I first visited Chippokes Plantation State Park in the middle of summer when the flowers and trees were in bloom, and remember being in awe when I walked the grounds of the historic Jones-Stewart Mansion. Crepe myrtle and azaleas created a picturesque backdrop of pinks and greens so perfect that I felt like I was looking at a painting created by a popular artist.
Tour the park with a Park Ranger and you will learn about the vast history that dates back to the early 1600’s, and the park’s connection to historic Jamestown located across the James River. And if you plan ahead of time are able to stay at one of the four very popular cabins, your love for this park will be sealed and you will vow to return over and over again.
I made this month’s recipe in the Price House, cabin #4, which was built around 1920. It is a country-style cabin with a large eat-in kitchen, two bedrooms and a living room. As soon as I walked in I felt welcome and warm. And was so excited to cook one of my favorite meals in a kitchen that felt like home – Shrimp n’ Grits with Smoked Surry Sausage!
Lucky me, Edwards VA Ham Shoppe, a local (and national) favorite for the best Virginia ham, bacon and sausage, where we purchased the sausage needed for the dish and received a tour of the shoppe. I now see why Surry County, where the shoppe is located, is known for their pork – the experience and attention to detail coupled with the southern charm of those we met, made me want to stay for hours to learn more (and taste more).
So when you visit Chippokes Plantation State Park, you too can grab some meats made locally so that you can enjoy them during your trip and after you return home (they travel well and are good for months if refrigerated). And if you end up making this dish during your next stay, make sure to let me know how it turns out!
Enjoy! Until next time…