Tuesday, May 31

SFA ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP REPORT #1: SARA CAMP ARNOLD


Photograph by Sara Camp Arnold

As part of last week's oral history workshop, participants were asked to create blog posts--short pieces in response to any part of their time spent in Oxford. We will be featuring their submissions here over the course of the next few weeks.

* * *

After learning how to conduct SFA oral histories from Amy Evans Streeter (what a wonderful teacher!), I'm excited to break out my tape recorder and camera and get to work in North Carolina later this summer. But since I'm spending the next two months here in Oxford, our trip to the Farmers' Market also offered me a practical lesson in the possibilities of grocery shopping beyond the Kroger. As a lover of Thai-style green curry, I can't wait to go back to the Farmers' Market for a can of curry paste and some fresh vegetables. I'll simmer the curry paste with coconut milk, mix it with the vegetables and maybe some chicken, and serve it over rice.

SARA CAMP ARNOLD
Folklore, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

Saturday, May 28

HUBIG'S PIE HISTORY FROM UNO STUDENTS


Read the real story behind Hubig's Pies and Simon Hubig of New Orleans.


This is the first in a series of stories from University of New Orleans history students offering invaluable insights into New Orleans’ community. Student researchers are recovering fascinating stories about the city’s past, often drawing upon newspaper articles from The Times-Picayune

For more information about the UNO Community History project, please email Michael Mizell-Nelson: mmizelln@uno.edu

COCHON DE LAIT IN AVOYELLES PARISH LOUISIANA W/ JOE YORK

Team SFA just returned home from a two-day run down to Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, with filmmaker Joe York. This was Joe's third and last trip, in advance of his new film "To Live and Die in Avoyelles Parish," a meditation on the cochon de lait traditions upheld thereabouts.

Asked to explain cochon de lait, more than one of our hosts said, "That's a pig still sucking on his momma." In other words, it's a small, milk-fed pig, prized for its tenderness and flavor. It's traditionally cooked over an indirect wood fire.

In the foreground of this picture you can see Joe, capturing the scene. In the background you can see Conrad Ray, one of our hosts. He keeps a hunt camp outside Mansura, Louisiana, where, over the course of a spring afternoon, he cooked us a pig on a reflective pit of his own divination, rigged with a rotisserie-likie apparatus, fueled by pecan wood.

Joe and I learned much that day and night. At various butcher shops, we learned that gaugs are stomachs. And greads are offal mixes, including lights and livers and such, that you can cook down into a killer gravy and serve over rice.

More important, we learned that the people of Avoyelles Parish are among the kindest hosts we've ever encountered. And they cook some of the best pig we've ever tasted.

Join us at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party on the afternoon of June 12 for the debut showing of "To Live and Die in Avoyelles Parish."

Friday, May 27

MEET LIZ STAGG OF THE FARMERS' MARKET IN OXFORD, MS



As part of this week's oral history workshop, students followed SFA oral historian Amy Evans Streeter into the field to watch her conduct an interview with Liz Stagg of the Farmers' Market Store in Oxford. The purpose of the field visit was to witness Amy's interviewing technique, gain experience in documenting an environment through photographs, and create field notes. After the interview, the group curated photographs, learned how to edit audio files, and worked together to create this short audio slideshow.

Many thanks to Liz Stagg for being such a wonderful host and interview subject.

ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP AT SFA HEADQUARTERS ON THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI CAMPUS


SFA oral historian Amy Evans Streeter just concluded the first annual oral history workshop at SFA headquarters on the University of Mississippi campus. Graduate students from across the region traveled to Oxford to be introduced to SFA-devised methods and practices as they relate to the collection of fieldwork. 

WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS:
Tandra Taylor – Heritage Preservation, Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA 
Nell Knox – Southern Studies, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
Ashley Young – History, Duke, Durham, NC 
Niko Tonks – American Studies, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Qiaoyun Zhang – Anthropology, Tulane, New Orleans, LA
Anne Gessler – American Studies, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Katie Rawson – Liberal Arts, Emory, Atlanta, GA
Sara Camp Arnold – Folklore, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC

In addition to learning the nuts and bolts of collecting and processing oral histories, the group followed Amy into the field to conduct an interview with Liz Stagg, owner of the Farmers' Market store in Oxford. We'll feature the product of that collaboration here soon.

All of us here at the SFA enjoyed hosting this diverse and enthusiastic group. We look forward to hearing tell of the manner in which their workshop experiences influence their academic and personal pursuits. 

Thursday, May 26

FRENCH MARKET'S 25TH CREOLE TOMATO FEST: JUNE 11-12

Click here to see a full schedule of events for this free New Orleans festival, featuring music, children's activities, and all the tomato talk you can handle!

Tuesday, May 24

SOUTHWORD, AN NPR/OA COLLABORATION

What makes bad food so good? NPR's Debbie Elliott and Dave Anderson, filmmaker for Oxford American, have collaborated to explore issues of appetite and health in Holmes County, Mississippi. This film is the first of an ongoing spotlight on the South called Southword. For more info on this NPR/OA collaboration, visit here.

Saturday, May 21

DELTA ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP


This short video is the product of an oral history workshop conducted on May 21, 2011, in Cleveland, MS, by SFA oral historian Amy Evans Streeter, working with members of the New Visions program, a filmmaking workshop organaized by our new collaborators, the Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative (SRBWI).

Friday, May 20

IN FILMIC MEMORIAM: GUS KOUTROULAKIS, 1929-2011




As Joe York crosses the region, surveying the state of Cornbread Nation for the forthcoming Southern Food: The Movie, he trains his lens on remarkable personalities like Gus Koutroulakis, the longtime proprietor of Pete's Famous Hotdogs in Birmingham.  


Sadly, Gus passed away this spring. In remembrance, Joe offers this film, and Amy suggests a read of our 2004 oral history interview with Gus here.

Tuesday, May 17

SOULAR FOOD GARDEN: AUSTIN, TEXAS


Hoover Alexander, SFA member and former board member, talks about his work with the Greater Mount Zion Soular Food Garden in Austin, Texas. The group works to teach and learn about where your food comes from, wellness, and doing good for the community.

Monday, May 16

THE COLOR OF FOOD

The Color of Food is a non-profit initiative that aims to address the lack of voices from Asian, Black, Latino and Native American communities in the dialogue on healthy food and food justice. The hope is that the faces of the food justice movement will represent the communities suffering the injustice.

"We believe the voices from these communities must be heard or we will not have a truly just food revolution. We also believe that the history and stories of many of these farming communities must be preserved and shared widely."

The Color of Food is working in partnership with the Community Vision Council to create an online directory and nationwide map of all farmers, urban growers, food activists, and other food-related initiatives led by people of color and/or communities of color. The directory will allow for easy access by consumers and will also raise a voice for communities of color who are not currently being heard.

Click here to add your farm, business or organization to the network list!

Friday, May 13

CALLING ALL NYC SOUTHERNERS!


HOMETOWN BBQ STORIES @ THE BIG APPLE BBQ BLOCK PARTY, JUNE 11 & 12


You know about our Southern BBQ Trail. You’ve heard talk of our recent collaboration with Broadcastr, the new audio-based social media platform.
To listen to previous audio collaborations between SFA and Broadcastr, click here.
Join SFA in NYC June 11 & 12 when the SFA’s Southern BBQ Trail and Broadcastr come together to collect hometown barbecue stories.
We’re setting up an audio booth at this year’s Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, where we’ll be collecting three- to five-minute audio clips from festival-goer’s about their hometown barbecue.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We’re looking for volunteers to help us collect the stories behind the ‘cue.

Looking for a unique way to help support the SFA?  Interested in meeting fun people and hearing stories about pork, pits, and pie? Have a couple of hours to spare? Then join us in this exciting collaboration with our friends at Broadcastr.

