Celebrate Elvis' 76th Birthday with a Feast Fit for the King

I'll never forget my first trip to Graceland. Memphis is a magical city in and of itself -- Civil War sites, steamboats, Beale Street, the Smithsonian Museum of Rock & Soul, amazing meals at the Inn at Hunt Phelan -- but there's something about the great, haunting magnetism of Graceland, how it draws people from the other side of the world, that will fascinate even the most jaded among us.

I developed a new appreciation for Elvis Presley on that trip, one that hasn't faded in the five years since. This Saturday, January 8, would have been The King's 76th birthday. I can picture the pilgrimages people are making to Memphis right now, weeping and wailing at his grave site outside the modestly sized mansion, and although I have no interest in being a part of that madness, it's a great opportunity to fête Elvis at home with a feast fit for The King.

It's no secret that Elvis loved food. Why he isn't more of a food icon (in addition to being the musical icon) comes down to the sad fact that the food he loved is more of the Paula Deen variety than the Julia Child persuasion. You shouldn't expect the following Elvis feast to be remotely healthy.

But don't fret: You can work it all off by dancing to "Hound Dog" and "Suspicious Minds" later on.

Although Graceland was stocked to the gills with cookbooks in its gift shop, I didn't buy a single one of them. I regret that to this day. Luckily, there is a great site that's compiled some of Elvis' favorite recipes and foodstuffs under one digital roof, including a grocery list of items that had to be kept at Graceland at all times.

From that site and a few others, here's a menu for your Feast Fit for The King. Click on each item for the recipe.


Fried Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches (cut like petit fours, to be all elegant-like)

Main Course:

Cathead Biscuits (served with Smoky Mountain Gravy) Potato-Cheese Soup Fried Okra Barbecued Bologna


Pound Cake

This'll make a lot of food, folks. Invite your friends. Just make sure they're all Elvis fans; it's not a celebration if they aren't. Crank his music up and pop in that Blue Hawaii DVD when you're all done.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Katharine Shilcutt