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About the Valley

Welcome to the November issue. We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. For this issue, you can read about Winterfest, the famous winter celebration in the Smokies, plus the University of Tennessee mens’ and womens’ basketball team schedules, and a great recipe for biscuits. We also have great news to announce—Pine Cone Lodge is now completed and ready for you and your family and friends to visit.


Pine Cone Lodge is a luxurious 4 bedroom cabin located in a private area with beautiful views. We have 4 king beds, a set of bunk beds, and two sleeper sofas. Three of the bedrooms include a private bath. The 4th bedroom is located just a few steps from the outdoor hot tub. The lodge is spacious enough to sleep 14 people, but it is cozy enough for a family of 4.

The lodge has a magnificient fireplace in the living room. A fireplace and kitchen with Jenn-Air grill are located outdoors on the main deck.

You and your family and friends will find so much to do at Pine Cone Lodge. There are 7 satellite televisions (2 are large screen TVs) and 5 DVD players throughout the lodge. You can play games on the XBOX 360 or watch one of the many movies provided for your enjoyment. Other entertainment includes a pool table, game table, and an outdoor fire pit for roasting marshmallows. There are also many card games and board games for family fun.

Here are some pictures that we have taken of the fireplace, game room, and outdoor fire pit. Professional pictures will be appearing soon on our web site www.chestnutridgecabin.com and also on the web site for chestnutridgecabin.com . Check these sites for great pictures and information on rates and availability.


If you are a basketball fan, the University of Tennessee has a great mens’ team under the direction of Coach Bruce Pearl and the Lady Vols basketball team, coached by Pat Summitt, is always a favorite. You can find schedule and ticket information for both the mens’ and womens’ teams at http://www.knoxkoupons.com/2006_mensbb_sched.html.

The Knoxville campus is about an hour away from Wears Valley. A home basketball game in the Thompson-Boling Arena on the UT campus would be a great addition to a Smoky Mountain vacation.


This a great time of year to visit the Smoky Mountains. Winterfest celebrations began earlier this month and will be ongoing through February 28, 2007. The towns of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville have fabulous events planned for family fun.

Dollywood has added a new show this year for Winterfest—“Babes in Toyland.” Dollywood retells the classic story set in the Appalachian Mountains. They will still have shows you have enjoyed in the past, such as “Christmas in the Smokies” and”Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

We will highlight more Winterfest celebrations in the December newsletter. For more information on Winterfest, visit www.smokymtnwinterfest.com.


There is a restaurant on Wears Valley Road called Grandma’s Kitchen and every time I pass by I notice their sign advertising Golden Cathead Biscuits. It makes me remember my Dad, who used to talk about cathead biscuits. I always wondered where that name originated.

I recently found a book titled, I Didn’t Know That Almanac, 2007 Southern Edition, and it had a page about the South’s love of biscuits. According to this almanac, the term “cathead” refers to the size of the biscuit when it’s cut into large rounds—as large as a cat’s head! (Source: I Didn’t Know That Almanac, 2007 Southern Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: Cool Springs Press, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2006, p 164.)

I am sharing a recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
Add buttermilk, tossing with a fork, until dough holds together.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and form into a disk.
Knead lightly just a few times until smooth.
Pat dough to a 3/4-inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or glass dipped in flour, cut out biscuits. Place biscuits about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake about 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Makes 12.

Thanks for subscribing to About the Valley. We look forward to bringing you more news next month. As always, if you have any questions or comments or want to share your favorite place to visit in the Smoky Mountains, e-mail us at .

Chestnut Ridge Cabins