Tuesday, January 31

Shared Tables: A Triangle Symposium--Feb. 28-29, 2012


Image courtesy of Shared Tables


Shared Tables: A Triangle Symposium on Global and Local Food Studies will provide a forum for local and global experts to explore key issues related to food studies in an inter-disciplinary academic and community gathering. The event will take place on February 28--29, 2012.

The first day of the symposium on Tuesday, February 28, at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill explores key issues related to food and sustainability from a global perspective. Symposium participants from academic, business, social media, and NGO backgrounds will engage in a dialogue about global food realities, including how the globalization of the food supply impacts production, economics, practical solutions, safety, security, and sustainability. Tom Philpott of Mother Jones Magazine will address the audience as the keynote speaker that evening, speaking on the world’s most recalcitrant problem:  how to feed the word in a sustainable manner.

The second day of the symposium on Wednesday, February 29, at Duke University focuses on sustainable food systems and food cultures both nationally and in the local triangle community. We will hear from students, faculty, and local leaders about  policy, grassroots work, and scholarship in food, both in the humanities and social sciences.  Will Allen of  Growing Power will give the keynote address that evening entitled “The Good Food Revolution,” sharing his experience of building urban farms in Milwaukee, Chicago, and beyond.

The symposium is FREE and open to all students, faculty and community members. We are asking attendees to register. Please see registration page for more information. 

Rice Pudding that even Mary Jane would enjoy

Photo courtesy of the Communal Skillet

Our friends at the Communal Skillet are sharing with us poetry and good food this week.  Quoting A.A. Milne (yes, author of Winnie the Pooh fame), they report on poor Mary Jane, a six-year-old who doesn't want rice pudding for dinner again. Of course, had she tried this simple rice pudding recipe from the SFA, she might not have had such a tantrum.  With cinnamon, raisins, and a bit of whiskey, this rice pudding recipe is pleasing to the palate.

Monday, January 30

Hungry People in the Wartime South Ate Rat Pie

The mail is still exciting hereabouts. (We get few junk mail circulars at SFA world headquarters.) Each day, new foodways-focused books and journals cross the transom. If you could join us in the office this afternoon, you could peruse the latest smart offerings. We keep them stacked on the coffee table, within easy reach. Meanwhile, on the bulletin board, we post the most intriguing academic articles.

Earlier this afternoon, I posted an over-the-transom article "Hungry People in the Wartime South," written by Joan E. Cashin of Ohio State University and recently published in Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War's Ragged Edges. (I think that's a crazy-good title, though this reviewer disagreed.)

Dr. Cashin knows how to nail a lead. In that fine essay, she defines hunger by telling the story of Morton, a young white boy from Scott's Hill, Virginia, who curbs his appetite with rat pie, made from filleted rodents, baked in a pan lined with dough. 

On this Monday afternoon, as I look toward dinner and plot a last minute market stop, the reality of war time rat pie resonates. 








Friday, January 27

Southern Six-Pack
















Happy 4709! It's the Year of the Dragon, a dragon with nine sons. At the risk of picking favorites, we here at SFA are partial to the middle child -- dragon number 5 -- because his domain is quietness, sitting, fire, and smoke. Which sounds exactly like a night spent tending a hog with Rodney Scott or Ed Mitchell or Patrick Martin. In the year we turn our attention to all things barbecue, this is the dragon for us!

This week the six pack is full of Southern ex-pats, Southern wanna-bees, the itinerant Southerner and the sassy Southerner. A fiery mix!

1. Sarah Simmons began her New York exile searching for grits. What she found(ed) is a Southern salon where all are invited to partake in the inherent comfort and camaraderie of (mostly) Southern food.

2. John Folse is a grand master of Cajun and Creole cuisine. His friend and business partner, Chicago restauranteur Rick Tramanto, is a grand master of mediterranean inspired molecular cuisine. Their next venture? Restaurant R'evolution opening in April in the French Quarter.

3. Where in the South is Peter Chang? Virginia, mostly. Soon to be full time. Say, "zai jian," Atlanta.

4. Virginia Willis doesn't brook hypocrisy. Especially when it comes from an institution as beloved as National Geographic. She doesn't suffer in silence either.

