identified in 1899 as America’s “contemporary ancestors.” These curious creatures were alternately viewed either as a genetic and cultural reservoir of America’s best (noble poor rural white people of northern European ancestry who spoke Elizabethan English and lived a lifestyle like that of the colonial era), or as a sad example of America’s worst (degenerate poor rural white moonshiners and feudists who spoke substandard English).4 Distorted though they may be, those two views of Appalachia are still present in the popular imagination, as best-seller lists and television shows indicate.5

Dolceola Recordings is a music label ‘focused on analog field recording of American traditional music’ — and their first recording trip was to Boykin/Gee’s Bend in 2015. Their ‘Say You Don’t Love Me: The Last Recordings of David Kimbrough Jr’ was released in August (dir of indie record stores)

First Presbyterian, Rodney MS

First Presbyterian, Rodney MS, 2012

The Federalist 1832 Rodney Presbyterian in Rodney MS is undergoing restoration; donations to complete the work, including the completion of structural work on the bell tower, are being accepted

In the NYT interview with Berkeley Breathed:

If you were to substitute “Maycomb, Ala.,” the setting for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” for “Bloom County,” you would have guessed the correct literary inspiration for the setting. You’ll imagine the delight I took years later when I received a fan letter from Harper Lee, who eventually tried her best to convince me not to end Opus’s comic life a decade later. I told her I’d reconsider if she brought back Boo Radley. We remained in a standoff.

He’s not kidding — she was a fan.

Walker Evans: Starting from Scratch by Svetlana Alper (Princeton) was published in October (via Bookshop, via Amazon)

…She brings his techniques into dialogue with the work of a global cast of important artists—from Flaubert and Baudelaire to Elizabeth Bishop and William Faulkner—underscoring how Evans’s travels abroad in such places as France and Cuba, along with his expansive literary and artistic tastes, informed his quintessentially American photographic style.

Walker Evans: Starting from Scratch, Svetlana Alpers from Princeton University Press on Vimeo.

Shugie won the school spelling bee, Chanukah started, are we’re looking forward to a nice winter break! How about you? A healthy & safe week, y’all! xoxo!

This Week’s Various

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

Real Lane Cake, From The Original Recipe

Still life with Lane Cake and Fridge, my home, 2010: from the original Emma Rylander Lane recipe

Yewande Komolafe presents a new interpretation of Lane Cake in the NYT, “… takes all of fruitcake’s best elements — bourbon-soaked dried fruit, toasty pecans and shredded coconut — and weaves them into a rich, custardy filling set between three layers of tender vanilla cake” and does that Christina Tosi thing with it being devoid of icing on the outside.

The Bill Traylor ‘4 Figures & Basket in Blue’ in the last Slotin Folk Art Auction blew through the estimate of $40-60k — it sold at $105k.

San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio’s Riverwalk, from a visit in 2016

The San Antonio River Walk Association (SARWA) was granted permission from the city for canoers and kayakers to paddle the downtown section during weekends through November, via an outfitter (so it seems one may not just slip into the water). Maybe this can become an ongoing thing.

Pot Likker and Cornbread (and roll, and sweet roll) at Mary Mac's Tea Room, Atlanta GA

“Collard liquor and cornbread to mush it in,” just as Truman Capote spoke of, from a visit to Mary Mac’s in Atlanta, 2005

A library in Delaware (and other places across the nation) hosted a live reading / Zoom of Capote’s The Thanksgiving Visitor for the holiday.

Of course, the story begins with that high-ceilinged old house on the edge of town, living with his much-older maiden cousins and their bachelor brother, a necessity due to the drama with his mother and her situation. He makes sure to note that it was some of the happiest times of his childhood, mainly due to his relationship with the youngest of the cousins who was herself in her 60s:

As she was a child herself (many people thought her less than that, and murmured about her as though she were the twin of poor nice Lester Tucker, who roamed the streets in a sweet daze), she understood children, and understood me absolutely.

That’s Sook, and if that has you thinking it’s time to get the fruitcake going, same.

And I have to go back to his beautiful description of the first meal of the day, described in abundance:

Breakfast was our principal meal; midday dinner, except on Sundays, and supper were casual menus, often composed of leftovers from the morning. These breakfasts, served promptly at 5:30 A.M., were regular stomach swellers. To the present day I retain a nostalgic hunger for those cockcrow repasts of ham and fried chicken, fried pork chops, fried catfish, fried squirrel (in season), fried eggs, hominy grits with gravy, black-eyed peas, collards with collard liquor and cornbread to mush it in, biscuits, pound cake, pancakes and molasses, honey in the comb, homemade jams and jellies, sweet milk, buttermilk, coffee chicory-flavored and hot as Hades.

Truman Capote, Monroeville AL

The Capote historic marker in Monroeville, Alabama, 2006

If we can stay with Truman Capote for just a moment more, there’s this piece in the LA Times from 2006, It was the Joanne and Truman Show, about the the great friendship between him and Joanne Carson; the space in her house post-Johnny that she made for him; her support of him after he was made a social pariah after parts of his ‘Answered Prayers’ came out, and his of her after the divorce and the friends stayed by Johnny; the auction of his items by her at Bonhams, much of it going to pet-centered charities.

The ‘centerpiece’ of that auction? The unfinished short story Joanne asked him to write, about his chance meeting with Willa Cather one snowy day in New York. Vanity Fair published it in 2006.

I was still amazed to think that Willa Cather wore sable coats and occupied a Park Avenue apartment. (I had always imagined her as living on a quiet street in Red Cloud, Nebraska.) 

And back to the LA Times story, including mention of items on the block:

In addition to knickknacks such as embroidered pillows, pens and many Baccarat decanters, there are Polaroid photos, some taken by Carson, of Capote cavorting in her pool after a face-lift and 80-pound weight loss at a Florida spa. (He gained it all back, she said with a sigh.)…

“the baby blanket made by his Aunt Sook, who raised him; the Courreges jacket he wore to Studio 54; the tuxedo he wore to his famous Black and White Ball; his dancing slippers; and little notes he’d leave around the house, including one that simply reads, “I am a genuis.”

“Truman never could spell that word,” said Carson.”

On the Louisiana Landmarks New Orleans’ Nine list:

original Holy Cross School in the Lower 9th Ward, St. Alphonsus in the Lower Garden District, the B.W. Cooper buildings along Earhart Boulevard and the Bolden home in Central City, plus an 1860s era cottage on St. Andrew Street in Central City, and the French Benevolent Society tomb in Lafayette No. 2 Cemetery on Washington Avenue

Country Music, Gordo Alabama

Country Music Tue & Fri Night, Gordo AL, from a visit in 2011 (sign since removed)

I emailed Jack Lewis years ago and asked him to please please please give the world more Olde Surber Station Radio: A Bluegrass and Old Time Music Radio Show but said he didn’t have time as he was was off doing other things.  It was perfection and here’s the first episode. Friends: I’d like to make a Google map of old-time and bluegrass live shows. I’m talking corner-of-a-convenience-store-Friday-night-performances, private houses that open up for this kind of thing weekly or monthly, and opera houses, even though we’re not talking the opera or The Opry. Contact me, please, if you know of one, even if it’s not doing anything right now. 

Super random:

Hotel Talisi - real keys! Tallassee, AL

Hotel Talisi keys, 2005

The founder of Bookshop, a website utilized to order books from local-indie shops across the country (though I don’t see Square Books in Oxford, I do see Thank You in Birmingham): I’m trying to un-disrupt the industry. Most Silicon Valley companies are trying to disrupt the industry, which means that all the old players go out of business and they create a new way of doing it,” he said. “We’re trying to bring in force all the dinosaurs. We’re trying to keep all the dinosaurs alive.”

Robb Report on 10 Great Bakeries Delivering… and this: (Domique Ansel): Christmas Morning Cereal. This is no simple box of Cheerios. Every year, Ansel sells cartons packed with puffed rice that’s covered in caramelized milk chocolate and mixed with smoked cinnamon miniature meringues and candied hazelnuts. It’s crunchy and sweet with just the right amount of spice from the cinnamon. It’s not quite on sale yet, but you can get notified on his site about when you can buy this addictive snack.

Black Bottom Pecan Pie recipe from Erin McDowell

This year’s retail holiday windows in New York

So interesting to see what architecture Australians are critical of

Here’s The Ultimate Texas Tacopedia from Texas Monthly, which — unless I missed something, only mentioned the Panhandle once, with a place in Amarillo that does one with tofu

James Meredith has plans to open a museum in Jackson that will “chronicle his life’s accomplishments, house an archival library and provide a sanctuary for those wanting to study the Bible”

The NYT virtual architecture tours of the city

Houston’s Orange Show Center for Visionary Art has a new exec dir and he comes from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami where he was deputy director

Austin’s Sand Dollar House is on the market, and just took a big price drop. That kitchen island, though…

In the National Review, Joseph Epstein with Our Literary Drought reaches back to Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities (one of my favorite, favorite books) in answering ‘What is the last novel you can think of that caused a genuine stir?‘ — and laments that The AtlanticHarper’s, and “most sadly” The New Yorker have given incredible space “to politics, to the detriment of their former cultural and literary interests.” And here’s the NYT’s 100 Notable Books of 2020.

Mississippi Magazine named Faulkner’s Rowan OakBest Historic Site 2020”.

On the market in Jarreau, Louisiana: This is the world’s premier collection of Louisiana French Creole and Acadian architecture, art, decorative arts and furniture…4 houses, 3 auxiliary buildings, 75+/- acres on 4 parcels of property…Maison Chanel bears witness to Louisiana’s unique cultural heritage and constitutes the single most comprehensive repository of architectural elements, decorative arts, and material culture from the region before 1830.’

There is an indigenous horse sanctuary, Sacred Way, in the Florence, Alabama area that also includes an interpretive center/museum.

Fast Company with The Nine Most Gorgeous Dishes to Serve at Thanksgiving and  I’m totally making the fluorescent jello for one night of Chanukah.

Coincidentally, that recipe is pulled from Stefan Gates’ The Extraordinary Cookbook, with a jacket that looks a lot like David Sedaris’ new The Best of Me (Amazon here, Square Books here)

Hotel Talisi (Tallassee, Alabama) is on the cusp of being declared a public nuisance. It’s gone from a fab, unique small-town hotel experience with a restaurant serving some of the world’s great fried chicken to a guy setting it on fire (by accident, kinda-sorta), to insurance drama and a rebuild, to it becoming a, well, hostel for feral cats with fleas

Ah, Florida’s The Villages, in this new Some Kind of Heaven:

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

Appalachia, 2019

Watched Hillbilly Elegy on Netflix last week. At this point, not sure why so much weight was put on this being a story set in Appalachia.

This review at KUNC mentions: “there is no culture, there’s only the strife. This family may be JD Vance’s home, but nothing of the beauty of Appalachian life pokes through.”

— and indeed, it’s just filled with misery. People behaving badly generally, profanity throughout, and bad parenting that would probably generationally necessitate therapy. Have you ever been in a social setting (ball game, grocery store) and witnessed people talking to each other in an unnecessary yell? There’s just so much underpinned angst that the person’s voice modulates that way? These people’s default setting is…that. If I hadn’t known this was set where it was, with those accents, it might as well have been set in some poor community probably anywhere else in this country.

Other reviews: Cassie Chambers Armstrong in The Atlantic with Hillbilly Elegy Doesn’t Reflect the Appalachia I Know; A.O. Scott’s I Remember MaMaw in the NYT; Searching for the Real Appalachia in the Washington Post; some reactions from the local press where the movie was set; and particularly stinging, WBUR’s Sean Burns’ Films ‘Uncle Frank’ And ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Are Two Cluelessly Condescending Hollywood Trips To The Heartland:

It’s amusing to note that Howard grew up in front of the cameras on “The Andy Griffith Show,” as the blighted Ohio of his “Hillbilly Elegy” is like Mayberry’s oxy-addled inverse, full of boarded-up small businesses and junk cars in the yard. Yet, it feels as false as any sitcom set, a Hollywood vision of poverty…

which ends with “Devoid of politics or insight, “Hillbilly Elegy” is just the story of how some jerk from Yale got a fancy job at a law firm.”

Also: the bottom of the NYT review gives these details:

Hillbilly Elegy
Rated R. Fussing, fighting, cussing, smoking. Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes.

“Fussing, fighting, cussing, smoking”

Well, yeah. That’s about right.


Delta Dog Trot by Bill Dunlap, Alluvian Hotel, Greenwood MS

The Alluvian, 2018

The Local Palate with 12 Historic Southern Hotels and they must be going by some weird interpretation of the word ‘historic’ (just in an older 20th C building?) because The Alluvian in Greenwood (est 2003) is there, along with the Redmont in Birmingham — nothing against the Redmont (I’ve stayed there too) but there’s not much about it even whispering ‘historic’ albeit the operation has been in existence since 1925…just look at the pics on their site. They include the Watergate Hotel in DC, but not the Greenbrier? No love for the St Anthony or the Driskill? Granted, the 21c in Louisville is in a cool downtown building, but I’ve stayed there and there’s not a whole lot lending a particularly historic vibe to one’s stay.

Mt. Ararat, Nashville TN

Mt Ararat Cemetery Nashville, where several Edmondson monuments had been installed, 2011

On Historic Nashville’s 2020 listing of the Nashville Nine endangered properties:

Tennessee State Prison – 6410 Centennial Boulevard
The Henry Allen and Georgia Bradford Boyd House — 1601 Meharry Boulevard
Z. Alexander Looby House — 2012 Meharry Boulevard
Eldorado Motel Sign — 2806 Buchanan Street
Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church — 908 Monroe Street
Chaffin’s Barn — 8204 TN-100
The Barbizon Apartments — 2006 Broadway
The Firestone Building — 2416-2418 West End Avenue
William Edmondson Headstones — Located in various Davidson County cemeteries

Irondale Cafe, Irondale AL

Advice at the Irondale Cafe, Irondale AL, 2017

This review in the AJC for the Magnolia Room Cafeteria ” a temple to trout amandine, congealed salad and yeast rolls” in Tucker:

As a South Georgia kid who thought Sundays at Morrison’s was the be-all and end-all, I’ve been a fan of Magnolia Room from the beginning, when I had to explain to a couple of non-Southern colleagues that the gelatin creations were “salads,” not desserts…

As Squires so aptly stated, the beauty of a cafeteria is that you can sit down and eat within minutes. You can ask for a little more gravy, or say, “Oh, I want that piece.”

