- [Joe] This time on Tennessee Crossroads, we taste some Zilla's BBQ at one of their stops in East Nashville. Then head to Springfield to explore Rabbit Circle Farms. And finally profile talented Nashville artist Diane Davich Craig All that and more on this edition of Tennessee Crossroads. I'm Joe Elmore, and it's sure good to have you The pandemic has made restaurant dining, a dicey decision for most of us as result food to go as a popular alternative. In our first story, you'll meet a Nashville couple who brings their brand of Southern barbecue to eager carry out customers all around Nashville. Well, we visited one of their pop-up events on the East side of town - When you come to our trailer. You're going to know you're gonna know you wanna get something home cooked. Number one is not past produce is not somewhat of a cafeteria style food. You're gonna get something that your mom or your dad or your favorite uncle or your aunt will cook. And you're like," Hey, this reminds me of home." That's Terrence "Perm" Nicholson Pitmaster and co-owner of Zilla's pit barbecue. A business that popped up in 2014 and quickly became a favorite moveable feast around middle Tennessee. - I like to do pop-up events. We're not stationary at one particular location. We like to move around to be able to create some type of not only awareness but to have faced with the public - Terrence learnt his cooking craft back home in West Tennessee all thanks to his father and a couple of uncles - All around great cooks. They just didn't get the spotlight that they truly deserve because whatever profession that they in they had to work in, you know to make sure they took care of their families but I'm here to hopefully bring their projects to life to show that, 'Hey man, we invested this in you. And we want to make sure that you able to show people what we have to give to the world.' - Today's menu includes tasty beef, sausage sticks, pulled pork of course their extremely popular brisket, and even chicken. - This is the key ingredient. To be honest with you. This is, uh, cherry wood from the farm... man we split it about a year ago. So man, it's good to have your own fuel supply. - While some serious barbecue fans think the secrets in the sauce, Terrance claims it's in the attention you give to the process. - You can't be like, "Hey, I'm going to go start my fire. Or I'm going to put some meat on. I'm going to walk away for like 30 minutes to an hour and then come back and expect something perfect." Barbecue is perfectly imperfect. That's what I like to call it because it's the most basic method of cooking but you can mess something up really easy. - His wife Dee is a graduate of the culinary Institute of America in New York. And while he is tending to as cooker she's just as busy inside the trailer. - I'm in there actually making the sauce but I'm also in air conditioning so that's the most important fact. He's right out there in front of the smoker super hot I'm indoors but I'm just making sure everything is running smoothly. We have everything ready to go. As soon as we open the windows - We like to treat individuals like individuals. And if you come back more than maybe like one time chances are we'll know your face and we'll have an idea of what your order may be. - Here's a little tip for you. While barbecue is a main attraction. You don't want to leave without trying some of Dee's macaroni and cheese - Well, most of the time when people think of barbecue they're just thinking of just the meats. They're thinking of brisket or pulled pork or chicken. No one thinks about the sides. So that's my way of just shining and just saying,okay.it kind of just rounds out the entire meal by having the sides and make sure they mirror and kind of go along with the proteins. - Zilla's is a total family affair including the young extended members working inside which makes a Terrence proud role model. - It's great to see that your inspiration to younger people and help people see that, you know, you don't have to be a attorney or a doctor or anything just to make a living. You can be a plumber or any type of tradesman, or if you have any type of craft, you can do it well and make a good living from it. You know, I just so happen to love to cook. And my profession is barbecue. I love to be barbecue because my family has a long barbecue legacy - despite popping up in different areas almost weekly, Zilla's has a fan base that follows it all over middle Tennessee. - I'm not a barbecue fan, but I'm his fan. He makes the best food there is. And he put so much love and positive energy into his food. So you can't go wrong with Perm at all. - We're lucky and beyond blessed what I'd like to say is our product and our efforts speaks for itself. - There you go. - Thank you very much - Have a great day - Thank you - At each stop They sell their prized, barbecue and sides until they run out, which doesn't take that long. And when it's time to pack up and go well the Nicholsons not only carry home some money. They also carry home memories of pleasing happy customers. - When people say, man, you know what? I appreciate you doing that. I mean, that is what fills me more than anything. And I tell everyone I know money is a by-product of doing things the right way. - That was really a fun story. Well, I'm joined again by Will Pedigo. As we celebrate Tennessee Crossroads and ask for your support of this show and everything you love about Nashville Public Television. - That's right. We are here at week two of our campaign to Keep Crossroads Travelin' in 2021. And we need you to make it happen. As a reminder, if we can get to 350 donations at any