April McGreger

April McGreger is the proprietor of Farmer's Daughter, a farm-driven artisan food business in Carrboro, N.C. She is a leader in her local Slow Food convivium, where she is known to curate field pea tastings and write for the Slow Food Triangle blog. When not in the kitchen, she can usually be found at her local community garden or singing and playing the tenor banjo with her husband Phil.

Getting figgy with it

Southern fig cake and old-fashioned fig preserves

Eating fresh figs is so sensual that it practically makes me blush. But if you're lucky enough to have a glut of these beauties, here are some recipes to preserve them for savoring later.

Pepper doctor

Savory fruit salads are a 4th of July taste revolution

(April McGreger photos) We all know the 4th of July routine: fireworks, grilling, and all-American pies for dessert. But unlike Thanksgiving, no side dishes traditionally stand out. This year, don’t get stuck eating potato salad or tri-color pasta from plastic deli containers. Instead, give fruit salads a chance to redeem themselves. Forget that big heaping bowl of generic, soulless, supermarket fruit that you pass right over at potlucks. If fruit salad to you seems more like a lackluster dessert or brunch dish than a smashing summer side, let me assure you that you just haven’t met these fruit salads — …

Churn and churn about

Summer in a bowl: Blueberry buttermilk ice cream

April McGreger photos Ask me about my favorite foods, and I will inevitably list my favorite food experiences — all of which, by no coincidence, are cooked or eaten outside: boiled peanuts, barbecue, fried crappie, roasted oysters, boiled shrimp, watermelon, and homemade ice cream. Everything tastes better outdoors. With sun on our face and a warm breeze on our skin, our senses are heightened and our appetites are primed, making even the simplest piece of ripe fruit taste divine. As an added bonus, eating meals outdoors means a free pass on customary table manners. No one looks twice if you …

Fishing for solutions

Support Southern seafood with this Vietnamese-style caramelized catfish dish

The addition of spring greens makes this Vietnamese-style caramelized catfish a complete meal.(April McGreger photos) Recently I visited my family in Mississippi, where I dodged tornadoes and lamented flooded fields of corn and soybeans and the many farmers who’ve gone bust. The one thing that distracted us from the immediate crises in the northern half of the state was the abominable news coming from our neighbors to the south. The television constantly blasted updates on the Gulf oil spill — the consequences of which we found hard to fathom, when so many residents are still barely hanging on from Katrina. …

(Not) As seen on TV

The real ‘Food Revolution’ starts with healthy Appalachian cornbread

Why can’t a revolution based on traditional Appalachian foodways be televised?Photo: April McGreger Having watched the first three episodes, I’ve been thinking a lot about Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” TV Show. Who can argue with his efforts to get fresh food into West Virginia’s schools? No doubt, the pantries and fridges in most school cafeterias need to be purged and restocked. However, from what I can tell so far, our imported food revolutionary could stand to slow down and think a little bit harder about what he’s up to. First, Oliver has demonstrated little knowledge of (or interest in) the …

Messin' around

Getting back to our green roots with potlikker soup

Collard greens, pork stock, and corn dumplings soak in the rich broth of history.  (Photos by April McGreger) Recently I was one of more than 1,000 Southern farmers, chefs, and co-producers attending the Georgia Organics Conference in Athens, Ga. The theme of the conference was “Reclaiming Agriculture,” with the spotlight on “culture.” The keynote speaker, Slow Food International founder Carlo Petrini, gave an inspiring speech calling on all there to remember that Slow Food‘s mission is not simply to support local food, but to preserve local, cultural food practices. He suggested that if we can reconnect food to culture, we …

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