On Leaving North Carolina…

Leaving North Carolina | Fork Knife Swoon

Tomorrow we are road-tripping west! The timing of our move came upon us like a nine pound hammer; we had four days from the moment it was official until the movers arrived, and not a lot of time to say goodbye to the town we’ve called home for the last two years.

So on our last night in North Carolina, I thought I’d say a short and sweet farewell with some snapshots of life lately, here in this little part of the country…

Leaving North Carolina | Fork Knife SwoonLeaving North Carolina | Fork Knife SwoonLeaving North Carolina | Fork Knife Swoon

… 

Read More »

Minty Vanilla Coconut Iced Coffee + A Nespresso Giveaway!

Minty Vanilla Coconut Iced Coffee | Fork Knife Swoon

It was just after 8 o-clock in the morning, and one of the movers was methodically surveying our kitchen; opening the cabinets and scanning the counters with a stern look on his face. He was quickly discovering that he had drawn the short straw, designated with packing up the kitchen, pantry and my dishware and prop collection.

“Y’all have three coffee machines?”

I glanced at the counter, then back at him, blushing slightly… He hadn’t discovered the french press or the porcelain pour-over Melitta cup in the cupboard above yet.

Minty Vanilla Coconut Iced Coffee | Fork Knife Swoon

“I have a thing for coffee,” I replied, flashing him a smile and silently saying goodbye to all five coffee makers for the next few weeks.

He nodded, but looked unimpressed, no doubt distracted by the sheer volume of kitchen equipment and gadgetry he was about to pack, so I didn’t explain that each one was different: there was the standard coffee machine, the little workhorse of an espresso machine, and the hybrid (and brand spanking new addition to the family).

… 

Read More »

Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta and Herbs + An Announcement!

Tomato and Watermelon Salad | Fork Knife Swoon

One afternoon, shortly after we moved to North Carolina, I found myself standing in the kitchen, talking the ear off of a friendly pest control technician, who made the mistake of asking me about cooking. The conversation wound its way around to southern food, and then of course, to barbecue.

I bemoaned the lack of great local barbecue joints, already pining for the half-dozen or so favorites we had left behind in Georgia. There was Three Lil’ Pigs, a mandatory stop on any motorcycle trip to Pine Mountain. Smokey Pig Barbecue in Columbus. Or J and L’s, the tiny bbq trailer we stumbled across on the way back from a weekend in Savannah, so small I’m not sure we could find it again. The owner came over to our table with banana pudding and thanked us for stopping in.

Tomato and Watermelon Salad | Fork Knife Swoon… 

Read More »

Berry Swirled Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Cherry Berry Swirl Frozen Yogurt | Fork Knife Swoon

Madness goes something like this: It’s after seven. The thermometer in the kitchen window still hovers over a hundred degrees. I’ve been peeking through the window every few minutes, checking the sky. The sun finally begins its slow set, suddenly softer and partially obscured by the massive, billowing clouds that have triumphantly filled the sky every afternoon for as many days this month as I can remember.

I pull two pints of homemade cherry frozen yogurt from the very back of the freezer and quickly fill a waiting cone with two big scoops. I hand it to the Honey, grab my camera, and the kitchen door bangs shut behind us.

Cherry Berry Swirl Frozen Yogurt | Fork Knife Swoon

Across the patio and the frozen yogurt is already melting. We reach a small patch of decently green grass and I muster a few quick shots in the seventeen or so seconds before the whole delicious mess completely implodes, sinking into the cone and running down the edges onto the Honey’s hand. The pup lays patiently in the grass at his feet, just outside the edge of the frame, waiting for drips. This is the fourth cone I’ve shot, and he’s a quick learner.

Photographing frozen yogurt outside, in June. In the South. This is my madness.

… 

Read More »

For Bud, and All Those Who Serve

Memorial Day | Fork Knife Swoon

My Dad sat behind the bar on the tall wicker stool, the same perch where Bud usually reigned, surrounded by his orchids and a bevy of photographs, trophies and travel souvenirs collected over a life nine decades in the making. An oil painting of some snowy West Virginia street hung behind him next to a cheeky bar sign from the Second World War. Family photos of varying vintages adorned the walls above a commemorative hole-in-one golf ball keeping company with several gifted bottles of fine whiskey on the bar shelf below.

That bar was a familiar place to gather at my grandparents’ home in the desert. We almost always ended up there at the end of the night, arranged around the granite counter in mismatched chairs, blissfully full from dinner but always game to solve the world’s problems through debate, banter and many glasses of wine. Bud loved to stoke a good political argument, counting on those after-dinner drinks to exaggerate and fuel ideological differences. On this night, a week before Thanksgiving, the mood was more solemn, but it still seemed the appropriate place to come together.

Dad poured us each a glass of scotch from a favorite imported bottle, and we toasted to a husband, a father and a grandfather. It was sometime after midnight, and my Grandpa Bud had just passed away, slipping peacefully into the night, at home, as he had wanted. The family was there. We had all had the chance to say goodbye, and he was ready, content for his story to end after ninety-two good years.

At the time, I wasn’t ready to write about him, about what his death – what he – meant to me. It was too soon, too emotional… I couldn’t find the words. I suppose I still don’t completely know what to say. But he is one of two combat veterans who I love, and I’ve been thinking about him today.

… 

Read More »

Coconut Whipped Cream and Macerated Berry Parfaits

Coconut Whipped Cream and Berry Parfaits | Fork Knife Swoon

Popping in to say hello with a super quick and easy weekend dessert: the loveliest mixed berry parfaits that are sweet and decadent and also just so happen to be vegan and gluten free. This time of year, when the unrelenting heft of the Southern summer begins to creep in, punctuating perfectly gorgeous spring days with thunderous downpours and thicker-than-bootstrap-molasses humidity, I gravitate towards this sort of simple, fresh fruit-based dessert. If for no other reason than it requires little to no cooking. No oven, no baking, little time to labor over in the kitchen, which, wouldn’t you know it, is consistently the hottest part of our house. And then, of course, there is the incredible nature of peak season berries…
… 

Read More »