level we'll keep Crossroads on the air. During NPT's March pledge drive, we're off to a good start but we have a ways to go to hit our goal of 300 contributors. But I know we can get there with your support. This is the time for you to put a value on your love for Tennessee Crossroads and help Joe and the crew get out to that next batch of Tennessee's best places to experience the culture of our great state. Call the number on your screen or pledge online. Anytime at TennesseeCrossroads.org/donate to help us reach our goal. - We know we have the best fans and loyal viewers and we're proud to bring you Tennessee Crossroads each week. This show has been a staple of Nashville Public Television. For more than 30 years, I have no doubts we can get to our goal of 350 contributions but we need to hear from you call the number on your screen or like will said, just visit us online at TennesseeCrossroads.org/donate to pitch in. And while you're there, check out the ways we have to say thank you for your pledge of support. - We do have some great ways to say thanks for your support. A super comfortable Tennessee Crossroads shirt. We have hats, a cool Crossroads pint glass and they're all great ways to remind you, your friends and family, that you're a Crossroads fan and that you make Tennessee Crossroads happen for all of our viewers. - And this year, we have a great way to put those Tennessee Crossroads pint glasses to use - That's right on Thursday, February 11th at 7:00 PM. You can be part of NPTs Tennessee Crossroads' brews and bites event. We've partnered with friends at Butchertown hall and Nashville Brewing Company to create a three-course dinner that you can enjoy at home. Each course is paired with a craft beer selection and folks at the Nashville Brewing Company will be guiding us through the tasting events, starting at 7:00 PM on Thursday February 11th, join the fun and help us get to that goal of 350 supporters to be a part of the Crossroads team by calling the number on your screen or pitching in at TennesseeCrossroads.org/donate. Joe, can you please share all the ways that we have to say thanks for folks that contribute to Nashville Public Television - Sure thing Will. You can help keep Crossroads traveling with a financial gift. That's just right for you. Donate at any amount and you'll receive a Tennessee Crossroads official traveler sticker at $60 a year or $5 a month. We'll thank you with a Tennessee Crossroads base ball cap at the $72 level or $6 a month. You can show your support and keep Crossroads traveling with this polyester blend short-sleeve t-shirt another way we have of saying thanks for an $84 annual gift or $7 a month is the 16 ounce glass tumbler with a Crossroads logo. You can put that pint glass to good use at NPTs Tennessee Crossroads "Brews and Bites" on Thursday February 11th at 7:00 PM. You'll enjoy a three-course dinner at home paired with a curated selection of craft beer all for a contribution of $50 for one ticket or $75 for two tickets for more great pairings you can choose both the Tennessee Crossroads t-shirt and the pint glass for an annual gift of $144. That's $12 a month or you don't have to choose it all. You can have all three of our Tennessee Crossroads thank you gifts at the $204 level or $17 a month. - I hope you'll pick an amount that is right for you and pitch in 2020 has had its share challenges but we've worked hard to keep great stories coming your way and even added some talented storytellers to the Crossroads crew in the past year, right Joe? - That is right. Will, Miranda Cohen was the first to come aboard last March, I asked her recently about some of her favorite stories she's done so far. - One of the things that I've been really touched by are a couple of the restaurateurs that we have made this past year because I've read on two different occasions on social media and it had nothing to do with the story but the people were both offering to take food to people that needed it to get food to people that needed it. If you were shut in they were just people that wanted to make a difference in their community. And I thought, you know what? That is exactly the kind of people that Tennessee Crossroads seeks out, finds and wants to introduce to you. So anybody that watches Tennessee Crossroads I would just like to say to them thank you because you are the other member of the Tennessee Crossroads team. We appreciate you watching. We appreciate you being part of our crew and I'm very honored to be a part of it. - You know, we're certainly proud and thrilled to have Miranda Cohen join the Crossroads team. With your support we're able to send Crossroads producers like Miranda Cohen and Joe Elmore across the highways and byways of Tennessee to bring you great places to visit things to do and to share the stories behind local businesses and artists help us keep the stories coming in 2021 and throughout NPT'S March fundraising campaign. As a reminder, we hope to hear from 350 viewers like you, so that we can keep Crossroads traveling in 2021. You can help us get there with your contribution to NPT at any amount. - I hope you'll take this moment To make a pledge and help us reach that 350 mark of donations to keep Crossroads traveling throughout the year. Call the number on your screen or pledge online at TennesseeCrossroads.org/donate and check out these tickets for Tennessee Crossroads "Brews and Bites" event. Thursday, February 11th at 7:00 PM. It's going to be a lot of fun. - You know, I'm excited to see where Crossroads takes us in 2021 with your support. I'm also really looking forward to seeing what the newest members of the Crossroads crew