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October 11, 2021

Recipe for “Buckhorn Brew” Mulled Wine

I always associate mulled wine with happy occasions.  The first time I was introduced to this splendid drink was when Jack and I lived in Chicago.  It was a cold December evening and we were visiting the Christkindlmarket

This mulled wine is flavored with apple cider, honey and spices.

My mulled wine recipe is perfect for crisp fall evenings. Photo by Edward Howell.

http://Www.christkindlmarket.com in Daley Plaza. It was gently snowing and we were surrounded by sparkling holiday lights, the sound of festive music, and the aromas of roasted nuts and spiced wine.  The mug of wine warmed my hands, the scent delighted my nose, and the flavors tickled my taste buds.  Since then, I have made hot spiced wine for my family’s Christmas Eve Celebrations.

This October we are offering my autumn mulled wine in our sitting room on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.  If it meets with a positive response we will continue through November.  My recipe is full of fall flavors:  dry and fruity red wine, apple cider, honey, orange, and a variety of warm spices.  I recommend making it and serving it in a crock pot.  If you are entertaining a crowd this recipe may be doubled.   If you have any leftover, it may be kept in the refrigerator for a few days then gently reheated.

Use your favorite red wine in this recipe.  I prefer a somewhat dry Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of dark fruit and firm tannins as I like the way it blends with the other ingredients.

Buckhorn Brew Mulled Wine Recipe

1 bottle red wine (Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon all work well)

3 cups of apple cider

1/4 cup honey

1 orange, sliced

5 whole cloves

4 cardamom pods

2 cinnamon sticks

1 star anise

Add the wine, cider, and honey to a slow cooker.  Stir to be sure honey dissolves.  Put the spices in a cheesecloth bag and add to the cooker.  Float slices of orange on the top.  Cook on low for 45 minutes to an hour.  When ready to serve, turn the slow cooker to the “keep warm” setting.  Ladle into mugs and garnish with an orange slice and/or a cinnamon stick.  Makes 6-7 servings.

I hope this aromatic drink helps you to welcome autumn to your house!

 

 

October 4, 2021

A Guide to Buckhorn Inn’s Nature Trail (Part 1)

As many guests know, the Buckhorn Inn Nature Trail is about a mile long and takes about an hour.  It is important to wear appropriate shoes as some sections are moderately steep.  A complete map of the route and a printed guide is available in our office.  To whet your appetite, here are some highlights!

Beginning the Trail

The Nature Trail begins with this historic 1938 Inn itself.  Before the Inn was built, a mountain cabin with rough hewn timbers, shake roof, and stone fireplace occupied the site.  Douglas Bebb purchased the property from Lying Bill Price—a mountaineer who was well-known for his tall tales.

Inside the Inn’s front door is the dining room and veranda.  This spot offers a beautiful view of Mt. LeConte, the third highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  This is a popular spot for dinner guests to enjoy a glass of wine before their meal.

Back outside the front door and to the left you will see a sloping path through the woods.  To your right you will see Rosebay rhododendrons which usually reach

The Nature Trail features several specimens of this attractive evergreen.

Many birds and deer feed on the bitter holly berries. Photo by Annie Spratt.

the peak of their white blooms in June.  As you continue down the trail you will see American holly on both sides.  

To your left you will see the John and Nettie Hill Garden which features native plants.http://www.tnps.org

Near trail marker number 5 you will see the Callaway Garden, which was established in 2001.  This garden features both sun and shade plants, including many native flowers and shrubs.

You will than go to the right to pick up the trail down to the Buckhorn Pond.  On your way you will see the Umbrella magnolia at marker number 6.  If you examine the trunks carefully, you will see neat rows of holes made by sapsuckers eating the sap and the insects trapped in it.  

Approaching the Pond

Near marker number 7 you will see redbud and white-flowered dogwood trees that make a beautiful spring combination. There also is an American chestnut tree in this area.  We are thankful it escaped the blight.

One of the most abundant trees in the area is the tulip tree.  A member of the magnolia family, the tree was called the Apollo of the Woods by poet Walt Whitman because it grows tall and straight.

You will now find yourself near the spring fed Buckhorn Pond.  It is home to two mute swans, Bubble and Squeak.  Bass, carp, koi and perch all call the pond home.  You also may see frogs or the occasional turtle.  Birds attracted to the pond include wood ducks, spotted sandpipers, and herons.

Please visit our blog next week for the next segment of our Trail Guide!  

September 20, 2021

Tips for Enjoying Fall Foliage from Buckhorn Inn

Guests often ask us when the “best” time for fall foliage arrives in our area.  And our answer is “it depends”!  Leaf peeping season varies from year to year.  This year, the experts tell us that the colors will peak in mid-October in the high elevations, and will last through mid-November in the lower elevations.

The fall foliage makes a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains a special treat.

The time frame for fall colors varies from year to year.

Since mid-September we have noticed some beginning leaf color at the Buckhorn Inn property.  The fall color season is a long one, so guests definitely will not be disappointed whenever they come to visit.

Favorite Spots for Fall Foliage

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers many beautiful scenic drives.  Remember that there may be traffic, so allow plenty of time to reach your destination.  We recommend leaving for your drive in the morning, right after breakfast. http://Www.nps.gov.fall-suggestions

One of our favorite drives is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  This 5.5 mile loop road is reached by driving Cherokee Orchard Road in Gatlinburg.  Your trip might include a stop at the Ogle Cabin.  This historic site features a 19th-century log cabin, a four-pen barn, and a tub mill.  

Cades Cove Loop Road is a beautiful 11-mile drive with spectacular colors.  Be aware, though, that traffic is heavy in the fall and it could take up to four hours to loop around the cove.

The Foothills Parkway has amazing views.  You should allow an hour to drive the 33-mile stretch of road.  There are several pull-offs so you can take pictures and the driver can get a chance to take in the view!

The Greenbrier entrance to the Park offers several hiking trails that allow you to see the leaves close-up.  We enjoy Porters’ Creek, Old Settlers’ and Grape Yard Ridge trails in the fall.  Later in the year, when the leaves are gone, the views seem to go on forever!

Whether you drive or go for a hike, don’t forget to pre-order your sack lunch so you can picnic amid the lovely colors.

 

 

 

August 10, 2021

Sticky Toffee Pudding Coffeecake

Our new cookbook includes the recipe for Chef Bob’s creation, Sticky Toffee Pudding Coffeecake. We include this recipe by popular demand—when it is served for breakfast practically everyone wants the recipe!

Sticky Toffee Pudding Coffeecake

Coffeecake

1 1/2 c pitted dates, chopped
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9 x 13” cake pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. In a small saucepan cover the dates with one cup of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in baking soda; mixture will foam up. Let cool slightly. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle beat the butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In 2 alternating batches beat in the dry ingredients and date mixture until must incorporated. Scrape the batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake onto a rack and peel off the parchment. Carefully return the cake, top side down, to the pan. Using a skewer, poke 15 to 20 holes in the cake. Pour half the warm sauce over the cake and let stand until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Invert onto a platter and poke another 15 to 20 holes in the top. Pour the remaining sauce over the top. Serve warm.

Sauce

1/2 c dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 c heavy cream
2 t brandy
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t kosher salt

While the cake is cooling make the sauce. Bring the brown sugar, butter and heavy cream to boil over moderate heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Simmer over moderately low heat for 2 minutes, continually whisking. Remove from heat and whisk in brandy, vanilla, and salt. Keep warm.

August 5, 2021

Day Trip from Buckhorn Inn to the Biltmore Estate

My brother, Herb Galbreath, and his family invited me to join them on a day trip to the magnificent Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  The estate is about an hour and 40 minutes from Buckhorn Inn.  I recommend this highly as a day trip when you are staying with us.

Touring the Biltmore mansion is a wonderful day trip from Buckhorn Inn.

The magnificent Biltmore Estate is a short drive from Buckhorn Inn.

A Brief Biltmore History

George Washington Vanderbilt II built the estate between 1889 and 1995.  His daughter Cornelia opened the house to visitors in 1930 to help the area get through the Great Depression.  The French Renaissance-style house was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and was modeled on various grand chateaus.  Among its more than 250 rooms, the house features a bowling alley, an indoor swimming pool, and electric elevators.  

The 10 square miles of grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.  Vanderbilt was interested in the environment and the surrounding forest was the site of the first forestry education program in the United States.

The Biltmore grounds feature a woven willow sculpture by Patrick Dougherty.

Here are my nieces, Megan and Jessica, posing by a stick work sculpture by Patrick Dougherty.

Tips for Visiting the Estate

1,  Be sure to buy your ticket in advance as they sometimes sell out.  

2.  If you can, plan your trip for a weekday when it will be a bit less crowded.  

3.  All tours of the house require a timed reservation.  The peak crowds arrive in the morning, so you may want to visit the gardens, conservatory, winery, and other areas first and plan your house tour for 2:00 pm or later.  

