A couple of weeks ago, we made a special trip to Black Belt Treasures in Camden. It had been a while since our last visit and I couldn't wait to see all the new things they had - plus I was looking forward to a surprise visit with my friend Sulynn there, who really is a treasure all her own.
The baby is five months old now!
He likes playing with this huge ball - and playing quarterback with daddy using his little UVa football.
"Back home, they'd never pay $30 for those pies," Poarch says. "But out here, there are people who have never heard of a chocolate chess pie or a buttermilk pie. The buttermilk recipe is so easy, it's embarrassing. It's our best-seller, but it's very hard to describe a buttermilk pie. I tell them the buttermilk is kind of like a Southern creme brulee."
All weekend I've been reading the new book Eudora Welty: Occasions. It's a collection of selected writings of hers that includes everything from a few short stories...
First, I had said her watch was silver, when it was gold - how could I have done a thing like that to her? and she took it out of its hiding place and put it under my eyes. Second, I had left out Sudie, who had helped her in the store for six years and Sudie felt so bad about it - "Sudie, Sudie! Come stand here and let Miss Wealthy see how bad you feel - that's right - that's all, Sudie, get on back."
It was ladled from the punch bowl into punch cups and silver goblets, and had to be eaten with a spoon. It stood up in peaks.
To the perpetual child and the limited in mind, to the sick and infirm, and to the morally wavering, reading permits pleasure still, and this may be a pleasure greater than they've so far known: hope.
It is nothing new or startling at Southerners to write - probably they must write...Children who grow up listening through rewarding stretches of unhurried time, reading in big lonely rooms, dwelling in the confidence of slow-changing places, are naturally more prone than other children to be entertained... They cannot help being impressed by a world around them where history has happened in the yard or come into the house, where all round the countryside big things happened and monuments stand to the memory of fiery deeds still to be heard from the lips of grandparents, the columns in the field or the familiar cedar avenue to nothing, where such-and-such a house once stood.
For months now I have noticed an ad in New York Magazine for the Gina Gallery of International Naiive Art.
Since we were in Kosciusko to visit Miss Hull's house, we took these pics at the cemetery which is just a couple of blocks away.
The best-known monument here is of Laura Kelly who died in 1890. Her husband had a sculptor in Italy make a monument of her from a picture of her on their wedding day:
At the time of her death, Mr. Kelly was having their home built, so people say that is why he asked the architect to add on a third story - so that he would be able to see her monument from that window:
What happened forty years ago between Selma and Montgomery -- the antecedent for the Voting Rights Act -- is why the U.S. will welcome Barack Obama into the White House this year. It's additionally important because the U.S. southeast is rich both historically and culturally, and the Trail provides a very accessible window to an often overlooked region by tourists. The Civil Rights Trail captures a moment in history through its many small museums -- both in Selma and Montgomery -- and also in the journey visitors take to travel from place to place. For families, it's a well-marked trail that offers changing views, numerous stops, and the type of generational discussions that great journeys are made of. Highlights include the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Slavery & Civil War Museum, the Rosa Parks Museum, and the Maya Lin-designed Civil Rights Monument.
The Washington Post just did a story about the trail, too.
Last year, I wrote about how Kentucky is doing a quilt trail right now in ten eastern counties that feature painted quilt squares hung on barns:
Here in Alabama, there are a set of ten Gee's Bend quilt designs made into murals (real 8 ft. x 8ft. on plywood murals, not quilt designs on barns) that were finished and installed around Gee's Bend last year.
Yesterday for St. Patrick's Day, for whatever reason, instead of making corned beef and cabbage or boxtys or anything else, I made a cake. A carrot cake.
“If you can’t act fit to eat at the table, you can just set here and eat in the kitchen!”
(Calpurnia to Scout)
“Soon as I can get my hands clean and when Stephanie Crawford’s not looking, I’ll make him a Lane Cake. That Stephanie’s been after my recipe for thirty years,
and if she thinks I’ll give it to her just because I’m staying with her she’s got
another think coming.” (Miss Maudie)
“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of another.” (Miss Maudie to Scout and Jem)
“Your fat streaks are showin’.” (Jem to Scout, referring to the white lines in her Halloween costume)
“They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs.” (Miss Maudie to Jem and Scout about mockingbirds)
Aunt Alexandra comes to Maycomb to live with the Finch household. To celebrate the occasion, Scout notes that: “Miss Maudie Atkinson baked a Lane Cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight.” What does “shinny” mean?
A. It’s a slang term used in the 1920s and 30s for illegal liquor.
B. It means to maneuver up a tree or post.
C. It’s coffee that is very strong and bitter.
D. It’s a type of orange juice that is very sour.
Lane Cake is a symbol of the SouthThe first recipe for Lane Cake was first printed in Some Good Things to Eat, by Mrs. Emma Rylander Lane, which she self-published in 1898. It was originally called Prize cake because it placed first in a baking contest at a county fair in Columbus, Georgia, where Mrs. Lane was demonstrating ranges.For more than a century, it has been a special occasion cake in the South and the pride of the state of Alabama.Lane Cakes look simple from the outside but there is more to this cake than meets the eye.Lane Cakes generally are considered by many to be difficult to make due to the complicated preparations and multiple ingredients.A traditional Lane Cake is a white cake, a type of sponge cake, made in layers. It has four layers separated by filling. Each layer is supposed to be made in a pie tins instead of cake pans, making each layer smaller. The layers each have different ingredients, which is what makes the cake unique – and more labor-intensive. For example, coconut, dried fruit, and nuts are common additions, but they are not included in the original recipe.The outside usually has a white frosting made of water, sugar, and whipped egg white. It has a filling of butter, raisins, and whiskey. and each layer has different ingredients. For example, one layer may have pecans and coconut, the next layer almonds and raisins. The recipe has been modified many times through the years.
We went to Kosciusko to check on Miss L.V. Hull's house - she passed away in April of last year - and we wanted to see how her house/yard/environment was doing now that she is gone.
There was nothing she would not paint.
The film examines the use of imagination by artist and family friend L.V. Hull in her efforts to cope with the loss of her infant son.
Lots of other nice pics of Miss L.V.'s home and yard are here and H.C. Porter has a 37" x 60" acrylic silkscreen and prismacolor of her that is really great here.