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An Ofﬁcial Publication of Your Locally Owned Municipal Electric System
Just Divine Tea Room serves heavenly cuisine in a former church
Hearth & Soul
Twin Forks Farm Artisan Bread perfects the art of break making
Travel, tips and tidbits at a glance
I Have Seen the Lights
Nearly 1 million lights create a nighttime fantasyland at Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 22, 2013 through Jan. 4, 2014 (closed Christmas Eve night). The award-winning display includes more than 30 lighted holiday scenes, from trains to toy soldiers. Guests can also enjoy gingerbread cookie decorating, hot chocolate, photos with Santa, live music in the pavilion, Sugar Plum Fairy makeovers for children and the VIP Dinner with Santa Experience. For more information, call (800) 854-0675 or visit seerockcity.com.
An Appalachian Christmas
Long before the latest electronic gadgets topped the Christmas lists of children everywhere, the holiday was ﬁlled with simple pleasures. You can relive Christmas of yesteryear at the Museum of Appalachia’s Christmas in Old Appalachia event, which runs Dec. 7-24, 2013. Located in Clinton, the Museum of Appalachia is a relaxing retreat. Paper chains and sweet gum and sycamore balls decorate the museum’s log buildings, and stockings hung in the cabins are ﬁlled with fruits, nuts and handmade toys. Bring the family to sing Christmas carols in the Homestead House before enjoying hot chocolate and Christmas cookies by the ﬁreplace. The museum restaurant serves meals from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and the gift shop sells hand-crafted ornaments, locally made jellies and stocking stuffers. For more information, call (865) 494-7680 or visit museumofappalachia.org.
That familiar chill in the air means it’s time to light up the ﬁreplace, and it’s important to know about the wood you choose. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, the type of ﬁrewood (soft or hard, maple or pine) isn’t as important as its age. Good ﬁrewood should be well-seasoned, very dry, cut in short logs (preferably split) from six months to a year in advance and properly stored. Soft woods like pine, juniper, spruce, poplar and cedar tend to burn quickly and provide a ﬁre that doesn’t last long. Hardwoods like maple, oak and hickory burn more slowly due to their density, producing a longer lasting ﬁre. If you buy wood from a vendor, look for signs of well-seasoned wood, such as darkened ends with cracks or splits and light weight. If you choose to burn green wood, know that it will deliver lots of smoke, little heat and large quantities of gooey black (and highly ﬂammable) creosote, meaning you’ll have to do extra cleaning to prevent chimney ﬁres.
Winter 2013-14 Edition Content Coordinator Rachel Bertone Content Director Jessy Yancey Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Contributing Writers Laura Hill, Leslie LaChance, Roben Mounger, Jessica Mozo Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Creative Services Director Christina Carden Graphic Designer Matt West Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers, Michael Conti, Wendy Jo O’Barr, Frank Ordonez, Michael Tedesco Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf Ad Trafﬁc Assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan 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 Holmberg V.P./External Communications Teree Caruthers V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./Content Operations Natasha Lorens Controller Chris Dudley Integrated Media Manager Robin Robertson Tennessee Connections is published quarterly by Journal Communications Inc. for participating members of the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association. TMEPA represents 61 municipal power distributors in Tennessee, which serve more than 2 million customers. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067. Phone: 615-771-0080.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about TMEPA, contact: Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association Paddock 1, Suite C-13, 229 Ward Circle Brentwood, TN 37027 Phone 615-373-5738, Fax 615-373-1901 tmepa.org Executive Director Mike Vinson
4 Hearth and Soul
Twin Forks Farm Artisan Bread perfects the art of bread making Just Divine Tea Room serves heavenly cuisine in a former church Make the most of your meals with these tips and tricks
6 Lovely Lunches
©Copyright 2013 Journal Communications Inc. and Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. ON THE COVER: Twin Forks Farm artisan bread, Photo by Jeff Adkins
10 Slow Cooker Secrets
tnconnections Digital Magazine
2 Municipal Power Perspective 3 Tennessee in Focus 12 Taste of Tennessee 14 Winter Activities in Tennessee 17 Connect to Tennessee Products
