Tiki Tiki Tiki

The NYT Magazine ran a piece, Tiki’s Comeback, in 2016, and we gave it a try. Thinking of tiki cocktail culture this afternoon (maybe just ready to sit in the dark with a cocktail and think of the islands?). Not going to comment on each of these other than to say: 10/10 would visit again. Every single place we went — from Las Vegas to New Orleans to Atlanta and Nashville, was good fun. It feels nice to get snug in a dimly-lit booth, embrace a little kitsch, and roll with the vibe.

Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas — from a 2017 visit:

Frankie's Tiki Room, Las Vegas Frankie's Tiki Room, Las Vegas

Frankie's Tiki Room, Las Vegas

Golden Tiki in Las Vegas — also 2017:

Golden Tiki, Las Vegas

Golden Tiki, Las Vegas Golden Tiki, Las Vegas

Golden Tiki, Las Vegas

Trader Vic’s in Atlanta — 2017:

Trader Vic's, Atlanta Trader Vic's, Atlanta

Spare RIbs, Trader Vic's, Atlanta

Latitude 29, New Orleans — 2017:

Latitude 29, New Orleans Latitude 29, New Orleans

Latitude 29, New Orleans Mai Tai, Latitude 29, New Orleans

Pearl Diver in Nashville — 2019:

Pearl Diver, Nashville TN Pearl Diver, Nashville TN

Pearl Diver, Nashville TN Pearl Diver, Nashville TN

Pearl Diver, Nashville TN Pearl Diver, Nashville TN

The seven best tiki bars in New York, from WWD

The world’s 15 most important tiki bars

Map of tiki bars

Turkey and Dressing — Chicken and Dressing

One of my fondest memories of the time I spent in elementary school in Sunray, Texas, was belonging to 4-H. Well actually, I have many favorites: the great ranch-style home we lived in *with a carpeted garage*; walking home from school with friends; piano lessons; the summer advancement group learning cake decorating, veterinary skills, computer lessons; going to rodeos; riding my bicycle everywhere; my horse obsession and collection of Breyer horses; my sweet dachshund Winnie; my sweet 5th grade boyfriend Steve. Sunray was the stereotypical small Texas town with one restaurant: Dairy Queen. And it seemed, anyway, pretty perfect.

Sunray, Texas

For me, the best part of 4-H was cooking. I remember making ‘bread in a bag‘ and some sweets, and in a binder recipe book I have from then, there’s a handwritten recipe that we surely got from friends for dressing — this can be chicken dressing or turkey dressing. But it’s so good that I don’t save it for holidays, I make it whenever. If you’re someone who enjoys a recipe that’s exact — skip this one for now; this one’s more of a “add more or less if you like” recipe.

First, I make a pan of cornbread in a cast iron skillet. I like this Dixie Lily cornmeal recipe but I’ve oftentimes just used the buttermilk (and no sugar) recipe on the back of whatever bag of cornmeal I have. Sometimes I’m using a local-ish grocery store brand like the one above; sometimes I’ve been to a mill like McEwen & Sons and use their recipe. The recipe is always super similar.

Cornbread for Chicken and Dressing

Cornbread for Chicken and Dressing

Allow it to cook, break it up.

Ingredients for the dressing:
2c celery, chopped
2c onions, diced
skillet of cornbread, broken up
4 cups or so of chicken or turkey, shredded
4 eggs
hot broth — chicken or turkey (simply made with bouillon and water), likely will turn out to be between 4-6 cups, until mixture is wet but not soup
2tbsp sage (+ or -, what you’re in the mood for)
2tbsp poultry seasoning (+ or -, what you’re in the mood for)
salt & pepper (depends a lot on the amount of sage and poultry seasoning above)
1tbsp or so butter to sauté celery & onions
optional: four or five hardboiled eggs, chopped

In a skillet, sauté celery and onion in a little butter until tender

Add remaining ingredients on low — remember to consider that much of this is by look and taste — feel free to add more sage, poultry seasoning, (garlic sound good? would be fab.), enough hot broth to make to make it nice and wet but not at all soupy

Stir together all ingredients, pour in buttered 13×9 pan, bake at 350* for :45 – 1 hour

Chicken and Dressing

Chicken and Dressing

Chicken and Dressing

Chicken and Dressing

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!

Tall, Medium. Shuttered hand car wash shop. Sylacauga AL

Tall, medium. Shuttered hand car wash shop. Sylacauga AL. Last week.

