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Home & Farm Tenne sse e Winter 2012-13

Seasonal Sweets Celebrate the holidays with delicious desserts perfect for gift-giving

Field of View Photo contest winners capture farm, home and Tennessee life

On Point

Farmers welcome hunters, bird dogs to find good game on their land

Published for the family members of the Tennessee Farm Bureau

Home & Farm Ten n e ssee

An official publication of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation © 2012 TFBF Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Pettus Read circulation manager Stacey Warner Board of directors President Lacy Upchurch, Vice President Danny Rochelle Directors at large Jeff Aiken, Charles Hancock, Catherine Via district directors Malcolm Burchfiel, James Haskew, Eric Mayberry, Dan Hancock, David Mitchell state fb women’s chairman Jane May Advisory directors Dr. Larry Arrington, Brandon Whitt Chief administrative officer Joe Pearson treasurer Wayne Harris Comptroller Tim Dodd

Managing Editor Jessy Yancey project manager Blair Thomas Content coordinator Rachel Bertone Contributing Writers Jessica Boling, Melissa Burniston, Mary Carter, Carol Cowan, Shelley Davis-Wise, Nancy Dorman-Hickson, Kim Green, Sue Hamilton, Nancy Henderson, Tiffany Howard, Anthony Kimbrough, Leslie LaChance, Jessica Mozo, Bryan Wright Creative services Director Christina Carden Senior Graphic Designers Stacey Allis, Laura Gallagher, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams Graphic Designers Erica Lampley, Kara Leiby, Kacey Passmore Creative services analyst Becca Ary Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers Todd Bennett, Martin Cherry, Michael Conti Web creative director Allison Davis Web Content Manager John Hood Web Designer II Richard Stevens Web development lead Yamel Hall web developer i Nels Noseworthy Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan i.t. service technician Daniel Cantrell Color imaging technician Alison Hunter accounting Diana Guzman, Maria McFarland, Lisa Owens Integrated Media Manager Robin Robertson Chairman Greg Thurman President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President Ray Langen Sr. V.P./SALES Todd Potter sr. V.P./operations Casey Hester sr. v.p./Agribusiness Publishing Kim Newsom Holmberg v.p./sales Rhonda Graham V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.p./external communications Teree Caruthers v.p./content operations Natasha Lorens controller Chris Dudley Distribution DIRECTOR Gary Smith

Editor’s note

Feeling Festive For more than a decade now, each issue of Tennessee Home & Farm has featured a listing of events held throughout the state (see page 42). We hear time and again from our readers that it’s their favorite part of the magazine. The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development still provides us with most of the events through their online travel resource, However, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new submission form at This new feature enables you to submit your local event directly to us for consideration to be included in the next issue’s listing. We’re still unable to guarantee inclusion due to space constraints, but we try to highlight some of the lesser known, small-town festivals, so share yours with us today! You can also visit our website to browse the many photo contest entries worthy of honorable mentions. The winners are highlighted in this issue (page 16), but you can view more fantastic photos online at Jessy Yancey, managing editor

At a Glance/A sampling of destinations in this issue 5/Westmoreland


4/Jackson 2/Covington


1/ Smother your next biscuit with sweet potato butter made in Treadway in Hancock County page 6 2/ Have a Dickens of a Christmas during Covington’s annual holiday celebration page 6 3 / Order the Stockyard pizza at Gabriel’s in Cleveland page 29 4 / Meet a Westmoreland farmer who opens his land to hunters page 8 5 / Climb aboard the trains at Casey Jones Village in Jackson page 38

receptionist Linda Bishop Tennessee Home & Farm is produced for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation by Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member

Association of Magazine Media Member

Custom Content Council Please recycle this magazine

2 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Tennessee Home & Farm (USPS No. 022-305) Issued quarterly by the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, 147 Bear Creek Pike, Columbia, TN 38401, (931) 388-7872. Periodical permit paid at Columbia, TN, and additional entry offices. Postmaster Send address corrections to: Tennessee Home & Farm Executive Offices, P.O. Box 313, Columbia, TN 38402-0313. Subscribe or change address Contact your county Farm Bureau office. TH&F is included in your $25 Farm Bureau annual dues; no other purchase necessary.

Advertising Policy For advertising information, contact Robin Robertson, (800) 333-8842, ext. 227, or by e-mail at All advertising accepted is subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume all liability for their advertising content. Publisher and sponsor maintain the right to cancel advertising for nonpayment or reader complaint about service or product. Publisher does not accept political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in Tennessee Home & Farm.

Table of Contents Features 8 / On Point

Farmers welcome hunters, bird dogs to find good game on their land

12 / Choc and Awe

Tennessee artisan chocolatier sets the bar high

16 / Field of View

Photo contest winner brings focus to farmland

24 / Seasonal Sweets

Celebrate the holidays with delicious desserts perfect for gift-giving

38 / All Aboard for Jackson Casey Jones Village pulls out all the stops for the holidays

8 Departments 5 / Read All About It

Christmas movie shows how times have changed

6 / Short Rows

Bake with Tennessee-based flours

28 / Country Classics

Orchard owner shares her favorite apple recipe

29 / Restaurant Review

Gabriel’s delivers a passion for pizza



30 / Gardening

Winter blooms brighten up cold days

33 / Farmside Chat

Family farms pigs, pumpkins and pines

35 / To Good Health

How to save money on specialty care

37/ Member Benefits

Low prices don’t always mean the best value

42 / Events & Festivals

Things to do, places to see

43 / View From the Back Porch Siblings adventure in snow and ice


On the Cover Photo by Jeff Adkins Jet, an English setter, at Meadow Brook Game Farm

Home&Farm 3 Tr avel

Home & Garden HOme & GarDen

Agriculture aGriculTure

TN Living Tn livinG

Jimmy Ramsey


Betsy Collins

Honorable Photo Contest Mentions Online Visit to enter our annual photo contest. Online Go online to to view the dozens of photos entered entrants are also eligible for special web-exclusive readers’ choice contest. in our annual photo contest that were worthy of honorable mention, as well as some photo contest entries that made us smile.

Online Library Read past issues and new online-only magazines Read past issues and new online-only magazines simply



Sponsored by Tennessee Farm Fresh

Connect with us online! Find us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter at

vol. 1

From Our Readers Editor’s Most of the photos In Ice note: Is Nice featured in “Tennessee on Two Wheels,” My husband and I were married in Fall 2012, showcased Johnson County, 1995 when I was working with Matt including the landmark Backbone Rock [Simonds, “Artistry in Ice,” Winter 2011] on page 38. For more information on at the Crowne Plaza. As a wedding gift, the region’s outdoor attractions, please Matt offered to carve a bus in ice to visit surprise my husband, who owned a bus company at that time. It was beautifully All About Apples displayed as you walked in the door of Joe’s recipe [“Apple Caramel our reception, and my husband was Cheesecake,” Fall 2012] sounds thrilled when he saw it. He still tells the delicious. I’m wondering what kind of story today of what a great surprise that apples he used for this recipe. Would was and how beautiful the bus looked in it be possible for someone to find out ice. Thanks, Matt, for great memories! this information? Hilary spellings Mary Ruth McNatt, Knoxville via Joe Schultz uses Honeycrisp apples. Find the updated recipe at farmflavor. What happened to the recipe archive? com/apple-caramel-cheesecake. There used to be a salad recipe that included maple ginger walnuts for Pranks a Lot garnish. I found it as recently as a I just read “The Great Pumpkin month ago, and now it’s gone. Thief” [Fall 2012] again. What a great Jennifer story by aGoode great stevens storyteller! I belly via Facebook laugh every time. It calls to mind when the sportnote: in my neckworry of the woods Editor’s Don’t – we havewas big knocking on a certain neighbor’s door plans for our recipes! Not all of them and fleeing Webut kids made it ontowithout our newdetection. website yet, anxiously that tap-tap-tap recipes areawaited being added seasonally. on our shortly after dark and then Staydoor tuned for a big announcement hearing our dad grumble about our recipes soon. and gripe. My dad knew who the prankster was but In the meantime, if you’re looking for a not when he would strike or where he specific recipe, let us know by posting went afterwards until one fateful night. on our Facebook page as Jennifer did, Dad had surmised that the culprit or by e-mailing us at, couldn’t escape that quickly on foot, and we’ll send it your way. so he had to have wheels. The problem was that the culprit only had two Correction wheels (a bike), and Dad was ready with We made an error in the Turkey Pot his four-wheeled, bright-beamed search Pie recipe on page 27 of our Winter vehicle (the family car). That ended the 2011 issue. The recipe calls for 6 sport, and I don’t recall a new one tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons taking its place. You are right – gone heavy cream. View the correct version are the times of harmless pranks! of the recipe in its entirety at Rhonda McMahan, via website

missing recipes

Visit us on YouTube at Share with us on Flickr at Sign up for for the the e-mail e-mailnewsletter

|Spring 2011 2012-13 4 Home&Farm |Winter

Questions, comments and story ideas can be sent to: Jessy Yancey, 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, or e-mail email us usatat

