| CHEF'S CHOICE
Vistas and vittles
Food and fun you can bet the farm on
There are 2,000 acres and panoramic views at Long C Trails, outside of Scottsville. Owner Jack Hanes, a Tri-County Electric member, had never been on a horse when he retired from his teaching job more than a decade ago. Recreational horseback riding did not occur to him as a way to put his family farm to use.
“The farm has been in my family since just after the Revolutionary War,” Hanes says of his 450-acre family farm. When he asked folks what the property might become, they said horse trails, and even allowed him to use their property. By 2000, he cleared and marked trails, and the first recreational trail rides began.
Most people bring their horse by trailer, renting stalls, and there are hitches at the 20 or so campsites with water and electrical hookups, as well as two hotel rooms and three primitive cabins. Rocky Top, a fully furnished ranch, is at the top of the highest hill. There are horses on-site for six to eight people. Some visit just to walk the wildflower trails or hike.
There may be up to 150 visitors on a beautiful weekend. Mary Jo Bullington, assisted by her daughter Brenda Thompson, had been cook in charge for three years until retiring in July. Two new cooks, Lola and Ruth, carry on the tradition, preparing food for service in the covered pavilion, serving meals for the three-day weekend and breakfast on Mondays.
Breakfast is “most any kind of breakfast food you could want, including gravy and cheese biscuits,” says Hanes. Every Friday night is a fish fry night, with coleslaw, beans, and other trimmings. Saturday nights feature a changing menu of straightforward country food—roast beef, meatloaf, spaghetti with meatballs.
One of the best entrées has to be smoked pork shoulder with Bullington’s homemade barbecue sauce. It’s a thin sauce—vinegary, sweet, and peppery—that complements the smoky meat. Bullington makes it in huge batches and says “it’s good on everything.”
The public is invited to Long C Trails’ Third Annual Chili Cookoff on Saturday, October 13—everyone eats for free when you bring a potluck dish. For times or more about Long C Trails, go online to www.longctrails.com or call (270) 618-7500.
Mary Jo’s Barbecue Sauce
1 qt vinegar
1 C tomato juice
2 lbs brown sugar
1⁄2 cup butter
15-oz can tomato sauce
3⁄4 C ketchup
1⁄4 C (1 oz) ground black pepper, or to taste
Combine ingredients and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar. Salt to taste. Keeps nearly forever refrigerated. Use as baste on grilled or baked chicken or pork. Makes 2 quarts.
Grilled Zucchini Parmesan
3 zucchinis, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
3 Tbsps grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄2 tsp dried oregano (2 tsps freshly minced)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsps melted butter
Divide zucchini and tomatoes among 6 squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle with Parmesan, oregano, salt, and pepper. Top with butter. Fold aluminum foil to enclose ingredients securely. Place over medium-high charcoal or gas grill for 20 to 25 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. Serves 6.
Submitted by SHEILA HAMILTON, Milton, Shelby Energy Cooperative, who says she serves this dish as a side to grilled turkey burgers and grilled corn.