Sunday, June 23, 2019

Walland Rally - Day 1 Monday - Heritage Center and Cades Cove

We began Monday morning with a continental breakfast of pastries, bagels, fruit and drinks then headed to Townsend to see the sights beginning with the Smokey Mtn Heritage Center.

The center is a history of the early settlers to the area and the native Americans who preceded them by several thousand years.  The center includes several Cades Cove buildings.  Compared to our easy modern lives, these folks just existed, working daylight to dark to eek out a meager living.

That evening we went to the Black Bear Café for supper and I believe everyone enjoyed their meals, they were out of the trout I wanted so I had a grouper dinner and Bev had the grouper sandwich.  My fish was good but the baked potato was obviously a leftover but I would eat there again - no food porn.

From there we headed up into Cades Cove for a drive around the 11 mile loop road but before we got to it, we pulled over where others were stopped and discovered a mama black bear with two cubs and our neighbor Steve got these shots.

When we first went to the cove many years ago, the fields were used to graze cattle so the grass was short and we might see 100 deer during the trip around the loop but since the park has decided to let it revert back to its native grasses they are much harder to spot unless near the road.

I really enjoyed riding around the cove with our neighbor Steve because as a Townsend native he grew up with many descendants of the family’s who had settled the cove and he know lot’s of info about them plus he and his wife spend a lot of time riding their bikes around the loop road.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


6/17/19 event date

Friday, June 21, 2019

Walland Rally – Preparation Days & Campground

Once again, we are camping with our Tennessee Travelers Chapter of the FMCA and this time Bev and I are the rally hosts.  Since we went as far as Savannah, GA for the previous rally, we opted to stay closer to home for this one and go to Walland, TN, which was where we first participated with this group.  We returned to the same campground except it now has new ownership and a new name – Whispering River Resort. 

The campground has three cabins and 74 RV sites with those on one side of the campground as pull-ins facing the Little River and we have one of those – site E11.  As you can see there is a large open area between us and the river which is at the trees.

Notice that I called it a campground rather than a resort and they have a long way to go to meet my resort definition beginning with paving the roads and sites and eventually looking like Anchor Down which is a true resort.

I got this from another website and it fits with my few– “I consider it deceptive advertising to brand a campground a resort if it doesn’t offer: · An on-site food option · Escorts to the campsite · At least one open pool · Working internet connections · 50-amp service · Paved roads · Paved and level sites · At least 25 feet between campsites · A well-stocked camp store · More than one working washer and dryer · Organized activities · Amenities beyond horseshoes · Attractive landscaping.”

And while not yet a resort, I was pleased with their nice office and club room, which we used without charge, and since our shower was having an issue, I used the ones at the campground and thought they were very nice.

The WiFi had a strong signal and it was plenty fast.  The utilities all worked well but the water pressure was way too high at 110psi and it tasted pretty bad.
The rally began on Sunday night but Bev & I came up on Sat morning to have time to get the lay of the land, get things organized, and do some shoppingOn Sunday night we had 17 for a meal of store bought rotisserie chicken and member prepared sides and dessert followed by some card games which most participated in. 

Tune back latter for some more of our trip.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


6/15 - 6/16/19 event date

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Pan Fried Italian Halibut With Lemon Cream And Caper Sauce

Cindy has a client who regularly gives her fish fillets when they go fishing in Alaska so we had three nice pieces of Halibut in the freezer.  When I recently saw the recipe for Grilled Italian Swordfish With Lemon Cream And Caper Sauce on Roz’s  La Bella Vita Cucina blog, which uses our favorite fish sauce, I had to wonder how it would go with our Halibut.  Cindy and Bev agreed that we should give it a try but I decided to pan-fry rather than grill it.  I changed the ingredient amounts for our three pieces and changed the fish cooking directions so check please Roz’s blog for her original recipe and some great shots of her pretty presentation.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Grilled Chicken Thighs With Mango Salsa

Cindy recently returned from a family visit in Florida and brought us a gift of three salsas, one of which was Mango, and I decided to give it a try on grilled chicken thighs.  We had six thighs and I decided to use BBQ sauce on three and mango salsa on the others – since it was chunky, I blended up some for brushing. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Open Faced Sloppy Joe’s Ala Pam

Bev had bought some ground chuck on sale about the same time that Pam posted the recipe for Open Faced Italian Sloppy Joe’s on her "For The Love Of Cooking" blog so I decided to give it a try.  Bev has said that a friends Sloppy Joe’s are the only ones she’s ever liked so this was a little bit of a risk to make.  I followed the recipe except I salted at each step, added a good shake of Italian Seasoning after tasting the assembled mixture, and changed the garlic toast as noted.  Check Pam’s blog for her original recipe and photo’s like this one below of her dish.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Baked White Fish

After getting both knees replaced, I believed I was good to go for the rest of my life until I developed a left hip issue late last year and when a steroid shot in March only relieved the pain for three weeks I knew what I had to do.  I had hobbled around for a couple of years before dealing with my knees and have learned not to wait for a miracle cure and just get things replaced so I went to see the surgeon this week.  It was confirmed that my hip was indeed in bad shape and needed replacement but I needed to lose 40 pounds before the surgery could be done.  Since I need to lose more than that anyway this will hopefully provide the incentive I’ve needed.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Beer Can Chicken Ala Brenda

I’d been wanting to make beer can chicken and I was unable to find where I had posted about it on my blog so I went in search of a recipe.  I found one I liked on Brenda’s “A Farmgirl’sDabbles” blog that got my attention with two statements - “This easy beer can chicken recipe guarantees moist, fall-off-the-bone meat and crispy, ultra flavorful skin” and “WE’VE PERFECTED THE BEER CAN CHICKEN.”  Here is a pic from her blog which I suggest you pay a visit to for more pics and comments.