Food for Faulkner
October 19, 2006 2:27 AM   Subscribe

Food for Faulkner: My boyfriend just suggested we go on a road trip this Sunday to Rowan Oak, Faulkner's old digs, to celebrate his finishing The Sound and the Fury recently. I would like to pack a picnic lunch, or some kind of car-friendly food, and it just occurred to me it'd make me a super duper brilliant girlfriend if I could think of something Faulkner related. Best would be food mentioned in his books, but even something related to Faulkner's life would be cool.

No jokes about bringing lots of alcohol--too obvious! It's late, and I have to work Friday and Saturday, so I'm hoping to come up with a plan by the end of tomorrow. S'why I'm asking for help--any ideas? Thanks in advance.
posted by ifjuly to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When asked about the tools of the writer's trade, Faulkner famously said "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey. "

Tobacco isn't healthy and whiskey's a bad idea if you're driving, but:

A picnic lunch appropriate to a denizen of the Deep South such as Mr. Faulkner would include cold fried chicken, country ham biscuits (if you can't find country ham where you are, you can cheat and use prosciutto, but it's not quite the same thing at all), potato salad, tart cole slaw, pecan or sweet potato pie for dessert, etc.

Ideally you would wash it all down with fifths of bourbon straight from the bottle but that's not a smart play if you're driving, as noted above, so make some sweet iced tea instead. And buy a pack of filterless Luckies to smoke afterwards if you *really* have to have the authentic experience.
posted by enrevanche at 4:31 AM on October 19, 2006

I second the cold fried chicken. In the movie "Barton Fink," Bill Mayhew (the character based on Faulkner), Fink and Mayhew's mistress Audrey have a picnic during which Mayhew gets totally soused. In the scene, Fink is eating fried chicken.

Bonus points if you can sing the song Mayhew sings while pissing against a tree.
posted by Brittanie at 4:42 AM on October 19, 2006

Ever read Sanctuary? How about corn on the cob?
posted by miniape at 4:54 AM on October 19, 2006

Well, in S&F Benjy talks a lot about sassparilla soda, which you probably won't be able to find. A good root beer might substitute.

Whiskey is the quintessential Faulknerian food.
posted by OmieWise at 5:21 AM on October 19, 2006

Hot toddies.
posted by availablelight at 5:32 AM on October 19, 2006

archer farms makes a sarsaparilla soda that you can buy at your local target.
posted by noloveforned at 5:53 AM on October 19, 2006

A fish.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 6:41 AM on October 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

This is completely unhelpful, but you are a wonderful person for attempting this.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:28 AM on October 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

I second Clyde. And Target (here in MN) does have sarsaparilla soda. It isn't refrigerated, though, if that matters.
posted by Yeomans at 8:53 AM on October 19, 2006

> A fish.

My mother is a fish.

posted by jfuller at 11:06 AM on October 19, 2006

Seconding the whiskey.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 11:33 AM on October 19, 2006

A corncob
posted by A189Nut at 11:59 AM on October 19, 2006

There's a picnic chicken recipe in the July/August 2006 issue of Cook's Illustrated. I can't personally vouch for it, but it sounds tasty and their recipes are, if nothing else, exhaustively tested.
posted by clockwork at 12:48 PM on October 19, 2006

You can definitely find sasparilla soda on the road in Mississippi (if not in Memphis). Another thing you can find is damn good food.

Be sure you also visit Graceland Too in Holly Springs. It gives a nice contrast that only Mississippi can offer.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:26 PM on October 19, 2006

If you want to visit the house, call ahead first.
posted by brujita at 10:33 PM on October 19, 2006

pollomacho, graceland too is an institution all its own to all of my friends here. they've got lifetime membership cards in their wallets. the guy who runs it sounds incredibly crazy.

do you know of any specific places to stop for food or the soda? i'd really rather not have to use target soda, y'know? (but i will if i have to...) kinda kills the mood.

brujita, why? the site says it's open from 1 to 4 on there something i should know about? thanks in advance.

you guys are great. the fish comment made me crack a real smile.

i'm beginning to think trying to find The Real Deal in southern food in ms itself is going to be the best bet...but maybe i can bring a sweet potato pie? hm.

thanks again!
posted by ifjuly at 8:58 AM on October 20, 2006

Three years ago, it was closed the day I wanted to visit-- on a day of the week that my guidebook said it would be open...they MIGHT have been renovating, but I don't remember the details of why I couldn't come in.
posted by brujita at 11:54 PM on October 20, 2006

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