July 25, 2014

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...]

THE Perfect Plate of Barbecue, Round II

BarBQKing

Two weeks ago, Elijah Gaddis fired up a plate for debate in celebration of National BBQ Month! We asked you what would make up YOUR perfect plate of barbecue, including sides -- and from where? To all of you who responded, thank you. Here's what you all had to say: Joe S: Sorry, but I can’t agree about eastern-style — the meat is uneven tasting (which is a result of their “whole-hog” nonsense), unlike the … [Read more...]

Pounds of Love

Mrs. Rierson's Pollirosa Pound Cake.

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingam It wasn’t that I hadn’t ever eaten pound cake before, I had. Mama Dunlap made a wonderful pound cake, rich with a touch of lemon. She had it on top of the pie stand in case a visitor came by and was hungry for a bite to eat. No, what made the pound cake at the Tobaccoville based Pollirosa Restaurant better than any pound cake I had ever eaten was the fact that the owner, Mrs. … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Coke Is It: A Love Story

CokeStump

by Sarah Bryan It’s a moment that a lot of Southerners have had: when folks from somewhere else single out a characteristic of our speech or behavior that is evidently outlandish to the rest of the world, but that, until that moment, we hadn’t realized was at all weird. “You carried your grandmother to the store? Like, in your arms? On your back?” “What do you mean the collards aren’t done? They’ve been boiling for … [Read more...]

For The Love of Cream Corn

The fruit of Alice Blanton's labor is a perfectly delicious bowl of cream style corn made with love.

by Ronda Birtha For people who love corn, that love is almost a religious experience. From as far back as I can remember, I have loved corn in almost all its incarnations: on the cob, off the cob, in chowder, in breads, and popped on the stove, and even occasionally in the microwave. But there is one type of corn that I never liked: cream. For whatever reason, my mother, a grits (girl raised in the south) and … [Read more...]

Apple Stack Cake

The Appalachian stack cake tradition continues with this 2004 wedding cake made for Joy Salyers by her mother.

by Frances Dowell I  recently finished writing a novel set in the fictional mountain town of Stone Gap, North Carolina.  In one chapter, twelve-year-old Arie Mae Sparks is invited to a picnic by her so-called betters, and her mother insists she bring an apple stack cake as an offering. Arie Mae is torn. On the one hand, she really doesn’t want to go to this picnic. On the other hand, who can resist apple stack cake? … [Read more...]