Thursday, October 27, 2005

Matzoh Ball Gumbo is in the Attic

Marcie Cohen Ferris' long awaited book, Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South is now at the Attic Gallery.

They are $29.95 each. It will be the perfect holiday gift. You can get your copies now or reserve some for Marcie to sign when she comes home from Chapel Hill (before the holidays).

Here's an excerpt from Publishers Weekly

Many traditional Southern foods—pulled-pork barbecue, crab cakes, fried oyster po' boys, to name a few—violate traditional Jewish dietary laws, which forbid the consumption of pork and shellfish. What's a Southern Jew to do? Anthropological historian Ferris (UNC–Chapel Hill) answers that question in a gustatory tour of the Jewish South. She uncovers many dishes that blend Jewish and Southern foodways (recipes included for such tasties as Temple Israel Brisket and Cornmeal-Fried Fish Fillets with Sephardic Vinagre Sauce). Ferris sees food as a symbol that encompasses the problem of how Jews live in a region dominated by Christians: "The most tangible way to understand Jewish history and culture in the South is at the dinner table." Cynics will wonder if a Jewish kugel (noodle casserole) prepared in the South is really any different from kugel in Chicago. Ferris's answer is an emphatic yes—because Jews in the South face different challenges than those in Chicago. Southern Jews must be more intentional about cooking that kugel and passing the recipe down from generation to generation.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Lesley Interviewed in Jackson Free Press

read the story
Lynette Hanson interviewed Lesley for the current issue of the Jackson Free Press.

An excerpt:

I think of it as a place to nurture the patrons, the artists. It’s always open to looking at new artists. What I find is that some will call and say, ‘Are you not accepting new artists?’ I’ll never do that. When we find someone that fits us like a glove, it works. I will say that I have no interest in expanding, only in bringing art and people together. There’s nothing structured or focused. I’m not structured or focused—what can I say?

read the complete story here.