This Week's Various

Posted by ginger On Friday, July 24, 2015

As always, all images here unless otherwise noted are copyright deepfriedkudzu.  Like to use one? Contact me first.

Something I Thought I'd Never See
above: opening my copy of GSAW and realizing I thought I'd never see a page with these words.

Here's how Joe Nocera puts it in his op-ed in the NYT: The Harper Lee 'Go Set A Watchman' Fraud

If you have been following The Times’s cleareyed coverage, you know that Carter participated in a meeting in 2011 with a Sotheby’s specialist and Lee’s former agent, in which they came across the manuscript that turned out to be “Go Set a Watchman.” In The Wall Street Journal — where else? — Carter put forth the preposterous claim that she walked out of that meeting early on and never returned, thus sticking with her story that she only discovered the manuscript in 2014.

But the others in the meeting insisted to The Times that she was there the whole time — and saw what they saw: the original manuscript that Lee turned in to Tay Hohoff, her editor. Hohoff, who appears to have been a very fine editor indeed, encouraged her to take a different tack. After much rewriting, Lee emerged with her classic novel of race relations in a small Southern town...

Curried Fried Cauliflower Hummus at Shaya, New Orleans
above: one of the best things I've ever eaten: the curried cauliflower hummus at Shaya in New Orleans. He shared the recipe here.

The 21 Best New Restaurants in America at Eater includes
The Grey in Savannah
Leon's Oyster Shop in Charleston
Little Bacch in Atlanta
Olamaie in Austin
Shaya in New Orleans -- I can vouch for Shaya. Crazy delicious in every way.

Noticed at the Olamaie site, their intro:
Olamaie, for more than a century, has been a name and a birthright to four Southern matrons. Each generation proudly passed down years of heritage to their daughters. With each young woman, the weight and heart of what it means to be Olamaie has grown. They each possess an acceptance of others, unending patience, boundless love, and soulful allegiance to food.

From the National Post: The Management of Harper Lee's Estate is Rife with Controversy

Yes yes yes yes and yes: Willie Nelson on the Hidden Kitchens Texas podcast:

Interior, Dreamland in Tuscaloosa (the original)
above: inside the original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa. In the list below, the ribs at the location in *Huntsville* were mentioned. Which, what?

At First We Feast, The Most Underrated BBQ in Alabama which...thanks for mentioning white chicken sauce...but otherwise the list is a really odd collection.

From Slave to Celebrated Chef: the Surprising Story of Nat Fuller

In April 1865, one of Charleston’s most prominent chefs held a dinner to celebrate the end of the Civil War. According to published reports, toasts were made, lavish dishes were served, and songs were sung about President Abraham Lincoln and freedom. The chef was Nat Fuller, a celebrated culinary personality and recently freed slave. Prior to that evening, his guests had never dined together; they were black and white residents of Charleston, assembled by Fuller in the spirit of reconciliation.

Olive and Sinclair Chocolate
above: their pretty labeling

Olive and Sinclair Chocolate in Nashville has just developed their new 'Seersucker' line of chocolate spheres (like Lindor maybe? I can't find a pic on their website).  From The Tennesseean:

The “original” is a soft version of their sea-salted dark chocolate bar, and is filled with ganache. The “muzzle loaders” have salt and bourbon-flavored caramel. My favorite, though, was the “cherry bomb,” with the sharp blast of a pickled cherry inside.

Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens, Summerville GA
above: from a visit to Paradise Gardens

Smithsonian on Finster's Paradise Gardens:
But rock musicians, including the legendary ’80s band R.E.M., recognized Finster as one of their own: an unschooled genius who shrugged off the establishment's condescension to enjoy the last laugh.

After R.E.M. filmed its first music video at the fellow Georgian’s home studio in 1983, Finster and lead singer Michael Stipe then collaborated on the cover for the group’s 1984 album, Reckoning. The New York band the Talking Heads commissioned Finster to paint the cover for their 1985 album, Little Creatures; it was named “Album Cover of the Year” by Rolling Stone. Another Georgia musician, the Vigilantes of Love's Bill Mallonnee, wrote a song about Finster: “The Glory and the Dream.”

*Wow* at the 'David Adjaye Selects' exhibit display of African textiles at the Cooper Hewitt. BTW, Adjaye has just been named architect of the Studio Museum in Harlem project.

And Damien Hirst is opening his own gallery.

Goode Company Armadillo, Houston TX
above: the Armadillo at Goode Company in Houston

Florida wildlife experts are urging the public to stay away from armadillos due to leprosy scares, but apparently getting leprosy from an armadillo is pretty unlikely (thanks NPR). They mention 95% of humans are immune(!).

