Category: Travel

Queen Wilhelmina Lodge

It’s time to saddle up and head out west; west Arkansas that is. Late October and early November is the perfect time to take a road trip along the Talimena Scenic Drive to see the fall foliage at its peak. Arkansas Highway 88 cuts a path through the Ouachita National Forest on its way to the Oklahoma border. The Talimena Scenic Drive offers mountain vistas of forested peaks and valleys with a multitude of outdoor excursions to enjoy fishing, hiking, and canoeing.

And if you’re wanting to make a weekend out of it, make a reservation at the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge perched on Rich Mountain, Arkansas’s second highest peak.

Built to entice railroad passengers in the 1890’s, the original structure cost a whopping 100-thousand dollars (2.6 million in today’s dollars) to build and I’m sure a glorious site to see for weary passengers.

Dutch investors named the inn in honor of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and kept a reserved suite of rooms for her in hope she would visit, which she never did.

The lodge has been through several transformations through the years, but after an extensive renovation, re-opened its doors to the public in July of 2015.

A dramatic mountaintop setting, Queen Wilhelmina Lodge offers 40 guest rooms, fine dining in the Queen’s Restaurant, and is within walking distance of several hiking trails and family oriented activities. Including programs that teach visitors about the mountain, the flora, the fauna and the history of the area.

So saddle up and head west to Queen Wilhelmina State Park.

The Talimena National Scenic Byway stretches 50 miles from eastern Oklahoma to western Arkansas. It takes about an hour and a half to drive the entire route.

I can see why the views alone would lure American settlers to west.

The Lum and Abner Museum and Jot-Em-Down Store not only chronicles the history of the iconic radio program of the same name, but also strives to preserve an important era of American life.




Need a rest? Book a room at Queen Wilhelmina’s “Castle in the Clouds.” The lodge was renovated and reopened in July 2015.

English Garden Tour 2015: Wyken Hall

Wyken Hall is an example of a working farm that has embraced agritourism by adding features such as a vineyard, award-winning restaurant, shops and farmer’s market. Owners Sir Kenneth and Lady Carlisle have transformed Wyken into a vibrant destination. It was interesting to see and gather inspiration for what we are doing at Moss Mountain Farm.

The garden at Wyken is open to the public Sunday through Friday, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., 4 pounds per person. Leaping Restaurant and Country Store are open daily for lunch and Friday and Saturday for dinner. Learn more at

The main entrance to Wyken Hall. The walls of this Elizabethan manor house are stucco with a pomegranate lime wash.

Formal elements in boxwood make a whimsical contribution to the front of Wyken Hall.

A chat path running behind Wyken Hall.

The gardens at Wyken were designed in the 1980s; relatively new compared to the farm and manor house. Designed to blend with the historic house, the gardens include a knot garden, herb garden, kitchen garden, wildflower meadow, nuttery and copper beech maze.

A proud peacock at Wyken.

Paths and arbors lead visitors through a myriad of garden rooms.

Loose perennials among the formal framework in the Hot Border.

A beautiful vista with a dark brahma as a focal point!

Pleached hedges define the various and intriguing garden rooms at Wyken.

Sheep sculptures punctuate the lawn.

A colonnade of clipped yews directs visitors to the next visual treat!

Herbs and boxwood are a classic combination with a sundial as the centerpiece.

Bright blue is a stunning accent color for the garden and the deep pomegranate stucco of the manor house. The purple flowering vine growing behind the bench is Solanum crispum.

Clipped boxwood in various forms define and punctuate this place in the garden.

A quiet place to sit and enjoy the beauty of Wyken.

Lady Carlisle grew up in Mississippi and her southern hospitality is evident when visiting Wyken.

Lady Carlisle and I enjoying a walk through the gardens.

The cast iron corn gates made from a New Orleans mold suggest Lady Carlisle’s southern roots.

Sir Kenneth and Lady Carlisle and I near a sheep paddock on the estate.

The Leaping Hare restaurant, located inside a restored barn, has received top awards for the food. It’s open 7 days a week for lunch and Friday and Saturday for dinner.

Beyond the house and gardens are informal landscapes: meadows, fields and a 7 acre vineyard. Glimpses of these relaxed spaces are revealed while walking through the garden.

