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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 07/03/13

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

NATIONAL HOLLERIN' CONTEST FROM SPIVEY'S CORNER!!




The Lost Art of Hollerin’

    Hollerin’ is considered by some to be the earliest form of communication between humans. It is a traditional form of communication used in rural areas before the days of telecommunications to convey long-distance messages. Evidence of hollerin’, or derivations thereof such as yodeling or hunting cries, exists worldwide among many early peoples and is still be practiced in certain societies of the modern world. In one form or another, the holler has been found to exist in Europe, Africa and Asia as well as the US. Each culture used or uses hollers differently, although almost all cultures have specific hollers meant to convey warning or distress. Otherwise hollers exist for virtually any communicative purpose imaginable -- greetings, general information, pleasure, work, etc. The hollers featured at the National Hollerin’ Contest typically fall into one of four categories: distress, functional, communicative or pleasure.







    Within the US, particularly the Southeast, folklore researchers have found the practice of hollerin’ to be present primarily among traditionally black communities. Although hollerin’ is rarely found to have survived in white communities, many folklorist believe it to have once been widespread throughout the region and practiced by both whites and blacks alike. Oddly, in Sampson County, North Carolina, the reverse of the norm is true; while hollerin’ has continued to live on in white localities, there is little or no evidence of its existence among the black population.






    Although similarities abound -- particularly in sound, hollerin’ as defined by the Spivey’s Corner contest, is not the same thing as yodeling or other farm or hunting calling. Rather, it is viewed, at least by Sampson County natives, as an art form to be taken seriously. Its roots, however, can be traced back to the men working on rafts in the 1700s, when logs were transported from Sampson County via its many rivers and streams to Wilmington. The loggers operating the rafts hollered back and forth to one another about their rafts so that they wouldn’t run into each other, or so that if stuck, others would come to their aid. The tradition has survived since its colonial origins.
    The “trademark” holler of Sampson County, NC is one considered unique because of its virtuoso rendering. This holler “consists primarily of rapid shifts between natural and falsetto voice within a limited gapped scale” and the typical melodic movement “consists simply of alterations between the first, third and fifth of the scale” so that the voice is “employed almost as a musical instrument.”







Types of Hollers

    The hollers native to Sampson County can be classified in one of the following groups:

Distress hollers: In many ways, hollers were essential in rural communities; they notified others within hearing range of imminent danger or brought assistance to otherwise isolated farmers when needed. In the past, locals say, hollers have helped locate lost children, saved drowning men, and even ended house fires. “There was just as much a need of hollerin’ as there was of eatin’ at that day and time,” says 1971 Hollerin’ Champion, Leonard Emanuel. Distress hollers are typified by a falsetto tone and sense of urgency.







Functional hollers: These are the hollers used in day-to-day life on the farm or in the field. Each farmer or rancher had his own distinctive hollers to bring in this hogs, cattle, sheep or dogs. This was particularly useful when farmers’ animals grazed common land. A farmer could round up his hogs with his unique holler without disturbing any of his neighbors’ hogs. This is also the type of holler used each morning to let nearby farmers know that one was up and about, as well as by women to call home their families from the fields at the end of the day.








Examples of The Different Types of Hollers'

Communicative hollers: “Howdy neighbor” is the main purpose of these cries. Ermon Godwin explains: “A man working alone in a field might holler just to hear a reassuring answer from his neighbor in the next field a mile or two away” . Women also frequently used this form of holler.

Expressive hollers: Some hollers are voiced purely for pleasure’s sake -- they are known as expressive hollers. Often, this is a hollered version of a popular tune or melody and serves no purpose other than of entertainment. Many of the contest champions have won using expressive hollers, particularly in recent years. Even North Carolina's Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham gets into the act with a hollerin' impression of a mule. You won't believe the Duet, but my favorite is the Quartet rendition of "Amazing Grace."







History ofThe National Hollerin’ Contest (1969-present)

    Every year, on the third Saturday of June, in an otherwise sleepy borough of southeastern North Carolina known as Spivey’s Corner (population 49), some 5,000-10,000 folks gather from far and wide to take part in the festivities and entertainment in the day-long extravaganza known as the National Hollerin’ Contest.
    You may have heard of the contest -- since its inception in 1969, the contest has garnered attention and fame throughout both the country and the world. The contest and its winners have been featured on television shows such as The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman, in magazines with worldwide circulations such as Stars and Stripes and Sports Illustrated, and have even been the subject of documentary films, featured on The Voice of America, and mentioned in television sports commentaries.