5. Kat Kinsman traveled all the way to Illinois to be bathed in the smoke of Southern whole hog barbecue. In case you don't know of a hog cooking in your neighborhood this weekend, we suggest you live vicariously through Ricky Parker and Rodney Scott and Sam Jones. We wish we had smell-o-vision.

6. Celebrate the Lunar New Year with sea and salt deviled eggs. Monique Truong leads the way.

Sometimes on Fridays when John T Edge is out of the office, Justin Bieber shows up. This is one of those days.

Wednesday, January 25

Bon Appetit Stirs the Pot

Photograph of Ashley Christensen by Julian Broad for Bon Appetit

When Bon Appetit magazine got wind of all the fun we've been having at the Stir the Pot supper series, they had to travel to Raleigh to check it out for themselves. Writers Matt and Ted Lee and photographer Julian Broad had "One Rowdy Night in Carolina" with Poole's chef Ashley Christensen and guest chef Edward Lee (of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky).

Want to get in on the action? Join us for another helping of Stir the Pot on February 19 and 20 with guest chef Joseph Lenn of the Barn at Blackberry Farm. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. You'll enjoy fantastic food and great company while supporting the SFA's documentary initiatives.

Can't make it to Raleigh? Stir the Pot is coming to Nashville in April, thanks to Tyler Brown and Tandy Wilson. Stay tuned for details.


Tuesday, January 24

Okracast: Desiree Robinson of Cozy Corner in Memphis


Photo by Rien T. Fertel, 2008. 

To kick off SFA's year of barbecue, check out this okracast featuring female pitmaster Desiree Robinson of the Cozy Corner Restaurant in Memphis, TN. SFA first interviewed Mrs. Robinson back in 2002 when the oral history initiative was brand new. Rien Fertel conducted this follow up interview in 2008. 

Family and the restaurant Raymond Robinson built are inseparable. Four generations of Robinsons work at Cozy Corner, opened in 1977. The founder’s daughter Val Bradley oversees operations. Grandson Shun Williams not yet a teenager, works the cash register with great aplomb. And in the business’ third decade, Raymond’s widow Desiree Robinson—though never having done so before—assumed the duty of part-time pit-cook following his passing.

A well-established element of the Memphis barbecue tradition, things are nevertheless done a bit differently here. A Chicagoan, aquarium-style barbecue pit in the front of the restaurant greets customers. Sliced instead of chopped pork dresses the sandwiches and plates. Smoked turkey and barbecued Cornish hens are specialties.

The smoke, the eclectic soundtrack, the family are all testaments to Raymond Robinson’s legacy. Forsaking retirement, Mrs. Robinson vows that she will never stop working at the Cozy Corner. 

This oral history is a part of the Southern BBQ Trail documentary project. Look for more barbecue oral histories from Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina and Kentucky in the coming months. 

Grab some headphones and go! 

Potlikker Film Festival Charleston (A Murderer's Row of Talent)


Wednesday, February 29, 2012
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Culinary Hub Tent @ Marion Square Park
Presented by the Southern Foodways Alliance



On February 29 -- on the eve of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival -- the Southern Foodways Alliance, along with Fatback Collective members, will pitch their tent in Marion Square Park.

The SFA documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. The Fatback Collective is a cadre of the region’s civic-minded food folk.
Together, they will serve up: Honest food. Hip films. Good company. Porgy Tosses.

Leading the way will be:
Sean Brock, Husk, Charleston, SC
Drew Robinson, Jim ‘N Nicks Bar-B-Q, Birmingham, AL
Jeremiah Langhorne, McCrady’s, Charleston, SC
Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC
Samuel Jones, Skylight Inn, Ayden, NC
Donald Link, Link Restaurant Group, New Orleans, LA
Rodney Scott, Scott’s Barbecue, Hemingway, SC
Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon, New Orleans, LA

Here’s half the menu. The other half is a secret:
Potlikker, perfumed with Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Ham
Rappahannock River Oysters, bathed in barbecue sauce
Fatback Pig Project Berkshires, cooked Alabama Asado style
Border Springs Lambs, cooked Williamsburg (County) style

