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Archive for September, 2013

The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands Oct. 17-20, 2013 Get a head start on your holiday shopping!

September 28th, 2013 by abedofroses

 

Work by Paula Marksbury

Work by Paula Marksbury

The Crafts Fair of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild is a wonderful showcase for the best artists in the Appalachians. Twice a year, in July and October, the Southern Highland Craft Guild presents this outstanding exhibit of traditional as well as contemporary crafts and artwork at the US Cellular Center. I never tire of going to it. The fair has exhibited work by Guild artists since 1948. Many of the artists display their work year after year, and you can see how they develop and change over time. But there are always surprises too. My experience over the years of going to this exhibit is that it’s part great shopping for one of a kind gifts and part fine art exhibit. The level of the work can be art museum quality and is just a joy to explore. With the work of over 200 juried artists being shown and sold, there is something for every artistic taste. The rich diversity and talent attracts collectors and gallery owners as well as shoppers.

Wendy Seaward's "intuitive beading"

Wendy Seaward’s “intuitive beading”

A Tiny Sampling of What’s in Store:

One of the artists returning for this show is Wendy Seaward. She calls her stunning intricate jewelry “intuitive beading”.

Her work ranges from very affordable one-of-a-kind earrings to amazing beaded masks and neck piece collages of stones and beads.

Harry Hearn with his pottery

Harry Hearn with his pottery

Harry Hearn is another artist returning for this show. He posed with his incredible clay works for me during the July Crafts Fair.

Rebecca Kempson’s intricate and incredible life-like dolls will be there as well and they are totally riveting to look at.

The guild also hosts craft demonstrations throughout the fair in keeping with their traditional mission of educating the public about the history of crafts in this area of the country and the techniques used. Watch George McCollum create a white oak basket from tree to completed basket. Dede Styles will be demonstrating spinning and the use of natural plant dyes to color yarn. There will be demonstrations of less traditional crafts as well.

One of Rebecca Kempson's haunting dolls

One of Rebecca Kempson’s haunting dolls

And there’s music too! Mountain musicians perform live on the arena stage. Hot Duck Soup will play old time music with the help of “kazoos, slide whistles, banjos, guitars, ukes, an antique cornet, washtub bass and the Cacophonium” on Friday the 18th. Other performers will play everything from gospel, to bluegrass, to American Swing-grass.

Tickets to the 66th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands are $8 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted for free. Hours are Thurs-Sat 10AM to 6PM, Sunday 10AM-5PM.

The Best Waterfalls at DuPont State Forest

September 9th, 2013 by abedofroses

High Falls at DuPont State Forest

High Falls at DuPont State Forest

Right now is the perfect time to tour the waterfalls of Western North Carolina. This summer’s wet weather has cleared so we’re having sunny warm days and cool nights, yet the water levels are still high enough to give us a great show cascading over the rocks. And everything is lush and green! Labor Day is over so the crowds have thinned as well. DuPont State Forest, usually very popular, was not very busy at all the other day and offers the most spectacular waterfalls just a short hike from the parking areas. Scenes from The Hunger Games were filmed here and several of the waterfalls were featured in the movie The Last of the Mohicans. You’ll see what attracts film-makers to this beautiful place!

New Pedestrian Bridge over the Little River

New Pedestrian Bridge over the Little River

The park has made several improvements this year. The High Falls Access Area is now home to the new Aleen Steinberg Visitors Center and new restroom facilities. A pretty new Pedestrian Bridge spanning the Little River now leads from the expanded Hooker Falls Parking area to the Hooker Falls and Triple Falls trails.

Main access is at the High Falls Access Area but if you park at the Hooker Falls lot you can take an easy hike that includes three waterfalls, Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls. Hooker Falls is only 15 feet high but pretty and is a short walk from the parking area.

Triple Falls

Triple Falls

Returning to the pedestrian bridge you can then hike about a half mile to Triple Falls for much more spectacular views. There are some great vantage points from the trail and from the picnic area above but you can also walk down the steps to the base of the middle falls. I think I counted 111 steps but it’s well worth it and the folks at Western Piedmont Community College, who build the steps along with DuPont Staff, mercifully built in benches along the way to rest on your way back up!

The full view of High Falls

The full view of High Falls

The trail continues to High Falls which is 150 feet high and almost as wide. This section of the trail is fairly level and it surprised me to see how calm the Little River is between these two large waterfalls. By the time you can hear the falls you’re almost there. There are good views from the trail and beyond the overlook is a set of stairs and an uphill path to another picnic shelter with views.

