December 21, 2014

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.

Chicken and Pastry, or What Have You

Edith Green teaches Anna Scott how to make chicken and pastry at her home in Cerro Gordo, North Carolina. After making the dough, Green starts with a clean white sheet, sprinkles it with flour, and rolls out the pastry.

We are so excited that this week's NC Food Blog installment also introduces you to our new online exhibits feature! This exhibition introduces the history and process of Chicken and Pastry making through both written and visual documentation. From our fieldwork archives, Edith Green of Columbus County, North Carolina, is pictured teaching NC Folk fieldworker Anna Scott her traditional recipe as photographed by … [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...]

Hiffikickles

cinnamon

By Deborah Miller It takes little more than a hot July day to take me back to one of my favorite summer memories when my Grandmother would bring a pot of water to boil before telling us to run out to the garden for some “roasting ears.” My younger sister misheard that as “rosemarys” and called them that for the longest time. Today when she says “I want some rosemarys” we all know what she means. Farm-to-fork … [Read more...]