WFAEats

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.

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