Read All About It

Lessons From Ralphie Popular holiday movie shows how times – and toys – have changed


n the movie A Christmas Story, which plays continuously on TV during the holidays, a warning used throughout the story rings true to many of us Baby Boomers. The story centers on Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the 1940s Midwest. His Christmas wish is to have a Red Rider BB gun. He sets out to convince everyone from his parents to his teacher that this is the perfect gift for him, but they just don’t share the same feelings he does about his dream of saving the world with the perfect Christmas gift from Santa. He runs into opposition from everyone, including ol’ Santa Claus himself at the local department store. They all give him the same answer: “You’ll shoot your eye out!” And, at the end of the story, he almost does. I, for one, can easily relate to Ralphie, because I heard those same comments growing up in rural Rutherford County in the ’50s and ’60s. I, like Ralphie, had a good ol’ trusty Daisy BB gun, and I don’t think a day went by that my mother didn’t tell me to be careful or I would shoot my eye out. I never did, thank goodness, but I have to admit it did get its share of misuse many times. The interesting thing is that I never heard of a major recall of the gun, and advertising continued every Christmas for years in wish books and catalogs that came out during the holidays. In fact, over the years Daisy even sold commemorative guns of the Red Rider model, advertised regularly in Boys’ Life magazine. It is a known fact that kids will attempt many of the things they are told not to do. A pretty good example is the little boy in the

movie who stuck his tongue to the flagpole on a very cold day, and the fire department had to come and get him loose. Now admit it, haven’t most of you tried to touch your tongue to a cold metal object to see what happens? Tell the truth. Despite knowing what would happen and your parents telling you not to, you did it anyway. I touched my tongue to a cold metal ice tray (the ones with handles that are supposed to pop the ice out but don’t), and it stuck tight. Boy, does that smart. But it taught me real fast not to ever do that again. I really don’t know how we ever survived. We did dumb stuff like that very often, from drinking out of garden hoses, which they say today we shouldn’t do at all, to riding bikes without helmets. These days, toys are pulled off shelves daily because of lead from products made in China or because they are too violent. I never heard of a toy recall in my childhood days – maybe because there weren’t as many back then as there are now. Back then, most of our lead toys came from America and Japan. Plus, toys were intended for fun, not to educate. Our toys developed imagination, not mathematicians. I guess that is why my generation went to the moon and today’s generation reads about it. Warnings are everywhere these days for all of us. We are warned to eat better, exercise more, drive safer and let regulatory agencies keep us safe. We are told daily, “You are going to shoot your eye out.” And, sure enough, many of us do because we just have to try to ignore the warnings. But every now and then, you just have to touch your tongue to the ice tray to find out for yourself what life is all about.

About the Author Pettus L. Read is editor of the Tennessee Farm Bureau News and director of communications for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation.

Read More About It Read has collected his favorite columns into a book titled Read All About It. Part of the proceeds of the book sales go to Tennessee 4-H and Tennessee FFA programs. Buy a copy online at store.

Home&Farm 5

Short Rows


1/ Spreading Good Taste

2 / Proclamation on Tour

Spread the sweet flavors of the season on a warm biscuit with Cunningham Farms’ homemade Sweet Potato Butter. The East Tennessee farm produces the gourmet condiment in small batches using sweet potatoes, cinnamon, cloves and local apple cider. Part of the Appalachian Spring Cooperative, Cunningham Farms makes its signature butter in a community kitchen that helps create jobs in Hancock County. Last year, the team produced more than 2,500 jars of the satiny spread, which they recommend on everything from ice cream to ham sandwiches. To learn how to buy the sweet potato butter, which retails for $6, visit

The 150-year-old document that proclaimed freedom for millions of African-American slaves will be on display at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville for six days this February. The Emancipation Proclamation plays a critical role in American history, and this stopover is the only place in the Southeast on the historic document’s tour. Signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the proclamation can only be exposed to light for 72 hours during its visit from Feb. 12-17, 2013. The display is part of the National Archives multimedia exhibit Discovering the Civil War, which opens on the same day but continues through Sept. 2. The museum anticipates a greater

6 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

2 school demand than available time slots and is conducting a lottery for school groups that ends Nov. 27. For more information, contact the museum at (615) 741-2692 or visit

3 / Deck the Halls With Dickens Feel the magic of Christmas as it was in 19th-century Victorian England at the Dickens of a Christmas celebration in Covington, located about an hour north of Memphis. Guests can mingle with characters from A Christmas Carol like Tiny Tim, Scrooge and Marley’s ghost as they visit merchants and vendors decked out in historical attire. Bring the entire family to the free event.

Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress



This year’s Dickens of a Christmas takes place Dec. 8-9. To learn more, call (901) 476-9727 or visit

4 / Celebrate Fruitcake Forget what you think you know about traditional fruitcake. December is National Fruitcake Month, and the Sunshine Hollow Bakery in Athens has been mastering its pecan fruitcake recipe since 1968. “Mother Dave” Rhyne, owner of the southeastern Tennessee bakery, began baking fruitcakes while serving in the U.S. Army. He wanted to give a gift from the heart as well as from his hands. Today, the pecan fruitcake is the bakery’s top seller, made with orange blossom honey using a recipe developed over the course of 10 years. Only a limited number of fruitcakes are baked each holiday season. For more information, contact the bakery at (423) 745-4289 or visit

5/ Flour Power Did you know that two major flour companies, used frequently during the holiday baking season, are based in Tennessee? Both White Lily and Martha White call the Volunteer State home. Many Southerners consider White Lily the best flour for making biscuits. The company originated in Knoxville, milling there for 125 years before moving its headquarters to Memphis. Also based in Memphis is Martha White, which Richard Lindsey founded in Nashville in 1899 and named for his daughter. Known for its cornmeal and cornbread mixes, the company has a connection to country music through its status as the longest-running sponsor of the Grand Ole Opry. From cookies to cornbread, find baking recipes that use these local products at baking.


Raising the Steaks In the beautiful community of Petway, you can find more than small-town charm. If you’re in the market for local beef, then this rural Cheatham County town is the perfect place. At KLD Farm, Kenneth Drinnon and his family raise cattle and sell their farm-fresh meat directly to the public through farmers markets and other ordering outlets. Drinnon, who grew up on a farm, has been in operation for almost two decades, but he continues to seek every educational opportunity to better the business that he loves. By reaching out to his local University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension agent, attending workshops and completing the Master Beef Producer program, Drinnon knows he’s learned to develop a delicious product. A native of East Tennessee, Drinnon joined the Navy and later served as a firefighter in California. He had dreamed of retiring and returning home to Tennessee, which he did more than 18 years ago. Despite his experience, some moments never get old. “I still really enjoy watching a newborn calf bouncing around,” he says. Raising a healthy herd of cattle and developing great-tasting meats isn’t his only job. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Drinnon also finds satisfaction in selling directly to the public. “I enjoy the interaction and conversations I get to have with all the nice people at the markets and elsewhere,” he says, adding that one of his favorite parts of selling a farmfresh product is being able to share it with others who appreciate the quality. KLD Farm offers a variety of all-natural meats, with many options of steaks, roasts, hamburger or even a custom-made package. Drinnon sells his products seasonally at the Clarksville Downtown Market and at the Nashville Farmers Market. He also takes orders, which can be picked up on the farm by appointment. Several Nashville area restaurants also have KLD Farm meat on their menu. Visit or call (615) 952-9454 to find out how to order their Tennessee fresh beef. Thinking of giving something different for the holidays this year? Your family or friends would love to receive some farm-fresh food, so visit to find local farmers near you.  – Tiffany Howard

Home&Farm 7

Tennessee Living

Ben Matherne came from Louisiana to go quail hunting at Meadow Brook Game Farm in Westmoreland, a Middle Tennessee row crop operation that opens up its land to hunters from November through March.

8 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Tennessee Living

On Point Farmers welcome hunters, bird dogs to find good game on their land

Story by Nancy Dorman-Hickson Photography by Jeff Adkins


arming and hunting go together like bread and butter – and can provide a hefty slice of an operation’s bread-and-butter livelihood. Since the 1950s, Richard Denning’s family has combined hunting with farming on their 1,200-acre Westmoreland property called Meadow Brook Game Farm. About 10 percent of the operation’s income stems from its status as a shooting preserve for game birds, specifically pheasant, chukar and quail. Denning’s row-crop farm schedules hunting outings from Nov. 1 through March 31, which, he explains, “brings in income in the winter when we’re not doing a lot of farming.” While Meadow Brook primarily offers game bird hunting, some landowners and hunters focus on other species and arrangements. “I know quite a few farmers leasing their property and hunting rights to hunters,” says Don Crawford, who’s with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). “Sometimes it’s specific for, say, deer or whatever is in season. And sometimes it’s all hunting rights.”

In addition to lease profits, the practice is a “legitimate management tool,” Crawford notes, because it can minimize the wildlife population raiding a farmer’s crops. The TWRA leases fields from farmers and allows the public to hunt on these leased properties.

