Martin and I recently returned from our much anticipated and much needed spring getaway, and I am suffering some serious bluegrass blues. We gassed up the Subaru and headed south, straight through the heartland of the mid-west with our sights set firmly on Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. Along the way, with bluegrass playing constantly in the background, we fell in love with Lexington, KY; it's scenic byways, sprawling and impressive horse farms and, of course, the bourbon.
We spent an afternoon driving through the countryside, stopping to tour the Woodford Reserve distillery and lunched at The Wallace Station in the back of beyond.
A vintage car show, complete with a country band blaring from an impromptu stage, proved too enticing and we made a u-turn in order to take it in.
As we headed further south and the hills turned into the Smoky Mountains, we hit the town of Knoxville and stopped for lunch. We were almost there. I knew that Blackberry Farm would be everything I had imagined, and we weren't disappointed. As we drove up a narrow country lane, I knew we had arrived somewhere special. For three days, we indulged ourselves.
I swayed in a rocking chair and watched the sun go down past the mountains with a chilled glass of Kentucky bourbon in my hand.
We feasted nightly at the big red barn on spring ramps and morels, charcuterie and fresh cheeses made on the property.
When I visited the fields where so many of the things we were eating came from, I wish I never had to leave.
We said sorrowful goodbyes early one morning and steered the car towards Nashville.
Over a few cold beers, we took in live music at Layla's Bluegrass Inn, ate burgers and fried pickles at Robert's Western World, and then headed to 3rd & Lindsey to watch the amazing Wooten Bros.
Nashville proved to be one of my favorite stops and cities- EVER, and my hangover persisted through four states until we hit the Illinois border.
Having purchased Sam Beall's The Blackberry Farm Cookbook, I thought I would provide you with a few highlights from the book- a few of his favorite spring and summer recipes. I am already planning a smoky mountain inspired birthday celebration this summer with Blackberry Farm specialties. Bluegrass music and dancing will be required.