The juxtaposition of the clipped and formal to the natural meadow is compelling.

Mown grass paths through the meadows make enchanting walks.

England Garden Tour 2015: Arley Hall

Visiting Arley Hall is like returning to a favorite college haunt, perhaps this is because the estate was one of my favorite places while I was in England studying garden history. I discovered Arley by happenstance while on my way home from dropping my sister off at the airport. During this first tour I met Lady Elizabeth Ashbrook, mistress of the house, and we became fast friends. Over the years I’ve maintained my connection to Arley – Lady Ashbrook’s son Michael has even been to Moss Mountain Farm – and go back whenever I’m in England.

Arley is open to the public March 2015 – October 2015
(Monday – Sunday inclusive) 11am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm)
Visit for more information.

Friends of the Spade! Lord Ashbrook and Lady Tollemache and I take a walk around the gardens at Arley.

The park surrounding Arley Hall includes the 18th century approach to the hall. The massive English Oaks and sheep add to the bucolic mood.

Arley Hall, in its present form, was built in the Elizabethan style in the 1840s.

The herbaceous borders, often cited as the crown jewels of the gardens at Arley, were laid out in 1846. The alcove serves as a terminus and a place to sit and admire the borders.

Yew “buttresses” punctuate the borders and provide evergreen structure to the garden.

Loose plantings of bulbs and annuals provide contrast to the structure provided by the yew.

Many North American native plants can be seen planted in the borders.

Topiary yew finials and benches frame the view of the park from the borders.

A sequence of flowering from early May through October makes the borders interesting through the season.

The Ilex Avenue is made of large clipped cylinder shaped holly oak – Quercus ilex.

The terminus of the Ilex Avenue is a sunken garden punctuated by a sundial. The large urns were added by my great friend Lady Elizabeth Ashbrook.

English Garden Tour 2015: Helmingham Hall

This week begins a series of English garden tours on my blog highlighting a recent trip to Cheshire – Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Surrey. I have seven gardens to show you starting with this one at Helmingham Hall, the home of my good friend and garden designer Xa Tollemache.

Hellmingham Hall gardens are open to the public May through early September.
Opening Times – 3rd May to 20th September 2015
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday 12.00 – 5.00pm
Open Bank Holiday Mondays
(opening times on event days may vary)

In addition to the gardens at Helmingham Hall, Xa has designed landscapes for homes in Great Britain, the U.S. and Europe. She took me to see the gardens she designed at Denston Hall.

Maestro guards the knot garden at Helmingham.

The parterre gardens are a favorite spot of mine. I love the combination of grey and green.

Head gardener Roy Balaam has been working at Helmingham since 1952.

A grand urn surrounded by white ‘Sonata’ cosmos is a beautiful focal point.

Water plays a magical role in the garden’s design reflecting the sky and the hall. An eco-friendly bank of wildflowers edges the moat.

A lovely urn planted with Campanula ‘Pritchard’s Variety’ and purple bell vine (Rhodochiton)

Deer in the park are beautiful to observe at the end of the day as they move closer to the hall.

The element of whimsy is incorporated into the garden with fanciful topiary like this comfy chair and jolly snowman.

 Xa discussing the merits of Deutzia.

The herbaceous borders feature a glorious and diverse range of plants. Many American native wildflowers are in the garden such as Joe-pye weed and purple coneflower.

Globe artichokes.

This sundial is a subtle focal point.

A beautiful late flowering clematis.

The dahlias were magnificent.

Unique Eureka

I’m lucky that my line of work enables me to travel all over the country, but some of my favorite trips have been to places right here in my home state of Arkansas. Recently I had the opportunity to visit northwest Arkansas and check out the hidden gem of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs. This town carved into a rocky ravine is on the national registry of historic places and is one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s top 12 distinctive destinations.

I love history so one of the first things I do when I visit a place is learn something about its past and Eureka Springs has quite a past. The town literally rose up out of the ground when people started converging on the area’s unique cold water springs. After the Civil War soldiers who had walked the land during the war came back to partake in the region’s healing waters – a treasure well known to the territory’s Native Americans. At the time medical treatments were limited and it wasn’t unusual for people to use natural healing waters as a treatment. In fact, it’s a tradition that goes back to biblical times and many still believe in the power of spring water today. In 1879 word began to spread about the springs and people started coming. And coming and coming. What was once wilderness went from a population of zero to 15,000 in one year and on July 4th, 1879 the members of the encampment decided to name the place Eureka Springs.

