This Week's Various

Posted by ginger On Friday, November 21, 2014

As always, all images here unless otherwise noted are copyright DeepFriedKudzu. Interested in using one? Contact me. Thanks

This week's playlist.  Enjoy! xoxo!

Paradise Garden: Howard Finster's Legacy won 'Best Documentary' at the Orlando Film Festival last month:

Wonderful! Kathyrn Tucker Windham will be inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame. Beautiful.

Here, KTW on her friendship with Nelle Harper Lee, E.O. Wilson, Alice Lee, and getting bitten by Nelle Harper Lee:

She even thinks I'm a good cook. She likes my cornbread. I even take her cornbread down to Monroeville sometimes.  Some people down there, regretfully, they put sugar in their cornbread.  I hope nobody here does that.  It is a desecration!  If you want cake, make cake! Leave that sugar out of cornbread.  It's as Yankee as it can be.  

Crystal Bridges
The former American Art curator at Crystal Bridges, Kevin Murphy, is apparently made of elitist material that must be dutifully maintained.  This, from Lee Rosenbaum:
Describing Northwest Arkansas, tongue-in-cheek, as “the Afghanistan of curatorial posts,” Murphy told me he was “still recovering from the post-traumatic stress of that place” and confessed that “it was hard for me, after two and a half years, to acclimate to living in Fayetteville, AR” (a town near Crystal Bridges).

Thank you, wonderful Cabot Creamery!  I was randomly chosen to win *A Year of Cheese* from Cabot because I had signed up to volunteer for something in our community via  This was our first box of four over the course of the next year.
I Won a Year of Cheese from Cabot!
Kisses, Cabot, for being sweet to volunteers!

"Beyond the Stereotyped South" images by Tamara Reynolds are in the NYT but so many of these images appear just as I suspect so many others expect of us.  Very little 'beyond' in that collection.

Baby in a gun store. Old car in a yard. Baby on mother's hip while she's running the register at a convenience store. Dumpy motel-turned-home with clothes on line.

Her images are very fine, but the title the NYT gave to the series should have been given more consideration.

Ever had brisket so good it just fell off the bone?  Me neither (brisket = boneless).  But the Washington Post did, in its piece, Austin, the Best New Barbecue Destination (honest mistake as the correction now notes that the author meant the ribs, but it was good for a giggle).

"Untitled: The Art of James Castle" is open at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Washington Post titles its piece as 'James Castle, Subject of Smithsonian Show, Puts the 'Taught' in Self-Taught':
Experts are divided on how museums should contextualize works such as Castle’s. On a panel at the American Art Museum in October, moderator Bell asked panelists what it would take for them to be satisfied that Castle had received due recognition. “To walk into the prints and drawings department at the British Museum and see his work alongside Jasper Johns or Rembrandt,” said Lynne Cooke, a senior curator at the National Gallery of Art.

“I’d like to see him make it into the American art history books and be understood as an artist who ranks among any that the country has ever seen,” echoed Leslie Umberger, curator of folk and self-taught art at the American Art Museum.

Barbecue Baked Potato from Jim 'n Nicks, Hoover AL
above, from the Jim 'N Nick's in Hoover, Alabama. *That's* a potato.

Jim 'N Nick's (based in B'ham) and Dinosaur (Syracuse, NY) have formed a holding company called 'Good Smoke' to better their collective purchasing power, including health insurance for employees.  It looks as though the holding company was filed back in June.  This is all a back-office maneuver and is designed to never affect either's menu; both establishments figure they are concentrating on specific parts of the US and shouldn't run into any conflict in that manner.

Just looking at the Brooklyn Dinosaur's menu, they've got everything from fried green tomatoes (with pimento cheese and chow chow on top) and deviled eggs to to chili con queso nachos, but they have some things we don't -- poutine (which I would completely embrace), something called Harlem potato salad, and bbq fried rice.

Also: is this odd? The Brooklyn Dinosaur does, but the Harlem Dinosaur Barbecue menu doesn't have 'Harlem potato salad' (trying to figure out what the ingredients are) -- it has 'Creole potato salad'.


For those of us thinking turducken, NPR serves up the rôti sans pareil, the roast without equal, from a 1807 recipe:

The daredevil-ish recipe calls for a tiny warbler stuffed in a bunting, inserted in a lark, squeezed in a thrush, thrown in a quail, inserted in a lapwing, introduced to a plover, piled into a partridge, wormed into a woodcock, shoehorned into a teal, kicked into a guinea fowl, rammed inside a duck, shoved into a chicken, jammed up in a pheasant, wedged deep inside a goose, logged into a turkey. And just when you think a 16-bird roast is probably enough, it's not. This meat sphere is finally crammed up into a Great Bustard, an Old World turkey-turned-wrapping paper, for this most epic of poultry meals.

All Saints Chapel, University of the South, Sewanee TN
Above: All Saints Chapel at Sewanee

The Future of College Football is... The University of the South? from Deadspin:
While they haven't faced a SEC giant since World War II, Sewanee has sent three inductees to the College Football Hall of Fame and still boasts a winning record against the likes of Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, and Georgia. It's the name itself— the University of the South, where pigskin just had to be played, and played with passion. But it's also something more. For Majors, it's the camaraderie forged in isolation, at a non-scholarship school of roughly 1,500 atop the lush Cumberland Plateau, 1,000 feet in the air and miles from anything.

"I think football meant more to us than it did at the big schools because we didn't have to go through the drudgery of being obligated," he says. "There is no obligation here. The motivation is inside."

College football is grappling with a series of crises—financial, moral, existential—that will inevitably transform the sport. How so, nobody can say for sure. It's conceivable, though, that the professionalized, money-drenched version of the game we've come to know could peter out, whether because of public disenchantment, the workings of the legal system, or some as yet unforeseen development. Stripped and scaled down and more than nominally amateur, the sport of the future may well look a lot like it does here, from Majors's lonely vantage point at Hardee-McGee.

