Eastaboga AL, 2018.
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!
Jim Roche: Cultural Mechanic exhibit at the Ogen, 2015
I received a message from Jim Roche that his new exhibit is opening September 3 at The MAC: McEachern Art Center at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. On view, many of his “Opinion” works. There will be 66 works in all.
In the September Smithsonian Magazine: At an Old Juke Joint in Mississippi, the Blues are Alive: Jimmy Holmes is the last in a line of music legends as he seeks to keep a singular American art form thriving
Goldie 1971 sculpture by Joe McCreary, Woods Quad, University of Alabama
Are You Ready for Sentient Robots? at the NYT on the new and upcoming technology at Disney, that “the kids” just won’t go for the herky-jerky movements of robots of years past. The new pieces are amazing, but wasn’t a huge part of what was fun (Showbiz Pizza, Disney up til…now) was that we were a little bit in on the “joke”? If they’re too real, they’re just real — I mean, WOW I love it too, but real. Not charmingly trying to keep up. Or in this case, stay up. Anyway, Abe Lincoln…fell over in his chair this week at Hall of Presidents:
@daytonac500Abe…you good buddy?##abrahamlincoln ##disneyworldorlando ##hallofpresidents ##fail ##fyp ##disneytok♬ original sound – Daytona 500
Related but not related: RIP, Fastpass.
Church sign in Tuscaloosa, from 2012.
Texas’s state bird is the mockingbird, its state food is chili, and its state religion is football. For more than a century, Texans have linked their sense of independence, ruggedness, and superiority to the gridiron. Generations of Texans have been raised with the belief that they came from the best football state in the country.
This tenet of state pride is now dead.
At Robb Report, ‘Top Chef’ Champion Kelsey Barnard Clark’s Recipe for Prize-Winning Fried Catfish and I like her ratio of 3:2 for the flour to cornmeal. Her restaurant, KBC, is in Dothan, and she’s just published her first cookbook, Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook (here at Bookshop, here at Amazon). Her virtual classes are here.
Ponce City Market in Atlanta, 2017
My friend Suzi Altman presented “Saving Margaret’s Grocery” this week at the Mississippi Department of Archives & History’s “History is Lunch” program. The gofundme is here. The documentary:
Col. William C. Falkner monument, Ripley Cemetery, Ripley MS, from a visit in 2009
The public can now search letters and other documents of the Civil War & Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi Project (CWRGM), which is “digitizing, transcribing, and annotating these valuable records from Mississippi’s governors’ offices and making them freely available online. The project covers nine administrations, beginning amid rumblings of secession in late 1859, continuing through civil war, emancipation, occupation, and Reconstruction, ending in the early Jim Crow South in 1882. Thanks to the diverse nature of this collection, CWRGM documents touch on nearly every topic imaginable. These include questions of loyalty and dissent, the process of emancipation and the changing definition of citizenship, and military experiences that ranged from state militias to Confederate national service to the role of nearly 20,000 Mississippians who served in the Union Army and Navy.”
Doing a quick search, I found this letter from W.C. Falkner to Gov Pettus in 1860; that’s William Faulkner’s great-grandfather William Clark Falkner, a lawyer in Ripley, Mississippi. The letter ends:
Pardon me for troubling your excellency with such a lengthy communication. I hope to see you soon, and if there are any arms in the Arsnel, I Shall expect to get Some.
W. C. Falkner.
The US 90 bridge between Bay St Louis and Pass Christian after Katrina
Well, ’tis the season. Here’s Walker Percy’s Theory of Hurricanes by Walter Isaacson, in the NYT
Austin Motel, from a visit in 2019
The Return of Liz Lambert, at Texas Monthly
“What a good hotel does is change a neighborhood,” she would later tell me. What remained to be seen was how the hotel would change the hotelier. Lambert decided, “I didn’t really want to run a business. What I really enjoyed was the process, the creativity, and the maintenance of all this, the management of keeping it alive and well and meaningful.”
‘Tis the season to order Mississippi State Cheese (if you know, you know).
Super random section
Results of the Slotin Folk Art Auction earlier this month — in general, hammer prices look a little low
Circa 1856 Brandon Hall in Natchez is on the market, at $3.85M, and has its own driveway coming off the Trace. A punkah, too.
How You Wound Up Playing ‘The Oregon Trail’ in Computer Class, from Smithsonian
You’re keeping in mind this is the super random section, right? I’m just over here taking in the ’90s-looking Sperry collab boat shoes at Rowing Blazers and in their Vintage & Home section, there’s a…well, there’s a Domino’s Rolex. Also, sheep sweater’s back. And Murray’s has a Nantucket Reds yarmulke.
