About Nancie

I’m a food writer and cookbook author, with a passion for food and culinary history and traditions, the people and stories behind a given dish, meal, or cuisine. Traveling has been important to me all my life; the three years I spent as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand sparked my passion for Asian culinary traditions in particular. As a Southerner by birth, I had the blessing of growing up on biscuits, tomato sandwiches, deviled eggs, black-eyed peas, poundcake and egg custard pie. In Thailand I fell in love with lemongrass, lime leaves, coconut milk, fiery curries, and mangoes and papayas, both ripe and unripe. These days I’m back home in North Carolina, living in Chapel Hill and cooking dinner for my family most nights. This blog is my place to enjoy an everyday conversation with you, about ingredients, traditional dishes, food people, cookbooks, cooking and culture in Asia and the American South, and of course, recipes. It’s an honor and a pleasure to have you stop by.

29 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Myrna Maseth  |  January 4, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Nancie:

    For years I have looked for a receipe my Grandmother made every
    Holiday, Lady Baltimore Cake, and finaly in my Food Book Club, I stumbled on your book, and they gave some of the cakes in the book, and I was blown away. There was a receipe for Lady Baltimore Cake in your Southern Cakes. I ordered it immediately, and was so glad to have that receipe, and all the other lovely cake receipes. I would like to think it was because we lived up North as to not finding the receipe, but my Grandmother had it. Thanks for taking me back to my childhood, and all the goodies that went with it.

    • 2. Nancie McDermott  |  February 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      You made my day, and it is a very cold rainy winter day here in North Carolina. Your Lady B cake story warms me right up. Thank you for this message and happy baking. My next book, Southern Pies, will be published later this year, and maybe you will find some of your grandmother’s sweet pies in there as well. Let me know…

  • 3. Robin  |  February 26, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Hi Nancie,

    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your recipes from “Quick and Easy Thai!” My husband and I love Thai cuisine and your cookbook is our “go-to” for Thai cooking. I live in Wilmington, NC but travel to Chapel Hill often and wondered if you ever hosted a group cooking class. “A Southern Season” seems like the perfect venue!

    Many of my friends viewed Thai food as a difficult cuisine to cook until I recommended your book. Thank you again for sharing your recipes and for making Thai food truly “quick and easy!”

    • 4. Nancie McDermott  |  March 18, 2010 at 1:56 am

      Robin, Thanks for your kind words. Just the best thing I can hear. Southern Season is the best place to teach, and I do offer classes there now and then. I’ll share the news here on my blog when I have something scheduled. For now, it’s book time, with one going to the printer and one “heating up” on the front burner. Happy cooking, Thai and otherwise…

  • 5. Gisele aka LA2LAChef  |  April 24, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Hi Nancie,

    Don’t see a way to contact you here, but just wanted to say hi ( we met at the IACP conference a few years back in Chicago), and I really look forward to seeing you again this weekend at Camp Blogaway- yay!

    • 6. Nancie McDermott  |  May 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      Hi, Gisele! Wonderful to meet you again at Camp Blogaway, and I look forward to staying in touch this time around, through your blog and social media, and in person where we can talk and eat!

  • 7. Jackie Garvin  |  July 3, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Hi Nancie,

    I just stumbled (gracefully, of course) onto your blog. I read in your bio that you are a food historian with Southern roots. I didn’t find a way to contact you other than through a comment. I’m working on a project I would like to tell you about. Here’s a thumbnail:

    Fried okra, stewed summer squash and onions, Southern peas and okra, baked sweet potato, okra and tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, rutabagas, chicken and dumplings, sliced fresh tomatoes, collard greens and ham hocks……….

    While each of these Southern iconic dishes are individual stars, they are frequently featured on menus of Southern restaurants as options for the Southern Vegetable Plate. I am currently researching the history of the Southern Vegetable Plate including the origins and why such notable non-vegetable dishes, such as Macaroni and Cheese and Chicken and Dumplings, have become standard fare. Would you be interested in sharing an opinion or a reference source?

