by David Cecelski
On my way to a family reunion this week, I found homemade light rolls at the Davis Shore Provisions General Store in Davis Shore, an old fishing village on Core Sound. I couldn’t believe my eyes. When made right, those soft, white yeast breads are as warm and sweet as a baby’s breath. They’re a local mainstay and the pride of many a grandmother’s kitchen in that part of Carteret County, but I had never seen them at a restaurant or bakery before.
Davis Shore Provisions is a located right on US 70 East, just across from the community’s only gas station. It’s in a former general mercantile building that old timers remember as “Johnny Davis’s Store.” Nowadays it’s a nice clothes, jewelry, and gift shop, but also has a little coffee shop and bakery in the back and a big porch where you can sit and eat in the shade.
At the store, they told me that a local lady, Mrs. Ann Styron, makes the light rolls for the shop. Later, I asked a friend down there about her and my friend immediately said, “Ohhh, if she made them, you know they’re going to be good.” I guess Mrs. Styron has a reputation for being a good baker, which is saying something in that area.
Mrs. Styron makes her light rolls four mornings a week. On Wednesdays through Saturdays, she makes three kinds: plain, cheese, and crackling—those last being ones where she’s stirred bits of fried pork skin into the batter before letting them rise. That’s about as Old School as it gets.
They sure smelled heavenly. When I was at the store, several local gentlemen clearly shared my enthusiasm for them. As I waited for my order, I could hear their little exhalations of delight as they ate “Miss Ann’s light rolls” with their morning cups of coffee.
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To reach the Davis Shore Provisions General Store, you can call (252) 729-0011 or check out their website at www.davisshoreprovisions.com. For good recipes for Core Sound light rolls, check out one of my favorite cookbooks, Island Born & Bred, by the Harkers Island United Methodist Women. You can order a copy at the website for the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center: www.coresound.com.