I love these boys.
Shug and Shugie

Really various:
What I Discovered by Visiting Every Disney Park in the NYT
There's a new community at DisneyWorld, and ownership starts at $1.8MM
What was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving from Smithsonian
What to do when your home is boring/non-descript
Four words that just went together for the first time: LSD-tainted WalMart steak
Two others: mistletoe drones
And you know not to ever deep-fry a frozen turkey right?
Spotify is giving you a playlist to accompany your turkey cooktime
Salted caramel Moon Pies
Small-batch salt from South Carolina

Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie
Above: my buttermilk pumpkin pie

The NYT does a feature on Thanksgiving dishes from each state (plus DC and PR) and Alabama's is Lucy Buffett's oyster dressing, although Lucy admits she puts sugar in cornbread (a big no-no) and often uses a box mix.  Sigh.

Florida: Mojo Turkey
Georgia: Pecan Pie
Louisiana: Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons
Mississippi: Ale-Braised Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock
Tennessee: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Peanut Vinaigrette (never thought of BrSp as Southern, but okay)
Texas: Turkey Tamales

Minnesota got Grape Salad which kind-of started grapegate, as Minnesotans were apparently put off by this dish (some of whom didn't know what it was, others say it's regional):
“It’s lazy and it’s dismissive. And I think that is why everyone has risen up saying ‘No, you’re not going to pin this crazy thing that you invented on us,’” Grumdahl said.

The paper says the recipe comes from an unnamed Minnesota-born heiress. Within hours a new Twitter account named @MNBornHeiress began been spewing pro grape salad tweets.

For another opinion we turned to Sue Zelickson, Minnesota food critic for more than 40 years.,
“I’ve never heard of it and I am 80-years-old. And it’s never shown up on any of my Thanksgiving dinners,” Zelickson said.

...but there's also this by the NYT which tries to clear grapegate up -- and from this, ***you have to wonder what it was the NYT was trying to accomplish in the first place*** -- check out that first sentence, second paragraph here:
Updated, Thursday, 7 p.m.: I heard from Julia Moskin, a reporter with The Times’s Food section, who offered some background on the project.

“The recipes were not intended to be traditional, popular, or fully representative of the state’s traditions — agricultural, Thanksgiving, or culinary,” she wrote in an email to me. “We didn’t make stupid errors, or fail to check our facts with perfunctory phone calls. We worked hard — writers and especially editors — to generate a mix of 52 recipes that would not be cliched, repetitive, unhealthy, or unappetizing.”

Disappointing news on super-talented Dwight Henry, owner of Buttermilk Drop Bakery in New Orleans, who had parts in 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' and '12 Years a Slave'.

83 of Zelda Fitzgerald's artworks are now available via

Perfect "Pink Perfection" Camellia, Monroeville AL
Above: a pink perfection camellia at the Monroe County Courthouse

The Dothan Eagle reports on the death of Alice Lee, 103, sister of Nelle Harper Lee and legend in her own right.  Thing is, this is the headline:
Our View: Alice Lee Has Passed.
(was it up for debate, Dothan Eagle?)

Her obit ran in Christian Today, the Christian Science Monitor, media who run the AP, the Washington Post, and more.
From the AP via NPR:
Everyone trusted Alice Lee and her brilliant mind, Butts said. "Whenever there was a question in the community that no one could answer, the saying was, 'Go ask Miss Alice,'" he said. "Her death is like the closing of a great library."

Storybook Buildings, Authors Unknown in the NYT on the little buildings collected by a couple in North Carolina. Video, too.

Thinking of summer camp for grown-ups: 2015 Barbecue Summer Camp:
We will gather together deep in the heart of Texas for this meat and smoke-filled (wood smoke that is) weekend, where we will roll up our sleeves and learn about unique barbecue traditions, methods, and styles. Featuring award-winning professors from Texas A and M’s Meat Science Section, well-known pit masters, and regional barbecue authorities, the seminar will provide attendees with cooking and butchery demonstrations that will focus on the different types of meat, smoke, and spices used throughout the state and beyond. In addition, attendees will tour legendary Martin’s Place in Bryan, Texas, before learning about barbecue history and regional differences. Please join us in College Station as we investigate and celebrate one of our state’s great traditions.

A tree was planted at the U.S. Capitol this month to honor Emmett Till.

Brennan's, New Orleans
The exterior of Brennan's, years ago before the restoration

Brennan's looks positively lovely after the ~$20MM remodel by Richard Keith Langham (who was born in Brewton, AL and became famous doing designs for Jackie Kennedy Onassis, among others), and will reopen November 25.  Can't wait.

Ted Brennan's Decatur will open early next year.

CBS did a story on Bergeron's in Port Allen, Louisiana:
There's a 10 percent discount to anyone with a firearm. Not just cops -- anyone -- and all you have to do is prove it to one of the workers.

"Show it to me out of your purse, out of your back pocket, show it to me," Bergeron's restaurant owner Kevin Cox said said. "Show that you have one so if something goes wrong here today I know you're here to protect me."

...The restaurant's lunch business has jumped 25 percent. Cox has also added a dinner menu and hired four more employees. He said his customers are helping him send a larger message: other stores that have banned guns, like Target, are making themselves targets.

"You make a gun-free zone, that's where bad people with guns are going to go -- dumbest thing I've ever heard," Cox said. "So I'm trying to prove that this is the right route to go. Somebody gets robbed every day, not me."

..."You feel calm, like your cameraman came up behind me a while ago saying, 'I want to take a picture of you from behind, I don't wanna scare you.'" Hughes said. "I said 'You don't scare me, I'm the one that's got the gun.'"

Had a delicious supper last month at Cotton Blues in Hattiesburg. It used to be that we almost couldn't drive through H'burg without stopping at Leatha's (we sure did love her) but the food is just *so sweet* and and I was turned off last time when I asked to share a plate with Av (no extra sides or even an extra plate, as I wasn't very hungry and just wanted a couple of bites) and they were going to charge me several dollars to do so.  I just passed on the whole thing.