At Bon Appetit, My Life with Edna Lewis: Chef Scott Peacock reflects on his decades-long friendship with Edna Lewis, and what it means to be a Southern chef:

Before I met Edna Lewis, I thought the South was something to recover from. I was eager to put my Alabama childhood behind me. Eager to forget summers spent picking peas in fields of hard red clay and cutting okra at dawn and dusk to escape punishing heat. And even though my Grandmaw Peacock’s slow-stewed-till-sticky chicken and rice (made with hens she raised and plucked herself) remains one of the most transcendent dishes I have ever been blessed to eat, I was eager to escape her too. Uneducated and poor, my grandmother was a struggling sharecropper’s wife whose only bathroom for much of my childhood was an outhouse.

'As Mose T Would See It' Exhibit at WSC in Hanceville AL

from ‘As Mose T would See It’ exhibit at WSC in Hanceville AL, 2015.

This month’s Slotin auction included a 18.5″x19″ portrait of George Washington by Mose T that sold for $6125, >7x the estimate. The Slotin Self-Taught Art Masterpieces sale will be held April 24. The catalog, here.

From the Cowan’s American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts sale earlier this month, a cherry wood Federal chest of drawers believed to have been from Greene County, Tennessee fetched $15360, which was almost 2x the estimate.

Super Random.

The Modern-Day Power Of Southern Gothic Fashion at Refinery29

The Masters has Pimento Cheese and Egg Salad t-shirts

How to Pretend You’re in New Orleans Tonight at the NYT

Ed Ruscha: OKLA’ at the Oklahoma Contemporary through July 5

How women invented book clubs, revolutionizing reading and their own lives at the Washington Post: By the onset of the Civil War, “nearly every town and village” in the United States had some kind of female literary group, said Mary Kelley, a professor of American intellectual history at the University of Michigan

People are still looking for the ivory-billed woodpecker

Fellow seersucker lovers, yesss

William Eggleston and John McCracken: True Stories at David Zwirner, through April 17, and the website walkthrough is gorgeous

The new, free, downloadable IKEA ScrapsBook, a 50-recipe cookbook done in collab with chefs across North America to use the leftover bits from preparing meals

Old Dominick Distillery in Memphis and Jack Rudy Cocktail Co in Charleston & Lexington have come together with a boxed gin & tonic set

The Greenville (SC) County Museum voted to deaccession an Alma Thomas painting, “Alma’s Flower Garden,” back in October and sold it for a record $2.8M to an undisclosed party

This story on the founder of Old Bay and how just absolutely rich it is that McCormick finally bought the company

Martha Lou Gadsden passed away this week. From the P&C: At Martha Lou’s Kitchen, Gadsden served dishes drawn from the Lowcountry home cooking canon, including fried chicken, lima beans, okra soup, beef stew with oxtails, macaroni and collard greens. “I work by air,” Gadsden said. “I do not measure.”

How Zelda Fitzgerald figures into the Eagles’ Witchy Woman

This week’s free doctoral thesis concept: the cohesiveness and/or disconnect between museums and the restaurants that are housed within, from Russ and Daughters in the Jewish Museum (NY) to the country ham (and bagels, and frozen lattes) being served at the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville

America Magazine on the significance of Caroline Gordon in regards to her influence on Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy among others, and her own writings

Dreamy: Departures with The 18 Best Train Routes Around the World and have we just been in quarantine way too long or does even that Siberia trip sound great

Our Good Earth: Rural Life and American Art opens at the High on April 17 and runs through August 1, 2021

This instrument

Jose Olivarez with Ode to Tortillas in The Atlantic

In March, we lost Jessica McClintock, ’70s & ’80s Sunday- and prom- dress designer extraordinaire, and “cottagecore visionary” as Jezebel put it. “I have a romantic feeling about life,” Ms. McClintock told a reporter in 2007. “I like Merchant-Ivory movies and candlelight and beautiful rooms. I like the patina of age.”  PS: Hillary Rodham’s mom took her to Dillard’s and she picked out a Jessica McClintock dress there for her wedding to Bill Clinton

I missed this from August, but Nordroom did a feature on Louisa Pierce’s Nashville home

Chicago Magazine with Three New Spots Putting Their Spins on Jewish Deli Classics: Rye Deli & Drink with blue corn matzah balls;  sweet potato and pimiento cheese knish at Jeff & Judes; vegan options at Sam & Gerties

Old Forester’s 117 Series: High Angels’ Share “showcases a selection of barrels which lost exceptional volume to evaporation in the aging process, resulting in a bourbon that is rich and multidimensional, layered with dark flavor notes, dried fruits, and unexpected herbaceous qualities.” It’s been released at the distillery in Louisville and only limited quantities at select Kentucky retailers

The second sentence of a Washington Post piece this week about the Amazon union vote in Bessemer was this: “Little-known fact: Half of the air in Alabama in March is actually pollen.”


At NPR: Brood X, the Rise of the 17-Year Cicadas

A graphic guide to where Brood X will emerge, here


The Welty home in Jackson, 2012.