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12, 2011
WHERE: 9th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, Madison Square Park, New York City
HOW: Send an email to Amy Evans Streeter, SFA oral historian, at acevans@olemiss.edu
WHY: To support the SFA, experience Broadcastr, and be a part of collecting the stories behind the food—stories about barbecue!
TIMES: Sign up for one of these timeslots: *SATURDAY AND/OR SUNDAY
SLOT A: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
SLOT B: 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
SLOT C: 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
SLOT D: 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Thanks, in advance, for your support.

See you in the big city!

Wednesday, May 11

EFFECTS OF THE GULF SPILL

photo courtesy of the Associated Press

How were you affected by the oil spill on the Gulf Coast?

The NOAA wants to know. Big things, little things and everything in between. And comments from the public close in one week on May 18. Time's a wastin'! They need your input to report the full scope of damage.

Submit a comment to the NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration here.

Tuesday, May 10

HIGH WATER EVERYWHERE

As the Mississippi River continues to rise, there's much talk in the media about how this natural disaster compares to floods of the past. In Vicksburg, where the river will crest higher than levels seen in the Great Flood of 1927, highways have closed in anticipation of rising waters. The Eagle Lake and Kings communities have been evacuated because access roads will soon be under water, and some industries south of town are having to ferry employees to work. And, though the flooding in Vicksburg is unprecedented and getting lots of media attention, the rising water is causing problems all along the Mississippi River.

In Arkansas, sections of Interestate 40 are closed due to flooding. The trucking industry is being forced to take timely circuitous detours, which -- with the high price of gas -- means that trucked fresh produce will be both less fresh and more expensive. Rice planting in Arkansas is already a month behind, with farmers worrying whether their land will even be suitable for planting when the waters recede. Only 1% of the profitable corn crops planned by Mississippi farmers are in the ground right now. The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation estimates that 900,000 acres of agriculture's most fertile Delta land will be affected by the flooding, causing economic problems for families whose livelihoods depend on farming and impacting all consumers at the cash register.

To monitor the flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers recommends this link.

Monday, May 9

OKRACAST: RITA FORRESTER



Rita Forrester, 2009. Photo by Amy Evans Streeter.


In 2009 Amy Evans Streeter traveled to Hiltons, Virginia, to meet Rita Forrester at her family's Memorial Music Center, aka the Carter Family Fold.  


Rita, granddaughter of A. P. and Sara Carter, is the executive director of the Carter Family Fold. Her mother, Janette Carter, established the Fold in 1974 as a tribute to her father, A. P., who asked her to carry on the family’s musical legacy.   
For thirty years, Janette welcomed friends, family, and strangers to her hometown of Hiltons, Virginia, communing with them over food and song. She sang every song as if it were the first time, and she cooked as if she were at home, making cornbread, soup beans, and homemade cakes to feed the pilgrims who traveled so far to reach the Fold. 
When Janette passed away in 2006, Rita saw it as her duty to try to fill her mother’s shoes—a big job, to be sure, but Rita is, after all, her mother’s daughter. 
Every Saturday night, Rita welcomes people to the Fold with some words about her family, and then she sits in with the band to sing from the Carter Family songbook. Afterwards, she retreats to the kitchen, where she makes sure the cornbread is done, the soup beans are hot, and the cake is sliced and ready to serve. Almost all of the food served at the Fold is made from Carter Family recipes. Rita is committed not only to carrying on her family’s musical legacy, but celebrating their culinary legacy, as well. To her, it’s all connected.
This is a special Carter Family Fold edition of Okracast
Grab some headphones and go! 

AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE SEED COLLECTION

Yesterday on Splendid Table, Lynne Rossetto Kasper spoke with culinary historian, Michael Twitty, regarding his recent partnership with Landreth Seed Company, America's oldest seed company.

On the anniversary of its 225th year, Landreth Seed Company tapped Twitty to assist in assembling their African American Heritage Collection. The fruits and vegetables harvested from these seeds were the dietary staples of the enslaved African American.

What I found fascinating was Twitty's statement that many of these seeds didn't come on ships with the slaves (in fact he said that "rarely was the case.") Instead, the seeds were brought over by slave owners in order to feed the enslaved workforce. The foods were used "to placate, to assuage the process of these people being in exile and being worked...not for their own benefit."

The seed collection gives you a taste of "botanical story of the African American people."

Listen to the interview and then check out the seed catalog.

Wednesday, May 4

LOUISIANA FOODS: RED BEANS, JAMBALAYA...AND BBQ?

Photo credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Circulating through the Louisiana legislature these days is House Bill #294, sponsored by Representative Major Thibaut. It passed the House by a vote of 87-0 on Tuesday, and now goes to the Senate for debate. The bill, if passed by the Senate, will allow the hunting of feral hogs in the state of Louisiana. Specifically, per the language, it will allow the hunting of "non-game quadrupeds" throughout the year, with no permit required. The nuisance animals, whose population is growing, is causing increasing problems for farmers and suburban populations. According to Rep. Thibaut, if his bill passes, the only place feral hogs "will be going is to the skinning shed and the barbecue pit." Louisiana BBQ? Wouldn't boudin be better? Read more details about the proposed legislation here.

Tuesday, May 3

REMINDER: DEADLINE FOR SFA MINORITY SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DUE FRIDAY, MAY 6


May 23-27, the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi will host a week-long oral history workshop. The workshop meets the needs of SFA collaborators in foodways fieldwork.

A minority scholarship for the 2011 Oral History Workshop is available. The scholarship will pay tuition, and a minority scholar will receive up to $500 that may be used for expenses related to travel, lodging, and meals.

Applicants should be full-time students with a strong interest in documentary studies, especially as they relate to foodways. Please submit a letter of interest, as well as one letter of recommendation, to Amy Evans Streeter at acevans@olemiss.edu, to be considered for the scholarship.

Deadline for submissions is MAY 6, 2011.

***

GATHERING THE STORIES BEHIND THE FOOD:
AN ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP
MAY 23-27, 2011
SOUTHERN FOODWAYS ALLIANCE
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF SOUTHERN CULTURE
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI 
DIRECTED BY AMY EVANS STREETER, SFA ORAL HISTORIAN

This workshop is an introduction to SFA-devised oral history methods and practices. The focus will be on digital audio and still photographs, applied to the study of foodways. Workshop participants will be introduced to a variety of fieldwork projects, become familiar with equipment, acquire interviewing techniques, and learn how to process their work.  Participants will conduct their own short interviews, time permitting.
***

Please direct questions to Amy Evans Streeter, (662) 915-5993 or acevans@olemiss.edu

Monday, May 2

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY (NOLA) CALL FOR PAPERS

The Center for the Study of New Orleans and Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing at Loyola University New Orleans invite proposals for scholarly papers to be delivered at our fall NolaLoyola symposium. Every fall, NolaLoyola will serve as a venue for scholars and the community to come together to celebrate and study the culture and history of the Crescent City. The theme for our inaugural program is “Food for Thought,” an examination of the food culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South.


To ensure full consideration by the program committee, please submit a five hundred-word abstract postmarked OR emailed on or before Saturday, June 18, 2011 to the address below. Scholars will be notified of their proposal’s status via email no later than Friday, July 17th. Finished papers should not exceed twenty minutes in length and should be completed and submitted to the panel commenter by September 1, 2011. Please send all questions via email to the appropriate address below in order to ensure a prompt reply.


Make all submissions to:


Sonia Bordes

Department of History – Loyola University New Orleans

Box 191

6363 St. Charles Avenue

New Orleans, LA 70118

stbordes@loyno.edu


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Justin Nystrom

jnystrom@loyno.edu


For more information on the Center for the Study of New Orleans,

please visit our website at www.loyno.edu/csno