Anthony's, Bainbridge GA

Anthony’s in Bainbridge GA, from a visit in 2011

Eater Atlanta wonders if there is such a thing as Georgia barbecue — talk about sweet sauce, pork over brisket, and collards being a popular side. And:

“I think there is a claim to what Georgia barbecue is,” says Texas native Jonathan Fox. Fox and his twin brother, Justin, own Atlanta’s popular barbecue restaurant Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in the city’s Candler Park neighborhood. But to find what could be considered true Georgia barbecue, Fox says, people need to venture outside of Atlanta.

“Atlanta’s a tough city. It’s a transplant city. The further you get out of the city, you see more of what I would call ‘Georgia barbecue.’ You kind of lose that true sense of what barbecue is in larger metropolitan areas,” Fox explains. “I don’t think, unfortunately, Georgia would rank up there with your Carolinas, or your Memphis, your Texas.”

HBO’s official trailer for Alabama Snake:

At Guernica, Leah Hampton’s Lost in a (Mis)Gendered Appalachia:

Nina Simone was a mountain girl, is what I’m saying. I am asking you to picture her that way, to set aside what you know of this iconic artist and think of her rural beginnings. Her entire experience, her whole world before jazz, before fame and legend and fight, was the Jim Crow South and the hills of the Blue Ridge. That little house in Tryon overlooks some of the oldest geological formations in North America. The railroad tracks she crossed every Saturday to attend her music lessons mark the boundary of the first Cherokee land seizures of 1767.

The latest Georgia Trust Places in Peril list has been released, and on it:

Ashby Street Theatre (Atlanta, Fulton County)
Atlanta Eagle and Kodak Buildings (Atlanta, Fulton County)
Blackshear City Jail (Blackshear, Pierce County)
Cherry Grove Schoolhouse (Washington, Wilkes County)
Cohutta African American Civic District (Cohutta, Whitfield County)
Downtown Toomsboro (Toomsboro, Wilkinson County)
Kiah House Museum (Savannah, Chatham County)
Old Monticello United Methodist Church (Monticello, Jasper County)
Terrell County Courthouse (Dawson, Terrell County)
Vineville Avenue Corridor (Macon, Bibb County)

Staircase, Square Books, Oxford MS

The staircase at Square Books, Oxford

The 2020 cover by Wyatt Waters for Square Books’ holiday catalog is perfect.

Of note, at their Rare Square, a first printing of Faulkner’s The Hamlet at $700; #46 of 200 Homecomings by Willie Morris and William Dunlap and signed by both at $250; a likely second printing of Helen Keller’s Let Us Have Faith, signed, at $650.

Joe Minter's African Village in America, Birmingham AL

from a visit with Joe in September

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts opens the exhibit  In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art on December 12, and it goes through July 18, 2021.

Inspired by sculptor Joe Minter’s quotation referencing “art in the presence of 100,000 African Ancestors,” the exhibition …bridges North and South in a debut of newly acquired gifts from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Featuring 22 works, including an assemblage by Thornton Dial, sculpture by Joe Minter, and quilts by celebrated Gee’s Bend artists Lottie Mooney and Lola Pettway, this exhibition explores themes of origin, communal ritual, foresight, and spiritual reflection.

Chinese Restaurant, Selma AL

Chinese restaurant, downtown Selma AL, 2020

Podcast: listened to Splendid Table #721, ‘Let’s Talk Chinese American Food’ and this, from chef Lucas Sin: “I am so sick and tired of people telling me that American Chinese food made by Chinese Americans for the last 100-200 years or whatever it is, isn’t authentic. It’s such a silly way to characterize a cuisine…” and later, two points, “…a place of respect. You have to understand that these are real human beings are cooking this food and respect for the people making the food…” and “…second, a careful study of history. When you start to understand how important this cuisine was in sort of shaping American history…”

This is a big thing to glean from his thoughts here, especially, on recipes: “despite the fact that there’s so much Chinese food everywhere and there is remarkable similarity between the Sesame Chicken in Arizona and the Sesame Chicken in New York,  despite that fact there’s no headquarters saying “this is the recipe” all this information just passed through this diaspora, this network…and everybody just knows how to do these things…”

Sesame Chicken from the Chinese spot in the old (still steepled!) KFC next to the Goodyear tire store will be served in this home tonight.

Also: loved what he said about people coming in and saying they are “elevating” a certain type of food, which often makes me wince. “American Chinese food doesn’t need to be elevated…elevation sort of assumes that the person ‘elevating’ it has a higher than thou type of position, that they know better…”

Wrestling Signs, Hanceville AL

Hanceville AL, 2017

Texas Monthly with The Thrills of Houston’s 1970s-Era Friday Night Wrestling Come Alive in a Stunning Photo Book, on Geoff Winningham’s ‘Friday Night in the Coliseum‘.  I sent this to one of my IG friends who was getting his MFA at Georgia and is documenting this scene in more rural areas currently and is putting together a magazine on it, to be out early 2021. And  Bitter Southerner just posted A Night of All Star Catharsis about a group of wrestlers who perform in a West Virginia parking lot in a drive-up show.

Warm Chocolate Babka with Hazelnut Gelato and Blackberry Sauce, Saba, New Orleans

The warm, chocolate babka with hazelnut gelato and blackberry sauce from a visit to Saba in 2018

Alon Shaya is shipping babka — or you can pick it up in New Orleans. Also, he’s doing a virtual class on how to make his latkes on December 13.

NYT Cooking with salt-rising bread, a recipe borne from Appalachians without ready access to yeast.

Futuro House, Pensacola Beach FL

The Futuro in Pensacola Beach, 2018

Autoevolution has gorgeous pics of Futuro homes in its article mentioning the one that just came available in New Zealand

Darlene's Cookies

My friend Darlene’s platter at a cookie swap we went to in 2007

The NYT with how to put together the perfect cookie box this year, and really, it’s all about having different varieties included: fruity/jammy; sparkly and colorful; crunchy; chocolate; maybe w/ alcohol.

Fox Brothers BBQ, Atlanta GA

The frito pie at Fox Bros in Atlanta, 2014

Frito Chili Pie had a hand in starting Alice Waters‘ important work with reforming school lunches and food attitudes  (from her ’08 Edible Schoolyard):

Parked in the middle of the asphalt, this building sold soda pop to the children during their recess and lunch hour, and it also sold something called a “walking taco,” which is as perfect a symbol of a broken culture as I can imagine. Opening a plastic bag of mass-produced corn chips, the food workers would simply pour in a kind of beef-and-tomato slurry from a can. The kids would then walk away…

PS: that “beef and tomato slurry” has a name,

And goshamighty who else has ever called chili a “beef and tomato slurry” even if it’s from a #10 can off a Sysco truck? Hey, it’s Frito Pie weather and no one should let this dissuade them from — occasionally, according to one’s health tenets — enjoying what is most certainly one of this planet’s great culinary (maybe low-brow since one is traditionally eating it directly from a chip bag with a plastic spoon/spork (extra points if it came from a Friday night HS football game concession stand), but still…) comforts. 

It’s that “walking taco” — that **perfect symbol of a broken culture** as she put it — that got Alice to agree to develop the garden at the King School in Berkeley so that the students there could absolutely rightly have “experience-based learning that illustrates the pleasure of meaningful work, personal responsibility, the need for nutritious, sustainably raised, and sensually stimulating food, and the important socializing effect of the ritual of the table”

Edible Schoolyard (ESY) is in its 25th year now; from an article earlier this year about how there will be a new emphasis on eating choices and climate change: “We have 10 classes a week, roughly 30 students per class… it’s well over 250 people a week in each [kitchen and garden] class,” said Geoff Palla, the operations manager and senior garden teacher at King. Which means that, all told, King’s ESY teachers see about 500 students a week, or roughly half the school’s population of sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

PPS: Just going back to football game food for a sec: how about those rubbery cheap pickles from a wax paper sleeve featuring an anthropomorphic pickle on it…pretty sure those, stadium cheese, and stale popcorn make up the first three blocks of a high school football game bingo card.

Jared Small: Encounters Exhibit at the Huntsville Museum of Art

from the exhibit at the HMA, 2019

Memphis native Jared Small: New Work on view now through December 23 at Nashville David Lusk Gallery. I saw his Encounters: Southern Moments in Time at the Huntsville Museum of Art last year. Fab.

Shug’s bar mitzvah won’t take place as planned this coming weekend. We were advised by the shul medical committee that starting this week, no in-person congregating will be taking place due to the general uptick in contagion. We’re okay and agree with it as the well-being of our community (though we were going to keep it spaced and only minyan-size) absolutely comes first. I’ve tried to frame this whole thing since March as a positive: that the boys will have the most interesting stories to tell their kids and grandchildren. As it turns out, Shugie and Shug have decided to have their bar mitzvahs together later this year — I guess an unexpected plus in having them 15 months apart! We’ll be celebrating late 2021 and we’re all looking forward to that. Have a happy, healthy week, friends! xoxo!

This Week’s Various

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!


This Week’s Various

Brittany Howard’s Jaime made #2 on the NYT’s list of Best Albums of 2019. KCRW votes it #1. If you know the area around Florence, Alabama, much of this is going to be very familiar:

Robert Indiana, LOVE, Red Blue above: Robert Indiana’s LOVE at the Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans

Robert Indiana’s Disputed Estate now Estimated to be Worth over $100M

Artistic tortillas, via Texas Monthly: First produced by the indigenous Otomí people of Mexico’s Guanajuato and Querétaro states, tortillas ceremoniales are for special occasions like Dia de los Muertos, weddings, quinceañeras, saint’s feast days, and other holidays. Stamps (sellos) imprint intricate patterns onto the tortillas in a natural, edible dye, like those made from Mexican honeysuckle or hibiscus, or from insects like cochineals.

Barber's Egg Nog

above: ’tis the season

Emily Dickinson’s gingerbread recipe.

Pie Lab, Greensboro AL above: Greensboro’s Pie Lab

Thrillist came out with their list of Best Pie Shops in America, and so glad to see Pie Lab in Greensboro, Alabama made the list.

Birthdays & celebrations & random live-it-up times mean dessert, amirite? Eater New Orleans published New Orleans Restaurants Where Dessert Steals the Show: From satsuma almond cake to chocolate cremeaux to pistachio pavlova, you’ll want to save room for dessert at these restaurants, and I think I’ve had dessert at 9 of the 15 listed. Some notes: at Saba, never pass up a chance to get the warm chocolate babka. That was maybe the best dessert I had in all of 2018:

Warm Chocolate Babka with Hazelnut Gelato and Blackberry Sauce, Saba, New Orleans

also: #11 on the list is Bakery Bar (and I’ve had theirs, one slice pictured below), I still like the one at Gambino’s best of all, even if when I order them to ship, they arrive a little smashed. Smashed doberge still roxxxx, btw.

Doberge at Bakery Bar, New Orleans LA

Most intriguing? Maybe Gianna, with the sweet milk tartufo with amarena cherries, walnuts, honey and a fried rosette cookie. Nice. And: Food & Wine visits Gianna and talked about the inspiration for their holiday menu (incl tortellini / baccala / chocolate cassata).

Ah, I still love making museum snaps. Some from a visit to the New Orleans Museum of Art:

My Snapchat Creations My Snapchat Creations My Snapchat Creations

For the people who’ve said the “perfect church” doesn’t exist, I give you

The Perfect Church, Atlanta GA

The Perfect Church. McDaniel St in Atlanta, from a pic I took in 2017.

E.M. Bailey's Home, Atlanta

I visited here in 2017 but somehow managed to not post an update on DFK. This is the site of E.M. Bailey’s home and his sculpture garden on Rockwell St in Atlanta. Eldren Bailey made and displayed a number of his plaster or cement sculptures and shrines in the side yard here. Like Nashville’s William Edmondson, he was a maker of gravestones. The artwork has been moved since his passing in 1987. Bill Arnett took pics of Eldren and his environment, available here.

The Most Beautiful Sign in Atlanta

above: quite possibly the most beautiful sign in Atlanta (haaaaaa)

You know not to call New Orleans the Big Easy, and don’t call Atlanta Hotlanta: it’s like going to a literary convention and mispronouncing Proust. Anyway, Atlantans are so sick of it, Monday Night Brewing has a new flavor and they’re hoping this will help. Sidenote: Atlantans aren’t crazy about “The ATL” either.

Watching The Irishman on Netflix is the Best Way to See It and I did, and yeah.

The Chefs Reinventing the Midwestern Supper Club

But eating is only half your purpose here, for this is a Wisconsin supper club, a distinctly American subgenre of restaurant that for nearly a century has largely and triumphantly ignored the passing of time. The owner greets you at the door and shows you to the knotty pine bar — no rush to get to the dining room — where there might be a cracker table waiting, with cheese spreads to sample, and a relish tray of cold crinkle-cut carrots and sweet-and-sour pickles. The bartender makes you a drink, muddled by hand. It’ll be a brandy old-fashioned, if you’re doing this right…

a list of supper clubs

Setting boiled cookies above: boiled cookies just out of the pot, starting to set

Apparently people are discovering/rediscovering boiled cookies, and Edna Lewis’ recipe for them is at WaPo.

Shug's Gee's Bend Baby Quilt

above: the Gee’s Bend baby quilt we got for Shug

At artnet: See Inside Turner Contemporary’s New Show Featuring Gee’s Bend Quilts and Other Vital Art from the Deep South:

Opening in February 2020, “We Will Walk—Art and Resistance in the American South” includes paintings, sculptural assemblages, and quilts ranging in date from the mid-20th century through the present day. All of the artists either hail from Alabama or one of its surrounding states, which together comprise a subregion of the US popularly known as the Deep South—long a hotbed of race relations and civil-rights resistance. 

