Turtle Love in Arkansas

By Sandra Scott


 
 


While in Hot Springs, Arkansas, John and I visited the beautiful Lookout Point Inn overlooking Lake Hamilton. The Innkeepers Ray and Kristie Rosset soon became our chocolate friends. Their inn is lovely, with an incredible view of the lake and delightful gardens with a trickling stream and a labyrinth.

There is a lot to love about Lookout Point Lakeside Inn—the accommodations, the view, the gardens, the service. But when innkeeper Kristie Rosset whips up Turtle Squares for their afternoon reception it becomes even more memorable. And, lucky us! We arrived just in time for the afternoon reception. Besides the unbelievably delicious chocolate turtles there were chocolate-covered cherries, wine, tea, and some savories. But, the chocolate turtles stole the day. Soon the word had spread to the other guests who asked one another in a reverently hushed tone, “Have you tried the turtles?” The raves were so expansive, Kristie shared her “secret” recipe with us. It is so secret that it is on their Web site!

We enjoyed our turtles and wine with the other guests on the front porch overlooking the garden and Lake Hamilton. It was a beautiful day. It became even better when Ray asked, “Who’d like to take a pontoon ride on the lake.” All of us. The sun sparkled off the tranquil lake ringed with homes nestled among the trees. But the most amazing place is the 210-acre, Garvan Woodland Gardens located on a peninsula that juts out into the lake.

John and I enjoyed wandering the trails. The picturesque Full Moon Bridge reminded us of our trip to Japan, as did the Bonsai Garden. We had been told not to miss the Anthony Chapel. As we approached the 57-foot tall copper-clad Carillon, it chimed the hour creating the perfect mood for our first view of the chapel. The chapel has soaring glass walls and vertical columns that blend beautifully with the tall yellow pines.

Thankfully, some turtles were left when we returned to the Inn. We need to be there for their Chocolate Wednesdays. The day begins with a chocolate breakfast of that unique Arkansas specialty: chocolate gravy atop warm biscuits. Another of the breakfast specialties is their Strawberry Sundae with the inn’s homemade granola, topped with strawberries and, of course, chocolate. And, that’s just the start of the day– turtles will follow later in the day. And when guests retire to their room at the end of the day more chocolate delights will be waiting.

Turtle Squares

2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup pecans
1 1/3 cups butter (not margarine)
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine flour, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter to make fine crumbs. Press firmly into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with pecans. Cook 1 1/3 cups of butter and 1 1/3 cups sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until surface boils. Boil for one minute and pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minute until surface is bubbly. Remove from oven; immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips and swirl.

Visit www.Lookoutpointinn.com.

 

 
Sandra Scott is a frequent contributor to travel publications and to Creators Syndicate
and has co-authored two books on local history. She lives in Mexico, NY.

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