    Jackie Garvin

    • 8. Nancie McDermott  |  July 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      Hello, Jackie! So glad you found me! And I think we are now connected on twitter as well? So much in common, love your work and would be happy to give you my opinions as you’ve requested. Just drove home from Holden Beach yesterday and stopped at 3 farmstands for corn, tomatoes, okra, peaches, and ‘lopes, love that spellling for canteloupes. And one stand had homemade icecream, which did not last 5 minutes once we were back in the car.

  • 9. Jackie Garvin  |  July 3, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Oooooppps! I neglected to check “Notify me of comments via email”. Please respond to this comment. I checked it this time! :)

  • 10. Jackie Garvin  |  July 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Nancie!

    What a bounty you have! I know that you will enjoy all that deliciousness. Do you like Southern peas? We are almost finished shelling and putting up two bushels. I’m so glad you have an interest in my project. How would you like for me to contact you?

    • 11. Nancie McDermott  |  July 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

      Hi, Jackie,
      At long last, I’ve noticed this comment from you, sorry so slow! Best contact method: Go to my website, http://www.nanciemcdermott.com Fill in the Contact Nancie section, and include your email address in your comment. Send that and we’ll go from there.

  • 12. Shaheen  |  September 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Nancie,
    I’ve had your Real Vegetarian Thai cookbook for years now and have to admit, I have hardly cooked from it. I have redisovered it on my shelf and am now happy cooking from it – starting with a variation of your Thai Yellow Cabbage Curry.
    Please do come on by my blog for a gander
    Kind wishes Shaheen

    • 13. Nancie McDermott  |  September 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      Shaheen, Thank you so much for your kind words. I love your post and am honored that you are cooking from “Real Vegetarian Thai”, and tickled that you find some of its recipes to your liking. I am proud to be invited into your kitchen via my cookbook.

  • 14. Anton Zuiker  |  October 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Nancie, Lisa at A Southern Season just told me about you and your writing. I look forward to meeting you and sharing Peace Corps and cooking stories.

    • 15. Nancie McDermott  |  October 19, 2011 at 2:41 am

      Any friend of the wonderful Lisa is a friend of mine. And you are an RPCV and you are Mister Sugar? I think we will have a big ol’ good time visiting. Thank you for checking in here on my blog.

  • 16. Nancy Hutchins  |  February 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Nancie, Just wanted to drop you a line – I was driving to the grocery store yesterday and heard you on Faith Middleton’s PBS Radio Show. The pie you were discussing at that moment was your Amazing Coconut Pie. The thing was, I had already had coconut on my grocery list. My sweet tooth was dictating coconut macaroons but, after hearing of this pie, I thought that it’d be a great alternative for my coconut craving. When I got home, I looked you up and found the recipe here. We had it for dessert that night. At room temperature it was heaven! It had that coconut custard thing going on. This morning for a late coffee break, we had another piece of pie, this time, cold out of the fridge. What a Keeper! So happy for this little coconut synchronicity and happy to have been introduced to you from Faith’s show.


    • 17. Nancie McDermott  |  February 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      SO kind of you to let me know this, Fellow-Nancy. I’m delighted you got to listen in on my conversation with Faith Middleton (http://www.cpbn.org/program/faith-middleton-show) . Such a pleasure to be her guest. And your pie-report makes me beam. Happy cooks, that’s the plan! Cook on, and keep me posted.

  • 18. gerryspeirs  |  May 8, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Hi Nancie, thanks for your kind comments on my blog. It was great to hear you speak at camp last weekend and I’ll happily be checking in on your food adventures in the future!
    Take care.

    • 19. Nancie McDermott  |  May 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      So kind. Glad to be in touch, Gerry. I’ll enjoy peeking into your kitchen from way over here on the Other Coast.

  • 20. Nanette Walsh  |  July 7, 2012 at 3:38 am

    A bigger compliment could not have been given…… to have you say I “nailed” my first pound cake means so much to me. More than you can imagine. A joy to spend the day with you and your charming husband. Thanks for food, fun, and friendship!

