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November 17, 2022

Breast of Chicken with Apricot-Onion Pan Sauce

This chicken dish makes regular appearances at Buckhorn Inn. Guests are always delighted to
see it on the menu. The apricots are the star of the dish. The tart/sweet flavor of the fruit
brings out the sugar in the onion. We usually suggest Meiomi Chardonnay as a good pairing.
The aromas of stone fruit in the wine work well with this dish. To complete your Buckhorn
Evening in our own home, don’t forget to take home our logo stemless wine glasses! You will
find them for $12 in the gift shop.

3 1/2 oz dried apricots
4 skin-on boneless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper
1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 c dry white wine
1 1/2 c chicken stock
2 T apricot preserves
1 T unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Rehydrate the apricots by covering them with hot water and letting
then stand for 15 minutes, then drain. Season the chicken and cook in hot oil until the skin is
golden brown. Turn and cook 3 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 15
minutes. Meanwhile, cook the onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf in the skillet until the onion is
tender. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, scraping up the browned bits. Add the
stock, apricots and preserves. Bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce thickens. Remove from
heat and stir in butter. Discard the thyme and bay leaf. Season. Plate the chicken and spoon
the sauce over it. Makes four servings.

Historical Places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

1. Walker Sisters Place

The Walker Sisters Place is a log cabin located in the Little Greenbrier section of the National Park. The Walker Sisters spent their entire lives in the cabin, which was built by their grandfather in the 1840s. When the Walker Sisters’ father died in 1921, the property was left to the sisters, who then took on all the responsibilities on the farm for more than 40 years, including raising livestock, growing vegetables and even making their own clothes! When the National Park was established, the Walker Sisters remained living in their cabin and became quasi-ambassadors of the park. Visitors to the park had the opportunity to chat with the sisters, who sold homemade treats and toys. Although the Walker Sisters are no longer there, you can still go see the historic cabin today!

white church in the smokies2. Cades Cove

Cades Cove attracts more than 2 million visitors per year, and is the most-visited section of the national park! That’s because not only does it offer great chances to view wildlife, but it’s full of a number of historic buildings and landmarks. You can find John Oliver’s cabin, one of the oldest historical structures in the National Park. The cabin was built in the early 1820s by John and Lucretia Oliver, who were the first to come to this area of the Smokies. You can also see 3 beautiful churches that each come with their own unique history. There’s the Primitive Baptist Church, the Missionary Baptist Church and the Methodist Church. And we can’t forget to mention the John Cable Grist Mill. The Cable Mill was built in the early 1870s and processed logs, wheat and corn. The mill is still functional, and visitors can purchase its corn meal at the Cades Cove Visitor Center seasonally. These are just a few of the many historic sites in Cades Cove!

3. Elkmont Ghost Town

The story of Elkmont Ghost Town is definitely an interesting one. What was once a sleepy mountain community transformed into a bustling logging town in the 20th century when the Little River Lumber Company was formed and a railroad was built to connect the logging operation to a sawmill in Tuckaleechee Cove. Many of the residents got lifetime leases for their summer cottages, but many of the leases expired in 1992, turning Elkmont into a ghost town. Some of the cabins are still being preserved by the National Park Service and are open to the public to walk through and view.

little greenbrier school4. Little Greenbrier School

Built in 1882, the Little Greenbrier School is a 1-story building that doubled as a church and a school for the residents of the Little Greenbrier Town. The school was started because citizens of the town wanted a teacher for their children. For a little more than 50 years, from 1883 until 1936, the Little Greenbrier School was a place for the community to grow academically and spiritually. Today, school groups can visit the historic building and learn about the Smoky Mountains while sitting in the old desks.

5. John Ownby Cabin

The John Ownby Cabin, which was built in 1860, was constructed from tulip trees, white pine logs and clay mortar. If you hike the Fighting Creek Nature Trail in the National Park, you’ll get to see this historic log cabin, along with beautiful forest scenery and a mountain stream. The John Ownby Cabin is one of the oldest remaining pre-park cabins in the Forks of the River community. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

white church in the smokies6. Little Cataloochee Church

The Little Cataloochee Church was built in 1889 and served about 1,200 people who lived in Cataloochee Valley at the time. It is a white painted church surrounded by the Smoky Mountains and was a popular place for community gatherings. The well-maintained cemetery that is close to the church became the final resting place for many of its members. On Memorial Day, many descendants of the early Cataloochee families return to the church to decorate the graves of their relatives.

Now that you know more about these historical places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s time to come see them in person! Learn more about the National Park and plan your visit today.

November 10, 2022

Buckhorn Inn Guests Can Get Wild at Zoo Knoxville!

