Biking with buggies, sweetpotato hash

Sunday afternoon we trucked our bikes across US 21 and into Yadkin County. I hadn’t realized that those few miles would put us so much closer to the blue Brushy Mountains nor how much Amish buggy traffic we’d see late on a Sunday. The air was as crisp as a fall apple — I stayed… Continue reading Biking with buggies, sweetpotato hash

Southern salsa

One of my favorite discoveries after moving to North Carolina 33 years ago was pepper relish. Not pepper jelly which is usually nothing more than pectin, sugar and food coloring, but pepper relish which is tiny pieces of pickled peppers — just like in the nursery rhyme.  Pepper relish is not easy to make (only because… Continue reading Southern salsa

September morn

Too damp to try out the new horsey short-cut our neighbors cut between pastures this weekend. “You could drive a car through it,” promised Esker T., also promising Amish-made venison summer sausage after he and his wife and son bag their limit this fall, at least partly from the new tree stand installed in the… Continue reading September morn

Roast chicken and deep agricultural thoughts

It looked too little to have left its mother, its neck no bigger than a finger or a baby carrot, but the almost 3-pound free-range bird from Echo Glen Farm in Statesville had the sweetest, palest white meat of any I’ve ever eaten. And even though it costs more than supermarket chicken, this is the way… Continue reading Roast chicken and deep agricultural thoughts

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

59 degrees. Sunny Carolina blue sky with  a few cirrhus strands to the north. High of “only” 84 predicted. Air-conditioning off and windows open. Fall broccoli and cabbage plants set out. Mums unclenching their bright buds.  Time to anticipate fall in the South, one of two seductive seasons (the other being spring) that keep us here through… Continue reading Oh, what a beautiful morning!

Sheila Lukins’ Better than Ketchup Chutney

He Who Has Drunk Such a Thing says the spikey pink kudzu flowers smell like Grape Nehi. I’m panting too hard on the dogs’ and my morning “walk” to notice it for more than a moment. I crawl back to the house, my tee shirt soaked with sweat and sure I’ve walked at least 5… Continue reading Sheila Lukins’ Better than Ketchup Chutney

Harlequin glorybower and an NSV

Isn’t that a wonderful name for a tree? I just love saying  it, ever since I identified the perfumey trees blooming at the foot of our drive. If the wind’s blowing toward you, the sweet smell of the honeysuckle-like pink and white flowers is almost overpowering, but what else do we have to smell in mid-August?… Continue reading Harlequin glorybower and an NSV

Fabulous field peas

It’s that wonderful time when the smell of curing tobacco floats on the night air and the molasses smell of pickling corn floats from the trench siloes during the day. We’re having a cold snap (only 82 this afternoon following a rain so hard that water blew under the doors on the north side of… Continue reading Fabulous field peas