    Responsible for the publicity surrounding the unique event is one of the contest’s founders and self- described “master promoter,” Ermon H. Godwin. The contest began almost 30 years ago in 1969, when on a weekly radio broadcast with fellow contest founder and area resident John Thomas, Godwin jokingly suggested reviving the “lost art” of hollerin’ by holding a contest, the proceeds from which would benefit the Spivey’s Corner Volunteer Fire Department. The first contest flooded the town (then population 48) with participants and observers, including the mainstream press. The day’s events featured not only the promised hollerin’ contest, but other contests, pageants and games as well, such as a biggest bell pepper contest, a watermelon roll and a square-dancing jamboree. Over the years the publicity efforts surrounding the contest have been unusual, if not down-right wacky: past invitees to the contest include former US president Ronald Reagan, the Shah of Iran, the 1984 Olympic Festival, the 1985 Super Bowl, and the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier.






    Since the first contest, the annual event has become a summer ritual for many. Contestants convene in Spivey’s Corner on the Midway High School football field from around the world, although only one hollerin’ champion has hailed from outside Sampson County (H.H. Oliver, ‘70 champion, who hails from neighboring Wayne County). Currently, the day’s events feature five contests: the Whistlin’ Contest, the Conch Shell and Fox Horn Blowin’ Contest, the Junior Hollerin’ Contest, the Ladies Callin’ Contest and, of course, the National Hollerin’ Contest. (A separate “calling contest” [wives called their husbands in from the fields] was created for women hollerers in 1976 so the main contest is a men-only event.)


So When Is the Hollerin' Contest?
   The National Hollerin' Contest traditionally takes place the third Saturday in June. The definitive source for current Hollerin' Contest information is at http://www.hollerincontest.com/scvfd/

ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW FROM EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND!




    The Royal Highland Show is Scotland’s leading outdoor event showcasing all that’s best in farming, food and countryside.
    The show will be the 172nd and the 52nd to be held at Ingliston, near Edinburgh. It regularly attracts over 175,000 visitors with the 2010 attendance breaking all records at 187,644.
    Sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland, the show is one of the country’s most iconic and historic brands, mixing serious agri-business with fun, music and entertainment. For 2011, host area the Borders will feature food, textiles, heritage, countryside and visitor attractions from the region.






    Look out too for the Countryside Area, Forestry Arena, Agri-Trade Area, Children’s Discovery Centre, Outdoor Living Area, Motor Zone, Equestrian Village, Renewables Section, Food and Drink Hall, Shopping Arcade, Honey Marquee and Handcrafts Pavilion...not to mention 5000 of the UK’s finest cattle, sheep, goats and horses plus competitions, demonstrations and loads of all-action features! “The Greatest Show


History

    Although the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland was established in 1784, it wasn’t until December 1822 that it held its first show at Queensberry House in Edinburgh’s Canongate when according to The Scotsman newspaper "...between sixty and seventy five cattle were exhibited." There were also eight New Leicester sheep and "two beautiful pigs."






    Around 1000 members and public attended that first event held on a site adjacent to today’s Scottish Parliament. Gate takings were just over £52, seemingly sufficient to cover overheads.
   It’s a far cry from those humble beginnings in the 19th century to the present Royal Highland Show where there’s up to 5000 head of livestock, attendances of around 170,000 and costs associated with staging the event approaching £1.5 million.
    Following the inaugural event, the show became a fixture in Edinburgh and Glasgow before moving to Perth in 1829, thereby beginning the tradition of itinerant shows that was to last 130 years before the first “Highland” was held on the permanent site at Ingliston in 1960. The 2010 show is the 170th to be staged.





    During the late 19th and into the 20th century, the show had begun to take on more of a semblance of its modern day equivalent with agricultural implements being exhibited, livestock classes open to breeders from other parts of the UK and prizes for the likes of butter and cheese.
    Since moving to Ingliston, however, the show has developed beyond recognition and is now internationally recognised as an annual celebration of Scottish farming, food and countryside, attracting an audience far beyond its farming roots - a showcase of all that’s good about Scotland.







Royalty and The Royal Highland Show

    By the early and mid 19th century, the Highland and Agricultural Society was a much revered national institution enjoying the patronage of many of Scotland’s dukes and earls, landowners, agricultural pioneers and the Royal family
    In 1859, the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, seventeen years old and a student at Edinburgh University, twice visited the Edinburgh showyard. In 1872 Queen Victoria expressed a desire to be enrolled as an ordinary member and in 1894, the Duke of York, the future George V, visited the Aberdeen show as President of Society.
Various members of the Royal family have served as Presidents of the Society, have been awarded Honorary Membership or have visited the Royal Highland Show.







    The title Royal was bestowed at Inverness show in 1948 by King George VI, father of the current Patron, Her Majesty The Queen.
    The 2010 Royal Highland Show has set a new attendance record of 187,644 - an increase of more than 11,000 on last year’s record of 176,522.
    The show, which closed on Sunday night, recorded increased visitor numbers on all four days including an all time daily high of 57,754 on Saturday.






    Show Manager David Dunsmuir said: “We are absolutely thrilled with these figures. Although the fine weather and a focused publicity campaign were obvious influences, there is more to it than that. Our core aim is to showcase the farming and food industry and by combining that with an associated programme of entertainment and activity, we have a formula that is obviously appealing to both our specialist audience and the general public.
    “Staging an event of this magnitude takes a huge effort. Exhibitors, trade organisations and staff all played their part and deserve a pat on the back, but major thanks go to the public who came in their droves. ”







   Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead commented: “This has undoubtedly been one of the most successful Royal Highland Shows of all time. The food and farming sectors appear to be weathering the recession better than many other industries and there has been a real feel good factor this year.
“The visits from the EU Agriculture Commissioner and Chairman of the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee speak volumes for Scotland’s reputation as a land of food and drink. It proves beyond doubt that we are driving forward the debate on CAP and influencing and shaping change. ”
   Individual daily attendances were as follows (2009 figures in parentheses): Thursday 39,891 (38,506) Friday 47,885 (47,714) Saturday 57,754 (51,307) Sunday 42,114 (38,995).







    The 2012 Royal Highland Show will be held on June 21 -24. The show, at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, will once again be sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland who last week announced a new five year sponsorship package.

BAAAAACCCCCOOOOONNNN CUUUUPPPPCAAAAKKKKKES!








Nope, this is nota joke. There are actual, real-life pieces of bacon on those cupcakes. It seems bacon has crossed some culinary lines into dessertland.I like bacon. I use it quite a bit. I didn’t realize how much I used it until a friend gave me this recently:
She said she saw it and it reminded her of me. It makes me smile every time I see it. It got me thinking though. . . do I really talk about bacon that much? I don’t think I’m obsessed or anything. (If you are, you’ll enjoy that link. I thought it was hilarious, so I guess that means Iam obsessed.)





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OK, back to the subject at hand. I found the recipe for these cupcakes in a Food Network Magazine several months ago. I made them for a little get together, and I’m pretty sure they were a hit. Even one of my Celiac friends ate a couple, knowing full-well she’d probably be sick later. They were that good.I actually made them in my mini muffin pan so I’d have more to go around — about 40 or so.





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However, I do have a couple of qualms with this recipe. Maybe I’m splitting hairs. Or being a whiner. I’ll let you decide. . .
1. These don’t taste like maple french toast. This recipe won a contest in which the participants had to incorporate maple syrup into a recipe. There’s maple syrup in both the cake and the frosting, but I didn’t notice the flavor in either, despite using 100% pure Grade B maple syrup — the dark, flavorful stuff. (I have been congested lately, so my tastes have been a little wonky. If anyone who ate these disagrees, please let me know.) Next time I’d use maple flavoring in both the cake and the frosting.
2. The recipe was overly fussy without being spectacular. This recipe calls 2 types of flour, 2 types of sugar, divided eggs, half-and-half andpotato starch. Who has potato starch on hand all the time? (I do, but I’m weird.) For such a fussy recipe, I expected the taste and texture to be amazing. Yes, they were delicious, but it would have been just as good using a standard vanilla cake recipe and adding cinnamon, nutmeg, and bacon — essentially a baco-fied spice cake.
Like I said, though, they were great. I loved the different reactions when I brought these out, ranging from a skeptically raised eyebrow to an enthusiastic high-five.





10.02.28-49






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Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes


ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 3.9-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half, at room temperature
1 cup chopped cooked bacon (about 10 strips)
For the Frosting:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped for garnish (optional)

directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.
Combine the flours, pudding mix, baking powder, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl with a whisk.
In another bowl, cream the butter and sugars with a mixer on low speed until combined, 6 to 8 minutes. Gradually mix in the vanilla and egg whites. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the maple syrup and half-and-half, mixing after each addition and ending with flour. Mix until the ingredients are just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the bacon.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar cinnamon. Add maple syrup a couple teaspoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Spread on the cooled cupcakes; top with chopped bacon, if desired.
Nat's Notes:
1. The amounts of bacon listed above is doubled from the original recipe. The most frequent comment I got about these was that they needed more bacon.