For the Birds Somewhere between 300 and 400 hunters a year come to Meadow Brook to bag their limit at $120 minimum per hunter. “There’s no maximum limit because the birds are released,” Denning says, as opposed to migratory. “The hunters can shoot as many birds as they want to pay for.” The crowd who hunts at Meadow Brook ranges from experienced to novice, Denning says. “We get a lot of guys who hunted a little bit when they were growing up, went to college, and then moved to the city,” he says. “Now all they see all day long is concrete and pavement and the building they’re sitting in.” Guides make sure even the inexperienced get game. “[The guide] takes the dogs out and flushes the birds out,” Denning explains. Some places charge for every bird released, but not Home&Farm 9

Open Season In addition to game birds, other popular winter hunting in Tennessee includes deer (Nov. 17, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013), turkey (March 30-May 12, 2013), quail (Nov. 3, 2012-Feb. 28, 2013), dove (Dec. 19, 2012-Jan. 15, 2013), and raccoon/opossum (Sept. 21, 2012Feb. 28, 2013). Rules and regulations vary by region. For a list of hunting seasons and events, as well as details about licensing, wildlife management areas and shooting preserves, check To learn more about Meadow Brook, visit www.meadowbrook

at Meadow Brook. “Here, they’re only going to pay for the birds that they shoot. We guarantee the hunt. We’re going to make sure that they get all that they want.” Denning attributes the guarantee policy to the expertise of the preserve’s guides. “If the hunters listen to the guides, they won’t have a problem getting the birds,” he says confidently.

A Hunter’s Best Friend Jimmy White, a Meadow Brook guide for 37 years, has judged around 250 bird dog trials (competitions) in the United States and Canada and has raised several champion dogs. “You look for natural ability,” says White, who works with pointers and setters. The dogs need to know where there should be birds, and hunt the cover, he adds. “They don’t need to be running around out there. They’ve got to be thinking ‘bird.’ ” At Meadow Brook, the dogs point and retrieve. “I don’t keep them on ‘steady wing shot’ at Meadow Brook,” White says. He refers to the practice in which the dog flushes the birds, points, then stays put until released to retrieve the harvest. A hunter himself for 50 years, White enjoys guiding at Meadow Brook. “I’ve always said if you want to know who a true person is, you go hunting or fishing with them,” he says. “You will pretty well find out.” Visiting hunters at Meadow Brook are there to have a good time. “That’s what

we try to do,” he says. Testimonies from satisfied clients posted on the farm’s website back up his assessment. “It was [my son’s] first hunting experience,” one father explained. “Jimmy White was very patient with him and gave him just the perfect amount of instructions.” Another wrote, “There were plenty of birds and the service you all provided us with was second to none.” “I haven’t had a person leave yet that didn’t get their limit,” White says. “We just never have people leave disappointed.” But, as any hunter will tell you, hunting is not just about bagging the limit. Most farmers are hunters, too. They understand the joy of being in the woods and fields in the early morning or late afternoon. They know the thrill of the chase. They enjoy the companionship of other hunters. “It’s kind of nice to put something in the freezer,” Crawford says, “but mostly hunting is about the camaraderie of family and friends. It’s about getting out there and connecting with nature.” Denning agrees. “We have a lot of fun, just having fellowship and cutting up and joking,” the landowner says. As for White, the guide thinks he knows what many of the hunters that he takes out appreciate the most. “A lot of them enjoy watching the dogs work as much as they do any other part of hunting,” he says.

Jet, an English setter, retrieves a quail shot by Ronnie White, above. Meadow Brook’s bird dogs are trained to flush out the birds, point and stay put until released to retrieve the harvest.

10 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

This Dog Will Hunt Jimmy White has hunted for more than 50 years. He recalls shooting rabbit with his father’s double-barrel shotgun. “I’d walk up on some birds, too, but I didn’t kill very many,” says the veteran bird dog trainer. He purchased his first dog, Bob, for $25 when he was a teenager. He sold the dog a year later for $150. “I thought I was getting rich,” he says with a laugh. Nowadays, one of White’s trained dogs can go for as much as $10,000 to $20,000. “It takes a long time and a lot of patience and a lot of hard work,” he says about dog training. Yet even professionally trained dogs should be showered with affection, he believes. “The more you pet them and the more you love them,” he says, “the more they’ll think of you and the more you’ll think of them. It doesn’t hurt to spoil them.”

Home&Farm 11

Tennessee Living

Scott Witherow, who got his start in the food industry flipping burgers in Columbia, launched Olive & Sinclair in 2009. The company roasts and mills beans into artisan chocolate bars that have garnered national notoriety.

12 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13


Tennessee artisan chocolatier Sets the Bar High Story by Kim Green Photography by Jeffrey S. otto


cott Witherow lives the fantasy of any kid who’s ever gone trick-ortreating, slurped hot cocoa on Christmas Eve or dug into a pile of birthday cake. “I work in a chocolate factory,” he says. “It’s my dream job. Even a bad day is usually a fun day.” More precisely, Witherow created a chocolate factory. Olive & Sinclair, a smallbatch maker of artisan chocolate, operates in a narrow basement beneath a retail strip that serves the modest, part-working-class/part-hip East Nashville neighborhood of Inglewood. The 33-year-old chocolatier begins the “factory” tour by scooping up a handful of almost peanut-like, light-brown beans from a stack of huge bags stamped with the names of exotic locales such as Ghana and the Dominican Republic. Bean pods arrive from afar already fermented and go from 300-pound sacks to a huge roaster, and then to a “winnower,” which separates the bean’s shell from the dark, crumbly “nib” inside. That’s where the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory imagery comes in. On this stormy Monday morning, Witherow’s working a batch of his buttermilk white chocolate through the stone mill, a machine that began its life as a steam-powered mill somewhere in Spain around a hundred years ago. “I like doing

things the new-old-fashioned way,” he says. There’s a piquant blend of gleeful madscientist and skilled chef in Witherow, a boyishly cheery Willy Wonka character for the 21st century. Tanned and fit in a well-creased ballcap, he looks like the kind of guy you might meet on a mountain-biking trail. A Tennessee native, Witherow grew up on the line, cooking in restaurant kitchens as a teenager. From his first job at Sizzler in Columbia, he worked his way across the culinary world – from catering to Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in England, and back home to turns at Nashville’s Wild Boar and F. Scott’s, with brief unpaid stints along the way at world-class kitchens in Chicago and the United Kingdom. Those culinary explorations led him, on a vacation trip, to a small chocolate producer in Canada. “I looked in kind of bright-eyed,” he recalls. “Bought about a pound, and ate it all. And I thought, ‘Why can’t I do this?’ “ Witherow soon started experimenting with chocolate-making at home and fed the samples to his friends in return for feedback. “It was wretched,” he says of those first forays. His product soon improved. In September 2009, Witherow launched Olive & Sinclair and started turning out what he calls “Southern artisan chocolate.” Within a few months, he had a bulk order from actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and articles about his products

Tasty Giveaway Win a grab bag of Olive & Sinclair and other Tennessee-made chocolates! Find an entry form and more details online at

Home&Farm 13

The Chocolate State Olive & Sinclair certainly isn’t the only Tennessee-based company churning out delectable chocolate. Satisfy your sweet tooth with some of these local candy-makers’ products: Colts Chocolates Former Hee-Haw performer Mackenzie Colt launched this Nashville confectionery in 1984 out of her home kitchen. Colts Chocolates sells a range of candies and desserts – from chocolatecovered marshmallows to apple cake – to national retailers such as Cracker Barrel and HoneyBaked Ham.

started to hit media outlets. Three years later, Olive & Sinclair produces more than 1,000 chocolate bars a day. From milling, the chocolate moves through a couple more stages – to grind down the fine particles and blend flavors through careful temperature changes – and finally, goes into bar molds and to the hand-wrapping table. It’s a tiny operation, very DIY, with a handful of smiling employees – each of whom Witherow introduces as “my friend.” Witherow wants his brand to evoke that new-old-school aesthetic that led him to keep things small and hands-on, and to haul an antiquated machine – in pieces – from Spain. “I’m obsessed with old things,” he says. From his traditional-with-a-twist production methods to the vintage-y package design that evokes an era of handlebar mustaches and healing elixirs, the brand’s imagery and actuality reside where tradition meets trend, placing Witherow firmly in the swelling ranks of Southern culinary craftsmen who are bringing back a range of arts once thought nearly lost. It’s a place Witherow’s proud to be. “So many other good people making craft products!” he exclaims, ticking off a few favorites – such as Drew’s Brews hand-roasted coffee and worldfamous Benton’s Bacon, created by East Tennessee smokehouse guru Allan Benton, with whom he’s recently launched a collaboration. “You have to try this,” he tells me, breaking off a triangle of his new

Smoked Nib Brittle – a sprinkling of nibs infused with subtle smokiness in Benton’s smokehouse, suspended in crisped caramel. It’s velvet-butter, with an afterglow of salt and woodsy smoke – sultry and complicated and wonderful. Witherow hopes to keep seeking out these collaborations to stoke his culinary curiosity. He’s started making a special salt-and-pepper pecan bar for the cookie platter at Nashville’s City House restaurant, where pastry chef Rebekah Turshen says she also loves Witherow’s chocolate. In fact, Turshen buys it in 10-pound blocks “because it is local and delicious” and makes “a particularly lovely chocolate ganache.” It’s just this kind of creative exchange that Witherow hopes will keep him excited about chocolatemaking for many years to come. “That’s the plan,” he says, when I ask him if he imagines himself as a chocolatier for the long haul. “Plus, we’ve got a new little chocolate maker on the way.” At this, his smile broadens into something still boyish, but complex and multilayered: It’s sweet and salty, this grin, like Witherow’s chocolates – the smile of a soon-to-be new father who gets to spend his days making chocolate, a man delightedly living the life of his choosing. “The workdays fly by so quickly,” he says. “If my wife and I and the rest of the team make a decent living making chocolate, we’re all pretty happy.”

