August 29, 2015

About Malinda Dunlap Fillingim

Malinda Dunlap Fillingim had the good fortune to move to her step-father's hometown, Walnut Cove, NC when she was in eighth grade. Curious by nature, Malinda asked Mama Dunlap so many questions about her cooking that she finally gave up some of the old recipes she carried in her head. Malinda is an ESL teacher at Cape Fear Community College and lives in Leland with her husband.

Starving for Food or Fellowship

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by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim If you ever find yourself starving for food or fellowship in North Carolina, find a church that's hosting a dinner on the grounds, otherwise known as a potluck or covered-dish supper. You won't leave hungry. I came across a bound index card collection of recipes compiled by the women of Wilmington's Grace United Methodist Church that were served for their Taste and Tell luncheon in … [Read more...]

Red Rooster: Something to Crow About in Stokes County

Red Rooster Grill. Photos by Malinda Fillingim.

by Malinda Fillingim Back in 1977, my senior year in high school, I worked at Hicks Pharmacy in  Walnut Cove, NC. I knew what ailed everyone and what medicines they took to help cure those ails. But, as an added bonus when they were short staffed, I also got to help out at the in-house snack bar/diner known as Red Rooster Grill. I didn't know anything about being a waitress, but I knew how to handle one … [Read more...]

A (Wet) Day on the Farm-Greenlands Farm

Photo by Malinda Fillingim.

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim There’s no place better to be than on a North Carolina farm, even on a rainy day. That’s how I felt about my recent visit to the 18-acre Greenlands Organic Farm in Bolivia, right off Midway Road in Brunswick County, NC. The rain did not damper my appreciation for the petting zoo animals, the wonderful aromas from multiple homemade goods within the farm-store, and the locally … [Read more...]

My Life in Pie

Malinda Fillingim's Lemon Meringue Pie.

by Malinda Fillingim I knew something was wrong when my step-father, Carl, the Marine from Walnut Cove, told me he was taking me to a restaurant in downtown Swansboro looking over the White Oak River. We never went out to eat unless we were out of town, or something bad had happened. I couldn’t think of anything I had done wrong in my third grade class. My beloved teacher, Mrs. Virginia Frazelle, was the center … [Read more...]

Recipe for Belonging

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by Malinda Fillingim Back in 1972, when I first moved to my step-father’s hometown of Walnut Cove, I was a lonely 13 year old surrounded by people who had grown up together and whose families had lived in the same community for generations. I had to find my own path and create my own sense of place, which can be a hard thing to do when some kids, like a boy I’ll call Phyllis, constantly told me I didn’t belong and … [Read more...]

My Turkey Lesson

"Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)" by Franco Folini is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

by Malinda Fillingim Although I was the teacher, I was the one who had a lesson to learn. As the fourth grade teacher at Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School in Hollister, I had an open door policy when it came to parents and tribal leaders who wanted to observe or volunteer in my classroom. Tribal leaders and their relatives had visited us and taught us pottery, origami, beading, and traditional dance steps. Such … [Read more...]

Kitchen Memories

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by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim One of my favorite past-times is finding old kitchen tools and utensils in thrift stores. A museum of culinary history awaits me each time I hold an old spider pan, French fry cutter, pewter pitcher, or in a recent visit at the Habitat For Humanity Thrift Store in Southport, an old clamp-style apple slicer. I was admiring the well-used device when an elderly man approached me and … [Read more...]

Plum Granny Farm: Old Land, New Passion

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by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim When Cheryl Ferguson graduated from South Stokes High School back in the mid 1970’s, chances are she wasn’t planning on returning to her family’s King homestead farm to live as an adult and become a USDA Certified Organic small family farmer. But that’s exactly what she did. The land, now called Plum Granny Farm, has been in Cheryl’s family well over 140 years, growing tobacco … [Read more...]

A Different Taste of Life

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by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim Recently, I was able to participate in a Burmese feast. Students and others brought dishes representing the rich cuisine of the Burmese people. I delighted in the best sticky rice I have ever eaten, enjoyed sugary potatoes, drank something I think was coconut based, and consumed foods with layered textures. This was not the food I grew up on, nor the food I cook in my home. There was no … [Read more...]

My Grandmother’s Garden

Squash blossoms in Malinda Dunlap Fillingim's grandmother's garden.

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim It’s a shame I have such clean hands. I really miss them being dirty, real dirty, so dirty I have to wash them with the garden hose even before going inside to wash them again and again until my fingernails are discovered under layers of dirt. Dirty hands came easily as a child working outside with my grandmother in her garden. With the Sauratown Mountains watching our efforts we … [Read more...]