Looking for something new and initially considering one of the Robert St. John restaurants, I opened Yelp and found Cotton Blues as #1 with *tons* of great reviews.  It really was terrific.  The bread they brought out was from the Breadsmith there in town, and it came with three spreads: lima bean, potlikker, and butter.   Everything we were served (especially the catfish) was amazing -- and the servers were great and loved chatting with our boys. Yes, yes, yes.
Cotton Blues, Hattiesburg MS

To be developed in City Park, opening 2017: the $38MM Louisiana Children’s Museum Early Learning Village.  The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi is now a Smithsonian affiliate.  This is what the Lucas Museum in Chicago will look like. The 1950s FLW Bachman Wilson House is now being reconstructed at Crystal Bridges.  The Whitney's new home will open May 2015.  What to do with the Gurlitt collection.  The Hobby Lobby family, the Greens, are behind the Museum of the Bible which will be opening in DC in 2017. Nothing by Analia Saban will be hanging over Doug MacCash's couch. The Schindler factory in Krakow. And as Slate put it, Detroit Exits Bankruptcy, Thanks to its Art Museum.

Grits Pie
Above: a slice of my grits pie

On pie supper culture, at Modern Farmer:
Across the Midwest and Southeast, the box social slowly morphed into the more dessert-focused pie supper: all the same rules, just sweeter. The soirees were particularly popular in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, where the pie suppers were typically held in conjunction with square dances. A large portion of the one-room schoolhouses constructed in the late 19th and early 20th century across the mountainous region were partially financed by pie suppers. (Typically, the cash box at the end of a pie supper totaled no more than $50.)

While the fundraiser was the stated goal, pie suppers were ripe with courting rituals: lovelorn boys would try for months to secretly learn which girl crafted which pie, praying for a shot to share a slice with his beloved after successfully bidding on her sugary concoction.

Andy Warhol's 'Triple Elvis' sold at $81,925,000 at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale.

There's an Indiegogo campaign to raise the money to paint Waverly Plantation in West Point, Mississippi:

Another Indiegogo, for a second season of 'BBQ with Franklin':

Boys at Audubon Zoo
Spent almost three hours at Audubon Zoo while daddy had an event at the Audubon Tea Room with friends, and had a great time!

More Rural Studio Homes, Greensboro AL
Auburn's Rural Studio Outreach program is taking applications now.

Rethinking Sherman's March at the NYT.

...and from the C-L, Matthew McConaughey has signed on to play Newt Knight, who led a group of anti-slavery Confederate deserters in Jones County during the Civil War.

The movie, "Free State of Jones," is written by Gary Ross, of "The Hunger Games," "Pleasantville," and "Seabiscuit" fame. It details the story of Newton Knight, an American farmer, soldier and Southern Unionist, who became the leader a band of Confederate Army deserters that turned against the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith make a trip to Knoxville, and speak at UTK. But first:
Nice, on my beautiful friend Joe Minter:

Joe Minter's African Village in America from 2threefive on Vimeo.

Strikingly Beautiful, Homeless Carwash

Posted by ginger On Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One evening when driving through Sheffield, Alabama, we came to this, a ministry for the homeless:
Homeless Carwash, Sheffield AL

From the Times Daily:
“I saw there were many people that did not have any work; it was hard for them to get work,” she said. “I saw them walking the streets and I noticed some didn’t have places to stay. We opened up the car wash to offer some income.”

Homeless Carwash, Sheffield AL

Many of the car wash’s employees know what it is to be without a home, whether a physical home or an emotional home. The car wash and Weakley offer them a second chance.

“It is not something that is lucrative payment, but it is enough to get you through the day,” Weakley said. “I wanted to teach people not only how to work, but how to serve.”


Posted by ginger On Monday, November 17, 2014

Another of the new urbanism planned communities, I wasn't sure what to make of Serenbe until we got there and were able to see that it has less of that planned-just-so feel with overwrought constrictions on what homeowners can have on their porches and in their yards, and more of that eclectic-tied-together-works, just-do-your-thing feel.

Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, Serenbe GA

Well, first things first: a little snack at Serenbe's Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop.

Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, Serenbe

 Shug wanted a sprinkle cookie, and Shugie the chocolate lover got a brownie:
Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, Serenbe

Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, Serenbe

Some of the other shops weren't yet open, but we walked around one of the commerce parts of the community:

This is how Serenbe describes itself, from the website:
Each of Serenbe’s four hamlets have complementary commercial centers focused on the elements of a well-lived life: arts for inspiration, agriculture for nourishment, health for wellbeing and education for awareness.

Fresh food is another of Serenbe’s natural assets, with a 25-acre organic farm, seasonal Saturday Farmer’s Market, thriving CSA program and edible landscaping, including blueberry bushes along paths and sidewalks.

Year-round cultural events include outdoor theater from Serenbe Playhouse, culinary workshops and festivals, music events, films and lectures, boutique shopping, art galleries, a spa and trail riding, plus a robust Artist in Residence program featuring dinners and talks.


Marie Nygren's really lovely site, Serenbe Style and Soul (Marie's a cofounder of Serenbe) is filled with beautiful pictures and recipes.




The common area elements are cohesive, from the street lamps to stop sign outlines:


The mix of architecture, even on the same stretch, makes the community seemed less planned and more organic, which is so refreshing:

This, from Congress for the New Urbanism:
The vision for Serenbe was born at the height of Atlanta’s sprawl in the 1990s, in an effort to protect largely rural southwest Fulton County. Landowners in the area began to discuss a way to avoid losing the character of the land, while accommodating inevitable development. This movement eventually led to the formation of the Chattahoochee Hill Country Alliance, which developed a vision plan and outlined various land use tools, such as conservation easements, transfer of development rights, and mixed-use villages, to protect land from traditional suburban development. The result was a master plan and zoning overlay, and eventually the formation of a new city, Chattahoochee Hills, encompassing 40,000 acres. The development plan will cluster growth into hamlets and villages, while preserving a minimum of 70 percent of the acreage unbuilt. Serenbe, with 1,000 acres, is the first of the hamlets to be built, and demonstrates how this balanced growth can be accomplished – by building high density villages and hamlets surrounding community centers.


Commuting to Atlanta, this would have to be a good option, because it's only about 35-40 miles in



Here's what's on the market in Serenbe (Chattahoochee Hills) currently.

