Posts Tagged ‘Appalachian’

Downtown Mount Airy Eatery, Down Home Restaurant, Joins the Surry Sonker Trail

Posted on: May 18th, 2016 by 89and52 No Comments

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. – The Surry Sonker Trail has a new member as the Down Home Restaurant came on board in March. Down Home opened in the location formerly occupied by Granite City BBQ and replaced it on this confectionary trail in Surry County.

Sandra Johnson and Bonnie Reynolds run the casual eatery on Main Street in Mount Airy. Both grew up in the area and learned to make sonker from family recipes. Reynolds is the primary sonker maker and Johnson bakes the cakes. But they trade off.

“We’ve made sonker all of our lives at home,” Johnson says. “It’s just a traditional, quick dessert here.”

Similar to cobbler, sonker consists of cooked fruit and a crust. Some have a liquid batter poured on top of the fruit, others have a rolled dough for their crust, and others are prepared on the stove top with a dropped-dumpling crust. Each recipe depends upon family tradition.

Down Home Restaurant makes its sonker by cooking fruit — strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples or peaches — on the stove, transferring it to a pan, adding a crust made from a liquid batter and baking it.

“I took one bite of the Down Home Restaurant sonker and almost cried because it brought back so many memories of my granny’s sonker,” says Jessica Johnson, assistant marketing director at the Mount Airy Visitors Center.

The region’s sonker dates to the early 1800s. The dessert was a product of frugal home cooks who didn’t want to waste any over-ripe fruit.

In addition to Down Home Restaurant in Mount Airy, the Surry Sonker Trail includes The Living Room Coffeehouse and Winebar in Pilot Mountain, Putters Patio & Grill in Dobson, Old North State Winery in Mount Airy, Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies in Mount Airy, Rockford General Store in Dobson and Roxxi & Lulu’s Bakery in Elkin.

The trail was created in January 2015 by the Tourism Partnership of Surry County. Each of the seven stops on the Surry Sonker Trail offers a different style of the dessert.

“Trying the food is part of learning about the place where you’re living or visiting,” Sandra Johnson says. “Sonker is native to this region.”

To receive a Surry Sonker Trail brochure map, which has all the info needed to enjoy a day or two along the trail, call (800) 948-0949, or go online at: www.SonkerTrail.org

Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention Attracts Top Talent, April 1-2

Posted on: March 11th, 2016 by 89and52 No Comments

Old Time Fiddlers Convention Attracts Top Talent, April 1-2

DOBSON, N.C. – The seventh annual Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention brings together some of the area’s best musicians in the old time music genre, April 1-2 in Dobson.
The event takes place at Surry Community College. Its goal is to preserve the region’s traditional stringed-instrument music that has been passed down for generations.
The convention kicks off with a square dance Friday night featuring two well-known bands from the area, while Saturday’s lineup includes youth and adult competitions in multiple categories, workshops led by renowned musicians, jam sessions and more.
Mountain Park Old Time Band and New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters headline Friday evening’s festivities. Cakewalks are also a favorite Friday activity, where winners receive homemade confections.
“Friday night’s dance has a certain kind of energy and community feeling,” says Buck Buckner of the convention committee. “That’s what we’re trying to achieve – that old time community feeling.”
Saturday’s lineup includes daylong competitions – youth and adult – in instrument, band and dance, while four old time music experts will lead free one-hour workshops.
Paul Brown will give instructions on fiddle. Brown is known as both a musician and host of the popular “Across the Blue Ridge” radio show on WFDD (88.5 FM) in Winston-Salem.
Steve Lewis, a native of Todd and award-winning musician, will offer insight on guitar. Banjo virtuoso Adam Hurt will share his picking talent, and Rodney Sutton, known for his expertise in traditional mountain dance, will help attendees with their footwork.
“Every year we have a stellar lineup of people,” Buckner says. “They appreciate what we’re doing to foster the area’s musical heritage, and they’re willing to support it and share in it.”
Workshops, luthier displays and jam sessions take place throughout the day Saturday. Mount Airy radio station WPAQ (740 AM) broadcasts live from the convention.
Admission is $5 daily, with children 12 and younger admitted at no charge. Contestants get in free Saturday. Hours for Friday night’s dance are 7-10 p.m. On Saturday, registration for contest participants begins at 10 a.m., and activities continue throughout the day and evening.
For info on the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, call (336) 526-1111 or visit: www.SurryOldTime.com. For lodging info, go to: www.YadkinValleyNC.com.

Media Contact: Craig Distl, 704-466-3744, CraigD411@gmail.com