Story and Photographs by Emily Hilliard and Lora Smith
LORA: I wasn’t sure what I thought about Emily when I first met her. She's smart, witty, a great baker, has an extensive knowledge of avant-garde artists, wears vintage dresses over brightly colored tights with covetableboots, is always coming or going from an adventure, knits a mean scarf, can play guitar, fiddle, and sing.
I briefly considered hating her.
But that quickly changed over a pot of hot apple butter. After a trip to pick apples in the mountains, Emily invited me over to help put up them up. It wasn’t the best batch of apple butter that either of us have made, but it didn’t matter. As we peeled and cored the apples, grated ginger, fumbled in the spice cabinet to find anise, clove and cinnamon, and measured sugar, Emily’s tiny and modestly outfitted graduate student kitchen in downtown Carborro, North Carolina expanded to hold layers of memory, time and stories. By the time we were ready to jar, the butter wasn’t as thick as we’d hoped, but our friendship had found a perfect set.
EMILY: That first food project set the tone for the rest of our friendship. Though we’ve since hiked mountains in Kentucky, stumbled through clogging lessons together, and spent many-a-night out at the bar (but not too many, mind you!), the times I think we’ve felt the closest, shared the most secrets, hopes, and future plans, is in the kitchen—preparing, enjoying, and sharing food.
Read on in Zenchilada