Greetings from Carrboro,
At some point we moved out into the county. I was 12 or 13. And the line between rural and suburban was fairly clear. The gas station sold bait and loosely wrapped sausage biscuits. And a large, sun-faded poster of Dolly Parton was taped to the wood-paneled wall behind the cash register. I loved to bike up there and buy extra-large Slim Jims.
There was also a volunteer fire department. It was just down from a small summer camp run by a local church called Camp Rainbow (this was the 70s). Thankfully, the VFD only ventured onto our radar in the early days of December. Signs would appear in November – hand-written boards staked into the ground – announcing the annual Brunswick stew fundraiser. It was an all day affair. We’d buy a ticket and stand in line. Young kids climbed all over the diminutive fire truck as their parents manned the familial place in line. The radio tuned to top 40 was the soundtrack. The thick Brunswick stew that men ladled into Styrofoam bowls simmered in the open garage. For an additional quarter, you could buy cans of Coke or orange soda that floated in trash cans full of ice.
I don’t remember if it was delicious. But I do remember that if you got a clove in your bowl of stew, it was considered good luck. We sat at picnic tables and ate quickly; it was chilly sitting outside – even in the sun. And there would be a line most of the day. Then, as day turned to night, one of the volunteers would step onto the truck and turn on the siren to officially announce that they had sold out.
So, next Wednesday, December 6th, we’re going to follow suit. Acme is teaming up with the inimitable Lex Alexander to put on a Brunswick stew feast. But there are only 20 seats and they’re going to go fast. Price is $40. What you’ll get: Local butter lettuce salad with Hickory Grove cheese, toasted pecans, and pomegranates. Big bowls of delicious Brunswick stew with Acme cornbread for crumbling on top. Oh, and it wouldn’t be complete without a spectacular glass of wine – Jean Foillard’s 2016 Beaujolais-Villages. Reservations for the dinner are required by phone (919 929 2263). We’ll get started at 6:30. It’s going to be a great night. And you won’t have to sit outside. I swear.
This weekend @ Acme: Pan-seared Amberjack. Grilled NY Strip steaks. Corn “ribs.” Crab cakes. Duck with preserved quince. Curried delicata squash. Apple Cobbler. Shooting Point Oysters on the half shell. Classic wedge salad. Pecan-crusted fried chicken. Creole Gumbo. Slow roasted pork belly. Blackened salmon. Cast-iron skillet cornbread. So. Much. Bourbon. Farmers’ market risotto. Glazed winter carrots. Overnight BBQ ribs. So, do I have any volunteers?
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme
Reservations 919 929 2263 or online
Brunswick Stew Feast 12/6
Greetings from Carrboro,