July 23, 2014

Doug’s Café – the “neatest” little restaurant serving the best BBQ in Andrews, NC

Doug's BBQ_tn

by Ronda Birtha And not, “neat” as in tidy – although it certainly is the cleanest “grease” truck I’ve ever seen (co-owner Doug Lawhon boasts about the café’s 99.5 sanitation rating). But “neat” as in “good food, and trendy,” as in, “the BEST barbecue I have ever had,” according to my friend Alice who asked if I heard about the new “hot dog truck” in town. We called them grease trucks back home. On any given … [Read more...]

Asparagus – Shoots and Roots

new asparagus shoot

by Joy Salyers My friend (and amazing artist) Jessica Clark posted this pic on Facebook Tuesday. While she was rejoicing in it finally being the time of year when your nails are dirty for all the right reasons and things are sprouting, when I saw the beautiful asparagus spear, what I thought of was not shoots but roots. Let me explain. Asparagus is a perennial, the fruit tree of vegetables. When you settle … [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...]

Fermented cabbage

Fermented cabbage

by Elijah Gaddis When we put out the call for NCFood posts on fermentation, we had no idea we'd get two so close together!  But fermentation, the ages-old method of preserving foods, is a hot topic. Yes, it tastes great, but it also deconstructs the confines of the growing season. Thanks to both Elijah Gaddis and Lisa Fieselman for answering the preservation call!  ~ Deborah Miller, Editor, NC Food. I write … [Read more...]

My First Rooster Kill

Janet prepares my mind with the following perspective: “While he’s in the pen, he’s chicken. Outside the pen, he’s a carcass.”

by Ronda Birtha I’m going to guess that for many people reading this post, killing a rooster is not a big deal. So I’m just going to ask all of you to whom this is old hat … please indulge this city girl. I’ve known Bill and Janet Silver from Murphy, NC for about 9 years, and they have been to me among the most hospitable, kind-hearted people I have known. I don’t know when I started calling them Papa and Mama … [Read more...]

Priddy’s General Store

Priddy's General Store Photo credit: Malinda Dunlap Fillingim

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim Sometimes a girl just wants a simple sandwich with nothing fancy on it, just bites of goodness. That’s what I wanted one summer day after hiking at Hanging Rock. My old legs were telling me to rest and my stomach was telling me to eat. I listened to both and headed to nearby Priddy’s General Store, a landmark of Stokes County, to eat my favorite after hiking meal:  a hoop cheese and … [Read more...]

Pepper Preservation: Two Experiments

salt-cured-chilies

by Laura Fieselman Tomorrow is the new moon, and for those who plant by tradition the Farmers' Almanac indicates it's time to set out the very first plants of the season (which would be peas). But this year it seems like the frosts just keep on coming and coming and coming ... we're sharing a post by Laura Fieselman harkening back to that first frost of winter, reminding us that no matter the season, you've got to … [Read more...]

Downtown Bakery, Murphy, NC

Downtown Bakery owner and baker, Kate Simmons, sells batches of homemade pizza sauce (4.99) and dough ($1.00).

by Ronda L. Birtha When Margie Freel Carpenter said that she is the kind of person who looks for a bakery as she travels about, I knew exactly what she meant and why she meant it. A good hometown bakery is to a neighborhood what your favorite room is to your home: the place where you find comfort and a measure of peace. Years ago, I remember asking friends where they went for a good donut, a good cup of coffee. … [Read more...]

A Pot of Hospitality

Pinto Beans by Basswulf/cc2.0

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim A big pot of pinto beans lived at Mama Dunlap’s Stokes County home. Her cast iron frying pan held golden cracklin’ corn bread she made each morning before the sun woke up. When her oven got hot enough to melt the unmeasured lard, she put the cornbread batter in, telling me to keep an eye on it, lest it burn. Her large, heavy iron pinto pot never held anything else. She’d shake seasonings … [Read more...]

Simmering Stew Brings a Community Together

A tasty pot of Brunswick stew draws a crowd in Mount Gilead.

by Ray Linville The center of small town is not always a town hall, courthouse, or church. Sometimes it’s a pot of bubbling stew as it is each fall in Mount Gilead, a community of slightly more than 1,000 residents in Montgomery County. Although the community is small, just about everyone knows about the Brunswick stew served when Brown’s Hardware has its open house. Incorporated in 1899, Mount Gilead … [Read more...]