October 31, 2014

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...]

Plum Granny Farm: Old Land, New Passion

plumg Stripping garlic

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...]

Learning About Cheese Making (and Feeding a Baby Goat)

Newborn kids are part of the family for owner Linda Seligman who sleeps nearby. It takes about four hours to bottle-feed all the newborn babies.

by Ray Linville To watch cheese being made, taste some artisan cheese samples, and take home a package or two, I headed to the Blue Ridge area of our state to travel part of the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail. Little did I expect to be bottle-feeding a day-old baby goat. Within minutes after arriving at Round Mountain Creamery near Black Mountain, NC, I was holding a full bottle of warm milk for an eager kid … [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...]

Mountain Trout Is N.C. Good

Trout from Sunburst is enjoyed at home after the visit.

by Ray Linville Imagine fishing in a fast-flowing, rocky mountain stream and reeling in trout for dinner. Such experiences have always been part of the food culture in the Blue Ridge region, whether for the Cherokee with prehistoric ties to its hills and streams or the families who settled there after the Trail of Tears campaign evicted most Cherokee from their tribal territory. Visitors today can easily … [Read more...]

The Queen of Clean Goes Sanitary

Hushpuppies from the Sanitary Fish Market, Morehead City, NC

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim In my 1941 first edition of Jonathan Daniels’ book, Tar Heels: A Portrait of North Carolina, I read with delight his sentence in the ‘Frying Pan and Jug’ chapter, “North Carolinians don’t eat out unless they have to.” This was the case in my house while growing up. We never ate out unless we absolutely had to, primarily because of my mother’s life motto that cleanliness was next to … [Read more...]

Exploring Ramps

Ramp hunting in North Carolina.

by Laura Fieselman I had the great pleasure of joining friends for a weekend near the Carolina-Virginia line in early May. One of these friends happens to be a forester by training and she offered us a very special gift while we were there: "I know a patch of ramps," she said. "Want to go?" Of course I wanted to go. Of course I wanted a chance to see these famed wild leeks in their native habitat. The plants … [Read more...]

Lessons From the Churn

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by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim The young boy at the ice cream store eagerly requested a large portion of ice cream on a fancy waffle cone. His mother said he could get a small cone, not the large one he requested. After a few minutes of whining, the mother relented and gave him the double scooped cone of chocolate ice cream, which he tossed aside after two bites, denouncing it as “Yuk.” His second cone, also a … [Read more...]

Foods Made in N.C. Often Continue Family Traditions

The slogan of “Got to Be NC” is prevalent throughout the food exposition.

by Ray Linville Have you ever wandered through a festival that showcases the best flavors and tastes of North Carolina? Imagine attending an event that highlights the best of N.C. agriculture and celebrates specialty foods made in our state. The three-day, family-friendly Got to Be NC Festival  held each May at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh draws attention to food creations of long-standing as well newly … [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...]