Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe

Smoky Mountain Tamale's are yummy in my tummy!

Smoky Mountain Tamales are yummy in my tummy!

Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the edge of the historic tamale trail? That is right.  Delicious Latin food and culture migrated through this area as it progressed to the North Eastern United States from the Mississippi Delta. The city of Knoxville is still heavily influenced by this cuisine today. Tamales are highly portable and easy to make so it is no wonder they were just as popular then as now.

The Smoky Mountain Cherokee are no strangers to the delights of tamale consumption either! Their version was called bean bread or broadswords and were made with hominy. They boiled corn with wood ashes to make the masa. They stuffed the masa with beans, wrapped them with green corn leaves, cooked and chowed down. Could you imagine creating this simple dish in the vast wilderness of the Smoky Mountains by an open fire? We hope you enjoy this Tamale recipe and feel free to send us some pics especially if you make them on your next Smoky Mountain trip!

Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe.

Marco’s Coca Cola Pineapple Pork Recipe Ingredients:

Twenty ounces of Coca Cola

Three pound pork roast

Salt and Pepper

Fresh Pineapple slices

Chili flakes

Four tablespoons Worcestershire (Wooster) sauce

Masa Ingredients:

Two cups masa harina

Ten ounces of beef broth

One half teaspoon salt

One teaspoon of baking powder

Two-thirds cup of lard (Yes lard, because it makes them so delicious!)

Eight ounces of corn husks

One cup of sour cream (optional)

Continue reading…

Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo Events

Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo events!

Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo events!

Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo Events. Cinco de Mayo (which actually means May 5 in Spanish) is always a Smoky Mountain special event and is probably one of the most misunderstood Mexican holidays. Spoiler alert- it is not Mexico’s Independence Day which falls on September 16. This event has become more of an American holiday than a Mexican one and most non-Mexicans have no idea about the day’s history. In this country the date celebrates food, music and ethnic drinks, along with a dash of Mexican culture. For our Southern neighbor, Cinco de Mayo is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.  In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is called ‘El Día de la Batalla de Puebla’, which means The Day of the Battle of Pueblo. And, according to Carlos Tortolero, president of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, it was definitely an unexpected victory when the Mexican army defeated French troops who were there to collect on war debts that Mexico was having difficulty repaying to European countries,  Throughout centuries Mexico has been invaded by many countries, but Cinco de Mayo celebrates the day Mexico won the battle! So, get your party on, grab some great food and drinks and seek out a Mariachi band. Que vivas durante todos los dias de tu vida  (May you continue to live all the days of your life!). Here are some great Cinco de Mayo events for which ever side of the Smokies you will be on!

Gatlinburg, Tennessee celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a weekend-long party dubbed the Cinco de Loco Tequila Crawl and Fiesta!

The party, which begins Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 735 Parkway in Gatlinburg, is scheduled from 7 p.m. til 1 a.m. The fun begins at either Crawdaddy’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar or Puckers Sports Bar and Grill, and the crawl ends at Loco Burro Fresh-Mex Cantina. Tickets (which cost $40, and are available at the event) include a keepsake wristband (which also entitles the wearer to special drink prices on Sunday); a shot glass necklace; t-shirt; a shot of tequila at participating restaurants; a house-made margarita at Loco Burro Fresh-Mex Cantina; discounted tequila and margaritas, and a chance to try your luck at the Loco Piñata Bash where a lucky hit could break a piñata filled with cash, drink vouchers, and more. Catch sight of the famous Loco Burro around town- snap a selfie, post to Facebook or Instagram, #Tag Loco Burro, Fresh-Mex Cantina and show it to your server to enjoy a free small queso.

Continue reading…

Dollywood Welcomes Wildwood Grove Guests

Make plans to explore Dollywood's new Wildwood Grove!

Make plans to explore Dollywood’s new Wildwood Grove!

Dollywood Welcomes Wildwood Grove Guests beginning May 2019. This is sure to be a great year for America’s favorite theme park. The Wildwood Grove will boast six new themed rides, the amazing Wildwood Tree, outdoor water play zone, four new Woodland characters to interact with and a new restaurant.

Dollywood is known world wide for heart pumping rides and the best music anywhere. The new grove ramps up the fun for the entire family. Kids will love the Tree Top tower offering a sky high view of the grove and surrounding Smoky Mountains while whisking through the air in a giant acorn.

The great tree swing is just what you would expect and more. This swing is big enough for the entire family. Fashioned as a flying leaf boat rising and falling through the air as if on an autumn breeze.

Dollywood's Wildwood Grove is a true family adventure!

Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove is a true family adventure!

The black bear trail is your chance to catch a glimpse of the iconic symbol of the Smoky Mountains, black bear. Be sure and have your camera ready to capture some cuteness.

This exclusive video shares a few of the Wildwood Grove secrets!

Hop on over to the Frogs and Fireflies ride for a fun race around the lily pad pond. Hold on tight astride a giant frog for a fun romp chasing fireflies.

Continue reading…

Smoky Mountain Ramp Pesto Recipe

Smoky Mountain ramps are stinky and delicious!

Smoky Mountain ramps are stinky and delicious!

Smoky Mountain Ramp Pesto Recipe. Ramps, allium tricoccum, have been a Smoky Mountain secret delicacy for generations. This delicious bulb and its greens has a punchy flavor that is half garlic, half onion and 100% delicious!

Ramp hunting is an annual ritual for the HeySmokies culinary team in the mountains near the national park. Ramps are found during April and May in our mountains. These plants have become so popular in recent years that many foragers closely guard the location of their favorite patches. For those who would rather not “ramp tramp” through the woods in search of these culinary treasures you can find your fill at the Cosby Ramp Festival.

Ramp bonus tip: The consumption of ramps often leaves those who enjoy them exuding a pungent rampy scent for a few days. Don’t be surprised if people seem to avoid you and definitely don’t expect anyone to want to do any smooching with you until the scent dissipates.

Continue reading…

Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced

Smoky Mountain synchronous firefly dates announced.

Smoky Mountain synchronous firefly dates announced.

Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced. Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont Campground to observe the naturally occurring phenomenon of Photinus carolinus, a firefly species that flashes synchronously. Since 2006, access to the Elkmont area has been limited to shuttle service beginning at Sugarlands Visitor Center during the eight days of predicted peak activity in order to reduce traffic congestion and provide a safe viewing experience for visitors that minimizes disturbance to these unique fireflies during the critical two-week mating period.

The lottery will be open for applications from Friday, April 26 at 8:00 a.m. until Monday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m. Results of the lottery will be available on Friday, May 10. A total of 1,800 vehicle passes will be available for the event which includes: 1768 regular-parking passes (221 per day) which admit one passenger vehicle up to 19’ in length with a maximum of seven occupants, and 32 large-vehicle parking passes (four per day) which admit one large vehicle (RV, mini-bus, etc.) from 19’ to 30’ in length, with a maximum of 24 occupants. Lottery applicants must apply for either a regular-parking pass or large-vehicle parking pass and then may choose two possible dates to attend the event over the eight-day viewing period.

The lottery system uses a randomized computer drawing to select applications. All lottery applicants will be charged a $1.00 application fee. Successful applicants will automatically be awarded parking passes and a $24.00 reservation fee will be charged to the same credit or debit card used for the application fee. The parking pass permits visitors to park at Sugarlands Visitor Center and allows occupants to access the shuttle service to Elkmont. The $24.00 reservation fee covers the cost of awarding the passes, event supplies, one red-light flashlight per pass, and nightly personnel costs for managing the viewing opportunity at Sugarlands Visitor Center and Elkmont.

Parking passes are non-refundable, non-transferable, and good only for the date issued. There is a limit of one lottery application per household per season. All lottery applicants will be notified by e-mail by May 10 that they were “successful” and awarded a parking pass or “unsuccessful” and not able to secure a parking pass.

Continue reading…