To drink:
Brown whiskey drinks, shaken to a froth by LeNell Camacho Santa Ana, mistress of cocktails for Little Donkey, straight outta Birmingham, Alabama

On the screen:
Joe York-directed SFA-produced films:
Cured, a hymn to Tennessee ham and bacon man Allan Benton
Dori, a profile of South Carolina peach farmer and novelist Dori Sanders
Eggers, a tale of harvesting paddlefish for their roe on the Mississippi River
Deadliest Throw, a glimpse at the Interstate Mullet Toss on the Alabama-Florida border
Pride & Joy, a prequel to the hour-long SFA opus on Southern food culture

Tickets, priced at $75 per person, include food, drink, and films, and are ON SALE NOW. A generous percentage of the proceeds will be benefit local nonprofit Charleston Chefs Feed the Need. Tickets are available by advance purchase only. Snap them up quickly; last year, they sold out in 4 days. Click here to buy. Email here with questions.


Mmmm...Mmmm. Mac and Cheese

Photo courtesy of the Communal Skillet

This isn't the powdery orange mac and cheese that comes in the box.  This isn't even the "high-class" boxed mac and cheese that comes with the squeeze pouch.  This is really good mac and cheese for grown ups, and discriminating kids.  Our friends at the Communal Skillet loved it, but do have some recommendations for readers who want to try it on their own.  One recommendation, nearly universal for all SFA recipes, is "add bacon."  The other is a conversation about thickening the sauce to your liking.  Both sound like terrific tweaks to us, though the original recipe is good all on its own.

Monday, January 23

Brown Bag: Screening Leaves of Greens

Center for the Study of Southern Culture Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture Series presents:

Leaves of Greens: A Collard Opera

A Screening and Conversation with Price Walden, Natalie Chanin, and Amanda Johnston
Wednesday, January 25, 12:00p.m.
Barnard Observatory, University of Mississippi


Last October, at the SFA's annual Southern Foodways Symposium, we witnessed the first (and only) performance of Leaves of Greens: A Collard Opera.

A short history of this opera:
Early in the year, we had this crazy--nay, brilliant--idea that an opera could be written using a collection of poems entitled Leaves of Greens: the Collard Poems, published in 1984 by the annual Ayden Collard Green Festival in North Carolina. So we asked University of Mississippi Assistant Professor Amanda Johnston what she thought. She not only agreed, but also suggested the perfect composer: a 19-year-old undergraduate student (and composing phenom) at the University of Mississippi, Price Walden. And he agreed to do write it. Professor Johnston produced a cast of undergraduate UM students to sing. Finally, we asked renowned clothing designer, Natalie Chanin, if she would design costumes for an opera about collard greens, which she did in a most breath-taking and extraordinary way.

All of that came together on a Sunday morning in Oxford, Mississippi, to the delight and awe of every seat in the house. Truly, it cannot be adequately described by words. Good thing we taped it.

On Wednesday, January 25 at noon, all of these parties will be on hand to talk about Leaves of Greens and to host a viewing of the performance. We hope you'll join us.

Friday, January 20

SOUTHERN SIX-PACK


If you don't subscribe, you should go out in search of the February issue of Bon Appetit and the February/March issue of Garden and Gun. Each explores the places, ingredients, and people who are making (and eating) great Southern food. And, in its own way, each publication is asking and (sort of) answering the question, "What is Southern food?"

We wrestle that particular question a lot around these parts. No more so than this week when the news of Paula Deen's type 2 diabetes is once again making Southern food sound like something to be avoided (I'm looking at you, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Chile Cheese Sauce.) rather than celebrated (I can't wait to take you home, Chicken and Dumplings.)

1. Hugh Acheson makes the case for Southern food without a beginning or an end. At least not an any-time-soon end.

2. Ed Helms waxes nostalgic about Southern food and elevates the boiled peanut. We encourage nostalgia. We love a boiled peanut. But we like to live in the now. Seriously, Ed, step away from the fryer.

