Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Kathy’s Quick Visit

Kathy and her special friend came to town for a quick trip in order to attend her 30th high school reunion – how could that much time have passed since she graduated.  She spent much of her time visiting with old friends who were not at her reunion which meant she was only at our place for one supper meal and we opted for a dish Bev really likes to make for company.

The supper meals included just the entrée and some lettuce with dressing in it.  The entrée was Pan Seared CatfishWith Brown Butter On Black Olive Toast which I had blogged about six years ago but don’t remember the source of the recipe – rather than re-post it here, just click on the above link for the recipe.  It looked like this back then.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Impromptu Supper and Apple Pie

While we were at our Crossville Rally week before last, we drove an hour south to visit Wooden’s Apple House where we picked up some Granny Smith apples to go with the Rome’s we already had and Bev decided to whip up an apple pie using a recipe from All Recipes.

While it was baking, the neighbors called to see if they could watch the Tennessee-South Carolina football game with us – they only get local channels and it was on the SEC Network.  While watching the first half of the game, they mentioned they were cooking pinto beans and planning to make corn muffins and suggested they just bring it all down to our place.  It was all good and I really like these impromptu meals.

Bev used a mixture of the two apple varieties and about twice as many as the recipe calls for due to piling them high in her extra big pie dish – it measures 10”x 2½”.  For the extra apples, she doubled the sugar and I thought the pie was just a little sweeter than a sweet apple which is the way I like my pie.  Below is the original recipe, except for the crusts.

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople – Adapted from All Recipes

2 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (Bev’s change)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly (or a lot for Bev). 3. 3. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
4. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

The warm pie was a big hit with everyone and some had theirs ala mode.

And another good part of the day was that UT beat SC (who just beat 3rd ranked Georgia a couple of weeks ago) by the impressive score of 41-21.  This is three good games in a row for UT (even though they lost to Alabama) and they played much of the second half with the third string quarterback, who did very well.

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.


10/26/19 event date

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Skillet Chicken Ala Tricia

We’ve always enjoyed Tricia’s recipes so when she recently posted the recipe for Skillet Chicken and Mushroom Wine Sauce on her Saving Room For Dessert blog I knew I had to make it.  How could you pass on a dish that looks like this in her pic.

Click on the above link for the original recipe and more enticing shots.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Tennessee Travelers October Rally – Crossville, TN – Days 5 & 6

The main group activity for Friday was a tour of the now closed Brushy MountainState Prison but we elected to pass on the tour and make the 50 minute drive south on US-127 to Oren Wooden’s Apple House located just east of Pikeville, TN.  Running from southern MI to northern AL, you may be familiar with this road as home to the World’s Longest Yard Sale each summer.

It’s been several years since we drove thru the Sequatchie Valley and it was as pretty as I remember it, even though the grass was still dry from our drought.  We arrived at Wooden’s to discover that many others had the same idea as the parking lot was about full.

The bottom floor was about what I expected but with less of the jarred items (jellies, vegetables, etc) found in most tourist stores.  They had plentry of apples and good looking sweet potatoes though.

The upstairs was devoted to craft type items ranging from quilts to birdhouses.

They also had a pie shop and a café with a small buffet and this seemed to be where most of the customers were located.

We left Wooden’s with apples, sweet potatoes, cider, and an apple pie.

An unpicked orchard across the street.  They annually pick about 4-5 million apples from their 100 acres along with pumpkins, squash, and sweet potatoes.

On the way home we stopped at Simonton’s Cheese House for some gourmet cheese then at the Chestnut Hill Winery for some of Bev’s favorite Peach Wine.

That evening, we drove northwest of downtown Crossville for supper at Vegas Steakhouse & Lounge which is a nice looking restaurant just south of I-40 on N. Main St.  I enjoyed a nicely grilled piece of tuna with salad and roasted potatoes ($14.95) but Bev didn’t care for her Excalibur Beef Tips over rice ($14.95).  I would think a steakhouse would do mediocre on the fish but great with tenderloin beef tips – go figure.

On Saturday, we buttoned up the coach, said our good-byes, and headed back to Greenback in time to watch West Virginia get slaughtered by Oklahoma, as expected.

With no more trips planned, it’s time to put the coach to bed for the winter.

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.


10/18-10/19/19 event dates

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Tennessee Travelers October Rally – Crossville, TN – Days 3 & 4

We awoke Wednesday morning to a beautiful sound – a desperately needed steady rain for a few hours and it was accompanied by a 20F temperature drop – thankfully fall has finally arrived.

It was a free day so after our morning guy-coffee and making about 30 hamburger patties, some of us went to the grocery store to get the ingredients for a batch of Ranch Beans for our cookout.

While the dogs hung around the coach with me while I made the beans, the girls went into downtown Crossville to check out a couple of stores.

That evening, the guys grilled up some burgers and brats which we sided with the beans and some chips for a nice evening meal which was preceded and followed by lots of visiting.  Once again, the Ranch Beans were a big hit.

Following the rain and cold front that moved through, Thursday morning we awoke to 33F temps but the fireplace and electric Aqua-Hot kept the coach nice and warm.  While I initially thought it was a waste of space, I’ve grown to appreciate the electric fireplace as it allows us to not have to use the Aqua-Hot’s diesel burner and heat totally with the electricity we have bought from the campground.

On Thursday morning we had a potluck breakfast prior to the annual business meeting and this is the list of food we had.

Milo and Dianne - pastries
Bob and Pam - hash brown casserole
Louie and Sandy – sausage gravy
Tom and Barb - ham roll ups
Bob and Lil - biscotti
Dick and Marge - biscuits
Larry and Bev - scrambled eggs and sausage
Daryl - egg casserole with veggies
Del and Patsy - bacon and orange juice
Tip and Karen - bowl of mixed fruit
Bill and Barb - yogurt and fruit
David and Francis - donuts
Don and Rachel - banana nut bread

As you might imagine we had way more than enough to eat.

After the meal, we held our annual meeting which included the election of officers for the next two year term.  After the election, the wife of the new president topped his head with a crown and dubbed him King Louie – I think he actually blushed a little.

That afternoon, we made the 45 minute drive to Muddy Pond, TN which is a Mennonite community here on the Cumberland Plateau.  We stopped at the Leather Shop and General Store first where they have lots of stuff but very little from this community.  We still bought some cheese, hominy grits, and molasses (which is Muddy Pond made).

Our next stop was the variety store where the only purchase was some just-made, warm, fried apple pies, which were very good - not on the diet but couldn't pass up a warm one, but at least it was small.

Our final stop was the home of a lady making baked goods for some yeast rolls, then back to the campground – it was a good way to spend the afternoon and another fun day at the rally.

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.


10/16-10/17/19 event dates

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Tennessee Travelers October Rally – Crossville, TN - Days 1 & 2

We are on the road again but this time only driving 65 miles to the Spring Lake RV Resort near Crossville, TN for the club’s final 2019 rally and our annual business meeting.

We had 11 coaches in attendance (two visitors) but would have had a couple more had the folks who live next door in Fairfield Glade brought their coaches.  This is our group and we are the second site which has a concrete parking pad with gravel at each end – it was reasonably level.

The campground has an out-front part where we were and a rear lake part (below) with 20+ sites in each place.

Louie and Bill insisting I get their picture - turned out well.

We got to the campground around 1:30pm on Monday and spent the afternoon catching up with the others before heading to the Beef & Barrel Restaurant for a group supper.  I was too busy eating & visiting to take any shots - our food was decent but nothing special even though the place was packed and folks were waiting to get in.

On Tuesday, our main event was a trip to the Cumberland County Playhouse (a first for me) to see Baskerville, a Sherlock Holmes Mystery (comedy) which took place in the smaller of the two theaters – with very uncomfortable chairs.  I could only make it through the first half before my hip said enough of being in that one cramped position,  so I went to the car.  I thought the play was okay but not great although I was impressed with the number of characters that several of the actors played and how quickly they could change clothes – five actors playing 45 characters.  I assume this is the kind of place where actors start out to hone their skills.

From there we went to Cumberland Mountain State Park for a buffet dinner where I ate mostly salad. 

This is their signature bridge/dam and the restaurant where we were the first ones in line.

In case you were wondering, we are in Cumberland County on the Cumberland Plateau of the Cumberland Mountains.  

That evening, we sat around the faux campfire and visited - always a favorite part of mine and the propane fire rings make it so easy and smoke free.

So ends the first two fun days with this group – I always enjoy being with them.

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.


10/14-10/15/19 event dates

Friday, October 11, 2019

Coach Repair, Health, & Furniture

Not much blog-worthy happenings around here lately but wanted to get these things documented.

Our coach began showing the “Check Engine” light last spring and we thought it was a coolant problem and checked the coolant system and some other issues only to have it return during our recent trip to Kentucky.  So this time the mechanic checked the fault codes to find three different issues with the biggest one being the pollution control system – similar with our cars.  So, $4,600 later it’s all hopefully fixed.  Diesels are definitely more expensive to keep on the road than gas engines.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Swordfish Puttanesca

When I saw a recent blog post for this dish, I knew I needed to go in search of some swordfish steaks and managed to find four with trips to two different Food City stores. While I liked the recipe I’d seen, I saw some others for the puttanesca sauce that had some elements I preferred so I combined a couple of them to get the one below.