Barbecue and Chicken Stew at the annual Labor Day event at St. Michael's in St. Florian. Chicken stew is a tradition in this part of Alabama.
Amish-made chairs from Ethridge at the new Silo restaurant in Germantown (Nashville). I think it's the same gentleman who made our rockers.
Gothamist on where to get the best pimento cheese sandwich in NYC; while lunch counters and mothers have been putting together pimento cheese sandwiches here for decades, they've also been putting it on hamburgers for decades (don't know why some people think that's new)...it's been the best way to order a cheeseburger at The Varsity for...forever. This last time, though, they went a little overboard!:
Who Will Save Salvation Mountain? in the Desert Sun.
Chefs in attendance at Sunday Supper South on October 28 ($225 for James Beard members, $250 others) in Atlanta have been announced: ' ...Sean Brock of McCrady’s and Husk in Charleston, South Carolina, Mike Lata of FIG in Charleston, John Currence of City Grocery and SnackBar in Oxford, Mississippi, Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery in New Orleans, La., Richard Blais of HD-1 in Atlanta and Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, and Chuck’s in Raleigh...'
PBA Galleries Fine Literature - Cooking and Gastronomy sale this week auctioned one of Faulkner's pipes, estimated at $3-5k (not sure yet what the hammer price was). From the listing: The present pipe was owned and smoked by author William Faulkner, tobacco residue is still present in the bowl. Faulkner was a well-known pipe smoker and photographed many times with a pipe in his hand. It is uncertain whether the present pipe appears in any of those iconic images. This pipe was one of several that were removed from Faulkner's home following his death by his stepson Malcolm Franklin...
In the NYT, 'Passion Plays: College Football Rules the Land in the South'...and Suzan McClelland's act at the field just made me cry:
The 69-year-old McClelland had left her home in Prattville, Ala., that morning and made the two-hour drive to the stadium in Tuscaloosa with her husband, John (Field) McClelland, riding shotgun. It was a trip, she said, “very reminiscent of the many trips we’ve made together to attend games over the years” as longtime Alabama season-ticket holders. John was alive for those trips. As Suzan navigated her car through rural Alabama this time, however, only her recently deceased husband’s cremated remains, along with a photograph of him, rested in the passenger seat beside her.
Once she reached the city limits, Suzan met up with her brother, Ted, a Tuscaloosa resident, and the two had lunch at a restaurant Suzan described as being “very New York.” Suzan had the shrimp and grits.
After lunch, Ted and Suzan, now with her husband’s ashes lovingly tucked away inside one of her pants pockets, joined a few thousand of their fellow Alabama fans inside the stadium. With her brother by her side for emotional support, Suzan walked down from the stands and made her way to the stadium’s aforementioned brick partition, right next to yours truly. I then watched Suzan — clearly a bit frightened, but determined — reach into her pocket, pull out the plastic baggie holding John’s remains and empty its contents onto the field.
“Excuse me, but did you just pour someone’s ashes out onto the field?” I asked before Suzan and Ted could scurry away unnoticed.
“Yes, I did; it was my husband,” she replied nervously, her voice cracking slightly. “I was worried I’d get arrested doing this, but he loved Alabama football and wanted to have his ashes spread on the field here. I was worried I’d get arrested, but this was his dying wish, and I didn’t want him to haunt me for the rest of my life if I didn’t do it.”
After Suzan and her brother disappeared into the crowd, I found an online obituary for her husband on my phone. It read like the numerous other obituaries that run in newspapers across the country every day, with the exception of its final line, in capital letters, “Roll Tide!”
Black Belt Bamboost, a new bamboo park being built in Northport.
There's a new sandwich shop in Muscle Shoals called Boo Radley's Deli. I think there are two TKAM-named businesses in Monroeville: Radley's Fountain Grill, and Mockingbird Grill.
In last week's various, I mentioned that the Big Jones Southern supper was from recipes in Dishes and Beverages of the Old South -- that's available here, free either to read online as an eBook or to your Kindle.
Having to explain the hurricane this week, I remembered something one of my sweet friends posted, from Mr. Rogers:
Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: "My mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world."
From the NYT, the inspiration for Beasts of the Southern Wild = Isle de Jean Charles, subject of a documentary yet to be released:
Imagine the Bible, as screenplay: The Voice. The AP reported on it earlier this month. You can compare Bible passages here.
This year, Artists for Pasaquan will be a two-day event, November 3 and 4.