3. Paula Deen has type 2 diabetes. In fact, she's had it for 3 years. She announced her illness and her new job as a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk this week.

4. The fall-out from that announcement was quick and furious. Marion Nestle of Food Politics and Tom Philpott of Mother Jones offered two of the more reasoned and thoughtful criticisms.

5. Nancie McDermott and John Birdsall write in defense of Deen.

6. Of course there's this. It's not for Paula or against her. It just is.




Thursday, January 19

This Bacon is Making Me Thirsty

I interrupt this regularly scheduled "Thirsty Thursday" post to talk bacon.

photo courtesy of baconhalloffame.com

I sometimes have this nagging voice in my head that says, "enough with all this bacon talk." I quickly shut it up by feeding it more bacon. There is a bacon mania going on; admit it. As if they were reading my mind, the good people Food & Think blog posted this on Tuesday, "Why Are We So Crazy for Bacon?" They got way further in their research than I had (maybe they ran out of bacon?), and I think you should read it.

In Joe York's recent film, Cured, Allan Benton talks about why they made bacon and cured ham in the hills of Virginia. Growing up, Benton's family lived nowhere near a store. They grew and raised everything they ate. They preserved their pigs like this so they could be eating pigs year-round without the fear that it would "turn." I hadn't really considered that option. I like a little history with my food. And vice versa.

Let me for the record state: I DO love bacon. I DO endorse eating it in moderation. I do NOT have diabetes. Too soon?

I also humbly suggest you take a minute to watch Cured. And then watch Jim Gaffigan's bacon bit (pun intended).




And if you are bathing with bacon soap, just stop it.

Wednesday, January 18

Florida Barbecue




A cook preparing ribs and chicken for barbecue during the Kissimmee River boat-a-cade: Kissimmee River, Florida - 1954

Via State Library and Archives of Florida's FlickR page

 * * *

We're gearing up for our year of barbecue programming and just came across this fabulous collection of images from the State Library and Archives of Florida. Check out this in-the-ground pit from an 1886 Masonic picnic in Kissimmee.

Makes us want to hustle to the Sunshine State to collect some oral histories.

Speaking of oral histories, we're adding a bunch of new fieldwork to our Southern BBQ Trail. Look for interviews from Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Kentucky to be added real soon.

Meantime, keep your eyes peeled for a season of blog posts about all things barbecue, and keep your ears peeled for our first Okracast of 2012, which will air later this week: Desiree Robinson of Cozy Corner in Memphis, TN.

Grab a napkin and go!

Tuesday, January 17

Chicken and Roasted Root Vegetable Pie

With cold winter weather settling down upon much of the South (it is late January, after all), the temperature is right for a warm, easy-to-assemble recipe that is filling and delicious. Our friends at the Communal Skillet have found just that in the chicken and roasted root vegetable pie recipe offered in the SFA Community Cookbook. Their experience cooking this dish is related here.  In addition to sharing the recipe, they also endeavor to answer questions about the difference between chicken pot pie and chicken pie.  They were most successful in the first endeavor, as you'll see.

Monday, January 16

An Ode to Fat: Schmaltz, Salt Pork, Olive Oil & Ghee in Lowell, MA

The South is not the only region where fat is revered. Home cooks around the world rely on that essential ingredient to enhance flavors. 

At Ode to Fat, set to be staged January 20 at Lowell National Park in Lowell, MA, thinkers and cooks will explore four types of fat with deep cultural associations in that region: schmaltz, the poultry fat used in Jewish cooking; salt pork, the French Canadian ingredient so critical to fresh-made pork scrap and baked beans; olive oil, the staple of Greek and Italian cooking, and ghee, the clarified butter used in South Asian cuisine.  

Along the way, they'll share family recipes, traditions, stories, and religious associations surrounding these fundamental culinary fats.

This program is part of the Lowell Folklife Series and is sponsored by Lowell National Historical Park.

Photo of freshly-rendered Tennessee lard, courtesy of SFA friends Angela and Paul Knipple

Thursday, January 12

Last Sip of Dublin Dr. Pepper

photo courtesy of soda-emporium.com

If you're a Pepper, then you've probably already heard the news. In the Dallas Observer yesterday, the announcement came that Dublin Dr. Pepper was no more as of 5:00p.m. CST (yesterday).

