WFAEats

Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Brunswick stew, sweet potato cakes, blackberry cobbler, and maple popcorn are just a few of the dishes that members of the Catawba Indian Nation are busy preparing for visitors who will attend the 4th Annual Craft and Food Fair on Saturday, Nov. 18.                  

“People of the community bake and prepare dishes,” explains Tonya Rice, the Children’s Services Director for the community. She’s also a chef in her own right, and estimates it takes about 50 people to produce the event.

mecklenburg.ces.ncsu.edu

If you’ve ever wanted to learn pickling, pressure canning, or preserving, now’s your chance to help design the workshops that appeal to you.

Amy Rogers

First things first: Fill your plate with seafood stew, spicy slaw, catfish, corn, and bread. Then make your way to your assigned seat to begin the Black Lunch Table discussion. This interactive experience is designed to explore attitudes and create dialogue that addresses the ways in which race relations function in our communities.

In Good Taste: 'Hogging' The Conversation

Oct 10, 2017

Dear Etta Kate: I'm a member of a roving supper club that meets at different members' houses. One of the members is an awful bore. She monopolizes every conversation with endlessly tedious stories on trivial topics. No one ever interrupts her, because this is the polite South. Several people have dropped out of the group. I probably shouldn't say anything when I'm a guest at someone else's table. But is there anything I can do as a hostess when it happens at my house? Perhaps it will encourage others to do the same? Please help!

Signed, Garrulous in Garner

Celebrate The Food You Grew Up Eating

Sep 22, 2017
flower shape made from hard-boiled egg
Tamra Wilson

It’s not every day I see articles combining food and genealogy. A piece on the FamilySearch blog caught my eye: “How to Start Family Food Traditions from Scratch.” The essence of the article was to encourage readers to preserve their family food traditions—or maybe even start some.

Food traditions are those recipes, meals and cooking habits we acquire being part of a family. Like any other part of family history, they should be written and passed down.

The Lemonade Stand Cookbook
From The Lemonade Stand Cookbook: Step-by-Step Recipes and Crafts for Kids to Make--and Sell!, by Kathy Strahs (Burnt Cheese Press, 2017). Reprinted with permission.

Kathy Strahs was watching her 7- and 9-year-old children operate a lemonade stand when she realized something pretty complex was going on. “It was more than just kids selling lemonade. They were collaborating, strategizing, preparing drinks and food, shouting to attract customers,” the California author said.

And from that idea, a book was born: The Lemonade Stand Cookbook: Step-by-Step Recipes and Crafts for Kids to Make and Sell. It’s a fun, full-color guide to everything from setting up and decorating a stand to pricing and promoting items to be sold.

Harvest Baker Tomato Slab Pie
Excerpted from The Harvest Baker © by Ken Haedrich, photo © Johnny Autry, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Has an avalanche of tomatoes, squash, berries, or beets landed in your kitchen?

Never fear, Ken Haedrich is here to help. He has a new book, The Harvest Baker: 150 Sweet and Savory Recipes Celebrating the Fresh-Picked Flavors of Fruits, Herbs and Vegetables. Even better, he’ll be visiting Charlotte on August 22 and will help you solve your persistent pie problems. 

Angel Food Cake Demands Strawberry Icing

Aug 7, 2017
Angel food cake with strawberry icing
Tamra Wilson / WFAEats

Angel food cake is light, fluffy and tricky to make. Recipes call for something like six egg whites, which leaves me in a quandary as to what to do with the rest of those eggs.

That’s why I bought a $5 grocery store cake from Food Lion the other day. Naked and spongy, it sat there in its round plastic house like a peeled banana, begging for icing. And the first thing I thought of was strawberry, which I happened to have in the pantry.

pick-up truck transporting fruits and vegetables
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

If you can peel, chop, slice, and dice your way through baskets and bushels of produce, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue appreciates your kitchen skills.

The all-volunteer organization that cares for injured and abandoned wildlife recently lost their key source of food when a regional grocery chain suddenly withdrew its support. The donations had been in place for three years and ceased without warning, according to Director Jennifer Gordon, who said, “I was in shock.” She took to social media and posted on Facebook: “Does anyone here work in a grocery store or restaurant?”

bowls of popcorn
Aspa / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/

Running out of ideas for kids’ activities during the Dog Days of summer? The folks at Mecklenburg County Extension and 4-H have partnered to offer some great programs. And they’re free!

