Cades Cove, Cooking, food, recipes, Tall & Handsome, Tennessee, The Story Behind..., Townsend, Travel

Reggie & Bev’s Excellent Adventure, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Reggie & Bev’s Excellent Adventures

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Well, you’ve seen the pictures, now you’ll hear the story about Memorial Day weekend. Reggie, yes that’s Tall & Handsome, aka hubby, and I were very busy that weekend. Let me give you a little insider info here. When you live with disabilities, you learn about conservation of energy or to “pace” yourself. Well, baby…I had been “conserving” and I was raring to go for this weekend. I had plans. There was no stopping this Scotch-Irish-German-Native American Southern gal that weekend. Besides, a menu had been planned and groceries had been bought…in advance.

Our first day off was Saturday, I spent some time doing “pampering” things…a pedicure…that kind of thing and cuddled up watching movies with T & H. That’s when we learned Watson understood what, “Do you want a cup of coffee?” means.

Later, that night we had a special evening planned…dinner with friends…at their house. Now, do you remember when friends got together and played cards…you know…bridge, rummy, Rook, Uno? Well, before we left the house we loaded up our laptops because after a wonderful dinner of manicotti, chicken parmesan, Greek Salad, garlic bread and birthday cake (both the guys are May birthday boys) we played computer games after dinner. I’m such a computer geek…and my hubby loves it. (Thank you, Cornbread, for a fantastic dinner!) Well, sometime around or after the midnight hour we all started turning into pumpkins and hubby and I decided to head for the house.

The next morning as golden rays of sunlight pierced and jabbed the flesh of my eyelids, screaming “wake up”…sorry, I’m not a morning person…I felt two big ol’ arms around me and I heard someone whisper in my ear, “Would you like to go to the mountains this morning?”

I thought a minute and then I whispered back, “You know what I’d like to do this morning?”

I felt the suspense in his body as he whispered, “What?”

Breathlessly I whispered, “Go to the cemetery.”

Eagerly he responded, “How soon can you be ready?”

Aren’t we fun people? We have such rip-roaring, spontaneous, action packed fun!

Well, of course he knew what I was talking about. He knew I wanted to document family gravesites for my genealogy files. He also knew those cemeteries were in the foothills and on the way to the mountains. So, after time well spent visiting, documenting and sharing family stories we headed to Cades Cove.

Cades Cove is a special place. Sometime I think of the movie Brigadoon when I think of Cades Cove. Brigadoon is an old Gene Kelley, Van Johnson and Cyd Charisse movie that tells the story of a Scottish village wakes out of the mist every 100 years to live one day. As a result, for all practical purposes they are suspended in time. For me, the Cove seems suspended in time…nature untouched…God’s beauty.

The Cove is a valley nestled and hidden among the footprints of the Smoky Mountains. During the Civil War, the Cove was divided by loyalties…some Federal, some Confederate…brother against brother. It was a sad time for the Cove. I actually have Southern ancestors that fought on both sides…yes, it’s true.

Now, the Cove is full of reminders of days gone by…log cabins, barns, little white churches, cemeteries and wonderful flora and fauna. I think of my Papaw who was an occasional mail carrier in the Cove. He was a farmer, carpenter and he worker at the Little River Saw Mill. Papaw also was a clogger and played the “fiddle” as it was called in the hills and mountains of East Tennessee. The area might have been remote, but the people were not cardboard cut-outs…they were full of life and had interests just like you and I do.

The drive and trip was absolutely wonderful, peaceful and de-stressing. I love sharing “my” mountains with Tall & Handsome. On the drive, I looked at the stonework on the bridges and the tunnel and I was reminded on the story my dad told me of his childhood.

When he was a little boy, during FDR’s presidency, FDR had sent Italian stonecutters to the little back wood mountain town of Townsend, Tennessee. These artisans were part of FDR’s work programs during the dark days of the Depression.

It was those very programs that made FDR a god-like figure in many Southern homes and created many yellow dog Democrats…in others, yes, they would vote for that yellow dog if he was a Democrat. FDR ensconced the Democratic Party in the South for many, many years…because “my daddy and my granddaddy and my great-granddaddy voted…” as you would hear repeated over and over. Lincoln also helped the Democrat Party get a start in the South with that little thing called the “War Between the States”…but, that IS another blog…and I can relate to both sides as I remarked above.

Well, my dad’s family had the privilege of hosting some of the Italian stonecutters in their home while they were working in the mountains of East Tennessee. I couldn’t help but think of that as I passed the stone work of the bridges, tunnel and around the creek beds and rivers in the mountains. Two or three stayed with the Hicks family of Townsend, Tennessee. According to my dad, one of my grandmother’s cousins took a “shine” to one of the fellows, and Mamaw didn’t “cotton” to that and sent her cousin packing. That’s mountain and Southern for, “Mom, didn’t approve of the relationship and sent her cousin Nancy home.”

After our wonderful day in the mountains and the Cove, we had one day left…and that was Tall and Handsome’s day to do what he enjoys. Yep, you guessed it he stoked up the Weber. He had planned this meal in advance…a whole week…so we were prepared. So guess what? Time for another recipe blog courtesy of Bev and Tall & Handsome and the Burch Bistro. Hope you find something you enjoy!

Memorial Day 2007 Burch Cook – out

Burch Bistro Memorial Day 2007 Menu:

Beer – Can Tandoori Chicken

Indian – Style Rice with Cashews & Raisins

Grill Fresh Pineapple with B-B-Q Orange Marmalade Glaze

Bev’s Homemade Orange – Pineapple Sherbet

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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