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Kentucky Yeast Rolls

4 Sep

Boone Tavern’s Yeasty Rolls
This recipe was developed by Richard T. Hougen, who managed Boone Tavern in Berea, Kentucky, from 1940 to 1976.
3 cups flour
1 tsp. fine salt
1 cup whole milk
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, diced
4 tbsp. sugar
1  1⁄4-oz. package active dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, sift flour and salt; set aside. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat milk to 180°. Add 4 tbsp. of the butter and 1 tbsp. of the sugar; stir. Let milk mixture cool to 115°. Stir in yeast and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar; stir to dissolve. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture; stir to combine. Stir in eggs and knead with the mixer, using the dough hook, on medium speed until dough forms into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 6–8 minutes. Grease a large bowl with the oil; nestle dough inside. Cover bowl with a towel; let rise in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.

2. Grease a nonstick muffin pan with remaining butter. Divide dough into 12 equal-size pieces. On a cutting board, cup your hand over 1 dough piece; gently roll it against board to form a smooth ball. Repeat with remaining pieces. Divide dough balls between muffin cups. Cover with a towel; let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes. Uncover; let rise until 2″ above the pan, about 1 1⁄2 hours more.

3. Heat oven to 400°. Bake the rolls until puffed and light brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool slightly in the muffin pan before serving.

 Recipe from

Oxford American Announces NOLA Event

4 Sep

UGA Press has another winner with “Dixie Emporium”

4 Sep

Dixie Emporium
Tourism, Foodways, and Consumer Culture in the American South
Edited by Anthony J. Stanonis

A region explained through its tourist attractions and souvenirs This collection of ten essays focuses on how southerners have marketed themselves to outsiders. The cultural ironies and contradictions that have arisen from southerners’ efforts to commodify their identity reveal regional anxieties about consumerism, tourism, and memory.

The book’s first section looks at southern souvenirs as abstractions of regional culture. Essays on such topics as Confederate imagery on consumer goods and the tacky figurine known as the Horny Hillbilly unpack the often incongruous meanings bestowed on souvenirs by their owners. Locales like Branson, Missouri, and the South of the Border tourist complex in South Carolina are discussed in the second section’s essays, which consider how tourist sites can both exploit and depend on local culture. Recognizing the deep cultural meanings associated with food and eating, the final group of essays looks at the Krispy Kreme donut franchise, the themed Baltimore eatery Café Hon, and other manifestations of southern foodways.

Viewing a region often at odds with itself on matters like race and religion, Dixie Emporium identifies spaces, services, and products that construct various Souths that exaggerate, refute, or self-consciously safeguard elements of southernness.

Anthony J. Stanonis is a lecturer in modern U.S. history at Queens University, Belfast. He is the author of Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945 (Georgia).

Richard’s Rainwater

4 Sep

I watched a feature on Food Network last night about a company called Richard’s Rainwater. They collect rainwater in the Texas Hill Country, filter it, and sell it. They also sell tanks if you want to collect and filter it yourself. Really interesting concept. The water is said to be very sweet and mineral free.

Here’s the story of how they got started:

When my wife and I moved out to Dripping Springs, Texas, we heard rumors about people who relied on rainwater collection for their entire household needs. We lollygaged around, slowly gathering information about rainwater harvesting “for sometime in the future.” Then we had our well drilled . After one taste of that stinky water, our research efforts into rainwater collection went into hyper-drive. We frantically installed gutters, bought and set our tank, and ran piping hither and yon. In the meantime, all that lovely calcium was building up on our faucets, our sinks, and us. Our hair stood out like fright wigs.  We always felt sticky, even right after a shower.  And our clothes?  We could stand our blue jeans up in the closet like mannequin bottoms.  It would’ve been funny if we hadn’t started smelling so bad.

We plugged into our rainwater system in August, 1994, and after that our water smelled sweet and had a hardness of ZERO. Our hair relaxed. We could actually fold our clothes without snapping them in two. Best of all, our friends began to include us once again in their intimate dinner parties.

Of course, we started bragging about our water to neighbors and word spread. Some people wanted rainwater–The Gold Standard–but wanted nothing to do with the installation of the tanks, plumbing, gutters, pumps, and filters; so I began installing turn-key systems as well as assisting do-it-yourselfers.  Before you could say “Holy Entrepreneur!”, Tank Town was formed and I elected myself Mayor.

Since then I’ve installed hundreds and hundreds of rainwater collection systems here in the Texas Hill Country and sold thousands of our books and videos to eager do-it-yourselfers. In 1999, we bought eight acres three miles west of Dripping Springs and set up Tank Town World Headquarters, home to our award-winning bottling plant (where the first and only bottled rainwater in America is produced) and the Tank Town General Store (where customers can pick up necessities from a case of filters to a Grundfos pump). Tank Town is also home to a field of lavender and rosemary, six popular Purple Martin houses, and a resident flock of chickens, ducks, turkeys, and guard geese.

Brian Wilson Releases “Lucky Old Sun” CD

4 Sep