Texas Monthly: There are Still Some Things to Deep Fry. The eight finalists for the State Fair of Texas Big Tex Choice Awards are: Chicken Fried Cactus Bites, Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, Deep Fried Jambalaya, Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider, Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll, Fried Mexican Fire Crackers, Picnic on a Stick, and Fried Pork Wing. This is the part where everyone remembers that this is a specific...tradition...at state fairs and does not speak to any particular cuisine.
NPR does a piece on what people leave at Andy Warhol's cemetery monument. I found these cans of Campbell's in honor of Andy's work at Target this week:
Barbecue and Chicken Stew at the annual Labor Day event at St. Michael's in St. Florian. Chicken stew is a tradition in this part of Alabama.
My friend Larry Harris, who has/is the most excellent repository of art environments anywhere, had something wonderful happen this week.
Larry was friends with the late world-famous artist Mr. Imagination for many years, and about ten years ago, Mr I took one of Larry's grandfather's straw work hats and covered it with bottlecaps (he was known for working with bottlecaps and other found materials). More of Mr I's work here at the Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago.
After Mr. I's passing, Larry tried to think of different ways he could display the hat, and one friend came up with the idea that it sit on a kind of wooden bust of Mr I.
Larry contacted his friend, the artist Charles Gilliam of New Orleans, chairman of the Algiers Folk Art Zone, who said he would like to create this piece, as Charles had spoken with Mr I in the past about collaborating on the Folk Art Zone.
This week, evacuating from home due to Hurricane/TS Isaac, Charles brought with him to Houston the piece you see him holding above.
How fantastic is that!? Larry and Charles, it looks great! Mr. I would love it. Mwah!
We love Middendorf's. It's on the water in Akers, Louisiana, and they are *famous* for their thin (super-thin!) fried, greaseless, delicious catfish. How do they slice it so thin? It has to do with the temperature at which they do it. Whatever they do, though, it is perfection.
And the deck/beach...is terrific:
Shug and Shugie approve:
...and so do we:
...so we were *terribly* sad to see this picture tonight, that Middendorf's has flooded.
Update: more pics from the owners.
Last month when we were in Houston, one of the places we visited was Smither Park, just down the street from the Orange Show (more about that later). Work began on the park last year, which is expected to include an amphitheater, meditation garden, 400' memory wall, serpentine tunnel and half tunnel, 12' tower with coin maze, long-sweep swings near a grove of orange trees, and open spaces and walkways.
Work has begun on the long, long, long memory wall (you can contribute bits and pieces, like seashells and dishes...whatever has significance to you, to be included):
Yes, yes, yes, to angel:
Dan Phillips, who I'm a big fan of, is the designer of the park, and said, “A park that caters to all ages is always good. But a park that caters to the human spirit is simply magnificent.” He's probably best known for his founding of the Phoenix Commotion, which builds affordable (and beautiful! and interesting!) homes from cast-off, salvage materials. From the website:
The Phoenix Commotion is a local building initiative created to prove that constructing homes with recycled and salvaged materials has a viable place in the building industry. This process uses only apprentice labor and teaches marketable skills to anyone with a work ethic who is willing to swing a hammer. By keeping labor costs low and using donated or found materials, the homes created are truly affordable. No two are alike due to the myriad of materials used, so there is an artistic element that makes Phoenix Commotion homes unique. We target single parents, artists, and families with low incomes. We require the homeowner to be involved with the planning and construction of his or her own home. The result is a person who is empowered, not only by the useful knowledge of building skills, but by the opportunity to become part of a community as a vested participant.
Ooooh and when Dan talks about how 'human beings have a need for maintaining consistency of the apperceptive mass' -- the expected pattern and unity of structural features -- then goes on to talk about the psychology of pattern/repetition...I *love* that kind of thing (seriously). Then he talks about Nietzsche and Apollonian and Dionysian views. And Plato and perfect forms, and Sartre and consciousness, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It's music to my ears, don't ever stop talking! In other words, this is one of my favorite Ted talks of all time:
Here's the 2009 feature on Dan in the NYT; amazing slideshow here.
Of all the cities in Alabama, the one with the highest overall population percentage growth last year did it with two people moving in.
That's because Mooresville went from 53 people to 55.