Kevin Gillespie just this month did a video for Bing about Serenbe (well, it starts out there anyway, but now I know about Gu's Szechuan, which is -- where else -- Buford Highway).

Tupelo Honey Cafe

Posted by ginger On Sunday, November 16, 2014

We had the best time in Knoxville.  We walked around downtown, and had supper at Tupelo Honey Cafe, which began in Asheville and now has a few outposts (it's actually so good and the people behind it seem so nice, that this is a restaurant one can look forward to seeing more locations of). We all thought it was just crazy-delicious and the service was amazing.

Top left, my entree (which is listed as an appetizer) Appalachian egg rolls -- pulled pork tossed in smoked jalapeno bbq sauce and rolled with braised greens, pickled onions and carrots.  I don't even have to say how good that was, because you know it already.  Av had the nutty fried chicken (bottom-right) which was nut-encrusted, hormone-free chicken breast topped with milk gravy and served with smashed sweet potatoes and an asparagus garnish.  Both boys were in the mood for a simple grilled cheese, with fruit on the side.  Those sandwiches were no kitchen afterthought.  They were excellent.
Tupelo Honey Cafe, Knoxville TN

When I ordered, I just casually mentioned that I didn't have the appetite for a whole serving of the pimento cheese but had heard such wonderful things about it, and guess what?  Just as a surprise, they brought out a little serving and...well yes, of course, that was just fabulous.  They use Duke's and even have the recipe on their website.
Tupelo Honey Cafe, Knoxville TN

Also, these are some of the best restaurant biscuits I have ever had.  Ever-ever.  They have the recipe for them in their cookbook.  I made the recipe this week (although I baked them in one of my cast iron skillets rather than on a baking pan as they do, because I love the amazing crust that develops that way) and everyone loooooved them.
Tupelo Honey Cafe, Knoxville TN

And another trick to their biscuits, from THC's Chef Brian Sonoskus? "Pinch the flour and fat together like you're snapping your fingers" which, as the Today Show put it, creates thin sheets of butter that create puff pastry-like layers in your biscuits. Their biscuit recipe is at the bottom of that page, too.  (And he loves the buttermilk from Cruze Dairy!)

Right now, Tupelo Honey Cafe is doing their 'Southern Holiday Recipe Contest' wherein people send in their recipes in four different categories, and one of the best parts is that they publish the entries so the public can try them and vote.

The restaurant now has two cookbooks:
Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen
Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains

The Children's Holocaust Memorial, Whitwell TN

Posted by ginger On Thursday, November 13, 2014

The education I received about the Holocaust in my high school years probably filled three minutes, if that.  I imagine my history teachers thought something along the lines of: here are the facts, the numbers, the condensed ideology behind it, and beyond that...coming to grips with what the Holocaust actually was...was simply too enormous to even grasp.  And maybe they thought it was a deep and dark subject for young people, there's so much history to cover, let's keep moving.

This summer, I remember that Av told the boys that some "bad people had done something bad" in a place that is important to us, and we were going to send cards.  I privately asked him why he had told the boys that there were "bad people" that did something bad?  I mean, they're just 6 and 7 -- can I just keep them thinking that the world is a nice place where nice things happen and we're all nice to each other?  They have a lifetime to learn about...the other stuff.  I know, I'm protective.  But why do little kids need to know anything else while they're little?  They don't.

Granted, when they get older, it will be appropriate for them to learn the mistakes of the past.  In 1998, a teacher at Whitwell Middle School in Tennessee, -- Whitwell having a population of just over 1700 now -- started an after-school lesson about the Holocaust as a way of "respecting different cultures as well as understanding the effects of intolerance. As the study progressed, the sheer number of Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis overwhelmed the students. Six million was a number that the students could not remotely grasp. The students asked Sandra Roberts and David Smith if they could collect something to help them understand the enormity of this extermination. The teachers told the students to ask permission of principal, Linda M. Hooper. She gave the students permission to begin a collection, IF, they could find something to collect that would have meaning to the project. After some research on the Internet, the students decided to collect paper clips because they discovered that 1) Joseph Valler, a Norwegian Jew is credited as having invented the paper clip and 2) that Norwegians wore them on their lapels as a silent protest against Nazi occupation in WWII."

The Children's Holocaust Memorial, Whitwell TN
Here, behind the school is an authentic German boxcar built in 1917 which served to transport prisoners to camps during the reign of the Third Reich. How the railcar came here to Tennessee is here.

Much of the rest of the story is pretty well known.  After getting the word out, the students were sent more than six million paperclips from all over the world, and to date, the number is now over 30 million.  They've received over 30,000 other pieces -- letters, documents -- and those are in the Children's Holocaust Memorial Research Room at the school.

The Children's Holocaust Memorial, Whitwell TN

As the school puts it, "For generations of Whitwell students, a paper clip will never again be just a paper clip. Instead, the paper clip is a reminder of the importance of perseverance, empathy, tolerance, and understanding."

The Children's Holocaust Memorial, Whitwell TN

The Children's Holocaust Memorial, Whitwell TN
"As you enter this car, we ask that you pause and reflect on the evil of intolerance and hatred"


The Six Million Paperclips book
The 2004 Miramax movie, Paper Clips, is on Amazon Streaming.

Wear it? Frame It.

Posted by ginger On Wednesday, November 05, 2014

As a very young girl, my grandmother gave me this pin.  It belonged to my late great-grandmother, and even to this day, I love it but find it a bit too 'mature' to wear.  This is the perfect solution: framed, I get to think of her each time I see it -- every day.

Very simply, I purchased a shadowbox (spraypainted the frame gold), then hot-glued a pretty, complementary piece of scrapbook paper to the cardboard, and hot-glued the pin to the paper.  I think hot glue is a good option here because when I decide to do something different with it, I can just pop the hot glue off the back easily.
MawMaw's Pin, Framed

MawMaw's Pin, Framed


MawMaw's Pin, Framed

Retail Fab, Design Fab, Genuine Fab.

