From Our Readers: Setbacks & Salsa - Carolina Country

From Our Readers: Setbacks & Salsa

June's letters to the editor

From Our Readers: Setbacks & Salsa

A Setback for the McCallums

I am writing concerning the article titled “Building Outside-the-Box”. I have an update I would like to share with you. I am not a member of David and Michelle McCallum’s church and do not live in Robeson County, but I have two daughters and 12 grandchildren who live nearby and do attend the church. The church family is just that — a family. David and Michelle live nearby, where their new home is being constructed. 

On April 21, there was a fire in their storage building behind their present home. Their home was spared with some damage to the back siding, which was melted. More importantly, four inches away were children sleeping. Because of the sound from an exploding can, David was awoken and quickly evacuated his children and wife. When the firetrucks arrived, he was on top of the home with the water hose spraying the back of his home, which did save it. 

Sadly, David and Michelle lost their secondhand kitchen, which included cabinets and granite countertops, along with clothes and many other items. The children are very upset over the fact they lost their bicycles.

But I do believe from these ashes will spring blessings for the McCallums!

Patricia Reich, a member of Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative

Strawberry Salsa Conundrum

I love the magazine you put out. My husband and I had the April issue at the grocery store picking up ingredients for the Strawberry Salsa and Orzo chicken. We left the magazine in the grocery store. :( 

We looked up the Chicken Orzo online and made it (IT WAS SO GOOD), but we cannot find the Strawberry salsa recipe online. I called my neighbors and they don’t have the issue anymore. I keep my magazines (great info and the best recipes). 

Do you have another copy of the April issue? If not can you send me the recipe for the strawberry salsa? Hope you can help. Again... awesome magazine. 

Deborah Swann Horton, submitted on

Editor’s Note: We’re glad to hear you enjoy the magazine, Deborah! We dropped an extra copy in the mail, and made the Fresh Strawberry Salsa recipe available online.

Tiny House Issues

It was irresponsible for NC Electric Cooperatives to publish “Tiny House Living” in its monthly membership magazine Carolina Country. … There are many uncomfortable truths this article did not address in its biased and cutesy approach about a feel-good movement that is actually mired in controversy. Many of these issues involve utilities that include NC Electric Cooperatives’ core business: usage of the electric grid. ...

As a member of Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, I depend on my electric supplier to give me sage advice about energy production, supply and usage. ... The membership publication normally does this job with aplomb.

However, by publishing the grossly misleading “Tiny House Living,” NC Electric Cooperatives heartily endorsed a questionable lifestyle movement while diluting the credibility of everything else in the magazine. As printed, this slanted article only legitimizes the commercial aims of at least one builder trying to promote tiny houses in my town of Oak Island despite all sorts of constraints that make it (probably) untenable. A resultant zoning board fight over the matter would be prohibitively costly and would impact all residents negatively.

B. Elizabeth Mina, Oak Island, a member of Brunswick Electric

Editor’s Note: Thank you for the feedback, Ms. Mina, and for pointing out the zoning troubles that can come with any housing structure if not properly planned for and permitted. Some tiny house communities, like the Village of Wildflowers, are connected to the electric grid, with city water and sewage. Others can be remote and “off the grid,” relying on distributed generation for power. As mentioned in the article, check with zoning ordinances in your area before beginning any tiny house project.

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