April 19, 2015

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...]

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...]

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...]

Neuse River Fish Stew – a guest post by NC barbecue expert Bob Garner

Fish stew contains rounded, perfectly-poached eggs

by Bob Garner [Editor's note: We were so excited to receive an email from Winston-Salem's John F. Blair Publishing asking if we'd be interested in having Bob Garner write a guest post for NCFood. Bob Garner? THE North Carolina barbecue expert? You bet your prized hog, we were interested! Especially since his new book Foods That Make You Say MMM-MMM just came out. Bob is a television personality, restaurant … [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...]

“A Martin County Thing”—Chicken Mull

1st Annual Chicken Mull Festival, Bear Grass, NC - 10/25/14

by Leanne E. Smith Sixty-five gallons of chicken mull disappeared in less than a couple of hours on Saturday, October 25, 2014, when the town of Bear Grass in Martin County, NC, held its First Annual Chicken Mull Festival. Bear Grass is in the middle of Martin County in Eastern North Carolina, about 20 miles northeast of Greenville and eight miles southwest of Williamston, the county seat. As of the 2013 … [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...]

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...]