Food & Drink

Food & Drink

How to have a pancake social at home

One of the annual class projects at the Midwestern boarding school where I grew up was making maple syrup. After collecting sap from the local stand of sugar maples, we’d stay up all night, boiling the stuff into syrup in a wood-burning contraption we’d set up near the decrepit tennis courts. Then we’d celebrate the season’s haul with a pancake social. It was a party we looked forward to all year – an excuse to pull an all-nighter outside when normally we’d be under curfew in the dorms, followed by the reward of towers of pancakes as night turned into morning.

Food & Drink

Chickpea stew creamy, hearty and (sort of) virtuous

I am not the kind of person who likes to put labels on things, because doing so often makes me feel restricted. Tell me something is gluten-free, and I immediately assume I am missing out on a better version made with gluten. Call it vegetarian, and I will convince myself that whatever it is would have been better with sausage in it.

Food & Drink

One dough can deliver cookies to match everyone’s tastes

Kelly at work is vegan, cousin Jerry has gone gluten-free, and your neighbor Ava is pescatarian and eats dairy, but not eggs. Even you passed on last evening’s spaghetti carbonara in an attempt to eat more heart-healthy. It’s hard to keep up with everyone’s diet these days, and it can be even more difficult to accommodate each and every one of them at the table – especially during the holidays.

Want the tastiest Charlotte food gifts? Our expert eaters put them to the test

From muscadine soda mix to tomato jam to the perfect toffee, Kathleen Purvis of The Charlotte Observer and Sallie Funderburk of CharlotteFive sample enough great Charlotte products to fill anyone's holiday basket