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May 18, 2020

Why Are They Called “Salads”?

Today we picked a mix of beautiful greens for salads for our dinner guests.  The bowl of colorful greens had us wondering about the origins of this dish.

Fresh, beautiful greens are the start of many delicious salads.

These greens only need a drizzle of a flavorful dressing.

The word “salad” comes from the ancient Latin word “sal” for “salt”.  In ancient times, salt was an important ingredient in dressing.  You might be surprised to learn that ancient Romans and Greeks enjoyed raw vegetables with dressing.  Typically the vegetables would be dressed with vinegar, oil, herbs, and salt.  “Salata” literally means “salted herb”.  The dish became more complex over time.  In the 1700’s chef’s began to create composed salads with layers of ingredients.  

Today any entrée or side dish that is composed of a mixture of ingredients and intended to be eaten cold is a salad.  Some recipes are world famous.  Master chefs of the International Society of Epicures in Paris voted Caesar Salad as the greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in 50 years.  The Cobb was invented at the Brown Derby restaurant in 1937.  Crab Louie began appearing on menus at the turn of the 20th century.  Nicoise features garlic, tomatoes, anchovies, black olives, capers, and lemon juice.  It is named for the city of Nice, France.  A private party for the pre-opening of New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 13, 1893 led to the first serving of Waldorf Salad. http://www.whatscookingamerica.net

The recipe below could be the start of your own famous salad!  Fresh mixed greens and vine-ripened tomatoes.  Just add a drizzle of lemon basil dressing and you will enjoy a taste of summer.

Lemon Basil Dressing for Salads

 ¼         Cup     Diced onions

1          Tbl       Minced garlic

1          Tsp      Dijon mustard

½         Cup     Fresh basil leaves

1          Tsp      Salt

½         Tsp      Pepper

1          Tbl       Sugar

¼         Cup     Mayonnaise

½         Cup     Lemon juice

Combine the ingredients above in mixing bowl of food processor.

Add slowly while processing:

1 ½      Cups    Combined Olive and canola oil

Chill and serve over salad greens.

Yield: About 2 cups

April 23, 2020

Covid-19 Safety Precautions at Buckhorn Inn

You may have missed our glorious Spring at Buckhorn but you don’t have to miss Summer. Innkeeper Lee Mellor

So many of our guests tell us that Buckhorn is their “happy place,” a place where they feel safe. We intend to do all that we can to insure that never changes.

We have always taken cleanliness seriously at Buckhorn Inn, but we established additional measures to protect our guests and our employees as soon as the threat of Covid-19 became apparent. During the time we have been closed, we have institutionalized these changes following guidelines established by the CDC.   All accommodation and public areas have been meticulously cleaned and sanitized.

  • Re-opening  We will re-open Friday, May 1.  Although lodging establishments like Buckhorn are considered essential services and were not required to cease operations, we did so because we thought it was the socially responsible thing to do.  We have been so touched by the many phone calls asking us when we will re-open and expressing concern about the inn and about John and me and our staff.  We are lucky to have such kind and loyal guests.  None of us or our families have been affected directly by the virus in terms of our health.  Our county has not been so nearly affected as have others for which we are so grateful.
  • Social Distancing  Social distancing will probably be with us for some time.   We are learning to refrain from our usual hugs and handshakes and we have even had to give up elbow bumping.  There are differing opinions about the effectiveness of masks, but if you want to wear one please feel comfortable doing so.  We think we can recognize most of our guests even if they are in disguise!   
  • Buckhorn is a big place with 30 acres of beautiful property for you to explore.  We have gardens, a nature trail, labyrinth, and a pond for you to enjoy.  We have set up a badminton net for two.  At this time, we are only making available accommodation that offers private entrances, decks, views of the grounds and the mountains, and  a self-contained heating/air conditioning system.
  • Food Service  All personnel engaged in the preparation and service of food at Buckhorn are accustomed to employing professional levels of hygiene, including handwashing and health and safety standards as mandated by the State of Tennessee.  Our food service operation and our accommodation are inspected regularly by the Sevier County Health Department. Our record is exemplary.  However, management will monitor these procedures even more closely in the days to come.
  • Dining We have a large dining room which can be combined with our library, so that social distancing can be maintained at mealtimes.  Staff serving in the dining room wear masks and gloves. Breakfast is included in all accommodation rates and can be taken in the dining room between 8:00 and 9:30 am or delivered to your accommodation at no extra charge.  Hearty picnic lunches are available every day at $10 per person.  Until May 24, we will offer an evening meal at a reduced rate by take-out service on five nights only, Thursday through Monday.   Normal service will resume in the dining room on at the end of May. Many local restaurants are expected to be re-opening in May and many others offer delivery service.
  • Housekeeping Services  Through June we will modify our daily housekeeping service.  Instead of our customary full service, we will provide clean towels daily, remove trash and replenish amenities like coffee, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, etc.   On departure, we will clean and sanitize each accommodation.  Soft furnishings, for instance bedspreads, comforters, blankets, mattress pads, linens, will be washed and sanitized as each guest departs.  In this way, each arriving guest will be assured of perfectly clean accommodation.
  • General Cleaning  We use products with the components necessary to clean and sanitize to the standards recommended by the CDC.  Public areas will be cleaned and re-cleaned throughout the day, paying particular attention to areas such as doors, door handles, counter tops, stair railings.  
  • Health of Our Staff   We will monitor the health of our staff closely.  Should any staff member show any signs of illness, he or she will be asked to remain at home and receive paid time off for that period.

We will adjust our protocols as the situation in regard to Covid-19 develops, following guidance from our local, state and federal authorities and relevant health organizations.

  • Reservations and Cancellations  Debbie is in the office from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm and eagerly awaits your phone calls–even if it is only to chat–but she is also happy to take reservations (865 436 4668).  You can also reserve online and you can send an email to [email protected]   We are modifying our normal cancellation policy through June 30 because of these uncertain times.   If you have to cancel after the 10-day notice has elapsed, we will give a gift certificate for a future visit so that you do not lose your deposit.  We hope you find this policy reassuring as you think about booking with us.  
  • Questions?  We are here for you.  When you are ready to return to these mountains and to experience their healing power, Buckhorn will be ready for you.  Until then, stay safe.

Lee and John and the Buckhorn Team

March 25, 2020

Time to Think of Spring

Spring brings daffodils to Buckhorn Inn.

We are welcoming spring to the Buckhorn Inn.

Spring is coming to eastern Tennessee.  The trees are flowering and, on warmer days, the honey bees are venturing out.  We thought you might enjoy a few of our favorite poems about spring.  If they inspire you to write your own, please share them with us!  One of our favorite poetry sites is http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com

Spring Pools by Robert Frost

These pools that, though in forests, still reflect

The total sky almost without defect,

And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,

Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,

And yet not out of any brook or river,

But up by the roots to bring dark foliage on.

The trees that have it in their pent-up buds

To darken nature and be summer woods–

Let them think twice before they use their powers

To blot out and drink up and sweep away

These flowery waters and these watery flowers

From snow that melted only yesterday.

The Wind Sings Welcome in Early Spring by Carl Sandburg

The grip of the ice is gone now.

The silvers chase purple.

The purples tag silver.

They let out their runners

Here where summer says to the lilies:

“Wish and be wistful,

Circle this wind-hunted, wind-sung water.”

Come along always, come along now.

You for me, kiss me, pull me by the ear.

Push me along with the wind push.

Sing like the whinnying wind.

Sing like the jostling obstreperous wind.

Have you ever seen deeper purple . . .

This in my wild wind fingers?

Could you have more fun with a pony or a goat?

Have you seen such flicking heels before, 

Silver jig heels on the purple sky rim?

Come along always, come along now.

A Light exists in Spring by Emily Dickinson

A Light exists in Spring

Not present on the Year

At any other period–

When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad

on Solitary Fields

That Science cannot overtake

But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,

It shows the furthest Tree

Upon the furthest Slope you know

It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step

Or Noons report away

Without the Formula of sound

It passes and we stay–

A quality of loss

Affecting our Content

As Trade had suddenly encroached

Upon a Sacrament.

 

 

February 8, 2020

Some Salmon Evening

Close up of young couple toasting with glasses of red wine at restaurant

What to serve for a special dinner? How about baked salmon stuffed with goat cheese and spinach? The beautiful green of the filling peeking out from the salmon makes a gorgeous presentation. Add a green salad and some pan-fried potatoes and you have a great meal! The fish can be stuffed in advance and refrigerated, making this a great company meal. We recommend serving a crisp Sauvignon Blanc with this dish. The vibrant acidity of the wine will cut through the richness of the cheese. If you prefer a red wine with your salmon, try a Pinot Noir like the La Crema that we serve at Buckhorn Inn. The bright, juicy fruit flavors of the wine will complement the salmon.

 

 

 

Salmon with Goat Cheese and Spinach

10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
½ cup cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup goat cheese, room temperature
8 salmon fillets with skin, each about 1” thick
Olive oil
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450. Mix cream and goat cheeses. Stir in spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut a ¾” deep slit down the center of each salmon fillet. Fill each slit with the spinach mixture. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Place the fillets on the sheet, skin side down, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix crumbs and melted butter. Top salmon with the butter and panko crumbs, pressing to adhere. Bake until the salmon is opaque in the center, about 12 minutes.

October 24, 2019

Thanksgiving at Buckhorn Inn

 

Happy Thanksgiving

When someone mentions “Thanksgiving” we may think offeasting, football games, and four-day weekends.  The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 by the surviving Mayflower Pilgrims and Native Americans.  George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1789, Abraham Lincoln set it on the last Thursday in November in 1863, and Congress sanctioned it as a legal holiday in 1941.

What began as a simple expression of gratitude for survival has become deeply rooted in American tradition.  Generations of families have added their customs to this annual celebration.  At Buckhorn Inn it is a time to reflect on the family, friends, and good fortune that permeate our lives.  Our traditions include a devilishly hard Thanksgiving quiz and a bountiful buffet!  Here are some of the delicious dishes guests will find on the menu this year:

COLD PLATTERS

  • Smoked Salmon
  • Chilled Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
  • Housemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Essence
  • Devilled Eggs
  • Cheese and Fruit
  • Assorted Pickled Vegetables
  • Black Eye Pea Salad

HOT DISHES

  • Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy
  • Baked Southern Ham with Pineapple Raisin Sauce
  • Cornbread Dressing
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Green Beans Almandine
  • Butternut Squash Casserole
  • Maple Glazed Yams
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts

DESSERTS

  • Traditional Pumpkin Pie
  • Fudge Truffle Pecan Tart
  • Sweet Potato Cheesecake
  • Maple Pecan Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream
  • Raspberry, Pear, Almond Tart

October 22, 2019

Late Fall and Winter Hikes Offer the Best Views

Unless you have been in the Smokies before in the late fall or winter, you might not realize that it is the perfect time to experience our amazing views.  Winter temperatures are more than 50 degrees on about half of the winter days.  Moderate temperatures coupled with low humidity make for comfortable hiking conditions!  Higher elevations are cooler, so dress accordingly.  Be sure to dress in layers and remember to wear a hat.  A thermos of hot cocoa is a treat during your rest breaks on the trail!  Grab a couple of sack lunches from the Inn and have a winter picnic while admiring the scenery.   

Here are some of our favorite winter hikes:

The Laurel Falls trail is 2.6 miles round-trip and paved.  If you are lucky enough to be here during a stretch of below-freezing weather, the frozen water fall creates a crystal castle.  The freezing and thawing from warm days and cooler nights makes an incredible display of dripping ice. 

The hike to Andrews Bald is about 1.8 miles with 1,200 feet in elevation changes.  The hike starts at the Clingmans Dome parking lot.  When you get to the Andrews Bald area, you will have the chance to take in the winter views of the snowcapped peaks of the Smoky Mountains.

Sparkling icicle formations can be seen at the Alum Cave Bluffs, about 2.3 miles from the start of the Alum Cave Trail.  The hike through the old-growth forest is especially quiet and peaceful without the summertime crowds.  The path goes from Newfound Gap Road to the top of Mount LeConte.  You will see log bridges and stone stairways. 