If you have more energy than we did that day, or if you access High Falls from the High Falls Access area and it’s new trail connector you can continue to the covered bridge above High Falls with a view of the water spilling over the falls. At the other side of the bridge is the way to Grassy Creek Falls via Buck Forest Road and the Lake Imaging trail. Lake Denise is beyond that with crystal clear waters and swimming allowed.

Bridal Veil Falls from the back on ncwaterfalls.com

Bridal Veil Falls from the back on ncwaterfalls.com

We didn’t make it to Bridal Veil Falls but it’s one of the few waterfalls that you can walk underneath and view from behind the water! The Last of the Mohicans showed the falls from this perspective. Bridal Veil Falls is the first of the waterfalls on the Little River.

The DuPont State Forest is a short drive from Asheville occupying over 10,000 gorgeous acres between Brevard and Hendersonville. For more information go to their website http://www.dupontforest.com. Don’t miss information on the Tour De Falls coming up October 12th and 13th.

For more photos of Waterfalls in the Asheville area go to our Photo Gallery!

 

 

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses: A Romantic Honeymoon Breakfast for Two

September 7th, 2013 by abedofroses

An Intimate Breakfast for Two

An Intimate Breakfast for Two

There is nothing like opening the front door of your inn to a bride, still in her wedding dress, standing there with her new husband, straight from the wedding reception. That’s one of the best reasons for being an innkeeper. We recently had some newlyweds that were lucky enough to have the whole inn to themselves for one night of their honeymoon. We served them this elegant but easy two-course breakfast at our romantic little table for two.

  • Persian Watermelon Salad
  • Chived eggs in Puff Pastry
  • Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
  • Chicken Apple Sausage
  • Juice and coffee
Chived Eggs in Puff Pastry with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Chived Eggs in Puff Pastry with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

 

For this menu you start the side dish first.

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven for 400°.
  2. Wash and chop 2 medium to large Red Bliss Potatoes into a medium dice.
  3. Peel 1/2 of a large Sweet Potato and chop into a medium dice.
  4. Combine into a ceramic casserole dish. Add chopped fresh rosemary and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with Olive Oil.
  5. Bake for 1 hr., stirring well once after 30 minutes

 

The Main Course consists of eggs served in a nest of puff pastry. While the potatoes are roasting:

  1. Whisk 3 eggs per person with 1 Tablespoon of creamy ranch dressing per person.
  2. Add chopped fresh chives to taste and put aside.
  3. For the puff pastry you can use the canned pastry sheets* made by the folks who brought you canned crescent rolls. These are the perfect size for 4 servings. (When we prepare this breakfast for two, we get to have some too!)
  4. Lay the pastry sheet out on a wooden surface and cut into 4 squares.
  5. Spray a Texas Muffin Tin with nonstick spray and arrange the pastry squares in the bottom of each one with the corners draped over the sides.
  6. Put aside until the first course is prepared.
Persian Watermelon Rose Salad

Persian Watermelon Rose Salad

For the first course:

We inherited this refreshing watermelon salad recipe from the previous innkeepers here at A Bed of Roses and we love it. The sweetness of the watermelon is combined with sweet dates and set off perfectly with salty pistachios. A little detective work led me to the original source of the recipe. The link to the complete recipe is here at The Nourishing Gourmet. It’s simple to prepare and the organic rose petals and edible rosewater raise this fruit salad to the level of “elegant”, especially if you own a melon scoop. We serve it in dainty glass bowls.

Put aside the watermelon salad and start the eggs.

  1. Melt a tsp of butter in a large nonstick frying pan. When the foam subsides pour the egg mixture into the pan and turn to low.
  2. If preparing enough eggs for 4 you will cook for approximately 20 minutes, using a spatula in long slow strokes to keep the eggs from sticking. If preparing just enough for 2 it will take a few minutes less, but beware of cooking them too fast or stirring them too often. Turn the heat off and cover when the eggs are still slightly wet and serve the first course. The eggs will continue to cook.
  3. While the eggs are cooking bake the puffed pastry squares in a preheated 375° oven for 11 minutes. If you don’t have a second oven or toaster oven you can bake these before the potatoes and reheat just before serving.
  4. To serve, mound the eggs lightly into the puff pastry cups, spilling over a little.
  5. Sprinke the roasted potatoes with seasoned salt and serve alongside the egg cup.
  6. Garnish with a slice of fresh ripe tomato, green and yellow pepper slices and parsley.

*Just a note: when I first bought the inn I diligently searched for puff pastry recipes online, but when I found them they almost always said making it from scratch was time consuming and unnecessary. The frozen puff pastry is fine. For this recipe the canned sheets make the perfect amount and add a touch of sweetness to complement the savory eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

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