From WJTV in Jackson:

“I heard Felder Rushing tell the story about a year ago that Miss Welty’s mother quit the Jackson Garden Club when they quit having plant swaps,” said Goodwin.

The Eudora Welty Foundation will host its annual heirloom plant sale at the home on April 17.

Kenny & Ziggy's, Houston TX

Kenny & Ziggy’s, Houston, 2019.

Food52 declares Ziggy Gruber’s charoset the best in all the land:

Ziggy’s recipe for charoset was given to him by his Hungarian grandfather, the original deli man. It’s an Ashkenazi recipe — with apples and cinnamons, bound by apricot jam and blackberry wine—that Ziggy and his kitchen staff will spend the next few days preparing by the truckload, literally. Each year the deli sends out two refrigerated semitrucks worth of the sticky spread to families across Houston.

Old Town Bell, Clayton Alabama

The Old Town Bell in Clayton AL, 2008. This old town bell was mentioned in my WPA book as having been located in the center of town for over 100 years. The book says that it was the town’s official timepiece and that it was also used in antebellum days to call together the “slave patrol” if any slaves were suspected of having run away. Today it is in the Clayton Baptist Church cemetery.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful: The New Yorker on Ann Lowe’s Barrier-Breaking Mid-Century Couture (if nothing else, you likely know her work from Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding gown & 10 dresses of the wedding party).

She was born in Clayton, Alabama — her grandfather, General (name, not rank) Cole, was a carpenter who worked to build the original courthouse there. Around 1860, he bought the freedom of Georgia Thompkins/Thompkins, a woman of mixed race whose father owned the plantation where she and her enslaved mother were seamstresses. They married, and Ann Lowe’s mother, Jane, was born during the War. Jane married Jack Lowe during Reconstruction. Jane’s marker at Pioneer Cemetery in Clayton reads, “The Mother of Anne Lowe.”

But by the beginning of the twentieth century Jane and Georgia had established themselves as society dressmakers in Montgomery, the state capital, catering to political wives and daughters. Ann’s education in the segregated schools of Alabama would have been rudimentary, and she dropped out at fourteen. But her apprenticeship in the family business trained her for one of the few vocations by which a woman could support herself respectably. It also gave her a rare example of female autonomy.

Before her death, Jane had taken the job to make four ball gowns for the First Lady of Alabama, Elizabeth Kirkman O’Neal. Ann Lowe finished them.

It was a chance encounter at a department store in Dothan that got her career really going on a broader scale, first to Tampa, then to New York. She was beyond successful. Incredibly in demand.

A nice Sutori here. And lots more here: Ann Lowe’s dresses are in the collection of the Met’s Costume Institute and at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has her gowns on display.

Her story is ripe for a film.

Something to Prove: A Biography of Ann Cole Lowe (at Bookshop // at Amazon)
Children’s book — Fancy Party Gowns: the Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe (here at Bookshop // at Amazon)

Okay, a total aside aside aside here because three little trivia-ish things.

As mentioned above, Ann Cole Lowe wound up finishing the ballgowns that her mother had started for Alabama First Lady Elizabeth Kirkman O’Neal. The First Lady, who went by ‘Lizzie’, was married to Emmet O’Neal, who served as Gov 1911-1915.
(1.) If you know Birmingham, O’Neal Steel = that family.
(2.) The Mountain Brook library in B’ham just changed its name from Emmet O’Neal to just O’Neal Library owing to his antiquated politics/views but keeping the surname in honor of the good works of the larger family. They’ve been generous.
(3.) And remember in A Christmas Story, about how Ralphie wanted the Daisy Red Ryder but was told “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid”? That happened with a Daisy to the then-6yo son of Lizzie & Emmet. That’s Kirkman, who started O’Neal Steel.

Laura Pope Forester

Laura Pope Forester’s home, Ochlocknee GA, 2012.

The AJC on 2021 Women of Achievement: How four Georgians left their mark includes Laura Pope Forester, who’s in this year’s class of honorees by the Georgia Women of Achievement.

Using common objects such as sewing machine parts, Model T wheels and concrete and sand from a local creek, Forester created statues and wall murals. Her works were not featured in art exhibits, but by her death in 1953, she had created some 200 sculptures and murals. A garden she created around her antebellum residence included more than 200 figurative sculptures, including three-dimensional ones.

Love this tidbit: Forester, who was photographed carving a statue in her garden while wearing a fur and tiara — an image taken not long before her 80th birthday…

Shug's First Birthday Cake, Baked Alaska at Antoine's, New Orleans LA

The baked alaska made with Shug’s name on it, at Antoine’s in New Orleans, for his first birthday celebration

Dorie Greenspan in the NYT Magazine with Is Baked Alaska the Secret to a Long Life? A 117-year-old nun in France made me think it might be.

