Sunday, March 25, 2012

APP Angels- Quilt Trails, Poor Man's Suppers and More- THE COVE AT CELO MOUNTAIN


Backyard of an estate home within THE COVE AT CELO MOUNTAIN

One of our favorite breakfast spots in Burnsville, NC
Blue Ridge Regional Fitness Center in Burnsville, NC
Mary Jane's Organic Cafe - you'll never see these empty tables!
view from the cabin porch
Mayland Continuing Eduacation - MassageTherapy
Parkway Playhouse - NC's oldest continuously operating summer theater
Historic Yancey Movie Theater
Poor Man's Supper - Ramps and Streaked Meat

and like our mountains - there are beauties to behold everywhere you look.
I am going to call this APP Angels - Appalachian Angels  - the people and places that make this place so special and unique.

When you get here, one of the things that will tug at you the most, is to get deeper back into the mountains.  The All-American small towns around are our roots, the mountains are our souls - the places and people expressions of our spirits.

Let me see if I can express this a little better.  At the break of dawn, I head to Appalachian Java for specialty organic coffees and homemade breakfast delights that include local sausage.  Then, I move on to the  Blue Ridge Fitness Center with  Bradford Pear and blooming cherry trees beckoning me out-of-doors for the cardio part of my workout.  For lunch, I stop by Mary Jane's organic cafe for salads, homemade specials and baked good - often with live blue grass music as the backdrop.  Work?  OK, at least I can sit on the porch with my laptop and listen to the birds, the sound of the rushing creek, and watch the antics of the wild turkeys. Then, I head to any of the following for a drive through the mountains and a homemade dinner - unless, of course, I prefer to stay on the porch and move from the work table to the hammock and a great book.  The evenings offer courses in Continuing Education at Mayland Community College (ranked #4 in America by Washington Monthly and free for the over-60 crowd) for classes in everything from basket-weaving (according to the Fibonacci method), to foreign languages for travel, to welding for use on-the-job or in Trashformation Art.  Theater?  Sure - world-premiere stage theater at our Parkway Playhouse - North Carolina's oldest continuously operating summer theater - or the latest movie at our historic Yancey Theater ($5 a ticket and free soft drink refills).

One of my absolute favorite things, though, are community suppers.  These include:
*Empty Bowl Suppers (we are the hometown of the founders of this non-profit that has raised millions for the relief of local and world hunger.)  Homemade soup and bread anyone?  Take home the handcrafted bowl in which your soup was served.  Every time you look at it in your cabinet, remember those who go without and embrace the power of one to change that.
*Then there are the Monday night free homemade suppers for the community at Higgins Memorial Methodist, as well as the constant fundraiser suppers for the firemen, Lion's Club, various churches, ad infinitum.
*You will want to go to at least one Poor Man's Supper.  Now this is not to feed just poor people but to raise money for those in need.  Here in the mountains those translate into Streaked Meat ("streaked" is pronounced as 2 syllables - not 1- a local favorite.)  My tiny church with about 30 in attendance will have 100 at these fundraisers- IF we serve the Streak-ed Meat, pinto beans, ham, corn bread, coleslaw and dessert - menu does not vary.)
*Ramp Suppers - only in the spring when the wild ramps are harvested.  Every group tries to out-cook the other with a new recipe.  Knife and Fork used ramps to help them win the WNC Chef Challenge in 2011 against Grove Park Inn, Biltmore Estates, etc.

We have food for your soul as well as your stomach.  This is another local non-profit that is spreading through the nation - our Quilt Trails.  Everyone knows that handmade quilts are one of our Appalachian cultural treasures.   THE COVE AT CELO MOUNTAIN helped this established non-profit when it was first emerging by being its Corporate Sponsor for over 2 years.  Enjoy the heritage and beauty of this ancient art on our historic barns (many old tobacco barns), cabins, homes, and public buildings.  The names of the Quilt Blocks give a hint of the stories that are written on each and available for purchase. (My humble abode and quilt block is included in these!)


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