An Ofﬁcial Publication of Your Locally Owned Municipal Electric System
Just Divine Tea Room serves heavenly cuisine in a former church
Hearth & Soul
Twin Forks Farm Artisan Bread perfects the art of break making
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MUNICIPAL POWER PERSPECTIVE
Director of Government Relations Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association
Alcoa Electric Department Athens Utilities Board Benton County Electric System Bolivar Energy Authority Bristol Tennessee Essential Services Brownsville Utility Department Carroll County Electrical Department Electric Power Board of Chattanooga CDE Lightband – Clarksville Cleveland Utilities Clinton Utilities Board Columbia Power & Water System Cookeville Department of Electricity Covington Electric System Dayton Electric Department Dickson Electric System Dyersburg Electric System Elizabethton Electric Department Erwin Utilities Etowah Utilities Department Gallatin Department of Electricity Greeneville Light & Power System Harriman Utility Board Humboldt Utilities Jackson Energy Authority Jellico Electric & Water Systems Johnson City Power Board Knoxville Utilities Board LaFollette Utilities Lawrenceburg Utility Systems Lenoir City Utilities Board Lewisburg Electric System Lexington Electric System Loudon Utilities City of Maryville Electric Department McMinnville Electric System Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division Milan Department of Public Utilities Morristown Utility Commission Mount Pleasant Power System Murfreesboro Electric Department Nashville Electric Service Newbern Electric Department Newport Utilities City of Oak Ridge Electric Department Paris Board of Public Utilities Pulaski Electric System Ripley Power and Light Company Rockwood Electric Utility Sevier County Electric System Shelbyville Power System Smithville Electric System Sparta Electric System Springﬁeld Electric Department Sweetwater Utilities Board Trenton Light & Water Department Tullahoma Utilities Board Union City Electric System Weakley County Municipal Electric System Winchester Utilities
Municipal electric power systems stand by position on pole attachments
When Bill Johnson, president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, spoke in July 2013, he spoke about serving stakeholders and focusing on service, not proﬁts. This applies to all aspects of operating a municipal electric power system. We certainly agree. Members of Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association (TMEPA) strive to serve their customers in the best way possible. All municipal electric power systems are nonproﬁt organizations. However, costs are an issue that affects everyone. One that could substantially increase our costs is pole attachments. We own and maintain power poles. For-proﬁt entities (cable companies) want subsidies from us to lower their cost. They attach their cables to our poles and feel entitled to use them. However, they do not want to pay adequately for this privilege. They only want to pay for the one-foot portion on which their line hangs without paying for the portion of the pole between their line and the ground that gets all the wires at a safe height. Essentially, they want to pay for the use of the bottom foot of the pole, but they want to use a foot higher up on the pole. In addition to not wanting to pay for the support space, they do not want to pay for any safety space, the area required between
power lines and attaching company lines, which is necessary for their own workers to avoid coming into contact with high-voltage electric lines. The cable companies want to pay the least amount possible. The average rate to attach to a municipal electric system’s power poles is $16 per year, which is far cheaper than what it would cost to install their own poles. Instead, they want the municipal electric system to do the work and maintenance. This is the same as subsidizing their company. The TVA says that we cannot subsidize our services. That means that any additional cost we take on by allowing cable companies to attach to our poles, we have to pass on those costs to our consumers. It would not be fair to you, and it would be in opposition to our TVA contract for us to charge lower fees to the cable companies attachments. A recent Kentucky Public Service Commission rule regarding jurisdiction of TVA as a regulator afﬁrmed this position. Their decision was that federal law preempts state law regarding pole attachments. The TMEPA and its members enjoy the opportunity to serve you. We will continue ﬁghting against issues and operate in a manner that provides the best service at the lowest possible cost.