Garden crafts, science, and food-themed activities started back in June but will continue through August. If your kids missed learning to make a basil-seed necklace and a “pizza garden in a glove,” there are plenty of sessions remaining.

Paul Brewington, farmer, holding a dozen eggs.
Rosa Parks Farmers Market

Pack your lawn chair and head to the West End this Saturday for a day of fun and food that will help support local farmers.

It’s a great opportunity to meet, greet, and eat while helping to improve food access in the city’s underserved areas.

fried chicken, chips, apple, and cheese
Tamra Wilson / WFAEats

All the recent news about the United Kingdom took me back to 1974, when I was a college student in Brighton. The oil embargo hit Britain hard that winter while the Troubles in Northern Ireland continued to boil over with occasional bomb threats and road detours.           

I learned to live in a culture that wasn’t mine. Part of that was coming to appreciate the rather bland food: a steady diet of fresh peas, roasted potatoes, cranberry stuffing with fowl, well-done roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and for dessert, fruit or most anything with custard sauce. 

Jason Thrasher

The nationally-recognized Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) is holding its annual summer symposium in Charlotte this weekend. Over the course of the three-day event, participants will dive into an exploration of Latino influences on Southern cuisine. The group is collaborating with a number of local and Latino-run restaurants, primarily in east Charlotte along Central Avenue.

Writer and historian John T. Edge, who also leads the SFA, joined WFAE to talk about the weekend's events and why his organization picked Charlotte out of dozens of other southern cities to host.

"Sunshine Teas in Kew Gardens," c. 1920
Flickr - Photos of the Past/Public Domain

Dear Etta Kate:

While dining with friends, I received an embarrassing dressing down. I ordered a salad dressed lightly. Instead, a generous dish of very chunky bleu cheese was nestled into the bowl. A woman at my table commented loudly about how much dressing I was having. I replied softly that I used only a tiny bit and set the rest aside. She exclaimed, “But imagine how much fat you are eating!" just as the server delivered her meal: a fried clam cake on a huge bun, with a plate full of French fries. 

John T. Edge is a man who knows how spin a good yarn. Listening to him talk can feel like falling under the spell of your favorite college professor. He's wickedly smart, funny, warm and welcoming.

And for years, the tale he's been telling is all about Southern food: about its central role in Southern identity, and about what it owes to the African-American and immigrant cooks who have historically been left out of the standard narratives the South tells about itself.

Prime Time For A Picnic

May 26, 2017
a picnic
nAok0 / Flickr

Summer may officially arrive on June 21, but everyone knows it truly kicks off on Memorial Day weekend. And that means it’s picnic season.

Credit Dale Haas/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

You can know plenty about the city you call home and still have giant gaps in your knowledge of the place.

Until today, May 16, 2017, I’d never been to Brooks’ Sandwich House. The truth? Until yesterday, I’d never even heard of it. This is despite having driven literally within a block of it, oh, let’s say maybe 50 times, at least.

But when I posted on Facebook that I was headed out at lunch in search of livermush, friends swarmed my page like honey-bees to hollyhocks. They were pretty much equally divided between two camps:

1. Liver…what?
2. Go to Brooks’ immediately.

Some of Elaine Rogers' recipes and newspaper clippings.
Amy Rogers

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to take a little trip back in time. So I got out my mother’s old recipe box, eager to revisit the tastes of my childhood.

It’s no surprise that for overfed Americans, eating less meat is a good idea. But a new book goes further and shows how simply lessening our consumption of animal products can drastically improve our bodies, minds, and the planet we inhabit.

tea and toast
miss.libertine / Flickr/creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

As the annual celebration of poetry comes to an end, we’re pleased to share two poems from Mimi Herman, the North Carolina 2017 Piedmont Laureate in Poetry.

High Tea

The second time we dine at the Savoy,

I wear the clothes that make my father think

I am his daughter, and perhaps the boy

He thought he’d raised will have Earl Grey to drink.

The lipstick and the stockings and the heels

Disorient my father over scones

And salmon sandwiches, and so he tells

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