Posted by ginger On Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Billy Reid, Florence AL

A couple of months ago, we were in Florence, Alabama where the flagship of Billy Reid is (love that Billy has shops in NYC, Atlanta, Austin, Charleston, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, New Orleans, and Washington, and that the flagship and design studio is here in Alabama).  It was too late and they were closed already, but I got these shots of the as-always gorgeous interior:

Billy Reid, Florence AL

Billy Reid, Florence AL

Billy Reid, Florence AL

Here, Billy's Spring/Summer 2015 Runway:

SS15 Runway Show from Billy Reid on Vimeo.

That looks like a huge Butch Anthony backdrop around :56 here in the Shindig piece:

Billy Reid | Shinding 2014 from Armosa Studios on Vimeo.

BILLY REID: Jack Sanders and Maura Grace Ambrose from MINDER on Vimeo.

This, from Oxford American, which shows what a fantastic gentleman he is.  Billy's emailed me before, thanking me for supporting him here on DFK, and invited me to look him up.  He's just genuine.  Love to see someone so nice, so real, doing so well:

SoLost: Billy Reid at Home in Alabama from Dave Anderson on Vimeo.

MANREADY + BILLY REID from the handmades on Vimeo.

Entryway Philosophy

Posted by ginger On Monday, November 03, 2014

I have a penchant for roadside religious signs of all flavors like these two, just for example:
Religious Roadsign: "Jesus, Change You Can Believe In", Found Between Mt. Cheaha and Oxford, Alabama

Religious Road Sign, West Jefferson County, Alabama

and recently found this entryway arch, in the area of Jemison, Alabama:
"Happiness Is Knowing Jesus" Sign

This Week's Various

Posted by ginger On Friday, October 31, 2014

As always, all images here unless otherwise noted are copyright DeepFriedKudzu. Interested in using one? Contact me. Thanks

Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens, Summerville GA
Above: the Folk Art Church in 2009

The Paradise Garden Foundation has announced a $900k capital campaign to help restore Finster's World's Folk Art Church.

The Kellogg Foundation has pledged $2.3MM to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

Extra-Hot Chicken from Prince's Hot Chicken, Nashville TN
Above: the extra-hot from Prince's in Nashville. Av survived (and loved it).

Carla Hall is doing a Kickstarter campaign to open a Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant in NYC.

Olive and Sinclair Chocolate
Not Wonka brand, but Olive and Sinclair from Nashville.

Have you seen the cover for Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that Penguin did for the English market?  Did anyone else look at this and think (like me): good grief, it's as though Morton Bartlett did a creepy scene for a novel?  Also: there was a lost chapter -- well, not so much lost as purposefully left out -- of CatCF and the Guardian ran it.

BTW, Roald Dahl (of all things, this was at Smithsonian this week -- the other stories in that piece are so interesting) was reportedly buried with chocolate, 'a bottle of Burgundy, snooker cues, pencils, and a power saw.'

More importantly, Roald Dahl = big hater.

First Presbyterian, Rodney MS
Above: First Presbyterian in Rodney, MS

Chronicling Mississippi's 'Church Mothers' in the NYT.

Johnny Sanchez, the John Besh/Aaron Sanchez restaurant, is now open in New Orleans and I pretty much want to order every single thing on that menu.

And yes to this mural, from their Instagram feed:
A photo posted by Johnny Sanchez Restaurant (@johnnysanchezrestaurant) on

Family Reunion Soul Food Restaurant, Birmingham Alabama
Above: Family Reunion Soul Food Family Restaurant (now closed) in Birmingham

A North Carolina family that hasn't skipped a family reunion in 100 years.
The News and Observer chronicled the 40th anniversary in 1954, noting that 150-plus relatives dined on “countless plates of potato salad, chicken salad, deviled eggs, pimento cheese salads, boiled meats, spiced meats, pickles, relishes of all sorts, hot biscuits and ‘hush puppies.’”

“The desserts pose a problem for the diet-conscious generation,” the N and O correspondent noted at the time, “and the choice is so broad that even the heavy eaters cannot sample them all. There’s angel food, devil’s food, chocolate layer, fresh cocoanut, lemon chiffon, caramel, pecan fluff layer cake, honey whip layer cake, butter scotch pie, apple pie, pecan pie, lemon meringue pie and many, many others.”

Thanksgiving At Our Home 2014
Above: the scene Thanksgiving mornings at our home before we make our delivery to a church that feeds its neighbors

The Charleston City Paper on Heather Richie and her Pieways:
And yet here she is, the founder of Pieways, a project that unites oral history and pie made with locally sourced ingredients. Just like in a CSA, people can sign up for Richie's Community Supported Pie and receive one pie per season, with each season costing $24 a pie.

KSMU interviews MSU professor Bruce West on his book on Margaret's Grocery, The True Gospel Preached Here.

The works selected for the 2014 Red Clay Survey at the Huntsville Museum of Art.

Peaches Cafe, Farish Street, Jackson MS
Above: Farish Street

From the C-L: HUD is telling the city of Jackson to return the $1.5MM given to develop the Farish Street Entertainment District which has failed to materialize.

Hot Grits at Hot Chicken Festival, Nashville TN
Above: hot grits we got at the Hot Chicken Festival in Nashville

The foods we're all tweeting about, as researched at the University of Arizona.  AL, GA, SC, NC, FL, LA = grits, TX = brisket, MS = tangerine (not satsuma, which seems more likely).

Someone that went to the friends and family soft opening for The Luminary (Eli Kirshtein's new restaurant in Atlanta)  gave it a one-star review.  Even Eli mentioned it on FB.  You know, I have occasionally had to have someone take me by the hand and explain things (like when we first got married and went to a gala fundraiser, I asked Av why anyone would pay more than face value for a gift certificate, and he had to tenderly explain that "we are at a *fundraiser* gala so *that's the idea*. ooooooooh.).  Someone do the favor of telling this guy to take it easy on people who have been entrusted with a little gentleness, and who is on the receiving end of an incredible amount of generosity.

