Amy Rogers

Coordinator of WFAEats

Amy Rogers is the author of Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas and Red Pepper Fudge and Blue Ribbon Biscuits. Her writing has also been featured in Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing, the Oxford American, and the Charlotte Observer. She is founding publisher of the award-winning Novello Festival Press. She received a Creative Artist Fellowship from the Arts and Science Council, and was the first person to receive the award for non-fiction writing. Her reporting has also won multiple awards from the N.C. Working Press Association. She has been Writer in Residence at the Wildacres Center, and a program presenter at dozens of events, festivals, arts centers, schools, and other venues. Amy Rogers considers herself “Southern by choice,” and is a food and culture commentator for NPR station WFAE.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory? Watching my mother in a gorgeous cocktail dress sneak into the kitchen before a party so she could eat some real food.

What’s your typical breakfast? Coffee, with a side order of extra coffee

What can you always find in your fridge? Half-and-half. Because you can put it in coffee, tea, cereal, frittatas, and lots of leftover things like tomatoes, potatoes and shellfish to make cream-of-whatever soup.

Kitchen tool(s) you can’t live without? I lived and cooked wonderful meals for literally decades with only one chef’s knife. I now have others but rarely use them.

If you aren’t in the kitchen, where are you? Visiting farm stands, markets, cafes, friends’ homes – anywhere there’s food to be sampled and enjoyed.

Amy Rogers’ website

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

decorated eggs
Carol Sawyer

Ham or lamb? Deviled eggs or dyed eggs? Cook at home or go to a restaurant? When it comes to celebrating Easter, the culinary questions are somewhat different than those for other occasions.

It’s a serious holiday but it wears a public face full of some pretty silly food. (Also pretty, silly food.) Just look at the cookbooks and magazines: They’re covered in rainbows of candy and bunnies and other cute things. If you didn’t know better, you might overlook the fact that Easter is the most important Christian holy day. 

I'm getting ready to explain who I am when Joan Nathan answers the phone.

“Amy?”

She already knows my name, which shouldn’t surprise me – since she seems to know just about everything.

To Share Or Not To Share

Mar 10, 2017
Chinese meal
David Woo / Flickr/creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who happily share their food, and those who’d rather stab your outstretched hand with a carving fork.

Both are completely understandable. On one hand, sampling each other’s meals can be a fun way to taste things you’d might not otherwise try. On the other likely-to-be-impaled hand, why should you have to split your birthday slice of cheesecake six ways?

Potatoes For Jayne

Mar 6, 2017
French fried potatoes in a skillet
Amy Rogers / WFAEats

In happy times we celebrate with food, and in hard times we console each other with it. A few years back, my good friend Jayne lost her mother. I cooked her a dish I later named “Sympathy Salmon,” and wrote about it here on WFAEats.

tasting food samples
RIC's Market Foundation

Even as a child, Angela Gray knew injustice when she saw it. Grocery stores in her Detroit neighborhood were dirty, smelly – and expensive.

“I'm going to open a free store,” she proclaimed.

“You won’t be in business long,” her mother replied.

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