December 1, 2015

Cataloochee Prune Cake

by Sarah Bryan   In some ways the border between the Carolinas is fluid. The two largest towns that are on or a few miles from the state line—Charlotte and Myrtle Beach—seem mismatched with their respective states. Charlotte could be mistaken for a bustling, shiny, businesslike version of the self-image of the state to the south, and Myrtle Beach for a vacation outpost of its northern neighbor. Of … [Read more...]

Ramp Seasoning

While I've been enjoying the sun of the last two days -- walking down to the river by my house (accompanied by my two cats who stalk about like they think they are local bobcats), and especially enjoying the spectacular sunsets -- my sister in Des Moines has been posting about the first major snow of the year there.   Quite a contrast! So many of our various Solstice and Yule celebrations are … [Read more...]

Making Do With Fall Apples

by Joy Salyers I took my children with me to the North Carolina Folklore Society meeting in Cullowhee, NC October 9 and 10. I was confident that we would encounter learning opportunities to rival a day of school. We drove first to the Musuem of the Cherokee Indian, where they got Jerry Wolfe's autograph, sat riveted by the telling of traditional Cherokee legends, and fought over the camera to take their own … [Read more...]

Pat Franklin’s Mama’s Banana Pudding

by Leanne E. Smith When Pat Franklin buys fifty pounds of bananas at one time the second week in June, the cashiers at Ingles grocery store in Marshall, North Carolina, give her funny looks. What could someone possibly do with the contents of a cart loaded with bunches of bananas, boxes of Nilla wafers and vanilla Jell-O pudding, a few gallons of milk, and several containers of Cool Whip and sour cream? Of course: … [Read more...]

Where Food Is More Than Only Something to Eat

by Ray Linville Food is more than simply sustenance. Kitchens are more than places to prepare and eat meals. No place is better for demonstrating the value in society of food and kitchens than The King’s Kitchen in Charlotte, NC. As its customers enjoy the menu of the day, the unemployed, underemployed, difficult to employ, and recently released prison inmates learn culinary and food service … [Read more...]

Keeping Wild Foods in Our Culinary Culture

by Ray Linville Is cooking with wild foods out of place in today’s modern society? Because it’s so old-fashioned, I was surprised by how many kids had entered the Wild Food Cooking Contest in Richmond County.  It’s the event of the spring in Ellerbe, NC, when youth and adults show off their skills for cooking deer, moose, rabbit, beaver, squirrel, and other wild game. After the judges have scored each entry, … [Read more...]

Official NC Food Festivals in May 2015

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...]

Stan’s Pimento Cheese

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

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...]

North Carolina’s Official State Symbols That Taste Good, Part 2

by Deborah Miller These are the things that keep me up at night. I'm an unashamed "wonderer."  My friends all laugh at me when I'd ask "those" questions.  You know, "why are some raindrops big and some little?" and "who ever figured out how to eat an artichoke in the first place?"  Yes, they'd even air quote me when they saw one coming. I'm content to stay curious, now and forever more. Somebody warn me if I ever … [Read more...]