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US: Smithfield, NC – Eat Like Pigs at Smithfield’s Ham and Yam Country Festival

Downtown Smithfield is the place to be on Saturday, May 5th for the much anticipated 34th annual Ham & Yam Festival,  which occupies several blocks and attracts thousands of people.FredDeesHam

With pig races, inflatables, vendors, entertainment, and ham and yam foods, it’s a fun day for the entire family.  Craft and commercial vendors line the streets, food vendors offer a variety of fair foods and menu items featuring country ham and sweet potatoes, and local bands and dance groups perform on the festival’s three stages throughout the day.

Ham&YamPigRacesThe festival features a barbecue cook-off, rubber duck race, 5k,  a petting zoo and the always popular “What’s That Yam Thing?” contest; where children are encouraged to play with their food by turning sweet potatoes into works of art.  As well as the Sweet Potato Pie Eating Contest where 10 participants will eat like pigs, competing to be the fastest person to eat their sweet potato pie without using their hands.Mikayla-SPCheesecakePie

Get to Smithfield and enjoy the Ham & Yam Festival,  packed with delicious homemade ham biscuits, barbeque pork, and sweet potato pie.

Location: Neuse River Amphitheatre, 200 S. Front Street, Smithfield, NC 27577
Date: Sat,  May 5, 2018
Time: 9am – 9pm
Tel: 919-934-0887
hamandyam.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: johnstoncountync.org

US: Richmond, VA – Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue, a Richmond Tradition Since 1992

Can you Handle 2017-09-25_11-23-48Some men are driven by a need for fame. Some men seek glory. Buz has always sought out the perfect barbecue. Not that par-boiled, mass-produced, liquid-smoke injected kind, either. Nothing but real barbecue will do. Food 2017-09-25_11-02-51

It took a NYC guy to literally work his way thru kitchens in BBQ havens in Texas, Kansas City, Memphis and Lexington KY, and then merge all that expertise with Ned’s 150- year old family recipe to perfect the art of the pit and his own scrumptious BBQ.

BuznNedsFor the past 25 years, his ribs (baby back, spare or beef) have been a hit, there’s hearty Brunswick stew (chock full of corn, string beans, carrots, and potatoes), killer chili, Sandra’s favorite: beef brisket, and you-could-eat-alone sides of chunky smokey baked beans, cukes & onions, sweet potato fries and, of course, hush puppies. Wash ‘em down with root beer and Cheerwine. 

On the last Monday of every month Buz and Ned’s is featuring Pig Pickin’ Mondays  at their 8205 West Broad St. location only. The traditional, down-home, country PIG PICKIN’ starts at 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. (or earlier , ’til they run out of pig). It’s a first-come, first-serve, all-you-can-eat meal featuring an amazing 100% wood barbecued whole pig cooked slowly using only freshly-cut hickory log, served with Buz and Ned’s barbecue sauce on the side. The buffet will also include: hush puppies, freshly shredded cole slaw, sandwich rolls, three bean baked beans, sour cream red skinned potato salad and freshly-brewed iced tea.Instagram BuznNeds

With a whole-hog knowledge of ‘cue, meat-eaters will agree that Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue is a Southern authority on smoke. Go on in and eat like a local.Sign 2017-09-25_9-56-12

Boulevard Location: 1119 North Blvd., Richmond, VA 23230 (Directions)
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11am-9pm · Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm
Tel: 804-355-6055
West Broad Street Location: 8205 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23294 (Directions)
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11am-10pm · Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm
Tel: 804-346-4227
buzandneds.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitrichmondva.com

US: West Friendship, MD – The Howard County Fair Celebrating 72 Years!

The 72nd Annual Howard County Fair kicks off on Saturday, August 5th through Saturday, August 12th, 2017. The fair is a  celebration of Howard County’s farming past and present. Howard County Fair -girl

An American tradition loaded with wonderfully wholesome family fun including: magic shows, clowns, balloon artists, carnival rides and games, interactive exhibits, educational demonstrations, livestock exhibits, musical entertainment, an animal petting zoo and appetizing food.

Howard County Fair -Pig RacesThe Howard County Fair hosts horse shows, pony rides, Antique tractor pulls, and livestock competitions, 4-H shows/exhibits, Demo Derby, Rodeo, Horse-Pulling Contest, Antique Automobile Show, Pie Eating Contest,  Pig Races, Bingo, AG Displays and Farm produce. Enjoy some of the area’s best live music, from rock and country, to bluegrass Howard County Fair - Tractorand oldies.

There is also a PRCA All American Pro Rodeo on August 8th & 9th, 7:00 pm as well as a Demolition Derby on August 9th & 12th – 7:00 pm.

Schedule of Some Featured Events:

Horse-Pulling Contest – First Saturday @ 10:00 am

Antique Tractor Pull – First Saturday @ 4:00 pm

Antique Automobile Show – Sunday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Pie Eating Contest – Sunday @ 12:00 noon

Pretty Animal Contest – Sunday @ 11:00 am

Miss Howard County Farm Bureau Contest,
Future Howard County Farmer, and
Little Miss Howard County Farm Bureau Contest – Sunday @ 3:00 pm

Mule Pulling Contest – First Saturday @ 9:00 am

Coon Mule Jump – First Saturday, immediately after Mule Pull

Howard County’s Got Talent – Thursday @ 7:00 pm

Baby Contest Miniature Parade – Last Saturday @ 10:00 am

Parade of Floats – Last Saturday @ 5:00 pm

Amusement Rides & Games – Hours:
Saturdays and Sunday: 12 Noon – 11 pm;
Monday through Friday: 2pm – 11pm

“Kids and Critters” Barn Hours:
10:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
(CLOSED DAILY FROM 2 PM TO 4 PM)

Pig Races – 12 Noon, 3 pm, 6 pm, & 8 pm
Bingo Hall – Opens Daily at 6 pm
Pony Rides – 10 am – 10 pm
AG Displays – DAILY
Farm Produce – DAILY

Location: 2210 Fairgrounds Rd, West Friendship, MD 21794 Get Directions
Dates: Aug 5 – 12, 2017
Time: 8 AM – 11PM
Tel: 410-442-1022
howardcountyfair.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visithowardcounty.com

Belgium: Farm to Table

Michelin listed Ghent restaurant t’Pakhuis (www.pakhuis.be) takes the concept of farm right to table so seriously that they bought the farm – in Bresse, France. So now they breed and serve famous and flavourful Bresse chickens, guinea fowl, Hampshire down lambs, and Bayeux pigs. From home in Belgium, they get special tomatoes, their herbs, and even “lost and forgotten” vegetables

Located in a former ironworks factory with painted cast-iron pillars and a soaring wrought-iron balcony now filled with light from the huge roof skylight, the noisy chattering happy diners, both inside and out might be enjoying the beers and fancy cocktails at the bar or on the large terrace. In keeping with it’s slick metallic theme, it has the coolest bathroom lock I’ve ever encountered and I challenge you to try to turn on the tap without having to ask!
pakhuisBelgium

And the food – my liver screamed for mercy but my mouth was bathed in smiles. Though you could start with  a lighter lobster soup or beef carpaccio, if you dare, the foie gras plate had the most generous hunk of silky foie we have ever encountered accompanied by sage apple cream and dates. Had I stopped there, it would have been a perfect dinner.

But yet we ventured on to the grilled duck breast in pea cream with baby veggies and mashies that were so smoothly whipped that they could have been served for a dessert sorbet. The asparagus risotto with lemon butter was so yummy, it alone could turn me into a vegetarian.

We could have ended the meal with a locally favorite flavor, gingerbread, in cheesecake with vanilla sauce or gone lightly with some sorbets, but we took it to the max with a silky creme brûlée. Sigh.