talented storytellers like Miranda Cohen have to bring us - Well you don't have to wait long Will since Miranda is about to take us on a tour of a special place called Rabbit Circle over in Springfield. - In the old days. I mean, if you think about, you know like the 1800s, it's like you didn't just go to town and get whatever you wanted. Jennifer Davis is down on the farm and right at home - am a certified "First Tennesseean" which means my family has been in Tennessee since before Tennessee was a state. Farming has been part of our family's tradition for a long time. So there's a pond over on the Berkshire's farm. And then there's a pond here and then you go across squalls road and there's another pond. And then it drops off to the river... - Eight generations to be exact. And when she says her family tree is rooted in Robertson County, she means it. - Thomas Kilgore is the founder of Cross Plains and he is my fifth great-grandfather on both sides of my family tree which can make for some interesting stories depending on how you want to explain that. - Davis has seen lots of changes in farming over the years. And when things got tough, she did what farmers do. She dusted off her boots and created her own business. One that would introduce the rustic and real part of Tennessee to people from around the world. - I thought for me it would be important to be able to like save or at least put it in a package so that people could understand or remember, you know like what it feels like or how it's important to live in rural Tennessee. So rabbit circle farm tours started about three years ago - because rabbits tend to run in a complete circle. Rabbit Circle Farm Tours will take you on a back roads agri-venture making stops in Adams, Orlinda, Cross Plains, and lots of others. - Right now we're meeting in Springfield on the square. And then we get in my truck and we go for a ride through the country. I mean, I'm tech I'm physically your personal guide to the country. And we go and stop depending on the season at different farms, depending on where the work's happening. And then we meet people along the way, - Rabbit Circle Farm Tours go rain or shine. They stop at various locations along the way and is never the same tour twice. The excursions are interactive including picking fresh vegetables, flowers, fruits and often meeting up with farmers themselves - to have a fresh pear. And for the guy who's so passionate about growing these trees to explain the different horticulture practices. How often do you get a fresh piece of fruit or fresh vegetable? Just out of it, you know, with the dirt still on it - Today, she is showcasing Shade Tree Orchard, 110 acres of apple trees peach trees, strawberries, honeybees, and much more. So are these trees are these apple trees? - So these are actually peach trees. - Okay. - So these are peach trees and then you have apple trees and then that back here, they've got some blueberry bushes. So during the season people actually come and pick peaches off these trees. They don't usually pick peaches. They don't let them pick peaches but they do let them come pick apples - so they can pick apples, - fresh apples, right off these trees - and a general store that features local homemade products including their famous apple cider. It's as simple and as pure as you can get it - Well they grow them locally. Of course, we all want to support our, you know the local farmers and also I grew up here in Robertson County. So this is local for us. and there are good people and a good to do business with. They've always got good stuff. They've got fantastic apple cider - we're making apple butter. So I kind of mix them up a little bit. To have tart and sweet - And the local tour always includes an authentic farm to table lunch. - We always go to a couple places for lunch because you know like where the farmers eat or where the construction folks eat. Just the local spot, you know like no Yelp reviews. This is a traditional tobacco barn. - A gifted storyteller Davis is glad to show off one of Robertson county's, most famous exports. black fire tobacco. - I always try to take folks to a tobacco farm and go and visit a tobacco barn I mean, as you were riding out here I'm sure you see tobacco barns everywhere. And most people have no idea what's on the inside of those tobacco barns. It's just like why do we have these big red barns in middle Tennessee? Here they literally build a fire in the in the floor of the barn, out of sawdust and slabs and they smoke it. It's basically like a big barbecue grill - every year, farmers that live here have put their tobacco on the sticks and hung it in these trees. And I found out that they're like almost spirit sticks or something - sure - because when you get to the tobacco barns and you see these sticks it's like literally their blood, sweat, and tears and all of their cash crop has hung on these sticks. And these barns you can't learn how to fire tobacco from a YouTube video. If your granddaddy didn't teach you how to do it you don't know how to do it, which is for me like one of the cultural things, it's like it's going away quickly because you know, like once it's gone, it's gone - Davis has traveled the world. And just like the rabbit has come full circle back to her family homestead. And through her agritourism business she hopes to share with others, the unique culture and crops that put Tennessee on the map and share the true importance of living off the land she so dearly loves. - Farming is what literally feeds all of us. And, you know, we don't survive without farms. For me, home is not necessarily about a place but about a place in your heart. - Thanks a lot Miranda ever seen a painting that you thought was a photograph with a tail, so exact you thought, well it had to be machine-made well Diane Davich Craig certainly has an eye and ear for detail a trait which the artists and musicians sometimes considered a curse until she discovered how to harness her talent. Ed Jones has her story. - I had always been interested in art but music's kind of all encompassing. So after many years of playing the flute I decided that I might just give art a try. - Diane Davich Craig is a woman on a mission. She's constantly in pursuit of perfection. That's true whether she's in front of a music stand or a canvas now while it's generally considered a good thing to be the best you can be for an artist it can be downright distressing. - I am really detail oriented, you know and I think if you're in a music career you've always had to be detailed oriented. So you come up with that background and you just don't have a choice. When I first started, I thought I'll be a landscape painter and I'll paint all these rolling fields around Nashville. And then I realized I'm going to paint every straw every blade of grass, every little leaf on the tree. And I took a class with Charles Brinley and he said," you can't just paint every leaf." And I go, "but it's there. You know, I kind of paint it." And so then I realized landscapes, not for me. - Fortunately, Diane was inspired by a Pennsylvania artist, Anthony Waichulis who taught her a style of painting that fit her to a T a T that stands for Trompe L'oeil Trompe L'oeil means fool the eye, which actually means so realistic that you want to just pull the little things out of the painting. And it's true. If you saw his work, you just go, "it can't be a painting." I really work toward getting things really realistic looking. And what I do is first of all, I use a lot of tiny brushes a lot of times to do very, very small details, but it's kind of a magic trick. Sometimes I'll put just that little dot of white highlight and I go," wow. Now it looks like it's something real" - Helping herself and others deal with the realities of life is a side benefit to Diane's artistic endeavors. She started painting to take her mind off of her father's illness, which led to Clyde's drive a tribute to her dad while knockout was inspired by her husband's health issues. - I think about all the people that are fighting like fighting cancer. And we just found out my husband had cancer. I thought I'm going to do something about fighting and how you fight. And you can get through those things, the heartbreak hotel. Again, I didn't think about what it meant to me until I'd already started the painting. And then I thought, you know we all do have kind of our heartbreaks. And I thought that's just like a Pearl because it causes pain to the oyster. And eventually that just covers over and it heals the pain. - Don't get the wrong idea. Most of Diane's work has aligned whimsical feel the vibrant colors and cartoon like characters are guaranteed to lighten your spirits. - I have certain feelings when I'm making the work. Everything's usually really happy for me because painting is such a happy place. And I hope that when people look at it they get some happy thoughts and they start thinking about some people maybe they remembered and all the happy things and happy things that they're looking forward to doing. So you'll find that most of my work is very colorful and kind of on the happy side. I love neon signs and that's one of the first subjects I picked. And the reason, you know, I lived in a little town called Columbia, a little South of here. I'm sure you've been there. And they had a couple of little neon signs. And then we came up to the big city of Nashville one time and saw this big Zaher sign. And I thought that is magnificent. So I just kind of fell in love with the neon signs. I kind of love funny things kind of brings you back to your childhood. I love Mr. Bill and rock'em sock 'em robots and things like that on eBay. I'll be scrolling around and I'll see like a box of trolls for $2 or something and I'll go, okay I'm going to get some trolls and I'll figure out what to paint with it next. You know As musical director of the Nashville Chamber Players and an award winning artist, Diane is often torn between her desire to paint and her original love music. However, she was happy to discover that both creative outlets compliment each other - While I'm painting. I miss playing the flute and while I'm playing the flute, I miss painting. So it's clear. I kind of have to keep both going, but that's hard to do. And I don't even think I would be a good painter. Had I not learned at the flute. So I guess that's a testament to sticking your kids in band class. Cause it really made me have an attention to detail and to learn how to learn. And that is don't always work on the spot. You can already play, pick out those little spots that you can't do and work those one note at a time - Whether one note or one brush stroke at a time Diane Davich Craig will be thrilling the ears and eyes of her fans for a long time to come . - Well. That brings us to the end of another Tennessee Crossroads. Want to encourage you to check out our website from time to time, TennesseeCrossroads.org follow us on Facebook join us next week and keep Crossroads traveling.
January 21, 2021
Season 34 | Episode 23
Tennessee Crossroads' never-ending search for superb barbecue leads them to Zilla's Pit BBQ. Miranda Cohen takes a Rabbit Circle Farm tour. Ed Jones meets an award-winning artist in pursuit of perfection. Presented by Nashville Public Television.