TN IN FOCUS
Photo by Jeffrey S. Otto
Snowfall on Burke Hollow Road in Williamson County
JEFFREY S. OTTO
Twin Forks Farm Artisan Bread perfects the art of bread making
It’s six in the morning, a time when most people are snuggling down for that last half hour of sleep. For David Tannen, however, the day is well under way in ﬂour, water and sourdough starter. For most bakers, this pre-dawn drill is familiar stuﬀ. But Tannen’s routine is diﬀerent, an echo of a millenniums-old tradition. “People have been baking bread in just this way forever,” Tannen says as he dashes from the cooler into the room where you can see orange ﬂames scouring the roof of his brick oven. “My bread is good for you,” he says, “bread that really is the staﬀ of life.” Tannen is an artisan baker who makes bread from additiveand preservative-free ingredients, baking it in wood-ﬁred brick ovens. Dense, chewy and ﬂavorful, his bread bears little resemblance to commercially produced bread, even from high-end bakeries. Tannen’s Twin Forks Farm bread comes in several varieties: Bohemian Three-Seed, Heritage Sunﬂower, Spelt and more. The recipes are from friends, colleagues and his own imagination. Tannen’s whole-wheat ﬂour comes from an organic mill in Vermont. The ﬂour is supplemented with other natural ingredients such as rye, millet and buckwheat. While his breads have a very nominal amount of salt, they have no added sugar, eggs, oil or dairy, and no commercial yeast. While the bread bakes, Tannen begins the latest product of Twin Forks Farm – organic granola. He roasts and toasts ingredients into three types of granola: Cranberry Almond, Maple Almond and Raisin Orange Walnut. Like the bread, it’s made without automation. It’s hand-measured and packed into 12-ounce containers.
Tannen jokes that the serving size should be measured by the handful since it more accurately reﬂects how it’s eaten. Tannen’s bakery adjoins his home on his 60-acre Twin Forks Farm in Primm Springs, Tenn. Pulling up to the farm, you’re greeted by a couple of farm dogs and a reassuring call, “They’re friendly – don’t worry.” Tannen greets you with a ﬂoury hand. Tall, lanky, in his mid-50s, he looks more like a college professor than a baker. He came to his new career in 2007, though, he says he’s always been interested in providing people with nutritious food.” He began cooking as a child and got serious in his late 20s. Over time, his interest in healthy food broadened, and he turned from jewelry sales to selling nutritional products. Tannen and his wife, Laura, left a home in Nashville several years ago so David could try his hand at his longtime dream of farming. Within a few years, he found out it was too much for one person. In the meantime, Tannen rediscovered a book about brick ovens and decided to build one. “These ovens are the same all over the world,” says Tannen, who dug the clay for his from a hillside 20 feet away. His ﬁrst brick oven built, Tannen began baking bread. “It tended to get a little burned, but people loved it,” he says. And so did Tannen. He built his second oven in 2007. A vast improvement over the ﬁrst, his current indoor oven can hold 42 loaves of bread. It takes two days to prepare the oven for baking and it’s fueled by hickory heartwood sticks. “Time and temperature are absolutely critical in making bread.
David Tannen of Twin Forks Farm bakes artisan bread using a brick oven.
If you are not precise with them, you’re really just taking a shot in the dark,” says Tannen. After mixing the dough with his hands, Tannen lets it rest in a cooler for an 18- to 22-hour fermentation that results in more intense ﬂavor, enhanced nutritional value and easier digestibility. Because of this process, some customers who avoid gluten are able to eat his sourdough loaves. After the dough rises, is kneaded and risen again, it’s made into rough loaves, reformed and baked directly on the brick ﬂoor of the oven. He bakes twice a week. In the winter he bakes about 120 loaves a week, triple in the spring, and hopes to grow to 500 loaves a week. Tannen sells his Twin Forks Farm bread and granola at several farmers markets and locations, including Whole Foods and more, across the state. For more information, call (931) 729-9745 or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TwinForksFarm.
Clockwise from top left: Mary Lou McMahan hosts tea parties at Just Divine for children ages 5 and up; the restaurant serves delicious salads, fabulous chicken salad and tasty desserts; Just Divine Tea Room is located in the former Hale’s Point Baptist Church. 6
Just Divine Tea Room serves heavenly cuisine in a former church
Though the atmosphere of Just Divine Tea Room is country-casual, visitors might be inspired to wear their Sunday best when stopping by for a weekday lunch. That’s because the eatery makes itself home in the former Hale’s Point Baptist Church. But no matter how they dress, customers will ﬁnd themselves singing the praises of the tasty, home-style fare. In 1998, Charlene Roberts spotted a vacant country church while checking crops on the family farm with her husband, Ronnie. They bought the 50-year-old clapboard building and moved it to its current location at Charlene’s Colony of Shoppes on Highway 88, where it joined a thriving group of quaint boutiques. After a year of renovation, the former church sanctuary was transformed into the main dining room, a cheerful space painted yellow with white wainscoting
accents. The walls are covered with eye-catching décor – an antique lamp, a landscape print, blue-and-white china, a ceramic rooster – all for sale, part of Roberts’ inventory from her home furnishings store. The smaller former Sunday school rooms, called the Blue Toile and the Green and White rooms, are designed for more intimate dining. A one-room house relocated by the Roberts now serves as a larger formal dining room. Adorned in rich reds and earthy browns, it’s perfect for large groups and private parties. The loving attention to detail in the décor carries over into the food. Just Divine’s simple menu features gourmet deli sandwiches and salads, such as the zingy mandarin orange salad with honey-pecan dressing, as well as daily specials, like the creamy pesto pasta with grilled chicken or shrimp. The restaurant’s fabulous chicken
salad, which began as one of Charlene’s recipe improvisations, has become something of a local legend. Folks order it for sandwiches, and they take it home by the pint. No wonder; it’s made daily from fresh chicken breast (no canned meat here), red seedless grapes, chopped red and green bell peppers, almonds, and a light honey-mustard-andmayo dressing. Don’t miss homemade scrumptious sweets like chocolate cobbler, hot-fudge cake or yummy apple dumplings. Other heavenly desserts are available seasonally.
THE DISH ON JUST DIVINE TEA ROOM Just Divine Tea Room, located at 2257 Highway 88 W. in Halls, just south of Dyersburg, is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dessert is served until 3 p.m. Call (731) 836-6113 for more information.
Top: Guests enjoy a relaxed lunch at Just Divine Tea Room in Halls. Bottom: Mismatched chairs and unique décor gives the tea room its charm. 8
Slow Cooker Secrets
Make the most of your meals with these tips and tricks
The winter season is here, and its blustery, snowy weather may keep you from venturing outside, but it lends itself perfectly to indulging in warm, hearty meals. Slow cookers are ideal for making delicious dishes in big batches, so you’ll have leftovers to keep you cozy for days. They’re pretty easy too – just toss in the ingredients, wait a few hours and you’ve got dinner. To help get the most ﬂavor out of slow cooker dishes, keep these simple tips in mind: When making dishes with proteins, brown your meat in a saute pan before adding them to the slow cooker. For best results, remove the excess fat and skin from meats, such as poultry. Browning helps build the ﬂavor. Do the same for onions, garlic, dried herbs and spices for a balanced ﬂavor. Always use dried herbs when slow cooking, and if you want to refresh a ﬂavor once your dish is done, you can always add fresh herbs at the end. As a general rule, dishes that are to be cooked on the
“low” setting, can be cooked on “high” for half the amount of time. While your dish is cooking, never remove the lid. Slow cookers can lose 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time when the lid is removed. Never place frozen foods in a slow cooker, and never ﬁll it more than two-thirds full or less than halfway full. This helps for optimum performance. If you ﬁll it too full or less than halfway, your dish could burn or take longer to cook that stated in the recipe. If you’re making a recipe that calls for layered ingredients, layer them in the slow cooker so that the densest ingredients (such as potatoes) are at the bottom. These take longer to cook, so they need to be closest to the heat source. Once your dish is ready, a squeeze of lime juice or drizzle of vinegar will enhance ﬂavors. A scattering of fresh herbs also adds ﬂavor, color and texture. Ready to test out the tips? Try our recipe for Hearty White Bean Chicken Chili.
Hearty White Bean Chicken Chili
2 cups rotisserie chicken 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon canola oil 6 cups chicken stock 2 cans great northern beans 1 large yellow onion, ﬁnely chopped salt and freshly ground pepper 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional 6 green onions, ﬁnely chopped ¹⁄³ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped sour cream for garnish, optional
In a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon canola oil and chicken. Brown chicken slightly to bring out the ﬂavor. Add onion, 1 teaspoon salt, several grinds of pepper and saute until soft. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne to taste, and stir together for 2-3 minutes to release ﬂavors. Transfer contents to the slow cooker. Add the chicken stock, beans and the bay leaf. Turn slow cooker on high and let cook for 6-8 hours. Discard bay leaf. Ladle chili into bowls and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.
JEFFREY S. OTTO
TASTE OF TN
Icebox cookie recipes rest on grandmothers’ laurels
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roben Mounger cooks today as she has for the past 20 years, using seasonal elements produced by her local CSA and farmers market. Inspired by the musings of Barbara Kingsolver in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, she spent a year in a farm internship and now writes a column for The Columbia Daily Herald . She connects ideas about healing family and community with homemade food in her blog of revelations and recipes at mscookstable.com.
Icebox cookies were all the rage in the 1960s. Both of my grandmothers, Edwina and Margaret, insisted on a tin of the home-baked goodies when I came for a visit. “What’d your other grandmother have to eat?” would perpetuate a recipe swap resulting in a continuity of dishes between homes, though in diﬀerent towns. As a fan of older cookbooks, I have since surmised that everyone was eating the same sorts of things. Convenience had entered the picture. Canned soup and cheese whiz productions were prevalent. I was never a fan, always preferring fresh to congealed concoctions, but my grandmothers certainly were. By the time I was hanging out with them, they had slowed their tempos, and I was the lucky beneﬁciary. Though they held that similarity, my grandmothers couldn’t have been more opposite. One was tall and broad, the other short and thin; one was friendly, the other reserved; one could whip out a stellar garment without fuss, the other could compose a meal of merit in short order; a teacher, a businesswoman; chaotic, tidy; exaggerator, truthful to a fault. They were
yin and yang, Bert and Ernie, and the contrasting classroom held signiﬁcance for a tiny club of one, their granddaughter. The full impact of such tutelage is just now resonating, such as the way they were a wee bit anxious to prove their abilities to be “hip.” As young as I was, impressions were made during the show-and-tell of their individual worlds. Inhabiting their ages now, I occupy their anxieties with concern for relevance and purpose. But the icebox cookies would prove to be a comforting constant. Edwina lived in a former pecan orchard and provided the nuts for both kitchens. Margaret’s contribution was the recipe. After her passing, I searched for the handwritten instructions amid her belongings. They were reportedly inside the long, narrow and mysterious closet that she referred to as Noah’s Ark. “Why Noah’s Ark?” I inquired. “Because there are two of everything in there!” she shouted. Sadly, not even a trace of the icebox cookie recipe could be found. Decades later, while ﬂipping through Helen Exum’s
Icebox Cookies With Fresh Herbs
¹/³ cup of fresh chopped herbs, such as a mix of lavender, mint, thyme, rosemary and parsley 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened ½ cup sugar 1 large egg 2 ½ cups all-purpose ﬂour, plus extra ﬂour to roll out cookies ½ teaspoon salt
Combine herbs and vanilla in a bowl; set aside. With a mixer, cream butter and sugar until ﬂuffy. Add egg and beat well. Stir in herb mixture. In a separate bowl, blend the four with the salt. Gradually beat ﬂour mixture into the butter mixture. Form the dough into a ball, wrap well and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a well-ﬂoured board. and cut with cookie cutters or a glass. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
JEFFREY S. OTTO
Chattanooga Cook Book, the recipe appeared under the name of one Hilda Spence. She was the church editor of then-local newspaper Chattanooga News-Free Press and quite beloved, presenting culinary gifts to hundreds of area residents, including the boys at the city desk. Fortune shined a light on those instructions just in time for my ﬁrst granddaughter’s teeth, so I’m sure to bake up a tin as soon as she can chew. Even so, I found my own special version to promote in the name of growing a few herbs. Just like Edwina and Margaret, I’m committed to continual exploration embellished with quirky escapades and questionable motives. Life will be colorful particularly when my tiny club is around, because she is going to need my story.
Hilda Spence’s Icebox Cookies
½ cup brown sugar, ﬁrmly packed ½ cup powdered sugar 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1 egg 3 cups ﬂour, plus extra ﬂour to roll out cookies ½ cup nuts, chopped 1 tablespoon vanilla
Cream butter and sugars. Add the egg, ﬂour, nuts and vanilla, and mix well. Roll in waxed paper in rolls, and chill in icebox at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a well-ﬂoured board and cut with cookie cutters or a glass. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. (Can be doubled.) Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. Harris Gregg
Winter in Tennessee
Festivals, celebrations, activities and more
Smith County Hometown Christmas – Dec. 1, Carthage
Guests can celebrate the season in Carthage. Head to the the Christmas open house event, go on horse drawn carriage rides, participate in the gingerbread house contest, see music performances, live nativity scenes and more. The Historic Smith County Courthouse is open as well as local businesses. The event begins at 1 p.m. CONTACT: (615) 735-2093, smithcountychamber.org
TSSAA BlueCross Bowl – Dec. 5-7, Cookeville
The Tennessee Tech University campus will be buzzing with excitement as teams from across the state compete to be the best in their divisions on the impressive Tucker Stadium ﬁeld. The games span three days with multiple games each day. Concession stands will be open with refreshments. CONTACT: cookevillechampions.com
Ruby Red Christmas – Dec. 6-28, Chattanooga
Celebrate the holidays 1,120 feet underground at Ruby Falls with festive music, a light show and more. CONTACT: (423) 821-2544, rubyfalls.com
Maury Christmas Historic Home Tour – Dec. 6-7, Columbia
This year’s annual tour will feature a dozen historic sites in Maury County. Organized by the Maury County APTA, proceeds from the tour go toward the renovation of the Athenaeum Rectory in Columbia. CONTACT: (931) 381-4822, maurychristmas.com
1850 Holiday Decorations and Treats Workshop – Dec. 7, Dover
Step back in time during this ﬁve-hour workshop as you learn how to make two different Victorian decorations and one tasty, traditional treat from the holiday season in the 1850’s. There is a $50 registration with a full deposit required for the event. CONTACT: (270) 924-2020, lbl.org Celebrate Ruby Red Christmas Dec. 6-28 at Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Christmas at Historic Rugby – Dec. 7, Rugby
Visit beautifully decorated historic homes in Rugby, sure to bring an old-fashioned Christmas holiday season to life. CONTACT: (888) 214-3400, historicrugby.org
This listing includes a selection of events of statewide interest scheduled in December, January and February as provided to Tennessee Home & Farm by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. To include your local events in our listing, please contact them at www.tnvacation.com. Due to space constraints, we are unable to list all of the events provided or accept unsolicited events. However, you can ﬁnd additional information and events at the department’s website. Events are subject to date change or cancellation. Please call the contact listed before traveling long distances to attend. 14
Mansker’s Station Yulefest – Dec. 7, Goodlettsville
Ring in the holiday season 1780s style. For one night, the historic site opens its doors for a free night of old-tyme festivities. Guests Tennessee Connections
can enjoy refreshments in the Visitor’s Center along with live music, then head outside to enjoy entertainment by candlelight at both Mansker’s Fort and the Bowen House. CONTACT: manskersstation.org
Christmas in Old Appalachia – Dec. 7-24, Norris
Experience the simple joys of an old-fashioned Christmas with music, cabins decorated in pioneer style, storytelling, crafts and more at the Museum of Appalachia. CONTACT: (865) 494-7680, museumofappalachia.org
Civil War Comes to the Homeplace – Dec. 14, Dover
The land between the rivers has been occupied by federal troops and under martial law since the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson in February 1862. Learn how the family farms, especially women, faced many challenges to keep the family fed, clothed and farm operating. Experience the fears of the farm family and learn how they persevered though the hardships. Then, visit the Confederate encampment and learn how civilians coped with their new role as soldiers. CONTACT: lbl.org
Oaklands Candlelight Tour of Homes – Dec. 7, Murfreesboro
This annual tour of homes ushers in the holiday season. The event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. and features beautiful and historic private homes as well as the graceful Oaklands Mansion. Set in the historic district of Murfreesboro, stops along the tour will be festively adorned historical homes and churches, dressed in holly and evergreens. CONTACT: (615) 893-0022, oaklandsmuseum.org/index.php
