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N.C., June 30, 2009 -- I held a "blind barbecue tasting" a few
weeks ago to "pit" (ugh) two North Carolina barbecues, two South
Carolina barbecues and one Georgia barbecue against each other. From Durham,
we had Hog Heaven and Backyard Barbecue. The SC meats were both from Manning,
located along I-95. They were McCabe's and D&H, and both had received
rave reviews on various food blogs. The Georgia barbecue was from Lowcountry
Barbecue in Johns Creek.
the meat was handled in the same manner so as not to give any one barbecue
an edge. Bought at different times, each pound of meat was vacuum-packed,
using a FoodSaver, and frozen in individual bags with coding to keep them
straight. The night of the tasting, all of the bags were put into one
large pot of boiling water and reheated at the same time. This saved time,
stove space, and, to my delight, kept in their individual "juices"
and re-infused the sauces with the meat. It worked very well.
the barbecue, I drew lines across sturdy recycled-paper plates using a
Sharpie, to create six wedges. On the rim of the plate, I labeled each
section "I" through "V", to correspond with the "blind"
numbering system for the barbecue. (Yes, there was one blank section.)
of us judged the meats" on appearance, taste/flavor, and tenderness/texture.
The scorecard had an "overall favorite" section with the three
categories noted for scoring one's favorite smoked pork, then individual
barbecue scoring sections to get more detail on specific iterations in
the three categories.
each participant was asked to place a small amount of barbecue on their
plate in the correct section, then rate the meat according to the score
sheet. Once the tasting part of the evening was complete, we then devoured
the remaining meat with small slider buns and various side dishes (a homemade
vinaigrette-style cole slaw, homemade mac 'n cheese, crockpot baked beans,
purchased hushpuppies, and various desserts). Guests brought whatever
they wanted to drink.
in the individual categories, the two from South Carolina had fabulous
scores for appearance as they exhibited good "pulled pork" chunks/strands,
but scored lower in taste/flavor, while the Durham offerings---both looked
similar, very chopped and "mushy" -- scored best on taste/appearance
individual scoring, the order of favorites ran as follows: D&H (SC)
at 135 total points; Lowcountry (Ga.) at 134 points; McCabe's (SC) at
123; Backyard BBQUE" (NC) at 121 points; and Hog Heaven (NC) at 112
points. Please note: Some participants left certain questions blank, and
this group of Duke graduates didn't necessarily follow directions!
overall, 'general' scoring, Lowcountry Barbecue in Georgia won this particular
tasting, and deservedly so, with its meat very, very good in all categories.
And the bad news? Their only retail outlet, in Johns Creek, Ga., is no
longer in business, though their catering business remains operational
It was a nice twist on a dinner party and made for a fun evening. And they tasted good, too!
JUNE 30, 2009 -- Gwinnettians like living in Gwinnett, a poll of readers of GwinnettForum has found. However, the poll also found dissatisfaction regarding perceptions of county leadership.
The poll was conducted for GwinnettForum by The Marketing Workshop of Norcross.
Participants in the survey report a high level of satisfaction with living in Gwinnett County and in most non-controversial services offered by the county such as education, fire and law enforcement services, the library, parks and recreation, and the county tag office.
However, these positive comments do not extend to perceptions of county leadership, and in particular to recently raised issues regarding trash collection, taxes, and transportation, where more comments are negative than positive
Commissioners do not get credit for the 'good' things about Gwinnett County, but instead are harshly criticized for being aloof, and not listening. In their own words, typical verbatim comments from the poll include:
One comment which perhaps best sums up poll participants' opinions would be:
"I am just not happy with the group currently running the county."
Other results of the survey:
The top rated county service for excellent or good was Parks and Recreation (87 percent); fire and emergency services (84 percent); Library (79 percent); county tag office (78 percent) and schools (71 percent).
Three areas scored only 20 percent or below on services. They are communicating with the public and transportation (20 percent each), and spending tax dollars wisely (18 percent).
For people who lived in Gwinnett cities, a whopping 84 percent prefer city police services to county (5 percent) or "Don't know" (11 percent.)
