Monday, December 08, 2008

Quick hits: Christmas Jam's charity aspect more important than ever, and country ham making a comeback

Christmas Jam expands to double duty
"The annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam has long been a major force in Asheville, drawing 7,000 or more fans to the Civic Center each year, many who fill local hotels, restaurants and clubs during their stay here," says the Citizen-Times. "It's the signature concert event at the Civic Center, with an international reputation for its strong musical lineup. And it's so far pumped $665,000 into the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, letting the organization build about 12 homes.

"But this year, with the economy in recession, the jam's financial punch could be more important than ever. Grammy-winning guitarist Haynes, an Asheville native, is expanding the all-star jam to two nights, Friday-Saturday at the Civic Center arena. ..."

Disappearing art of the country ham
"Salty. Leathery. The skin dried so hard, it can take a band saw to cut through it. Before cooking, you have to heft it into a sink and scrub off the mold. This is not most people's definition of food. But in the Carolinas, it's a good description of one of our most important contributions to the American food story: Slow-cured country ham," says the Charlotte Observer.

"It once kept people in this part of the world alive through tough winters. It added flavor and protein to meager plates of grits and greens. It was so prized, colonists made scarce cash by shipping it to Europe for the gentry.

"Today, slow-cured country ham is not much more than a lingering taste of Carolinas history. In supermarkets, you usually find mass-produced versions that use climate controls to hurry the process. ..."

1 comment:

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