Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Polar Bear Dip on New Year's Day at the Flora-Bama, Perdido Key AL/FL

We’re not doing the polar dip at the Flora-Bama this year (this was from 2007 when Av gave it a try), but did just get back from the beach, where it was gorgeous but the waves were too rough (and cold) to get in the water.

Hope you’re enjoying blackeyed peas, collards or another of the greens, cornbread, some yummy casseroles, and a terrific dessert or two with those you love.  I’m thinking besides all that, some cheese straws might a nice addition today.

PS: If you find a live Christmas tree on the curb and you’re into Southern folklore, remember that those will make great bottle trees for at least a few years. xoxo!

Miss Alice to be installed to the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame

Alabama Women's Hall of Fame

My first time to attend an Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame installation was in 2015, for Kathyrn Tucker Windham. It was at the lovely (closed last year) Judson College in Marion, Alabama. The school was established in 1838.

Installation of Kathryn Tucker Windham to Alabama Women's Hall of Fame, Judson College, Marion AL

Lunch was served on this pretty Judson motif china

Installation of Kathryn Tucker Windham to Alabama Women's Hall of Fame, Judson College, Marion AL

I am beyond thrilled to report that after months of work, I turned in the application nominating Alice Finch Lee back in August, and heard last month (it was embargoed ’til December 1) that she will be inducted in the 2023 AWHoF on March 1.

Old Courthouse Museum, Monroeville AL

She was one of the first female lawyers in the state of Alabama, and when she retired at 100, was the oldest practicing attorney in the state. I sent just an incredible list of her merits in the application.

(Fun fact: she was Nelle Harper Lee’s older sister, and that’s the Old Courthouse Museum in Monroeville in the pic above, the model for the final scenes in TKAM)

So so so happy that Miss Alice will be inducted into the 2023 AWHoF. Yay!!

This Week’s Various

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

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

Super short this week!


Those Wrangler x Lucchese jeans are  $496.

Field trip to the Lucchese shop:


Andy Warhol: Dolly Parton

Andy Warhol’s Dolly Parton, from a visit to Crystal Bridges in 2014

Even the Art Newspaper reported on Dolly Parton’s plans for a museum and more in Nashville


 

Bitter Southerner calls this peach wrapping paper what it is but I’m thinking those Whelan Girls need to make it into wallpaper, and I’m not even a wallpaper person


2013 River Road Bonfires on the Levee, Christmas Eve

From a 2013 visit

Country Roads on the levee bonfires, lighting the way for Papa Noel along the Mississippi. Here’s what Blood, Sweat, and Bonfires is building.


Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham AL

Highlands, 2017

Just ran across the ‘Best Classic Restaurants in Each State‘ at Food & Wine, and for Alabama, it was Highlands in Birmingham. I happened to have a pedicure next to someone who works for the group, and they’re still unsure if Highlands will open in weeks, months… Also getting a mention, Bright Star, Martin’s, Archibald’s, and Doc’s Seafood.

Georgia is Bacchanalia, The Colonnade, Busy Bee, Mrs Wilkes, and Weaver D’s.

For Louisiana, they mention Commander’s, Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, Galatoire’s, Dooky Chase, and Casamento’s.

In Mississippi, it’s Bully’s, Dinner Bell, Doe’s, Weidmann’s, and Mary Mahoney’s.

Tennessee = Bea’s, Arnold’s, Prince’s, the Rendezvous, Scott’s BBQ in Lexington, and the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge.


Super random:

I love that Lane Cake is Alabama’s official dessert, but wowee: the baguette has been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO (and PS, there’s a baguette problem in rural areas of France). Others with the distinction here.

Ryden x Barbie

Robb Report on Elvis’ private jet coming up for auction, and the plush red velvet seats are EVERYthing

Alex Hitz will be signing his Occasions to Celebrate at Square Books on Jan 26


Watched Descendant, the Clothilde / Africatown story on Netflix — excellent


Gone but not Forgotten: Louisiana’s small cemeteries at risk in changing landscapes by Brian M. Davis at 64 Parishes

Across Bayou Lafourche, at the intersection of the Southwest Louisiana Canal, parts of the Lefort Cemetery remained above the water line until August 2021, when Hurricane Ida made landfall thirteen miles to the south. What remains of brick vaults are now underwater.


Emeril's, New Orleans

Emeril’s, 2016

Emeril’s has changed (a LOT, it needed to) and here’s the latest


Something I Thought I'd Never See

The Broadway and off-Broadway productions of TKAM are still…dramatic. From the NYT:

Courtroom Drama: New Legal Battle Over ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Three years ago a new Broadway play based on the classic Harper Lee novel tried to prevent regional stagings of an earlier dramatization. Now, the roles are reversed.

In 2019, the producers of a Broadway adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” provoked outrage by seeking to prevent a group of small theaters around the country from staging an earlier dramatization of the novel.

Now the tables have turned: The publisher of the earlier adaptation is seeking to block the Broadway version from being staged at a wide variety of venues.


Hope you’ve been having a fun week! Big news on Monday xoxo!

LaGrange’s Eat. Sleep. Art. Repeat.

LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Visited the LaGrange Art Museum in LaGrange, Georgia last week. Their Eat. Sleep. Art. Repeat. exhibit is on through March 4.

Tom Patton, Olive Loaf, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Tom Patton, Olive Loaf (which reminded me of Jerry Siegel’s Carolina grocery store image)

Elsworth Kelly, Oranges, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Elsworth Kelly, Oranges

Rick Leech, Dinner Table or Oversize Conversation Piece, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Rick Leech’s Dinner Table or Oversize Conversation Piece with the boar face jug and the poor bunny (?) all splayed

Rick Leech, Dinner Table or Oversize Conversation Piece, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Alexia Markarian, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Alexia Markarian

Isabella Losskarn, WIll You Cut That Up For Her, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Isabella Losskarn, Will You Cut that Up for Her

LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Salvador Dali, Les Diners de Gala book, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Two books, above, Salvadore Dali Les Diners de Gala and below, Andy Warhol and Suzy Frankfurt Wild Raspberries

Andy Warhol and Suzy Frankfurt, Wild Raspberries, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange GA

Especially nice are the virtual exhibits that LaGrange keeps online, in particular Butch Anthony’s fabulous Art, Nature, and Intertwangleism. It is BEYOND.

Graveshelter at Old Union Baptist

Old Union Baptist Church, Brent AL

This graveshelter is at Old Union Baptist in Alabama’s Talladega National Forest. It’s a very isolated area…no signal getting up here.

Graveshelter, Old Union Baptist Church, Brent AL

Graveshelter, Old Union Baptist Church, Brent AL

Graveshelter, Old Union Baptist Church, Brent AL

There are four monuments under the roof. The two to the right are illegible; these two are for members of the Raglin family. I believe this couple had at least eleven children, so the two to the right *may* be their children who died at a young age.

Graveshelter, Old Union Baptist Church, Brent AL

I’ve documented over 60 cemeteries in Alabama with graveshelters; if you know of one, I’d love to do a site visit. Kindly email me with any information. Thank you!


BTW, the 1853 Airmount Graveshelter (it’s on the Register) in Clarke County, Alabama has recently been restored after damage from Hurricane Zeta.

Make Everything Bread

Angel Bread Rolls

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

Bread Dough

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

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

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

Angel biscuits

Rewind: E.T. Wickham’s Tennessee Sculptures

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

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

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

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

E.T. Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra TN

It’s Getting to be Fruitcake Weather

Fruitcake

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

Truman Capote, Monroeville AL

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

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

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

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

Fruitcake

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