Futuro Spaceship House, Pensacola Beach, FL

above: how the Futuro on Pensacola Beach appeared, 2006

Nice: this restored Futuro in California.

This Week’s Various

Thanks, Y'all Mississippi Sign
above: a pic I took of one of the signs Mississippi put up in response to Katrina help in 2005

Bitter Southerner Season 2 Ep 1 podcast (in collab with GA Public Broadcasting): What We Talk About When We Talk About How We Talk on…how we tawk.

Nick Cave Soundsuit at Jepson Center for the Arts, Telfair Museums, Savannah GA

above: a Soundsuit I took a pic of from the Nick Cave exhibit at the Jepson in Savannah in 2017

There’s a 2011 Nick Cave Soundsuit in tomorrow’s MCA Chicago: Life Benefit Auction and the starting bid is $60k.

Waffle House

People are good. When only one man was working the kitchen at a B’ham-area Waffle House, this happened (from the WaPo):

“There was literally no one else working but him,” Crispo said in an interview with The Washington Post…

…“It was a transition so smooth I initially assumed it was a staff member returning to their shift,” Crispo wrote in an email he gave The Washington Post. “It wasn’t. It was a kind stranger. A man who answered the call. Bussed tables, did dishes, stacked plates.”

…Soon after, Crispo said, a customer in a dress got up, walked behind the counter and started making coffee.

“She figured out how to do the coffee maker. She was in a sequined dress and heels,” Crispo said. “She tried to take an order or two but then she went to busing tables. It was bizarre to see someone doing that in a sequined dress and heels.”

Donaldson, LA Museum - Lemann

above: the Lemann building in Donaldsonville has been on the list for several years now

The Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation has published its 2019 list of most endangered places.

above: a pretty Greenberg smoked turkey (Sam Greenberg is so nice!) we had a few years ago

So according to Google Trends, the most-searched Thanksgiving recipe by state goes like this:

Alabama & Tennessee — sweet potato casserole
Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas — dressing
Georgia — honey baked ham (wha?)
Oklahoma: deviled eggs

Southern Interiors: Photographs from the Do Good Fund is on view at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn.

In college, my HS boyfriend Jeff and I thought we were living the high life when we’d spend dining credits at the place on campus with cloth napkins. Um, this is next level.

Red Velvet Cake above: just a slice of an an easy, one-layer red velvet I made one night with supper

Never had the red velvet cake at Bob Sykes (the pies are pretttttty good, though!), and apparently it is so amazing that it has its own carry-out line at the holidays. Here’s the surprising part: theirs has no cocoa. This is no criticism, but red velvet aficionados: isn’t cocoa a prerequisite (otherwise you’ve got a red, food-colored yellow cake)? That doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious. I bet it’s crazy good. In any case, good on Van Sykes for recognizing the value of Sharon Mayes, who the article reports has made the desserts so popular that he pays her a percentage of the dessert sales in addition to her regular earnings.

Orbix Hot Glass: Glass Ornament Blowing Class
above: hahaha! Cal and me at Orbix. He does the real-artist part.

The Cal Breed: Signs of Lift exhibit is going on now at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts through January 12, 2020. In past years, I’ve gone with some friends to do glass blowing at his studio — Orbix Hot Glass — in NE Alabama, and (’tis the season) he offers ornament classes.

Brennan's New Orleans
above: an upstairs dining room at Brennan’s

Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus: The Psychology of How We Eat at NPR:

“Food is not just nutrition that goes in your mouth or even pleasant sensations that go with it. It connects to your whole life, and it’s really a very important part of performing your culture and experiencing your culture.”

Love, love, love getting all your emails, and so glad to be posting again! xoxo!

This Week’s Various

Longhorns. Cullman Co AL
Cullman County, Alabama longhorns.
Super-short various this week for whatever reason. xoxo!

Lowland Kids: Growing up on a Disappearing Island about Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana showed at this year’s SXSW and can be viewed in its entirety here. From the HuffPo piece:

As a result of rising sea levels, coastal erosion and hurricanes, Isle de Jean Charles is starting to disappear. Since 1955, the 22,000-acre island has lost roughly 98% of its land, and the future looks bleak. Some estimates predict it will be fully submerged under water in five to 25 years. It’s why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved a $48 million federal grant ― the first of its kind ― to relocate the community, primarily Native Americans, to higher ground by 2024. As part of the voluntary resettlement project, Louisiana is developing a new area about 40 miles northwest of the island on some 515 acres of land.

