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Want a different kind of nibble on these long summer days when it’s too hot to cook? Graze your way through a bountiful buffet of food poems. Here’s a sampler of some favorites (with links to the full works on

Start the day with Elizabeth Bishop and “A Miracle for Breakfast”:

Sally's Pimiento Cheese

Jul 2, 2015
Amanda Clark

My grandmother’s pimiento cheese is the best in the world. Whether it’s spread on a salty cracker or between two slices of grilled, buttered bread, there’s no wrong way to enjoy it. Being an aficionado and a self-proclaimed pimiento cheese expert, I’ve had my fair share of the “Caviar of the South,” as it’s often called.

Some might wonder, “What could possibly be more unhealthy than cheese and mayonnaise?” when the question they should be asking is: “How can I incorporate this into every single meal?”

Charlotte Jewish Film Festival

Ziggy Gruber wants to taste your chicken soup. And he’s traveling all the way from Texas to do it.

Gruber’s career as a lifelong “Deli Man” has been featured in a documentary film of the same name. And he’ll be making an appearance in person at the Charlotte Jewish Film Festival’s 2nd Annual Fan Appreciation Day on July 19. That’s where he’ll head up a panel of professional soup-slurpers that will choose the best chicken soup in all of Charlotte.

Tamra Wilson

Pie or cake?

From time to time, a southern magazine or newspaper will pose that question and invite readers to weigh in. That only goes to show how Southerners don’t know pie like they should.

Where I grew up in Central Illinois, the dessert question is this: What kind of pie shall you have? Ice cream is the consolation prize when all the pie is gone. Cake, banana pudding, and cheesecake aren’t in the running.

Mecklenburg County Center of the N.C. Cooperative Extension

How hot is hummus these days? It’s everywhere from cookouts to cocktail parties. But most of the time, it’s pretty bland and uninspired.

So we were happy to see this recipe for a lively green hummus, courtesy of our friends at the Mecklenburg County branch of N.C. Cooperative Extension agency. It’s perfect for those days when the herb garden goes wild, when you’re drowning in dill, overrun with oregano, buried under all that basil.

In Good Taste: 'Entertaining' Neighbors

Jun 2, 2015

Dear Etta Kate: Now that the season of outdoor parties is upon us, I need your help. I like to host cookouts at my place. It can be hard to contain the noise -- not to mention the aromas -- from all the activity. My neighbor Heidi lives next door. A friend told me I must invite Heidi to my next cookout. Is that true? What are my obligations to my neighbors? I want to enjoy my summer. Sincerely, Cookie

Good Friends, Bad Coffee

May 26, 2015
Amy Rogers

Some people are coffee snobs. I am not one of them. So when my friend Bonnie called to ask what kind of coffee I wanted for my visit to her mountain house, I gave my stock answer: “You cannot make it any way that I won’t like it.”

I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Bonnie and her husband, Bob, had forgotten to pack the coffee from their home in Florida when they set out for the mountains. Intrepid world travelers, they coped with this catastrophic oversight as best they could: They bought the most interesting coffee they could find in Murphy, N.C.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread Between Friends

May 19, 2015
Joanne Joy

Homemade bread. It’s one of the great pleasures of life—so simple and satisfying; a marvel of chemistry. I turned against carbs for a short period of time, but missed the good hearty bread I was used to eating. I’m not a fan of the white Sunbeam variety, but prefer mine with as much grain and nutty goodness that you can pack into a loaf and still call it bread. A friend shared a handwritten version of this recipe with me after we had a conversation about her commitment to grinding her own grain.

Like a garden basket brimming with ripe vegetables and fruits, the town of Shelby, NC, will all but overflow with culinary and cultural celebrations this weekend.

Presented by the Earl Scruggs Center, “Feast Here Tonight” is a special exhibit that explores piedmont and Appalachian food and music traditions.

Jeepers Media / Flickr/

When I heard that Kraft Foods plans to take the orange color out of their mac and cheese “to meet consumers’ changing lifestyles and needs,” I thought: Here we go again. A major food manufacturer is playing the health-food game, trying to fix something that’s not broken. Or, to put it another way, something that’s so broken it’s campy.