Janet's Notebook
The United Tastes of America

Grandma's North Carolina Pork Barbecue

Traveling is one of my favorite summertime activities. Did you know I used to be a flight attendant? My territory included the east coast, Southeast and I was based in Texas. I got to visit many, many beautiful parts of this country.

I've hung up my wings and I stick closer to home now, but I still get the urge to travel and wish I could do more of it. I've figured out a way to (sort-of) travel by exploring the wonderful cuisine our country has to offer.

This week, we're going to take a road trip through parts of the United States I grew to love from the comfort of our kitchen.

We're kicking off our adventure in the Northeast. From maple syrup to baked beans and chowder, New England is a melting pot of flavors. But what I really think of is lobster and the amazingly fresh seafood.

Maggie O. (Ohio) combines lobster, crab and shrimp to make her Grilled Seafood Roll. "If you love seafood, you must try this one," exclaims Maggie. What makes this roll special is Maggie grills the seafood. I've grilled shrimp, but never lobster. I now realize it's the way to go. Wow!

Another treat made famous in the Northeast is the Boston Cream Pie. The story goes, it was originally created at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, MA during the mid-1800's. If you're not familiar with it, Boston cream pie has two layers of sponge cake, filled with creamy pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache. It's delicious.

Megan Conner (Jumping Branch, WV) turned the cake into wonderful Boston Cream Cupcakes. "These are a wonderful guilty pleasure," teases Megan. They take a little time and TLC during preparation, but you'll find the effort well worth it.

Pulled pork reigns supreme in the Carolinas and Barbara Gabriel (Sherrills Ford, NC) shared her family-favorite Grandma's North Carolina Pork Barbecue. "My mom always made this barbecue," shares Barbara. "She got the directions from her mom."

The pork is good and tender in this easy pulled pork recipe. The homemade sauce is sweet and tangy with a bit of spice. Serve with a side of coleslaw on a great bun, you have one great sandwich.

If you've ever visited New Orleans, you probably tried Bananas Foster. Bananas are mixed with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and rum. Then it's poured over vanilla ice cream and set on fire. It's quite spectacular when presented.

Juliana Evans' (Florida) Praline Bananas Foster Cakelettes puts her spin on this classic recipe. "This is an amazing dessert that looks so fancy and tastes incredible," says Juliana. The cake alone is amazing. You really taste the bananas and spice from the cinnamon. The sweetness from the rum sauce and the candied pralines top the cakes perfectly.

Texas and chili go together like peas and carrots and I loved Sena Wilson's (Lake Jackson, TX) My Texas Chili. "My husband and I love a good chili that's easy to make on short notice," Sena explains. Typical to a traditional Texas chili, they're no beans in this recipe. Sena adds her twist and packs her chili with beef, tomato and spices like chili powder, oregano, basil, and cumin. This will quickly become a family favorite.

Whatever adventures you go on this summer, hopefully, they'll involve great food. Happy Pinching!

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mary parker - Jan 1, 2017
Janet,who did you fly for? We have a big "clipped Wings" group here in Bham,Ala. It's funny that my best recipes have come from other flight attendants-I flew for Delta.Mary Ellen
Colleen Sowa - Jul 14, 2016
Very cool...xo
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