“A Christmas Carol” – Dec. 13-15, 21-23, Hendersonville
Presented by the Actors Point Theatre Company, this critically acclaimed and non-traditional production has many surprises, and captures the true essence of the holiday season. Tickets available for dinner and performance or performance only. CONTACT: (615) 431-9620, actorspointtheatre.com
Granville Country Christmas – Dec. 14, Granville
Celebrate a County Christmas in Granville. This year’s theme is a Victorian Christmas. Enjoy Christmas musicals, the Festival of Trees, an antique toy show, a parade, children events and rides and much more! CONTACT: granvilletn.com
Bethlehem Marketplace – Dec. 7-8, Murfreesboro
The Bethlehem Marketplace is a walk-through drama re-enacting how the village of Bethlehem might have appeared the morning after the birth of Jesus. Experience the Christmas story with live camels and other animals lending authenticity to the re-enactment. CONTACT: sebaptist.org
7th Annual Toyota East vs. West Tennessee All-Star Classic – Dec. 14, Cookeville
All-star football players from across the state come together to battle in this best-of-the-best competition. CONTACT: taca.net
3rd Annual TN River Holiday Tour of Homes – Dec. 14-15, Decaturville
Families volunteer their homes for a
weekend viewing during the Christmas holidays in support of the Decatur County CASA, a non-proﬁt organization beneﬁtting abused and neglected children. Tickets may be purchased through the organization’s ofﬁce. CONTACT: (731) 852-2632
ﬁreworks show for the 26th year. CONTACT: gatlinburg.com
Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Jan. 20, Memphis
Programs at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis celebrate the birthday of Dr. King. CONTACT: (901) 521-9699, civilrightsmuseum.org
Tennessee Aquarium’s New Year’s Family Sleep in the Deep – Dec. 31-Jan.1
Explore the aquarium at night with tours, special activities, pizza, a midnight toast and continental breakfast. CONTACT: (423) 267-3474, tnaqua.org
Dickens of a Christmas – Dec. 14-15, Franklin
A Victorian-themed Christmas with more than 200 costumed characters reenacting the work of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” CONTACT: (615) 591-8500, historicfranklin.com
Winter Heritage Festival in the Smokies – Jan. 20-Feb. 1, Townsend
Celebrate the history, natural beauty and cultural traditions of Townsend, Cades Cove and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at this annual festival. CONTACT: (800) 525-6834, smokymountains.org
Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra – Dec. 19, Murfreesboro
Get in the Christmas spirit by attending the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra’s annual Christmas concert, Sounds of Christmas. The Orchestra will be joined by the MSO Chorus for a stunning production of traditional fanfare that surrounds our most beloved season! CONTACT: murfreesborosymphony.com
Elvis Presley’s Birthday Celebration – Jan. 8-11, Memphis
Elvis Presley fans celebrate what would have been his 77th birthday, including enjoying a grand birthday cake. CONTACT: (800) 238-2000, elvis.com
Wilderness Wildlife Week – Jan. 25-Feb. 1, Pigeon Forge
The ultimate Smoky Mountain experience is a series of activities sure to connect Pigeon Forge visitors with the great outdoors. Experts share their knowledge at seminars, lectures and hands-on workshops. CONTACT: (800) 251-9100, mypigeonforge.com
Tennessee Sandhill Crane Viewing Festival – Dec. 14, Cookeville
Join in the celebration of the thousands of Sandhill Cranes that migrate through or spend the winter at the conﬂuence of the Hiwassee and Tennessee Rivers near Birchwood. Festival activities will be held at the Birchwood Elementary School, the Hiwassee Refuge, the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park and the Rhea County Welcome Center. CONTACT: tncranefestival.org
Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show & Ball Drop – Dec. 31, Gatlinburg
Deemed the “Best New Year’s Eve Show in the South,” the Space Needle area will come alive at the stroke of midnight with a fabulous
Annual Reelfoot Lake Eagle Festival – Jan. 31-Feb. 1, Tiptonville
Visitors can enjoy eagle tours, vendors, a bird of prey show, an art contest and photography tours at Reelfoot Lake. CONTACT: reelfoottourism.com
Chocolate Tour – Feb. 8, Covington
Visitors can sample decadent chocolates among Covington’s Historic Square and vote for their favorites. CONTACT: (901) 476-9727, covington-tiptoncochamber.com
Saddle Up – Feb. 19-23, Pigeon Forge
A ﬁve-day celebration of the American West featuring music and poetry from Red Steagall and the Boys in the Bunkhouse, Don Edwards, Hot Club of Cowtown and many more. Activities include a chuck wagon cookoff, cowboy dance and cowboy church. CONTACT: mypigeonforge.com/saddleup