The case between Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (the parent company of Dr. Pepper) vs. Dublin Bottling Works settled, with an outcome pretty grim for the Dublin side. The latter will continue to manufacture other drinks (all with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar, like Dublin Dr. Pepper), but closing this arm of their operations means big loss. According to the article, "sources [say] 14 out of Dublin Dr Pepper's 40 employees, who worked in the warehouse, have been let go due to the terms of the settlement agreement."

As I learned back in July, Dublin Bottling Works [was] the oldest bottler of Dr. Pepper and one of the few still using the original formula with pure-cane sugar. The corporate offices filed suit against the small, family-owned bottler for putting their own name on the bottle and for selling the soft drink outside of the approved territory.

The corporate office said they will continue to make pure-cane sugar Dr. Pepper at their Temple plant, and "it will still be bottled and canned in distinct, nostalgic packaging." However, it will no longer reference Dublin on the label.

If you've got a sweet spot for Dublin DP, now is the time to move. But I'm guessing the only place you'll be able to find a Dublin-labeled Dr. Pepper is eBay.


Read the story in the Dallas Observer.

Wednesday, January 11

BID EARLY. BID OFTEN. BID HIGH.

We're extending our pre-auction bidding for Taste of the South. See a package you're interested in? Send your bid via email to Melissa Hall at sfaevents@olemiss.edu by 5:00 pm (EST) on Thursday, January 12. Remember, minimum bid is FMV and your email should include your maximum bid as well as complete credit card information. Melissa will call you on the 17th to let you know if you won!

Photos © Beall + Thomas Photography

Taste of the South ll Blackberry Farm ll January 12-15, 2012

Last year, dollars raised at Taste of the South helped initiate a number of key projects. This school year, buoyed by your support, we hired our first post-doctoral foodways fellow and began offering graduate level foodways classes.

Friends of the SFA who are unable to attend Taste of the South at Blackberry Farm, but who would like to bid on one of the items in the auction catalog, may do so. Here's how it works:

Send your maximum bid for an auction package to Melissa Hall at sfaevents@olemiss.edu, along with your credit card number, expiration date, security code, mailing address, and phone number no later than Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at Noon CST. Be sure to designate which auction package interests you when you submit your maximum bid. If you do not feel comfortable sending your credit card information via email, please leave this information on Melissa's private voicemail at 662-915-3366. All information must be received by the SFA by the January 11 Noon deadline for auction bids to be accepted.

Fair market value is the minimum for any bid; the maximum bid is up to you and your pocket book. If you bid $5000 and at the end of the auction the highest bidder at Blackberry Farm bids $4500, then you will win the item. If bidding at Blackberry exceeds $5000, you will not win the item. On January 18, Melissa Hall will call SFA friends who placed proxy bids to let them know if they have won the item.

BID EARLY. BID OFTEN. BID HIGH.

Generous Bidding is good for the SFA, and it’s good for the bidder, too. According to the IRS, donors who purchase items at a charity auction may claim a charitable contribution deduction for the difference between the fair market value of the item and the purchase price.

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your bidding!

Quilting for a Cause: Natalie Chanin's SFA Quilts

Natalie Chanin has designed a beautiful quilt for this year's Taste of the South auction. Read all about her quilting here, on the New York Times blog.

Tuesday, January 10

SALTY AND DELICIOUS: COUNTRY HAM WITH RED EYE GRAVY


Our friends at the Communal Skillet have tested one of SFA's favorite recipes: country ham with red eye gravy.  What's country ham?  Salt cured ham, occasionally smoked, created before the days of refrigeration to extend the shelf life of the pork.  Some of SFA's favorite country hams are cured by friends who also cure bacon -- see our bacon oral histories to find a few ham curers (conveniently, many places cure both items) if you get a hankering for ham after reading the Communal Skillet's recipe.

Monday, January 9

Book History Colloquium March 1 at Columbia University

Food for Thought: Building Research Collections for Food Studies. That's the focus of a March 1 book history colloquium at Columbia University, featuring Marvin J. Taylor of NYU.

