Recipe: Sweet Potato Hummus

Today’s recipe is from April McGreger’s Sweet Potatoes. April McGreger is founder-chef of Farmer’s Daughter, a farm-driven artisan food business in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Her recipe is a southern take on hummus, with sweet potatoes instead of traditional chickpeas. This hummus makes an excellent dish for parties!

Recipe: Southern Reuben

Today’s recipe is from Belinda Ellis’ Biscuits: a Savor the South® cookbook. Ellis is editor of Edible Piedmont, a North Carolina food magazine, and a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance. Her recipe is a Southern take on a Reuben Sandwich, made with rye biscuits instead of traditional rye bread. This sandwich is scrumptious for lunch, dinner, and even breakfast!

John Shelton Reed: North Carolina Needs a New Holiday

Not only was it seven years earlier than the Tea Party, its story is much more colorful. While the Tea Party offers only a pitiful attempt to avoid the blame by dressing up as Mohawk Indians, the Barbecue story involves a stand-off between the local militia and the British Navy, a conflict between the Governor and the courts, a duel to the death, and a suicide by disembowelment.

Recipe: Soft Refrigerator Honeysuckle Jelly

Today’s recipe is from Andrea Weigl’s Pickles and Preserves: a Savor the South® cookbook. Weigl is the food writer for the Raleigh News & Observer and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her recipe transforms a childhood favorite—honeysuckle flowers—into a unique jelly! Spread it on toast or enjoy over fresh fruit for a nostalgic treat.

John Shelton Reed: Busting a Barbecue Myth

It’s true that cooking with gas or electricity is cheaper and easier, and the product is more consistent (if not great). But when we ask gassers why they don’t cook with wood, they seldom mention those considerations. Instead, what we almost always hear is stuff like “The city won’t let us,” or “The inspector made us stop,” or “It’s against the Clean Air regulations.” In short, the government made them do it.

But this never comes with specifics.

John Shelton Reed: The Pig Picker: A Barbecue Cocktail

We North Carolinians love our vinegar-based barbecue sauces. In fact, we love them so much we don’t just splash them on barbecue: East of Raleigh we boil potatoes in sauce-spiked water; west of Raleigh sauce goes in slaw. So why not a cocktail with sauce in it?

Video: The Life and Legacy of Bill Neal

A short documentary film about chef and restaurateur Bill Neal (1950-1991), who helped bring southern cuisine to national prominence.

Bridgette A. Lacy: Sunday Dinner Traditions

As a single woman, I’ve had to reinvent the meal I used to share with three generations of family members. I have sought out friends and colleagues to join my culinary communion, especially on Sundays.

Excerpt: Modern Food, Moral Food, by Helen Zoe Veit

A variety of factors contributed to the explosion of weight loss culture during and after the Great War, and one especially potent factor was the creep of metrics into daily life. The application of calories to food in the late nineteenth century and the emerging discipline of statistics resulted in well-publicized comparisons of food consumption and body weights between individuals and across populations. At the same time, life insurance statistics were revealing new correlations between excess weight and chronic disease. More and more Americans, meanwhile, were purchasing newly affordable home scales and buying their clothing ready-made, and thus increasingly thinking of their bodies in terms of numbers and sizes instead of, say, just making clothes to fit their individual bodies. Moreover, metrics grew more prevalent in daily life just as the motion picture industry was taking off and as a visually oriented print media continued to expand. Handed the tools to make physical comparisons, Americans eagerly made them. The growing ease of numerical and visual comparisons contributed directly to the valorization of thinness. But what accounts for the moral stigma that leeched onto the idea of being overweight? The answer lies at the heart of the Progressive ideology of self-control, a value that transcended the Progressive Era itself, both supporting and thriving within the enduring associations between thinness, willpower, and beauty.

Sandra A. Gutierrez: An Ode to Beans and Field Peas

I was thrilled to have been invited to write this book, Beans and Field Peas: a SAVOR THE SOUTH® cookbook collection published by the University of North Carolina Press. I seldom get the chance to immerse myself into the study of a single subject for a long period of time. In this case, legumes in the form of beans, field peas, and green beans offered me an opportunity to investigate and retrieve their historical origins, extoll on their cultural importance in the foodways of an entire region, and put them into a global perspective.

Helen Zoe Veit: The Great War and Modern Food

One thing World War I doesn’t bring to mind is food. But it should, because during World War I the rise of industrial food processing, nutrition science, and America’s first food aid program revolutionized American food on almost every level. World War I made food modern, and understanding how that happened is key to understanding food today.

April McGreger: Sweet Potato Pone

Sweet potato pone is a southern favorite that can be served any time of the day. Enjoy April McGreger’s delicious recipe for a historical dish while celebrating National Sweet Potato Month this February and all year long!

Marcie Cohen Ferris: Civil Rights, Lunch Counters, and North Carolina Basketball

In 1966, Charles “Charlie” Scott (b. 1948 in NYC) became the first African American student to attend the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on an athletic scholarship. He decided to attend UNC rather than basketball powerhouse Davidson College after a wrenching moment at a small café in Davidson, North Carolina. Former Davidson College basketball star Terry Holland, who both played and later served as assistant coach under the college’s legendary coach Lefty Driesell, and UNC law professor and civil rights attorney Daniel H. Pollitt, who was a passionate advocate for social justice in Chapel Hill during the 1950s and 1960s, vividly recall Scott’s historic decision. Pollitt worked with Dean Smith, UNC’s beloved basketball coach (1961-1997) and Robert Seymour, progressive minister at the Olin T. Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, to recruit Charlie Scott and to help integrate the university community.

Excerpt: Alcohol: A History, by Rod Phillips

One of the earliest printed books on aqua vitae, in this case brandy, was published in Germany in 1476 and recommended a half-spoonful every morning to prevent conditions as varied as arthritis and bad breath. Other physicians wrote of the beneficial effects of brandy for physical ailments (it cured headaches, heart disease, gout, and deafness); as an aid to appearance (it improved the bust and stopped hair graying); and as therapy for emotional and other problems (it banished melancholy and forgetfulness). The inclusion of conditions commonly associated with aging (such as deafness, forgetfulness, and graying) reflects the claims that drinking brandy prolonged youth and thus life itself.

Debbie Moose: Thanksgiving Relish Tray

My attachment to the Thanksgiving relish tray began with my grandmother, whose tray contained her homemade pickled peaches, homemade bread-and-butter pickles, homemade watermelon rind pickles—and store-bought, bright red, spiced apple rings. The rings sort of came out of left field and I don’t know the story behind them, but as a kid I loved their sweet, Technicolor addition.

Interview: Rod Phillips and the world history of alcohol

Brewsters were female brewers. They were important because during the Middle Ages (and later in the American colonies) women brewed the beer their families needed. Brewing was seen as a woman’s task, like baking. Beer was liquid bread, and very nutritious. But as brewing became more commercialized, women were pushed out. The world of big business was seen as no place for women, and women didn’t have access to the financing needed for a commercial brewery. So brewing became a male occupation, and it’s really only with the rise of craft breweries in the last decade or two that women have started to re-enter the industry.

Save 40% on Savor the South Cookbooks 10-volume Set

The 10-volume set of Savor the South® Cookbooks is now available in hardcover at a special discounted price. Don’t miss out on this limited-time offer. Buy the set and save big!

Interview: Marcie Cohen Ferris on The Edible South

Southern cuisine was a key component in historic preservation efforts in the early twentieth century to promote and sell the South and its racial mores to both tourists and locals. Through constructed memories of southern food from the plantation to the mountain South, sophisticated campaigns were launched to promote the “taste” of the Old South in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Lowcountry flavors of Savannah and Charleston, the fashionable Creole cuisine of New Orleans, and the “authentic” “hillbilly” and “Highlands” foods of the mountain South.

Interview: Jodi Helmer on Farming and Agritourism in Georgia

We’ve become so disconnected from the source of our food! While I was traveling through Georgia, several farmers told me that kids who visited their farms had no idea that chickens laid eggs and carrots came out of the soil. Agritourism provides a great opportunity to learn where our food comes from and meet the farmers who grow and raise it. Farmers work incredibly hard to put food on our tables; visiting farms shows that we value their dedication to growing fresh, local foods and want to support their work. If we want small farms to survive, we need to support the farmers.

Andrea Weigl: One Recipe Leads to Another

One of the things I enjoy most about canning is discovering new recipes. This one for Pear Syrup only happened because I called my mom on the morning before a marathon canning session. I mentioned in passing that I was making Pear Honey. My mother brightened, inquiring about the recipe. She was deflated to hear that Pear Honey was a preserve, like apple butter. She had hoped it was a recipe for a pear syrup that my Grandmother Anna Weigl used to make from the skins of pears. I listened to my mother’s story and decided at that moment to try to recreate my grandmother’s syrup.