January 25, 2015

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...]

Recipe for Belonging

cookbok

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...]

Collards a lo Cubano

My (NC) family's dining room table in Ellerbe.

by Sarah Bryan Verlie Helsabeck Freeman was a vivid woman. She had a cat named Mr. Cat, a set of dentures that she took out of her mouth and clacked at frightened great-grandchildren, and—as she warned overly curious visitors who might snoop around the house—a booger in her basement. (To readers who aren’t from North Carolina, let me hasten to explain that a booger is like a goblin, a small, scary creature … [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...]

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

kitchem memories_two_1

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...]

The Zack Attack

Zack's combination hot dog.

by Evan Hatch Many mistakes are made by those individuals not initiated to the Zack’s Hotdogs Experience.  Those individuals refer to a menu before they order.  They try to pay with a debit card.  They try to explain what they want to their waiter instead of using accepted jargon. They misunderstand the double line, first seating policy.  They order a cheese dog, expecting it to have meat. Largely, these neophytic … [Read more...]

Would You Order Livermush at a Classic Family Diner?

A livermush sandwich for lunch at The Hub definitely sustains you all afternoon.

by Ray Linville Want to step back in time and explore early food traditions of our state? Then stop at a family-owned diner that has been in business for more than 50 years. When you do, expect to find items on the menu that link back to days long ago. The menu boards immediately caught my attention when I entered The Hub, a place popular for breakfast and lunch in Anson County. Located about 50 miles east … [Read more...]

Van Loi II. Heaven.

Van Loi

by Evan Hatch My parents used to live in Graham, North Carolina. The burgs of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham were cultural destinations. Only 20 minutes down the road were concerts, exotic food, funky places to drop money, a better selection of cheeses. In July, 2014, my parents moved to Whitsett, North Carolina. Only 20 miles west of Graham, but much farther from the triangle, culture needed a new destination. … [Read more...]

Mobile Food for the Literati

Chick-N-Que served “Wicked Chicken,” spicy buffalo chicken tenders on a bun, at the festival as part of its menu.

By Ray Linville Where do you go for food when you’re at a literary festival on a weekend and the places open on weekdays are closed? When the N.C. Literary Festival was held this year in Raleigh, the answers to feed the hungry public were food trucks. The festival drew thousands to author readings and discussions, performances, book signings, and children activities. Can you imagine how hungry these events made … [Read more...]