Great scenery, food in Smoky Mountains

Forget about going to New England to see the fall colors next year. Just head to Tennessee at just the right time like we did.

We visited with former Rockdalians Vicki and Jerry Roddy who live in Walland, right next door to Cades Cove and the beautiful Smoky Mountain National Park. (As Jerry says, "It's just over that mountain.")

We were treated to the most beautiful sight you can imagine. Yellows, oranges, reds and in between and even a few greens to complete the palette. And everywhere you looked, there was another beautiful view. It's not too bad from the deck of the Roddy's cabin in the mountains either and every morning we were amazed at the beauty for the day. It rained a couple of days we were there and, even in the rain, it was gorgeous.

We didn't have a lot of activities on tap—mostly relaxed and did a little hiking on well-established trails that are all around the area and drove around the loop at Cade's Cove which is part of the national park and saw a bear this time.

Vicki and I did make a short trip to Gatlinburg while the guys were up to something else and enjoyed some local craft stores, pottery shops, art galleries and more.

We did a lot of eating and visited the Heritage Center where both Vicki and Jerry volunteer. It is composed of a variety of wooden buildings from the past, brought to the site and remodeled to their original use. Arts and crafts and other activities from the past are exhibited and taught there and, if you need to know how to make a cornhusk doll, Vicki can show you.

Bill and Jerry attended the Tennessee Volunteers game on Saturday night (see his column, page 6A) and Vicki and I opted to watch it on TV. Jerry is an avid fan and so are both Hilda and Larry Chesney, former Rockdalians, who also have season tickets to all the games.

We got to visit twice with Hilda and Larry once at their beautiful home, also in Walland. They are not exactly in the mountains, but the mountains are all around their property and they live in the valley or hollow cove in between. While there, we were treated to a wild turkey brigade walking in the field behind their home. We were informed that they march to one end of the property in the morning and march back to the other end in the evening.

Hilda served an appetizer you will want to try. It is a recipe from the wife of Vols Coach Ed Kiffen and was featured on WVLT Chef Walter show which features local tailgate and other recipes from the area. If you want to check out more of these recipes go to chefwalter but Hilda provided this one for our readers.

Backyard Caviar
by Layla Kiffen
2 cans black beans,drained
2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes
and green chilies, drained
1 can whole kernel corn,
1 avocado, peeled and cubed
1 bunch green onions,
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Mexican cheese, to taste
Cilantro, chopped, to taste
Garlic salt, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

In large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Place covered in refrigerator and let sit overnight. Serve with chips. Hilda left the cheese out, so this made it almost fat free and we didn't miss it at all. This also makes

nice salad with barbeque or whatever. It's yummy.

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2009-11-12 digital edition

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