Also: only 21 pairs of Alexander McQueen's famous armadillo boots were ever created, but here are three more.  From Christie's:
As part of Christie’s Handbags and Accessories auction running from 14 July through 23 July, three pairs of the Armadillo Boot have been authentically reproduced exclusively for the auction, with 100 per cent of the net amount from the auction sale of the boots to be donated by Alexander McQueen to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in order to support earthquake relief efforts in Nepal. For the first time since the 2010 collection, the Armadillo Boot has been handcrafted in Italy from both wood and authentic Python skin. A runway relic no more.

From Curbed:
A Literary Map of Harper Lee's Hometown

More on Kevin Gillespie's Revival, opening this week with supper, serving lunch August 10. From Atlanta Magazine:
It’ll be the quintessential Southern-style service. You choose your entrée and the table shares cold and hot hors d’ouerves, cornbread, fresh country vegetables and sides, and then you choose your own dessert with coffee or tea. It’s almost an outlandish amount of food—that’s how your grandmother would have wanted it. On Friday nights maybe we’ll do more fish; on Saturdays maybe we’ll do a steak. I’m thinking about the way people eat—more celebratory meals toward the weekend.

Here's the sample menu:

Hors d’oeuvres
Sliced local tomatoes with cucumbers and sweet onion
Toasted deviled ham tea sandwiches
Local kale salad with old-fashioned boiled dressing
Revival relish tray
Old-fashioned skillet-fried green tomatoes

Chicken-fried prime beef round steak with skillet pan gravy
Revival fried chicken
Grassfed beef and pork meatloaf wrapped in bacon
Creamed Georgia white shrimp and Savannah red rice
Wood-grilled Berkshire pork steak
Spiced Mississippi catfish in low country tomato gravy
Wood-grilled South Carolina quail glazed with roasted honey and garlic
Mushroom-stuffed cabbage dumpling with spicy roasted tomato sauce

Fatback-fried silver queen corn
Hickory-smoked local greens
Old-fashioned creamed potatoes
Fresh field peas and snaps in sweet cream butter and dill
Green cabbage with confit ham
Revival mac n’ cheese
Pan-roasted mushrooms with celery and lemon
Local zucchini fritters

Geneva’s toasted vanilla pound cake with peach fool
Butterscotch trifle with butter pecan cream
Lemon icebox pie
Rustic peach and nectarine tart à la mode
Awesome chocolate cake

Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market, Money MS
above: Bryant's Grocery in Money MS

HBO will air a miniseries in development now on Emmett Till.

Red Hot Sign, Meridian MS
above: the Red Hot sign in Meridian

At the Washington Post: Europe to America: Your Love of Air Conditioning Is Stupid. Take a look at the average temps in July in Berlin and, say, Birmingham and what was that?  Ever noticed how far north most of Europe is?  Not to go all James Spann, and there are a zillion other things having to do with that kind of weather a place experiences, but most of the South is on the 33rd parallel.  So is Algeria, Libya, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan.  You know.  Hot places.

Parchman doesn't have air and I wonder how many other prisons don't either (they were in the news this week because the well went out and they had to hand out bottled water).

From Georgia Public Broadcasting: Tubman Museum Will Keep Displaying Controversial Painting
The mixed media painting called The Preacher Pimp depicts a pastor laying hands on a congregent. Text next to the image describes how a pastor took advantage of his position. Museum board members met with a group of pastors who wanted the artwork removed. But the board voted to keep the painting displayed. Tubman Museum Executive Director Andy Ambrose said taking it down violates free speech.

Southern Fiction that Stands the Test of Time -- and from NPR, what the college kids are reading.  The 10 Books Carrie Brownstein Couldn't Live Without.

Hattie B's family roots run generations deep at The Tennessean. They will be opening a Hattie B's in Birmingham early 2016.

above: the Faulkner monument at St. Peter's

From the C-L: William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County goes online
More than 50 years after William Faulkner's last book, educators are creating an online database of his books and short stories, featuring maps, characters and other information that can be accessed online by scholars and the public.

Truly odd -- if you've spent much time on the square in Oxford, you may have met or just seen Anthony Hervey. The AP reports that MHP investigators are looking into the circumstances of his death.

Barber's Milk Mural, Pontotoc Mississippi
above: the Barber's Best sign in Pontotoc MS

As per Tennessee state law, raw cow milk must be labeled for pet consumption only. Well, Sequatchie Cove Farm in Tennessee has $8/gallon raw cow milk for your pet.

At The Guardian: Joseph Cornell: how the reclusive artist conquered the art world – from his mum’s basement
Thinking inside the box: romantic, obsessive and shy, Cornell never moved out of his mother’s house, yet his strange, exquisite art brought him fame and friendships with Duchamp, Dalí and Warhol

From the 2015 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation:
27% of children in Alabama live in poverty. In 2008, it was 22%.
29% of children in Arkansas, up from 25% in 2008.
27% of children in Georgia, up from 20% on 2008.
28% of children in Louisiana, up from 25% in 2008.
34% of children in Mississippi, up from 30% in 2008.
27% of children in Tennessee, up from 22% in 2008.
25% of children in Texas, up from 23% in 2008.