Seeing the picture of the neon sign at The Luminary reminded me of this:

I grew up in a town with a Mexican restaurant (Mexican here only meaning they served meats wrapped in various stages of corn- and flour- tortilla undress with copious amounts of cheese and red enchilada sauce, not that it was in any way authentic Mexican food) that had a mural of a Bible on one wall, outlined in neon.

It was the first time I'd ever seen a Bible outlined in neon.  It was a strange fascination.

Later, I was a waitress there for one evening and one evening only, during my junior year of high school.  The waitress 'training' me was much older and had made this her career, and I could tell was terribly irritated by the prospect of showing the ropes to someone my age/maturity level.  She was right to have had terrible thoughts, because the only thought I had I was continuous-mode mind-beaming to the Almighty: "please please please don't let anyone I know come in tonight and see me" rather than appropriate concerns about, you know, refills of cokes and chips and salsa.

Standard uniform was one of these, pulled up just enough on the shoulders to be sad and frumpy.  And cheap.  I was humiliated but had imagined -- before pulling it on over my head -- how much more money I could make as a real waitress than at a McDonald's or Burger King register.  I was wrong and came to that realization in a matter of just a few hours.  It came into focus when I saw the paltry amounts my seasoned trainer was making on her own, and was fully crystallized when she told me in a mean way that I was going to clean the restaurant that night off the clock.  Even at 16 I knew this ran contrary to some law, somewhere.  I'm  16.  A free agent.  Looking for the right place to claim my minimum wage whilst avoiding an atmosphere in which I'd actually be working for free.

Oddly enough, I did later work at McDonald's for a month (making me one of those 1 in 8 Americans who has worked at McD's at some point) but quit in protest when they shockingly (ooooh the injustice of it all) scheduled me on my 17th birthday.  And rather than migrate to Burger King, I slid over to Kentucky Fried Chicken.  And guess what? I worked there almost two years, even into college, and *never* saw anyone I knew.  My friends were all too cool for KFC, I guess.  My saving grace, to work somewhere so uncool I'd never be seen.  It all worked out.

I had other during-college jobs, but here's maybe one of the smartest job-related things I ever did: my junior year of college, I went to my university's career office and begged them to get me a job, any job, that had any semblance of what I was majoring in.  I had tears in my eyes when I told them I was so afraid that I would graduate and be one of those people who sent resumes to three hundred places who, if they even bothered to answer, would reply that it was great I had an education but too bad I had no real experience.  The career office got me one of the lowest-ranking positions in a department I desperately wanted to be in (purchasing) the next town over, and I worked my way up from file clerk to expediter to associate buyer by the time I walked with my cap and gown.  I was able to take that experience to my next job where I was promoted another level, and so on and so forth. Kisses to you, college career offices everywhere!

Eastern Shore Ship at Bayou La Batre, AL
Above: the scene in Bayou la Batre
The nonprofit ocean conservation and advocacy organization, Oceana, had DNA analysis done of shrimp labeled as being from the Gulf, and determined that about 1/3 of it was likely from Asia.

Let's do this: Big History Project.

Also: I'm taking The American South: Its Stories, Music, and Art by Dr. Bill Ferris of UNC.

(and forget those out-of-state fees, in Germany you can now go to college free, no matter where you're from)

See you on Monday?

Sam Ezell told me at Kentuck that our beautiful gift, Bernice Sims, was in the hospital and not expected to live much longer; she unfortunately passed away October 23.  From her obituary:

She was actively involved in Alabama politics including the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, coordinating the activities of the NAACP in Brewton in secret because the organization at the time was outlawed by the state.

She participated in the beginning of the voting rights marches. She recalled being turned away from the polls because she was black, being given ridiculously long and difficult forms to fill out before she could vote, and being forced to pay a poll tax. She was one of the first to enroll her children in the formerly all-white public schools in her community. She witnessed the violence and heartbreak as well as the triumph that those turbulent times engendered. Once during the civil rights struggle, she was chased by a pickup truck filled with hooded Ku Klux Klansmen. She told of guarding her home with a rifle while a cross burned in her yard.

She took part in the famous Selma-Montgomery March and witnessed the “Bloody Sunday” events on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, an experience she later depicted in dozens of paintings. Little did she realize that her rich life experiences were being stored, just waiting for a suitable means of expression.

At age 52, when her last child had left the nest and after kneecap replacement surgery limited her mobility, she retired from her job in nursing. She earned her GED and by 1984, began taking courses at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton. She gives credit to one of her instructors, Larry Manning, for renewing her interest in art. He took his art history-class on a field trip to the Montgomery Museum of Art, she heard about Mose Tolliver, who lived and worked nearby.
She subsequently visited Tolliver at his home in Montgomery, saw his work and the acclaim he received from it, and decided to pursue her postponed artistic dream that began in those childhood afternoons when she lived near two spinster sisters, one of whom was a painter and introduced her to art. She fondly remembers many afternoons watching her paint, and this piqued her interest in also becoming a painter.

Manning encouraged her to pursue her career as an artist. She specialized in memory painting, rendering scenes from her youth. Colorful scenes of farm life, church activities, church and community gatherings, daily and family life and the civil rights struggles she participated in. She often portrayed playgrounds and scenes of children in her work.

Whenever she was interviewed, she always said, “I’m trying to tell a story in my work. I also try to have a little history for these youngsters coming along. You don’t find it in a schoolbook or classroom. I want them to know things weren’t like they are today. I want them to learn about the struggle people my age had to go through.”

The Post and Courier does a story on the Kool-Aid pie which they say is 'surging in the south' (??).

and (this is clearly unrelated) undercover agents made purchases of moonshine at a flea market in north-central Alabama that was being sold as "fuel additive or air freshener".  A still was found at the seller's residence in Cullman County.

No matter what, let's do this: Camp No Counselors, a camp for grown-ups. Color wars! Talent show!

The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore has on exhibit 'The Visionary Experience: Saint Francis to Finster'.

Ben Sollee and his group played live for Billy Reid's Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week show:

And speaking of Spring/Summer 2015 in men's clothing, there's this.

Keith Sadler's home in Chicago is art-fabulous.

