Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Sunday Picnic (and the Mystery Hole)...

On Sunday, Mike & I headed to a family picnic at Carnifex Ferry. There are few things I enjoy more than a Sunday drive, especially along the beautiful U.S. Route 60, so I was very excited about our day. We cooked a fabulous picnic meal - fried chicken, green beans with potatoes, corn on the cob, cornbread, cucumbers & tomatoes, with brownies for dessert. My sister fries the best chicken you can imagine - I actually felt sorry for the people I saw armed with their KFC buckets once we arrived at the park.

On our way to Carnifex Ferry, we passed by a popular WV tourist attraction....The Mystery Hole. Located just about a mile west of Hawks Nest State Park on U.S. Route 60, this mind-boggling place is only open during the summer season. For just $5 ($4 for kids), you are lead on a short & entertaining tour where the law of gravity has gone beserk. Mike & I had been once before, but it was a first time visit for the rest of our family. Ally was completely mystified & wanted so badly to come up with a logical explanation as to why the water trickled uphill, the ball rolled uphill & the chair hung on the wall while you were sitting in it. You also get to try walking upright through a room while gravity is pulling you to the right...it's a crazy experience. And just try to get up off that couch! After the tour we took a little time to browse through the gift shop for some original Mystery Hole souviners. As we were leaving, Mike said the place would be the perfect setting for a sequel to the movie "Wrong Turn" and I had to agree. There's a kitschy 1970's feel to the place & I think that just adds to its appeal. If you're ever in the area, be sure to stop by. Under new ownership for a few years now, the husband/wife team is doing a fantastic job with the place.

After a few other stops, we arrived at Carnifex Ferry. We ate our lunch & played a few ball games. Mike & I attempted to see-saw, which painfully reminded me that I'm not 8 years old any more. We had a fantastic day, returning home exhausted & happy.

Fried Chicken
Assorted chicken pieces (we use drumsticks & breast tenderloins)
1 cup self-rising flour
Garlic Salt
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable Oil

Heat vegetable oil in skillet (about 1/2" deep). Measure flour into a shallow mixing bowl. Add garlic salt until you can actually taste it in the flour. Rinse chicken (do not pat dry). Roll in flour/garlic salt mixture. Place in skillet, season with salt & pepper. Cook until golden & reaches internal temp of 180 degrees. Enjoy!

This is the chicken recipe that my grandma always used & it never lets you down. At family picnics, her chicken is always gone first. I've tried Christopher Kimball's method (with buttermilk, cornmeal, flour, etc.) and always return to this one. It will not disappoint.


Ellie said...

Tonia, sounds like you all had a fantastic day. That place sounds WILD, I would love to visit. I'm sure I would be just like Ally trying to figure out a logical explanation, although the mystery surely adds to the fun! You will have to see if your sister is willing to share her fried chicken recipe with your readers. I'd love to give it a try.

Oh, and good luck with your coconut and lime recipe. I hope it wins!

Tonia said...

Ellie - here is the recipe. Let me know if you try it.

Oh, you would enjoy the Mystery Hole. We would love it if you & Chris could come for a visit - we'd have so much fun!

Ellie said...

Thanks for posting the fried chicken recipe. I'm going to make it this Sunday when my parents are here, so I'll let you know how it goes. It sounds yummy (gotta love garlic salt)!

And I would love to come for a visit. If we are ever anywhere near your neck of the woods I guarantee we will stop by!

sis2non said...

What a great day that was. You're right...I do fry great chicken.