Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina … except enjoying a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway! Call ahead to order or drop by and create your own with goodies from the Old Hampton Store in Linville (77 Ruffin Street, Linville, 828-733-5213, oldhamptonstorenc.com). Proprietor Abigail Sheets will fix you right up with some of their famous hickory and Applewood smoked pork (on homemade sourdough), or with any of their other many homemade goodies, including the blackberry cobbler we hear is not to be missed. While there, enjoy one of their “farm-to-bar” cocktails made with local fruits and veggies in the tavern, or browse the store and art gallery.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put several slices of bacon in a 10" cast iron skillet and brown in oven. Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, soda and salt and mix well. Add drippings from bacon (leave about 2 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet), eggs and buttermilk to dry mixture and mix well. Pour into hot skillet and bake 35–45 minutes or until brown.