The US Census found that four cities in Alabama gained over 1k in population, but Mooresville deserves this good news -- and it's no wonder because not only was it the first town incorporated by the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818, it's one of the prettiest little towns anywhere:
This is the inside of the post office, where brides send their wedding invitations because a.) it's pretty Mooresville and b.) they still postmark the invitations by hand, so they are still gorgeous when they arrive. I went in one day just to buy stamps so as to have an excuse to come inside!:
One of the most interesting things in town is the brick church because...
...atop it is this steeple, as finger pointing toward heaven:
Very similar is this steeple atop First Presbyterian in Port Gibson, MS:
While I've been through Port Gibson dozens of times and have taken pics of this steeple often, I've never been inside -- it's supposed to be gorgeous, and includes three chandeliers from the steamboat Robert E. Lee (yes, that is him on Traveller in the middle of all that brass).
Another of the chandeliers is at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans:
As always, unless otherwise noted, all images here copyright Deep Fried Kudzu. Ask me before using in any fashion. Thank you.
In Chicago, Big Jones does cuisine-themed suppers and this week, a Southern 'Dinner on the Grounds, ca. 1913'. Prepare yourself a for sudden hungry feeling:
Pimiento Cheese with heirloom Sheepnose pimientos and Otter Creek summer cheddar
Sliced Boiled Calf Tongue
New Crop Sweet Potato Biscuits
Green Tomato Preserves
Cold Fried Chicken
Cold Slaw with cabbage and summer apples
Dressed Sweet Potato Greens
Angel Food Cake
Peaches with wine jelly
All dishes are adapted from Martha McCulloch-Williams book Dishes and Beverages of the Old South.
Forbes on 100 years of making Goo Goo Clusters.
Auburn's Rural Studio is working on a new playground in Uniontown.
At Holeman and Finch in Atlanta, they're doing a 'silly homage' to Nashville-style hot chicken (even though Linton's never had it...kudos to him for giving it a larger audience nevertheless). Proud to say I'm married to someone who prefers (and survives!) Prince's hottest chicken:
Noel Polk, one of the world's greatest Faulkner scholars (+Welty, +Robert Penn Warren), passed away this week. Services at USM on Saturday.
On Kickstarter: a project to document the Pawpaw, the largest edible fruit native to North America.
At Barbara Lee Black's window:
Ma’Cille’s Museum of Miscellanea: An incomplete catalog of the collection. Drawings by Glenn House, Sr. Gordo, Alabama: Paper Souvenir Press, 2012.
One of Av's friends since high school, David Oh, is living on Mars time because he's the 'flight director of surface operations' for the Mars Curiosity! Av has been sending him song ideas for when they 'wake up' the Curiosity each morning.
'Intimate Interiors' exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art, August 26-November 18. From the BMA:
"Taken from the Museum’s permanent collection, Intimate Interiors presents portraits of intimate moments and spaces including places of religious worship, bedrooms, and entertaining. It is within these spaces that we are at our most comfortable, and oftentimes most vulnerable. The works showcased in this exhibition are alternatives to the racist images of blacks encountered daily in the global visual culture. As cultural critic bell hooks states: the image is not about good or bad, but about “transforming... creating alternatives, asking ourselves questions about what types of images subvert, pose critical alternatives, and transform our worldviews and move us away from dualistic thinking about good and bad.” By exhibiting alternative images, we encourage dialogue about the similarities we all share while celebrating black cultural experiences."
Design Sponge did a feature this week on Zelda Fitzgerald.
Scott is giving a talk on January 25, 2013 at Auburn.
Last of the Bohemians, the film about Eugene Walter (who left us in 1998...I will love him forever), will be on APT September 2 at 8p and September 3 at 9p.
Our friend Amos Kennedy Jr (above, with our little Shug) will be at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in December: "The MFA in Applied Craft and Design and PNCA’s Printmaking Department welcome Amos Kennedy as part of the 2012-2013 Graduate Visiting Lecture Series. Amos Kennedy is a letterpress printer, papermaker, and builder of artist’s books based in Gordo, Alabama. He quit his corporate computer programming job at the age of 40 to follow his dream of becoming a letterpress artist, or as he calls himself, “a humble negro printer.” His work embodies his passion for stirring up strong emotions and encouraging people to think in new ways. Kennedy is the subject of the documentary Proceed and Be Bold."
Also: There was a fabulous pic and feature on Amos in the latest Garden and Gun -- they listed him as one of the '15 Trendsetters Shaping the World of Style'.
National Geographic on the Mississippi River depth woes / the drought / the Gulf's saltwater heading upstream...
Bloomberg reports that the U.S. National Slavery Museum (to be in Fredericksburg VA) is no longer in bankruptcy. It is still only architectural drawings, though. From the article: "Although the museum filed a proposed reorganization plan, Celebrate Virginia called it “vague and speculative” without demonstrating how the necessary $5 million in contributions could be raised. Celebrate Virginia also opposed the plan because it was based on the idea of selling off 20 acres and breaking the deed restriction requiring use as a museum. Celebrate Virginia argued at length that the deed restriction couldn’t be broken under Virginia law. Celebrate Virginia filed and won a motion to have the case dismissed or converted to liquidation in Chapter 7. The museum recommended that the judge dismiss if he was inclined to grant the motion. The judge obliged by dismissing last week."
The first Waffle House (now a Waffle House Museum) gets a historical marker.
The art world, and probably the whole world anyway, was stunned at the 'restoration' by of an ecce homo fresco in Spain. As you can imagine, the Photoshopping has just begun: The Atlantic.
The Dixie Theater in Haleyville:
The NYT does a piece with nice slideshow on resort towns' theaters facing the expense of digital projection in order to continue.
(this is the inside, where we had greens and blackeyed peas on New Years' Day 2007 after Av did their annual Polar Bear Dip)
The AP just got around to reporting about the 'Worship at the Water' UMC church meeting at the Flora-Bama. From the article:
If Jesus returned to Earth, he'd probably kick back at the Flora-Bama, said Jack de Jarnette, a founding pastor of the church.
"It's the sort of place he often went and hung out with people," he said. "When you cannot get people to come to church, the alternative is to bring the church to them."
A band in tie-dyed T-shirts played Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," as parishioners gathered underneath an awning adorned with rows of Land Shark beer flags on a recent Sunday. Most wore flip-flops and shorts, but some wore swimsuits.
"If you look closely, you might see a few of the churchgoers having a Bloody Mary or a bushwhacker," longtime bar employee Blitz Poston said. "It's really a wonderful thing that brings together people from all walks of life."
Offerings are collected in neon tackle boxes placed throughout the bar.
Pastor Jeremy Mount wears Mardi Gras beads, shorts, sandals and T-shirt that is fringed around the sleeves.
"There are seven places to drink and no place to worship God on this key," he said. "We feel like God has called us here to be a ministry. Where would there ever be a better place than the world-renown Flora-Bama?"
The new-ish paper hats at The Varsity in Atlanta -- celebrating 80 years of the Varsity Orange, here in Instagrammed fabulosity:
Last month, I had lunch at Bayona -- Susan Spicer's restaurant on Dauphine -- decked out with flags in honor of Bastille Day...
Her signature cream of garlic soup:
...and rather than order an entree, I had an appetizer -- the smoked salmon beignets, which were very, very nice:
I've been a fan of Susan's since walking into her little food emporium called Spice Inc that she had for a couple of years in the Warehouse District. That was *such* a great place. BTW, if you watch Treme on HBO, you already know her as the inspiration for Janette's character. Season three starts September 23:
Many years ago, my friend Joey Brackner, the Executive Director, Alabama Center for Traditional Culture, found a collection of photographs at the Bessemer Flea Market. He donated them to the Birmingham Public Library, and they are now on display through September 14. Well, of course I *had* to see...of the 800+ images, they selected 40 prints for the exhibit -- 'Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1900-1935)'.
From the story:
Mitch Shackelford was born during the Civil War. Adopted by a white family that he reportedly stayed in touch with for many years, Shackelford left home at age 21, eventually going to work for Southern Railroad. He and his wife Geneva moved to Covin, Alabama, in rural Fayette County, where they built a home that housed a couple of generations of Shackelfords. The residence became a boarding house and overnight rest stop for white and black travelers.
The Shackelfords were an oddity in the South in the early 20th century: an affluent black family with voting rights that owned vast quantities of land. Mitch and Geneva's children found wealth by owning and operating syrup mills and sawmills as well as by farming and continuing to purchase land. As an entrepreneurial sideline, they maintained a commercial photography business, primarily making portraits. Clients included black and white area residents. Portraits were taken by two generations of Shackelfords in an era when stereotypical, racist images of blacks were prevalent in society. As noted in the exhibit: "The Shackelford photographs offer a dynamic and rarely seen depiction of the African-American experience in rural Alabama and show black people living full and vibrant lives in the face of the racial and socioeconomic oppression of the Jim Crow era."
The brass band photo that first attracted Nelson to the collection indeed speaks volumes about the Shackelfords and other black residents socializing with whites in Fayette County in the early 1900s. The sign on the bass drum in the picture reads: "Big concert tonight at the Covin School-House given by the brass band beginning at 7:30. Seats for our white friends. Admission only 10 cents."
It was hard to photograph these images well due to the amount of glass, and lighting on the 4th floor, but these were among the best:
K-Paul's in the Quarter -- a blackened fish salad over heirloom tomatoes, then bread pudding for a little treat. And who should walk in but Paul Prudhomme, not to cook, but to visit. While the lunch setup was terribly utilitarian: order at the bar, get your own flatware and napkins, the food was excellent.
Kitchen windows across America have flown up in response to attempts to recreate the blackening that he helped make so popular (a technique with roots that don't run very deep), and his name must bring fear to redfish everywhere, still. It was good to see him.
The NYT ran an article this month about Chinatown in Houston, and one of the restaurants they feature is Crawfish and Noodles (in Saigon Plaza, next to Kim Son): 'It’s probably one of the area’s best-known restaurants, largely thanks to Houstonians’ insatiable appetite for crawfish. The restaurant also tells a story of cross-cultural history: When Vietnamese immigrants landed in the American South in the 1970s and ’80s, they found common ground with gulf shore residents in Cajun cooking — which shares French influences with their own cuisine — and Viet-Cajun food was born.'
here's the article. Yay!!
As always, unless otherwise noted, all images here copyright Deep Fried Kudzu. Ask me before using in any fashion. Thank you.
Very happy about this: last year, I wrote to Governor Bentley about getting a pardon for eight of the Scottsboro Boys. Governor Bentley wrote back to me on April 4, 2011, copying the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. Essentially he said that the Governor's office does not have authority to grant pardons as such, and that the ABoPP would have to take it up:
Well...thanks to the efforts of many, many people, the Governor -- according to the AP -- is looking into alternative ways to grant the pardon, because right now, no one has the authority to grant a posthumous pardon. The legislature will probably have to pass some act in order to accomplish this.
One of my best friends' husband was quoted in the article:
"It's never too late to correct an injustice," said Birmingham lawyer Richard Jaffe, who called the Scottsboro Boys case "a dark blemish on the state of Alabama."
"It's the closest thing I know to a real-life 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' times nine," Jaffe said. "I cannot imagine the state of Alabama not wanting to right a wrong and correct what is obviously a horrific injustice."
Thank you, Richard!
FolkFest is this weekend in Atlanta.
(antique king cake babies I found in a museum:)
From the Times-Pic: 'Two-Story King Cake Baby Sculpture to Blaze at Burning Man' -- it's called 'Bebe Bon Temps Brulee'. Burning Man is August 27-September 3 this year.
Mostly fabulous article at Highbrow Magazine on Why Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Other Literary Luminaries Hated Hollywood:
In the 1940s, Faulkner co-authored screenplays for “To Have and Have Not” and “The Big Sleep” for director Howard Hawks. One famous story involves Hawks, Faulkner, and Clark Gable dove-hunting together in Imperial Valley. When Hawks and Faulkner began discussing books, Gable, doubtlessly the least well-read of the three, posed a naive question: “Mr. Faulkner, what do you think somebody should read if he wants to read the best modern books?” Faulkner named Hemingway, Willa Cather, Thomas Mann, John Dos Passos, and himself as the best living writers. “Oh,” Gable said. “Do you write?” Faulkner’s response: “Yes, Mr. Gable. What do you do?”
Faulkner found Hollywood to be a shallow, uninspiring place. He once told a friend “this is a place that lacks ideas,” Blotner’s biography reports. “In Europe they asked me, what did I think? Out here they ask, ‘Where did you get that hat?’”
Beautiful cotton flowering earlier this month:
Looks like a good crop this year.
SOFAB (Southern Food and Beverage Museum) is moving -- and after they do, just down the street will open the South's largest culinary library, thanks to a partnership with the New Orleans Public Library.
The museum already has more than 9,000 volumes of cookbooks, menus, recipes, archivial documents and other literature about food and foodways of the South that will be housed there.
The collection will not circulate, and will be open to the public, including home cooks and chefs as well as scholars and students...
recipe for it in the T-P from Mammy's Cupboard in Natchez, above (a fine PC, I've had it).
This other article, via Scripps, came out last month, addressing the history of PC:
...Emily Wallace of Raleigh-Durham, N.C. In 2010, Wallace wrote her master's thesis in Folklore at the University of North Carolina on pimento cheese — in particular its beginnings and how it helped shape the society and work roles of the South...
Wallace reports that pimento cheese became widely popular around 1900, probably after being made at home on a small scale long before that.
In these early days, it was a delicacy. Cheddar cheese was expensive. Jarred pimentos were imported from Spain and carried a high price tag as well. The upscale and tasty mixture of the two with homemade mayonnaise and seasonings would be spread on thin slices of white bread with the crusts removed and served to ladies alongside other elegant tea-time nibbles.
The earliest recipe for pimento cheese I could find is from "Dishes and Beverages of the Old South," by Martha McCulloch-Williams, published in 1917.
"Pimento cheese needs to be softened with French dressing (vinaigrette), until like creamed butter," the recipe reads. "The finer the pimento is ground the better. Spread evenly upon the buttered bread, lay other buttered bread upon it, and pile square. When the pile gets high enough, cut through into triangles or finger shapes, and lay under the damp cloth."
The cookbook she referenced above, 'Dishes and Beverages of the Old South' I found available in full, online.
The Mississippi River is *low* -- there are lots of news stories out about it right now (the ACoE had to address salt water from the Gulf coming upriver this week, too).
The WSJ does a piece on Andy Coolquitt of Austin, slideshow here.
...he studied under sculptor Paul McCarthy—but the compound-style home he's building near downtown Austin owes something to that offbeat Texas tradition. He repurposed parts from a merry-go-round for a grand staircase. He dotted an exterior stucco wall with hundreds of beer-bottle tops. He crafted his kitchen's rainbow-hued chandelier by gluing together rows of plastic lighters he found on the streets nearby.
Oh how I love the nicoise salad from his Bottega, above.
Frank Stitt's small series in the WSJ, 'Slow Food Fast'.
Two weeks ago I was there for lunch with some girlfriends, and who was at the next table but Martie Duncan from Next Food Network Star. We tweeted back and forth later, she's great -- and she's working with Alabama Tourism, going around the state for 'Restaurant Week'. You can find out where she is now, on Twitter.
When it comes to Barbecue; New York Just Isn't the South...but the article itself is pretty good.
I try not to read comments on most articles as they're mostly populated by 'topic extremists' but couldn't help myself this time, then regretted it all over again because one of the comments at Eater.com on the article read in part:
"Plus, this is basically a poor person's food, if you are NOT worried about your life in the South when ordering barbecue from some shack, you are probably not getting the good stuff."
Really? Who says/thinks/dreams such a thing as this?
The NYT on the 'Living Walls' art project in Atlanta, to brighten hurting neighborhoods:
The Atlanta-based project, which began last week and ends Sunday, gives 28 artists their own spaces: sides of buildings, foreclosed houses and subway underpasses. All paintings are done with owners’ permission and city permits...
This year, its third, Living Walls has invited only female muralists. The goal is to showcase the creations, in aerosol and latex paint, of women from around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Spain. The project, which includes lectures and parties celebrating street art, is also meant as an alternative to larger conferences, like Art Basel Miami or the Congress for the New Urbanism.
Of course, one of the best things was to spend time in the kitchen, helping with cooking, and visiting while cleaning up afterwards. It's how I learned to make a lot of the dishes I still make to this day -- including this one, that one of my friends and mom called 'pineapple delight' -- which somehow sounds so deliciously retro. Perfect in the summer!
Pineapple Delight, Pineapple Jars
Can be made in an 8x8 pan, or about 8 of the jelly-size Mason jars
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted (although sometimes I use a bit more, use to your taste once mixed w crumbs)
1-1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sweetened whipped cream (so you'll need about 1/2 cup cream to whip to make this in volume + 1 tbsp confectioners' sugar )
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained -- or use fresh that has been marinated in extra pineapple juice overnight so as to make it a little softer and juicier.
In a bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter.
Either completely line the bottom of the pan with the mixture, or divide it evenly among the jelly jars.
In a Kitchenaid or large bowl by mixing by hand, bring together the confectioners' sugar, egg, softened butter, and vanilla.
Spread that mixture on top of the crumb layer.
Whip the cream to medium peaks (between soft and stiff peaks), spread on top.
Sprinkle the pineapple on very top.
Refrigerate at least two hours.
In the 1920s, "Papa John" N. Gavrelos started what would one day become the 'Eye of the World' -- a museum of whittled pieces: biblical structures, American landmarks -- what Ave Maria Grotto is to marbles and bits of tile, Eye is to cigar boxes and crates.
He displayed it in an area built at his J and J Steakhouse at 6685 Eastex Freeway in Beaumont. The restaurant later became Lone Star Steakhouse, then something else, and now it's this sad-looking establishment with part of the sign removed or blown out, the rest with 'Get Your 80s On' and 'Karaoke Fridays at 6'. While the display isn't open, you can get a view of it all through the windows to the outside. Thus, the not-terrific pics I have of it here, on our way back to New Orleans from Houston:
The family has contacted the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, but as of yet -- even though they've put on exhibit part of the work there in the past -- they can't commit to putting it all on permanent display. Here's hoping it finds a good home.
Last month in Houston, we went to the Goode Co. Barbecue on Kirby Drive in Houston (this was across the street at Goode's Armadillo Palace). Giant armadillos forever!
Since this was lunch, we decided to just order one of the large combo plates -- brisket, duck, and the Czech sausage so everyone could share (so many times if we each order something, there is a crazy amount of food left over -- so we've learned that we save money and stop being so wasteful this way). It was all really good!
There were so many places we wanted to try in Houston -- Gatlin's, Tony's, Hugo's, and even Kenny and Ziggy's for deli...but the best place of all I'll save for later this week...
Casting locals was going on in Canton for 'As I Lay Dying' this week.
Fisk was approved (after seven years in court) to sell half ownership rights, $30MM, to its Stieglitz (Georgia O'Keeffe's) collection to Crystal Bridges, which is expected to put it on display in 2013. If you've been following this and know some of the back-story, this may be troubling. On the other hand, it wipes out Fisk's annual deficit and gives it a handsome profit.
This will hopefully be a lesson to lawyers everywhere on maintaining the wishes in perpetuity of generous donors.
Weekend Edition on NPR ran a piece on Goo Goo Clusters; they're celebrating 100 years in 2012.
'Picturing the South' at the High. If you go now, the Amistad Murals from Talladega are on exhibit (thru 9/2).
James Meredith will be at Lemuria Books in Jackson on August 14 to sign his autobiography.
I think calas have been around forever -- they're most well-known in New Orleans, and knowing that Gramma Honey undoubtedly must've enjoyed her share growing up there...
But first, here are the calas...fried rice balls/puffs...I've had at the Old Coffee Pot restaurant (they spell them 'callas' and here, they're a bit too dense/tough) on Saint Peter -- they almost look like really small muffins:
There are two ways to make calas, and one way involves yeast -- I really don't care for making them that way -- and the other is more straight-forward. My favorite recipe is based on Poppy Tooker's (Poppy, you just have to love). Here's Poppy's recipe, and here's mine, which is somewhat different:
Oh! And when I make these it occurs to me that:
a.) To make calas, we are frying a starch (rice)
b.) I'm Jewish; I/we fry a starch (potatoes) and make latkes.
c.) I like the idea of thinking of calas as fluffy, sweet, ricey latkes.
d.) Thus, my recipe for calas -- makes about 15:
2 cups cooked white rice
1/2 cups+ all-purpose flour to get good consistency; not too loose
3-4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
Oil for frying
(Two notes: a lot of people add some nutmeg. If you like nutmeg...but remember, a little nutmeg goes a long way.
Also, I've taken the previous night's Chinese delivery white rice to make these, and they turn out great. So if you have leftover white rice from making, well, anything, you have the start to tomorrow morning's breakfast.)
Combine rice, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and stir in eggs as well.
In a deep-sided pan, add enough oil for frying (but not deep-frying) -- about the same amount as you use for latkes or nice crisp pancakes -- at medium-high heat, just as if you were making latkes or pancakes.
Carefully place spoonfuls of the rice mixture in the hot oil; flip when first side is nicely golden brown. Cook until beautiful on both sides.
Remove from oil and place on plate lined with paper towels to dry.
Over the top (and I like to do this while they are crazy-hot so the sugar melts a little, like in my pic below), sprinkle confectioners' sugar to your liking. Eat them while they're still warm. Delicious: