Olivia Dish

Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Mapping the Barbecue World-Wilber’s

In Barbecue, North Carolina, Restaurant on December 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm
Wilber's Barbecue Goldsboro NC

On Highway 70 in Goldsboro, NC

If you’re interested in eastern North Carolina barbecue, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Wilber’s.

It was 13 miles down the road from our farm, so of course I’d heard of it.  Wilber’s was the source of Saturday lunches and tailgating food for N.C. State games, the place the rich kids stopped off on their way to Camp Sea Gull.  I didn’t realize how famous it was until I left home.

Wilber’s had been, for many years, my prime destination every time I came back. I didn’t want to unload my suitcase. I wanted to head over to Highway 70 for a barbecue sandwich.  I knew I’d smell the wood fire when I drove up. If I was lucky, fighter jets from the nearby air force base might skim over the parking lot on their way to landing.  Did it get any better?

Then, one fine Saturday, my mother introduced me to Grady’s and a lifetime of devotion took a detour to Sleepy Creek Road. (Sorry Wilber.)

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Ice Cream Before the Freeze

In Homemade, Sweets on December 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Fresh mint and other herbs, gathered before the freeze

We’re expecting our first freeze of the winter tonight.  So along with the obligatory pot of soup, today I made something slightly less predictable but reasonable nonetheless –mint chocolate chip ice cream.

So here’s my reasoning: I clipped all my herbs this morning before Jack Frost could beat me to it. And though I like a Mint Julep as much as the next girl, I had more mint than I could julep and still get my work done.  Fresh mint ice cream, I’m thinking, was the only sober option.

I had my first fresh mint ice cream about 12 years ago in San Francisco and tried recreating it as soon as I got back in my own kitchen.

Over the years, I’ve played around with adapting different recipes.  And I added chocolate chips.  Then later, bourbon.

Today, with minimal fuss, I believe I nailed it.  Here’s how.

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A Sprout to Love

In Local Flavor, Markets, South Carolina on December 5, 2009 at 12:36 pm
sunflower sprouts

Attempting to refocus: can any good come from sprouts?

I don’t like finding a pile of hairy alfalfa sprouts on a sandwich.

I’m okay with a few bean sprouts in a stir fry, I guess.

I’ve just never been a sprout person.

Last weekend, my friend Whit DeSpoon brought me a collection of items from the local farmers’ market.  He unpacked and presented–arugula, carrots, green bell peppers–pausing when he came to a small bag of green-leafed things.

“Sunflower sprouts, I don’t know about these,” he said, turning the zip lock bag over in his hand.  “Hmm.”

His little “hmm” said plenty to me: “Maybe I shouldn’t have brought these to you but what the heck. Try to keep an open mind but don’t get your hopes up. And please don’t go all persnickety on me, the way you do when they put raisins in your French toast.”

I didn’t get my hopes up. I did feel persnickety.  But I also felt obliged to give them a try. So later in the day, I pulled the bag out of my refrigerator to take a look.
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