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Jim Early is a native North Carolinian and longtime resident of Winston-Salem. A graduate of law from Wake Forest University, he continues a limited civil law practice, he is certified as a superior court mediator and speaks nationally and internationally on balance and quality of life to Bar Associations, Medical Associations and businesses. From Jim's love of hunting and cooking, comes a cookbook due for publication this year called Shining Times - The Adventures and Recipes of a Sportsman. In addition to illustrations from some of the world's top wildlife artists and photographers, Jim's book takes the reader from the pursuit to the preparation to a variety of recipes from "camp fire to the White House" in range and complexity. Jim has taught cooking courses at the Stocked Pot in Winston-Salem, Serves You Right in Blowing Rock, Yahoo's in the Bahamas and in various states and countries where he has guided hunting parties. Recently he has conducted a series of successful cooking courses for Salem College hosted by the well-known specialty wine and food shop, The Golden Apple in Winston-Salem.
The Best Tar Heel Barbecue: Mateo to Murphy (2002)
From The Best Tar Heel Barbecue: Mateo to Murphy:
What is it about barbecue that invokes such passion among its followers—those who cook, chase and consume the slow-roasting method of cooking “the other white meat”? People like Chinese, Mexican and Italian food. People like pizza, pasta, and steak. But those who like barbecue are passionate about their food. For many, barbecue is an item often included in daily living. For other, a new or favorite barbecue place is a destination. The pursuit of good barbecue is a quest that stirs them to drive hundreds of miles to a distant community or hamlet in search of a “pretty pig.”
Barbecue is the “All-American” casual food. True, our ancestors cooked meat on spits over flame. But the custom of slow roasting on a grid of wooden sticks at low heat over live coals was developed by Native Americans and passed on to our forefathers. Cooking barbecue—be it pork, beef, mutton, chicken or game—is as American as apple pie. Barbecue is enjoyed in all 50 states and this form of cooking is the one more often associated with celebration, be it the Fourth of July or a gathering of family and friends.
In preparation to write this book I traveled in all 100 counties of this great state, drove more than 18,000 miles talked to more than 1,500 people critiqued more than 200 barbecue places in six months. This journey took me from the Outer Banks to the border of Tennessee. I tired to learn as much as I could about raising hogs, methods of cooking barbecue, various kinds of sauces and dips, and the history and people who raise the hogs, cook the barbecue and those privileged to enjoy it.
Printed with permission of Jim Early.