    • 21. Nancie McDermott  |  July 10, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Well, my pleasure to just call ’em like I see ’em. It was gorgeous to behold and just the way I like poundcake to be: substantial, satisfying, rich. I love our noodle-summer roll session photo, and loved the party. I’ll hope to see you again, preferably while cooking and feasting with great people. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  • 22. Susanne Settle  |  July 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    May your Thai homecoming be filled with incredible food and delightful experiences! Looking forward to reading all about it…..

    • 23. Nancie McDermott  |  August 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      What a beautiful message. This meant the world to me. Love sharing the stories and pictures and wish I could have taken you along with me for the feasting and visiting.

  • 24. Madeleine  |  August 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Nancie
    Fantastic recipes………Thanks. I too love Thai food, well food in general if I’m honest!
    I shared your surname until marriage. By chance were your roots from Roscommon before North Carolina? Madeleine

    • 25. Nancie McDermott  |  August 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      Thank you so much, Madeleine! I’m with you: it’s Thai food, it’s Southern food, but it’s deep down really truly, food. Just food and the people who make it and where and why and how…..My McDermott people were from County Longford and County Cavan, not Roscommon. My maternal grandmother was a Smith. And I need to figure out which one was which county — that’s a trip I long to make, to Ireland, where many family members would welcome us warmly.

  • 26. Bill McIntyre  |  September 12, 2015 at 2:53 am

    The most celebrated food in our Missouri family is the Butterscotch Pie, made by my late Grandmother, Katharine Davenport. It was always my Birthday Pie (no cake!). I have her handwritten recipe dated 1915. She was a Southern girl.. Her father was a Confederate Soldier. Grandmother died in 1993 at 110. She was still baking the pie after 101. We still adore Butterscotch Pie, but no one makes it
    quite as well as she did. Thank You for keeping this pie alive! Bill McIntyre

    • 27. Nancie McDermott  |  September 12, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      What a wonderful story! Here’s to Katharine Davenport’s Butterscotch Pie, AKA Bill’s Birthday Pie! I love knowing this and I am honored that you’ve shared it here. It’s an underappreciated dessert — perhaps because it is a bit more challenging to make than most other pies, with the cooked filling. Even other cooked pies such as lemon meringue, are easier to make than butterscotch, so along the way, it’s been set on a high shelf. But you are sharing the story and I will continue to do so, too! And that she was still baking past her 100th birthday? That is the very best! You come from good people, Mr. McIntyre, and I’m very glad to know your family story. I hope you are still making this pie using her handwritten recipe — what a treasure!

  • 28. M Carole Tharp Marcum  |  October 1, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Hey Nancie with an ‘ie’!! I’m a fellow North Carolina GRITS GIRL (born and raised in Charlotte, graduate of NC STATE (Go Wolfpack!)….currently ‘into’ Pie Baking and am making a Concord Grape Pie tomorrow…..I live in Frontenac, MO (suberb of St Louis) and had taken a Pie Class at Kitchen Conservatory last summer where I acquired the recipe. Made it for the first time last week and was disappointed with the texture of the hulls (being too tough)…..googled away all that I could find and came across your recipe for Muscadine Grape Hull Pie! Decided to attempt the pie again and use your method for boiling pulp and then cooking hulls after. Filling is chilling in fridge (1:00 am CST so best get some beauty rest and tackle pie tomorrow)……am so hoping your method works as the flavor of this recipe is spot on! So happy to find another SOUTHERN BELLE to talk ‘baking’ with!
    Cheers, Carole Tharp Marcum, aka Dixie Cup

  • 29. Paul  |  October 17, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Hello Nancie ~ Check your e-mail in box… I hope I still have your correct address!
    Trying to reach you while I’m visiting Chapel Hill, and hope to see you. Maybe finally we can confirm “who broke up w/ whom” in 7th grade at Ferndale… :) Paul S.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 117 other followers

%d bloggers like this: