Book filled with memories of family food

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By D.G. Martin
for UNC-TV Bookwatch

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Author Randall Kenan talks about “The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food” on North Carolina Bookwatch Sunday, Nov. 19, at noon and Thursday, Nov. 23 at 5 p.m.

In a special Thanksgiving oriented repeat of a popular program, Randall Kenan talks about North Carolina foods. His book of essays includes his own memories of the foods being brought to his family’s house by his Duplin County neighbors when his great uncle died.

“People showing up heavy-laden with food to the homes of the recently deceased. Hams, fried chicken, oven-baked barbecue chicken, pork chops smothered in gravy, dirty rice, Spanish rice, potato salad galore, slaw, sweet potato casseroles, candied yams, hushpuppies, cornbread, soup, chopped pork barbecue, collard greens, pound cake, chocolate cake, coconut cake, pineapple cake, red velvet cake, sweet potato pie, lemon meringue pie”

His remembrance is just one of the many writings about food that Kenan has collected from some of North Carolina’s best writers, including Lee Smith, Daniel Wallace, Marianne Gingher, Jill McCorkle, Jaki Shelton Green, Wayne Caldwell, Marcie Cohen Ferris, Michael McFee, Zelda Lockhart, Crook's Corner's popular chef Bill Smith, noted cookbook author Nancie McDermott, and many others.

If you love good writing and good food, don’t miss seeing Kenan talk about “The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food.”

Bumpy childhood ahead for Dupree

Donna Everhart talks about “The Education of Dixie Dupree ” on North Carolina Bookwatch Sunday, November 26, at noon and Thursday, November 30 at 5 p.m.

In naming it an Amazon Best Book of November 2016 Amazon reviewer Adrian Liang wrote the following about “The Education of Dixie Dupree,” the debut novel of Donna Everhart: “The eyes of eight-year-old Dixie Dupree are bright and wide as she candidly reveals her bumpy childhood in Alabama with her high-strung mother and somewhat useless father. When her parents' incipient divorce triggers a tragic accident, the family is overwhelmed, and Dixie's faraway uncle, Ray, comes to the rescue. Or so it seems.

Debut author Everhart writes about the tension between mother and daughter with bravery and wit, unearthing the little things that can seesaw a relationship between trust and resentment. And I'm sure I won't be the only one who sees glimpses of Harper Lee's young Scout in Dixie's stubbornness and naiveté. Like “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Education of Dixie Dupree” delves into subjects too powerful to allow the book to be labeled as charming. But there is a wistful magic in seeing the world again through a child's viewpoint, even if that world is not as shiny and innocent as one would hope."

D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch” on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel.