My daughter’s grape hull pie

My first article on food was an essay that I wrote in 1997 called “The Wild Plums at Core Creek: In Praise of Slow Cooking.” It was a celebration of back roads cafes, church suppers and the kinds of old home-cooked dishes that I first came to know in my grandmother’s kitchen.

At that time, I was writing about dark themes in our history: I think I needed to remind myself of the sweet and good things in life.

Writing about food has been a passionate hobby ever since. While I’ve written food stories for magazines, newspapers and even a cookbook or two, the largest part of my food writing has appeared in a blog that I wrote for the North Carolina Folklife Institute from 2007 to 2011.

Below you’ll find links to about 100 of those stories, and we’ll try to have links to the rest  soon. If you don’t find a story here, be sure to check the N.C. Folklife Institute’s website.


Muscadine Grape-Hull Pie (Duplin County)

Scallop Fritters & Lemon-Milk Pie

Brunswick Stew

Sinigang Na Baboy

Roast Jumping Mullet & Banana Pudding

Persimmon Pudding

Irene’s Collards & Corn Dumplings

Posole at La Vaquita

Kourambiethes at Holy Trinity

Christmas Fruitcake



The Best Dandoodle in the World

Lacy Cornbread, Tomato Pudding & Boiled Peanuts

Doenjang and Fried Dill Pickles

Healing from the Land

The Needy and the Stranger

Resurrections: Venters Grill, Strickland Dail’s & Holland’s Shelter Creek

Check Hog Hash off the Bucket List

Miss Mogie’s Molasses Gunger

Grand Asia Market

Ocracoke Oyster Pie

Greensboro Farmers Curb Market

Full Circle Crab Company

Daddy’s Stewed Conchs

Cake Lady, Watermelon Man & the Saw Mill Boys

Deep River

Blue Monday

R.A. Fountain General Store

The Best Meal Ever

Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market

Trail Magic

South Estes Farmers Market

Sunshine Lavender Farm

Chatham County Strawberry Fields

Currituck May Peas

Britt’s Donut Shop

Love at Hardee’s

Anathoth Community Garden

What Your Mama Needs Today

Hills of Snow

Davidson’s Soda Shop

Ocracoke Blackberry Dumplings

Fayetteville Street Soul Food

Lumbee Homecoming (by guest blogger, Jeff Currie)

Making an Oyster Knife


Moravian Chicken Pie

Miss Jenny’s Fig Preserves

Beatrice Mason’s Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pear Preserves

Tamales at the Buckhorn Flea Market

Black Walnuts

Rocky Mount Farmers Market

Collards for Sale

South Boulevard, Charlotte

Thanksgiving Oyster Roast

Pierogi at Saints Cyril and Methodius



A Cornbread Elegy

Homage to a Red & White

My Lord, Honey

The Art of Making Oyster Fritters

Cary’s Little India


Mermaid Point

Hot Pepper Vinegar, Oyster Stew & Cheese Biscuits

Peggy O’Neal’s Fishcakes

Lovick’s Cafe, Kinston

At the Statesville Rotary Farmer’s Market

St. Nicholas Greek Festival, Wilmington

Eagle Island Produce & Seafood Market

Mulberry Season

Aunt Dot’s Squash Casserole

The Class of ‘45

Bread of Heaven Bakery, Goldsboro

Cousin Eloise’s Sweet Pickles

Bogue Sound Watermelons

A Day Cooking Pig

Moore Square Farmers Market, Raleigh

Fresh Shrimp

Muscadine Grape-hull Preserves

Clambake, Beaufort

Resettlement Cafe, Tillery

Mill Bridge

Fried Hard Crabs, North River

Great Dismal Swamp

Peanuts at the A&B Milling Company, Enfield

Pan de Muerto

Julia’s Talley House

Tapatio Home Cooking—La Cuata

US 701—La Mixteca and La Michoacana

Picking up Pecans

Mole de Guanajuato

Hux Grocery, Rocky Mount

Breaking Roe



Yoder’s Dutch Pantry

Rosca de Reyes

Hunter’s Venison Stew

’Cue Shack, Greene County

Stew Beef and Rutabagas with Corn Dumplings

Rose Bay Oysters

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Fishmonger’s Elegy

Fried Herring, Conetoe

Bill’s Hot Dogs, Washington

Al Baraka Market’s Almonds with Lemon

Skin and Bones, Hookerton

Last Oyster Roast

Tamales Oaxaquenos, Lillington

Wash Tub Fish Stew

Paw Paw Pudding

Country Ham, Cove City

4-H Livestock Show & Auction, Ponzer

Soft Crabs, Far Creek

Sprigs of Fresh Basil, Greensboro

Coltrane’s Side of Town

Irish Potatoes

Flower Blossom Pupusas

Biscuit and Blackberry Jam

Ridgeway Cantaloupe Festival

The Sanitary’s Hushpuppies

Tuesday Flea Market, Murphy

Greasy Beans & Yellow-eyed Peas

Cherokee Dinner, Stecoah

Spicewood & Solomon’s Seal

Loaves and Fishes

Big T’s on a Saturday Night

Brightleaf Flea Market

Flour Burgers

Pickled Corn on the Cob

Homeland Creamery

Oakwood BBQ

Dried Mullet Roe

Home Canned Tomatoes

Pig’s Feet Supper

Korner Kitchen

Pintos and Cornbread


Consome de Borrego

Fried Sweet Potatoes

Craven County Corn



Black-Eyed Peas & Hog Jowls


Collard Kraut

Bear Hunter’s Cornpone with Ramps

Stewed Turnips

Jeff & Lisa’s Brick House Grill

Hoe Cakes

Milton Tire Service and Grill

Bailey, NC

Hood Swamp

Yellow Cabbage Collards

Prison Farm Tomatoes

Railroad Cafe, Eden

Lenten Fish Fry

The Skylight

Livermush, Grits, & Eggs

Jamesville Herring Festival

North Asheville Tailgate Market

Warren Wilson College Farm

Melvin Gales’ Produce Stand

Mi Molcajete

Mole de Olla

Griot et Ragoût

The Stockyard

La Rosa de Saron

Styron’s Fish House

Brenda Avery’s Preserves

Colington Island Crabs

Davis Shore Light Rolls

Wild Plums

Sweet Corn & Biscuit

Saxapahaw General Store


Tomato Gravy

West End Grill

Kure Beach Fishing Pier

Chicken & Dumplings

Fresh Spots

Ms. Alice’s Kitchen

Spaghetti Supper

Church Bazaar, Butner

Old School Sorghum

Salemburg’s Food Bank

Cabin Branch Farm Market

October Beans

Pickled Hot Sausage

Mac’s Air Dried Sausage

Core Sound Clam Chowder with corn dumplings

Miss Beadie’s Sweet Potato Biscuits

Tamales & Atole



Fanta City

King of Turkey BBQ

Pimento Cheese & Liver Pudding, Kernersville

Pik-N-Pig, Carthage

Holy Week Fanesca

Bright Leaf Dogs

Fruta con Limon y Chile

Carolina Beach Farmers Market

Blue Crabs at Dusk


Honor Box Produce

Core Creek Crab Pot

Yana’s Peach Fritters

Hatteras Farewell