Themed Passover Days: Disney And (I'm So Tickled) Matzah-rella Pizza

Posted by ginger On Thursday, April 17, 2014

This year, I'm doing themed days for Passover with the boys!  We've done a Disney / animated Passover day:

Disney at has these cute papercrafts -- a Mickey holding matzah, and a Mickey and friends Passover/seder scene for the table:

Other nice ideas from them here.

'The Prince of Egypt' (Dreamworks, sorry Disney) on Netflix streaming:
We may also watch 'Joseph: King of Dreams' during the week also.

And I came up with a great name for this pizza I made on matzah!  Making the cheese into rounds and arranging into a Mickey Mouse shape atop pasta sauce (bake at 400* for about 7-8 minutes), here's our Matzah-rella pizza!
Matzah-Rella Mickey Mouse Pizza!

Passover Goodness

Posted by ginger On Monday, April 14, 2014

Passover starts tonight, and here's what we're having:

Charoset Bar
Charoset bar -- guests made their own with choice of apple, honey, wine, pecans, walnuts, golden, and dark raisins

Beef ribs (simply, thoroughly seasoned and in the oven at 300* for 2 to 2-1/2 hours)
Chicken piccata (Jeff Nathan's matzah panko for breading, used this recipe as a base)
Sauteed mushrooms
Roasted potatoes (olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary -- quartered red potatoes, roasted in oven on 400* 1 hour)
Fried green tomatoes
Collard greens (boil, then simmer hours on stovetop in chicken broth)
Deviled eggs (standard, with watermelon pickles for the relish component)
Chopped liver with red pepper jelly and Tam Tams
MawMaw's coleslaw
Espresso sorbet
Sephardic orange-almond flan
Chocolate-dipped marshmallows
Potato candy with hazelnut filling
Passover cake baby bites

Mah nishtanah halyla hazeh mikol halaylot from two cuties!!

For some reason I didn't take a picture of our parents' second night seder, but this shows how their table traditionally appears:

Passover Seder Table Set

Passover Box Letters Craft by
BTW, I'm super-tickled that my Passover box letter craft has been re-pinned at Pinterest a few hundred times now!  If you like, you can find me at Pinterest here.

Open Doors, Saint Jude, And We Don't Have A Box For That

Posted by ginger On Thursday, April 10, 2014

When I was in college, our school had a chapel.  It wasn't open very much.  I imagined that since it was on a college campus that it would be open for us all to drop in (gracious knows, college students have a lot on their shoulders) during odd hours, and I campaigned for it to be open more.  In my world, you can pray anywhere -- including places that aren't even your 'flavor' religion -- and those doors should be available to you.  I can pray in my car, in my bed, standing at the kitchen sink, but sometimes I need to pray in a pew, whether it's at my home synagogue or somewhere else.

This summer I visited Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, the International Shrine of Saint Jude.  Lucky enough to grow up in a town that's very Catholic: Sacred Heart Church (I remember telling one of my friends in middle school that she was so lucky to be Catholic because she got to pray in that (gorgeous, ornate) sanctuary and after agreeing, she turned to me and sweetly said, 'I'd be Catholic in a cardboard box' -- she was a wise, good girl) and the Benedictine Sisters, Ave Maria Grotto and St. Bernard Abbey, now Our Lady of the Angels Monastery and The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament (thanks to Mother Angelica who I used to run into at The All Steak) and have many, many close Catholic friends, I feel very comfortable in Catholic churches.  And beautifully, they often have open doors.

I do spend time at St. Louis Cathedral, but this particular day I was nearby and came in Our Lady of Guadalupe on Rampart Street:

(this particular shot of the building by Infrogmation, used via Creative Commons cc-by-sa-3.0.  Thanks!)

Here are some interior images I made:


So gorgeous in person.  Really wish I had brought my Digital Rebel.



Saint Jude, the Patron Saint of lost causes:

Saint Jude is sometimes shown with a flame around his head: more about that here.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, The International Shrine of St. Jude, New Orleans LA

Since I mentioned my school above...last year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Troy University, finding fault with the brand-new Newman Center co-ed dorm.  From the story:

The dormitories give preference to students who maintain active spiritual lifestyles and are actively engaged in a campus faith-based organization.

But Seidel wrote that preference violates the Alabama Fair Housing Act, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against potential buyers or tenants on the basis of race, religion, sex, familial status or national origin.

The preference also violates the Fist Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as state constitutional provisions regarding church and state, Seidel wrote.

"This amounts to Troy University making a determination of how religious a person is, and then discriminating among students based on that determination," he wrote. "It is unconstitutional for government entities to make such a determination ..."

...The faith-based dorms feature a 2,300-square-foot Newman Center or Catholic ministry leased by the Catholic archdiocese in Mobile. They also have a small chapel and an office for the local priest and feature three Catholic and three Baptist resident assistants.

While Schmidt initially said the dorms would give preference to Christian students, a university spokesman said Tuesday that was not the case and that the dorms are open to students of all faiths and denominations.

Since the complaint sent in August '13, the University has retained the Liberty Institute and the law firm of O'Melveny and Myers.  This is the firm's response on behalf of Troy.  Just in regards to one of the last sentences in that document, that 'the university does not maintain any statistics concerning the religious affiliations or activities of students admitted...' I do clearly recall being asked after arriving on campus and paying my tuition/board/fees (back in the '90s when we still had to do that in person) what my religion was, and when I replied that I'm Jewish, the person responded with 'we don't have a box for that' -- which made me laugh!  Now, whether that information was being compiled by the University and they aren't doing that any longer, or if it was a student who had the University's consent to compile the information personally for some Stats or other class, I have no idea.  But it tickled me that I was so 'out of the box'!

Lucky Eggs

Posted by ginger On Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Since New Orleans has all these fabulous hotels in the Quarter, we're blessed with great restaurants serving breakfast for all the tourists.  So much for great restaurants serving supper only!  The Rib Room that's in the Omni on St Louis St is a lovely space:

Rib Room, New Orleans Louisiana

and you can imagine from their name what they're famous for...thus, the Rib Room Omelet:
Rib Room, New Orleans Louisiana

prime rib debris, fontina cheese, horseradish creme fraiche.  Large enough for two, really:
Rib Room, New Orleans Louisiana

Tom Fitzmorris recently rated Rib Room as one of the dozen-best places for a ribeyes and prime ribs in the city.  If your family celebrates Easter, they have a really nice holiday menu.

#FranklinBBQline: The Queue For the 'Cue

Posted by ginger On Tuesday, April 08, 2014

If you have a barbecue restaurant, may the line to your register be so long as to warrant its own Twitter account.

Franklin BBQ in Austin -- we've been there twice, once when they were sold out already (knew that would happen but had to try anyway) and another when we just didn't have the time to tailgate in the parking lot:

Franklin BBQ, Austin TX

Franklin BBQ, Austin TX

Well, the line at Franklin has its own Twitter account now.

If you ever wonder if you can get some advice maybe on how to make such deliciousness that people literally wait for hours on end to get a taste, your prayers will be answered in 2015:
In collaboration with KLRU-TV and Austin PBS, the new series, “BBQ with Franklin,” will educate its viewers on all things barbecue: its history, its techniques and its overall culture. From choosing the right kind of wood and temperature to learning how to properly slice a brisket, “BBQ with Franklin,” set to air in 2015, will answer questions about perfecting the art of smoking and barbecuing meats.

“It’s cool to learn stuff,” Franklin said. “People ask so many questions and send so many emails on, like, ‘How hot should I cook this?’ ‘What should I do?’ It seems like it would be easy to just show them.”

This Week's Various

Posted by ginger On Sunday, April 06, 2014

A little late this week! As always, all images unless otherwise noted taken by me and copyright, DeepFriedKudzu. Interested in using something in particular? Contact me. Thanks

SoBou, New Orleans LA
(above: mint julep from SoBou in the Quarter)

Mint Julep 101 on Georgia Public Broadcasting, from Elizabeth on 37th in Savannah.

Also from Savannah: Reuters reports on the closing of Paula Deen's 'Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House'.  'The Lady and Sons' remains open. She plans to open a new restaurant in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee later this summer.

John Besh will join Jon Taffer (Bar Rescue) and Tiffany Derry (Top Chef and Bar Rescue) on a new Spike show, 'Hungry Investors' beginning May 11, which sounds as though it might be a bit like 'Shark Tank' for restaurateurs.

Also John Besh: the Besh Box has been discontinued, and there's a lawsuit.

Yes!  I'm an Alabama fan, but you have to give it to LSU's Lloimincia Hall for her third perfect 10 score against Bama. Way to go! Hello, Olympics? You haven't seen anything like this yet:

A bequest from Margaret Mitchell's (yes, GWTW) nephew helped ease the Archbishop of Atlanta into a $2.2MM home in Buckhead...that he's moving out of now. In fairness, he hosted guests and held events there. But still.  From GPB:
"Gregory sought guidance from three church advisory councils after public outcry over the home's opulence and price tag. The archbishop says feedback from those meetings, as well as his own personal reflection and prayer, led him to the decision to sell the 6,400-square-foot home.

"Gregory says he will invest proceeds from that sale into north Georgia's Catholic community.

"Pope Francis has challenged Catholic leaders to live simple, frugal lives. Last week, a German bishop resigned after news surfaced he spent $43 million on a new home and office complex."

There's such a thing as a grit chip.

From the NYT, Civil Rights Sins, Curated by One of the Sinners:
In the woods off Monroe Road, a truck is so rusted that it is melting into the earth. It was Vernon Dahmer’s truck, the one that he drove and that his family continued to use after his death, the circumstances of which can be inferred from the three penny-size holes in the back panel.

Five men were convicted in the 1966 firebombing and ambush that killed Mr. Dahmer, the local N.A.A.C.P. president. But his family is certain about one culprit that went unpunished: the State of Mississippi.

“They’re just as much to blame as the Klansmen,” said Ellie Dahmer, 88, who fled with three children to the barn that night as Mr. Dahmer, her husband, traded fire with the attackers.

So it was with some faith that the Dahmers agreed to hand over parts of the truck to the state, to be exhibited in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Not complete faith, the family clarifies. This is only a loan. And the family has control over its use.

“If we can’t tell it like it really is,” said Mr. Dahmer’s son Vernon Jr., “we best not tell it at all.”

Scottsboro Boys Museum, Scottsboro AL
(above: Scottsboro Boys Museum)

The estate of Scottsboro Boy, Clarence Norris, is suing the State of Alabama for wrongful imprisonment.  Documentation here.

They sent a glass one -- he doesn't want to spend eternity in the current plastic version -- and they even customized the label for this gentleman (glad they considered that the red ribbon stating 'smooth and creamy' isn't really appropriate here) who wants his ashes in a Duke's jar.

Pie Lab, Greensboro AL
(above: pie from Pie Lab)

If you're in Birmingham on a Saturday, Pepper Place Market begins this coming weekend, and Pie Lab will be there every week!

Letters of Note published a letter from Helen Keller to the NY Symphony Orchestra in 1924 after listening to Beethoven's Ninth:
Of course, this was not "hearing" but I do know that the tones and harmonies conveyed to me moods of great beauty and majesty. I also sensed, or thought I did, the tender sounds of nature that sing into my hand—swaying reeds and winds and the murmur of streams. I have never been so enraptured before by a multitude of tone-vibrations.

As I listened, with darkness and melody, shadow and sound filling all the room, I could not help remembering that the great composer who poured forth such a flood of sweetness into the world was deaf like myself. I marvelled at the power of his quenchless spirit by which out of his pain he wrought such joy for others—and there I sat, feeling with my hand the magnificent symphony which broke like a sea upon the silent shores of his soul and mine.

There's a 'Campaign for Real Barbecue' in North Carolina now that so many places aren't cooking with wood (a shanda!). And what is this, from The Dispatch:
He noted that a lot of restaurants are grandfathered to cook by wood, and new businesses cannot receive a permit to do the pit cooking. Due to health department regulations, having fire pits in restaurants are not allowed anymore. Barbecue restaurants open prior to the new rules are grandfathered, such as Lexington Barbecue No. 1, which opened in 1962.

Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens, Summerville GA
(above: from Paradise Gardens)

Worth reading: Glorious Constructions: the Struggle to Preserve Salvation-Themed Art Environments (so nice that I'm thanked and cited as a source!). Included: Paradise Gardens, W.C. Rice's Cross Garden, Margaret's Grocery, Kenny Hill's Sculpture Garden, and Salvation Mountain.

The Tennessean reports that the National Museum of African American Music is expected to begin construction in Nashville in early 2015.

Great obit:
There will be no viewing since his wife refuses to honor his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so he would appear natural to visitors.

Speaking of Jack Daniels, there's this.

And *how* did I miss this one from last year, from the Northeast Mississippi News:
Timothy Wayne “Tim” Hopkins, 54, went to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and Dale Earnhardt to contribute his building and painting expertise to the constructing of many heavenly mansions on Saturday, March 23, 2013, in Memphis.

