Category Archives: Seafood Traditions

Nutrition Leaders: Kay Holm

seafood traditions

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Kay Holm Photo by Scott Taylor

Kay Holm
Photo by Scott Taylor

Squid. That was the first seafood ingredient Kay Holm was introduced to as the newest Nutrition Leader one day at the Seafood Lab in the early 1980s. “I looked at it and thought, ooooooh. But it was darned good!” says the long-time Merrimon resident. “We cleaned them. We fried them. Those things were buggers. But they were very, very good.” The group even served the recipe at Carteret County’s Strange Seafood Festival the following year, and she remembers people coming back for seconds.

In almost 20 years with Taylor and the Nutrition Leaders, Holm has learned a lot more, too, about other species, ways to cook seafood, herb and spice use, and entertaining with seafood.

“I learned a great deal about cooking fish,” she says. “I can look at a fish that comes out of the sea and say, ‘I think I know what I can do with it.’ ”

Find out more about Kay Holm and her fellow Nutrition Leaders in Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of  Fresh Seafood Ideas. It is available from North Carolina Sea Grant by calling 919/515-9101 or 252/222-6307, from your local bookstore, or from UNC Press.

From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas

Contributed by Joyce Taylor

Nutrition Leaders: Martha Giles

seafood traditions

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Martha Giles Photo by Scott Taylor

Martha Giles
Photo by Scott Taylor

“I don’t really remember ‘learning’ to cook,” Martha Giles says. “We just did it, I guess from helping Mother,” back in her Chadbourne kitchen in Columbus County. “I do remember as a teenager baking on Saturday afternoons  homemade yeast rolls for hamburger buns for small family gatherings, lemon pies and cream puffs.”

Growing up close to the ocean, “We cooked a goodly amount of seafood, especially fish and oysters,” Giles recalls. “Our fish was usually fried or baked. But oysters  they were the best. I remember my mother bringing home quarts of shucked oysters that she bought from fishermen for about a dollar a quart. They were fried, stewed or my favorite, scalloped. Many were eaten raw.”

Marrying a fisherman  and a good cook himself  kept Giles close to the bounty of the sea. Often her husband, Thad, slipped down from Raleigh to Core Banks to fish for flounder, pompanos, bluefish and spots. Then they bought a little house near the water so he could stay a couple days at a time. In 1982 the Giles retired to Davis for good. Now they could fish whenever they wanted. Surf fishing mostly, for flounder, blues and spots. She remembers one trip, especially, when the fish were coming in so fast she recalls telling them to wait!

The Giles ate or froze their catch most of the time, or shared it with friends back in Raleigh. They baked or fried fish at first. Thad could make a mean tempura. And “I still can’t cook clam chowder (Manhattan-style) like he does. He likes to use the calico clams for this.”

Joining the Nutrition Leaders from the Gloucester Extension Club around 1985 opened Giles’ eyes to the possibilities and potential of seafood.

Find out more about Martha Giles and her fellow Nutrition Leaders in Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of  Fresh Seafood Ideas. It is available from North Carolina Sea Grant by calling 919/515-9101 or 252/222-6307, from your local bookstore, or from UNC Press.

From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas

Contributed by Joyce Taylor