Smitty's Market, Lockhart TX
above: Smitty's Market in Lockhart

Tickets go on sale August 19 for the 2016 Camp Brisket in College Station.

From the Post and Courier: Charleston Kiss Pie traces lineage to 1850s and debut of lemon meringue pie

Really random:
Bears like pie, but pass on strawberry rhubarb
Posthumously, Dr. Seuss' What Pet Should I Get is published.
Kudzu saved somebody
What's going on in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan and how to help

Before leaving Charlotte, we visited Trader Joe's and got some of the cold brew coffee concentrate (I don't even like hot coffee but doing things with it cold? yes.).  We had a phenomenal lunch at Viva Chicken -- a Peruvian rotisserie chicken restaurant that came highly recommended in the uber-cute Elizabeth neighborhood.
Viva Chicken, Charlotte NC
We bought a whole chicken to share, which comes with three sauces: aji amarillo, huacatay, and roasted rocoto (which they call the 'gringo killer' but it really isn't too hot).  This chicken was so juicy, so tender, so full of chicken-y flavor.
Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken, Viva Chicken, Charlotte NC

The whole chicken came with three sides, so we got cilantro infused rice:
Viva Chicken, Charlotte NC

an extra order of arroz chaufa (with red peppers, green onions, eggs, ginger, and Peruvian soy sauce) for the little rice lovers:
Viva Chicken, Charlotte NC

fried yucca which was really starchy and when I offered one to each of the boys, I explained it was more like a giant french fry than anything -- which seemed as though I wasn't giving credit to the yucca, but there it is. Kinda starchy, lightly fried, a french fry cousin really. These were fun to dip in the different sauces, though:
Fried Yucca, Viva Chicken, Charlotte NC

and sweet plantains which were so sweet and soft and sticky and just this terrific mix of banana and pineapple flavors.  I had some for dessert:
Sweet Plantains, Viva Chicken, Charlotte NC

Ooooh it was all so wonderful.  We sat under a covered porch and had a great time.

Walking back to our car, we passed by Cluck Design Collaborative, and saw these terrific log benches out front.  Yessss:
Wooden Log Benches Outside Cluck in Charlotte NC

Av drove me to the Levine Museum of the New South while he and the boys did some other Charlotte things.  I wanted to also visit the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Mint Museum, but they were closed on Tuesdays.

The Levine has two floors of exhibit space -- upstairs, exhibits on the SCLC, Integrating the Charlotte Medical Community, and the Lebanese Community in NC.  What was so terrific, though, was their permanent exhibit downstairs, Cottonfields to Skyscrapers: Re-inventing Charlotte and the Carolina Piedmont in the New South which was designed by Staples and Charles (they both got their start working at the Charles and Ray Eames office).  It was *terrific*.

Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Tenant farmer house:
Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Thrilled to see they had a picture and included one of our ancestors, Leonidas L. Polk, who started 'The Progressive Farmer' in 1886. He became president of the National Farmers Alliance which lobbied state governments to create schools for farmers (including what are now NC State, NC A and T University, and Clemson).  Progressive Farmer eventually expanded its sections to start 'Southern Living'.

Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Poll tax receipt:
Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

In 1913, Philip Lance used this cart to sell his roasted peanuts in downtown Charlotte. Lance crackers = still yummy:
Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

The exhibit was put together sooooo well.  It was fabulous to see these facades and to walk in each:
Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

including Belk's:
Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Inside the little church exhibit was this Billy Graham Biblegraph (the #1 thing to do in Charlotte according to TripAdvisor reviews? Not this or any other museum, park, activity -- the Billy Graham Library.)
Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte NC

Wonderful, wonderful.

Finally for supper on the way home, we decided to do something different -- we'd heard of Matthews Cafeteria in Tucker, Georgia -- they were busy!  Av and I grew up going to cafeterias. I loved going to Morrison's at the Gadsden Mall with my grandparents (I remember when considering going to USA in Mobile for college, and seeing a Morrison's there -- I thought, well, no matter what I'll get my vegetables and never starve. I think the Mobile one is the last Morrison's still operating in the universe, and here's the best review of it.) and Av went to Britling's, both Niki's, Pioneer...

Matthews Cafeteria, Tucker GA

I love when these places are still serving the old standards like what our grandmothers liked.  I never pass up the chance to get aspic.  And here at Matthews they're serving pear salad -- canned pear, dollop of mayonnaise, shredded cheese, and a half maraschino cherry. Where is the bridge club meeting?
Pear Salad at Matthews Cafeteria, Tucker GA

I had that with boiled cabbage, turnip greens, and a roll:
Cabbage, Greens, Roll at Matthews Cafeteria, Tucker GA

Av had the fried chicken and rice:
Fried Chicken at Matthews Cafeteria, Tucker GA

Egg custard pie for dessert:
Egg Custard Pie, Matthews Cafeteria, Tucker GA

Actually, sigh, none of it was particularly delicious, but sometimes you meet things where they are for what they are, although our experience with the 'service' there was such that I am still wondering if the women working in the dining room were tasked anything other than clearing tables.  Glad to see such a place in business since 1955, but was hoping for a little more.  Here in the land of meat and threes (Birmingham), we have it pretty good.  Maybe I'll just run into Niki's West and let them make it all right again with an infusion of fried green tomatoes and rutabagas next week. That's a great idea.

We promised Shug that if he was a great camper we'd take him and Shugie somewhere really special.  Well, to Shug, somewhere wonderful would be someplace with roller coasters.  We'd seen an article about the brand-new Fury 325 at Carowinds in Charlotte, the tallest and fastest giga coaster in the world.  So that's where we were headed.  And to make our stay even more fun, after seeing so much about Great Wolf Lodge, we decided to stay there. Hotel + water park = serious fun for two kids, right?  Wellllllllll....

So here's what we did -- left camp:

Shug and Shugie at Camp

Saw Clemson:
Clemson University, Clemson SC

...had supper at the Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg SC. Hmmm.  This place has been on a lot of different shows, they apparently sell more ice tea than any other restaurant in the US (I didn't see what the big deal about it was), but their Yelp reviews aren't great.  I told Av that we could give it a chance, with so many people comparing it to the Varsity in Atlanta.  Well, it's not a drive-in in the same way that the Varsity is, but it does have people yelling.  Other than that...

The Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

The Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

This gentleman yells "Call It!" when you come up to order. He's the translator between what you call food and what the restaurant calls its food:

The Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

The Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

The Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

The Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

The Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

The Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

So Av wanted just a plain hamburger -- which had a super-thin piece of meat in it, and if you order it "a-plenty" they put the greasiest onion rings and Sysco fries right on top. Have to say: yuck.
The Beacon Drive-Inn, Spartanburg SC

The most average peach cobbler in the universe, yet it was the highlight of the meal:
The Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

Since we were just staying one night on our way to Charlotte, we got a room at the North Spartanburg Hampton Inn, which was fine.
Hampton Inn, SC

The next day, we saw the Gaffney, South Carolina peach water tower by the interstate:
Peach Water Tower, Gaffney SC

Av dropped Shug and me off at Carowinds (Shugie's not quite tall enough so since so many of their rides are for the 54"+ group, he went with Av to Discovery Place, a children's science museum).  We rode several of the rides and was able to walk on to every single thing because we had the Fast Pass Plus wristbands.  In fact, our first ride on the Fury 325 (the tallest/fastest one -- the one that we came here for) was in the *front row*
Carowinds, Charlotte NC

...which was amazing:

We rode twice.  Whew.  Two was plenty.

Did I mention it was 100* outside (literally 100.)? We were crazy hot.  So it was a good thing they had a water park there!!  Shug and I were in the lazy river for an hour!!  We had super-fun!
Carowinds, Charlotte NC

Av and Shugie picked us up when they were done with Discovery Place, and we headed over to the hotel, the second part of our surprise.  They've seen commercials for Great Wolf Lodge so they were super-excited when we pulled up:
Great Wolf Lodge, Concord NC

We had the standard room:
Great Wolf Lodge, Concord NC

Great Wolf Lodge, Concord NC

Mostly inside is the water park -- a place just for babies, another really fun looking area for older kids, a regular pool, a wave pool, four different tube/mat rides inside:
Great Wolf Lodge, Concord NC
In the wave pool, I noticed the lifeguards doing this 'routine' and at first I thought they were making fun of each other, but this is actually the way they watch the crowd.  All of them.

I sat out this once to get a pic of the boys on this slide:
Great Wolf Lodge, Concord NC

Here's the thing: the boys were pretty oblivious to this, but there were some seriously rough-looking people there. One guy had a tattoo of a gruesome motif all over his back. A 20-ish girl had an instrument of torture tattooed all on her upper leg.  Tattoos aren't even the point, though I noticed inkless people were in the minority.  It was a weird vibe all around.  Did I go in thinking the clientele would be...I don't know...more Tomorrowland and less Thunderdome?  Yes I did.  Yes I did.

Know how you don't always get it right but you can roll with it anyway?  That was this day.  We left the next morning and had a fantastic time (thanks to Trader Joe's, a Peruvian restaurant, and a museum).  That's tomorrow's post.  Much better.  Muuuuch better.