Four Fun Things To Do for your BEST Cedar Creek Lake Labor Day Weekend Ever!
Malakoff -Lake Area Renaissance Discovery Trip
Lisa and Wesley Anding, owners of Anding Wedding and Events, Anding Bed and Breakfast and visionary developers of several upcoming projects including a future Malakoff museum call it Divine Inspiration. RJ Flowers, co-owner of HF Family Table and Market Restaurant along with Joe Hessley said, “The time was right” when explaining why they expanded from their small, Mr. Sweet Tooth desert shop on Mitcham Street to a full service, high-end restaurant with entertainment nearby at 213 South Terry Street. The many new retailers and other small business owners along with the Malakoff Historical Preservation Society have merged their respective time, talent and passions and are breaking down barriers to create a renaissance happening before our eyes in downtown Malakoff near the intersection of South Terry Street and Royall.
For more evidence, it was only a year ago that Tybee Tuminello was opening her creative, upscale home decor retail shop, VaULT, in what previously was a run-down old antique store. And now, in a mater of days, she’s celebrating her successful one-year anniversary. So, if you haven’t yet checked out what’s happening in Malakoff, this Labor Day weekend might be a great time to do so! Here’s a short tour of what you will find.
Malakoff. First of all, whoever said the “brick & mortar” book store was going away because of the internet and Amazon.com never met Jen Sherman! An internet star in her own right with over 20,000 book review followers on Instagram, Jen’s life-long dream was to own a book store. So, she opened one in Malakoff. Thing is, we Cedar Creek’ers get to be the beneficiaries of her dream come true! But, it’s so much more than a bookstore. Grab a cappuccino while you’re there, sit back, relax and, oh yea, plug in to their wi-fi so you can browse the wild, wild I-NET. And, don’t forget, with over 20,000 Instagram followers, chances are pretty good Jen can give you some great advice on picking out that perfect book for your next read!
Be sure to come hungry when you come to Malakoff because next door to Bookish is the popular HF Family Table and Market. Owners RJ Flowers and Joe Hessley have solidified their place in history with a culinary reputation for fine food, a lovely atmosphere, hard to find wines and craft beers and great service. (For more on HF, check out our July review here.) Be sure to make a reservation if you come during their prime opening days and hours! Call ahead at 903-489-0972.
As I mentioned above, VaULT is having their one year Anniversary on Saturday June 5th. VaULT is directly next door to HF Family. This will be special event day and VaULT owner Tybee will not disappoint.
Across Terry Street from VaULT be sure to stop in and see Catherine Turner Golden, owner of Artful Thinking Gallery. As the ONLY art gallery on Cedar Creek Lake she has some amazing award-winning art and sculpture pieces for sale from some of the lake area’s best talent. Right in Malakoff and opened just in the past few months!
Just around the corner from Terry Street and Royall, within walking distance at 106 East Mitcham Street you’ll discover Lake Side Mercantile, one of the newer retailers. Owned by Jana Zeeb, you’ll discover a lovely collection of gifts, arts and hard to find nick nacks for your lake house or any other home decor furnishing. A wide variety of gifts is also available.
Next door, you can treat yourself to an amazing selection of out-of-this-world desert delicacies at the Mr. Sweet Tooth above! Mr. Sweet Tooth is also owned by RJ and Joe so the same love and care goes into their desert delicacies as you find in their full course meals at HF Family.
Lisa and Wesley opened their Anding House Bed & Breakfast recently for Anding Wedding and Events guests looking for a comfortable place to stay close by in the Malakoff area. Originally known as the Flagg family residence, the house was designed by H.L. Flagg in 1920. A true labor of love, restoring the old home was not without its challenges but the couple enjoy opening its doors to approving guests who can appreciate the loving touches that have gone into this historic old home and the furnishings inside. Be sure to mark your calendar for the second annual charity event the sponsors call The Dollar Social, a worthy cause held each year. This year it will be October 17th from 4-6 pm.
Discover an East Texas Working Longhorn Ranch and find a new Cedar Creek Lake Area Winery!
Who would guess that an established, East Texas working cattle ranch would call home to a newly opened and, growing in popularity, full Winery establishment located southeast of Cedar Creek Lake near Trinidad, Texas.
The Triple N Winery is named for Nan Creel, the matriarch of the Ranch and Winery Family, her daughter, Nan Michelle (Michelle) and her daughter, Nan Christina. The senior Nan started raising purebred Texas Longhorns in the ’80’s at her Henderson County ranch. In 2020, Michelle opened the Triple N Ranch Winery, specializing in high quality Texas wines. And, things have exploded ever since.
To immerse herself into the science of wine, Michelle enrolled in the popular Enology and Viticulture Program at Grayson County College in Denison, Texas. The program, in its earlier days from which this author also graduated several years ago, was literally taught by the three fathers of the 1970’s Texas Wine Industry-Visiting Professors Dr. Roy Mitchel-TTU, Dr. George Ray McErchen; A&M and Dr.Charles McKinney; UT.
Today, the three founders of the Triple N Winery are excited to offer a multi-generational Texas-women owned and operated East Texas winery showcasing the best Texas grown grapes and wines.
I had the pleasure one recent August +100 degree afternoon to ride around on a hot golf cart with Michele as she tended to cattle gates and later, inside the gorgeous new winery tasting room (thankfully) made preparations for the expected sell-out crowd for a Friday night wine and entertainment event that fans were sure to enjoy!