Between 2003 and 2011 the Food Studies collection at NYU's Fales Library has grown to be the largest collection about food in any research library in the U.S. Marvin J. Taylor, director of the Fales Library and founder of the food studies collection will discuss how the collection developed, how it differs from other collections of food materials, how it is being utilized, and the current status of food studies collections across the country.

Taylor has been in the field of rare book and manuscripts for more than 25 years. In addition to the food studies collection, he has also built the Downtown New York Collection, which documents the
downtown arts scenes from 1974-the present. He has written widely and well on bibliography, gender, and queer theory. He is editing The Cookbook Book: 101 Great American Cookbooks of the 20th Century, which will be published in 2012.

APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHING: 2012 ORAL HISTORY INTERNSHIPS

True to our mission, we are as committed to teaching as we are to documenting. In an effort to mentor students in the field of oral history, we offer scholars the opportunity to visit SFA headquarters at the University of Mississippi to learn SFA-devised methods and practices as they relate to the field.

Internships are available to current graduate and undergraduate students who already have basic fieldwork experience via the classroom or personal projects.

Applications are due FEBRUARY 1, 2012.

Visit the Internship page on our website for details on how to apply.

Friday, January 6

BID EARLY. BID OFTEN. BID HIGH.

Photos © Beall + Thomas Photography

Taste of the South ll Blackberry Farm ll January 12-15, 2012

Last year, dollars raised at Taste of the South helped initiate a number of key projects. This school year, buoyed by your support, we hired our first post-doctoral foodways fellow and began offering graduate level foodways classes.

Friends of the SFA who are unable to attend Taste of the South at Blackberry Farm, but who would like to bid on one of the items in the auction catalog, may do so. Here's how it works:

Send your maximum bid for an auction package to Melissa Hall at sfaevents@olemiss.edu, along with your credit card number, expiration date, security code, mailing address, and phone number no later than Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at Noon CST. Be sure to designate which auction package interests you when you submit your maximum bid. If you do not feel comfortable sending your credit card information via email, please leave this information on Melissa's private voicemail at 662-915-3366. All information must be received by the SFA by the January 11 Noon deadline for auction bids to be accepted.

Fair market value is the minimum for any bid; the maximum bid is up to you and your pocket book. If you bid $5000 and at the end of the auction the highest bidder at Blackberry Farm bids $4500, then you will win the item. If bidding at Blackberry exceeds $5000, you will not win the item. On January 18, Melissa Hall will call SFA friends who placed proxy bids to let them know if they have won the item.

BID EARLY. BID OFTEN. BID HIGH.

Generous Bidding is good for the SFA, and it’s good for the bidder, too. According to the IRS, donors who purchase items at a charity auction may claim a charitable contribution deduction for the difference between the fair market value of the item and the purchase price.

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your bidding!

SOUTHERN SIX-PACK


A new year and a new look for the Six-Pack thanks to our friend Emily Wallace. Emily wrote a masters thesis about pimento cheese, bakes a mean biscuit, and paints a little on the side. We're very grateful to have her at the SFA table!

1. The New York Times celebrated the holidays by showing lots of love for Southern food and drink. Farmers, bourbon, and sorghum all got their due.

2. The Girl Scouts begin their annual effort to destroy your healthful resolutions. There's a new cookie in the box, Savannah Smiles (to honor Savannah, Georgia's own Juliette Gordon Lowe, Girl Scout's founder) plus, most Girl Scout cookies are baked in Richmond, Virginia or Louisville, Kentucky making this yearly treat a very Southern experience! Don't know a Girl Scout? There's an app for that. Download the Cookie Finder to locate the closest seller.

3. Monday night's match-up between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers marks the end of the 2011 college football season. Toast its passing with the Les is More or the Houndstooth created by Lu Brow of the Swizzle Stick in New Orleans, LA and LeNelle Smothers of Little Donkey in Homewood, AL to honor the home team. Those of you with a more ecumenical bent might want to go ahead and try both.

4. Joe York has a new movie, Eggers. After you watch it, you'll be glad that Marcelle Bienvenu reminded you about how to cook with caviar.

5. Nathalie Jordi compiled her annual Top 10 List. Check it out. You'll see it's way closer to a Top 100 list. It's full of places to visit, dishes to savor, and folks to meet in 2012.

6. The Charleston City Paper waited until December 28 to publish their 2011 How-To Guide. Too much here for to cram into the last four days of the year. Think of it as your 2012 bucket list.

Then there's this.


Thursday, January 5

DRINKING 'LIKKER

Photo courtesy of April McGreger/grist.org

Over the holidays, I had well-meaning intentions to post about eggnog and liquid gifts and other time appropriate information. But limited access to The Internets and the imbibing of aforementioned refreshments resulted in blog silence (on Thirsty Thursdays, at least).

So, I must press on and leave the holiday drinks in the past. Except, then there's new year's day. I'm guessing you made some sort of greens for your new year's supper. Did you "accidentally" pour out the beautiful green liquid the greens bathed in? Potlikker, that is. I'm not going to shame you for your past mistakes. But here's what to do next time you cook up (er, down?) a pot of greens.

1. Drink it. That delicious green nectar is good for the body and soul. We suggest taking shots of it with your guests. You can literally "drink to your health." Cheers!

2. Make fish stew. Drop fish of your choice in simmering potlikker and cook until fish is flaking. The good people at Zingerman's Roadhouse do this. And serve it over grits. Dang, son!

3. Make dumplings. There's a recipe for Corn Dumplings in the Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook, in which Flavius B. Hall recommends simmering dumplings in potlikker. If you don't have the cookbook, then get to your local bookstore. Stat. In the meantime, Anson Mills shares a recipe for Collard Greens and Cornmeal Dumplings on their site.

4. Poach eggs. A little extra flavor and vitamins never hurt anyone.

5. Freeze it. Don't need it right now? Next time you use a recipe calling for vegetable stock, you'll have a ton of gorgeous broth waiting for you.

No? Just want a drink recipe, already? Alrighty then.

Potlikkertini

A touch of vermouth
3 ounces warm potlikker
1 1/2 ounces Pepper Vodka (it's easy to infuse your own, but Absolut Peppar is fine)

Rinse your glass with vermouth. Mix the vodka and potlikker. Add a bacon garnish.

(recipe courtesy of Lucindaville.com)

Wednesday, January 4

BOUDIN EXHIBIT TRAVELS TO ABBEVILLE, LOUISIANA

Boudin, the traveling exhibit inspired by our Southern Boudin Trail, heads to Abbeville, Louisiana. The exhibit will be on view at the Vermillion Parish Library from January 16 through February 8, 2012.

Grab a link and go!

* * *

If you're interested in hosting the exhibit, please contact Georgeanna Chapman.

Tuesday, January 3

THE ANTI-RESOLUTION: DEEP FRIED BACON

It's been awhile since we visited our friends at The Cookbook Blog, but--amidst all the talk of New Year's diets--it's hard to resist sharing this SFA recipe.  It's an instant resolution buster--if your resolution happens to be one of the most popular in the country: losing weight.  Diets can wait until after LSU and Alabama play for the national championship.  Until January 9, invite over some friends and enjoy a few batches of deep fried bacon (in moderation, of course) to psych yourself up for months of salads and exercise.

Monday, January 2

Center for the Study of Southern Culture on Tumblr

Our parent organization, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, inspired the SFA. 

Many of the SFA's employees got their educations at the Center. Barnard Observatory, the Center's HQ, is our home, too. (An architectural rendering of the building is above. See the middle tower? That's where SFA staff works.)

We know our audience. You're hip to our Twitter feed, and you follow us on Facebook, Flickr, and Broadcastr. But we're betting many of you might not follow the work of the Center closely.

Becca Walton, the newly hired associate director of the Center, is here to help you out. She maintains a Tumblr site where she posts recently completed student and faculty work. It's worthy of your attention. 

Up top right now is a film, produced by Center graduate student Camilla Aiken. Called "We Didn't Get Famous," it documents the Southern independent music scene of the 1980s.