2.  Don’t forget to visit the amazing gardens—you will be glad you did.  

3.  The regular tours through the house are self-guided.  They offer an audio guide which tells you facts about the house, the family, and history of the time.  It is very informative.  

4.  Allow about 2 hours to tour the house.

The audio guide provides helpful details in each room.

Timing your visit for non-peak hours will provide a more intimate experience.

5.  Allow time to explore Antler Village with its crafts demonstrations, Vanderbilt museum, shops, and winery.  It is about five miles from the house.

For more information, visit http://Www.Biltmore.com

July 20, 2021

Treasured Buckhorn Inn Recipes Available in Cookbook

Our new cookbook “A Treasury of Buckhorn Inn Recipes” is available from our office.  This edition was published in memory of John Mellor who served as Innkeeper from 1998 to 2020.  This cookbook provides recipes for old favorites, new additions to our menu, and a few treasured Mellor family recipes.  It includes guides to local attractions and information on the provenance of some of our recipes.  Copies are available in our gift shop or by calling our office.  We hope you enjoy it!  

Dinner guests love the variety of fish preparations on our menu.  One key is delicious and flavorful sauces.

Our cookbook contains many recipes for delicious fish dishes.

Flavorful sauces up the taste of fish dishes.

Below are two easy recipes from the new publication.

Tropical Fruit Salsa for Fish

1 c. Papaya, peeled and finely diced

1/2 Mango, peeled and finely diced

1/2 c. White onion, finely chopped

3 T. Fresh cilantro, chopped

1 T. Orange juice

1 T. Lime juice

1/2 t. Jalapeño, minced

1/2 t. Salt

Stir together all ingredients.  Makes about two cups.  This refreshing salsa is delicious with grilled snapper, pan-seared cod, or other simply prepared fish.

Roasted Pepper Aioli for Fried Fish

1/4 c. Canned, fire-roasted red peppers, drained

1/2 c. Mayonnaise

1 T. Fresh chives, minced

2 t. Lemon juice

1 t. Garlic, minced

Chop the red peppers.  Purée with the other ingredients until smooth.  Makes about half of a cup.  This flavorful aioli also is delicious with crab cakes!

June 13, 2021

It’s Grilling Season

Grilling dinner is one of life’s greatest pleasures—surpassed only by eating the grilled dinner! Marinating a chuck roast and basting it with maple barbecue sauce will turn the inexpensive meat into a tender, flavorful dish.

A nice big Zinfandel will stand up to the smoky flavors of this barbecue delight. Another option might be a peppery Australian Shiraz. And if you are grilling on a hot summer day, try a fruity, refreshing red wine sangria!

See recipe below.

 

 

 

Marinated Chuck Roast
1 onion, chopped
2 T. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. soy sauce
¼ c. red wine vinegar
2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 T. honey
1 ¼ c. beef broth
1 blade chuck roast, about 3 lb.
Maple barbecue sauce

Stir together onion, oil, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, rosemary, honey and broth. Place the roast in a glass dish and pour the marinade over. Turn. Cover and refrigerate 36 hours, turning once. Bring to room temperature in marinade about 2 hours before cooking.

Preheat grill. Remove roast from marinade and grill 4 to 6 inches over hot coals. Baste with barbecue sauce and turn as needed. Cook about 30 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 130 for medium rare or 145 for medium. Remove from grill and let rest before serving. Slice thinly and serve with additional barbecue sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Maple Barbecue Sauce
2 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
½ c. white distilled vinegar
¼ c. sugar
3 c. ketchup
¼ c. dark brown sugar
1 c. maple syrup
1 c. water
½ c. red wine vinegar
10 garlic cloves, minced
4 t. Worcestershire sauce
4 t. A-1 sauce
1 t. black pepper
½ t. paprika
¼ t. cayenne pepper
¼ t. salt

Heat oil and sauté onion until soft. Add white vinegar and sugar, bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, maple syrup, water, red wine vinegar and seasonings. Simmer for about an hour. It will thicken slightly. Cool to room temperature and use immediately or store in the refrigerator.

March 23, 2021

Try Honey Jerk Chicken Wings for Your Game Watch Party

As the weather warms we are hopeful that our honey bees made it through the cold, wet winter. We love our honey and are always looking for new recipes featuring this special ingredient. This recipe is sweet and hot, and would make a great snack to enjoy while watching the NCAA basketball tournament. As for wine, I especially enjoy Gewürztraminer with spicy food. You might also try an off-dry Riesling. Stay away from anything oaked or very dry. A crisp lager would be another good choice.

Honey Jerk Chicken Wings

20 chicken wings

Marinade
1 tablespoon of finely minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 green onion tops, chopped
¼ to ½ hot pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Put all ingredients for the marinade in a blender and process to a smooth paste. Put chicken in a non-metallic bowl and mix with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment. Cook wings for 45 minutes. Serve with a wedge of lime.

Love Letters

We sometimes gets such lovely letters from guests that we can’t wait to share them! We received two such letters this month.

John and Susan wrote:

“Dear Lee,
Susan and I want to take a minute to say a special thank you to the entire Buckhorn team for making our visit February 27-March 2 especially memorable.

We totally appreciate the effort expended by you, and everyone around you, to meet our every need. Our son and his wife had a much-needed relaxing time as they await their first child in June. As older parents-to-be they are being especially cautious with the virus, and anything else that might create risk for this pregnancy.

Both commented that it was so nice to just be able to be, without worrying about their safety, or what other people might be doing that might endanger them. They knew that you guys had their backs. They could sense the caring from everyone! Someone even took the time to write Happy Birthday on our dinner containers Sunday night! Laura said these were the first days in nearly a year that she hasn’t worried about something! Lest the kitchen team be concerned—they loved the food, as did we.

You know we will be back, rest assured that David and Laura look forward to joining us again at some future date.

Our granddaughters are already planning our July visit. They had us check on the swans, told us to bring home coffee mugs for their hot chocolate, and are making plans for games, movies, playing soccer below the Webb Mountain parking lot, hiking in the Smokies, and feeding lettuce to the swans. They might even leave artwork in the Webb Mountain Loft for someone else to discover while exploring.

Special thanks to Libby, Tracey, Debbie, Hugo, the birthday greeting messenger, and all the rest. I know I’ve overlooked someone, but we hope that everyone knows that we appreciate them. The Buckhorn Inn is special because of its people.”

And from Pam and Mike:
“Dear Lee,
I just wanted to write you a note to tell you how much Mike and I have enjoyed our stay at Buckhorn this week. It has always been a special place to us and this year is no exception. A highlight this year was the absolutely delicious crab cake and shrimp dinner the chef prepared last night! And that chef was you! Our group decided that it was the best dinner we had ever had at Buckhorn. We did not know that culinary skills were among your many talents. We enjoyed our evening meal so much and hope that you will continue being chef sometimes at Buckhorn. We also were so pleased to learn that your son and daughter-in-law are also working here—a special family legacy. We look forward to getting to know them. It was so good to see you yesterday and you just looked wonderful, as always. We will always have special memories of Buckhorn, you, and John.”

March 1, 2021

Review from First-Time Guests

Have you ever shared a review of Buckhorn Inn?  One of the most pleasant innkeeping tasks is reading reviews from our guests on TripAdvisor.  We love hearing your reactions to your stay.  And we are grateful to know of any ways we can make your time with us even better.  Today we are sharing a recent review from a first-time guest.

 
mom2ginny wrote a review on Feb 26, 2021
Knoxville, Tennessee
Hopefully, the first of many trips.
For Christmas, my husband and I received a gift certificate for the Buckhorn Inn. the Inn is located a few miles from downtown Gatlinburg away from the rush of the tourist area on a quiet and peaceful hill.

We were greeted by Lee at check in and directed to our room. She directed us to where we would find the fresh fruit, coffee and homemade treats (brownies and cookies were available during our short stay).

I have never seen a room so immaculately clean and tastefully decorated. It was if every item in the room had been carefully thought-out and placed so as to be lovely, but not cluttered. There was not a speck of dust to be found anywhere.

It didn’t take long until we had chairs pulled up to the fireplace with our feet propped on the hearth. The room was so quiet we wondered if anyone else was at the Inn.

A review of Buckhorn Inn often mentions the cozy fireplaces.

Most accommodations have their own fireplaces.

Dinner is offered by reservation only, but we had opted to go out for dinner. When we left our room to go out, we realized by the smell we should have made reservations for dinner at the Inn. We will next visit.

For breakfast, you are given a menu to choose from 4 entrees plus a couple of healthier options. The first morning we chose the basic egg and meat breakfast. It was served with hash brown casserole, fresh fruit, biscuits with jelly and coffee cake. The coffee cake was so good that I wish that I had the recipe. The following morning we had cream cheese with blackberries stuffed waffles. That was accompanied by warm syrup, breakfast meat, a fried pie and melt in your mouth biscuits.

Every guest that we spoke with said that they were repeat guests of the Inn. Many of them having stayed at the Inn 8 – 10 times previously. My husband and I understand why. We have had our first stay of what we hope will be many more visits to this wonderful inn!