WFAEats

carrot salad for WFAEats
Noah Fecks

Welcome to the summer doldrums. It’s too hot to cook. We’re bored with burgers and ho-hum hot dogs. We’re drowning in seas of zucchini.

So it’s time to step away from the stove, pour yourself a cold beverage, and kick back with this six-pack of recently released books.

If you're new to Charlotte -- say, within the last 200 years or so -- you may not know about the city's former reputation as "A Very Trifling Place."

Yes, the city of booming business was once considered to be nothing special. President George Washington visited in 1791 as part of a southern tour following the Revolutionary War. It was he who made that infamous pronouncement about "Charlotte Town" in his diary. 

watermelon
Flickr/Rebecca Siegel https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

When the temp in my car reached 104 this week, I got a little queasy. My friend Karin asked me about the effect of hot weather on our appetites, so I set out to learn more.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
Mark Lee / Flickr

In the category of Things That Are Really No Surprise comes a bold new study claiming that humans crave foods that are sweet, fatty, and especially a combination of both. This is not news to those us enjoying a doughnut or a biscuit with jam this morning. Nevertheless, scientists found an interesting tool to use when measuring our desire for these foods: money.  

In a signed copy of his book, Anthony Bourdain left the note: "COOK FREE OR DIE."
Peabody Awards/Amy Rogers / flickr.com

Anthony Bourdain needed to leave Charlotte and catch a plane to his next stop – but the phone wouldn’t stop ringing at Park Road Books. Restaurant dishwashers were calling to say, “I’m almost off shift. As soon as I finish I’m on my way. I want a book.”

But Bourdain had to leave before all of his fans could get there. So the chef-turned-author signed a special stack of books for them.

COMMENTARY:

When it comes to pie, some people like to make things complicated. They have secret recipes and techniques cloaked in mystery.

Well, today I’m going to show you how to make your next pie the easiest ever. You don’t even need an oven to create your own perfect No-Bake Foolproof Key Lime Pie (or Parfaits.)

Mayochup is a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup.
Courtesy of Heinz

COMMENTARY:

Now that cook-out season is here, a new condiment may be heading your way: mayochup.

Put simply, it’s a blend of mayonnaise and ketchup. But nothing in the world of food marketing is ever simple.

Olivia Pellin will represent the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as the district's representative at the national conference for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
Amy Rogers / WFAE

In case you missed it, while famous chefs were winning James Beard awards recently, some local culinary pros were also taking top honors for their work. But these aren’t the purveyors of fine food at swanky eateries. 

renata maia

In a world of over-the-top cocktails, a new trend is brewing: simpler drinks made from fewer ingredients, and with lower levels of alcohol.

“Coffee folks: Who is making the switch from Starbucks to another coffee store owned by people of color or other minorities?” If you want to know what people think about a hot-button issue, post a question on social media. So on Wednesday afternoon, I did, and within seconds people began responding. 

Rhett Maxwell / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

As a social worker, Alisha Pruett was working to find housing for homeless veterans when she learned of another problem: lack of access to food. “I saw the barriers they faced in getting to resources and fresh food, due to lack of transportation and income,” she said. “I realized I had to figure out a way to get fresh produce to those in need.”

Friends In A Deep Freeze

Mar 30, 2018
Amy Rogers

Pam was one of the best people to hang out with – so of course, the fates decided to send her away from Charlotte. A job transfer took her family to Virginia, just out of easy reach. No more spontaneous breakfasts at the pancake house. No more meet-ups for pub fare at Sir Edmond Halley’s.

A sketch of a chocolate pot and whisk drawn from Ann's Experiences in Spain in the mid-1660s.
The Wellcome Library archives

Sometimes, a food aficionado just doesn’t want to bother cracking an actual book to learn something or be entertained. When the weight of that wooden spoon is too much to manage, digital cookbooks can be a satisfying source of recipes and fascinating glimpses into other eras and cultures.

Cathay Dawkins
bboclt.com

This did not begin as a food story but it turned into one.

Back in 2014, Cathay Dawkins was troubled by shootings and other violence taking place in Charlotte. As a working artist and owner of a landscaping business, he remembers feeling he “had to address it from a black male’s perspective.”

He asked himself, “As a black entrepreneur, what can I do?” So he founded the Black Business Owners of Charlotte and began recruiting members to share resources, support each other, and lift up their communities. Thousands of people joined and soon an executive team was in place.

White House Cookbook
Amy Rogers / WFAEats

With the President’s Day holiday upon us, a food writer’s thoughts naturally turn to… well, cookbooks. We don’t typically prepare any special dishes to honor presidents, but let’s celebrate a few of the books that give us glimpses into the kitchens that have fed our leaders, their families, and guests.

heart shaped fruit
creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0

Butter, chocolate, and wine are good for you, right? No, wait; they’re bad. We should all switch to coconut oil, carob, and kombucha, yes? The answer is…Maybe.

Fight The Flu With Soothing Sorbet

Feb 1, 2018
sorbet
Joy / CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Move over, chicken soup. Step aside, cough drops. There’s a new flu fighter in town. And it’s going to send those aches and pains packing, right into the deep freeze – literally.

Courtesy Jillian Hishaw

For more than a decade, agricultural attorney Jillian Hishaw has been working in the southeast to alleviate hunger, help financially distressed farmers hold on to their land, and find markets for locally farmed goods. 

Now Hishaw has been named a “Food Changemaker” by the Clif Bar Family Foundation.

pickles
Stacy Spensley / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

People laughed out loud when I told them my New Year’s resolution: “I resolve to eat more pickles.” That was one year ago, at the start of 2017.

Well, no one is laughing now – because pickles are hot. (They’re also cold, quick, sweet, sour, half-sour, kosher, deep fried, and more.)

recipe in cookbook
jspatchwork / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Need a perfect gift that’s guaranteed to fit? One that doesn’t pack on the calories, get stale, or break if you drop it?

Of course you do. But you don’t want to grab just anything from the best seller list. Here at WFAEats we’ve been digging in our seasonal stacks for new and unusual books that will delight anyone with an appetite for food and the stories that make it special. So take a look at this delicious sampler we’ve selected.

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