Thursday, March 24, 2016

Madison County, Arkansas

Friday we started off on a little jaunt over to Madison County. I had the bright idea that it would be fun to take my Mother and Father-in-law to a great little cafe at Hindsville called the Valley Inn. It's been there a long time, alongside old highway 412 about halfway between Fayetteville and Huntsville, Arkansas. I had taken my Mom there on several occasions, it's one of those places with local flavor... waitresses that knew the 75 residents of Hindsville by their first names. In fact, they probably knew what they were going to order before they even opened their mouths! Hindsville is an old town, built in the 1890's. Still standing are a row of stone buildings that house an Arvest Bank, an antique store and the Valley Inn. We told them we were going to a NEW place to eat, but not exactly where! I knew they would love the food, homemade plates of chicken and dressing, meatloaf or ham and sweet potatoes with sides of greens, fried okra or butter beans.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and it was fun as we drove along enjoying the rolling hills and pastures with happy cows up to their bellies in green grass. It's a good time to be a cow in Arkansas right now with all of the rain we've had this spring!

We know highway 45 like the back of our hand, but when we got to where it joined the new 412 we turned right. After just a few miles, we knew we had went the wrong way. Just a spot in the road, it would be easy to miss. We turned around and went back, then realized that the familiar road had been bypassed by progress. In 2007 Highway 412 took a more direct route and left the quaint town of Hindsville. In the window of the Valley Inn was a For Sale sign. Sad for us and especially for the residents of this small community. For years they served delicious plate lunches or hamburger baskets, homemade rolls and pies to the hard working farmers or the lucky tourists passing by.

On that  fateful day when Mom and I needed a cup of coffee, but stayed when we realized they had homemade pie...Coconut Cream, Butterscotch with meringue piled so high it was sinful and Peanut Butter Pie. Not my choice, but Mom's favorite. We shared a piece that first visit to the Valley Inn.

Peanut Butter Pie
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 12-ounce carton refrigerated whipped topping (Cool Whip)
2 graham cracker pie shells

Mix cream cheese, sugar, and peanut butter together. Fold in the Cool Whip, reserving enough to decorate the tops of two pies. Pour the mixture into the pie shells and chill several hours. Top each slice with a dab of Cool Whip.


  1. OK, so where DID you end up eating? This type of situation has happened to me a couple of times over the years. Hey, maybe YOU should reopen the restaurant? You certainly have enough recipes. LOL Hope your Mother's Day was better than your attempted lunch.

  2. So... we ended up having fried chicken in Springdale, but I think they enjoyed the trip as much as the food! Lord help me if I ever consider opening a restaurant,that would kill me!

  3. So sad when the old places close...nice to have your Mom to share pie with:)

  4. I've never eaten Peanut Butter Pie but I'm sure I would LOVE it. Too bad about the local cafe, but good you got to have some time with your folks.

  5. It's a sign of the times, unfortunately. I prefer the smaller, more quaint places, than the larger, busier chains. I love small town charm!

  6. What everyone said above, hate when the small quaint places close. The big chains have no homestyle appeal.

    Great pics! beautiful country.

  7. Looks like a beautiful drive and the doe for!!! ;D

  8. Wow, fantastic!
    My stomach is rumbling and my mouth is salivating. :D
    Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the visit. :)

  9. I so enjoy a day trip like this. Thanks for making me feel like I got to visit some of your beautiful country and the peanut butter pie...well, oh my!


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