Chicken Mull – The Forgotten Comfort Food

I had never heard of Chicken Mull until a few years ago. And then I found out that the Chicken Mull Festival happens 8 miles from me in Bear Grass, NC, population 69.  This year, the festival is on October 26, 2019. My friend Nancy Sparks had a great recipe for Chicken Mull, so we made it and here it is. It is really quite good!

Chicken Mull – What Is It?

Author: Chloe Tuttle

Ingredients

  • Several quarts water
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½-1 teaspoon cracked red pepper or to taste
  • 1 T lard
  • 1 3-4 pound chicken cut up (larger is fine too) You will need about 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 box of Saltine Crackers salted (you will probably use 2-3 sleeves)
  • Hot sauce for serving

Instructions

  • Using a large stock pot, add several quarts of water, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and lard and bring to a boil.

  • Add cut-up chicken and enough water to cover the chicken. Return to a boil and cook for 1-2 hours or until chicken is tender and falling off the bones.

  • Remove chicken from broth and strain into a large bowl, reserving any broth.

  • After chicken has cooled, pull meat off the bones, discarding the bones and the skin. Tear chicken into shreds, using your hands. Be careful to remove all bones.

  • Strain and transfer the broth to a separate pan or bowl and wash the cooking pot to remove the chicken residue that is stuck on the sides of the pot. Add the broth back to the pot.

  • When the broth comes back to a boil, add the picked chicken to the pot and turn heat to simmer.

  • Crush 2 sleeves of saltines and slowly add to the pot. Stir and continue to simmer. The mull should not have much excess liquid. If there is liquid, add more crackers.

  • Simmer on low heat about 20 minutes or until hot and thickened, stirring often – hence the Mull moniker.

  • Hint: it is better the next day – the red pepper has a chance to be heard!

  • Yield: 6-7 two-cup servings

Click to learn the history of Chicken Mull and to see about the Festival

Popcorn Sutton & His Moonshine Likker

Popcorn Sutton was a short, squirrelly dude with a trashy mouth, and I can’t help but be fascinated by his persona.

Popcorn Sutton and his shop photo

READER BEWARE: Popcorn had a smart mouth and made some lewd signs depicted in the photos that he sent to me.

Click to see photos and story of Popcorn Sutton – BEWARE – some are lewd.

Pozole – Mexican Hominy Soup Recipe – Gringo Version

I just love this Pozole Recipe. Pozole is a Mexican Soup that is usually made with pork; this recipe is made with chicken. It can be made in a crock pot if you’d prefer.

Pozole – Mexican Hominy Soup - a Gringo Version

I just love this Pozole Recipe. Pozole is a Mexican Soup that is usually made with pork; this recipe is made with chicken. It can be made in a crock pot if you’d prefer.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mexican hominy soup, pozole recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 326kcal
Author: Chloe Tuttle

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled & crushed
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 28 oz chopped tomatoes 1 large can
  • 10 oz red enchilada sauce
  • 46.5 oz hominy, drained 3 cans
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 20 oz white meat chicken breast, drained and broken up 2 cans or use leftover chicken

Instructions

  • Sauté onion in olive oil in a large pot until onion is translucent. Add garlic and sauté for a couple minutes more.
  • Add chicken broth, chopped tomatoes with their juice, enchilada sauce, drained hominy, salt, and pepper. Simmer until hot.
  • Add chicken and cook at least 30 minutes. It is fine to simmer on the stove or in the crock pot for longer.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 1486mg | Potassium: 498mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 365IU | Vitamin C: 19.2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 3.2mg

Pozole Hominy Soup photo from Big Mill B&B

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Gene Eastham shared this recipe with me after he cooked it for me!

click to learn all about HOMINY

The Rich Heritage of Quilt Trails

I know you have seen them off in the distance – a bright splash of color on an old barn. These are “Barn Quilts” and they are a great tribute to our heritage and “the art of rural America.” They honor our long-gone quilters, like my mother Chloe.

Quilt Block painted on old tobacco barn at Moratock Park, WIlliamston, NC

Old Tobacco Barn at Moratock Park with “Tobacco Times” Quilt block

Quilt trails are popping up everywhere the U.S.A. and Canada. You can see them all over the mountains of North Carolina and now we have a trail here in eastern North Carolina. The first barn quilt in Martin County (part of the Tar-Roanoke River Trail) was on the Pack House barn at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast. We now have 12 quilts installed in our county – and more to come. Click to see all the Barn Quilts in and around Williamston, NC

Griffin’s Quick Lunch – a Mom & Pop Icon

Griffin’s Quick Lunch is an Eastern North Carolina Icon

Griffin's Quick Lunch Diner - Mom and Pop diner in eastern NC is a Mom & Pop icon in Williamston.

Griffin’s Quick Lunch – Mom and Pop Diner in Eastern NC

Griffin’s Quick Lunch, just like many Mom and Pop diners in eastern North Carolina, is a landmark. Unfortunately, we are losing many of these cafes; Williamston is lucky to still have Griffin’s.