South’s Finest Chocolate Factory South’s Finest has been producing gourmet chocolate candy and truffle assortments for a quarter-century. The company has two Knoxville locations, including the historic Littlefield and Steer building, where chocolate was produced as early as 1889. Walker Creek Toffee This small-batch maker in Alexandria, Tenn., hand-blends Belgian dark chocolate, cane sugar, almonds and creamery butter in a copper kettle to make its buttery handmade toffees. Frantic Chocolates This small Memphis startup sells adorable chocolate bunnies and other candies at the Trolley Stop Market. Dinstuhl’s Fine Candies Dinstuhl’s has been crafting preservative-free chocolates in Memphis since 1902, when Dinstuhl the elder first mixed chocolates in massive copper pots. The menu features an intriguing range of chocolate-covered fruits and a full page titled “Elvis items.” The Cocoa Tree Bethany Thouin came to Nashville to write songs, but it was chocolate that truly resonated. She sells her gourmet truffles, turtles and dipped chocolates at several retailers, including Whole Foods and The Loveless Café. Her Cocoa Tree Café, previously in Germantown, will reopen next year. Home&Farm 15

Tennessee Living

Photo Contest

Field of


Photo contest winner brings focus to farmland

Story by Rachel Bertone

Grand Prize Elizabeth Smith Whites Creek Davidson County Farm Bureau


lizabeth Smith jokes that she never wins anything. “I always say if it was my name and one other person, they would win.” So when the stay-at-home mom decided at the last minute to enter the 17th annual Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Photo Contest with a photo of her uncle, a farmer for more than 40 years, she never expected to win the grand prize. “My mother told me about the contest, and of course I waited until it was almost over,” Smith says. She focused on the farm category and asked her uncle, Ike Turner, if she could take pictures of him on his rural Warren County farm with her Nikon D7000 camera. “I just wanted to follow him around in his natural habitat – doing what he does.” What was planned as a 20-minute visit to the Morrison farm turned into a daylong event with Turner proudly showing off his crop of soybeans, which did well despite this year’s drought. “It was something simple that turned into a really great memory,” Smith says. “I brought my 7-year-old son with me, and when we

went home, he said it was the best day ever.” Smith took hundreds of photos, but the winning image captured how proud her uncle is to be a farmer. “He is the epitome of a Southern country farmer,” she says. “ He has a heart of gold, and I am so thrilled for him.” Photography has become an enjoyable self-taught hobby for the Davidson County Farm Bureau member. When she found out she won this year’s contest, Smith was utterly shocked. “I was just so honored and excited for my uncle,” she says. Smith had a lot of stiff competition this year with more than 1,600 photos submitted. Winners were chosen in three categories by judges from Journal Communications, the publisher of Tennessee Home & Farm. The following photos received top honors in the three categories with many more worthy of an honorable mention, which you can view at And don’t put those cameras away just yet! Look for an entry form for our next photo contest in our spring issue, which will arrive in mailboxes in February. Home&Farm 17

Photo Contest/Tennessee

First Place Frank Ponzio Morristown Hamblen County Farm Bureau

Photo Contest/Tennessee

Second Place Darren Shelton Erwin Unicoi County Farm Bureau

Third Place Patty Weir Jackson Madison County Farm Bureau

Home&Farm 19

Photo Contest/Home First Place Tara Green Smithville Warren County Farm Bureau

Second Place Diana Hoppe Bon Aqua Dickson County Farm Bureau

Third Place Cyndi Sullivan Spencer Van Buren County Farm Bureau

20 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Photo Contest/Farm First Place Jennifer Rooker Smyrna Rutherford County Farm Bureau

Second Place

Third Place

Donna Mullins Ooltewah Hamilton County Farm Bureau

April Freeman Pleasant View Robertson County Farm Bureau

Home&Farm 21

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24 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13



Sweets Celebrate the holidays with delicious desserts perfect for gift-giving

Story bY Rachel Bertone Photography by Jeffrey S. Otto Recipes & food styling by Kristen Winston Catering


s the holidays quickly approach, it’s hard to contain the excitement the season brings. Stores are filled with bustling shoppers searching high and low for the gifts on their list, town squares are being decorated with evergreen wreaths, bright red bows and twinkling lights, and kids are hoping for just enough snow to cancel school. While the season is a time to give thanks and visit with family and friends, it’s also a time to eat! Food brings people together at the holidays, whether you’re enjoying a big family feast or heading to a Christmas party. Some of the tastiest dishes make an appearance around this time of year. From pumpkin to peppermint to gingerbread, festive flavors pop up everywhere. Bite-sized appetizers and holiday birds (don’t forget the turkey!) are always something to look forward to, but scrumptious sweets abound everywhere you look. Traditional pumpkin pie, gingerbread-man cookies, peppermint candies, eggnog and chocolate fudge are just a few of the popular seasonal treats. And while it’s great to make these delicious

desserts, it’s even better to give (or receive!) them as gifts. Cookies, cakes, pies and candy are easy gifts that not only taste delicious but are also thoughtful and inexpensive. Make a big batch to split and give to friends, coworkers, neighbors and teachers. Cool down rich chocolate cupcakes with a bright peppermint frosting topped with candy cane pieces. Challenge fruitcake’s reputation with our flavorful variation, or put a new spin on an old favorite with buttery brown sugar fudge. Each recipe turns traditional holiday flavors into hand-held, delectable desserts that are perfect for sharing. If you plan on giving these treats as gifts, make them extra special with fun and festive holiday wrapping. Buy clear containers to fill with red and green or silver tissue paper, and place a bow on top. Wrap the fudge or fruitcake bars in see-through cellophane and tie at the top with shiny, curled ribbon. Christmas tins are also an easy, simple way to go. If you’re feeling really generous, give a mix of all three desserts in a pretty, holidayhued baking dish.

Whoopie! Another Holiday Recipe Find a web-exclusive recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies online at sweets.

Home&Farm 25

Food Fruitcake Bars ¾ cup salted butter, melted 1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs ¾ teaspoon vanilla 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt

pinch of nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon allspice ¼ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour melted butter into a large bowl. Stir in brown sugar; let cool to room temperature. With an electric mixer, beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in dried fruits (batter will be thick). Spread batter into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not over bake). Cool completely on wire rack.

¼ cup dried cranberries

White Chocolate Fruit Frosting

2 tablespoons candied cherries, chopped

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost fruitcake bars. Sprinkle with fruits and nuts. Drizzle with remaining white chocolate. Let the frosting set (speed this up by putting them into the fridge), then cut into square- or triangle-shaped bars. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

White Chocolate Fruit Frosting 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted ¾ cup (6 ounces) white baking chocolate, melted 2 tablespoons each dried apricots, dried cranberries, candied cherries and walnuts or pecans, chopped

26 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Fudge

1 box (18.75 ounces) devil’s food cake mix


3 ounces cook-and-serve (non-instant) vanilla pudding

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

2 cups sour cream

¾ cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks

½ cup water

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1¾ cups powdered sugar

2 cups (12 ounces) grated semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips

1 cup toasted walnuts (optional)

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter ¼ teaspoon salt 4 cups powdered sugar, divided ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon peppermint extract 2-3 t ablespoons milk or heavy cream, divided 2-3 candy canes, crushed Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, pudding, sour cream, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer. Begin on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened; then beat on medium for 2-3 minutes until well mixed. Gently fold in chocolate chips, and pour into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan for 20 minutes before icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk butter on medium until smooth. Add salt. Add half of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and peppermint extract. Beat in 1 tablespoon of milk or cream. Add remaining powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add additional milk/cream until frosting reaches desired consistency. If piping on the cupcakes, it should be thick. Ice cupcakes by hand, or pipe with an extra-large plain round or star tip. Decorate with crushed candy canes.

/ cups evaporated milk

In a heavy medium-sized pot, bring first four ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and stir frequently until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees, about 20-30 minutes. Pour into a metal bowl (a plastic one will melt) and add vanilla. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed. Add powdered sugar slowly and continue beating until fudge is thick and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Add walnuts and stir with spoon. Spread in an ungreased 8-inch square pan; refrigerate uncovered for about 30 minutes. Cut into small squares before serving.

