Pie on plate with beer next

We all know there is something superhuman about Sarah Foster. The people at Fosters Market have been feeding me and my children for 20 years out of an old lawn mower repair shop on Chapel Hill Boulevard.

I’ve known for a long time that a piece of chocolate chess pie and a cup of coffee shared with my daughter could repair any current argument in the household. And there have been times in my life when it seems quite literally the granola fruit yogurt bowl has kept me alive.

Foster’s Market



But I never knew that Fosters Market had a soothsayer prognosticator crystal ball quality to it. Until recently, that is, sitting over my usual breakfast fare, sharing an hour with a friend who began what could have turned into a conversation about the two of us being brave and exploring a latent “romantic” interest. Can someone please come up with a better word?

And suddenly a visual pictorial slideshow of all the reasons why one or both of us would end up hurt and disappointed flashed against the old doors and window frames hanging on the walls.

It was so distracting I could only respond to this lovely person by changing the subject to the weather, how business had picked up since Duke is in season, the NC legislature.

You, know, “romantic” stuff. Stuff that says “Heck yeah, I’m ready to see where this goes.”

My propensity to deal with anxiety by changing out of my big girl clothes and into my adorable youngest child of 6, “look, mom, no hands” suit is unprecedented. While typically entertaining to my audience, not real or vulnerable or honest at all. Flash flood scenes of him growing tired of my talkativeness and silly sense of humor, me finding him too removed, too guarded, too serious. My family was working-class, conservative, and awkward around highly intelligent people, his disappointed that I had been to one baseball game in my life. And that was for the beer. And don’t even get me started on how disappointed his family would be with me (and keep in mind I do not know one thing about his family). But this is how I do this life.

As my son says, I have the eulogy written if you are 5 minutes late.

Prepare for the worst…hope for the best…but, did I mention, prepare for the worst? In typical Broderick O’Laughlin style, my people dance a jig at the wake. Exuberant joy in the face of death. But always death, endings, ever-present.

My fear may have squashed this budding possibility right there at Foster’s Market, or perhaps I will be granted a do-over. We shall see. But in the rhythm of my life here in Durham, Foster’s Market, along with my propensity to adorably deflect, will endure. I wonder if he noticed.

Sara Foster’s love of Southern fare began in her Granny Foster’s Tennessee kitchen. There, the combination of down-home comfort, fresh-from-the-farm ingredients, and dedicated preparation hooked her for life. Now, in FOSTER’S MARKET FAVORITES: 25TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION, Sara Foster serves up more than 150 recipes, sharing with readers the dishes that have kept diners coming back to the beloved Durham, NC eatery that she opened in 1990. In FOSTER’S MARKET FAVORITES, the award-winning cookbook author and restaurateur continues the tradition of soulful yet simple, seasonally inspired cooking, where tradition meets modern. These fresh, satisfying creations are casual enough for everyday family meals but special enough to serve friends and guests. Some of Sara’s mouth-watering recipes include Pimiento Cheese Puffs, Pecan Sweet Potato Sticky Buns, Chicken and Black-Eyed Pea Soup, Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey, Chile-Braised Pork Shoulder with Taco Fixings, Heirloom and Shell Bean Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette, Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Bread Pudding with Bourbon Hard Sauce, and Brown Sugar Apple Crisp with Crumb Topping. FOSTER’S MARKET FAVORITES is an all-inclusive collection of Southern cooking in which simple feasts meet artisanal ingredients, traditional tastes meet modern methods, and fantastic flavors make every bite a succulent mouthful of Southern comfort.


For more than a decade, Foster’s Markets have been cooking and baking foods made fresh each day from ingredients picked locally at the peak of flavor. Now Sara Foster shares more than two hundred delicious recipes, providing modern takes on favorite home-style classics.

The Foster’s Market Cookbook features old-fashioned ideas about how good food should taste and new-fashioned ideas about prep times and the use of high-quality prepared ingredients. Filled with eighty color photos, this is the perfect cookbook to refer to over and over again for everyday meals or for entertaining, whether it be for two or for twenty.

Before moving to Durham, North Carolina, Sara worked alongside Martha Stewart in the kitchen of Martha’s catering business. When she opened her own catering company, Sara kept her food simple yet soulful, trusting the complex flavors of seasonal ingredients. This same basic principle guides the daily offerings at Foster’s Markets in Durham and Chapel Hill. Each week the markets serve nearly a thousand customers hungrily searching out Sara’s innovative, new-style home cooking. And now food lovers everywhere will be able to prepare with ease sumptuous dishes such as Roasted Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Arugula Salad; Herb-Grilled Salmon with Fresh Tomato-Orange Chutney; and Risotto Cakes with Roasted Tomatoes and Foster’s Arugula Pesto. Also featured are a host of wonderful desserts, such as Lemon Chess Pie with Sour Cherries and Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake with Mocha Latte Frosting.

Featuring mouthwatering favorites from the market and dozens of helpful sidebars that discuss ingredients, techniques, and make-ahead tips, The Foster’s Market Cookbook provides all you need to know to make the most of every season’s finest offerings.