Category: News

BBQ Slang 101: How To Talk Like A Real-Life Pitmaster

Posted in Events, News

There is no shortage of blackened brisket or vinegar-laced pork sandwiches in Boydton this weekend! However, you need to know the language to penetrate the underground BBQ fraternity of smokers, sauces, and pit bosses. 

We rounded up a group of pitmasters participating in Boydton’s Big Bad BBQ Battle to compe up with a glossary of in-the-know BBQ terms. 

PIT BOSS – Also heralded as the pitmaster, this is the smoky, sweaty renegade who presides over the red-hot coals to create the beautiful, char-encrusted proteins of perfection that we all know and love.

BURNT ENDS –  These morsels of smoked brisket – crispy, fatty bark bits – are a delicacy to many a BBQ lover. They also go by the name meat candy. 

BARK – This is the flavorful outer layer of crust that forms during the BBQing process. Here’s what required:

  • A good spice rub containing salt and sugar – other spices help to create spice crust that is thicker
  • Temperature – Too low and you get no bark….too high and you get char (BLEH!). A temperature of 200°F-250°F is just right 
  • Smoke – Smoke from wood or charcoal for cooking can range from bluish, to white, to gray, to yellow, to brown, and even black. However, the most desirable smoke is almost invisible with a pale blue tint. Blue smoke is the holy grail of low and slow pitmasters, especially for long cooks.

MOP – Brushing this vinegar-based sauce on a piece of meat before and during cooking to add layers and layers of flavor and caramelization. One of many well-kept secrets by a pitmaster, this sauce is sometimes generations old and made from simple and sometimes complex flavors to add complexity to the final product. 

SMOKE RING – Smoking meats leads to a release of nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. When combined with myoglobin, a protein found in the meat, a coveted pink hue called the “smoke ring” appears just underneath the bark. Often considered the sign of a good brisket.

MONEY MUSCLE – This choice piece of pork, located high on the shoulder, is moist and flavorful. As its name implies, it often pulls in the loot during competitions or is saved as the spoils for the pitmaster for their hard work.

THE STALL – This is the period of smoking when the temperature seems to have peaked, event though it is still well below the temperature you want to achieve. It should be called ‘The Darkest Hours’ to indicate the devastation felt by many a pitmaster at the possibility of having wasted countless hours in the smoke. If a pro, the pitmaster will know that this isn’t the end, but only the beginning of something truly great!

More Meck Moments – Southern VA Trails

Posted in Events, News

Looking to get away? You can’t get much further from your cares than setting down a beautiful rails-to-trails path or paddling out on miles and miles of scenic and wild waterways! Read on to find your next Southern Virginia hiking or paddling paradise. 

– ROBERT MUNFORD TRAIL

This moderate to advanced 7-mile long one-way trail offers various terrain and beautiful lakeside views of Kerr Lake (Virginia’s Largest Lake). Two trailheads exist, the one on Greenwood Road offers a short hike to the Robert Munford Grave historic site. Robert Munford was an influential land-owner in Mecklenburg County in the late 1700s. While politically active, he was best known for penning what are accepted to be the first two comedic plays written in the New World. It is also believed that the popular cocktail, the mint julep, got its iconic name from a 1770 play, The Candidates, written by our very own Robert Munford. CHEERS!

– PANHANDLE TRAIL

This secluded 15-mile (round-trip) multi-use trail is the perfect way to enjoy beautiful and unobstructed lakeside views. Many opportunities for wildlife viewing and birding exist and is also one of the 17 Wildlife Management Areas found within Mecklenburg County. Found within Occoneechee State Park, Mecklenburg County’s only Virginia State Park, the Panhandle Trail is a well kept secret among outdoor enthusiasts. After a long day exploring the miles of trails, take advantage of Occoneechee State Park’s many cabins or campsites available for rent year-round!

– TOBACCO HERITAGE TRAIL – 

Perhaps the most well-known trail system in Mecklenburg County. This multi-use trail system is an ongoing rails-to-trails effort years in the making and is adding new sections all the time! The trail is made from old and abandoned rail sections of the former Norfolk-Southern rail line that snaked throughout Southern Virginia. Trail sections can be found throughout Mecklenburg County with the longest contiguous section extending from Brodnax (Mecklenburg County) 15 miles east into the Town of Lawrenceville (Brunswick County). Plan your next hiking, biking, or equestrian trip today by visiting www.tobaccoheritagetrail.org 

– SOUTHERN VIRGINIA WILD BLUEWAY

Perhaps the newest and oldest trail in Mecklenburg, the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway has made a splash with locals and visitors! Consisting of three rivers -the Dan, the Staunton (or Roanoke) and the Bannister – and two lakes – Kerr/Bugg’s Island and Lake Gaston- the Blueway extends from our neighbor Halifax County east into Mecklenburg. Unspoiled terrain and wildlife provide a feeling of wilderness, yet the Blueway is only a short drive from major metro area and has dozens of easy access points along the way. Whether you are looking for a couple of hours on the lake with your family or a more challenging 3-day trek, the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway delivers. See more at www.sovawildblueway.com 

More Meck Moments – 40th Annual LakeFest Weekend

Posted in Events, News, Uncategorized

 

 

 

The third full weekend of July brings all of the fun to Virginia’s ONLY Lakeside Town – Clarksville! The Virginia Lake Festival, or as it’s better known as LakeFest, is celebrating its 40th Anniversary THIS WEEKEND! While a lot has changed in the past 40 years, we can say that the fun and energy that LakeFest brings hasn’t changed a bit! 

The weekend is packed with fun family activities, but here’s a map of where to navigate all of the weekend’s events! 

More Meck Moments – Mother’s Day

Posted in Events, News

 

 Make your mother’s day in Mecklenburg this Mother’s Day Weekend! Whether she loves the outdoors, good food and drinks, or finding locally made goods, you will find it here in Mecklenburg! Here’s some tips and ideas on how to get MORE for your mom!    

2017 Southern Virginia American Indian Festival – May 12-14 – Enjoy a unique glimpse into Native American culture at the 2017 Southern Virginia American Indian Festival. Take part in demonstrations of natural tools, weaponry, traditional bead and leather works. The event is being held at the South Central Fairgrounds in beautiful Chase City all weekend!

Cabbage Farm U-Pick Strawberries –  Get your quart, or gallon, TODAY! The strawberry pickin’ season is underway and Ms. Boze is ready and waiting at the Cabbage Farm in LaCrosse. A staple for more than 20 years, the Cabbage Farm offers U-Pick and Already-Picked strawberries, as well as tomato slips, annuals, perennials, blueberries, blackberries, and much, much more! Open 7-days a week from 8AM-6PM (Call ahead after 6PM). 434-729-2111

Big Lake Flea Market – May 13 – Find the perfect keepsake for your Mother at the Big Lake Flea Market, the BIGGEST Flea Market on the Lake! Vendors will be lined up Virginia Ave. in Downtown Clarksville with everything from antiques & collectibles to homemade crafts! The event is FREE to attend, but don’t stop there….the Downtown shops and restaurants will be hosting specials throughout the day, so stop on by!

Cooper’s Landing Inn & Traveler’s Tavern – Sunday May 14th – Treat your Mom to an unforgettable culinary experience at the renowned Cooper’s Landing! Start off her special day with a Mother’s Day Brunch (10AM – 3PM) or finish it with the Mother’s Day Dinner Celebration (5PM – 8PM). Must Have: Baked Brie w/ Pecan Kahlua, Croustades, & Fruit.

Dream Cake Boutique Using only the finest and freshest ingredients, Dream Cake Boutique has found the sweet tooth in all of us here in Mecklenburg with such tasty flavors as Rich Red Velvet, Decadent Triple Chocolate, and Maple Bacon!  Treat your mom to something sweet at Dream Cake Boutique!

Who says you can’t share a cold one with mom this Mother’s Day? Take your pick from one of our three wineries, the ONLY brewery on Kerr Lake (Virginia’s Largest Lake), or the award-winning Bondurant Brother’s Distillery? Each spot offers its own unique stories and tastes and guarantee that you will leave with smile! Map out the perfect tasting tour of Mecklenburg using the interactive map below!

More Meck Moments – May 5-7

Posted in Events, News

Mecklenburg is in full bloom! We have plenty to keep you busy this weekend coming up soon!  Share your adventures using #moremeck and we’ll share! 

Wings, Wheels, & Crafts – The Lake Gaston Junior Women’s Club presents the 3rd Annual Wings, Wheels, and Crafts at the Mecklenburg- Brunswick Regional Airport. Saturday, May 7, 2017. The Wings, Wheels, and Crafts Event will be from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. This event will include a kids corner with educational activities/games focusing on aviation, as well as a moon bounce, aviation booths including anything/everything to do with flying, a car show where trophies will be awarded, craft and specialty vendors, food vendors, local law enforcement and EMS services, and entertainment throughout the day.                                                                                       

 

 

 

 

Southside Farm Market at Mecklenburg Supply – Mecklenburg County’s newest Agritourism attraction will be open this Friday from 12-6PM.  Find them and more information on Facebook or visit www.mecksupply.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Hill Farmer’s Market – OPENING DAY – Come on by the South Hill Farmer’s Market for its opening day for the season this Saturday, May 6th from 8AM-12PM in Downtown South Hill. You will see vendors of all kinds with a variety of locally grown and produced goods. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz in the Gardens @ MacCallum More Museum & Gardens 

Enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz and Southern Virginia with the Southsde Jazz Quintet at the beautiful and historic MacCallum More Museum & Gardens. Tickets are $25.00 and are available for sale in advance and at the gate.

 

 

2017 Southern Virginia American Indian Festival

Come join and share in the stories and heritage as we honor Native American traditions. This powow honors all Veterans, Mother Earth, and ALL mothers on Sunday, May 14th. Demonstrations, storytelling, traditional wares, and vendors of all kinds will be available each day. 

$10.00 Weekend Pass, or $7.00/day. Seniors and Children Under 12 are $5.00

Special Guests: Frankie Red Hawk, John “Blackfeather” Jeffries, and Burke Lemons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Lake Flea Market – Take a look at the wonderful variety in Downtown Clarksville. Everything from crafts, decorations, clothing, antiques, and food will be available for sale. Saturday, May 13th from 8AM-3PM

 

Lake Life Summer Series: LIVE from Clarksville – June 3rd (5:30-8:30PM) in Downtown Clarksville!

Enjoy the start of Summer by kicking back and listening to the sounds of the Fantastic Shakers and featuring Logan Robinson! $5.00 at the gate.

Beer, drinks, and food will be available. Explore Downtown Clarksville and stop into one of the many shops and stores to find the perfect keepsake to remember your stay. 

 

 

Forgot It Was Valentine’s Day?

Posted in Events, News

It’s OK, we have you covered! Here are some last minute ideas to help save your Valentine’s Day

 

 

 

 

 

A Whole New World –

For a different look at Mecklenburg County, try taking a ride with Sand Dollar Seaplanes based out of Valentines, VA.  Sand Dollar Seaplanes brings the romance of seaplanes to Southern Virginia and a low-cost sightseeing experience of Virginia’s Lake Region! Call and set up your air tour of Mecklenburg TODAY – (301) 606-0723 or find them on Facebook.

LOVE Tour

Find the perfect spot to share with your LOVEd one in Mecklenburg! We have a lot of LOVE throughout our beautiful county and we want to share it with you! Take a picture with your Valentine in front of each LOVE sign and share using #moremeck!   

 Boydton      Chase City       Clarksville      South Hill       

   

 

Get OUT(side) 

For those of you who LOVE the outdoors, then take a few of our suggestions to heart!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • TrailsTobacco Heritage Trail – Try the “Boydton Section” – 1.02 miles snaking through the Town of Boydton and through scenic and wild landscapes

  • ViewsWildlife Management Areas – We have 17 to choose from!     

  • Love Birds – Get out your binoculars and book a walking/kayaking birding tour with Backyard Birds and Coffee’s own Clyde Wilson! 

  • Fireplace – Shack up with your loved one at the cabins at Occoneechee State Park! Miles of beautiful lakefront views accompany these cozy cabins!                 

Dinner and Drinks 

For a more traditional Valentine’s DAY OR Night out:

Romantic getaway

  • Cooper’s Landing Inn & Traveler’s Tavern (Clarksville) – Items on tonight’s menu include Quail stuffed w/ Orzo Pilaf, Oysters in a Creamy Champagne Sauce, and White Chocolate Mousse w/ Strawberry Chambord Sauce….Need we say more? Accepting reservations NOW (Valentine’s Day Dinner available Feb 14th-18th)

  • Horseshoe Restaurant (South Hill) – How Sweet is this? your choice of Seared Sweet Chili Salmon or Brown Sugar pork chops! Show your sweetheart some love and share a piece of horseshoe’s famous homemade pie!

  • Wineries/Distilleries – uncork and unwind at one of the 3 wineries throughout Mecklenburg! Or, how about some history you can taste? Stop by Bondurant Brother’s Distillery for a TOUR OF WHERE THE PAST MEETS THE PRESENT!