A Fair to Remember

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     Late summer and early fall raise many images and smells in folks’ minds, and if you happen to drive past fairgrounds during this time, you’re likely to get smacked with the blissful scents of fried dough and caramel apples. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for our wallets and waistlines), fair time is all too short, or maybe too hot or too rainy or too crowded. Whatever your reason, maybe you just need a little hit of fair food and festivities.      Fear not, fried-food famished. Drawl is here for you. We’ve put together a little menu of deep-fried and caramel-dipped delights for you and yours. Pick an early fall afternoon with friends and have yourselves A Fair to Remember.      A few quick tips -- make sure to get the small amount of prep work done in...

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Sidewalk Film Festival 2012: Eating Alabama...

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     The sky was steel grey and every few minutes let loose with a smattering of large, sparse raindrops. Yet despite the threat of the storm, the line of people beneath the lighted billboard of the historic Alabama Theater on 3rd Avenue North in the theatre district of downtown Birmingham continued to lengthen, extending down the sidewalk and wrapping around the last building on the corner.      Fittingly, they were all hungry – hungry for a taste of one of the most talked about documentary films of the 2012 Sidewalk Film Festival – Eating Alabama, a project directed by filmmaker and University of Alabama Documentary film professor Andrew Beck Grace, about ten minutes away from making its statewide premiere.      According to their event pamphlet, the Sidewalk Film Festival “is an annual production of...

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Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery

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     Moonshine is often considered a taboo subject, especially in the mountains of East Tennessee. Having spent years making their whiskey illegally by only the light of the moon, moonshiners are slowly making their way out of hiding and into the open air. With the recent change of legislation, distilleries are making their presence known in the Smoky Mountain area and meeting the overwhelming demand for customer requests.      Located on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is pulling back the veil of the hidden art of whiskey making. As the first federally licensed distillery in East Tennessee history, Ole Smoky is giving visitors an up-close, taste-and-see approach to their processes.      In the late 1700’s, Scottish Irish settlers brought their knowledge of whiskey making to America. Living in an area of...

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Berry Blues

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     Blueberries are here!      As the strawberries fade away, blueberries make a long-hoped-for appearance in the markets. Naturally sweet and with flavor deep and bright, they’re marvelous in a variety of recipes. Go beyond pie and cobbler and try our Purple Velveteen Cake, either on its own, with frosting, or crumbled into a Very Berry Trifle. Another surprise is Dark Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream, with no added sugar. Blueberries also make a great complement to citrus flavors and fresh peaches in our Blueberry-Orange Corn Muffins, Bluemade Cocktail, and Peach-Blueberry Ice Cream.      Give our blueberry recipes a try! You won’t be sorry. Purple Velveteen Cake Very Berry Trifle Blueberry-Orange Corn Muffins Dark Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream Peach-Blueberry Ice Cream Bluemade...

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Sweet Tea

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     It wouldn’t be summer in the South without sweet tea. Perfect for sipping on porch swings, lake docks and the like, this refresher is often reported to have originated at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Though the drink was popularized there, most culinary historians now agree that sweet tea actually developed in the South long before 1904.      The first tea plants in the US were harvested around Charleston, South Carolina in the late 1700’s. Shortly after, many American (and English) cookbooks began including recipes for serving tea cold, though most of the early recipes were for green tea to be brewed and served with copious amounts of booze for tea punches. Sweetened iced black tea recipes began appearing the latter half of the nineteenth century, most notably in The Kentucky...

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Approaching the Canning Jar

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     People often speak of “lost arts” of homemaking, and canning is a skill that may fit into that category. Though survey of food blogs will reveal a host of canning projects for the home cook (Food in Jars is a notable example), canning isn’t as ubiquitous as one might expect.      Canning isn’t trendy like cupcakery or any of the recent food revivals, but it’s definitely evolved. What was once a survival skill on the farm is now more often a hobby of foodies; that’s not necessarily bad, though.      For many, the thought of canning evokes images of hot days in big country kitchens, sweat pouring, pots steaming. It sounds like a hell of a lot of hard work. More than that, it’s intimidating. What if the jars aren’t sterilized? What if...

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