Sunday, December 31, 2017

Breakfast at the Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC

The original part of the Inn as seen from our window.
This week my friend Jen and I made a three-day road trip to Asheville, NC.  On Friday morning as we were heading home, we decided to have breakfast at the famous Grove Park Inn.  Upon arrival the parking attendant said we must have a reservation and after a bit of discussion, Jen said we had a reservation (we didn't) and that we were going to get Valet Parking.  So she waved us through.  Jen makes things happen, and she is a great one for travelling.

Somehow we managed to be escorted to a table for breakfast at 10:34, although breakfast supposedly closed at 10:30.  (Jen again!)

We both have been to the Grove Park Inn on several occasions, it was a favorite of Dan and mine.  But never have we sneaked in for breakfast like we did this time,  It was well worth it though.
My breakfast. 

Jen finally getting her morning coffee. 
Our waiter, Jonathan.
The Inn was beautifully decorated for Christmas, and they had the winners of the Gingerbread House Contest on display.  A lady from Cary was the first place winner among the adult entries.  Her entry was Ghosts from Christmas Past.
The winning Gingerbread House Contest entry.
Jen and others enjoying the Gingerbread House entries. 
The Grove Park Inn bear.  

One of the many decorated Christmas trees, this one with a musical theme. 

Sitting by the fire after a wonderful breakfast at the Grove Park Inn. 
If ever you wish to get into someplace where you DON'T have a reservation, take Jen with you.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Gadding About in Parrots General Store

The parrot in Parrots Store. (Photo by Anthony Benson)
Laura, Anthony, and I motored down to Kinston to have dinner at The Chef and The Farmer, but we went early enough to browse around in Parrots General Store before dinner.  What a fun place!  This place has been in business in this same location for over 70 years.
Live chickens and rabbits for sale. 
After you raise your live chicken as a pet you can buy a harness for her. 
Cheerwine and RC Cola.

Mary Jane candy. 
Wagons in the window.
I guess this is for whatever ails one. 

Used to pick up nuts. 

Handmade oak basket. 

There's not much tobacco grown around here anymore. 

If you find yourself in Kinston, NC I recommend visiting this old timey store.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Gadding About With The Chef and The Farmer in Kinston, NC

Ever since Vivian Howard opened The Chef and The Farmer in Kinston, NC eleven years ago I have been dying to have dinner there.  Yesterday I finally had my chance thanks to my friend Jen who discovered that Walter Magazine was featuring an event, A Day With Vivian Howard.  Jen and I signed up early and were among the 80 guests who were lucky enough to get tickets (There were 40 folks turned away).

Our first treat was making biscuits with Lillie over in Vivian's Test Kitchen.  Three volunteers from the crowd under Lillie's supervision made biscuits using Lillie's recipe.  As an hors d'oeuvre before dinner (in the south where I grew up, the noon meal was called dinner and the evening meal was called supper) we had a taste of  biscuit with various kinds of jams and preserves.
Making biscuits with Lillie and Vivian in the Test Kitchen (Photo by Jen Salisbury).
A short walk back over to the restaurant and dinner was ready.

The four at our table shared Vivian's Party Magnet with Mimosas served from the bar.

The bar with a reflection of Jen in the mirror above the bar.
Next came the crispy apple salad topped with shaved Calavander cheese.

Until now I have not been a fan of collard greens, but that changed once I tasted the Vegetable Collard Chowder.  It was my favorite course of this meal.  There is no photo, because I was so taken with the soup that I forgot to take one.  I hope the recipe is in her book, because I will make that.   The main course was a melt in your mouth pork with field peas and potatoes and garnished with cress. Yum, yum, yum!
What better than an apple fritter with buttermilk creme fraiche to top of this unbelievably delicious meal!

Vivian Howard is bringing Kinston back to life!  The Chef and The Farmer is as outstanding as the superb reviews it has garnered and awards it has won!  I'll be back.

This event sponsored by Walter Magazine was a day long event, so I will be posting a second blog later about our afternoon and evening fun. Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Manicure and Dinner at Chuy's with Granddaughter Grace

Grace's Manicure
Last night granddaughter Grace stopped by for a visit.  We had planned to make cookies or a chocolate chess pie, but we decided to go have manicures and pedicures.  She a manicure and a pedicure for me.  Grace is sixteen now and has her driver's licence so she chauffeured me---fun!
At Lee Salon at North Hills. 

Grace is having fun. 
Grace chose a deep purple glossy.  (Somewhat a Broughton High purple)  Pretty. 

After the salon I suggested we get a bite to eat.  I asked her if she liked Mexican cuisine and she said , "Yes, let's go to Chuy's".  I responded that I didn't know that restaurant.  She couldn't believe I didn't.  It's apparently a favorite of hers and her family's.  Of course I'm always looking for new spots to eat in town.
Chuys at North Hills. 
Lovely outdoor seating. 

Colorful decor. 

Menu.  Originated in Austin where Grace's family came to love it. 
Grace ready to eat.
I had the Stacked Enchiladas with beans and rice and I had enough to take home for another meal. 

I'll have to ask Grace for other recommendations for restaurants because this one was a hit.  And it was so much fun having a gadabout with Grace.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Gadding About at My Sister's Halloween Party

For years my sister and her family have had a Halloween Party up at their cabin, and it has been on my bucket list to attend.  So this year I went as a leopard.  I even surprised my sister who didn't recognize me at first.  It was a fun party and there were lots of creative costumes.
Ally and Zane as scarecrows.

 Andy actually is a UPS driver, so Bays is dressed like his Dad.  Kristen is Sally and Cason is Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas movie. 

Adam as Grim Reaper, Casey as witch, Leila as cat.
My sister as a cow, and I'm a leopard. 

Hal is a cowboy pulling his covered wagon. 

Kelly and Scott as Axl and Slash from Guns and Roses.

CeCe is a gypsy. 

Leslie and Jeff as body snatchers. 
Three grand. 
Even  Pepe was costumed. 

Now I'm thinking how to make a creative costume for next year.