December 5, 2016

Pecan Pickin’

Text and photos by Ray Linville A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, our thoughts often begin to shift to traditional pies and other desserts, much more than the bird that will anchor the center of the table. One traditional pie for my family is a Southern favorite—pecan. Can you imagine foraging for pecans or walking a farm to find nuts that have just fallen on the ground? Through the years, generations of … [Read more...]

Local Favorite Keeps Its Tradition Going

Text and photos by Ray Linville Whiteville, the largest city in Columbus County and the county seat, has been a hub of activity in eastern North Carolina since the county was formed in 1808. When vehicle traffic came onto the scene, major highways U.S.74, 76, and 701 intersected in the downtown section and brought tourists, courthouse business, and retail customers, all hungry at lunch for a quick, satisfying … [Read more...]

Whole Hog Cookin’

Text and photos by Ray Linville What’s the best way to develop a spirit of unity in a small town or city? In Newport, a town of 4,500 residents in Carteret County, an old-fashioned pig cookin’ is the best way to bring the community together by creating a lively competition to determine who can cook the best barbecue. Chartered as long ago as 1866, Newport has undoubtedly been the scene of quite a few pig cookin’s. … [Read more...]

Creamed Chicken Over Waffles

Text and photos by Ray Linville Holding a “throwback” event is a great way to honor a tradition that once was a favorite but ended too quickly. Such was the case this spring when the Moore County Historical Association—the oldest historical society in N.C. in continuous operation—held a luncheon and re-created a popular dish to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Association’s founding: creamed chicken over … [Read more...]

Visit the Goats

Text and photos by Ray Linville If you like artisan cheese, visit the creamery where it’s made. Even better, get introduced to the animals. If you like chevre, a word we borrow from French for goat cheese, don’t forget to talk to the goats. When Paradox Farm held Spring Farm Day and opened its property in the Sandhills to visitors, I learned more about its goats and cheesemaking. Its creamery was open for … [Read more...]

First Local Berries of the Season

By Ray Linville Finding locally grown strawberries is a sure sign that spring has arrived. As I was driving in the Monkey Junction area of Wilmington on the last weekend in March, I noticed a berry stand that had been closed for months was open. North Carolina, the third largest producer of strawberries in the United States, has the country’s largest fresh market for strawberries. Finding fresh local … [Read more...]

Taste the Redbuds

  By Ray Linville   The eastern redbud tree is one of the first heralds of spring. Underneath the pine trees of our state, this flowering tree creates a magnificent sight as temperatures begin to warm. Because the redbud is so prominent as an ornamental, we tend to overlook its role in our food culture. When I was out for a daily walk, I passed a redbud tree at its flowering peak. I … [Read more...]

Recalling Fishing Camps of the Past

by Ray Linville   Fishing camps in eastern North Carolina were once where farmers could seek short-term employment in the fishing industry when the season arrived and, as described by NCpedia, “make a pile of money” by catching fish. Some camps were built on the coast, and nets were set from the beach to capture seasonal runs of several fish species. Other camps were built by sounds and their … [Read more...]

Keeping the Business in the Family

by Ray Linville A nondescript building on a rural road is not the typical place where I stop for food. In Rennert, a town of fewer than 400 residents in Robeson County, I found “E.&H. Bar.B.Q. Hut” painted on a faded, decades-old Coca-Cola sign on a whitewashed structure that marked my destination. Although another sign in a window where walk-up customers once were served says, “No Trespassing,” a window … [Read more...]

Creating a Welcome Table

by Ray Linville In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. eminently said, “ . . . the church is still the most segregated major institution in America. At 11:00 on Sunday morning… we stand at the most segregated hour in this nation.” Although much has changed in the intervening years, much still needs to be done to improve race relations, as seen by congregations and their denominations that have racial … [Read more...]