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Spring is here…or is it?

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Saucer Magnolia in bloom…Spring is here!!!

This weekend was a contradiction.  Saturday the sun was shining, the sky was a bright blue and temperatures were in the upper 50’s.  Yes, it looks like spring is here.  Time to think about cutting the grass and putting in the garden.

Saucer Magnolia covered in snow…Winter is back???

 

Sunday…The sun hasn’t been seen all day.  The sky is grey and snow started falling about noon and five hours later our saucer magnolia blossoms are covered in snow.  Time to get the snow shovel out and start clearing the walks and drive way.  What happened to spring?

 

This is how we welcomed Spring this year. March 24, 2013

 

When the snow stopped falling Sunday night we had about 6.5 inches of the white stuff, more than we had all winter!

Civil War Re-enactment and Living History

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The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg, VA is approximately 20 miles from Appomattox Courthouse we wanted to make our blog followers and guests aware of a unique experience taking place just minutes from us in April.

“The Long Road Home – Fall of Richmond” re-enactment and living history weekend will take place April 5, 6 & 7, 2013 in the Clover Hill Village, just east of Appomattox, VA.  Beginning at 9:00 am of Friday and lasting until 2:00 pm Sunday a unique set of events, activities and interactions will be taking place within the living history village.  Visit with troops while they set camp.  View battalion drills, trench work, battles and hospital scenes.  Interact with Generals Lee and Grant, Presidents Lincoln and Davis.  Attend a wedding and barn dance.  Watch the medal presentation and pay call.  Obtain an interesting perspective of life during the Civil War.

Unless you are a re-enactor and will be “camping”  call us, 434.846.1388, to make your reservation and stay in comfort (indoor plumbing, central heat, a hot shower, our delicious 4-course breakfast, comfortable bed)!  We’d love to host you while you experience the way things were.

For more detailed information and to see the full weekend schedule visit www.appomattoxhistoricalsociety.org  Clover Hill Village is located at 5747 River Ridge Road in Appomattox.

 

 

 

Vintage Fashion Show

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Kathy in a 60’s inspired outfit

On Thursday, March 14th the Lynchburg Area Newcomers Club presented it’s bi-annual fashion show.  This year the theme was vintage clothing!   The 14 models chose two outfits from the vintage “closet” and on-line store belonging to member, Kim Foster.  What fun it was to try on clothes from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  Do you remember flower power and hippie outfits?  What about the huge shoulder pads from the 80’s?  Glamorous gowns from all of the decades (boy, were the women in 50’s tiny!).

 

Below are a few pictures of the models (all club members) in their finery.

 

Artichoke and Spinach Quiche

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Artichoke and spinach quiche

 

March finds the wind blowing, the temperatures warming, the daffodils blooming and The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg, VA, taking advantage of fresh spinach, along with artichokes, as our signature dish this month.

Ingredients:

  • 1 11-inch store-bought pie dough sheet
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated nitmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out pie dough and place into an 11-inch pie plate, crimping edges.  Pierce dough with a fork several times.  Bake in oven until slightly browned, about 6-8 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Turn oven down to 325 degrees.

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add butter, onion, spinach, artichoke hearts, cayenne and garlic.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook until mixture is warm and fragrant.  Remove from pan to a bowl and let cool.

In a large bowl combine chives, Dijon mustard, eggs, heavy cream, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and a large pinch of black pepper.  Whisk together until well combined.

Add spinach-artichoke mixture to the pie shell, then pour egg mixture over top.  Top with Cheddar cheese and bake until eggs are set, about 35 minutes.  Remove from oven, cut into wedges and serve with a side of fresh spinach with broiled tomatoes.

Maple Syrup Tapping

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Taping a maple tree

Taping a maple tree

Did you know that the maple trees in Virginia produced sap, which can be made into maple syrup, just like the trees in New Hampshire and Vermont?

Did you ever wonder how maple syrup is made?

If the answers to these two questions peak your interest then you will want to visit the Old City Cemetery, in Lynchburg, VA, on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013, between the hours of 10:00 am until 12:00 pm.  The Cemetery’s historic grounds supervisor will be conducting a demonstration on how the century old maple trees, on the Cemetery grounds, are tapped and the sap is converted into maple syrup.  The maple syrup is then sold in the Cemetery gift shop throughout the year (very limited quantities, while supplies last!)

The sap is produced and tapped from trees at least 15 years old, or with a trunk at least 12-inches in diameter.  Beginning in early February, when the temperatures start to warm up but the nights are still below freezing, small splines are placed into the trunks about 2-inches deep and usually on either the left or right side of the tree.  The clear sap drips into bags which is collected until about the end of February.  Once a sufficient amount of sap has been collected the sap is boiled to a temperature of 219 degrees and is a light amber color.  From 2 gallons of sap about 1 cup of syrup is produced.

The Old City Cemetery is Lynchburg’s most visited tourist site.  The grounds are comprised of over 20,000 graves, most of which have long since lost their grave markers or headstones.  Beautiful during each of the four seasons, the winter months bring a sense of starkness, quiet and contemplation.  Great pictures can be taken throughout the Cemetery and will provide fabulous results.

Located at 401 Taylor Street, visit their website www.gravegarden.org for their calendar of events, directions or interesting facts and descriptions.

Come stay with us at the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and one morning you will delight in a 4-course breakfast featuring maple syrup!  Visit our website www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com to check our availability calendar and book your room.  It’ll be a fun weekend!

 

Montpelier, James Madison’s Home

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I had the pleasure to visiting James Madison’s Montpelier, in Orange Virginia this week.  A magnificent house , on 2,700 acres (originally almost 5,000 acres), with commanding views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Virginia countryside.

James’ grandfather acquired the land and originally built a modest house for his family.  James was born March 16, 1751.  Between 1763 – 1765 James’ father, James Madison, Senior had Montpelier built one-third of a mile from the original family home at Mount Pleasant.  James attended the College of New Jersey (Princeton), served in the Continental Congress (1780-1783), participated in the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (1787), drafted the Bill of Rights (1789-1797), was a member of the House of Representatives (1789-1797), served as Secretary of State under Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), was our fourth President-elected for two terms (1809-1817), James died at Montpelier, June 28, 1836.

James married Dolley Payne Todd, September 15, 1794.  Together they added on to Montpelier as their family grew expanding the original house to the 22 rooms you see today.  The tour of the mansion includes the Drawing Room, filled with various pieces of art, the Dining Room, where the Madison’s entertained important and influential guests, the Presidential Library filled with books and maps, the room where James Madison died and Dolley’s kitchen, which is in the basement of the house.

The impressive grounds contain the family cemetery, where James and Dolley are buried, a slave cemetery, Mr. Madison’s Temple (built over the year-round ice house), and a 200-acre old-growth forest, along with sites where the slave quarters were, the blacksmith shop site, a formal garden and the farm complex.

Although this historic house and property is about 2 hours north of Lynchburg guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn could easily combine a tour of this house with either Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello or James Monroe’s Ashlawn and learn about two or three of our founding fathers, their lives, beliefs and what life was like at the dawn of our country.  Additionally, Thomas Jefferson’s summer home, Poplar Forest is just 20 minutes from us.  —  Kathy