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This Week's Various

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Brent's Drugs in Fondren, Jackson MS
Food & Wine discusses the food in the upcoming The Help movie.

Crispy fried chicken, silky collard greens, delicate tea sandwiches: Southern food never looked more delicious than it does in The Help, the film based on Kathryn Stockett's best-selling novel.

...There are scenes of ladies' luncheons with tomato aspic and cocktail meatballs, and scenes calling for soul food like collard greens, black-eyed peas and, of course, that craveable fried chicken. "Food is just everywhere," says Taylor.

...What's unusual is that almost all the food in the movie was made by real Southern cooks—including teachers, a journalist and a cafeteria manager—recruited in Greenwood, Mississippi. 

...fried chicken for the film based on a recipe described in the novel, prepared by a maid named Minny who's revered for her talent in the kitchen. The secret: Crisco. (Minny praises Crisco thusly: "Ain't just for frying. You ever get a sticky something stuck in your hair, like gum? That's right, Crisco. Spread this on a baby's bottom, you won't even know what diaper rash is. Shoot, I seen ladies rub it under they eyes and on they husband's scaly feet. And after all that it will still fry your chicken.")

...Growing up on a farm, Hoover helped her mother feed 10 children on what her father earned as a field hand. "Our chicken and pork all came from the yard. Dessert came from the tree or the vine." She jokingly calls her culinary style "dirt-row cooking."

..."If you're having a ladies' luncheon, you're still going to have tomatoes stuffed with chicken salad and finger sandwiches and cheese straws." 

Yes.  Yesssss.
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This is interesting, beautiful, and wonderful -- how it's described on Kickstarter:

A Grand Gift for a Unique City
From the salvaged remains of a decrepit Creole Cottage, the Brooklyn-based artist Swoon has re-imagined a permanent, interactive sculpture for the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. We call it the Dithyrambalina. It will look like a house, but it will function like a musical instrument. A growing group of local and national sound artists are working towards interactive instruments that can be built into its walls and floorboards so that visitors can bring the house to life through their touch. Ultimately, musicians will be invited to play the house, performing orchestrated works at block parties for their friends and neighbors. This project is for the love of New Orleans - its architecture, music, culture and its people.

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Your Support
Kinetic sound artists from New Orleans and across the country are coming together this fall to build The Music Box, A Shantytown Sound Laboratory. This is our testing ground for singing walls, organ floorboards, and percussion triggered by the human heartbeat.

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This project is being partially funded by The Arts Council of New Orleans and the Black Rock Arts Foundation.

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My friend Larry Harris just led an Orange Show group on a 'Eyeopener Tour of Northern Kentucky and Southern Indiana' which included Jerry Lotz's place, the art of Robert Morgan, LaVon Williams Jr., Steve Armstrong, the Providence Home Geode Grotto, and more.  The entire set is here.

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The Lone Star Steakhouse in Beaumont closed, which leaves question as to what will become of the "The Eye of the World" collection that was built by John Gavrelos from 1923 to 1948 (click here to see it as part of an image gallery).

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This study by MIT -- the Connected States of America -- is interesting.  AL, MS, W TN and NW FL = one state according to the way we text each other.  Actually calling puts GA, AL, and NW FL together.  Okay...

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John Besh's new soda fountain (he already had the restaurant, The American Sector) in the Nat'l WWII Museum in New Orleans was mentioned this week in this article in the NYT about bringing back the all-American soda fountain.  The Soda Shop's menu is here.

Not sure why, but my pic from the museum of Rupert, the dummy paratrooper that the US used in the War, has almost 5000 views on Flickr:
"Rupert" Dummy Paratrooper, National D-Day Museum, New Orleans LA

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While we're on the subject, the pic with the most views on my Flickr is of this wedding cake:

Wedding Cake 1

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I know some of you who read DFK are teachers -- one of the programs that the National WWII Museum has started is their Victory Garden project for elementary school students.  They describe it this way:

The goal of The Classroom Victory Garden Project is to teach elementary students about the role of community in WWII through interdisciplinary curriculum designed to connect the past and the present. Millions of Americans grew Victory Gardens in their backyards - and on rooftops and in windowboxes - during WWII to supplement their wartime rations and help spur victory. That can-do spirit can offer your young students an age-appropriate entree into the lessons and history of WWII.

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(this photograph by Paul Smutko, used with permission)
All week I've been thinking about Joe and Hilda Minter -- they've been in Santa Fe for the opening of the Museum of International Folk Art's 'The Arts of Survival: Folk Expression in the Face of Natural Disaster' exhibit in which Joe's piece, above, is included.  This one is called 'Rebuild and Restore New Orleans' which he completed in 2007, after Katrina in 2005.  This piece was actually purchased by the museum.  The *huge* folk art market begins on Friday.

I'm curious to know how the museum is going to present this work.  Maybe it's because I know Joe from his art environment where all the pieces collectively sing so loudy, it feels as though when one piece is taken away it loses that context it has of being surrounded by all of his other pieces.  There's magic at the end of Nassau Avenue.  Still, that's not any criticism of the art at all.  At all.  I love Joe and Hilda.  The curators at the museum in Santa Fe saw so much merit in this one assemblage that they wanted it for their permanent collection.  I just hope it is presented in a way that somehow, somehow...brings the larger experience to the museum visitor.  Backing it up to a blank white wall doesn't do it justice.

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Here's a piece from this week's Summerville News about Kennesaw State students working at Finster's Paradise Gardens.

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The Library of Congress has put historical audio clips on its website as a jukebox.  Search for any state or string of lyrics, or...

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Another great reason not to eat winter tomatoes (besides the labor issues, um...taste) was described on NPR in an interview following the release of the new book Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.

Being a graphic designer, parts of this poster are puzzling (i.e. having to search as to where the festival takes place), but the image is strong -- for the Killer Tomato Festival to benefit Georgia Organics on July 17:

...which reminded me of this at the Art and Invention Gallery in Nashville:
Art & Invention Gallery, Nashville TN

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Wild Cherry, Hansens Sno-Bliz, New Orleans LA
(above: my wild cherry sno-ball at Hansen's on Tchoupitoulis)

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Wade Wharton's Art Environment 080510
Wade Wharton's artwork is on display at the Huntsville-Madison County Main Library through the end of this month.

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