July 5, 2015

A Blueberry Ramble in Burgaw

Blueberry Festival merchandise. Saturday, June 20, 2015. Photo: Leanne E. Smith.

by Leanne E. Smith At the 12th annual N.C. Blueberry Festival in Burgaw, NC on June 20, 2015, the temperature at 9 a.m. was above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a heat index of nearly ninety—but it’s worth a few hours of southeastern North Carolina humidity on the third Saturday in June for a morning stroll through the big blueberry bake sale. About thirty miles north of Wilmington, the festival centers around the … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Durham Hub Farm

The barn at the Durham Hub Farm.

by Laura Fieselman April 14, 2015 It’s a balmy Friday afternoon at 2:30. There’s a rooster crowing, a nest of baby bunnies in the strawberry patch, and apple trees and school buses in the distance. The outdoor education students studying orienteering have just left. This is the Hub Farm of Durham Public Schools, a 30-acre school-system farm and network of wooded trails. Here, students, teachers, and the … [Read more...]

Official NC Food Festivals in May 2015

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by Deborah Miller It’s not like we don’t have anything good to eat around here. We arise food. We talk about food. We read about food. We drive miles out of the way for a “food” experience. What choice did North Carolina have but to honor and designate some long-existing events as“Official State Food Festivals?” April was mighty busy with festivals honoring food and wine in North Carolina. Just consider the NC … [Read more...]

Pruning Peach Orchards: A Lifetime Skill and Dedication

Twigs of blossoms just pruned from peach trees make a perfect spring centerpiece.

by Ray Linville Nothing says spring like the arrival of flower blossoms, particularly in the Sandhills and eastern North Carolina with blooms on acres and acres of peach trees. Many in North Carolina believe that our state’s peaches are the best (they’re right) and that peaches are native to the South (they’re wrong). Cultivated in China for more than 3,000 years, peaches arrived in the Americas in 1571 … [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...]

“Chowder Taster”—Touring a Clam Chowder Cook-Off at the Ocracoke Community Center

Trophies for the non-traditional chowder (left) and traditional Ocracoke chowder (right) were commissioned from village-based writer and visual artist Susan Dodd, who created mixed media and found-object sculptures dubbed the “Clammy.” Photo: Leanne E. Smith.

by Leanne E. Smith “The rainy weather cooperated with us,” Karen Lovejoy joked the Saturday before Easter 2015 during the First Annual Clam Chowder Cook-off on Ocracoke Island that showcased four entries in the Ocracoke-traditional category and seven for non-traditional. The mid-day event was a fundraiser for the Ocracoke Childcare Center, also known as the “Little School,” for which Lovejoy is a board member and … [Read more...]

Stan’s Pimento Cheese

Stan's Pimento Cheese made in Burlington, NC

by Evan Hatch Stan’s is one of those North Carolina answers. Like Duke’s. And Sweet. And “Yes I want slaw on that.” The question is, “What is the bestest pimento cheese ever?" It is rich. It is mayonnaisey. It is so creamy. It is from Burlington. I have not always taken a lot of pride in being from Burlington, North Carolina. Bur-Vegas it was called by bored teenagers. But looking back on it – Burlington proves to … [Read more...]

Making Mac and Cheese Better with N.C. Mountain Cheese

Excellent mac and cheese depends on cheese from Ashe County as shown by this dish prepared in a restaurant of Chef Ashley Christensen in Raleigh.

by Ray Linville What’s the most important ingredient in macaroni and cheese? Except for the love that the preparer personally adds, is one item more important than anything else? The questions may seem frivolous because today the recipe at home can be quite simple – unless you’re Thomas Jefferson, who was so consumed with serving the perfect macaroni that he bought a pasta-making machine in Europe. For his … [Read more...]