There's a whole lotta celebrating going on in Memphis this week during Elvis Presley Week 2013! The annual event, commemorating the death of this favorite son of the South, is hardly a somber event. Instead, it's a celebration of the King of Rock-n-Roll's life... his music, movies and legacy. One of the biggest Memphis events of the year, it's a lot of fun and a little over the top... kind of like Elvis himself.
Growing up in a house where Elvis was a constant presence, either watching his classic, campy movies or listening to his velvet voice on the good old record player, he made for a lot of good memories for my family. I can still sing most of his songs and my 21st century kids can also sing their fair share. Today, to honor the one and only Elvis Aaron Presley, The Southern Coterie gals offer up their favorite songs, a favorite memory and an Elvis inspired recipe.
Inspired by the Elvis Panini served at The Patterson House in Nashville (www.thepattersonnashville.com) via Rebecca Crump (www.ezrapoundcake.com)
4 slices sourdough or French bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Peanut butter, to taste
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
1 ripe banana, sliced
1. Place the bread on a baking sheet, and brush each slice with butter.
2. Flip the slices over, and spread them with peanut butter.
3. Arrange the bacon on half the bread slices.
4. Divide the bananas evenly on top of the bacon, and cover with the remaining bread slices.
5. Preheat the panini press to medium-high heat, and grill the sandwiches until the bread is toasted, about 3 minutes.
6. Heat a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the pan, and weigh them down with another pan or a plate with 2 cans of soup on top. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, carefully flip the sandwiches, re-weight them, and cook for another 2 minutes.
Whitney’s Elvis memory:
We all have them – pivotal moments and events that are etched in your mind and you can remember exactly where you were when you heard the news. News like President Kennedy’s assassination, the Challenger space shuttle explosion, the Towers falling and terrorist attacks of 9/11, the death of Princess Diana and for my family, the untimely death's of Paul "Bear" Bryant and of course, Elvis.
We were all Elvis fans in our house, especially my mom, but then what mom of this certain generation was not? Earlier in the year, she had tickets to see him in concert in Montgomery, AL, with some girlfriends. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to attend and then all too soon, mere months later, he was dead at the age of 42.
Here's the scene: family vacation, August 16th, 1977, Chattanooga, TN, at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel. We were getting ready to go out and the television was on. We all heard the news except my mom who was still getting ready. My dad went to tell her and she came, sat down at the foot of the bed and cried, a piece of her history gone. She was stunned. We all were. After watching the news a while she turned to my dad and asked if we could drive to Memphis. Of course we didn’t – who would want to do that with a three young children in tow? But when I think back to that now, how cool would it have been to go on a pilgrimage to Graceland the day the King died?
Whitney's favorite song(s): American Trilogy (70’s Elvis) and All Shook Up
Cheri's Elvis memory:
We have a high school sorority called Pirates of the Spanish Main in the Golden Isles and when you are being initiated there is a talent show where you perform and two of my skits that I remember were performing Don’t Be Cruel as well as I remember rapping Beastie Boys. Attending Ole Miss, it is a rite of passage I think to head over to his home, the Graceland Mansion, and check out his amazing car collection.
Cheri’s favorite song: Don’t Be Cruel (50’s Elvis)