Porters Creek Trail is a gravel road for the first mile or so.  The trail then changes to a dirt trail and heads to Fern  Falls.  The hike to the Falls is about 4 miles, round-trip.  You will cross log bridges and see some of the stone walls erected by this area’s original settlers.

If you prefer to drive, Cades Cove is a favorite winter destination.  The valley is a great place to observe wildlife, such as coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and deer.  The Visitor’s Center is open year-round and can help you plan your visit to the historic buildings in the area.

October 7, 2019

Buckhorn Inn Memories Captured in Watercolors

What special memories have you created at Buckhorn Inn?  Long-time guest, Tanya Young, is a watercolor artist.  She and her husband have made the Inn their special space for rest and renewal.  On her visits she has found quiet time to create watercolors of scenes that are special to her.

Inspired by a desire to capture some of her own moments at the Inn, her paintings are created as vignettes.  These vignettes invite the viewer to remember their own experiences here.  They also function as an invitation to perhaps see differently, according to Tonya.  “Simple moments of beauty are always around us, if we have eyes to see them.”

Memories Vignettes Available in Gift Shop

Painted in a brighter palette, these watercolors are designed to be a reminder of your own Buckhorn Inn story.  They also remind us to appreciate the beauty before our eyes every day, just waiting to break through and be noticed.

The matted prints are $25 each and are found in our gift shop.  They measure 8.5″ x 11″, including the matting.  Her vignettes capture the meditation labyrinth, the path down to Cottage #1, a window table in the dining room, and the red-shaded lamps above the book case in the dining room.

The watercolor series is designed to spark your own Buckhorn Inn memories.

Tonya Young’s watercolors capture special scenes at Buckhorn Inn.

Watercolors are usually translucent.  They appear luminous because the pigments are used in a pure form with few fillers.  In the late 1700’s, William Gilpin wrote a series of books describing his travels through rural England.  http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search  The books were illustrated with watercolors of river valleys, ancient castles, and churches.  The popularity of these books culminated in the celebration of watercolors as a distinctly English “national art”.  

Watercolors are an expressive medium.  The brilliant hues in Tonya’s paintings paired with the ethereal luminosity evoke a dream or memory.  We are delighted with these charming images and know that you will be, too.

September 16, 2019

Downton Abbey Afternoon at Buckhorn Inn

We were proud to host a Downton Abbey event for 50 guests on September 15, 2019.  Our speaker, Dr. David Woodfine, has served as personal butler to the 11th Duke of Marlborough.  He also has been High Steward at an Oxford College and oversaw the wedding of Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber.  Guests received a copy of his memoir “When Angels Dare to Tread”.  Ticket sales benefitted reading/writing programs through the Hilliard Institute for Educational Wellness, a non-profit teaching and learning centre located in Spring Hill, TN and operating in Tennessee, North Carolina, Ireland, and England.http://www.hilliardinstitute.com

Insight into Lives of Downton Abbey Characters

Dr. Woodfine’s professional experiences shed light on the real lives of fictional characters, such as those on Downton Abbey.  His memoir shares his love of educating students.  The following story is an excerpt from “When Angels Dare to Tread”.

Dr. Woodfine shed light on the lives of characters in "Downton Abbey".

Dr. Woodfine’s new memoir is entitled “When Angels Dare to Tread”.

“One occasion I know that some of them [his students] will remember is the wedding of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Madeleine Gurdon in 1991.  A company that gave our young caterers and waiters experience of events invited us to take part in this one.  What excitement!  First, David Oswald and I attended all the planning meetings and were shown around the beautiful Lloyd Webber home, Sydmonton Court near Newbury, so that we could familiarize ourselves with the kitchen, cellar and layouts.  Then we put together two teams of students, about forty in all.

On the day of the wedding, the house was transformed as we were transported into a scene from “Phantom of the Opera”.  Chandeliers sparkled against black drapes and the hexagonal plates on the tables were glazed black.  Our students wore white gloves to that no finger marks would transfer to the crockery and I was pleased as I watched and directed them to serve Michael Caine, Jason Donovan, Elaine Paige and a host of others from the world of stage, film, and television.  I worked discreetly in the background, feeling very satisfied when my students exchanged little pleasantries with the likes of Esther Rantzen, David Frost, and Michael Ball and seemed to take it all in their stride.  Quietly, I congratulated each one on how splendidly he or she was coping with the big occasion.  They did well, and I felt that if they could just handle this situation with confidence and efficiency–and keep smiling–then a good career was waiting for them.”

August 26, 2019

Buckhorn Inn featured in Paula Deen’s Magazine

Be sure to look for the October 2019 issue of Paula Deen’s magazine Cooking with Paula.  http://www.pauladeenmagazine.com  The issue’s travel section features an article “Smoky Mountain Retreat:  Good Eats and Great Views Await in Gatlinburg”.  Author Whitney Durrwachter wrote:

Paula Deen's magazine recommends the fine dining at Buckhorn Inn.

We were thrilled to be included in the magazine article.

“For a refined, fine-dining experience, visit the Buckhorn Inn bed-and-breakfast (www.buckhorninn.com).  Visitors can make reservations for the delicious four-course dinner, served daily at 7 p.m. in the inn’s dining room that features a cozy fire and views of the Smokies.  If you’re a guest, you can also enjoy the delectable breakfast and the respite of the tucked-away cottages and lovely rooms for a relaxing mountain escape.”

Paula Deen’s Feature Includes Neighbors

For “sights and bites”, the article features Anakeesta and its Cliff Top Grill & Bar.    The  outdoor family park features sweeping panoramas and a myriad of ways to enjoy them.  Once you take the enclosed gondola or open chairlift ride to the top, you can go ziplining,.  Or if you prefer, you can enjoy the view from a walk through the tree canopy or a rocking chair by the fire.  The Gatlinburg Sky Park with its 680-foot long suspension bridge is included.  In addition to Buckhorn Inn, Pancake Pantry, The Park Grill and Split Rail Eats are recommended for dining.

Of course the shopping recommendations include the Paula Deen Store!  But Savannah Bee Company, and  Ole Smokey Moonshine Distillery are recommended stops also.  You know that we love the many artists and artisans whose shops are located near us.  The article touts the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community and give a special shout-out to Alewine Pottery.

We were delighted to see Gatlinburg promoted as a beloved vacation spot filled with attractions for all ages.  As the article says, “from the excitement of exploring downtown to the relaxation of winding through the surrounding mountains, there is something for everyone in this Appalachian destination”.  

 

August 20, 2019

TripAdvisor Has Changed Travel

Every month, 456 million people visit TripAdvisor to plan or review a trip.  That works out to about 1 in every 16 people on earth!  For almost every place there is a review, even fictional ones.  In fact the fictional Grant Budapest Hotel (from the movie) has more than 350 reviews and a 4.5 star rating.

The volume of consumer-sourced reviews has led to what some travel experts refer to as “reputation economy”.  While positive reviews can boost a business, bad reviews can be devastating.  Even before the days of print travel guides, people wanted to know everything about their destination before they got there.  Those who post on TripAdvisor are doing their best to help their fellow travelers.

TripAdvisor Comments

At Buckhorn Inn we are fortunate that 865 reviews from our guests have given us and overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars and made us the #1 B&B/Inn in Gatlinburg!   http://www.tripadvisor.comHere are some of our recent comments: 

We have received many positive guest reviews on TripAdvisor.

The view from Bebb House is spectacular.

Judy B said.  Chef Allen was incredible with his selections for dinner. I must admit there was so much food I couldn’t eat it all. Well, I had to leave room for the dessert didn’t I?

According to Relax164989.  Just a beautiful, happy place to unwind…with beautiful views…wonderful food and a very helpful and absolutely lovely staff.It’s in a great location right in the 8 mile loop of all the galleries, potters and cute restaurants and bistros.Will definitely return and experience a different season.

marcus1248 wrote. This was a most unforgettable experience. The drive down the entrance with the lush forest trees on each side of the road, the greeting by the owner Lee, as if we were long loss family, and sitting on the screened in porch of our cottage with a breath taking view of the Smokies, all created memories that will last forever. The entire staff was friendly and very accommodating. The breakfast and dinner meals were absolutely divine. This was our first trip, but definitely not our last.