October Mountain Moments 2019

October Mountain Moments 2019

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Today I’m sharing our October Mountain Moments. When I started this blog in 2013, it was a form of diary to document what we did and most importantly what we ate. Sometimes I get so caught up in sharing our delicious food, I forget about all the stuff in between.

So here’s a little recap of what happened the month of October in and outside of our mountain kitchen. #MountainLife

groundhog in cage

Mountain Critters

We saw a groundhog sitting up on his back legs the other day right beside the highway to our house.

David said, “Look at that groundhog! What’s he doing?”.

I said, “He’s thumbing a ride to our house!”.

I swear y’all, I don’t know where these dudes are coming from, but this is the FIFTH groundhog we have gotten rid of since late summer.

It’s like they put an ad in the local Groundhog Dispatch: VACANCY AT THE SPIVEY’S HOUSE!

hole dug under steps
Aren’t our front steps warm and inviting? Must be to a groundhog!

Not only did he dig the hole back under our steps in the same exact spot, but he devoured both of our pumpkins!

It isn’t the same groundhog. Every groundhog that we have caught has been different in size, shape, and color.

Does anyone know of something that would deter them without making them go under the porch and die? Please comment below!

We even caught a poor innocent bunny in the process of trying to catch Groundhog #6!

H. E. L. P…

chewed up pumpkin
Groundhogs are hungry.
pumpkin in woods down the hill
The pumpkin from the top of our driveway. Found way down below the hill of our house.
where pumpkin used to sit at top of our driveway
Where our pumpkin was before the groundhog decided to roll it down the mountain.
pumpkin bits and seeds on ground
What was left of our poor pumpkin.
David standing on Skyline Drive

So Proud of This Man!

As you may know from September’s Mountain Moments, David found out he had an 85% blockage in an artery of his heart. He had a couple of stents placed in his ticker to open up the artery and get the blood flowing as it should again.

This month I am happy to report that David is losing weight and has joined me working out on the elliptical. He’s up to a 20-minute exercise routine 2 to 3 times a week, in addition to his average 12 to 14,000 steps he does 5 days a week at work.

However, I have to play the role of the Food Police to try and keep him on track. He’s doing well though and I’m so stinking proud of him!

Fall Foliage On Skyline Drive

Every fall we make it a point to drive the entire 105 miles of Skyline Drive, from Front Royal to Waynesboro, Virginia. We woke up early last Saturday morning to make the drive as close to peak color as we’d see this year.

We have been really hot and dry for most of the last part of the year, so we didn’t expect it to be so much color. Ironically it was cloudy most all day with rain showers. In my opinion, cloudy days are the best days to make the drive. The colors are so brilliant among the gray clouds. Mother nature never disappoints!

Taking this drive last weekend reminded us that we haven’t been taking it often enough. Something we are going to remedy! Especially now that we know there are some really good biscuits to eat at Skyland Restaurant!!

Top Recipe of the Month

Farm-To-Table Peanut Butter

farm to table peanut butter


Hands down the best sweet pickles ever. Well worth the time it takes make them. Making my third batch this season due to the demands of friends and family wanting additional pints of these tasty treats.”

– Jeff (Comment & 5-Star rating on Sweet Pickles {How to Make Homemade Pickles for Canning)

“Great recipe! Also, FYI, as someone from the wing world, “naked wings” means no flour or breading. A sauced wing with no breading would still be called a naked wing. Just thought I’d clarify on behalf of us wing herds. One other tip, cooking to 165 is good, but a wing expert once taught me to kick it to 175/180 to really give it a good bite. It’s changed the way I cook wings.”

– Nathan (Comment on Brined Applewood Smoked Chicken Wings {Naked Wings!)

“Made this tonight. This is a great recipe as written. I skipped the browning step, but otherwise followed exactly. It turned out really good. The sauce took it to another level. Served with braised cabbage with apples and roasted potatoes. Great meal. Love your blog and facebook posts. Thank you.”

– Mike (Comment on  Mustard-Maple Pork Ribeye Roast)


turkey breast smoking on grill

Pecan Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other!

potatoes au gratin on plate

Potatoes Au Gratin

Tender potato slices laced with sweet onions smothered in a creamy cheese sauce with a hint of garlic. Potatoes au gratin the perfect side dish to any meal!


David putting firewood on porch

The wicker furniture has been put away and David has loaded firewood in the rack on the front porch. Looks like we could be making our first fire of the season this weekend.

At this time, we would like to remind you to make sure your chimney has been cleaned!

David and I have ours cleaned as recommended. We were supposed to have ours cleaned at the end of last season. Unfortunately, we must have lit one too many fires between cleanings. We had a chimney fire! The chimney burned quickly and cleaned itself out. We are so very blessed we had no damage.

We cannot thank Linden Volunteer Fire Department enough for their rapid response and willingness to keep us safe!

firetruck in our driveway
Millican Pecan Company Ad

The holidays are coming fast! If you are looking for some good quality pecans to use in your recipes, order pecans from Millican Pecan Company. We have tried them personally and are so very happy with their quality. We know you will be too!

The Mountain Kitchen is a participant in the Millican Pecan Company Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commission by advertising and linking to MillicanPecans.com.

There is no extra cost to you for clicking! It just helps us afford to do what we do here at TheMountainKitchen.com. Thanks for your support!

October Mountain Views

mountain sunset and our home
mountain sunset through our screen porch
our home and glorious view
fiery fall mountain sunset from our deck

That’s all of the October Mountain Moments. See ya next month with more moments from the mountain.

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