January 16, 2017

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...]

Pickle Willie Cinnamon Cucumber Rings

  by Joy Salyers On October 27th, I headed to Sophia, NC just outside Asheboro for the Resourceful Communities annual convening. I took along Program and Development Director Evan Hatch, and as we drove through the absolutely stunning fall foliage of the Uwharries region of the state, I tried to explain to him what a treat he was in for. Resourceful Communities is a program of the Conservation Fund and … [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...]

Lenten Fish Fries in 2015

by Joy Salyers North Carolina historian David Cecelski helped start NC Food, delighting readers for the blog's first five years with his explorations of state foodways and his musings about food's connections to place, family, and all that is good in life. In 2011, he noted in a food blog post that “It’s one of the nice things about Friday nights this time of year: you can often find a fish fry at your local … [Read more...]

Asparagus – Shoots and Roots

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...]

A Class Perspective on Daylight Saving Time

by Joy Salyers, NC Folk Executive Director How is your first work day on Daylight Saving Time winding down? If you are like some of my Facebook friends, it wasn’t an easy start. “Last time I was up before the sun it was to catch a flight for a fun weekend. Today is just to go to work . . . .” or “I like having the evening light longer but having to arrive at work again in the pitch black of night sucks!” And a … [Read more...]

North Carolina Blueberries

by Deborah Miller I didn't actually GO blueberry picking with Joy Salyers and Elijah Gaddis, but I heard all about it and got to enjoy the bounty.  Heck, I don't even know where they went. But that Monday, I came into work to find a large container on my desk filled almost to overflowing. So I had them by the handful.  At first. Then I slowed down to popping them one by one just barely biting into them so I … [Read more...]

Dan Dunkel’s First Brunswick Stew

by Joy Salyers On May 19, my family and I headed up to Person County to the 125th anniversary of Berry's Grove Baptist Church.       Berry's Grove is on Berry Road, in what is either Timberlake or Little River, depending on whether you're trying to mail something there or drive to it. Being raised Baptist, I know that any church celebration is likely to bring some of the best food … [Read more...]

Sometimes Community is Just a Piece of Cake

Here at NC Food we write about all aspects of our state’s traditional foodways. We tell potential bloggers to think of food as communication - what growing, preparing, and eating in certain ways says about a community's traditions, history, and values. This week I saw an example of community values emerging through food in a powerful way. My partner Isaac worked for five years as a reporter at The Times News in … [Read more...]

Oysters in the Parking Lot

One of the best perks of doing fieldwork for the North Carolina Folklife Institute is the amazing food you run into on the road. When I arrived in Brunswick County last night for a community meeting related to a folklife survey we’re doing, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, fieldworker Steve Kruger showed up with a trunk full of goodies – collards, cabbage collards, and a huge sack of oysters he’d … [Read more...]