If you go to Griffin’s, you MUST try the Banana Fritters. These were first made famous at Cobb’s Corner Restaurant; sadly, Cobb’s is gone. A relative who worked at Cobb’s gave the recipe for her Banana Fritters to her son; he later bought Griffin’s, so now they serve these sweet delights. I have the recipe, but like the recipes my mother passed down, it is just a list of ingredients. I am still trying to make this recipe work. When I do, I will post it.

Click to see specialties of the house at Griffin’s Quick Lunch…

Picking Peanuts in Eastern North Carolina

Picking peanuts reminds me of growing up in eastern North Carolina. My nephew Barney and I loved to play hide-and-seek in the peanut fields. Back then, the peanuts were dug and stacked on poles to dry. There is a certain earthy smell that is everywhere.

Peanut Stacks in eastern NC in early 1040's near Big Mill BandB

Harry Roberson leaning on his Peanut Stacks in Gold Point, NC, circa 1940 (Thanks to Hank Roberson for the use of his grandfather’s photo)

We loved to hide behind these stacks and to climb them, much to the dismay of my parents. All the children in the neighborhood joined us and we stayed out until way after dark. Sadly, the peanut stacks are gone. Click to see video of Peanuts being Picked

Mule Room Suite — Perfect for Long-Term Rentals

When I was growing up we had mules: Big Red, Little Red, Rock, Kit and Mary. There were other mules before my time, but I don’t remember their names.

Big Mill B+B is a Farmstead Inn, located in Williamston in Eastern North Carolina. The old mule barn has been converted into the Mule Room Suite. It's perfect for long-term guests who want all the comforts of home - including a full kitchen. See more photos and read about the newly renovated Mule Room on Chloe's Blog. | @bigmill.com

The living room in the Mule Room Suite has great views of the lakes

We have spiffed up our mule Mary’s quarters and we call her home the Mule Room Suite. Much discussion went into what to call it. A good friend wanted me to call it a shed, but on this farm sheds only have 3 sides. Click to read more about the Mule Room — past and present …

Big Mill Barn Quilt and the Tar and Roanoke River Quilt Trails

The most easterly Barn Quilt on North Carolina’s Quilt Trail is on the Pack House barn at Big Mill B&B in Williamston, NC. I just love it!

The eastern-most barn quilt trails in North Carolina comprise the Tar River Quilt Trail. The most easterly barn quilt is on the Pack House barn at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast near Greenville NC @BigMill | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/big-mill-nc-barn-quilt-tar-river-quilt-trail

Barn Quilt in eastern NC at Big Mill B&B in Williamston

I used to go to Quilting Bees with my mother when I was a child. I would play under the quilt all by myself. There were no other children.

The ladies made such beautiful works of art. Mother would sew the pieces of fabric together and let me help. When it was all pieced together, we put it in the frame along with the backing and the batting. Then Mother’s friends would come for several days until the quilt was quilted. My father used to make cotton and wool batts for his mother to quilt. I wish I had gotten him to show me how.

In 1976, everyone had caught Bicentennial Fever and felt patriotic so Mother (also named Chloe) made a quilt of red, white and blue. Click to read more about Barn Quilts and Miss Chloe’s LaMoyne Star …

Bill’s Hot Dogs – Eastern NC’s Best Hot Dog

Bill’s Hot Dogs in Washington, NC is an institution

Bills Hot Dogs is a Mom and Pop eatery that serves up great hot dogs in Washington NC. Read more on Chloes Blog. @Bigmill | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/bills-hot-dogs-eastern-north-carolinas-best-hot-dog

Bill’s Hot Dogs in Little Washington, NC

It doesn’t matter if you like hot dogs or not — you just have to eat a Bill’s hot dog if you are in Washington, North Carolina. Bill’s has been open as a hot dog “stand” since 1928 and it hasn’t changed much; not that I can see.

Located on Gladden Street in “Little” Washington, NC, it is just a short distance from the Pamlico River. Bill’s is an institution for most everyone who has ever lived in Washington or eastern North Carolina. For the locals, this is Road Food at its best. Click to read More about Bill’s Hot Dogs in Washington, NC

Chloe’s Big Mill Barn Quilt : Behind-the-Scenes

Big Mill B&B is going to be part of the Tar River Quilt Trail

The Eastern side of North Carolina is joining the Barn Quilt Movement with the first quilt block going up on the barn at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast in Williamston, NC. This quilt square will become part of the Tar River Quilt Trail. Learn more on the NC innkeeper's blog. @bigmill www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/big-mill-bed-breakfast-barn-quilt-williamston-nc

Kim Young & Chloe Tuttle examine Quilt Block for Big Mill’s Barn Quilt

How did the Big Mill B&B barn quilt idea and project happen? In essence, I read about the American Quilt Trail and I wanted to be part of it. I picked a favorite quilt pattern – one that my mother made. And I joined the Tar River Quilt Trail, it is now the Tar-Roanoke River Quilt Trail.  This pattern is being painted on plywood and will be installed on the side of my Pack House Barn here on the farm. Click to read more about Barn Quilts in North Carolina …