The 53 acres of Zoo Knoxville is about an hour’s drive from Buckhorn Inn.  It is part of the largest species conservation movement on earth.  Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the zoo participates in a collective Species Survival Plan.  The goal of AZA is to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population in zoos.  Because so many wild populations are in peril, zoos play an important role in ensuring we don’t lose species to extinction.  Part of each Zoo Knoxville ticket sold is donated to conservation organizations to fund programs worldwide.

Zoo Knoxville is home to yellow-backed duikers.

Yellow-backed duikers live in a habitat similar to its native open rainforest.

The initiative to create a zoo in Knoxville began in 1923 with funds collected to create a park for poor children.  The first four-acre plot was purchased in 1935.  In 1951 the city took over the park and renamed it the Municipal Zoo.  The first animal welcomed to the zoo was Al the alligator, donated by a local family.  On Al’s first day, about 4,000 people came to see him.  

Zoo Knoxville Firsts

In 1963 the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus donated a seven-ton Bull elephant called Old Diamond.  The modern Zoo Knoxville was born in 1971.  In 1978, Old Diamond was successfully mated with a younger female, Toto.  Their daughter was called Little Diamond.  Her birth was a huge achievement for the zoo as this was the first African elephant born in the eastern Hemisphere.  

The zoo also was the first in the world to hatch critically endangered northern spider tortoises.  Knoxville also was the first zoo in the world to successfully breed the second generation of captive-born Arabian forest turtles and common spider tortoises.  

It is noteworthy that the zoo is home to more red panda births than any other zoo in the world.

Fun Activities

Families will enjoy animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, twilight tours and night safaris, and a zip line.  Dining options include:  Beastro’s, Safari Smokehouse, Al’s Rockin’ Cantina, and Tennessee Dogs.  Additional information is available at http://Www.zooknoxville.org


October 25, 2022

Don’t Miss the Chili Cookoff and Winterfest Kickoff!

Bush’s Chili Beans is presenting the 33rd Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff on November 10, 2022.  Samples of a variety of chilis, from mild to wild, will be available from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at Anakeesta Plaza, 576 Parkway in Gatlinburg.  Free, live entertainment will be offered throughout the event.  This is a popular event, so we recommend that you purchase your tickets in advance.  General Admission tickets are $15 per person (5:30 pm entry) and VIP tickets (good for early entry) are $20 per person.  To purchase tickets, please visit http://Www.gatlinburg.com

November 10 also marks the official lighting of the thousands of twinkling lights that will adorn the city all winter long!  The Headliner for the Kickoff will be singer Hannah Dasher.  She will be performing in the Shade Tree Lot.

While we won’t be entering the friendly competition this year, we are sharing our chili recipe with you!

Chili is a great way to warm up after a walk in the fall air.

Chili is a fall favorite! Photo by Green and Great on Unsplash.

Beef Chili

2 1/2 lb chuck roast, cubed

Salt and Pepper

1 T vegetable oil

2 1/2 lb lean ground beef

1 sweet onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

24 oz lager beer

1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes

3 dried guajillo chiles

2 T chili powder

1 T ground cumin

1 T dried oregano

3/4 c corn meal

1 15 oz can of each, drained and rinsed:  dark red kidney beans, light red kidney beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans

Heat the oil.  Salt and pepper the chuck roast and sear until browned.  Remove from the pot and add the ground beef.  Cook until browned.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.  Add back the roast along with the beer and tomatoes.  Snip the chiles into small strips, add to the pot, and bring to a boil.  Add the spices and 2 t of salt.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Mix the corn meal with just enough water to form a paste and add to the pot.  Add the beans.  Adjust the seasoning and simmer for one hour.  Makes 10 servings.

We like to serve this with sour cream, cilantro leaves, fresh tomatoes, lime wedges, and finely sliced green onion.

September 29, 2022

Buckhorn Hosts Wine Tasting Event in October

Join Innkeeper and Wine Afficianado Sharon Mellor for a wine tasting experience on select Wednesday afternoons in October.

from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

Wednesday, October 5, Wednesday, October 12, Wednesday, October 26

Sharon will share tasting tips from her WSET certification program for two Chardonnays and two Cabernet Sauvignons. Chef Karen Valentine will provide four types of delicious gourmet appetizers and artisinal cheeses paired with each wine.

For casual and experienced wine fans, this event is perfect for expanding your palate and making new friends. The tasting will be held on the veranda of Buckhorn House so guests can enjoy the spectacular views of the mountains. Buckhorn House is a pleasant five minute walk from the Inn; however, ample parking is available.  The inclement weather location will be the Buckhorn Inn Sitting Room.

