My husband and I toured Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Virginia tonight to admire their beautiful Christmas decorations. Belle Grove Plantation was once the home of President James Madison’s sister, Nelly, and her husband Isaac Hite. If you have the chance, please stop by and visit Belle Grove and take a tour of this beautiful home. During the rest of the Christmas Season they also have special live music on Friday’s and Saturday’s from 6-8PM and you can also tour the home. Oh…don’t forget the fabulous gift shop too!!!
There is a famous saying that goes something like “ya never know what you might find in your own backyard…”
Jim and I decided to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon over at Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park. We drive past the large signs daily to and from work every single day and have often commented that we needed to stop by and visit and see what exactly was “Hupps Hill.” We have all heard about the battles of Gettysburg…Bull Run…Antietam…and Cedar Creek which is not too far from us in the Shenandoah Valley.
What is Hupp’s Hill?
After our visit yesterday? I can only say it is a treasured place that is one to be sought out by all.
When we first entered the museum and gift shop we were so graciously welcomed by Linda who is a Tour Guide and Historian at Hupp’s Hill. Linda walked us through the museum and told us the fascinating true story of the events leading up to the fighting at Hupp’s Hill that led up to The Battle of Cedar Creek. There were some things that I learned for the very first time for example…President William McKinley and President Rutherford B. Hayes fought at The Battle of Cedar Creek before they were elected to office.
It was interesting to learn about the significant role Hupp’s Hill had in the campaign in the Shenandoah Valley and especially at Cedar Creek.
A large display in the museum reads:
After soundly defeating Early at Winchester and Fisher’s Hill, the last thing Sheridan expected was a Confederate resurgence. Early, however, believed he could catch a complacent Sheridan off guard and drive his adversary back, buying valuable time for the Confederacy.
On October 13, Early reached Hupp’s Hill, probing the Federal defenses, when one of his artillery batteries fired on Thoburn’s division encampment across Cedar Creek. Thoburn sent two brigades to deal with this “annoyance,” and Early was forced to respond.
A wooded ridge separated the brigades of Cols. George Wells and Thomas Harris as they ascended the heights. Artillery fire slowed Harris, but Wells was able to reach a stone wall before being attacked by a larger force of Confederates under General Connor.
Wells was soon flanked and forced to withdraw, while Harris was being repulsed by General Gordon’s brigade. Wells was killed, and Early sent his body back through the Union lines under a flag of truce.
Sheridan took some precautionary measures but still did not consider the renewed Confederate presence a significant threat. Early was soon poised to launch a masterful surprise attack.
It was also interesting to learn about life in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War. Of course, you KNOW I had to take a picture of the recipes that were on display to share with you! 🙂
and my military husband found this to be most intriguing about Myers Original Two-Element Code
A large display of When Johnny Comes Marching Home. How cool is this?
Linda suggested that we watch a short film about the ghosts of Hupp’s Hill. Now you know my attention was off the charts…a ghost? Tell me more! They are in the caverns located right next to the museum building…you can read more about the ghosts here.
Crystal Caverns has its own unique story and place in history…and very haunted! We learned that the famous psychic, Jeanne Dixon, used to visit the caverns and was able to really feel and be in touch with her psychic abilities when down here. The caverns are closed to the public now unfortunately.
After looking through the museum and the fantastic gift shop with beautiful John Paul Strain prints on display for purchase, we walked across the parking lot into the fields. What a gorgeous day it was!
Upon leaving Hupp’s Hill, we looked over to see the lone monument that sits along Rt 11 next to the entrance to the park. Over time, the writing on it has diminished and we no longer are in the know of who the monument was for.
So…you do never know what is in your backyard. Maybe YOU have a “Hupp’s Hill” just waiting to be explored by you and your family. You could find treasures anywhere you look. I sure did yesterday and I highly recommend if you are in the Shenandoah Valley to go visit Hupp’s Hill – its truly is a remarkable place.
I absolutely love Southern food. Southern culture. Southern…everything!
Growing up in Virginia and having a stepmother who was a native Virginian as well, it was a special treat to always have biscuits and gravy…macaroni and cheese…fried chicken…fried okra…mashed potatoes…and the pies? They were amazing! It was funny when my dad decided that he needed to go on a healthier diet due to his cholesterol issues and my stepmother had to figure out how to cook without Crisco. How does one cook without Crisco? 🙂
When I came across the recipe for Jefferson Davis Pie it reminded me immediately of the comforts of home and growing up in the South. It is very sweet, rich and yummy – all things that are so sinfully delicious! I love the history of it as well and knowing that the recipe was used by Jefferson Davis’ family was really interesting.
You can read more about the history of the pie right here courtesy of Sweet Tea and Cornbread.
Hope you get a chance to make it in your kitchen and taste the yumminess! Enjoy!
In the kitchen tonight making something Southern (and oh so yummy!) that was once enjoyed by a famous person in the Civil War era and it’s his family recipe. Can’t wait to share with you later! #historicalcooking #civilwar #historicalrecipes 🇺🇸
My Country, Tis of Thee
My country tis of thee
sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
Land where my fathers died
Land of the pilgrims’ pride
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring…
It is so much fun being able to make (and taste!) things that our ancestors once enjoyed. To be able to eat something that Thomas Jefferson enjoyed? Well, this is way too cool!
Thomas Jefferson had quite an exquisite taste for all things – especially food and he really enjoyed the French cuisine when he was the Minister to France from 1785 to 1789. One of his favorites was this French style marinated asparagus.
To read more about the history of Thomas Jefferson’s love for asparagus and view the recipe you can click here.
We had a lot of fun making it in the kitchen. It was very simple recipe to make and would make a perfect side dish. The only problem I had was…I didn’t know how to boil an egg correctly! I can do many things but boiling an egg was an issue 🙂
The next time you host a party or have to bring something for a potluck make this wonderful recipe and let people know…oh this is just a little something Thomas Jefferson liked.
It’s National Peanut Butter Cookie Day! Mrs. Rorer’s cookbook, published in 1902, is credited with being the first cookbook with a peanut butter cookie recipe in it. If you are a peanut butter cookie lover – enjoy your special day. Eat a cookie! Enjoy! #NationalPeanutButterCookieDay #ILovePeanutButterCookies
Spoonbread is so simple to make and I love simple recipes that are not complex. As I always like to point out: I am not a Martha Stewart type (no offense to the “Martha’s” out there!) Here is a wonderful recipe from Mount Vernon and its so neat to think that maybe Martha Washington used this same simple recipe to make this special treat for George. The history of Spoonbread goes all the way back to the Native Americans and it was a favorite of President James Monroe’s. The first recipe in print was published in 1847 in a fabulous cookbook authored by Sarah Rutledge titled: The Carolina Housewife.
Here is what we came up with in the kitchen tonight. It was simple. Fun. Yummy!
President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom on June 2, 1886.
Frances Cleveland was the 1st First Lady to marry a serving US president at the White House and she was also the very first First Lady to give birth in the White House