A Yancey County Cabin.

If you've followed me here for any amount of time you know that I love a good treasure hunt - from antique stores to barn sales on the side of a back road, I can certainly relate to the "American Pickers" way of life.

I posted previously about tips for how to shop an antiques market and one my biggest recommendations is having an on-going list of things you're looking for so there is always something you can be keeping your eye out for.

My list is a funny thing, I'm sure, if you see it without explanation and in its entirety. One thing that is always on my list, that I inherited from my Dad's very same list, is National Geographic, June, 1958.

national geographic cover

Pretty specific, I know. This issue holds a special place in my heart and in my life. There is a particular story with the issue of June 1958 that features one of the tiniest towns that holds one of the biggest pieces of my heart. The story is set in the heart of Burnsville, in Yancey County, North Carolina and the author of the story My Neighbors Hold to Mountain Ways once lived in the cabin that my Aunt + Uncle live in today, the very cabin we grew up visiting all throughout our childhood.

I was just up visiting this past weekend, a getaway we make on the same weekend each year to take part in the Olde Timey Days tractor parade + Fall festival. The cabin was just listed for sale and when I visited I found out it has just been sold. My heart is heavy but I know our tradition will continue now that my dad lives up there, having a place where my own children will visit and growing that fondness in their own little hearts for the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains.

A map of Yancey County is featured, with a little sketch of the original, rustic cabin just as I remember it from my youth. A long back porch overlooking the 180 degree mountain view, where I'd sit on a picnic table with my sister every chilly morning sipping our cups of hot cocoa with one single large marshmallow melting inside. The inspiration behind the naming of our "cozy cupped cocoa" children's apron, in fact.

National Geographic / June 1958 / Yancey County North Carolina Map

The article goes on to highlight local landmarks, talk about the craft and culture of the area, including the gemstone + mica mining that occurs still today in surrounding towns. It shows the Parkway Playhouse, revived and in operation today, and a bronze statue that stands tall in the very center of the small town square. The author shares his fondness for this area, the way of life and the throwback and forgotten mountain ways but remarkable to me is that not much has changed since June of 1958. From my childhood in the 1980's to today when I still visit in the summers with my own young family, the experiences we have are the same as they have been for generations, untouched by the technology and civilization of today.

National Geographic / Mountain Ways article / heirloomed

There is much I will be sharing in future stories about this special place and our travels to the area. As part of our #HEIRLOOMEDTRAVEL series, you will certainly be hearing more from me on my love of the mountains and the traditions we are keeping alive today. If nothing else, keep your eyes peeled for this issue of National Geo just for me as my collection continues to grow.



heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen aprons, tabletop linens, art, ceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com.

Off-the-Vine Blackberry Crumble.

My childhood home sits next to an empty lot in our neighborhood, perhaps the only empty lot in the entire well-established neighborhood. It has been empty for over 30 years and the adventures we had playing there among the trees and vines are some of the best times I can remember. 

Our large neighborhood was once an old dairy farm, like many others in Tallahassee, and the lot next door held remnants of old metal tractor parts and barbed wire fences from days past. Each summer it also had a special surprise for us, bushes of fragrant honeysuckle and thorny briars filled with plump, juicy blackberries. 

blackberry crisp crumble recipe

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We would pick basketfuls of the wild berries right off the vines and bring them into the kitchen where Mom would whip them into something delicious. Key lime pie aside, fruit cobblers, crips + crumbles rank right up there among my favorite homemade desserts, with a little scoop of frozen vanilla ice cream to top it all off. 

This recipe is inspired by those fond childhood memories and the fresh off-the-vine berries that miraculously appeared for us each summer.

sliced cold butter

Off-the-Vine Blackberry Crumble

Yield: 8
Author:
This Blackberry Crumble combines plump summer berries with a golden-brown crumbly crust to create the most magical summer dessert.

ingredients:

For the Crumble
  • 4 cups fresh whole blackberries
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg

instructions:

How to cook Off-the-Vine Blackberry Crumble

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In medium mixing bowl combine granulated sugar and blackberries to evenly coat berries, set aside. In large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients, including flour, rolled oats, light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add cold, cubed butter using a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredient mixture to a gravel consistency.
  3. Grease baking dish with butter and add sugared blackberries in an even layer across the bottom. Top the berry mixture with the crumble crust mixture.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes on center rack until crumble topping is golden brown. Enjoy!
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blackberry crisp recipe
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heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com