Reservations are required and space is limited to 12 guests with a minimum of 6 guests required. The cost is $65 per person. To reserve, email us or telephone 865 436 4668.  Reservations must be received 24 hours in advance and there is a 24 hour cancellation required.

September 6, 2022

Park It Forward

Parking Fees in GSMNP in 2023

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) has announced its new Park It Forward
Program. The program includes the implementation of parking fees to support Park
operations. Nearly 4,000 Park visitors responded when asked for feedback on the proposed
plan. More than 85% of the comments received were in support of the plan and provided
ideas directed at making it as effective and practical as possible.


Park Superintendent Cassius Cash shares the weight he carries: “The duty to ensure this park
is protected, to ensure our employees have the tools to do their jobs, and to ensure the visitors
of tomorrow have this sacred place to explore. With Park It Forward, we will accomplish these
important goals.”


Here are the basics of the program, which will be effective on March 1, 2023:
1. Vehicle parking tags will be required for any vehicles parking in the park.
2. Display of physical parking tags in each vehicle will be required.
3. Three tags will be available: Daily—$5, Up to 7 days—$15, Annual—$40.
4. Parking tags will not be refundable, transferable, or upgradable.
5. Each tag will be valid for a single vehicle.
6. Parking tags will be available for purchase both online and onsite.
7. Tags will NOT be required for motorists who pass through the area or who park for less
than 15 minutes.
8. Parking tags will not be location-specific. A parking tag will be required to park in any
designated parking spot within park boundaries.
Watch this newsletter for any updates to the implementation of this new program.

September 5, 2022

Gremolata: An Easy Way to Add Flavor

Have you tried gremolata?  Last week the Mellor family celebrated Lee’s birthday at The Appalachian http://Www.theappalachianrestaurant.com in Sevierville.  If you have not been there, it is one of the restaurants we highly recommend, if you are not eating at Buckhorn Inn, of course!  Anyway, Lee and I both had a lovely trout dish.  The fish was split open and deboned and cooked perfectly.  It was topped with pickled onions, fresh greens and gremolata.

Gremolata is an Italian green sauce with chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic.  It is a close cousin to pesto sauce.  It added a zesty note to our trout, and we thought it would be delicious in a variety of dishes.  You can easily create variations on this sauce.  For example, you could substitute lime, orange or grapefruit zest for the lemon.  You might want to add cilantro, mint, sage, or another herb to the parsley.  And adding some Parmesan cheese, walnuts or toasted pine nuts would give a new, and delicious, flavor profile to this versatile topping.  If you like a bit of spice, crushed red pepper or horseradish would be a great add-in.  

Classic Gremolata

1 small bunch of parsley, rinsed and dried. (About 1 cup of loosely-packed leaves.)

1 clove of garlic

2 lemons, washed and dried

Very finely chop the parsley.  Finely grate the garlic over the parsley.  Grate the zest from the two lemons over the garlic and parsley.  Continue to chop the ingredients, mixing it all together, until the texture is very fine.  The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a day.  This recipe yields about 1/3 cup.

Classic gremolata enhances a variety of dishes.

Lemon, herbs and garlic make for a flavorful sauce.

This sauce is wonderful on top of grilled meat or fish.  But you could also try it on top of a creamy bisque, roasted root vegetables, cooked greens, creamy polenta, or any other dish that needs a bright pop of flavor and color.  

Let us know how YOU use  this recipe!

August 29, 2022

The Fairest of the Fair in Sevier County, TN?

If you enjoy county fairs, the Sevier County Fair will be one of your most favorite!  In 2022 the Fair will run from August 30 through September 5.  The fairgrounds are located at 754 Old Knoxville Highway in Sevierville.  Admission is $6 and children younger than 10 are admitted free.

Attendees can watch the cattle, goat, and sheep shows or wander the exhibit hall.  Folks from our community are submitting photography, floral arrangements, vegetables and fruits, and arts and crafts for judging.  In the exhibit hall you will find a booth with Master Gardeners just waiting to answer your most pressing garden questions.  

A popular exhibit from 2021 is back this year—the Butterfly Haven.  This live butterfly habitat offers you the opportunity to walk through and see amazing butterflies and plants.  Volunteers will be on hand to provide information on the importance of these pollinators.  They will offer tips on how to attract butterflies to your own yard.  

Fair Has Something for Everyone

Entertainment options include laser tag, a bird show, a bulls and broncs rodeo, and a variety show.

Competitive eaters can participate in eating contests of sausage, donuts, corn dogs, ice cream, watermelon, pizza, French fries, pickles, pies, funnel cakes, spaghetti, barbecue, hot dogs, and corn on the cob.  Whew!  Or, you could just sample all the delicious food available and decide who your pick would be for the best of the fair food competition.

