January 27, 2015

About Deborah Miller

Deborah Miller, Program Administrator at the North Carolina Folklife Institute, is a native Tar Heel and lifelong foodie with a deep passion for music.

North Carolina’s Official State Symbols That Taste Good, Part 1

Blueberries photo by Scott Bauer, courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service

by Deborah Miller Every state has its official list of chosen symbols. We all know, or should know, that our State Bird is the Cardinal and State Tree is the Dogwood. But why, and how, do such random things like dog, reptile, and even dance become official? In case you just moved to the Tar Heel state or have lived here your whole life but need a scorecard for all we hold near and dear, check out this very … [Read more...]

Neuse River Fish Stew – a guest post by NC barbecue expert Bob Garner

Fish stew contains rounded, perfectly-poached eggs

by Bob Garner [Editor's note: We were so excited to receive an email from Winston-Salem's John F. Blair Publishing asking if we'd be interested in having Bob Garner write a guest post for NCFood. Bob Garner? THE North Carolina barbecue expert? You bet your prized hog, we were interested! Especially since his new book Foods That Make You Say MMM-MMM just came out. Bob is a television personality, restaurant … [Read more...]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Credit Playing Futures: Applied Nomadology / Flickr/Creative Commons

by Deborah Miller The holidays seem to turn the nostalgia dial up to eleven for many of us, especially when it comes to food.  We find comfort in the familiarity of the menu and we want them prepared the exact same way we had them at our table.  I certainly wouldn't put my mother's green bean casserole up against anyone else's because it was just green beans, cream of mushroom soup topped with fried onions, but it … [Read more...]

Halgo

IMG_20140814_131119_787

by Deborah Miller (with tasty comments from Joy Salyers) Joy surely wasn't looking for a European Deli and Grocery while Googling (it's a word now, right?) for something else.  It was one of those happy accidents. From the corner came "Deborah!  We've got to go here!" and I knew there was another adventure in our future.  One day last week, after several projects and deadlines had been put to bed, we set out to … [Read more...]

The Past Becomes a Present

The Wagoner Family Cookbook

by Deborah Miller I hit my early 30’s with a couple of significant, but soon to be important, strangers in my how-fast-can-I-run life. One was my second husband, who I hadn’t quite met yet, the other was my kitchen where I mostly kept the beer cold, the coffee hot, and stashed take-out as I hurried on the way to somewhere else. I didn’t hate cooking. In fact, there was something calm and almost Zen-like there … [Read more...]

THE Perfect Plate of Barbecue, Round II

BarBQKing

by Deborah Miller Two weeks ago, Elijah Gaddis fired up a plate for debate in celebration of National BBQ Month! We asked you what would make up YOUR perfect plate of barbecue, including sides -- and from where? To all of you who responded, thank you. Here's what you all had to say: Joe S: Sorry, but I can’t agree about eastern-style — the meat is uneven tasting (which is a result of their “whole-hog” … [Read more...]

A Taste of Home, One Memory at a Time

MomCar

by Deborah Miller Mother’s Day is bittersweet. For all intents and purposes, I’ve already lost my Mom. She is 5 years into dementia and no longer remembers who I am. She imagines she loves me. She even says so sometimes, just like she tells everyone she encounters from staff to stranger.  She used to hug me back. Now she stands limply in front of me with her arms dangling by her side, this passive yielding a far … [Read more...]

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Brooks Crossroads, NC

by Deborah Miller Daddy was a traveling salesman. As regional sales director for Blue Cross/Blue Shield in the late 50’s/early ‘60’s, he drove all over North Carolina trying to sign up companies for a new plan called “group insurance.” He was gone a lot, and often late for dinner, but he was still the guy who came home every so often with a trunk full of Hostess Cupcakes, Twinkies, and SnoBalls compliments of one … [Read more...]

North Carolina Blueberries

Blueberries_6

by Deborah Miller I didn't actually GO blueberry picking with Joy Salyers and Elijah Gaddis, but I heard all about it and got to enjoy the bounty.  Heck, I don't even know where they went. But that Monday, I came into work to find a large container on my desk filled almost to overflowing. So I had them by the handful.  At first. Then I slowed down to popping them one by one just barely biting into them so I … [Read more...]

A Honey of a Diner

Cherry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

By Deborah Miller I hadn’t been to Honey’s in years until last week when I heard that they were on the verge of closing. Now I feel kinda bad about that, especially considering the childhood history I had with the 24-hour diner. Not to mention those middle of the night breakfasts when I was in college. At some point in the late 50’s or early 60’s, my parents decided to invent Family Night.  It was always on a … [Read more...]