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September 10, 2018

Video Celebrates Inn’s Hospitality to Smoky Mountain Visitors

Click here to see video. 

New Ways to Use Fresh Herbs

Our kitchen-door herb garden at Buckhorn Inn has provided us with the freshest basil, savory, cilantro, oregano, dill, marjoram, curry and others. This profusion of tastes and aromas has inspired our kitchen staff to develop even more ways to use these herbs.

Compound Butter
What could add more flavor to a dish than a pat of herb butter? Simply mix softened butter with minced fresh herbs like chives, cilantro, tarragon or chervil and chill. Use with your next grilled meat or vegetables. Compound butters also are lovely on baked potatoes. Some combinations to try are dill with salmon, rosemary with steaks, oregano for bread—let your imagination go wild!

Basting Brush
A large sprig of rosemary can be used as a basting brush the next time you barbeque. The sprigs add an extra hint of flavor to the foods on the grill.

Salad Greens
You probably often use minced fresh herbs in your salad dressings. But why not roughly tear them and add them directly to the salad greens? Herbs like parsley and cilantro are perfect for this purpose.

Herb Sauce
We serve this bright green sauce as a salad dressing or as a sauce over grilled salmon.
2 tablespoons almond oil
¼ cup safflower oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
Whisk the ingredients together. Makes about ¾ cup.

Summertime Coolers
Herbs like lavender, mint, basil and thyme are delicious in sparkling water, iced tea and lemonade.

Flavored Sugars or Salts
Dry your favorite herbs in the oven. Then mix with salt to provide lovely flavor when finishing a dish. Herb salt can even take popcorn to the next level! The same works with sugar. Mint sugar is perfect for sprinkling on fresh summer berries.

Buckhorn Inn Tropical Fruit Chutney

At  Buckhorn  we sometimes offer a chutney as an accompaniment to meat dishes.  To those unfamiliar with chutney, it is a lovely taste treat.  Chutney originated in India as long ago as 500 BC and usually refers to a relish made from fresh fruits and spices.  It comes from the Indian word “chatni” which means “crushed”.  British colonials took chutney home with them and made it their own.  They also brought the condiment to outposts in South Africa and the Caribbean where chutneys were made from local fruits.  In England commercially-made cooked chutneys are readily available these days.  They are typically made of fruit, often apples or pears, onions and raisins.  These ingredients are simmered with vinegar, brown sugar and spices for several hours.  The most famous commercial chutney in England is Major Grey’s Chutney.  The name is based on a mythical colonial British officer who made his own chutney to accompany curry.  Chutneys can be sweet or sour, spicy or mild, thin or chunky and can include such seasonings as garlic, ginger, mint, turmeric, cinnamon, cilantro or hot chilies.

Chutney typically is used as a flavorful topping for meat dishes or curry.  But you might want to experiment by using chutney:

  • With cream cheese on crackers for an appetizer
  • Mixing it with mayonnaise as a spread for ham or turkey sandwiches
  • Over steamed carrots or other vegetables

Ingredients

¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups finely diced mango
1 ½ cup finely diced papaya
1 finely minced garlic clove
½ Scotch bonnet or habanero chili finely chopped
Pinch of ground cloves
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

In a large saucepan combine the vinegar, honey, brown sugar, coriander, cinnamon stick, cloves and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Add the pineapple, mango, papaya, garlic, ginger and pepper and season lightly with salt and white pepper. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Let cool. Discard the cinnamon and bay leaf. Serve at room temperature or chilled. The chutney can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. This recipe yields about 3 cups.

Southern Corn Pudding–a Hallmark of Buckhorn Inn

The recipe that appears below is the original Buckhorn Inn recipe. Adding a tablespoon or so of fresh, chopped thyme adds a modern spin to this classic.

Corn Pudding

2 ½ cups cream-style corn
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion
½ green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix ingredients together and bake in a 325 degree oven for an hour. This makes an interesting and colorful way to serve part of the vegetable course for either holiday meals or party fare.

Fallen Chocolate Cake

Cake:
½ cup room temperature unsalted butter, cut into one inch pieces plus more for pan
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus more for pan
10 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Topping:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
½ cup mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter 9 “ springform pan and dust with sugar, tapping out any excess. Combine chocolate, oil and ½ cup butter in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a saucepan of simmering water and heat, stirring often, until melted. Remove bowl from saucepan.

Separate 4 eggs, placing whites and yolks in separate medium bowls. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, ¼ cup sugar and remaining 2 eggs to bowl with yolks and whisk until mixture is smooth. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into chocolate mixture, blending well.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until frothy. With mixer running, gradually beat in ½ cup sugar; beat until firm peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture in two additions. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until top is puffed and starting to crack, 35 to 45 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan. Cake will fall as it cools. Whip the topping ingredients until fluffy and pile on the cake.

