Tamra Wilson http://wfae.org en A Covered Dish: Less Can Be More http://wfae.org/post/covered-dish-less-can-be-more <p>Some call them potlucks or potlatches. In the Carolinas, they’re called a covered dish. The idea is the same: every attendee brings a prepared food item to share.</p><p>They’re filling events. You go in knowing you must sample every dish and will probably go back for seconds, or at least dessert. No one’s dish should go unsampled. You leave with a loosened belt buckle and happy memories. Good food, laughter, a celebration of friendship.</p><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:03:09 +0000 Tamra Wilson 54870 at http://wfae.org A Covered Dish: Less Can Be More Souvenirs? Consider The Grocery Store http://wfae.org/post/souvenirs-consider-grocery-store <p>Food is a telling thing. For a true venture into cultural anthropology, visit a local grocery store – preferably a mom-and-pop operation. I’ve shopped for groceries on three continents and in many states of the US. I always find interesting things to take home.</p><p> Tue, 20 May 2014 14:48:54 +0000 Tamra Wilson 51295 at http://wfae.org Souvenirs? Consider The Grocery Store A “Frank” Story of Survival http://wfae.org/post/frank-story-survival <p>Experts tell us that hot dogs are full of preservatives. I know this for a fact.</p><p>When I was ten years old, my mother had a portable dishwasher she seldom used. She preferred hand-washing to dragging the heavy machine across the linoleum and hooking the clumsy nozzle to the hot-water faucet. So the portable stayed next to the refrigerator – and this is where our saga begins.</p><p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:58:38 +0000 Tamra Wilson 48560 at http://wfae.org A “Frank” Story of Survival Dining Advice For North Of The Border http://wfae.org/post/dining-advice-north-border <p>Let’s talk about the Ohio River, shall we?</p><p>The waterway that drains the eastern half of the Midwest and has divided North from South for more than two centuries, is more than a state boundary. It’s demarcation for Southern cuisine.</p><p>Let me explain. I grew up in Shelby County, Illinois, a full hundred miles north of the Ohio. It was an existence devoid of cathead biscuits, home-made cornbread, and stone-ground grits. Okra, country ham, and collards did not exist.</p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 13:45:38 +0000 Tamra Wilson 47176 at http://wfae.org Dining Advice For North Of The Border The Secret Of Life: Eat More 'Doughnies' http://wfae.org/post/secret-life-eat-more-doughnies <span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span>What’s the secret to longevity?</p><p>If my mother is the model, we need to eat more doughnuts and bananas. My mother Enid McElroy lived to be 93 averaging a banana a day, plenty of high-test coffee and pastries by the box. Her favorite: doughnuts, or “doughnies.” She would eat them religiously. She would buy them glazed, powdered or jelly-filled and feign dismay that the rest of us wouldn’t join her sweet-toothed binges.</p><p>“Aren’t you going to eat these? They’re going to waste.” Then she’d reach into the doughnie package for seconds.</p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 16:15:37 +0000 Tamra Wilson 45236 at http://wfae.org The Secret Of Life: Eat More 'Doughnies' Mylbra’s Fruitcake http://wfae.org/post/mylbra-s-fruitcake <p>Mylbra Tilley was one of those “aunts” (no relation), who flitted in and out of our house on a whim. My mother, who didn’t veer far from recipe basics, sometimes took cues from Mylbra, who scoured the newspaper and friends’ suggestions for new recipes.</p><p></p><p>In fact, her homemade fruitcake, inspired by a newspaper clipping, shouted “Christmas” for years at our house. Rather than the store-bought doorstop-cakes from the grocery store, this one was delicious.</p><p></p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 16:04:37 +0000 Tamra Wilson 41450 at http://wfae.org Mylbra’s Fruitcake Comfort Food: Helen’s Famous Goulash http://wfae.org/post/comfort-food-helen-s-famous-goulash <p>One of the best stories I&rsquo;ve ever written contained a recipe. &ldquo;The House of Nits&rdquo; was a fictionalized version of one week in July when our father was away on business and our mother left to attend a cousin&rsquo;s funeral in Ohio. Helen, our next-door neighbor, was asked to keep an eye on my brother and me.</p><p></p> Fri, 04 Oct 2013 14:25:43 +0000 Tamra Wilson 36631 at http://wfae.org Comfort Food: Helen’s Famous Goulash Square Fish, Bread-Butter-Milk And Other School Food Mysteries http://wfae.org/post/square-fish-bread-butter-milk-and-other-school-food-mysteries Fish square on bun, tartar sauce, buttered corn, Jell-O cubes. Bread, butter, milk.</p><p></p><p>Welcome to school lunch, any Friday in 1963.</p><p>Menus, published every week in the Shelbyville, Illinois, newspaper, gave a heads up on what was for lunch at the school cafeteria. Teachers would know when to ditch the lunch line. Children, if they were able to read a newspaper, would know when to bring a sack lunch from home.</p><p>My brother and I would read menus as if divining the future for a particular week.</p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 15:27:54 +0000 Tamra Wilson 33748 at http://wfae.org Square Fish, Bread-Butter-Milk And Other School Food Mysteries It's Squash Drop Season http://wfae.org/post/its-squash-drop-season <p>If you have friends who garden or have access to too much produce, you may be the recipient of their gleanings. Co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors come bearing bags from their bounty.</p><p></p><p>Thanks to so much rain the bounty is higher than average. The current “drop” involves summer squash. This game works something like tag. The dropper tags you with veggies and you, the dropee, are “it.”</p><p>Sometimes the veggies turn up unannounced on your door step. Sometimes they come with a warning on the phone: I’m bringing some squash by.</p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 14:48:56 +0000 Tamra Wilson 30958 at http://wfae.org It's Squash Drop Season Awaken To Bacon http://wfae.org/post/awaken-bacon History tells us Bacon's Rebellion was an armed revolt in 1676. A rash of Indian attacks and other issues motivated an uprising led by Nathaniel Bacon against Gov. Berkeley, Lord Proprietor of the Carolinas. Seems the governor had misjudged the wrath of the settlers.</p><p>For some time now, another bacon rebellion has been under way: bacon fans vs. healthy eaters. If pop culture is any judge, the rebels may be gaining the upper hand.</p> Thu, 30 May 2013 17:50:42 +0000 Tamra Wilson 28359 at http://wfae.org Awaken To Bacon