WFAEats

Courtesy of Iva Jean's Fudge

Does this sound familiar? One minute you’re raking autumn leaves, and the next thing you know Santa’s on your rooftop.

Yes, it’s the final countdown. Even worse, Christmas and Chanukah both fall on December 25, a Sunday this year. That means fewer days for shopping, schlepping – and shipping those gifts.

Never fear: Branded food products made here in Charlotte are easy to find at grocery and specialty food stores. Pop a few goodies into a basket and your tasteful gift is ready to give.

Get The (Bourbon) Ball Rolling

Dec 12, 2016
Bourbon balls
Samantha Thacker

I have been making these bourbon balls for more than a quarter of a century now. 

Sure, there were years I didn’t make them at all and swore I would never do it again. Then there was the time I couldn’t be bothered getting confectioners sugar, and learned the hard way that using granulated sugar instead made them so sweet and gritty that my dearest friend, who had always been a big fan, literally gagged and spit one out right in front of me. 

bacon chocolate candy
Amy Rogers / WFAEats

When it comes to making holiday treats, I have a guarantee. Everything is “So homely that you know it’s homemade.”

This pre-emptive statement came in handy recently when I experienced my first melted chocolate failure. Yes, failure. The chocolate would. Not. Melt.

This was something I’d done a hundred times before. I put white chocolate chips in a glass bowl, heated them in the microwave according to the directions on the bag, removed the chips, and stirred with a wooden spoon.

Peter Pham / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The invitation sounds innocent, fun even. “Come to a holiday cookie swap!” But be warned: You may find competitive bakers showing off – and showing up the rest of us.

Some people are cookie artisans. They bake edible embodiments of beauty. They create miniature masterpieces too pretty to eat.

Long before European settlers plowed the Plains, corn was an important part of the diet of Native American tribes like the Omaha, Ponca and Cherokee. Today, members of some tribes are hoping to revive their food and farming traditions by planting the kinds of indigenous crops their ancestors once grew.

runningtothekitchen.com/

Thirty million. That’s the number of pumpkin recipes a casual search will find on the internet. Now that it’s full-on fall, we’re skipping right over pie recipes to sample some of the more intriguing pumpkin preparations.

Start the day with a Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie from the expert juicers at Hummusapien. Chia seeds and spinach make this green drink extra healthy.

In the small town of Sunderland, Mass., is a 300-year-old, family-run plot of land that fuses fine art and farming.

Mike Wissemann's 8-acre cornfield maze is a feat of ingenuity, with carefully planned and executed stalk-formed replicas of notables such as the Mona Lisa, Albert Einstein and Salvador Dalí.

Halloween apple bites
Angela Liddon / ohsheglows.com

Take away the blood and gore of Halloween, and what’s left? Not much for vegans – until now.

Creepy cupcakes, edible eyeballs, and frightful fruits; most everything can be made without animal ingredients.

In Good Taste: Who's Too Old to Trick or Treat?

Oct 17, 2016
packs of candy
Accretion Disc / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Dear Etta Kate: We are starting to stockpile our Halloween candy, and my family is having an argument. When are kids too old to trick-or-treat? How about adults? My husband wants to put on a costume and go knocking on doors with our kids, who are 13 and 14. They flat-out refuse and say that’s just for little kids. I tend to agree, and I think their dad is somehow reliving his own sugar-coated childhood. What should I do? Signed, Candy in Kannapolis

Cover of the book 'treyf'
NAL/Berkley

On the day Elissa Altman visits North Carolina to speak at UNC-Chapel Hill, there’s a protester with a sign that reads “Stop Sinning” in front of the building where the author is headed.

“I actually had to laugh,” she says. “What is ‘Treyf’ about? Rule breaking. The forbidden and the ambiguity of life.”

The Hebrew term has a complicated meaning. Used most often to describe prohibited foods such as shellfish and pork, it can also refer to a person who is undesirable or improper. 

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