Gawker: The Southern Belle is a 'Racist Fiction'

There are worlds of things for us to all rethink and reconsider, and there are worlds of words and symbols which started out as one thing and today mean something else.  'Belle' today conjures a mindset that equates to remembering one's manners and extending one's hospitality -- and has zero to do with hoop skirts and lace parasols.  It's obviously something else to that writer.

If we're going to mention belles, I have to show my gorgeous great-grandmother born in 1895, named Belle.  I have a million stories about her.  She was fabulous.
Polk Curry Genealogy - Willie Belle Curry

In the piece about belles, Gawker links to one of their previous pieces about a celebrity having a wedding in South Carolina, which goes like this (I'm removing the word that would make any of us blush here, but you get the tone):
The two were wed atop a pile of old slave bones at "America's Most Photographed Plantation" Boone Hall, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The Notebook was filmed there. Lively and her bridesmaids wore shoes custom designed by Blake's longtime friend Christian Louboutin. Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine provided music. So did Bette Middler. Martha ******* Stewart "did" the décor and the editorial director for Martha Stewart Weddings described the affair as "a truly enchanting celebration." G-d was going to put a rainbow in the sky for the event, but thought it would look cheap next to the majesty of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' wedding, so he just added an extra year to the lives of all the attendees, plus six bonus months for the happy couple.

Hyperallergic is giving people the opportunity to have their Instagrams faked by Mark Landis.

At Vox: Teach for America has faced criticism for years. Now it's listening -- and changing.

Medium on Paula Deen: The Leftovers.

Prada Marfa is now becoming a museum.

I was viewing Jeremy Paxman speaking about Rembrandt and the exhibit of 'Late Works' that began at the National Gallery earlier this month:

...thinking about Rembrandt's use of light, thinking about how he portrayed light, and for whatever reason it got me to thinking about someone who called himself the 'painter of light' -- I know, weird for these two to be in the same sentence, really -- Thomas Kinkade (I'm not a fan and don't have a need to pile on here, but you of consciousness and all...).  Wondering what the TK estate is up to now that he's been deceased a couple of years, there was this article from the Daily Beast this summer, which led me to this little nugget in the Susan Orlean piece for 'The New Yorker' in 2001:
"ten million people own some product featuring his name, and most editions are signed with ink containing DNA from his hair or blood, to prevent fakes..."

*and* there was a subdivision built in California, inspired by the cottages and 'feel' that Kinkade portrayed (he helped with marketing and lent his name, though he didn't design the actual homes).  If you're wondering what that (Salon called them ticky-tacky) looks like, click around 'Rose Arbor Way' and 'Summer Gate Ave' and environs.

Oh, and there's actually a paint-by-number Kinkade.  But if you're going PBN, do it big and retro, which is the only real way, like this, which comes off as clever and charming.

P.S. Where Rembrandt lived (you, a museum to his work).
P.P.S. The National Gallery does a very fine monthly podcast.

Waffle House

What else should be the first sentence of an article about a Waffle House wedding?
On Friday, the hash browns at a local Waffle House were smothered and covered with love.

and then...
Buckles said everyone seemed confused about what to wear when the couple first announced their nuptials.

“I was like, ‘Y’all, it’s Waffle House,’ ” she said.

One of the weirdest things I heard this week was in a clip from the National Journal from a piece called 'Do The Most Hipster Thing Possible -- Move to Des Moines' which included this statement:
"Quality of life is a funny thing, because as far as I know, nobody hates where they live, or else they wouldn't live there, right?"

NYTMagazine on the Must-See Projects at Prospect 3 New Orleans

Hickory Wood for the Pit at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q, Decatur, AL
Above: the wood pile at Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, Alabama

In Denver, they're on the search for Alabama white sauce (what some of us call 'chicken sauce') that originated at Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur.  The writer refers to it as 'the rare unicorn of sauces' and finds it not at a barbecue restaurant but rather 'Manneken Frites, an Arvada purveyor of Belgian frites, beers and other Flemish street food.'

And Munchies / Vice gives us this about Alabama barbecue (they're doing white chicken sauce!) in Germany:
And the newest of the bunch, Pignut BBQ, was inspired by a more traditional Southern style. Owner Chris O’Connor, an opera singer, was working in Alabama when he developed a taste for classic ‘cue.

* Ever wondered what manufactured/modular homes in Arizona might look like (me neither, really, but I randomly ran across this)?
* Ah, NPR says I'm not alone in hating voicemail!
* If you need a good cry (no matter which side you are on this): Diane Rehm's show on terminally ill people and their rights to choose when to die.
* For those of us who grew up with Frito chili pie, Papa John's has tried to make it into a limited-time pizza.  Pass.
* Three words not expected to go together until now: General Tao Poutine.
* Cook's Illustrated thinks that if we're searing our steaks first, we're actually doing it wrong (and lots of other interesting bits here).
* Found out last week that I'm related by marriage to the nice people who own Betty's Bar-B-Q in Anniston, and  Pruett's Bar-B-Que in Gadsden.
* And for Halloween: F. Scott Fitzgerald dressed as a woman.

Rick Bragg's new book on Jerry Lee Lewis is fantastic.  There's an excerpt here.

And Scribd is offering a free month of unlimited books -- which includes this Rick Bragg book -- on any device (500k from 900 publishers).  I just downloaded it as a PDF.

Above: Our Lady of Guadalupe in New Orleans

From the WSJ: How Churches Are Slowly Becoming Less Segregated

The Slotin Folk Art Auction catalog for the November sale is now online.

Apparently Casey Nocket thinks her art is so great, she has been going around to national parks and using acrylics to paint pretty much wherever she likes, ON whatever she likes.  And you have to read this about the crazy trail of graffiti she has been leaving everywhere.  She's now a suspect of vandalism in eight national parks.

Willie Mae's, New Orleans
Above: fried chicken from the original Willie Mae's

Willie Mae's Grocery and Deli opens today (Willie Mae's Scotch House is staying put, this is a new venture) at the corner of St. Charles and Cherokee Street.

Bring on that fried chicken.

I want to find Bill Baxley, throw my arms around his neck, and give him a sweet kiss on the cheek.  He was interviewed on All Things Considered this month and was asked about his 1976 three-word letter in response to a threat he received from the Klan.

He's such a gentleman, he wouldn't repeat it on the radio (this made my heart swoon) although Audie Cornish tried hard for him to, but any good Alabamian knows exactly what he said.  Bless him, he said he was worried what his mother would think about him using that language when the Klan published the letter.

Just know: I am Bill Baxley fan club president now.

His letter is included in the new book, Letters of Note.

Annual Rotunda Sacred Harp Singing, Montgomery AL
Above: from a sacred harp singing in Montgomery

Paste runs a review of Buell Cobb's Like Cords Around My Heart: A Sacred Harp Memoir.  In the book, Buell quotes Alabamian Dewey Wright on singing Sacred Harp:
“You eat a good bait of peas and collard greens and drink you some good buttermilk, and you got a meal in you—you ain’t apt to get hungry for the next five or six hours. But you go in there and drink you a bait of soup and you just as well drink you a glass of water, near about it, because that’s what it is—with a little salt and grease to make it good. There ain’t no strength in soup, but there is food value in peas. Sacred Harp singing is like that: You go to an all-day singing and, by the middle of the next week, those songs will still be ringing in you. There’s something to that. Music is one of the greatest things I know of; it’s sung with a joyful noise—so much so that it raises the hair on your head once in a while and makes you feel like you got a hat on. It sorta stirs you up. But now, lots of folks is just squalling and hollering—singing just to make a fuss. That’s like eating soup instead of a good meal.”

Linda Horton won the blue ribbon for pie Kentucky State Fair with her buttermilk pie -- but when she provided the recipe to the paper, she gave instructions to use two store-bought refrigerated pie crusts.  And that's against the rules.  They stripped her of the blue ribbon.

Let's go on this American Folk Art Museum art and architecture trip to Cuba in 2015.

And let's buy: this 1846 estate in Donaldsonville.

So happy to see Eugene Walter's 'Love and Comedy' in/at the Paris Review, Winter 1953.
Oh, stage carpenters, destitute of sacred fire! Oh, union officials, with cabbages for heads! Oh, managers slower than turtles! Where are my zanies and my sweet fools?”

Know how great John Grisham is was and all (he's got a new book out)?  Well whaaaaat??

This snippet of a review left on Yelp:
I won't even comment on the food. But I gave the place an extra star because whoever they hired to design the interior must have spent half the design budget on coke because wow - the interior is stunning and definitely makes up for the crumby street view. That wall of foliage made me want to just crawl up it naked, entangle myself in it with one of their sad martinis, and fall asleep in the clutches of nature, letting my prohibition glass slide from my limp drunk wrist to crash upon a table of falsely flattered socialites, reminding them there's more to like than the illusory facade of neglect posing as fine food, such as a beautiful nude young woman snoozing while suspended in the clutches of vines and ferns.

This kind of crazy is what Yelp was built for.

Speaking of Yelp, though, I have to disclose, I did leave a review this summer.  Last November, I went to Schaeffer Eye Center at the Colonnade in Birmingham and had LASIK surgery, and I don't need my ugs little Emporio Armani glasses anymore:

When I went for my six-month post-procedure exam, I had 20/20 and 20/15 vision.  I started with eyesight that was terribly poor: something that would equate to about 20/600, with astigmatism.  Being able to do all kinds of things without glasses and contacts is something I never thought I'd be able to do (I even used to sleep in my glasses), thus the review.  So, so happy.  If any of you are considering it, email me and I'd be happy to chat about it.

Sad to see that OKRA Magazine from SoFAB (Southern Food and Beverage Museum) is on hiatus.  Their page background makes the okra-lover in me (and my computer wallpaper) very happy.

Eagle's Restaurant, Birmingham AL
From Eagle's in Birmingham

From the Chicago Tribune:
Collard greens are "the new kale." So say the chic eaters. But some concerned cultural guardians fear a new social and economic menace: "food gentrification."

Gehry's Louis Vuitton Foundation Museum in Paris is open, and it is magnificent.  Gehry said he wanted to "design, in Paris, a magnificent vessel symbolizing the cultural calling of France".

Mitchell Bat Company makes beautiful baseball bats in Nashville.

AlJazeera America on Mississippi and football:
“While we have problems on a larger scale than the rest of the country, by no means has America solved all of its problems either,” McGraw said. “So just ask the next question. Why does our society play sports at all when we still have, the United States writ large, problems with poverty? Why are we spending our weekends focusing on sports and not addressing these other problems nationwide?”

He said Mississippi and other parts of the Deep South are being singled out unfairly. “That question would rarely be asked of the rest of the country. There is a double standard when we look at the American South and our football and the decadence of our football obsession. We can turn it around and ask the same question of everybody else. It’s a little hypocritical.”

The director of the High, Michael Shapiro, is stepping down and the search is on for a new director.

Part of Prospect.3 is Basquiat in the Bayou (review here) at the Ogden.

Sugar Kettle, Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie LA
Above: Oak Alley from the back

How many people have visited Oak Alley?  Soon to be five million, and they're going to have a party.

Okra and Green Tomatoes
Above: Okra and a couple of fried green tomatoes at our home

This actually happened: Georgia Police Raid Potential Marijuana Farm Only To Find Out It’s Okra

Portions of MS Highway 30 between New Albany and Oxford will be, now that the Mississippi Transportation Commission has given its approval this month, "William Faulkner Scenic Byway."

And: Faulkner's image is now on a water tower overlooking New Albany.

John Lewis of la Barbecue in Austin is opening a restaurant in Charleston.

Black's Barbecue is now open in Austin.

Appraiser David J. Goldberg let a family in Carencro, Louisiana know that their desk is actually a rare Louis Majorelle piece from the orchid bedroom suite. It will be auctioned by Sotheby's in December and is estimated at $250k.

Yes: MLK's Nobel Speech is an Often Ignored Masterpiece

Twenty-eight Bill Traylor works from the collection of Charles and Eugenia Shannon, dating from 1939 – 42, will be shown at the Betty Cunningham Gallery in NYC beginning this week.