September 3, 2018

Buchorn Inn Serves Dishes of History

Did you know that according to culinary history the word “succotash” is derived from the Narragansett Indian word msickquatash meaning boiled corn kernels?  This simple and delicious dish featuring corn, beans and other vegetables is a nourishing dish of Native American origin.  While we don’t know for sure what was on the menu at the first Thanksgiving, many food historians agree that a version of succotash likely was on the table.  This dish has been adapted throughout the United States.  Many versions have corn, pole or lima beans, green or red peppers, tomatoes, okra and fresh herbs.  The ingredients are based on what is fresh and bountiful, so you are not likely to have exactly the same recipe twice.

Chef Frank has succotash on the menu this week, featuring our garden-fresh okra, pole beans, and

Okra is a traditional ingredient of Southern cooking and offers a delicious taste of history.

The majestic okra plants in the Buckhorn Inn garden beds are 10 feet tall!

herbs.  In the Buckhorn Inn garden we are growing Perkins Mammoth Long Pod okra from Burpee Seed Co.  The 7″ long pods are tender and delicious.  The towering 10′ tall plants are quite a sight in our raised garden beds!  We are not certain what ingredients will inspire Chef Frank on Wednesday night, but here is an easy recipe that serves 6.  It was adapted from a recipe on http://www.thespruceeats.com.

A Taste of History Succotash

4 cups okra pods, sliced into 1/2″ rounds

3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup sliced pole beans

1 cup corn kernels

1 tablespoon of butter

Combine the okra and tomatoes in a large non-reactive saucepan.  Add the salt and pepper and 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the beans and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Add the corn kernels and cook for 20 minutes longer.  Add the butter and blend.  This makes a delicious hot side dish!

 

 

August 27, 2018

Hikes and Activities in the GSMNP

The Great Smoky Mountains Association has shared some information on upcoming hikes and other outdoor activities.  

Upcoming Hikes

Sunday, September 2, 2018, 9:00 a.m.  Alum Cave Trail–Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee.  When you hike Alum Cave Trail, you’ll travel the park’s latest Trails Forever success story.  What was once a worn path is now a safer, smoother trip along one of the most scenic trails in the Smokies.  Join professional guide Liz Domingue to explore the beauty of this trail.  The hike is 5 miles and is rated moderate to strenuous.

Saturday, September 22, 2018, 8:30 a.m.  Swain County Visitor Center and Museum, Bryson City, North Carolina.  History in the Noland Creek Valley runs deep.  During the late 1800s and into the early 19002 this remote area was home to farmers and their families.  In 1905 the Harris-Woodbury Lumber Company purchased 17,000 acres but spared the Noland watershed from logging operations.  Surrounded by natural beauty, Steve Kemp, award-winning author and Smokies historian, will interpret the history and uses of the area.  The hike is about 12 miles and is rated moderate to strenuous due to the length.

Other Activities

Monarch Butterfly Tagging:  A Citizen Science Program, Cades Cove, Tennessee.  The program is being

Butterfly tagging hikes are about 3 miles and rated easy.

Monarch butterfly tagging programs are available on 3 dates in the Cades Cove area.

held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 22, Sunday, September 30, and Saturday, October 6, 2018.  Monarchs are the only known butterfly species to make a true migration in North America.  Many of the monarchs we see traveling through East Tennessee are on a 2,000 mile journey to spend winter among forests high in the mountains of Mexico.  The Great Smoky Mountains Association monarch tagging program gets you involved by collecting data that will help scientists answer questions about the origins of monarchs that reach Mexico, the timing and pace of the migration, mortality during the migration, and changes in geographic distribution.  Plan on 3 miles of hiking that is rated easy.

 

For more information on these, and other, activities, please visit the Great Smoky Mountains Association at http://www.smokiesinformation.org.

 

August 6, 2018

Guest Reviews Make our Day!

Thank you to all of our guests who have taken the time to review the Buckhorn Inn!  This week we are sharing some recent reviews from TripAdvisor

Dinner at the Buckhorn in a Rare Treat.  Jenny G gave us 5 stars and wrote:  “We recently stayed at the Inn and chose to enjoy the four-course dinner this time.  No regrets.  The food was just exquisite and it made for a beautiful night to remember.  Can’t think when I have had a better meal.”

Outstanding, Don’t Miss this One.  Tom R gave us five stars and wrote:  The Inn is outside the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg but well worth the drive.   Fixed menu each evening, so check ahead to see what’s on the menu.  We had pork tenderloin, melt-in-your-mouth and tasty.  Blackberry cobbler with lemon curd ice cream.  Wow.  Great service and views.  Don’t miss it. “

Guest reviews tell us that our rooms are comfortable and our views spectacular!

The Buckhorn Inn features many cozy spots.  

Buckhorn is the Best!  ddmeen gave us five stars and wrote:  “We visit the Smokies several times each year and we always stay at the Buckhorn Inn.  The accommodations are beautiful, and the views of the mountains are magnificent.  The breakfasts are absolutely delicious.  Special desserts such as cookies and brownies are available each afternoon.  Be sure to book dinner there also!  The staff is lovely, and they do everything possible to make your stay a memorable one.”

Great Family Vacation Spot.  susangoodson gave us five stars and wrote:  “We recently stayed at the Bebb House at the Buckhorn Inn.  It is a lovely place to stay and the view was spectacular.  The breakfast and dinners at the Inn are the shining star of this resort.  It’s a lovely experience and I would highly recommend it.”