On view in Times Square, Kehinde Wiley’s 27′-tall bronze ‘Rumors of War’ in the CSA-general-atop-warhorse genre (except this time, not) has been acquired by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. It’s slated to be installed permanently at the VMFA on December 10. The piece was purchased via Sean Kelly Gallery in NY. From the press release:

Sean Kelly states, “Kehinde’s work has always sought to address the historical imbalance of the representation and depiction of the black body in art historical and cultural contexts. Rumors of War extends that investigation into the sculptural realm with his largest three-dimensional work to date. The work deals head-on with the history of racially divisive and provocative Confederate monuments which venerate the American Civil War.”

How Three Guys from Houston are Cooking up a Revolution in Texas Barbecue by Brett Martin at Smithsonian:

“We don’t want to be a novelty.” They have added their distinctively Asian items slowly. A sensational Vietnamese banh mi—stuffed with pickled vegetables, chicken liver pâté and Hoang’s smoked turkey breast. That loamy, tingling Thai green curry boudin, which is a profound tribute to both Southeast Asia and Cajun Country. A frequent special of fried rice made with leftover nuggets of smoky brisket. “It’s not really Chinese. It’s not Vietnamese. It’s just fried rice,” says Robin.

Jack Daniels Tennessee Apple is a thing.

Love: at the NYT, At Tennessee Titans Games, the Fiercest Tailgaters are Kurds. Nashville’s big Kurdish community has fallen hard for football, and parking-lot feasts that feature biryani but no alcohol.

“There is a misconception that just because we come from a different background, we can’t like the same things other Americans like,” Ms. Kucher added. “But I’ve been in America for so long. It’s hard not to adapt to the culture. Football is a big part of American culture.”

It has been announced that the new 183528 sqft Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will open Fall 2020.

Popular Photography with William Christenberry, an unlikely icon of Southern photography and the Ogden exhibit going on now


This Week’s Various 06.11.17

As always, all images unless otherwise noted are copyright DeepFriedKudzu. Like to use one? Contact me.

At the beta Google Arts & Culture site, one may view an exhibit of Bill Traylor works at the High.

From the Chicago Tribune: Hundreds attend dedication of a 10-story mural for bluesman Muddy Waters

Above: brisket from Franklin (Av survived the line last summer) and #spoileralert: of course they’re still on that top 10 list

Texas Monthly’s new list of the best barbecue joints in Texas is out

The only museum dedicated to telling the story of the prohibition era has opened in Savannah. And they have a speakeasy, too.

The Daily Tarheel with how Public arts investments revitalize N.C. and on how Vollis Simpson’s whirligig park has brought about development:

Since the start of the project, about $25 million in private and public development has sprung up within a two block radius of the park. Curran said Hi-Dollar, an old tobacco warehouse next to the park, is being renovated into about 90 apartments, four retail shops and a restaurant. The project costs about $12 million, and the building will be called the Whirligig Station.

“If that park were not here, we would not be here,” Curran said. “If that park were not here, I don’t know that other developments in downtown would be happening as quickly as they are now.”

Food & Wine visits Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, Texas and talks with Wayne about switching careers to come home to run the family business:

“I could sign an $8 million-dollar sponsorship deal with my owner, and his response would be ‘That’s great. What else are you working on?’ I can cut off an end piece of brisket for someone who’s never had it, and they have one of those epiphanies—eyes roll to the back of the head, speaking in tongues. It’s real, it’s right there. It’s true gratitude that I haven’t been able to find in many other aspects of life…It’s easy to lose track of who you are, where you came from, why you are what you are, what really means anything to you. In a place like this, all of those questions are answered almost immediately. You know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.”

There’s a bungalow one may rent to spend the night at Finster’s Paradise Garden.

NPR’s Weekend Edition talks with Frank Stitt and Clayton Sherrod about Southern food and Birmingham but really the most powerful point here is Sherrod’s story about a family experience.

Yes to Epicurious’ 100 Greatest Home Chefs of All Time — a great list, though I wish they had included Eugene Walter.

EUGENE WALTER: LAST OF THE BOHEMIANS (APT version) from Robert Clem on Vimeo.

Only if you need a cry.

I don’t even *know* the last time I had any Rose’ but apparently it’s time to go to Aldi. And Krispy Kreme jelly beans are a thing.

Pinterest tells “what people in each state love proportionally more than people in the others” for brunch, and here you go.

From The Guardian: Brandon Thibodeaux spent eight years living with and photographing a number of families in the northern Mississippi delta, capturing their lives as they worked, played, attended church and provided for their children. Here is the photoessay they ran.

In art environment news, SPACES Archives is moving to Kohler:

We are thus truly excited to announce that SPACES has decided to partner with Kohler Foundation, Inc., and will transfer SPACES’ archives and the operation of the website to the only foundation in the country dedicated to the preservation of art environments. KFI is committing extensive resources to the present and future of SPACES mission and archives, and we will look forward, through this anticipated partnership, to maintaining the resources to continue to support SPACES’ mission for generations to come.

To Kill A Mockingbird comes out as graphic novel in November 2018.