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This Week's Various

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Hickory Wood for the Pit at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q, Decatur, AL
above: hickory for the pit at the Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur

From The New Yorker: In Defense of True 'Cue, Keeping Pork Pure in North Carolina:

“Southern barbecue is the closest thing we have in the U.S. to Europe’s wines or cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes.” He sees that as stemming from the “fierce localism” that is a part of Southern culture. During my visit to North Carolina, he showed me a map that he sometimes displays while giving speeches; it depicts “The Balkans of Barbecue.”

and more to the point:
...the pledge posted on its Web site, TrueCue.org, says, among other things, “I will not eat meat cooked only with gas or electricity and mislabeled ‘barbecue,’ except when courtesy requires it.” In Dan Levine’s view, “There’s a continuum. We’re not fanatics. We just think there’s one right way to do things. Otherwise, it’s just oven-roasted pork.”

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From the C-L -- Mold Threatened Faulkner Manuscripts:
Mold has threatened some of the University of Mississippi’s most precious possessions — William Faulkner’s original manuscript materials and B.B. King’s personal listening collection.

On Aug. 18, university officials shut down the J.D. Williams Library, where mold had already infected archived volumes of historical manuscripts, newspapers, logbooks and literature.

“Fortunately we’ve not lost any materials,” said Julia Rholes, professor and dean of University of Mississippi Libraries. “Luckily, we caught it early, but not as early as we would like.”


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Preston, Georgia Mural
above: mural in Preston, Georgia

From NPR: Food Podcasts 1.0: These Radio Pioneers Had It Down 90 Years Ago:

Florence Falk, who hosted The Farmer's Wife, gave her audience a taste of farm life by narrating the scenes she spotted through her dining room window and sharing dishes inspired by her Swedish heritage. Adella Shoemaker drew listeners in for a "visit" to her sunroom, reveling in the freedom that the new medium of radio gave her. Birkby says that Shoemaker loved the idea that she could move from kitchen to microphone, appearing before her fans even in an apron splattered with the day's canning. And after a car accident put Leanna Driftmier in a wheelchair, she hosted her popular Kitchen-Klatter from the mini-studio that KMA set up in her house. There, she dished up recipes for Midwestern staples like meatloaf and angel food cake.

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Ans-O-Phone Sign, Birmingham AL
above: the Ans-o-Phone company sign in Birmingham

Friends in tourism, tradition: let's make southern-centric emojis like Finland is doing. Told some Mississippi friends we could do hot tamale, juke joint emojis (I have another hundred ideas). Yesssss.

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Curbed veers off from house-love to this piece on a mind-blowing monument to "one of the 200 white supremacists who rode into the town of Hamburg in 1876, capturing 25 to 30 people and executing six of them" ...whaaa???:

"In memory of THOMAS McKIE MERIWETHER," it reads, "Who on 8th of July 1876, gave his life that the civilization builded by his fathers might be preserved for their children's children unimpaired. In life he exemplified the highest ideal of Anglo-Saxon civilization."

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From the Houston Chronicle: The accidental pitmaster: Leona 'Granny' Ginn and Houston barbecue in the 1930s:

Whatever the cause of the accident, Leona Ginn found herself the single mother of seven children during the depths of the Great Depression. How would she support her family?

The answer can be found in the 1934 Houston City Directory that lists "Leona Ginn (widow Jesse), Green Hut Café, 1805 E. Quitman St."


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Old Monroe County Courthouse - To Kill A Mockingbird
above: inside the Old Courthouse Museum in Monroeville

Ongoing drama in Monroeville over the TKAM play and the museum.

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Paste Magazine with The 14 Best Books About Food That You (Probably) Haven't Read.

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And Andy Bourdain goes to Charleston, talks about how above all things, he discovered the fabulousness that is Waffle House. "Talk about exotica...I had never been."


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Alex Podesta's 'Self-Portrait as Bunnies (The Bathers)' is back at the Jule Collins Smith Museum in Auburn.

Also: John Morgan's new three-dimensional donation box kinetic sculpture, “Artful Dodger.”

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Little River Sock Mill in Fort Payne and Leontine Linens in New Orleans are 2015 award winners in the Martha Stewart Made in America awards.

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The Southern Lit Alliance in Chattanooga starts their 'South-Bound: Distinguished Lectures' with Rick Bragg on January 21 which will include a So Lit Dinner at Easy Bistro for those with VIP tickets. See you there?

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Roll Tide!

Front page of the NYT: Alabama Is Rolling in Cash, With Tide Lifting All Boats. Over the past decade, the success of Alabama’s football program has become a powerful engine for the university’s economic and academic growth.

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At the Sunday NYT Sunday Review Opinion: Sweet Home Mississippi by Richard Grant (which we talked about in the last 'Various').

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Chef Paul Prudhomme's culinary library (including 600 cookbooks, references) will be donated to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

The Observer reports on the opening of the Museum of Food and Drink in New York.

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Knoxville gets a new fried pie shop, Dale's Fried Pies.

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At the James Beard Foundation blog: the the Squid-Ink Tagliatelle from Rolf and Daughters in Nashville with link to recipe.

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Delta Arts Alliance: Kids' Portraits in Front of Ellis Theatre Renovation, Cleveland MS
Portraits children made in Cleveland, MS with help from the Delta Arts Alliance

The Walton Family Foundation is giving $50MM to Teach for America, which means the Delta will be able to get 800 new teachers.

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Trailer for James Franco's 'The Sound and the Fury':



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At Flavorwire, Amazon’s ‘Z’ Introduces Zelda Fitzgerald as a Teen Party Girl:

The most disappointing facet of Z is its dialogue, which is gratingly anachronistic and delivered in a Southern drawl (“That’s why last night was so fun!” Zelda whispers, sounding like she is in an episode of Girls: Alabama). One of the joys of Jazz Age or pre-Jazz Age life was its unique slang, the kind that seems dated now (“tight” meant drunk, and so on). Reading an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, even a dark one, is fun partly because of the hip, poetic way his characters talk. I wish we could see more of this in Z — and frankly, I don’t understand why so many period dramas feel compelled to make their characters talk like they are on a contemporary teen soap (even Mad Men was occasionally guilty of this). Do they think viewers are so simple-minded that we can’t deal with an occasional linguistic throwback?

Note to Flavorwire on just the first point: Zelda grew up in Montgomery, so she likely had an accent
(unless you're saying the actress is doing one of those terrible fake put-ons and then, well, okay.)

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Love that Texas Highways gave eight different categories for Texan comfort food, three of which: tex-mex, chicken fried steak, and kolaches.

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From 'Inside Appalachia': Six Different Ways to Say It: "Ap-pal-atch-un" vs "Ap-pal-ay-shun"


and When in the South, talk like a Southerner from the Washigton Post's advice columnist regarding how to teach children to address adults: Mr./Mrs./Miss Lastname or Mr./Miss Firstname. As for us, we live in a neighborhood with Miss Ann and Miss Betty.

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From Texas Standard: What Would You Want On A Custom Casket? This Texas casket company makes caskets to reflect the life of families’ loved ones, rather than their deaths. (Envision camo and antlers)

The designer, Trey Ganem, says one of his favorites was for Percy Sledge. Oh, and Trey has patented putting cow hide on a casket. So if that's in your plans, Trey's your (only) source.

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Yes they did: Dickey's Barbecue put forth a press release to try to put everyone's mind at ease in regards to eating there in the wake of  the WHO statement on the dangers of eating red meat.

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Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Blue Ridge Parkway

Great news:
88.5 WFDD, the public radio station licensed to Wake Forest University, is partnering with former 88.5 WFDD news director and NPR newscaster Paul Brown to re-launch “Across the Blue Ridge,” a program created by Brown at WFDD in the late 1980s. “Across the Blue Ridge” tells some of America’s most fascinating stories through the lens of Appalachian music and cultural history. It focuses on the southern Blue Ridge region known as a hotbed of old-time, bluegrass, blues, and country music. The show previously ran on WFDD for more than a decade until Brown left WFDD for NPR in Washington, DC.

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Kudzu, Prattville AL
kudzu in Prattville, Alabama

Sheep are chomping the kudzu at Georgia Tech. And the AJC asks:

But wait. Shouldn’t the smart folks over at Tech have a better way of dealing with the invasive plant?

Nope.

“This is not only an effective means of removing pervasive vegetation in an area that is hard to reach, but it doesn’t require the application of pesticides, making it very eco-friendly,” said Anne Boykin-Smith, master planner for Tech’s Capital Planning and Space Management department. “We are looking at other areas on campus that would benefit from this sustainable solution, especially as we continue to develop the campus eco-commons.”


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And the new mayor of Unadilla, Georgia is Myron Mixon.

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The Goo Goo company has rolled out bite-size 'Goo Buttons' and one set in conjunction with Belle Meade Winery which includes flavors like blackberry and muscadine.

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At NPR: How Suffragists Used Cookbooks As A Recipe For Subversion:

Between 1886, when the first American suffragist cookbook was published, and 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote, there were at least a half-dozen cookbooks published by suffragette associations in the country.

These books were the descendants of the post-Civil War charity cookbooks, published to raise funds for war victims and church-related issues.

The suffrage cookbooks came garnished with propaganda for the Great Cause: the fight for getting women the right to vote. Recipes ranged from basic guidelines on brewing tea and boiling rice, to epicurean ones for Almond Parfait and the ever-popular Lady Baltimore Cake, a layered Southern confection draped in boiled meringue frosting.


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The AJC gave The Southern Gentleman 0 of 4 stars:

On my most recent evening at the Southern Gentleman, I happened to overhear the discussion of a couple, recently arrived from a Yankee state, in town to sample our region’s cuisine.

I wanted to send them an urgent telegram across the bar: “Kind Sir and Madam, Please do not believe that our fair city has only this to offer. Please consult with our more seasoned Southern chefs..."


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Olive and Sinclair Chocolate

Olive and Sinclair Chocolates will open a shop in Franklin, Tennessee.

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From Texas Standard: In Amarillo, These Strange Signs are the Center of Debate. The slogan we know is “Keep Austin Weird,” but the debate in Texas right now is how weird to keep Amarillo. (Think Stanley Marsh 3)


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First of all, *who* is doing the Tumblr for Denny's? Because they are a genius. It is exactly, exactly what it should be.

Also: anyone else notice that the floating image of Denny's at the top of that page looks eerily similar to what the IHOP in Meridian looks like right now?

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Mississippi leads the nation for 4th grade gains in the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (the only state with significant gains since the 2013 scores and one of 13 with significant gains in 4th grade reading).

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The Houston Chronicle revisits the Frank Zeni steel Greek temple home and the beer can house:


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An ode to the Puffy Taco from Texas Standard:


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From the NYT: Edna Lewis and the Black Roots of American Cooking: The chef and author made the case for black Southern cooking as the foundation of our national cuisine. Does she get the credit she deserves? (includes a mention of Eugene Walter).

It’s a question that has weighed on Tipton-­Martin for years, as she pored over hundreds of African-American cookbooks to write ‘‘The Jemima Code.’’ She got to speak to Lewis at a food writer’s event and, while still in awe of her, steeled herself to tell her that she was not the only one. ‘‘I told her that I wanted to tell the world that there were more women like her than just her,’’ she said. A while later, Lewis sent her a letter, written on the same kind of yellow legal pad that she used to write ‘‘The Taste of Country Cooking.’’ ‘‘Leave no stone unturned to prove this point,’’ she wrote. ‘‘Make sure that you do.’’

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From the Washington Post: Two planned museums brighten the future of the blues:

Two such museums are breaking ground, starting next year. First up is the National Blues Museum in St. Louis, a 23,000-square-foot facility of mostly exhibition space that will open in early 2016. In late 2017, the Chicago Blues Experience (CBE), a multi-use facility encompassing nearly 56,000 square feet, will introduce visitors to how the blues developed from the Great Migration of African Americans from the deep South to Chicago. It will be housed downtown at Navy Pier.

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Magnolia 1
I lost a shoe to fire ants when taking this picture.

Owner/Chef Mimi Maumus of home.made in Athens, has her recipe for pickled magnolia petals in the NYT T Magazine, and mentions at her site that she makes 'Sewanee bites: cheese straws sandwiched with pimiento cheese, rolled in Georgia pecans'.

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