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Discover North Carolina Barbecue

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 28, 2015

It’s safe to say that diners today know more about barbecue than any previous generation. Once, we ate whatever was nearby. Now, we drive hundreds of miles to visit the likes of Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Texas, and Scott’s Bar-B-Q in Hemingway, South Carolina. But amid the big names are hundreds of joints that have yet to earn national recognition. Sometimes for good reason, and sometimes only for lack of traffic or promotional funds. Those hole-in-the-wall spots have a friend in Amanda Fisher, who traveled across North Carolina with partner and fellow barbecue enthusiast Paul Bright to find the 434 joints on the Great NC BBQ Map, a guide to regional legends and hidden secrets alike.

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First Listen: Indigo Girls

By Jessica MischnerSouthern SoundsMay 26, 2015

It’s been four years since the Indigo Girls released an album. Happily for their fans, the wait for a follow-up is over. On June 2, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers will release One Lost Day, a 13-track record filled with the harmonies and emotionally crafted lyrics for which the Girls have become famous. There’s “Happy in the Sorrow Key,” a sonically resplendent meditation on life and loss. “With the death of my dad in late 2013, my whole world shifted and many songs I had started took on a different feel and urgency,” Ray says. “This is one of them. Musically, I was inspired by the feel of Paul Weller and The Jam, but then I also wanted this big orchestral bridge to mirror the feeling of laying in my bunk at night on the tour bus and drifting off to sleep scared but in awe of the process of life.” “The Rise of the Black Messiah” marries rhythms of mandolin, drums, and bass with lyrics inspired by the story of a man wrongfully convicted and put to death in prison to create a narrative tour de force (imagine Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane” as an even angrier protest anthem). But the album—the girls’ 14th—has lighter moments, too. “Elizabeth,” a sweet old-fashioned love song, “is the story of kinship and music and whiskey,” Saliers says. “It’s an homage to New Orleans and a distant love that began there.”

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Bug Off: Field-Tested Ways to Keep Mosquitoes at Bay

By Haskell HarrisBelle DecorMay 22, 2015

Here in the South, the joy of entertaining guests outdoors can be undermined when less-welcome ones arrive—mosquitoes and other pests. We asked some of the South’s best event designers, who produce weddings and other soirees outside all summer long, how they battle bugs. From organic sprays and wipes to a mail-order mosquito magnet, these are their tried-and-true tricks of the trade.

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Discover Perfect Southern Garden Roses

By CJ LotzBelow the LineMay 19, 2015

Trialing a rose is a bit like judging wine. It’s both fun and rigorous, with criteria for aroma, appearance, and overall robustness. And passion runs deep for both wine connoisseurs and rose lovers. Whether you love planting roses, sniffing them, or just admiring them while sipping a glass of wine on the porch, you’ll enjoy a weekend spent evaluating roses at the 2015 International Rose Trials at the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina.

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Lessons in Biscuit-Making from a Seasoned Baker

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 18, 2015

For the past few years, I’ve subscribed to a straightforward biscuit-making method, learned from a pastry chef friend. (Sorry, Grandma!) First, I put a stick of butter in the coldest corner of the freezer. When I wake up the next morning, I grate that frozen butter into a bowl of White Lily self-rising flour, and then add enough buttermilk to turn the dry mix into a soft but foldable dough, handling all ingredients delicately to keep the butter cold and the biscuits flaky.

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Toast the Preakness with a Black-Eyed Susan

By Jessica MischnerGood EatsMay 15, 2015

Despite the mint julep’s high profile, the Derby isn’t the only Triple Crown race with its own cocktail. The Preakness has a signature libation, too. And at Baltimore’s annual post-run Winners Circle Wind Down, the Black-Eyed Susans taste a little different. That’s because Woodberry Kitchen mixologist, partner, and Director of Operations Corey Polyoka applies his restaurant’s regional, farm-driven ethos to the Preakness’s official cocktail. Instead of vodka—traditionally the drink’s primary spirit—his recipe uses Breuckelen rye. “I love rye and try to use it whenever I can for the historic tie,” he says. “So much rye has been made in the area in the past, and it’s starting to be produced around here again.” Rum goes in, as usual; Polyoka sources his from Lyon Distilling in nearby St. Michaels. Lightly acidic verjus, the sweet-tart pressed juice of unripened grapes, replaces store-bought sour mix (you can buy it here or you can sub in a mixture of lemon and lime juice), and pitted cherries add sweetness. “This version hits that same tropical note as the original,” Polyoka says, “but it’s more balanced and technique-driven.”

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Alton Brown's Favorite Southern Road Eats

By The EditorsGood EatsMay 15, 2015

If you are hitting the road this summer and looking for recommendations on where to eat, Alton Brown has a few suggestions. The Atlanta-based bestselling author, James Beard Award winner, and television personality travels (and eats) for a living. His traveling variety show, Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour had him crisscrossing the country and, as you might imagine, he had many good meals along the way.  

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A Master Class in Floral Design

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineMay 14, 2015

Maybe you’re a spring bride and want to do your own flowers for your big day. Or perhaps you’re thinking about ditching a corporate gig and making a career in the floral business. Or maybe you just like puttering in the garden shed. Whatever your motivation, floral designers Heather Barrie of Gathering Floral + Event Design and Anne Dabney of Stems can help.

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Before and After: Forlorn Cabin to Elegant Hunt Camp

By Haskell HarrisBelle DecorMay 14, 2015

Houses with soul and history rank high on our list of reasons to love living in the South. And it’s always heartening to see a property in need of a revival loved back to life in a way that feels authentic to the place where it sits.

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Today in Southern History: The Civil War's Final Skirmish

By CJ LotzBelow the LineMay 13, 2015

A fact you might not have learned in history class: Although General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox a month before, in May 1865, Union Colonel Theodore H. Barrett launched an expedition to confront reported Confederate outposts in Texas. Even lesser known? That expedition caused a string of skirmishes and on May 13, at Palmito Ranch, Texas, the final combat of the Civil War resulted in a Confederate victory.

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