Now, you can’t go from zero to 15,000 without someone taking notice. Arkansas’ governor Powel Clayton recognized the potential of Eureka Springs as a tourist destination and set his mind to making it easier for folks to get there. On Valentine’s Day, 1880 the state of Arkansas declared Eureka Springs a city and by 1882 a rail line was built so people could get to it from anywhere in the country.

Not long after the railroad came to town the Crescent opened. This grand resort is perched at the top of the city and has the distinction of being the most haunted hotel in the United States. The oldest spirit in residence is that of a young Irish stone mason who died during construction of the building. Legend says he takes a particular shine to the ladies who stay in the hotel. Probably the largest number of ghosts arrived during the time when the hotel was a treatment center run by a charlatan who promised a cure for cancer.

In 1934 the Depression shuttered most of Eureka Springs including the Crescent Hotel. It sat empty until Norman Baker, a radio broadcaster with a good eye for a fast buck, purchased the building in 1937 and opened the Baker Cancer Cure Hospital. Baker bilked over $4 million from his clients before being arrested for mail fraud in 1940. Sadly many of the patients died under Baker’s care and some say they are still at the hotel. The Crescent sat empty through WWII and then in 1946 it was opened up again as a hotel. If scary is what floats your boat I suggest you take the Ghost Tour at the Crescent to learn about the hotel’s other-world guests. You’ll even get to visit the old Baker Hospital morgue in the basement.

In addition to a large population of ghosts Eureka is also home to a vibrant artists’ community and great restaurants. The area is well known for its rivers, hiking trails and lakes. Nearby Lake Leatherwood Park covers 1600 acres with an 85 acre spring fed lake formed by one of the largest hand cut lime stone dams in the country.

With its rich history and contemporary attractions, Eureka Springs is a fascinating and fun getaway.

Meet Farmer Tyler

Every now and again I meet someone who is so full of joy and gratitude I can’t help but like them. And when he or she shares my love of gardening? Well, that’s a friend for life. So it went when I met the winner of our 100,000 Fan Giveaway sponsored by the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tyler Baras (a.k.a. Farmer Tyler) entered the contest last summer and was selected as the winner of a trip to Little Rock to visit some of the city’s hot spots and to tape a TV segment with me.

Tyler wasn’t the only winner in the deal. I got to learn something about his specialty – hydroponics. Tyler works at The GrowHaus, which is a non-profit urban farm in Denver that provides fresh vegetables and education on healthy living to the surrounding community. The GrowHaus uses greenhouses and hydroponics to produce greens year-round in the cold Colorado climate. Hence Tyler’s expertise in the method.

Tyler and I taped a segment about how to build a home hydroponics system.

Another talent Tyler shared was playing the accordion.

While Tyler was in town we wanted to make sure he saw some of the best of Little Rock and good food was on the top of the list. He had barbeque and greens at Lindsey’s Hospitality House, fried black-eyed peas at the Capital Hotel and catfish with hoppin’ John at South on Main. We also made sure he tried a locally brewed beer and some of Kent Walker’s cheese at Stone’s Throw Brewery.

Having a beer, homemade pickles and Kent Walker Artisan Cheese at Stone’s Throw Brewery. The pickled squash was our favorite.

Tyler couldn’t leave Little Rick without walking The Big Dam Bridge, visiting Central High School and touring the Clinton Library.

We had lunch at the Clinton Library. Tyler was tickled to see that Moss Mountain Farm was listed as a food supplier on the menu.

At the Clinton Library Tyler demonstrated how he would drive the Presidential state car. He should probably stick to growing lettuce.

 This is the mid-way point across The Big Dam Bridge. It’s a gorgeous view any time of the year.

Because Tyler is into urban farming we wanted to make sure he got to visit a few area agriculture-related attractions. The first stop was Little Rock Urban Farming in the heart of the city. He spoke with Chris about the farm’s operation and intern program. On Friday we headed to Lonoke to meet with Dr. Anita Kelly at the Cooperative Extension Center. And finally we toured Barnhill Orchards also in Lonoke.

Chris and Tyler walking through a bamboo thicket heading to Little Rock Urban Farming’s high tunnel greenhouses.

Dr. Kelly demonstrated her work combining aquaponics with hydroponics.

Bob Barnhill toured us around his farm.

Even this late in the year Mr. Barnhill has crops he harvests to sell. Tyler got to harvest a few persimmons and learn how to operate a pecan cracking machine.

I want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who entered the 100,000 Fan Giveaway. We received some fantastic videos and it was hard to pick just one. I also want to thank the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau for making Tyler’s trip possible. They hooked him up with a hotel room, passes to the Clinton Library and a $250 gift card to use for pocket money. Thank you Little Rock for being such a swell place to live!

Turn Up the Lights!

It’s not shocking that light plays such an important role in the December holidays. It is, after all, the darkest month of the year when days are the shortest. Who wouldn’t want a little extra glow?

It’s also not a big surprise that the inventor of the light bulb introduced the idea of using strings of electric lights to decorate for the holidays. If you were riding the subway past Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park lab in December 1880, you would have undoubtedly seen his Christmas light display. His motive was product promotion, but his legacy is the tradition of adorning our homes in festive lights.

I’m thankful for Mr. Edison’s marketing ploy because I really enjoy seeing my town lit up for the holidays. This year I’m planning to take it on the road to visit some places along the “Arkansas Trail of Lights.” Sixty communities across the state participate with outdoor holiday light displays, parades and festivals. My first stop will be Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, where they have over 4 million lights. It’s a sight to behold! I also want to make my way to Mountain View to see their historic court square festooned with lights and hopefully get a ticket to “Caroling in the Caverns” at Blanchard Springs Caverns. I imagine the sound of singing in an underground cave is magical. For a pre-Edison experience I hope to go to Historic Washington State Park to see the luminaries and take the candlelight tour.

Each of these destinations is an easy day trip from Little Rock and the state makes planning my trip a breeze with their interactive map of locations and itineraries for the different regions. Who knows? With the price of gas so low right now, I might just try to hit all 60 stops!

Blanchard Springs Caroling in the Caverns

Garvan Woodland Gardens

Candlelight Tour at Old Washington State Park

Arkansas Wine Country

You might not think of Arkansas when you think of wine, but my home state is actually one of the oldest and largest wine producers in the South. The groundwork for this started millions of years ago with the formation of the Ozark Mountains in the upper northwest corner of the state. These ancient mountains help create a beautiful sandy loam that has proven to be an exquisite terroir for growing wine grapes.

Vineyards at Chateau aux Arc

Bacchus blessed us again in the 19th century when German-Swiss immigrants began flowing into the area to work in the coal mines. The European transplants found that the conditions were perfect for planting vineyards like those they grew back home. Many of these vineyards are still in production today and touring them is a fun way to take in the beauty of the region.

Visiting the heart of Arkansas wine country is an easy day trip to the town of Altus, where it’s possible to taste over 100 different wines in just a five mile stretch. I recommend making the trip in spring when the dogwoods are in bloom or fall as the leaves turn and the grapes are ready for harvest.

There are about a dozen wineries in Arkansas, but for this post I’m focusing on three – Post Familie Vineyard (, Wiederkehr Wine Cellars
( and Chateau aux Arc (

Post Familie Vineyard

Open daily for tours and tastings.
1700 St. Mary’s Mountain Rd
Altus, AR 72821

Viewing processing grapes with Joseph Post.

The Post Familie Vineyard specializes in wine made from the muscadine, a native of the southeastern United States. Because they are a native grape they are easy to care for with no spraying necessary. This quality also makes muscadines a great choice for homeowners. And if you select a self-pollinating variety such as ‘Noble’ you don’t have to plant both a male and female vine.

At Post you’ll find 100 acres in cultivation. Northwest Arkansas is the northern boundary of where this grape will grow so Post plants the most cold hardy varieties. The most coveted in the red is ‘Noble’ and in the white, ‘Carlos’. The winery processes in excess of 1,000 tons each year, which makes them the leading grower and buyer in the central U.S.

Wiederkehr Wine Cellars

Open daily except Sunday.
3324 Swiss Family Drive
Wiederkehr Village, AR 72821

Al Wiederkehr and me in front of the Weinkeller Restaurant.

If you want to learn more about the German-Swiss immigrants who settled in Altus Wiederkehr Wine Cellars is a must see. Established in 1880 by Johann Andreas Wiederkehr it is the oldest winery in continuous operation in central United States.

The Champagne Cellar is a beautiful example of 19th century stone work. All the stones are dry laid with a mix of lime and sand for mortar. It was the first wine cellar on the property and now houses a restaurant where you can dine on dishes from the French, German and Italian regions of Switzerland. Even the tables and chairs were handmade on the property in the style of the Swiss Alps.

If you are a festival-goer head over to Wiederkehr in October for their annual weinfest. Flowing wine, great food and beautiful scenery; it’s a party you won’t want to miss.

Chateau aux Arc

Tasting Room open Monday – Saturday, Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
8045 Champagne Drive-HWY 186
Altus, Arkansas 72821

Chateau aux Arc

If you’re into sustainability practices like I am, then you’ll love the Chateau aux Arc vineyard and winery. The owner, Audrey House, is doing everything she can to produce an extraordinary glass of wine while reducing her carbon footprint on the planet.

Audrey set her sights on viniculture after a 1997 tour of a California winery. It just took ten minutes for her to realize that growing grapes and producing wine was her life’s ambition. Less than a year later she bought ten acres of Chardonnay grapes in Arkansas.

Her philosophy of working with the land is evident from the vineyards to the tasting room. She built a series of ponds that take advantage of a natural spring. Fish in the ponds fertilize the irrigation water so there isn’t any need for chemical fertilizers. Cover crops are planted to attract beneficial insects and return nitrogen to the soil.

It’s a beautiful place with a beautiful tasting room.

Enjoying a glass of local wine with Audrey House.

Destination Northwest Arkansas

I know I know… You’re headed up to Bentonville, Arkansas to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. And you’re going to love it because it’s one of the most amazing places in Arkansas. But did you know the whole northwest portion of the state is filled with exciting things to do as well as some of the best food the region has to offer? In fact four Bentonville restaurant chefs where invited to cook at the James Beard Foundation in New York because, well, they’re just that good!

Boston Mountains in Northwest Arkansas

To help you get the most out of the trip I’ve created a Northwest Arkansas itinerary for you, which includes art, gardens, and of course food!

  1. Pig Trail Scenic Byway – If it’s on your route be sure to take the short cut between Ozark and Fayetteville lovingly referred to as the Pig Trail. This winding two-lane highway through the Ozark Mountains offers spectacular views, especially in spring and fall. Jump on Highway 23 just past Ozark and enjoy 19 miles of beautiful scenery. To get to Fayetteville take a left on Highway 16 at Brashears.
  2. Coffee Break – The first stop on your way to Crystal Bridges is Fayetteville. It’s a university town with lots of charm. I always like to take a coffee break on my road trips so I can stretch my legs. At Mama Carmen’s Café I can do some good while I’m at it. Mama Carmen’s was born out of a partnership with the namesake who runs an orphanage in Guatemala City. The café purchases the beans grown on Mama Carmen’s farm as well as donating 10% of the profits to the orphanage. And the coffee is good to boot.
  3. Garden Tour – While in Fayetteville be sure to visit the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. There are 12 gardens to discover plus a butterfly house.
  4. Lunch – The next town you’ll pass through on your way to Bentonville is Rogers. The historic downtown area is delightful with brick roads and classic storefronts. There are a number of wonderful restaurants, but I suggest Heirloom Food + Wine. Everything is made from scratch using only fresh, local ingredients – they even make the bread and condiments! Every day they create a soup, salad and sandwich based on what’s in season.
  5. Garden Tour and Crystal Bridges – From Rogers it’s just a 15 minute drive to Bentonville home of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Either before or after visiting the museum take a stroll along the woodland trail at Compton Gardens. This public park is open from dawn to dusk and is a wonderful place to pick up ideas for using native plants.
  6. Dinner – At this point you’re probably looking to sit back, relax with a good meal. Petit Bistro is a French Mediterranean restaurant that is sure to please. Delicious 5 star recipes that is the perfect way to end a great day in northwest Arkansas.

Whew, that’s one very big day. If you decide to make it a weekend trip, I suggest the 21c Museum Hotel. It’s within walking distance of the museum and located right on the town square. Remember, there are so many more things to do here and all over Arkansas. The best way to find them is to visit

Arkansas Eats

As an Arkansas native I’ve always known that we have some stellar places to eat. Everywhere I go in the state there is a fantastic feast waiting at a restaurant, diner or roadside stand. Which is good because I love food.

The state is famous for southern staples such as fried catfish, barbeque and pie but our food is also influenced by our proximity to the southwestern flair of Texas. As we are an agricultural community a traditional Arkansas meal always includes a generous helping of something that was grown nearby. Purple hull peas slow cooked with a ham hock, cornbread, sliced tomatoes and fried okra are all sides you’ll find on the dinner table in Arkansas.

We’ve never strayed far from our culinary roots, but the national trend for locally sourced ingredients has produced a number of sensational restaurants that specialize in home-style cooking with a contemporary twist. How about catfish served over a bed of hoppin’ John and fried okra? Or perhaps a grilled pork chop with creamed corn, peppers and almonds. Are you hungry yet?

Arkansans aren’t the only folks who recognize what our state has to offer. Recently Forbes Travel Guides included our capital city Little Rock as one of five secret foodie spots with shot outs to Ashley’s, Ciao Baci, ZaZa’s Fine Salad + Wood-Oven Pizza Co. and Whole Hog Cafe.

Arkansas Farm to Table Restaurants

In addition to these recommendations I have a few others that I suggest you try for a plate full of local flavor featuring seasonal ingredients.

Brave New Restaurant – Get the mixed grill that includes a variety of grilled meats served with an herbed demi glace.

South on Main – This is where you will find the fried catfish and hoppin’ John. Yum!

Trio’s – In the summer they have a farmers’ market plate with seasonal vegetables that’s wonderful.

Table 28 – The restaurant offers unusual interpretations of southern favorites. Make reservations for a seat at the chef’s table (table 28) for an exclusive 6-course meal prepared and served by Chef Rains.

The Root Café – Great burgers and sweet potato fries. A definite must if you have a hankering for breakfast on a Saturday morning.

Capital Hotel Bar and Grill – The Friday lunch special is red sauce braised brisket with rice bread and chow chow. That’s what I’m talking about!

The Hive – If you love a good pork chop this is the place to go. Chef Matthew McClure sources the pork from a local farmer raising heritage pigs known for their exceptionally tender and flavorful meat. Oh, and be sure to stop in at the nearby Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The current exhibit is a collection of French modern masters including Matisse, Cezanne and Degas. It will be on view until July 7, 2014.

28 Springs – You can’t come south and not eat chicken and dumplings. Savory herb gravy and a flaky biscuit crust make these some of the best chicken and dumplings to be had.

The Farmer’s Table Café – One look at the breakfast menu and you’ll know why this place is the talk of the town. The Hash Skillet is to die for.

HEIRLOOM food + wine – A glass of wine and a platter filled with artisanal cheeses, seasonal fruit, walnuts, honeycomb and fig-rosemary crackers plus an amiable companion? Is there a better way to end the day?

Special thanks to Lyndi over at for recommending some great restaurants in northwest Arkansas!

Fried Dill Pickles

It’s astounding to me but it wasn’t until 1963 that someone thought to fry a dill pickle. I know, right? Bernell “Fatman” Austin was the first to serve these treats at the Duchess Drive In in Atkins, Arkansas and they’ve been a southern staple ever since. If you don’t believe me try them and get back to me. Here’s a recipe that is similar to those served at a local catfish joint.

1 quart jar dill pickle slices
2 teaspoon red pepper
2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon black pepper
1 eggs
8 ounces milk
5 – 6 drops hot sauce
2 cups flour
vegetable oil

Mix egg, milk, hot sauce, and 1 tablespoon of flour in bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine the red pepper, paprika, black pepper and 2 cups of flour.

In a large, deep skillet or fry cooker heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees.

Dip the pickle slices in the egg and milk mixture, then dredge them through the flour and spices, then the egg and milk again and then the flour once more.

Next drop the battered pickles into the hot oil and fry until they float to the surface and turn a nice golden brown.

Serve immediately.