Michelle explained that the owners want the winery to be gathering place where their extended family and the East Texas community can come together to celebrate great Texas wine and food. But also, the winery should help make the lake area a true destination, attracting visitors from all over Texas and the southwest. And, to do so, they have been combining their great tasting Texas style wines with first-class food and entertainment.
Triple N Ranch and Winery 5220 Key Ranch Rd Trinidad, TX 75163 361-867-9463
Texas Barbecue-Cedar Creek Lake Style
Labor Day Weekends can always be more fun when close friends and family get together for a traditional backyard barbecue. And when it comes to outdoor cooking, you already know that Texans on Cedar Creek Lake are spoiled by a plethora of regional styles and tastes from which to choose. Whether it’s beef brisket, chicken, turkey, hot dogs, hamburgers, ham or all of the above, there’s more than enough options to please just about any meat eater in the lake area.
Cedar Creek Style Smoking
Smoked foods take on a distinct flavor, usually of the wood used during the cooking process. If you enjoy the taste of hickory, cherry or apple woods infusing your meat, smoking is for you. Note that smoking can create an off-putting dish if you use mesquite, which can be too pungent for some. Smoked meats also tend to be moister than barbecued or grilled foods and more readily fall off the bone.
For a true Texas barbecue experience, you need something that can replicate a pit – whether that’s slow cooking at a low temperature on a propane grill such as a Char-Broil Propane Gas Grill, or a charcoal burner with a lid such as the Char-Broil Charcoal Grill . The heat is indirect so you don’t have to turn the meat, but during barbecuing you do need to lift the lid to replace the coals. The downside of this process is that it then subjects the meat to the air and makes it dry out.
A smoker, such as the Weber 2820 Smokey Mountain requires a closed container too, but you don’t have to adjust the meat while it’s cooking to move the coals. This can lead to a moister, more succulent final product – especially when it comes to lean meat cuts and poultry.
You will, however, need an external heat source attached to your cooking vessel to create the smoke. To keep the heat source at a constant temperature, which is necessary if you want to smoke your food rather than burn it, you may need to fiddle with your heat source regularly – adding more wood and stirring the coals. If you’re serious about smoking, purchase a smoker like the Akorn Kamado which is especially made for the task and keeps the temperature inside relatively constant. This means less work for you as your meat cooks, but an additional monetary investment.
Cedar Creek Style Grilling
Grilling is a great method for cooking more tender meat such as chicken, ribs, pork chops, beef skirt steak, beef loin strip steak, and beef loin porterhouse. We’ve found several great Texas methods below on how to grill meats that have never disappointed. And, there is no reason to restrict grilling to only meat on the grill though. You can throw things like big Vidalia Onions, spicy shrimp, sweet potatoes or even a Mexican Pizza on the grill.
Genuine Texas barbeque Sauces and Grilling Methods
Regionally speaking, Texas savors four different styles of BBQ sauce paired with best grilling methods:
- East Texas style: The meat is slowly cooked to the point that it is “falling off the bone.” It is typically cooked over hickory wood and marinated in a sweet, tomato-based sauce such as Lips Smackers East Texas BBQ Sauce.
- Central Texas style: The meat is usually rubbed with only salt and black pepper or in some cases with spices and cooked over an indirect heat from pecan or oak wood or mesquite wood or a combination of them. A sauce, such as Franklin BBQ sauce, from the famous Austin-based Franklin BBQ, may be served on the side. Or, straight from the Texas Hill Country, award-winning Rudy’s Dry Rub and BBQ Sauce is always a popular choice.
- West Texas style: The meat is cooked over direct heat from mesquite wood with a tomato-based sauce such as Famous Dave’s BBQ Texas Pit.
- South Texas style: Features thick, molasses-like sauces like Longhorn Rodeo Jalapeno BBQ Sauce that keeps the meat moist
The East Texas Arboretum & Botanical Society-A short 20 Minute Drive from Cedar Creek Lake
Take Hwy 175 East toward Athens about 20 minutes past Cedar Creek Lake and you’ll see the East Texas Arboretum Entrance on the right. You’ll see a parking lot and donation box for entry into the park. Once inside, you and your fellow visitors will be treated to some of East Texas’ finest flora you’ll ever see.
The Arboretum is open to the public and everyone is invited to enjoy this beautiful oasis. Visitors will experience the unique beauty, learn about the ecological importance of America’s native flora and enjoy 2 miles of naturalistic hiking trails, live honeybees and the Historic Wofford House Museum.
The Arboretum is dedicated to the preservation of the natural environment and the creation of formal and informal plant collections arranged in formal and informal gardens and a native plant area with nature trails.
The East Texas Arboretum completed construction of the Henderson County Veterans Memorial and Plaza at the Arboretum facility in 2013. The Memorial honors military veterans who enlisted in Henderson County or were natives of Henderson County and enlisted elsewhere. The memorial is two red brick curved walls located within an open plaza with a bronze eagle sculpture overlooking the plaza. Names of veterans are engraved on granite panels embedded in the memorial walls.
One of the more popular attractions at the East Texas Arboretum is the fully restored Wofford House. The Wofford House is the oldest home in Henderson County, built in 1850, now restored and fully furnished, complete with culinary and medicinal gardens.
The East Texas Arboretum is open seven days a week: M-W-S-S from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., T-Th-F from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is a $4 entrance fee for adults, $3 for seniors and students and just $1 for kids 3-5. Member entry is free.