Sunday, June 24, 2012

Music in Asheville

Summertime is more than a season and wisps of memories involving cool brooks, special picnics, fun times enjoyed with friends and dancing to the music of the night play through our heads.  Music in Asheville is everywhere, of every conceivable kind, in any venue from the buskers on our city streets to the local bars and clubs.

Music begins its summertime enchantment long about June 30 and takes many forms throughout the summer all the way to September 1.

If it's toe tapping mountain music you are craving in the summer of 2012, this year will mark 85 years that the Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival ring out tunes through these mountains that once provided the inspiration for its birth. This year, as in all those past, fiddles, banjoes, guitars and likely some home made instrumentation will sing through the air creating the intense need for all visitors and locals alike to leap to their feet and dance along as notes as old as the Appalachians sound the soul. 

Stay tuned for the dates in August 2012 and the time as always will be "along about sundown."

Hope to see you there!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bele Chere 2012

 One of the most anticipated Asheville events each summer is categorically Bele Chere.  Bele Chere 2012 will be no exception.  For the 34th year running, Asheville will deliver its finest music and arts fest in "green" flair.  Considerable effort has been invested to keep this festival as green as possible for 2012.

For those of you not Asheville residents and not having been to previous Bele Chere Fests.....likely you, as most of my guests At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn, wonder about the name.  Bele Chere means beautiful living.   I think you will agree, once you've spent a day at one, that it delivers "beautiful living"  in spades. Bands are everywhere echoing their own particular rhythm through our city streets, food and drink plentiful- and the choices for those are legion. Seize an opportunity to collect the piece of art you have searched for far and wide never exactly finding it.
If you are looking for a day in the sun, a celebratory mood, fine eats of variant choices, some great craft beer or a cool glass of lemonade all compiled together with fine tunes, an opportunity to dance in the street  reminiscent of your best block party ever and shop till you drop too...Check it out on Friday, July 27 (noon-10p, Saturday, July 28 (10A-10P) or Family Day -Sunday, July 29 2012(noon-6Pand see if you don't agree, it's a beautiful life.  

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cherry Compote Recipe

Recently, we had a guest request at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn for a nostalgic trip back to a guests grandmother via a special pancake topping hatching this Cherry Compote Recipe.  In discussion about our pancake recipe, which was given to me by my own grandmother, our guest related her experience with this completely wonderful Cherry Compote Recipe she had obtained from the same source.  It seems that her grandmother had a bit of land and was quite the gardener.  Amid a slew of perennials and annuals lived 4 cherry trees producing, according to this guest, the world's best cherries!  Typically, during her summertime Michigan visits, the breakfast table was often adorned with Cherry compote and was a welcomed addition to pancakes, waffles, toast and sometimes as a side with bacon and eggs.  Most family recipes, both my own, and those related to me by our guests are often inextricably woven with the love and devotion of the person connected to the recipe.

We are rapidly approaching fresh cherry season and thought you might like to make some "love memories" of your own and Marjorie has given me permission to share this recipe with you all in true hope that it will do just that.  Enjoy!

Cherry Compote:

5 cups of pitted (always fresh is best) cherries- frozen can be used though. This recipe can be made with Tart of Sweet cherries but the amounts  of sugar will differ if tart is used.   
Re: the type of berries.  Montmorency cherries were used by Marjorie's grandmother.  This is a tart cherry.

1 1/8 cup of fresh orange or pineapple juice (They used either one and reported both different but equally delicious.

1/2-1 cup of white sugar    * 2 things will affect how much sugar is added to this compote.  The first-whether orange juice or pineapple juice is used.
The second-whether tart or sweet cherries like Bing are used.  

1 tsp. vanilla

Place all ingredients in heavy saucepan.  Simmer ingredients, softening the cherries (about 12-15 mins).  Remove cherries with slotted spoons. Continue simmering juices and tinkering with sugar preference until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  When sauce cools a bit add the vanilla.
Pour the syrup over the cherries and you have magic.


Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Asheville Art in the Park

Though the beginning of summer actually commences on June 21 we feel it here in the mountains of Western North Carolina and all of us, locals and visitors alike are anxious to be out of doors.  Asheville Art in the Park presents a fine opportunity to do just that.  Now, in it's forth year, some of the storied artists in our area will use this venue to demonstrate their work offering us all a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an up close and personal experience with local artists and their newest work.

Work in glass, metal ceramics, jewelry and wood will be presented in booths around the Vance Monument and the marvelous fountain in the center of downtown Asheville.  Dates:  All Saturdays. June 16, 23 and 30th.  Time:  10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
10% of sales from this event showcasing local artists work will be funneled into local art non-profit organizations.  We hope to see you there for this wonderful event.  Asheville enjoys fame as the number one small city for the arts and that is largely due to the sincere local desire to see this vibrant community of gifted and talented folks thrive.  Christmas is only six months away and you can bag up the same, boring tired gifts of shirts and tie or ....You can give the unique gift of art while supporting this community and the artists that call Asheville home!
Some of our regional Asheville Bed and Breakfast guests come here specifically to shop this event.  So, enjoy the day and shop away. 

See ya there!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Friday, June 8, 2012

Asheville Cheaper Eats

 There are times when you want to "live like a rock star" in celebration of something wonderfully special and dine like a king paying like kind for said services.  Then, there are times when you have not chosen to cancel the couples vacation you have been promising yourselves but you are not kidding yourselves about the need to conduct that vacation fully aware of costs.....Asheville Cheaper Eats at your service.