According to Jim Nelems, CEO of The Marketing Workshop, Inc. which conducted the study, "It is somewhat ironic that on the one hand, residents are quite pleased with county services, yet strongly criticize those who are ultimately responsible for those services, the County Commissioners. This shows that residents like things as they are (or 'as they used to be') and are adverse to the many changes recently proposed, such as changing trash collection, raising property taxes, and planning and development."
The research was conducted online among 150 responding Gwinnett Forum readers, the study should be considered directional and indicative. Survey participants ( i.e., Gwinnett Forum readers) tend to be older, longer term county residents, primarily in management positions in private industry and thus may not be representative of county residents as a whole. The poll is valid with a plus-minus factor of 7 percent. For more information about MWI, go to firstname.lastname@example.org or www.mwshop.com.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers.. The Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District (CID) is a self-taxing district organized in March 2005 comprised of 238 commercial properties. The CID's mission is to "enhance the economic vitality of Gwinnett's central business district by strengthening the area's role as the center of commercial activity." In addition to comprehensive planning efforts to address traffic congestion, an area-wide branding and marketing initiative, daily community patrols keeping the area free from graffiti and litter, landscaping enhancements, infrastructure improvements and promoting redevelopment opportunities, the CID Board of Directors remains committed to increasing the long-term economic sustainability of greater Gwinnett Place. The Gwinnett Place CID...Keeping Gwinnett Place the Place to be. To learn more about the Gwinnett Place CID and ways to find success at Gwinnett's central business district, please visit www.GwinnettPlaceCID.com or www.visitgwinnettplace.com.
I ran across
this the other day and it is a good read. It says we must check your labels!
I can verify
this because I was in Lowes the other day and just for the heck of it
I was looking at hose attachments. They were all made in China. The next
day I was in Ace Hardware and checked their hose attachments. They were
made in USA. Start looking.
In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else---even their job. So, after reading this email to me, I think this lady is on the right track. Let's get behind her!
"My grandson likes Hershey's candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more. My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico now. I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything.
"This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60 watt light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. Right next to the GE bulb brand I normally buy was an off brand labeled, 'Everyday Value.' I picked up both and compared the stats. They were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs were more money than the 'Everyday Value' brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in Mexico and the Everyday Value brand was made in---get ready for this---the USA, by a company in Cleveland, Ohio.
So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here.
"So on to Bounce Dryer Sheets....yep, you guessed it, Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada. The 'Everyday Value' brand was less money and was made in the USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free at almost half the price!
"My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA. The job you save may be your own or your neighbors!
"If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying from overseas companies! (We should have awakened a decade ago......)"
Let's get with the program.... help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the U.S.A
First Christian Church in Lawrenceville is marking its 100th anniversary with a community party from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 11 at the church, 3495 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville.
The free party will include inflatables to bounce on, games for kids, hot dog lunches, a deejay, a Salvation Army band, a performance by Atlanta Harmony Celebration, representatives from community ministry groups and local dignitaries, including Lawrenceville Mayor Rex A. Millsaps.
The church will be open for those who would like to view the stained glass in the sanctuary.
Families with children are especially invited to the kid-oriented event which concludes Vacation Bible School. The Rev. Katie Hays says: "This is our way to say: Thanks, Lawrenceville, for 100 great years. And of course, we're hoping for 100 more."
For more information: Call 770-963-9922 or www.lawrencevillefirstchristian.org.
Red Clay Theatre to present budding playwright's script
Young playwright Ashley B. Harzog is producing her original play, Looking for Laurie in All the Wrong Places, at the Red Clay Theatre and Arts Center July 9-11. She is a 2009 graduate of Northview High School, located in North Fulton County. The quirky new comedy will be directed by fellow graduate Jeffrey Moro (also class of 2009), both under the guidance of Red Clay Theatre Managing Director Mary Carolyn Conti.
Looking for Laurie in All the Wrong Places is a romantic comedy about a man and woman and his roommate's quest for that perfect someone. The play satirizes typical Hollywood romances.