Best Place to Stay East of the Mississippi.  Jenny gave us five stars and wrote:  “You can’t go wrong with the Buckhorn Inn.  It’s been there for 80 years.  The hosts are lovely people, the food is stellar, the view is amazing.  You’re looking into Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  And the brownies and cookies every afternoon are out of this world.  I’ve been staying at B&Bs for thirty years and this is the best ever.”

Thank you everyone for these wonderful reviews.  We strive to make your stay with us lovely in every way–thank you for letting us know we are hitting the mark!

July 30, 2018

“Throwback Thursday” for Buckhorn Inn 80th Anniversary

In 2018 Buckhorn Inn is celebrating our 80th anniversary with Throwback Thursday!  Each Thursday in August our talented chef, Matthew Poole, will incorporate into the menu his modern take on some historical recipes.  Innkeeper Lee Mellor is in possession of the original hand-written recipes used by our cooks in the 1930’s!  

On Throwback Thursday we will celebrate traditional dishes, updated for modern tastes.

These handwritten recipes served the Buckhorn Inn kitchen well in 1938!

Desserts figured prominently in these early recipes.  We found recipes for Fluffy Banana Cake, Texas Pecan Pralines, and Heavenly “Goo” topping for shortcake.  

Savory recipes from 1938 include stuffed pork chops, roasted turkey and porcupine meatballs.  Don’t worry– there is no porcupine meat in these meatballs!  The name comes from the way rice grains poke out of the meatballs when they are done.  The rice resembles the quills of these little animals, common in Israel.  In Hebrew these meatballs are called Ktzizot Kipod.

Throwback Thursday Honors Long Culinary Tradition

The Buckhorn Inn opened its doors for business in August 1938.  Many Knoxville residents visited this new Inn for lunch.  Yes–in those days the Inn served three meals a day.  Leisurely, plentiful lunches were a hallmark of the times.  Douglas Bebb was passionate about the meals served at the Inn.  He raised his own chickens to provide the very freshest eggs and his garden produced an abundance of fresh vegetables.  He was an excellent cook and prepared all the meat dishes served at the Inn.  

We are sure Grace Price Branam would be thrilled to know her recipes are being honored on Throwback Thursday in 2018.

The ladies pictured here are Buckhorn Inn staff members Ella Huskey and Grace Price Branam (on the right). Mrs. Branam was the original cook for Buckhorn Inn.

The guests especially looked forward to the Sunday luncheon buffet.  It was Mrs. Branam’s  (the cook) day off, so Mr. Bebb cooked the meal in its entirety.  He was rightfully famous for his corn pudding.  In fact, his recipe was featured in the book Ford Times published by the Ford Motor Company to encourage driving vacations.

In those early days, a staff of four served the three meals a day.  Tennessee was dry in those days, yet the pre-dinner cocktail hour was an honored tradition.  The guests would simply bring their wine and spirits with them.  Ellen Bebb, daughter of Douglas, reports that some of the guests would take turns hosting cocktail hours in the cottages.  But the greatest honor was bestowed when guests were invited to Bebb House to share cocktails with their hosts.

Join us for a taste of history during dinners this August.  Visit our website http://www.buckhorninn.com/dining/weekly-dining-menu to review our upcoming menus.

 

July 23, 2018

Amazing Biodiversity in the Great Smoky Mountains

The term “biodiversity” refers to the variety of plants, fungi, animals, and other organisms that can be found in a particular location.  The Great Smoky Mountains is the most biodiverse park in the National Park System.  The more than 800 square miles of the park contains more than 19,000 documented species.  Some scientists believe an additional 80,000 to 100,000 species may be found here.

What are the Reasons for such Biodiversity?

According to the National Park Service, mountains, climate, and weather are the big reasons.  http://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/index.htm  The Smokies are among the oldest mountain ranges in the world.  The plant-covered mountains were formed as long as 300 million years ago.  Elevations in the park range from 850 to 6,643 feet.  This range is similar to what one would find from Georgia to Maine.  More than 95% of the park is covered with forest, much of it old-growth.  The park is home to 100 species of native trees.  The abundant rainfall and high humidity provide good growing conditions.  It is interesting to note that the relative humidity in the Smokies in the summertime is about twice that of the Rocky Mountain region.  

The wide variety of fungi are just one example of Smoky Mountain biodiversity.

Mushrooms reach record diversity in the Smoky Mountains.

The north/south positioning of the Appalachian chain allowed the Smokies to become a home for many plants and animals that sought refuge from the glaciers of the last ice age.  More than 1,500 flowering plant species have been identified in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Scientists report that the park also is home to more than 200 bird species, 68 species of mammals, 67 native fish species, 39 species of reptiles, and 43 species of amphibians.

The University of Tennessee has worked with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to create the Species Mapper.  The Species Mapper uses information from observations and research studies to predict where various species may be found in the Park.  As more observations are added to the model, it becomes more accurate.  

We will use this blog space to share an occasional series of articles focusing on the amazing biodiversity of our area.