Zoë François: “It’s beautiful, elegant and dramatic — a flaming dessert is an attention-grabber; it’s easy to make; it’s convenient — it can be made ahead; it’s got ice cream (enough said); it’s got meringue — which is the same as saying it’s got magic; it looks gorgeous whole and just as gorgeous sliced; it’s creamy and icy cold inside, marshmallowy all around and warm on the edges.

Dorie has a new baking cookbook coming out in October — her books are so well regarded, they’re references at this point — and Zoe has a new book out: Zoë Bakes Cakes: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Favorite Layers, Bundts, Loaves, and More (here at Bookshop // at Amazon)

And: Zoe is getting her own show on the new Magnolia Network

John Lytle Wilson artworks at Beauty Shock, Birmingham AL

John Lytle Wilson painting, Beauty Shock in B’ham, 2017.

The Magic City Art Connection in Birmingham will be at Sloss Furnace this year April 23-25. A couple of the following are friends, others I’m excited to see for the first time: Bethanne Hill (painting) // Ben Caldwell (metal) // Micheal Paul Cole (photography) // John Lytle Wilson (painting) // Tim Spanger (painting — love especially his paper airplanes)

Nonesuch on Caroline Shaw and Sō Percussion’s ‘Let the Soil Play Its Simple Part,’ Due June 25. The piece mentions the inspirations, including Sacred Harp (James Joyce, the Sacred Harp hymn book, a poem by Anne Carson, the Bible’s Book of Ruth, the American roots tune “I’ll Fly Away,” and the pop perfection of ABBA…). To the Sky, this video, is from the Sacred Harp hymnal.

Also: one song on the release is an interpretation of ABBA’s ‘Lay All Your Love on Me’:
She explains, “It’s really a Bach chorale. Also, the idea of someone singing ‘Don’t go wasting your emotion / Lay all your love on me / Don’t go sharing your devotion / Lay all your love on me,’ over and over again very slowly, there’s a certain tragedy in it. 

Passover Box Letters Craft by DeepFriedKudzu.com

Passover, home, 2009.

Okay, Passover was (a.) positively great because we got to be with extended family who are all fully vaccinated whom we haven’t been with in over a year, and (b.) yummy because we had some great recipes for seder. If you’re running low on ideas for cooking for the rest of the holiday  — I mean, we had matzah pizza last night so we’re def low on inspiration too — here’s what we served

***some of these recipes had little adjustments to make them pareve or Pesadicha:

deviled eggs // chopped liver // chicken piccata (I dredge the chicken in egg first, though. Rather than flour, I always make this with the seasoned Jeff Nathan matzah panko) // crispy smashed potatoes // roasted asparagus // broccoli kugel // matzah polenta with mushroom topping from the NYT Passover Cookbook, Danny Meyers’ recipe from his Union Square Cafe) // coleslaw // flourless chocolate cake // baby cake bites

Also, If you’re Sephardic, or Ashkenaz and peanut-friendly (we don’t eat other kitniyot, but our minhag is that peanuts are okay) like us that week, or you’re just looking for a fab peanut butter cookie recipe, this one is three ingredients and better than any with-flour peanut butter cookie I’ve ever had — and they stay soft soooo long.

Among the performers at Bonnaroo this year — just some of my faves in the bunch — Brittany Howard // Julien Baker // Joy Oladokun // Liz Cooper & the Stampede // Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit // Colony House // Kingfish Ingram //  Leon Bridges // The Marcus King Band // Orville Peck // Too Many Zooz (who I really like but I have to be in just the right mood for them) and Waxahatchee — which is heavy on my spring Apple Music playlist — and if you’re not already familiar:

Beignets at Morning Call at City Park

Morning Call beignets, New Orleans, 2014.

Since 1870, except for this most recent intermission, and now Morning Call is back. Behold, the best beignets.

The Last Crawfish Boil of the Season

crawfish at home, 2008.

‘Tis the season: a Louisiana family starts The Crawfish App to give local boiled and live crawfish prices

From West Virginia Public Radio:
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re dedicating our show to the art of live storytelling. We’ll learn how musicians Anna and Elizabeth first met and how they incorporated the use of “crankies” into their songs. We’ll also travel to the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee where storyteller Michael Reno Harrell shared a story about his mother’s extended family.

Pimento Cheese Display

grocery store pimento cheese display, 2013.

At the Oxford American, Pimento-Crazy by Cynthia R. Greenlee

But then she scraped pimento cheese out of a Kraft jar, not the flat plastic tub of my North Carolina Piedmont or a mixing bowl. I dismissed her enjoyment as the pleasure of the truly uninitiated.

Finishing up Passover this week and the weather can’t decide to be warm or freezing. I’m ready for the pool. Hope you’re staying comfortable and doing whatever feels good. xoxo!