Friends, if you're leaving this world without an obit written (partially) by you or for you that does not in some fashion the wonderfulness that was you, that's a grand missed opportunity.

Wade Wharton Art at the Huntsville Botanical Garden

The Huntsville Botanical Garden will present a 'Tribute to Wade' (Wade Wharton) on Sunday, April 27 from noon-5p.

One of my (super-super talented) friends from college days, Dan Furman, wrote a musical called 'Rip!' about 'a man who likes to believe anything is possible...until he goes off to war and ends up in a magical 'Bowling Green' and finds he cannot return to his wife and home.  It is a radical variation on Washinton Irving's classic tale of Rip Van Winkle.  It is also about people in a town in the Catskills who didn't believe the American Revolution was possible -- until they found themselves carrying it out.  It is about love, dreams, revolution, fish...and what is possible.'.  The musical CD is available for download here.

He plays jazz piano all over NYC, so if you're there...

From WVTF Public Radio:
A new church in southwestern Virginia is looking to local culture to inspire its congregation. It celebrates the Appalachian spirit of community and practicality best demonstrated by potluck dinners and conversation, followed by music and dancing. The new church, called “Wild Goose,” opened earlier this year in a remote part of Floyd County.

...“We took the pews out and put the rocking chairs in, we took the pulpit furniture out and built a fireplace and it’s all fiddle and banjo music and singing old time songs and very eclectic worship."

..."One of the things I wanted to get away from with Wild Goose is the performance and audience relationship that I had seen in so many traditional church worship services. So we we have discussions, read scripture and everybody participates. I learned early on that just because I had a seminary education, does not mean that I knew as much about scripture or theology as a lot of people sitting in the pews."


Arthur Smith, who was best known for writing 'Dueling Banjos' and 'Guitar Boogie' has passed away.  He had to sue for compensation when 'Dueling Banjos', which he called 'Feuding Banjos' was used in the movie 'Deliverance' uncredited.

Although he didn’t disclose how much money he’d made from the movie lawsuit, Smith pointed to a picture of a 42-foot yacht on the wall of his office and noted Warner Bros. had bought the boat for him.

Now you can own a home Coach Bryant once lived in, in Birmingham.

We did a 'Day Out with Thomas' at the Heart of Dixie Railroad and the boys really enjoyed their ride:
The Club, Birmingham

Av had his birthday this week and we celebrated with a lunch at The Club:
Av and Ginger at The Club
And for some reason now that I see this picture I realize I am the kind of person who takes my husband to lunch, forgetting to put on makeup.  Ah.  Who cares?  We're terrifically happy together.

If you can imagine, this peanut butter and chocolate dessert was even better than it looks:
The Club, Birmingham

Then went the next night for Family Night and the boys had a blast, including having their faces painted!
The Club, Birmingham

Pretty Birmingham
The Club, Birmingham

Highway 30 between New Albany and Oxford may become 'William Faulkner Scenic Byway'.

Bryce Hospital, Tuscaloosa AL

What is Alabama doing with the Bryce Hospital grounds? Plans to build a $60MM performing arts center featuring 'a 350-seat drama theater, a 450-seat dance theater, a 250-seat studio theater and associated support spaces, such as a scenery shop and rehearsal hall' -- the scope and preliminary budget have just been approved.

Fisher's at Orange Beach Marina is starting a series of special dinners beginning April 17 -- bringing in John Besh, Donald Link, Tory McPhail, Sue Zemanick, Justin Devillier and John Currence during the run.

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
(above: from Blue Ridge Parkway)

From NPR: Stereotypes of Appalachia Obscure a Diverse Picture:
When policymakers and news organizations need a snapshot of rural poverty in the United States, Appalachia — the area of land stretching from the mountains of southern New York through northern Alabama — is the default destination of choice. Poverty tours conducted by presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon, almost every member of the Kennedy clan, and religious leaders like Jesse Jackson have all painted the portrait of Appalachia the same way: poor, backward, and white.

...While there still is a way to go, a less whitewashed portrait of Appalachia seems to be gaining a foothold nationally, thanks in part to the efforts of scholars and grass-roots organizations. The term "Affrilachia" — a portmanteau of "African" and "Appalachian" coined by Kentucky poet laureate Frank X Walker — has brought together a loose collective of multiracial artists previously excluded from conversations about what it means to be an Appalachian. The word is now an entry in the Oxford American Dictionary, second edition. In 2005, Appalachian State University professor Fred Hay successfully petitioned the Library of Congress to change the definition of Appalachians from "Mountain Whites" to "Appalachians (People)."

