Features: Columns

Apr. 29, 2015 @ 10:15 AM

‘What the Dog Knows’ informs and entertains

Cat Warren talks about “What the Dog Knows: The Science and Wonder of Working Dogs” on North Carolina Bookwatch Sunday, May 3, at noon and Thursday, May 7, at 5 p.m.

Apr. 29, 2015 @ 10:14 AM

Dealing with insects in the garden

There are few things more enjoyable than a homegrown vegetable picked at the height of flavor and tenderness. I suspect one reason so many kids today have an aversion to vegetables is because they have only known those that come from a can or a freezer bag. Even fresh vegetables from the grocery store sometimes fall a little short. And while these can all be an important part of a healthy and delicious diet, there is simply no debate that fresh is better. Regrettably, there are quite a few insect critters that agree wholeheartedly.

Apr. 28, 2015 @ 03:13 PM

The column they didn’t want you to see

Some weeks I’m convinced that I’ll never come up with another idea for a column again. I sink into deep despair and decide that instead of a food writer, I’ll become a goldfish pet sitter or maybe a telemarketer.

Apr. 21, 2015 @ 05:11 PM

‘Billy Bowater’ gives look at politics behind the scenes

What is it really like to be the top aide to a powerful North Carolina senator, one who is much loved and much hated for his strong uncompromising views on heated issues, a senator who is running for reelection against a popular governor with a full war chest of campaign funds? Interesting, challenging?

Apr. 21, 2015 @ 11:38 AM

The first cut is the hardest

It’s common wisdom that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. The reason is that you must struggle to get the blade through. When that takes place, accidents can happen. As a savant-level klutz, I can speak to cuts. It looks like I’ve had particularly incompetent scarification tattoos from the elbows down.

Apr. 17, 2015 @ 05:31 PM

Get low

Back in the middle of March, when the weather began to feel a bit more like spring than winter, I decided one afternoon to close my books for a couple hours and do some yard work. Four tanks of gas in my lawn mower and five hours later I called it a day due to waning daylight and energy.

Apr. 14, 2015 @ 02:54 PM

Happy free b-day to me

     I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations has run out on this.


Apr. 08, 2015 @ 10:17 AM

Swift chronicles journey of ‘57 Chevy

“Auto Biography: A Classic Car, an Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream,” by former Virginian-Pilot writer Earl Swift follows a ’57 Chevy station wagon through 13 different owners.

Apr. 08, 2015 @ 10:15 AM

Be ready for pond weeds

Spring weather means warmer temperatures, green grass, happy people and weeds growing in ponds. Calls are already coming in about controlling pond weeds, so folks who have ponds might want to take a look and see if weeds are already present and make some plans on how to deal with them.

Apr. 07, 2015 @ 02:59 PM

Adventures with lentils

Alton Brown is my hero. He’s the only TV food guy who not only shows me “how,” but teaches me “why.” He explores the science of cooking, but in a way that doesn’t put me to sleep or make me feel dumb. I can’t emphasize enough how very much I respect his knowledge—If Alton says it, it must be so. So when he suggested I get to know lentils, that’s just what I did.