Fair food photo by John Matychuk

Corn dogs, funnel cakes, sno-cones…yum!

Children will enjoy this year’s Farm Fest.  Activities include sheep shearing, coopering, wool spinning, veggie tasting, digging potatoes, knife forging, apple pressing and corn shuck dolls.  Kids who complete the activities will get free ice cream!

We are a competitive bunch here in Sevier County.  Competitions this year include a dog fashion show, a lawn mower derby, a mullet contest, a look-alike lip synch contest, and a skillet toss.  A crowd favorite is sure to be the Sevier County Fair’s Got Talent talent show!

A wide variety of live music will be available.  Performances range from Rock ‘n Roll hits from the 50’s and 60’s, country, classic rock, gospel, and Motown hits.

We hope to see you there!  For more information, please visit http://Www.seviercountyfair.org


August 15, 2022

Tudor Mountain Honey Harvest Under Way

This weekend we harvested honey from one of our hives.  Several guests have asked us about the process.  Earlier in the summer, we placed a “super” on top of our hive.  The super is a small box.  It sits on top of a “queen excluder” so that no eggs will be laid in the super.  When all the frames are covered with honey comb capped in white wax, it is time to harvest.

We don our protective gear and give the bees some gentle puffs from our smoker.  The smoke keeps them calm by interfering with their sense of smell.  They can’t detect the alarm pheromones being released and thus will not aggressively defend their hive against us.  We take out each honey-laden frame, gently brush off the bees, and place it in a covered box.  Once we have collected all the frames, it is time for extraction.

Honey Extraction

Tudor Mountain Honey tastes of local flowers.

The scratcher is used to remove the white wax cap from the honeycomb.

We extract the honey on our screened porch so that we keep the stickiness confined to one area, and so that the bees cannot reach us!  The first stop is to use a scratcher to remove the wax capping from the cells.  We then scrape the honey and wax into a fine-mesh sieve atop a collection bucket.  Once the honey has been filtered once, we do a second filtration through cheese cloth and then it is on to bottling!

This year’s honey is a beautiful gold amber color and we can’t wait to see how the Buckhorn Inn chefs use it!  We will clean the beeswax and then use it to make candles.  More on that process later.

We are careful to only take the extra honey.  Our bees need adequate stores to get them through the winter.

In celebration of our harvest, we are offering this simple summer cocktail recipe.  Cheers!

The Bee’s Knees

2 ounces gin

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake until chilled.  Strain into a glass.  Makes one cocktail.


July 19, 2022

Recipes for Grill-Out Favorites for Summer Suppers

We tried two new recipes out on Lee and our friends Sam and Lucy over the Fourth of July weekend.  They were both hits, so I am passing them along to you.  Both can be prepped early and held, so that you can spend more time with your guests.  The Greenbrier House Grillmaster, Jack, rounded out the main course with roasted potatoes.  For a red, white and blue dessert, I served vanilla bean ice cream with wild blueberry sauce and strawberries that had marinated in limoncello.  A bottle of Spanish Cava added some sparkle to our evening!

Summer Supper Recipes

Zucchini and Tomato Packets

3 medium zucchini and/or summer squash, sliced

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 t olive oil

1 t dried oregano

1/2 t dried basil

1/2 t sea salt

1/4 t black pepper

1/2 c crumbled feta cheese

This recipe features tomatoes and squash from our garden.

Garden-fresh vegetables are delicious in this recipe. Photo by Kamala Bright.

Combine zucchini, tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Pour onto a sheet of heavy duty foil.  Fold top and ends to form a packet.  Grill for 12 minutes on a medium-high grill.  Sprinkle with cheese before serving.  Makes six servings.  Note:  This recipe also works well in the oven.  Place the foil packet on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes in a 450 degree oven.

Grilled Tilapia with Zesty Mustard Sauce

2 T olive oil

2 T butter at room temperature

1 t Dijon mustard

1/2 t grated lemon peel

1/2 t Worcestershire sauce

1/4 t black pepper

4 fish fillets (about 4 oz each)

1 1/2 t paprika

1/4 t salt

1/2 lemon

2 T minced fresh parsley

Lightly oil a grill basket. Combine butter, mustard, lemon peel, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.  Stir until blended and set aside.  Sprinkle both sides of fish with paprika and salt.  Grill fish, in oiled basket, over high heat.  Cook about 6 minutes, turning halfway through.  The fish will flake easily when done.  Remove to a serving platter.  Squeeze lemon over hot fish and top each fillet with butter mixture.  Garnish with Parsley.  Makes four servings.