Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tennessee Travelers Rally – Hiawassee, GA – Part 2

We began Tuesday with breakfast at Mary’s Southern Grill and it was another hit with the group.  So we enjoyed both Mary’s and Sundance Grill for breakfast but chose Sundance for a return trip later in the week.

After breakfast a group of power shoppers headed for the Blairsville, GA area to check out the local wares while the rest of us returned to the campground for coach repairs and to prep for our suppertime cookout (me).

All five of the class A coaches at the rally had some type of issue that needed attention and for us it was a water leak in the wet bay and a slide topper that came off in the high winds - more later on this.

That night we had a hamburger cookout with condiments, ranch beans, potato salad, and chips – turned out to be a very good meal and since folks requested the bean recipe, I’ve reproduced it here but can’t remember where I got it.

RANCH BEANS – Makes about 15 cups

1 lb.              Hamburger
½ lb.             Bacon, diced
½ C.             Onion, diced
1 med           Green pepper
28 oz can      Bush’s baked beans
16 oz can      Red beans
16 oz can      Glory butter beans, southern style seasoned
16 oz can      Black beans, drained and liquid replaced with water
10 oz can      Rotel
½ C.              Catsup
1/8 C.            Brown Sugar (packed)
2 T.                Vinegar
1 T.                Mustard
1 t.                 Salt
1½ t.              Chili powder

In a skillet, brown hamburger, bacon, pepper and onion together, then drain fat. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, mix well, and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours or to a simmer, stirring a few times.

1. Since everything is cooked, it only needs to be heated through and longer cooking will degrade rather than improve the flavor.
2. It can also be made on the stove top but it will need more frequent stirring.  

After supper it was time for socializing around the campfire with a little dessert. 

On Wednesday, and after snow on Monday, we spent Wednesday in Helen, GA with 80+ degree temps.

While the others shopped, I spent most of my time at the local Biergarten visiting with the tender and sipping an adult beverage.

At lunchtime we headed up the street to Hofer’s Of Helen, Bakery and Café for a German meal.  

The group had a combination of sandwiches and plate meals with Bev and I both having Jaeger Schnitzel – “Sautéed pork loin topped with a Märzenbier mushroom sauce, served with homemade spätzle and red cabbage.”  Pat had the plain schnitzel with beans and German potato salad.

Since I’ve had very good schnitzel in Germany and Austria, I would rate Hofer’s version as just okay but Bev loved the sweet tart cabbage and others seemed to enjoy their meals.

Since we were in Helen early in the season many of the shops had yet to open so if you plan a visit best to wait past mid April - the silver lining was nothing was crowded.

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.


4/17-4/20/18 Event Date


  1. Sounds like a fun time there and wonderful weather.
    Nothing like a nice Biergarten, adult beverage and tasty German food. Kitchener Ontario has a very large German presence and many German clubs and restaurants, Used to be called Berlin many years ago.

  2. That Schnitzel looks good but I would ask for a side order of a bucket of gravy.

  3. Oh, love schnitzel, if only we could get it here like it was when we lived in Germany! Interesting place and good ranch beans.

  4. What a cute town! I love the main street views. The ranch bean recipe sounds like a keeper. Yum!

  5. Larry, Thanks for the restaurant tips and the photos of Helen GA! Helen and the whole northeast GA area are on our list of areas to explore... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  6. Just got back from Austria where we ate some amazing good and drank some really good beer. Since my in-laws passed away, we don't get down to Hiawassee much anymore but we love it there. My sister-in-law still lives in the area. Such a nice place!

  7. So many can be fed with that recipe.

  8. Looks like a great time had by all ( except for the water leak). Ranch beans are delicious. I have a recipe for Cowboy beans (may be inspired to posy it) very similar to your recipe except it has ground beef.

    Hope you are enjoying your spring. I think winter is finally departing.



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