For visitors and locals alike Asheville offers some of the most innovative, awesomely delicious and purely inspired cuisine.  Some of it is also a bit pricey.  The purpose of this blog is to help those coming to Asheville seeking good but not horribly expensive cuisine. We'll cover the "living like a rock star" selections in another blog.

Recently, after we'd finished feeding the weekend guests at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast ,we decided to go and find some lunch.  Checked out a place called Rasta Pasta.  They specialized in homemade pasta.  For those of you that are pasta lovers....but are now scratching your head and wondering what the difference is...Go and you'll know!  The sandwiches are fresh, creative and delicious and my Chicken Pesto selection was served on Foccacia bread that was awesome.  I am told the pizza rocks as well.  10 mins from our inn.

Could not even touch this topic without calling your attention to Nine Mile, a 3 minute, if you are very slow walk from the inn.  Fresh, varied, delicious, more food than you can eat  Jamaican Caribbean food.  They serve lunch and dinner and it is a glorious adventure.

Doc Chey's Noodle House:  Located downtown  Inexpensive, tasty,  oriental type fair. Veggies fresh and  not overcooked in stir fry served with noodles or rice  seasoned divinely. Their slogan is Peace, love and noodles. I can go for that.

Artisan Catering and Deli:  My particular favorite is the spinach salad with goat cheese and candied walnuts.  The cranberry chicken salad is excellent served on Sunflower wheat bread.....The soups are fresh daily and they are awesome. Nice light in the place and clean. Mauricio and Vinnie will send you away sated and happy. 

Boca:  Lunch in the sunny courtyard is always a treat.  Service attentive and correct.  Location splendid and we have had the Reuben and Pambazo with their trad fries....A heavenly experience both in the space and enjoying the food.  No loud music, you can hear yourself think and engage in conversation.  WHAT A CONCEPT!

Vinnie's Neighborhood Restaurant:  You'll love it "in the hood."  The garlic knots are designed by angels and delivered to their location on Merrimon Avenue...10 mins from your home away from home and every single thing this place turns out will make your toes curl...From chicken to beef to calamari and shrimp....You'll be glad you came.  No lunch service at this time.

On the run , don't want to stop to dine in....too much in Asheville to see and do and just need a slice????.....Get thee to Circle in the Square. The pizza is delicious...Sandwiches: Blue Ridge and Philly Cheese with Mushrooms will have you revved up for your Asheville experience in no time at all. 

Ok, you passed on lunch... but now...the fantastic, gourmet breakfast served At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn has worn off and you can't make it another step without something to eat....Now is the time for a cappuccino and some form of chocolate survival food....Go no further than the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.  Vast, eclectic and delicious selection of truffles.  Sea salt on dark chocolate caramel and Sipping Chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne have both been sampled as well as too numerous to count truffle experiences and suffice to say that you may likely not be served in a hurry....but wow...Who knew a small piece of chocolate and a cup of cap could be so completely satisfying?

Ok, I think I have given you enough fodder from which to make some inexpensive dining decisions.  Let me know what you think after you've been there too? 

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Monday, June 4, 2012

Waterfalls, The Best of Western North Carolina

1.  If the Hunger Games piqued your interest in the completely breathtakingly beautiful geography of our region, you aren't alone.  Most of the guests seeking Asheville accommodations share your feelings. All would agree the Waterfalls, the best of Western North Carolina have a worthy contestant in Dupont Forest where for the intrepid walker-hiker Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and the breath taking High Falls are on display.

2.  I am often asked if there are waterfalls available as a drive by.  Sometimes the spirit is willing but the body is not and for one reason or another-disability, age, poor vision and a host of others I am delighted to be able to put this kind of "drive by" location on our list.  Looking Glass Falls offers a 60 foot drop of water cascading to its bottom in the Pisgah National Forest.  One of my favorite guest remembrances is a woman whose vision was seriously compromised.  She said she'd heard of a waterfall you could drive to.  She began to relate her problems in trekking the woods and that for her, this was perilous due to her poor vision.  She was delighted to be given directions to this special place so she could "hear" the waterfalls. She was wowed upon her return to the inn by what she heard!

3.  For all you shutterbugs out there...You have much company.  My illustrious husband is an avid photographer.  Periodically, when our duties at the inn offer up a free day we, like many others head to one of the most photographed waterfalls in North Carolina doubly enjoyed as the journey to arrive there takes us on our beloved Blue Ridge Parkway to Linville Falls. 

4. Our number 2 waterfalls offers the "drive by" so for those of you seeking "up close and personal" we seek to please.  Near Highlands, NC for the brave you can actually walk behind a cascade of 75 feet of spilling water to experience the real live power of water as it courses down at Dry Falls.  It is a similar if not as powerful experience as the power of water noted at Niagra Falls.  From the soft, cool mist on your face to the powerful roaring in your ears, it is guaranteed to keep Carolina on your mind for a long time to come.

5.  I will end the first 5 in a place I have an awesome memory in the hopes you'll create one of your own. If you have grand kids or if somewhere, in another landscape, you remember yourself as a kid before the responsibilities of being a grown up put severe restrictions on your travel options....Go to Sliding Rock!  The water is cold, the rocks, all slippery, the fun all real and true.  Totally as true as the anxious pit in your stomach experienced when you first cast off the rock and feel your body gain gravity in descent only to be rescued a the last second by a plunge into the waiting reservoir.  It cannot be beat for an adrenalin rush.  Well, wait a minute...there was that day at Skinny dip Falls and the "jumping off the rock with a woman I'd just met" but...that's a story for another day.

I have five more of these natural wonders to report on.  Check out the next few blogs and Happy, Happy Summertime! Be safe and have all the fun you can. 


Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast