In 1956, when she was a teenager, Ginger Shinn and her family stayed a spell at the Smokey Shadows Lodge in Maggie Valley. They were on vacation from their home
In 1956, when she was a teenager, Ginger Shinn and her family stayed a spell at the Smokey Shadows Lodge in Maggie Valley. They were on vacation from their home in Miami, and something about that week — that long, stretching porch, that view of the mountains, 3,600 feet up in the world — stuck with Ginger. Almost 30 years later, she and her husband decided to purchase a property in North Carolina. Ginger checked the newspaper every Sunday until, one week, she recognized a listing: “This has to be Smokey Shadows!” she remembers saying. “It was like a dream.”
Today, she runs the lodge with her family, including her daughter Tracy, who cooks their “country gourmet” fare — including a locally famous cheesy tomato pie. A family friend shared the recipe, which Tracy tweaked and tailored until she got it just right. These days, she doesn’t even need the recipe. “I don’t measure,” she says. “Just do it all by sight.” She starts with a pastry crust, which she fills to the brim with layers of sliced tomatoes — “They need to be firm!” — and a mixture of mayonnaise, mozzarella and other cheeses, basil, garlic, and lemon pepper. At the Lodge, Tracy bakes at least one for every table at each meal. “There were a couple times we didn’t make it,” Ginger says. “And oh, we heard about it.”
Smokey Shadows Lodge
323 Smokey Shadows Lane
Maggie Valley, NC 28751
Yield: 6 servings.
2 large tomatoes, firm but ripe
1 pie crust
½ cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
½ cup colby cheese
½ cup mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
Garlic powder to taste
Dried basil to taste
Chopped fresh basil
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Bake pie crust lightly. Slice tomatoes. In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, cheese, and seasoning. Layer tomatoes in baked pie shell.
Top with cheese mixture and bake until cheese is melted and golden brown (approximately 10-15 minutes).
Let sit for five minutes and top with fresh basil.