To enhance this sweet treat, drizzle the fudge with melted dark chocolate and top with more nuts before refrigeration.

Home&Farm 27

Country Classics

No Loafing Around Apple pie bread recipe uses fruit fresh from the farm


Hungry for More?

½ cup butter, softened 1 cup sugar ½ cup buttermilk or sour milk 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt 2 cups shredded, peeled apples (about 4 medium apples) 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans ½ cup raisins, optional

Streusel-Nut Topping ½ cup brown sugar, packed 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Jeffrey S. Otto

Each issue of Tennessee Home & Farm highlights recipes similar to those featured in Country Classics Volume II. Copies of the cookbook are available for $17 each, including shipping and handling, from county Farm Bureau offices, or by calling the Tennessee Farm Bureau home office at (931) 388-7872, ext. 2217.

Apple Pie Bread

or Sarah Head, the visitors are her favorite part of running a farm. “We have people come all over from different counties, and it’s all by word of mouth,” says Head, whose family runs Shade Tree Farms in Adams. The 135-acre operation features a small orchard with 400 fruit trees, mostly apple. Apple products are the top seller, including their acclaimed cider, made fresh on site. A member of Tennessee Farm Fresh since 2009, Shade Tree Farms has gained popularity with promotional help from the program, making the orchard’s fresh apples even more sought-after. Apple Pie Bread became a favorite recipe after catching Sarah’s eye in an old cookbook. “It caught my fancy because it used fresh apples. It fills the house with a delicious smell. I love it,” Head says. Along with baking the sweet treat for her family, Head brings a couple loaves to her church’s county fair, where it flies off the stands. Find more about Shade Tree Farms at – Rachel Bertone

28 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the bottom and ½-inch up the sides of a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar until combined. Add buttermilk and baking powder; beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour and salt; beat until combined. Stir in apples, nuts and raisins. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. To make the streusel-nut topping, combine brown sugar with flour in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle topping over batter. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. Makes 1 loaf (about 14 servings)

Restaurant Review

A Passion for Pizza quality, artistry run deep in the chicago-style pies at Gabriel’s in Cleveland


abriel’s Pizza, sitting near the intersection of 25th Street and Keith Street in Cleveland, is a haven from the blurry rush of everyday life. Stepping inside transports you to a simpler time where the focus was on the customer as a person, as opposed to a number. “Take care of your customers today and you won’t have to worry about getting customers tomorrow,” says Allen Eisenmenger, co-owner of Gabriel’s. He and his wife, Charley, have operated with this philosophy since 1999. Wooden tables and chairs fill the open seating areas, and a row of booths line the brick wall running the length of the restaurant. The lighting is low, spilling out from the hanging lamps and the neon signs casting colorful reflections on the dark ceiling above. Colors also dance on the shiny menu as you begin reviewing your options. Gabriel’s offers much more than just pizza: an appetizer of baked tomatoes smothered in mozzarella and herbs, glistening garlic bread sticks served with signature marinara, sizzling chicken Parmesan, stuffed calzones, meatball spaghetti. However, pizza is their passion. Options abound between New York-style hand-tossed or Chicago-style deep-dish crusts, five kinds of signature sauces, and more than 25 high-quality toppings. Deep dish is a staple for any serious pizza place, and Allen says they remain “as faithful as possible without completely alienating folks in the South” when it comes to the “sauce on top” Chicago-style presentation. The Stockyard is their biggest seller. Loaded with pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, beef and double cheese, your first bite into this beauty is an explosion of savory tastes. The quality of ingredients and creativity of arrangement

The Dish on Gabriel’s Pizza

Allen Eisenmenger, owner of Gabriel’s Pizza

come through immediately. All toppings are acquired from only the best distributors. “What you put on the table is what should sell the pizza,” Allen says. Convincingly, every bite contains a bit of artistry. Thanks to Charley, there is also artistry on every wall. Her artwork, mixed with works by other artists, comprise the colorful décor. This homegrown visual treat pairs perfectly with the handmade meals. Gabriel’s isn’t the spot to scarf down a cheap slice; its pizza is a work of art. “If you eat it and decide it’s worth the price and want to come back, that’s awesome,” Allen says. For those searching for quality pizza, you will find yourselves at home at Gabriel’s. – Rik Herrmann

In each issue, we feature one of Tennessee’s tasty eateries. You can find a collection of our favorite restaurants in the Food section of As always, please call ahead before traveling long distances. Find Gabriel’s Pizza is located at 2625 Keith St. in Cleveland, Tenn., about 30 miles northeast of Chattanooga on Interstate 75. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-10 p.m. on Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. You can reach them at (423) 728-2222 or

Home&Farm 29


Winter Warriors brighten up cold days with winter-flowering shrubs


hase away the winter blues with landscape blooms. Hybrid witch hazel and Japanese cornel dogwood can start flowering in January, brightening any winter landscape.

Hybrid Witch Hazel

About the Author Dr. Sue Hamilton is Director of the University of Tennessee Gardens. The gardens are a project of the University of Tennessee AgResearch program, with locations in Knoxville and Jackson: http://utgardens.

Hybrid witch hazel is a wonderful winter bloomer. Botanically known as Hamamelis x intermedia (a cross between Hamamelis mollis, the Chinese witch hazel, and H. japonica, the Japanese witch hazel), this deciduous shrub also flowers from January into March, depending on the cultivar. Flower color ranges from yellow to red to orange. Flowering is most profuse when grown in full sun, but it can grow in partial shade. An added bonus is that the narrow ribbon-like, crinkly petals, which can grow up to one-inch long, can be highly fragrant. The intoxicating fragrance intensifies when you cut a branch to bring inside. A difficult scent to describe, I guarantee it is one that few could resist. ‘Arnold Promise’ witch hazel

Hybrid witch hazel is an upright-growing shrub with ascending branches and a spreading habit. Depending upon cultivar, mature plant height can range from 6 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide. Coarse, green foliage during the summer turns warm gold to orange and even deep purple-red in the fall. Easily grown in moist but well-drained soils, hybrid witch hazel prefers organically rich soils. If desired, prune in spring after flowering to control its shape and size. Hybrid witch hazel is a great plant for a mixed shrub border or a woodland garden. There are literally hundreds of cultivars of hybrid witch hazel. ‘Jelena’ (also known as ‘Copper Beauty’) is fragrant with coppery-bronze flowers and orange-red fall foliage, and it’s among my favorite selections. ‘Arnold Promise’ has extra large, fragrant primrose-yellow flowers and blooms intensely for up to three weeks. ‘Diane’ is a red-flowered form with yellow-orange-red fall foliage, and ‘Ruby Glow’ (also known as ‘Adonis’ and ‘Rubra Superba’) has coppery-red flowers with a mild fragrance and striking orange-red fall foliage. The shrub’s name “witch” is actually a derivative from the Anglo-Saxon word “wych,” meaning flexible. Native Americans used the shrub’s pliant branches to make bows, and the leaves and bark in poultices to reduce swelling and inflammation. To this day, witch hazel is the active ingredient in many remedies, including hemorrhoid medications and lotions for treating bruises and insect bites. Extracts from its bark and leaves are also used in the cosmetic industry as an old-fashioned astringent.

Japanese Cornel Dogwood When you hear of dogwood, most of us think of our native flowering dogwood tree (Cornus florida). But truth be told, between 30 and 50 dogwood species grace our landscapes! Most are deciduous shrubs and trees, some are herbaceous perennial plants, and a few of the woody species are evergreen. One of my favorites, the Japanese cornel dogwood is a beautiful winter-flowering tree.

30 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Native to Japan and Korea, Cornus officinalis usually grows as a large, spreading, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub to a small tree up to 20 feet tall. From January into March, small but showy clusters of yellow flowers bloom. These blooms are followed in fall by showy red fruits (drupes) that are technically edible, but most would find them bitter. The variable fall foliage colors for Japanese cornel dogwood range from pale yellow to reddish purple, along with a colorful exfoliating bark with rich grays, browns and oranges. A deciduous tree, Japanese cornel dogwood is effective in foundation plantings, shrub borders, woodland gardens, bird gardens or naturalized areas. This dogwood resembles – but should not be confused with – Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry dogwood). The Japanese cornel dogwood grows with a slightly more open habit, flowers 1-2 weeks earlier and has more attractive bark than Corneliancherry dogwood. Plant this garden in a site with full sun to partial shade. Several great selections are on the market for this dogwood, which tolerates a variety of soils. ‘Kintoki’ is known for smaller growth and heavy flowering. ‘Lemon Zest’ boasts larger flowers. ‘Issai Minan’ flowers as a young plant, and ‘Morris Arboretum’ blooms heavily and a bit longer than most cultivars. ‘Sunsphere’ was named after the Knoxville landmark constructed as part of the 1982 World’s Fair. Mike Stansberry, Tennessee nursery owner and UT horticulture alumnus, introduced the ‘Sunsphere’ variety, which flowers earlier than others in the species. (Stansberry’s Beaver Creek Nursery is located on Pelleaux Road in Knoxville less than 5 miles from Interstate 75.)

Home&Farm 31

Farmside Chat

Meet the Holts Dresden family raises pigs, pines and pumpkins


or Andy and Ellie Holt, the name of the game is thinking outside of the box. This traditional farm family raises, as they say it, the “three P’s: pigs, pines and pumpkins” in Dresden – something a bit out of the ordinary for West Tennessee row crop country. How has your farm branched out from traditional agriculture? We knew we would have to be diversified if we wanted to start farming from scratch. So when we had the opportunity to buy an existing hog operation, we went for it. Pigs have been a great opportunity for us as a young couple to get started in agriculture, and they remain the central commodity in our farm. We bought an old dairy farm with 57 acres of planted pine. We thought it was a waste of land when we bought it, but now we recognize what an integral part the pines are [sold as fresh-cut trees during the Christmas season]. Continuing to think outside the box, we began to experiment with pumpkins. These few acres of pumpkins turned into Holt Family Farms, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch and agritourism attraction. We also put up our own hay, raise beef cattle, mums and have a Christmas event with a live nativity during the holidays. By far, our favorite thing to raise on our farm are our three kids! Josie, Andrew and Libby live, work and play with us on the farm, and we feel very blessed to have that opportunity. It is important to us because so many of life’s lessons can be learned through the hard work, responsibility and dedication this lifestyle offers. What challenges or opportunities does a diversified farm present? Well, yeah, we aren’t very normal ... in a lot of ways, but that’s OK. As a kid, I (Andy) remember my dad telling me there’s really only two ways to make money in life: You had to do something nobody else could or something nobody else wanted to do. Not everybody can or wants to do what we do, but it works for us. The difficulties associated with being so diverse is we spend

lots of time researching other operations for tips and advice since we don’t have neighbors to ask most of the time. It also gives us the ability and confidence to try new things, and we think that is the key to modern agriculture. Diversity is not just a goal, it is a necessity.

Read More Online Please visit to read more of our Q&A with the Holt family.

How important is Young Farmers & Ranchers? Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) for us is like a family. It’s something we’ve spent several years of our life investing in. The rewards of YF&R are both direct and indirect, but like all important things in life, they boil down to a few basic foundations. YF&R isn’t just a special program for young farmers; it’s a chance to meet people who are kindred spirits. People who love the same things we do, who struggle with the same things we do and who hold many of the same goals and ideals we do for life. As a further endangered species each year, we farmers must do what we can to help one another to remain committed to our goals – feeding a world of folks dependent on the most basic form of supply and demand – we call it our food supply. – Melissa Burniston Home&Farm 33

To Good Health

Sweet Dreams Rest Easy knowing how to save on specialty health care


his pillow fight was not exactly fun, certainly not like the kind siblings have regularly. Here we were on a family cruise, trying to squeeze in a few hours of sleep after another day of Caribbean fun. Things were cramped. (I’ve always wondered why they call them ‘staterooms,’ because they aren’t stately and if compared to an actual state, it would have to be Rhode Island. I mean, the room was teeny, even for the Kimbrough family. When we start bumping heads on cabinets, beds and furniture, it’s got to be small!) Such close proximity made it easy for our youngest, McKenzie, to nail me with her pillow from her bed. She has good aim and great velocity, so the only thing that saved me was she eventually ran out of pillows. Similar scenes played out on future travels, and at home where I became concerned Michele had actually calculated what she could do with those life insurance proceeds if the pillows were held down a bit longer and more forcefully. I still am not certain I believe her line, ‘Honey, I am concerned you quit breathing several times during the night.’ Well, of course I quit breathing, because that’s what you do when a pillow is stuffed over your face, an elbow is tactfully placed between your nostrils and mouth, or a knee punctuates your rib cage. Okay, you get the picture. I snore. And I disclose to the world that my family now rests wonderfully well even when vacationing with me. The sleep apnea diagnosis – the wife was right – has come, and with it, that lovely sleeping contraption. I remain surprised not to have read the story of the home invasion stopped in its tracks when the intruder comes face-to-face with a victim sporting his CPAP machine mask and hose. I wonder whether I might be more successful blowing the guy off his feet with the oxygen hose than with a nearby firearm. (If you cannot picture this

because you don’t wear such a toy at night, do an Internet search and see what your CPAP buddies look like at 2 a.m.) But let us get beyond this silliness. Through the above-mentioned ordeal, I received a valuable reminder about health care. A doctor’s visit resulted in scheduling a sleep test. And frugal as I am, I did what most people with health insurance do not do: I called the facility where the testing was scheduled and asked what it would cost. Even my co-insurance portion was going to be substantial, so I called another facility in town and asked what it would cost there. It was several hundred dollars less. Armed with that information, I called the physician’s office to confirm that test results from either facility would be sufficient. Now note that both facilities were in-network facilities under my health plan, but because of a difference in the type of facility, the charges were markedly different. So I asked the physician to switch his orders. The end result: I saved several hundred dollars out of my pocket with a lesser co-insurance, my insurer paid out fewer dollars on my behalf, and I now sleep with a hose on my nose. All because I asked the question, how much will this cost and is there an alternative? Here’s the tip for us all, including Farm Bureau members covered by TRH Health Plans. Ask questions and shop, even when using in-network providers. (By the way, TRH members do a great job of using in-network providers, because more than 98 percent of all our physician claims, outpatient claims and inpatient claims are with network providers.) And in exchange for me passing along this money-saving tip to you, I expect in return no jokes about those early-morning lines across my face, thank you. And you can hold the pillow-fire, too, McKenzie.

About the Author Anthony Kimbrough is vice president of marketing and government relations for TRH Health Plans. His e-mail is For more information about TRH Health Plans, call (877) 874-8323 or visit

Home&Farm 35

Member Benefits

True Value The lowest price doesn’t always mean a good value


everal years ago, my father and I had been working on the farm all morning. As the clock neared 11:30 a.m., we knew that my grandmother (Ma) would have lunch ready and on the table, and my grandfather (Pap) would be expecting us to stop by. It was guaranteed that Ma would have a big pan of cornbread accompanied by fried chicken or pork chops along with bowls and bowls of vegetables. She seemed to have a knack for always having enough food cooked regardless of whether one person showed up or 10. Pap and Ma were unique individuals, but they both enjoyed life and the company of others. Ma never cared for any material things, and for the most part Pap didn’t either, but he was extremely particular about his personal appearance. He always wore a pocket watch in the bib of his overalls, which were never too faded. Pap also had a unique way of combing his hair – slicked back to lay perfectly flat against the top of his head – and topped with a dress hat wherever he went, no matter if it was to church or to the field to work. On this particular day nothing eventful had happened all morning, and in truth I don’t remember much about the day until my father and I walked in their house, but I can remember the next few moments as if they occurred yesterday. Just like clockwork, the first thing that I would smell was home-cooked food with the aroma of freshly baked cobbler hanging in the air. Next, I would see my grandfather with a smile on his face sitting in a chair saying, “Get in here and get washed up; dinner’s almost on the table!” Finally, I’d hear the sounds of pots and pans rattling with Ma welcoming me from the kitchen with a big grin.

But this particular day was different. When my father and I got our first glimpse of Pap, we stopped dead in our tracks because clearly something wasn’t right. His hair was sticking up all over his head in a random pattern that resembled a wet yard full of crabgrass that had been mowed with dull blades. Clearly, he was not amused at our smiles. Holding back laughter, my father asked, “What in the world has happened to your hair?” I can still remember Pap’s response and his opinion of the barber’s work, but it’s probably best not to put those words in print. You see, Pap was also on the conservative side, and when his regular barber went up a dollar on haircuts, he decided to try a new one. Right then I learned that the lowest price and true value don’t always go hand in hand – and I think Pap did, too. When I look at value, I place Farm Bureau membership among the best buys anywhere. For a mere $25 per year, you have identity theft consultation and restoration services included with your membership and access to discounts on products and services that range from entertainment discounts, to discounts on home security, to discounts on tractors and automobiles all because you are a Farm Bureau member. For a complete list of the benefits associated with membership, go to or give us a call toll-free at (877) 363-9100. Value is a term that we use regularly in our office, and each day we work to add value to your membership. Why do we do this? Because you aren’t just a customer – you are a member. From our family to yours, happy Thanksgiving and merry Christmas!

About the Author Bryan Wright is the associate director of organization/member benefits for TFBF. His email is bwright@ To learn more about member benefits, visit memberbenefits or call the member benefits hotline toll free at 1-877-363-9100.