Barron’s on the new Grand Wagoneer but I don’t see a mention of wood paneling. Without it, it’s just an $87k base price Jeep. There will no doubt, though, be aftermarket shops ready to do what needs doing. Hello beautiful.
Laura Anderson Barbata: Transcommunality at Newcomb Art Museum at Tulane, through October 2: “Transcommunality offers a space to contemplate ritual, folklore and impact of the natural environment on culture…Performance documentation and stunning garments throughout the museum invite onlookers to connect with the traditions of West Africa, the Amazon, Mexico, and the Caribbean while exploring visual narratives.”
From Nosher, Why Boxed Matzah Ball Mix is Actually the Best: A food chemist by profession, my grandfather often declared there were just some things science had perfected: boxed brownie mix, onion soup mix, and matzah ball mix.
View of Montgomery, 2016
Lucille Times, who started her own Montgomery bus boycott months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, has passed away. In the NYT obit:
Over the next six months, she operated her own boycott, driving to bus stops and offering free rides to Black passengers waiting to board. Charlie, with whom she ran a cafe across from their house, collected money for gas, and they used the cafe as a planning hub — people could call Charlie to arrange a ride, and he would assemble a schedule for his wife.
Joe Light, untitled (goat), High Museum Atlanta, from a visit in 2017
Casa Bosques Chocolate in Mexico City is taking inspiration for its packaging from artists of the US South: Mary L Bennett (Gee’s Bend Quilts), Joe Light, and Ronald Lockett
Commander’s Palace, 2014
Chef Meg & Company on August 31 at Commander’s Palace will be a dinner party with a five-course tasting menu and wine pairings benefiting The New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute. It’s a collab with Chef Serigne Mbaye of Dakar and Chef Melissa Martin of Mosquito Supper Club. Cocktails are by students and alumni of the Turning Tables organization.
A William Edmondson ram on exhibit at the Memphis Brooks, 2017
“The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Garden Ornaments, and Stonework” will be presented in Nashville at both Cheekwood Estate and Gardens and the Fisk University Galleries through October 31.
The Topo Choco privilege sign in Lockhart, Texas, taken this year
Marshall Ramsey talks with Lawrence Wells (husband of the late Dean Faulkner Wells) who grew up in Ozark, Alabama, and is now the director of Yoknapatawpha Press in Oxford
The old Andrew’s Bar-B-Q Sign in the East Lake neighborhood of Birmingham, from 2005. They closed years ago but the sign remained.
One of the great neon barbecue signs of this world is gone and I hope that just means it’s undergoing restoration.
At KCRW, the story of Biddy Mason, who was born into slavery on August 15, 1818, likely in Georgia, then ‘gifted’ as a wedding present plantation owners in Mississippi. Really interesting story here that ends with the idea that at one point she may have been the richest black woman west of the Mississippi. She gave her money for food, for schools, and a church. Besides the Biddy Mason Memorial Park, there’s a push to rename a street in her memory as well.
We had Torchy’s in Dallas last month; I especially wanted to try their queso with guacamole inside. A few years ago, Bon Appetit ran the recipe for the Bob Armstrong queso dip, which is “a now-legendary layered dip of taco meat, queso, guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo” at Matt’s El Rancho in Austin, but it looks like the commenters say it doesn’t even come close to the real thing.
Speaking of queso, let’s not forget Beaux Hebert, who shared this with the LA Times back in 2017:
“I’m from the South, and queso is a Southern food staple,” said Hebert. “I mean, my sister Cammy had a queso fountain at her wedding.”
…and let us not forget this gravy fountain at an Arkansas wedding reception:
This is how we “wedding” in SE Arkansas. It’s a gravy fountain with biscuits on the side! pic.twitter.com/h9rDr2t0cW
— Melinda Mayo (@KATVMelinda) August 18, 2018
This same kind of thing with the queso recipe happened with a recipe for All Steak orange rolls at Epicurious. I made them, and they weren’t close. It wasn’t exactly a Lloyd Bentson/Dan Quayle moment: “Epicurious, I’ve been served orange rolls, I know orange rolls, orange rolls are a friend of mine. Epicurious, these are no All Steak orange rolls.” but yeah. Sometimes magazines will put out recipes that are something along the lines of “this is a recipe for X but it’s not THE recipe for X.”
I didn’t even know what a Crispito was until this article about what’s apparently the Great Crispito Shortage of 2021 and its Impending Heartache for Alabama Schoolchildren but the best part of the al.com article is this comment on a school system’s Facebook about the announcement:
“They were are always made with love, fluorescent lighting, and a styrofoam tray,” one person posted before launching into Ecclesiastes 3:4.
from a visit in 2011
The two-story dogtrot 1818 Looney home in St Clair County, Alabama is undergoing a restoration, its first since 1972.
