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Did you know that Grits are made from corn? And stone ground grits are the best.

Old grist mills in North Carolina still make stone-ground grits. This water powered mill in Selma is making grits and corn meal the old way.  |  chloesblog.com

Atkinson Milling Company in Selma, NC produces some of the best grits.  I’ve tried many kinds and theirs are the best.

I was looking for local stone-ground North Carolina grits to serve at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast and I found them at Atkinson Mill in Selma, NC.  Joseph Wheeler,  whose grandfather owns the mill, gave us the grand tour of this fascinating and quite extensive mill.  You could just tell that Joseph loves this business and he loves the mill and its history.

Wandering around in the mill there is a yellowish haze everywhere. We had corn dust all over us!  [click to continue…]

Lynda Oden and her family have been running Oden’s Store since 1904

Visit Oden's Store and Antiques near Bath NC -- full of treasures and the charms of the old South | chloesblog.comOden’s Store and Antiques is chock full of treasures: depression glass, old tools, furniture from the turn of the last century, old doors, some junk, but all of it is interesting. It is the kind of place where you have to poke around in all the corners; if you don’t, you might miss something. If you are lucky, some of Lynda’s buddies will be there around the pot-bellied stove talking in that wonderful down-east brogue. [click to continue…]

Making Pull Candy – the Old-Fashioned Way

Pull Candy Recipe – Old Time Stewed Sugar 

Try this recipe for old-fashioned Pull Candy -- just like your grandmother used to make. Make fun kitchen memories with your kids  |  chloesblog.bigmill.com

My mother called this wonderful confection pull candy or stewed sugar. Some folks call it taffy. When she described a child’s pretty blond hair she would say it was the color of stewed sugar — a gorgeous translucent white color with a faint golden tint.

Making this recipe in the New Year seems appropriate for me – it brings back memories of winter on the farm in the kitchen with my mother who was also named Chloe. She told me that when she was growing up, folks in the neighborhood would have a Candy Pulling party and they had so much fun. [click to continue…]

Homemade Eggnog Recipe – Yes, it is safe!

Eggnog is the perfect holiday toddy

Try this Homemade Eggnog Recipe made with real eggs - tested to be safe from salmonella bacteria | chloesblog.bigmillcom

Is it safe to drink eggnog made with raw eggs? Eggnog used to be part of every holiday party. Then we heard all the bad stories about raw eggs so we didn’t use raw eggs anymore. And eggnog just wasn’t the same. Well, cheer up and worry no more! We now have a recipe that uses fresh eggs – it is great tasting and safe to drink.

You have to make it early and let it “mellow.” [click to continue…]

Holiday Recipe Roundup

The holiday season brings up memories of holidays past

 7 fabulous recipes for the holidays from the innkeeper at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast #holiday recipes | http://chloesblog.bigmill.com/holiday-recipes-for-parties-and-gifts/

Click “P” on image to Pin for Later

For me, they are often memories of wonderful food and recipes from my farm bed and breakfast. I have been writing Chloe’s Blog since 2007 and have gathered some great old family favorites and some new and exciting recipes that my mom never heard of.

Click to get all 7 recipes

We folks in eastern North Carolina celebrate our farm heritage

Santa and his tractor at the Martin County Farm Heritage Fair in Williamston, NC | chloesblog.bigmill.com

Every year since 2003, we have a big Farm Heritage Fair at the Senator Bob Martin Ag Center in Williamston, NC. This year the Farm Heritage Fair is December 7, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It is not just about tractors. It is about how life on the farm in eastern North Carolina used to be. Early on Saturday morning, there is a hog killing.  And you can see how sausage was made on the farm up until the sixties.  You will see parts of the hog you might not want to see. [click to continue…]

How to Make a Cork Wreath

What do you do with all those corks you’ve saved?  Make a Cork Wreath.

What a gorgeous holiday decoration! Learn how to make this stunning cork wreath. Complete instructions on chloesblog.bigmill.com

It isn’t difficult if you follow my directions and take it one step at a time.

Here is how to make the perfect Cork Wreath. Cork wreaths are pretty any time of year, but folks like them for the holidays. [click to continue…]

Civil War Battle of Fort Branch

Every year on the first weekend in November the Yankees and the Rebels fight the Battle of Fort Branch on the banks of the Roanoke River near Hamilton in eastern North Carolina.

Glimpse life as a Civil War Reenactor in a fun video from ChloesBlog.com. Watch as Confederate soldiers battle the Union army at the Battle of Ft. Branch in NC | chloesblog.com

The Battle of Fort Branch is on the first Sunday in November, but the re-enactors arrive on Thursday, set up camp and go about life as it would have been in 1862.

I took a video of the battle. That day everywhere I went several children followed me. Right smack dab in the middle of this video you can hear this child blurt out, “The dead guy’s walking!” Irritated me at first but now I just smile. If you notice in this video you will see several Ms. Johnny Rebs. And if you see some soldiers or horsemen with sticks instead of guns, that is because they aren’t old enough to have the guns.

[click to continue…]

It is Vegetarian Awareness Month. Find these vegetarian recipes and try out a few on your family this month.  |  www.ChloesBlog.com
While waiting on the plane to carry me back to Big Mill B&B, I decided to dash off a quick blog post in honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month (October). 

I’ve been 95% vegetarian for decades, so it is second nature for me. But it can be quite a fun adventure to explore the tastes and textures of vegetarian recipes.

Here are eight recipes from Chloe’s Blog to make it easy to dip your toe in:

Rutabaga & Rice Soup

Gazpacho – Chilled Tomato Soup

Good-For-You Couscous Salad

Zucchini Grape Tomato Quiche

Okra, Corn & Tomatoes

Barney’s Killer Salsa

Hayman Sweet Potato Fries

Chloe’s Sweet Potato Soup

Bon Appetite!

Chipping sparrow at Big Mill B&B | photo by livesayphotography.com

We all know that birds add beauty and intrigue to our garden; that’s exactly why we add bird feeders and houses to our yards in the first place, but the truth is that the benefits the feathered creatures bring go far beyond aesthetic appeal.

Birds play a great role in preventing insects from eating and destroying the flowers and vegetables we work so hard to plant.

I hope you enjoy this guest article by Ernie Allison:

1.  Sparrows

Chipping Sparrows eating suet at Big Mill. photo by Guy Livesay

Chipping Sparrows (sometimes called Chipper Sparrows) and song sparrows, most commonly found in North America, can be great sights to see in your backyard. They feed on some of the most destructive insects (grasshoppers, beetles, ants, etc.). They also utilize garden weeds for food as well as nesting materials.   [click to continue…]