October 2, 2014

A Different Taste of Life

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by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim Recently, I was able to participate in a Burmese feast. Students and others brought dishes representing the rich cuisine of the Burmese people. I delighted in the best sticky rice I have ever eaten, enjoyed sugary potatoes, drank something I think was coconut based, and consumed foods with layered textures. This was not the food I grew up on, nor the food I cook in my home. There was no … [Read more...]

My Grandmother’s Garden

Squash blossoms in Malinda Dunlap Fillingim's grandmother's garden.

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim It’s a shame I have such clean hands. I really miss them being dirty, real dirty, so dirty I have to wash them with the garden hose even before going inside to wash them again and again until my fingernails are discovered under layers of dirt. Dirty hands came easily as a child working outside with my grandmother in her garden. With the Sauratown Mountains watching our efforts we … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

A Pot of Hospitality

Pinto Beans by Basswulf/cc2.0

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim A big pot of pinto beans lived at Mama Dunlap’s Stokes County home. Her cast iron frying pan held golden cracklin’ corn bread she made each morning before the sun woke up. When her oven got hot enough to melt the unmeasured lard, she put the cornbread batter in, telling me to keep an eye on it, lest it burn. Her large, heavy iron pinto pot never held anything else. She’d shake seasonings … [Read more...]