An encore presentation of the new documentary, Clementine Hunter’s World, will be shown August 28 at 8p on Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Busy week here! Getting together (outside) with friends, enjoying summer, and getting ready for football. Pics of our sweet new chicks next week! Hope you’ve got new and fun things going on. xoxo!
About three times now, I’ve traveled up to Pulaski, Tennessee and had lunch at The Yellow Deli. It was my friend Anne who originally suggested we go here, and while from the sound of it, The Yellow Deli doesn’t sound particularly interesting, just wait…
For one thing, they’re open 24 hours, five days a week. Well, to be exact, noon Sunday through 3p on Fridays. And it’s not just a restaurant, it’s the retail establishment of a religious movement.
They have tract-ish material around — a lot of it — so if you’d like to learn more about the beliefs of the people who work here, they want to share it. I’ve picked up a few. Mostly, it seems that things started in California in 1970 with The Jesus Movement. A man named Gene, from Tennessee, got involved in it, then was disheartened when the movement started losing momentum. He was guided by John 15:5. Really long story short, he married, he and his wife opened their homes to others, and they decided to leave their jobs and start a restaurant in order to be able to help the people who sought out them and their philosophy.
Eventually they stopped attending churches and decided to “be” the church, motivated by Acts 2:44 and Acts 4:32 about sharing all things in common. The group grew, so they sent out ‘disciples’ to establish other communities. If you look at the list of Yellow Deli locations now, there are 22. There are dozens of communities, extending to Canada, Brazil, Argentina, England, Czech Republic, France, Spain, and Australia.
They’re called the Twelve Tribes, and from their website, they describe themselves as “…a confederation of twelve worldwide self-governing tribes, made up of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of G-d…We follow the pattern of the early church written in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, sharing all things in common. We believe everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible.”
Looking at their website today, there’s a notice that the delis will be closed for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Now, I’m Jewish, so RH and YK are definitely non-working holidays, but only certain days of Sukkot are non-working days, not the whole week. It sounds like, though, they take off the whole week of Sukkot.
Besides the restaurants, they have farms, run the communities, and have an 888 # in which they invite people to call them any time to learn more. They’re open to people joining, definitely. In fact, one of the publications I picked up mentions:
“We have breakfast together and then go to work together in our own Yellow Delis, farms, cottage industries, and trades. All income goes into a common purse from which all of our needs are met. We don’t have our own independent income or debts to carry by ourselves…”
It goes on to mention that they love and cherish their children, teaching them at home with their own curriculum, and they “learn to cook and sew, build and farm, care for animals, sing and dance, play musical instruments…”
One can see how incredibly talented the people are of the group who put these places together. The pics above and below are of the dumbwaiter they use to bring food up from the ground-floor kitchen to the second floor.
As for the food? Delicious.
High school football starts this week. Bama starts in a couple of weeks. It is time to start making buckeyes, tailgating rounds of perfection.
They freeze beautifully, so you can get in a groove and do several batches of these, put them away, and defrost weeks later with no one realizing they weren’t made the day before.
This recipe (and I think most all the buckeye recipes in the world are very, very much alike — there are only six ingredients and one way to make them) turns out somewhere between 30-45 buckeyes, depending on how generous you want to make each. I like a good two-bite buckeye, but some like to make them really small and pop them whole. Let this inform how big you make the rounds.
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 stick butter (4 tbsp) – very soft or melted, either is fine
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz chocolate — I usually use semi-sweet chips to melt, milk or dark would be fine too
Also needed: toothpicks
In the Kitchenaid, combine all ingredients except the chocolate. Mix until everything is completely integrated.
Use a little scoop or your hands to form the mixture into rounds, and freeze on a parchment paper-covered tray until hard.
Melt the chocolate, then take a toothpick, insert into the middle-top of a round, and dip/roll into the chocolate, leaving a nice section of peanut butter still visible:
Place back onto the parchment paper-lined tray (it will likely still be cool from the freezer, which helps set the chocolate).
Gently remove the toothpick from each and gently rub to cover over the hole the toothpick leaves. BTW: you can use just one toothpick or a few during this process.
Pop them back in the freezer especially if you’re making these well in advance, or fridge to set. I like to serve them best when they’re cold, and they look terrific on a footed silver tray.
BTW, the Recipes page of DFK has loooots of other great-for-tailgating dishes, like party crackers, Frito chili pie, banana pudding, wild rice salad, strawberry pretzel salad, jambalaya, baked vidalia dip, Alabama caviar, watermelon rind pickles, lemon bars, corn pudding, pralines, bourbon balls, and just a world of other pies and cakes.
PS Speaking of tailgating, these people outdid themselves on the pumpkin! xoxo!