Home&Farm 37


Photo courtesy of Paul Jackson and Casey Jones Village

All Aboard



Casey Jones Village pulls out all the stops for the holidays Story by Jessica Mozo Photography by Jeff Adkins

38 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Visitors to Casey Jones Village in Jackson can browse candy barrels and nostalgic games at Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store or climb aboard the Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum.


or nearly 50 years, travelers along Interstate 40 between Memphis and Nashville have been pleasantly surprised to discover Casey Jones Village, a nostalgic piece of the past situated at Exit 80A in Jackson. Established in 1965 as the Brooks Shaw & Son Old Country Store, Casey Jones Village has grown into one of Tennessee’s most popular attractions. The complex includes the Old Country Store and Gift Shoppe, a buffet restaurant, the 1890s Ice Cream Parlor & Fudge Shoppe, the Historic Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum, the Shoppes at Casey Jones Village, a historic chapel, a miniature golf course, an 1837 antebellum mansion called Providence House, and several railcars beckoning kids to climb on in and ring the bell. “We like to say we’re the best

whistlestop between Memphis and Nashville,” says Clark Shaw, chief executive officer of the world-famous Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store and son of founder Brooks Shaw.

Casey Jones’ Legacy Legendary railroad engineer Casey Jones died April 30, 1900, when his passenger train collided with a stalled freight train near Canton, Miss. His heroic efforts to stop his train in order to save the lives of its passengers are celebrated and immortalized in his historic Jackson home and the adjacent railroad museum, where visitors can learn about his legacy and children can play with toy trains. “The Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum is designed to resemble a train station like Casey Jones himself would have pulled into,” Shaw says, “and his home typifies what life would have been

like for an all-American family in the late 1890s.” While Casey Jones Village is a treat any time of the year, it is especially captivating during the holiday season. Feast on fried chicken, farm-raised catfish, country ham and cracklin’ cornbread at the Old Country Store Restaurant, which serves three Southern buffets daily. “Our signature cracklin’ cornbread was Brooks Shaw’s mother’s recipe we have been serving for decades,” Shaw says. “We feature homemade pies, banana pudding made fresh daily and homemade tarts. Our Old Country Store ‘To Go’ has been discovered by travelers as a convenient take-out option for those who don’t have as much time to stay as they would like.” The Old Country Store Restaurant has become widely known for its annual Christmas Eve Breakfast, with Home&Farm 39

live entertainment, mulled cider and a visit from Santa Claus. “It’s our tradition every Christmas Eve to serve our breakfast buffet for the special price of $3.99 as a gift to the people of West Tennessee,” Shaw says. “You would not believe the number of people it draws – people stand in line about 500 deep to get into the Old Country Store rain, hail, sleet or snow. A local charity is always a featured guest, and it has become a Christmas tradition among many families who are now bringing their third generation to the event.”

1837, the house was moved to the property from Trenton and is now open for tours, weddings, private catered dinners and community events. The Greek Revival home played a role in the Battle of Trenton during the Civil War, when citizens gathered on its roof to watch the battle unfold. It later became the home of Judge M.M. Neil, a chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. On Dec. 15, 2012, Casey Jones Village will host a living history event at Providence House commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Trenton. It will include demonstrations and re-enactments.

Old Country Store Gift Shoppe

Old-Time Music

After filling their stomachs in the restaurant, visitors can buy homemade fudge or enjoy hand-dipped ice cream in the adjacent Ice Cream Parlor & Fudge Shoppe or shop for Tennessee products. “Our Old Country Store Gift Shoppe has dozens of nostalgic candies that bring back childhood memories, jellies and jams, and local honey,” Shaw says. “We have seen a large growth in the popularity of our Civil War selections with the current commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.” Other fun finds include jewelry, aprons, hats, cookbooks, toys and playful T-shirts with sayings that reflect Southern culture, such as “Hey Y’all, Bye Y’all” and “Got Lard?” While at Casey Jones Village, also take a peek in the 1905 Village Chapel and the newly restored Providence House. Built in

Music plays a big part of life at Casey Jones Village year round. Every Thursday, musicians from the Jackson Area Plectral Society meet at the village to jam. And in 2011, a new venue called Music Highway Crossroads opened in the Shoppes at Casey Jones Village adjacent to the Old Country Store. It has a stage for live entertainment, and future plans include a studio where guests will be able to make their own recordings. “Nothing brings people together more than food and music, and we have all that and more at Casey Jones Village,” Shaw says. “We hope people who visit feel a wonderful sense of family and place as they pull off the interstate and go back 100 years to another place in time – a place where they can forget the troubles of this world and enjoy the nostalgia of a simpler age.”

If You Go ... Casey Jones Village is located at 56 Casey Jones Lane in Jackson, accessed by Exit 80A off Interstate 40. Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store and Restaurant is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for seniors and $4.50 for children ages 6 to 12. Children age 5 and under are free. For information on upcoming events, visit or call (800) 748-9588.

Home&Farm 41

Events & Festivals

Stones River Battlefield honors its sesquicentennial Dec. 26-Jan. 2 in Murfreesboro.

Tennessee Events & Festivals This listing includes a selection of events of statewide interest scheduled in December, January and February. Most of these events are provided to us by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. You can view a complete listing of statewide events and submit your own on their website at To learn how to include your local events in this section, please visit Due to space constraints, we are unable to list all of the events provided. Events are subject to date change or cancellation. Please call the contact listed before traveling long distances to attend.


A Gathering of Quilts: Historical and Contemporary – Dec. 1,

Sutton Homestead Winter Wonderland – Nov. 9-Dec. 29,

Sponsored by the Pleasant Hill Historical Society of the Cumberlands, this event features quilt displays, lectures on old fabrics, guilt turnings and refreshments. CONTACT: 931-277-3111


The Sutton Homestead, home of Sutton Ole Time Music Hour, will host weekly Christmas bluegrass dinner shows on Saturday nights during the holiday season. CONTACT: 931-653-4151,

Christmas on the Cumberland – Nov. 20-Jan. 5, Clarksville

Join Santa and special guests as they light up the Cumberland River with over one million lights along the River Walk. Enjoy weekend activities throughout the holiday season. CONTACT: 931-645-7476

42 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Pleasant Hill

Candle Making Workshop – Dec. 1, Knoxville

This hands-on workshop will teach visitors about early American lighting practices and how different types of candles were made in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Space is limited. Please call for reservations. CONTACT: 865-342-9127,

Christmas Candlelight Walk – Dec. 1, Tellico Plains

Held in historic downtown Tellico Plains, this event brings the holiday spirit home. See festive storefronts, enjoy delicious treats and listen to carolers dressed in period costumes. CONTACT: 423-442-9147,

Christmas in the City – Dec. 1,


The city dresses for the holidays with lighted trees and decorations. Enjoy dozens of events including a Christmas parade, holidays on the ice skating rink, a celebration of lights and more. CONTACT:

Monteagle Christmas Parade –

Dec. 1, Monteagle

Head to this annual holiday parade, starting at 5 p.m., followed by visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate and cookies in the park. CONTACT: 931-924-5353,

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas –

Dec. 3, Knoxville

Created by Chip Davis, music act Mannheim Steamroller’s signature sound is classical meets modern-day rock. Celebrate the season with one of the most popular and best-selling holiday acts. CONTACT: 865-215-8900,

25th Annual Nutcracker on Ice –

Dec. 4-8, Knoxville

Bring the family to the 25th anniversary of this classic Christmas ballet, performed on ice by skaters in the Robert Unger School of Ice Skating at the Ice Chalet. CONTACT: 865-342-9127, nutcrackeronice.htm

Annual Christmas Toy Train Show –

Holiday Tour of Homes – Dec. 9, Jonesborough

Tennessee’s oldest town takes you on its annual Holiday Tour of Homes through the famous historic district to view elegantly decorated homes and churches. CONTACT: 432-753-1013,

Dec. 8, Nashville

This annual train and collectibles show features operation layouts, new and used trains from major manufacturers, and train parts and railroad objects. Sponsored by the Music City Chapter Train Collectors Association. CONTACT:

ETHS Holiday Open House –

Dec. 8, Knoxville

Enjoy this spirited event featuring ornament and craft-making, a visit by Victorian Santa, cookies and hot cider, holiday music and more. Admission is free and open to the public. CONTACT: 865-342-9127,

Granville Country Christmas –

Dec. 8, Granville

Christmas parade, antique toy show, festival of trees exhibit, candlelight walking tour, and weaving and blacksmith shops are just a few of the highlights of this event held at the Sutton General Store, Granville Museum and Granville Gifts & Antiques Shop. CONTACT: 931-653-4151,

Old-Fashioned Downtown Christmas – Dec. 8, Athens

Lights in the trees at Knight Park, horse drawn carriage rides, strolling carolers, old fashioned Christmas treats, visits with Santa Claus and two of his favorite reindeer, plus unique gifts and quality merchandise is just a sample of what’s awaiting you this year. CONTACT: 423-745-0334,

Caroling Tours in a Horse Drawn Wagon – Dec. 22, River Ridge

Farm, Clinton

Go a-caroling on 20-minute tours beginning at dusk and continuing until 9 p.m. Warm up after your ride with hot chocolate and a campfire. Please call for reservations. CONTACT: 865-457-6774,

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Stones River – Dec. 26-Jan. 2, Murfreesboro

The fields and forests near Murfreesboro saw one of the bloodiest and most important battles of the American Civil War. Join park rangers and volunteers for a variety of programs that celebrate the anniversary and tell the story of this tragic event. CONTACT: 615-893-9501 Events are subject to date change or cancellation. Please call ahead.