Nashville Lawn & Garden Show – Feb. 27-March 2, Nashville
The timeless appeal and importance of gardens will be celebrated at the 23rd annual Nashville Lawn & Garden Show at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. CONTACT: nashvillelawnandgardenshow.com
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Statewide roundup of favorite ﬁnds
If you’ve never tasted a homemade marshmallow, you’re missing out on a heavenly experience. Irish artist Sarah Souther of Nashville launched her business, The Bang Candy Co., in 2010 after experimenting with concocting different ﬂavors of handmade, artisan marshmallows. She sells the marshmallows (along with plenty of other sweet treats, specialty drinks, coffees and sandwiches) at her Nashville cafe and online. The marshmallows come in several unusual ﬂavors, including Rose Cardamon, Chocolate Chili, Toasted Coconut, Espresso Praline and Orange Ginger Cinnamon. To make them even more tantalizing, each is half-dipped in Belgian chocolate. The mallows can be mail-ordered during the cooler months and stay fresh for 14 days. Visit the Bang Candy Co. online at bangcandycompany.com.
Simplify Gourmet in Farmington has a simple philosophy when it comes to making jams, jellies and salad dressings – pure and natural is best. The company uses pure cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup, whole fruits and berries instead of fruit syrup mixes and locally grown fresh produce rather than frozen. They make their products by hand the old-fashioned way, in small batches in open pots, with no artiﬁcial ﬂavors or preservatives. Their award-winning jams include Strawberry Pecan, Peach Pecan, Blackberry Pecan, Raspberry Pecan, Blueberry Pecan and Cherry Pecan. All-natural salad dressings include Burgundy Poppy Seed, Champagne Honey Mustard and Champagne Celery Seed. The company also makes a sweet, spicy and nutty Pecan Pepper Jelly, which is popular as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers or as a garnish for chicken and pork. Visit them online at simplifygourmet.com.
Ham It Up
No holiday table is complete without a ham, and Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams near Madisonville has you covered. The business was started in 1947 by dairy farmer Albert Hicks, who cured and sold country hams out of a painted block building. Today, it is run by Allan Benton and his employees, who have a knack for knowing how to prepare and preserve country hams in the way of our forefathers. Benton’s hams are slow-cured using salt, brown sugar and sodium nitrate and aged nine to 10 months. You can order them unsmoked or hickory-smoked, whole or sliced. Hickory-smoked country bacon is also available. Just remember to order early – it can take ﬁve weeks or more to receive your ham. Visit bentonscountryham.com for information.
Winter 2013-14 tnconnections.com
JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS 725 COOL SPRINGS BLVD., SUITE 400 FRANKLIN, TN 37067
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE Lebanon Junction, KY 40150 Permit No. 222
Winter Energy-Saving Tips
Tennessee residents can keep heating costs low this winter while remaining warm and cozy and enjoying the season – just by making a few simple changes around the home. Hot Water • Use less by installing low-flow showerheads and fixing leaky spouts. • Try using warm or cold water when washing clothes. Washing one large load instead of several small ones can cut costs too. Fireplaces • To make sure your heat isn’t flowing out the chimney, firmly close the damper – an open damper is equivalent to keeping a full-size window open during the winter.
Focus on these ﬁve areas to stay warm and save money
• Plug and seal your chimney flue if you never use your fireplace. Heating Equipment • Once a month, check your furnace air filter and clean it or replace it – dirty or clogged filters can force furnaces to work harder, costing you more. • Clean your warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators. Make sure carpeting, furniture and drapes aren’t obstructing the heat. Insulation • Leaky doors and windows can be a costly problem.
Save money by caulking and weather-stripping those drafty areas. • Check the insulation in various areas around your home to ensure they meet the levels suggested for your region. Thermostat • Set your thermostat at the lowest comfortable temperature possible when you’re home. • If there is a time during the day when no one is home, set your thermostat at 65 degrees instead of the usual 72. Maintaining 65 degrees for eight hours a day may cut your heating bill by as much as 10 percent.
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