Harzog's work has been featured in the New South Young Playwrights Festival at the Horizon Theatre and earned a spot as a semi-finalist in the Blank Theatre Company's Young Playwrights Festival and a finalist in the Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Competition. She will be majoring in Theatre and Communication at Berry College in the fall. Moro is a talented actor and recently directed a one act play at Northview High School. He will be attending Amherst in the fall.
Mary Carolyn Conti, managing director of The Red Clay Theatre, comments: "Ashley's play is hysterical. I was so impressed with the level of talent that this young lady showed that I couldn't wait to be involved with the production of the show." She goes on to say: "I think it is so important to nurture the creative side in our children. We need more kids like Ashley and Jeffrey, kids who step out and make something creative happen."
Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can purchased at the door or you can call the box office at 678-407-0772.
Be a part
of Project ACCES (Added Cooling Comfort for our Elderly Seniors). Gwinnett
County Senior Services (GCSS) and the Gwinnett County Department of Fire
and Emergency Services are working together to assist senior citizens
to stay cool this summer.
to Gwinnett Senior Services Manager Linda Bailey, "Seniors are sometimes
unable to recognize that they are in dangerous situations as their internal
body thermometer usually tells them differently. In light of this extreme
hot weather and the situation of the economy, we are glad to be able to
provide seniors with fans to stay cool."
Gwinnett Tech graduates 1,245 in ceremonies at the arena
Gwinnett Tech's 2009 graduates---more than 1,245 in all----celebrated their accomplishments at the Gwinnett Arena, to accommodate the ever-growing number of graduates for GTC.
Altogether, Gwinnett Tech conferred more than 2,570 graduate awards earlier this month, the most of any technical college in the state system.
Both the number of graduates and awards conferred reflect the booming growth at Gwinnett Tech, where enrollment percentage increases have been in double-digits for the last nine consecutive quarters. Current enrollment is over 7,700.
Graduation speaker Wendell Dallas, vice president and general manager of Atlanta Gas Light and a GTC Board member, told students, "While most people view leadership as the ability to influence others, I also view it as an individual's ability to effectively lead their own steps."
Dallas also offered words of encouragement to those concerned about today's economic challenges. "I'm confident of your future success because I know who sits before us this evening -- graduates who have demonstrated strength of character, perseverance, hard work, the ability to juggle all parts of their daily and family lives, often under trying circumstances, and have done so with great dedication, determination and hope. You are leaders to the core."
Gwinnett Tech offers more than 45 degree, diploma and certificate program options that can be finished in two years or less. For more information, visit www.GwinnettTech.edu.
Catherine Evans (later Catherine Evans Whitener) revived the handcraft technique of tufting in the 1890s near Dalton. Tufted bedspreads, which proved popular not only locally but also regionally and nationally, consisted of cotton sheeting to which Evans and (later) others would apply designs with raised "tufts" of thick yarn. These tufted bedspreads were often referred to as chenille products. Chenille, the French word for "caterpillar," is generally used to describe fabrics that have a thick pile (raised yarn ends) protruding all around at right angles. Most tufted bedspreads did not meet the strict definition of chenille, yet the term stuck.
The handcraft of tufting played an important role in the economic development of northwest Georgia. Evans and others who learned the technique stamped familiar patterns onto blank sheets, then filled the patterns with yarn. As the products grew in popularity, merchants in the Dalton region took an interest in marketing the spreads. By the 1920s tufted bedspreads appeared on the shelves of department stores in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, and other major cities.
Merchants organized a vast "putting out" system to fill the growing demand. They established "spread houses," usually small warehouses (or homes) where patterns were stamped onto sheets. Men called haulers would then deliver the stamped sheets and yarn to thousands of rural homes in north Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. Families then sewed in the patterns. The hauler would make another round of visits to pick up the spreads, pay the tufters (or "turfers," as they sometimes called themselves), and return the products to the spread houses for finishing. Finishing involved washing the spreads in hot water to shrink them and lock in the yarn tufts. The tufted spreads could also be dyed in a variety of colors.
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