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WHERE: TENNESSEE STATE FAIRGROUNDS AGRICULTURAL BUILDING, Nashville, TN. (Wedgewood exit on I-65 S.) WHEN: SAT. DECEMBER 8, 2012 The show is open to the general public. Opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. ADMISSION: $7.00 per person — children 12 and under are FREE! SPECIAL DRAWING OF LIONEL TRAIN SETS — FOR CHILDREN ONLY! Trains will be available for children to play with and experience! View operating layouts of all gauges in action! COME AND FIND: Train parts, trainrelated objects, train sets to operate, train manuals, train clothing for adults and kids.

44 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Find new holiday recipes and old favorites at Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve Ball Drop & Fireworks Show – Dec. 31-Jan. 1, Gatlinbug

Celebrating its 24th anniversary, join in the spectacle as the space needle area at traffic light #8 comes alive at the stroke of midnight with a fabulous fireworks show. CONTACT: 800-568-4748,

January Elvis Birthday Celebration –

Jan. 3-9, Memphis

Honor the King with several days of events, including tours and bingo nights, surrounding the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birthday, January 8. CONTACT: 800-238-2000,

23rd Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week – Jan. 12-19, Pigeon Forge

Experience the Great Smoky Mountains during this series of activities sure to connect Pigeon Forge visitors with the wonderful world of the great outdoors. Attend walks, talks, workshops and exhibits that teach about the wonderfully diverse area. CONTACT: 800-251-9100

Oaklands Historic House Museum’s Open House: Wedding Dresses Through the Decades Exhibit – Jan. 13, Murfreesboro

Visit the museum for their second annual exhibit that will highlight wedding dresses through the decades. CONTACT: 615-893-0022,

Events are subject to date change or cancellation. Please call ahead.

Home&Farm 45

Tennessee Home & Farm presents:

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As author Pettus Read puts it, “country has been around for a long time.” In this book of his favorite Read All About It columns from the past 30-plus years, Read discusses pulley bones, the disappearance of stick horses, Christmases at Mop-Ma’s and the ever popular Uncle Sid and Aunt Sadie. Full of Read’s wisdom and wit, this Rural Psychology Primer will likely stir up your own feelings of nostalgia for the country way of life.

City: _________________________________ State: ________________ Zip: __________ Daytime phone #: _____________________ By mail: Journal Communications Inc. c/o Retail Fulfillment Center 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400 Franklin, TN 37067

46 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

Titanic’s 3rd Annual Professional Ice Carving Competition – Jan. 19, Pigeon Forge

Watch the world’s most celebrated ice sculptors chisel 250-pound blocks into impressive designs. CONTACT: 800-381-7670

Martin Luther King Jr. Day –

Jan. 19-21, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis

Special programs honor the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. CONTACT: 901-521-9699,

International Blues Challenge –

Jan. 29-Feb. 2, Memphis

The world’s premier blues music competition will host blues musicians from around the world competing for cash, prizes and industry recognition. The event also features a youth showcase. CONTACT: 901-527-2583,


Visitors of all ages are encouraged to come out and watch the best bird dogs in the country test their hunting skills, strength and endurance to see who will be the next Grand Champion. Four dogs run each day, beginning Feb. 11, and the competition continues for about two weeks, depending upon the weather as well as the number of dogs entered. CONTACT: 901-878-1067,

3rd Annual Mildred Haun Conference – Feb. 1-2, Morristown

A celebration of Appalachian literature, scholarship, and culture. The event at Walters State Community College features music, play performances, poets, speakers, and workshops. CONTACT:

Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show – Feb. 15, Knoxville

This annual House & Garden Show features more than 200 commercial exhibits featuring innovative home and garden products with professional’s on-hand to provide inspiration for indoor and outdoor design. CONTACT:

Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville – Feb. 7-10, Nashville

Entering its 23rd year, this popular event brings experts in antiquing, gardening, design and art to Music City. This year’s event will honor the late Albert Hadley, reflecting a traditional sense of sophistication with modern flair. CONTACT:

Antiques on the Mountain – Feb. 22-24, Crossville

A unique collection of fine and primitive antique furniture, exquisite furnishings, decorative accessories and outstanding collectibles. Nearly 40 dealers from several states offering real antiques. CONTACT: 270-237-5205,

National Field Trial Championships at Ames Plantation – Feb. 11-21,

Grand Junction

Annual Reelfoot Lake Eagle Festival – Feb. 1-3, Reelfoot Lake

Guided bus and van tours will be offered twice a day to view the majestic Bald Eagles nesting at Reelfoot Lake. The lake features one of the largest populations of Bald Eagles outside of Alaska. Visitors can also enjoy craft vendors, a silent auction, live birds of prey and other displays throughout the weekend. CONTACT: 731-253-2007,

United States Postal Service

13. Publication Title

Tennessee Home & Farm

Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation 1. Publication Title

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Pettus Read, 147 Bear Creek Pike, Columbia, TN 38401 10. Owner (Do not leave blank. If the publication is owned by a corporation, give the name and address of the corporation immediately followed by the names and addresses of all stockholders owning or holding 1 percent or more of the total amount of stock. If not owned by a corporation, give the names and addresses of the individual owners. If owned by a partnership or other unincorporated firm, give its name and address as well as those of each individual owner. If the publication is published by a nonprofit organization, give its name and address.) Complete Mailing Address

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included in member dues Contact Person Telephone

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h. i.

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16. Publication of Statement of Ownership Dec. 2012 (Winter) issue of this publication. Publication required. Will be printed in the ________________________ 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner

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I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonme nt) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties). 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities. If none, check box Full Name

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Home&Farm 47

View From the Back Porch

Ice Adventures Siblings discover excitement in Winter Wonderland About the Author


y brother, sisters and I looked like the human equivalent of bubble-wrapped packages. Layers of clothing represented Mama’s version of protection from the frozen tundra surrounding our home. Blanketing snow bleached the scene. Color had fled the land, replaced by the muted browns and grays of leafless timber. Into this frigid ground we traipsed, admiring the crunchy sound of ice beneath our feet and the sparkle of crystal icicles above. Our cheeks bloomed the red of cherry snow cones while our fur-lined gloves felt as if we held kittens. When we talked and laughed, our breath hung like frosted fog sound bites before dissipating in the air as if made from disappearing ink. Daddy had punched holes in the flat circular tops of metal drums and threaded sturdy ropes through the openings. Perched in the center of one of these makeshift sleds, the passenger sat on folded legs while the steering child pulled the rider down the hill until momentum prompted the rope holder to just … let … gooooooo! Down we’d careen in a crazy maelstrom of slippery ice and crunching snow,

Jeffrey S. Otto

Nancy Dorman-Hickson, a Southern author, writer/editor and speaker, co-wrote Diplomacy and Diamonds, the memoir of Joanne King Herring, who was portrayed by Julia Roberts in the movie Charlie Wilson’s War. She has also edited the “Tennessee Living” section of Southern Living and served on the staff of Progressive Farmer. Read more about her online at www.nancydorman

48 Home&Farm |Winter 2012-13

sometimes spinning, sometimes sailing through the air before stuttering to a stop, miraculously unscathed. When we discovered a familiar pond transformed into an ice rink, our utter disregard for safety meant leaping without looking. Not once wondering how thick or thin the frozen surface was, we eagerly slipped and slid on top of the frozen water like giggling hockey pucks. Fortunately, the ice held. It proved to be a rock-solid surface – as I discovered when I slipped and cracked my head on its unforgiving expanse. In seconds my vision of our silver and white surroundings transformed into brilliant rivulets of crimson. The wound above my left eye bled profusely as I stumbled home through the wooded path. I wasn’t really frightened, though, until I saw the look on the faces of Mama and Daddy. She grabbed a towel while he phoned the doctor before we loaded into the car for the 30-minute drive. I sat between them in the front seat with my swaddled head on Mama’s lap. As the daylight waned into twilight, Daddy sped on the icy roads, glancing down at me periodically with a worried look I wasn’t used to seeing. By the time we arrived, Dr. Bounds had reopened his closed clinic and was waiting for us. I don’t remember the numbing injections, the stitches, the car ride home or the welcoming committee of my siblings. But I do recall curling up on the sofa in front of the stone hearth fireplace at the end of that long winter day. My eyes grew heavy as I watched the flames lick and curl in a hypnotic pattern. When Daddy came in from the cold with his arms full of wood, I muttered against the wind stealing warmth from my exposed ankles and wrists and snuggled deeper under the coverlet. Eventually, I left behind the murmurs of my family and the comfort of the crackling fire. Little by little, I gave in to peaceful slumber, content to let the day’s real-life adventures become the stuff of dreams.

Winter 2012 Tennessee Home & Farm  

Tennessee Home and Farm magazine highlights restaurants, events, farms, people and places that make Tennessee special and features travel id...