That movement toward a more holistic regional picture may be a strong step toward tackling the larger societal ills. "In order to fix the issues of the region," said Thompson, "we first have to recognize we have a diverse bunch of people living there."

The NY Public Library has now made available over 20k maps as high-res downloads.  Free. Yes, yes, yes.

The Listen Up! Mississippi Historic Preservation Conference 'for building huggers of all stripes' will be in Tupelo June 8-10, and it all starts with an Elvis Gospel brunch.

Helena Arkansas
(above: Hallelujah Hairstyles in downtown)

Doug Friedlander says this in The Rotarian (reprinted in the CSM) about the Delta, and in particular the Helena area:
Back when agriculture was king, we were the hub of a 
prosperous region. Mark Twain even wrote about Helena in Life on the Mississippi; he said it 
“occupies one of the prettiest 
situations on the river. ”

Our community has incredible architecture, culture, and history, but it’s been in a 40-year recession and has lost about half its population. I liken it to Cinderella: It’s from a good family, it took a precipitous fall, but it’s ready to be dusted off and taken to the ball.

Well, since I love that shot so much of Hallelujah Hairstyles (above) that we took last year, here's a couple other favorites we've found:

Yo Majesty's Beauty Salon Etc. in Port Gibson, Mississippi:
Yo Majesty's Beauty Salon Etc.

and Lord Make Me Over, Praise Jesus Salon in Decatur, Alabama:
L-rd Make Me Over, Praise Jesus Salon, Decatur AL

One thing I got to see at the Ogden was the House of Blues exhibit, 'When You're Lost, Everything's A Sign' -- bless you, Isaac Tigrett for seeing the beauty in art.  The collection includes over 10,000 works and of course only a small fraction in this show, but it was amazing.  Here, just a few of the works included:

Earl Simmons:
Earl Simmons

R.A. Miller:

R.A. Miller

Lonnie Holley:
Lonnie Holley

Jake McCord:
Jake McCord

L.V. Hull:
L.V. Hull

Missionary Mary Proctor:
Missionary Mary Proctor

James 'Buddy' Snipes:
James 'Buddy' Snipes

Mr. Imagination:
Mr. Imagination

Jimmy Lee Sudduth:
Jimmy Lee Sudduth

James 'Son Ford' Thomas:
James 'Son Ford' Thomas

Mary T. Smith:
Mary T. Smith

Ab the Flagman:
Ab the Flagman

Mose T:
Mose T

B.F. Perkins:
B.F. Perkins

B.F. Perkins

Joe Light:
Joe Light

Purvis Young:
Purvis Young

Herbert Singleton:
Herbert Singleton

Leroy Almon Sr.:
Leroy Almon Sr.

Leroy Almon Sr.

Leroy Almon Sr.

Archie Byron:
Archie Byron

Archie Byron

Archie Byron

Prophet Royal Robertson:
Royal Robertson

Ronald Cooper:
Ronald Cooper

Fred Webster:
Fred Webster

Sybil Gibson:
Sybil Gibson

J.L. Nipper:
J.L. Nipper

Rev. Howard Finster:
Howard Finster

Howard Finster

Howard Finster

Shane Campbell:
Shane Campbell

Afterward, we all had supper at House of Blues -- really, I've tried to avoid it all this time because it's a chain after all, and you have to figure that Aaron Sanchez behind the menu or not, the emphasis here is on the music (although I realize one of the most short-sighted things I've done was pass up the gospel brunch at the HoB in Las Vegas when we were given tickets).  Sure enough, the food wasn't that great but the boys had a good time and of course we got to be around more art:

House of Blues, New Orleans

House of Blues, New Orleans

The next Slotin art auction -- 'Delta Blues to Visual Blues' begins April 26, and the catalog is here.  Many, many of the aforementioned artists are included in this sale.  Other interesting pieces available: Lanier Meaders face jug, Sam Doyle, Clementine Hunter quilt, Sister Gertrude Morgan, and a 'Robert Johnson (1911-1938). Walkin’ Blues and Sweet Home Chicago. Full-Range Recording Vocalion. #03601, dated, 1937. U.S. Patent 1,637,544, Lab copy by Brunswick Record Corporation. #SA2630 and #SA2582' estimated at $4-6k.