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Strawberry Soup

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The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Strawberry Soup

Strawberry Soup

Strawberries are at their peak during the month of May.  Our signature dish this month takes advantage of the fresh strawberry crops found near Lynchburg, VA.  Several local farms have “pick your own” fields, which we have taken advantage of (just picking over 33 pounds!), in order to have fresh strawberries for this soup and to make strawberry jam.  Visit with us during May, mention you read this blog post and you’ll be treated to a jar of homemade strawberry jam to enjoy when you get home.

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast--strawberries

33 pounds of freshly picked strawberries

At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we serve this soup as our fruit course during breakfast.  It would be equally good at lunch or as a dinner appetizer.

Here’s the recipe for our soup:  Process 3 cups of sliced fresh strawberries, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup Reisling, and 1/3 cup sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours.  Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper and sliced fresh strawberries.  No matter what time of day you eat this soup, enjoy!

PS: if you don’t want to “pick your own” strawberries visit the Lynchburg Community Market on either Wednesday or Saturday to buy fresh strawberries from one of the vendors.

 

Antique Rose Festival

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On Saturday, May 12, 2012 the Old City Cemetery, in Lynchburg, VA, will be celebrating their 17th Annual Antique Rose Festival.

As the roses are just beginning their bloom cycle, a walk along the Old Brick Wall near the Confederate section, is a delightful way to experience some of the 270 varieties of roses found on the Cemetery grounds.  Then walk the grounds to discover more varieties growing throughout the Cemetery.

The roses planted throughout the Cemetery are said to be the soul of the Cemetery grave garden.  Originally planted on the graves of loved ones by family members, during the month of May they bloom for the benefit of all who visit.

Heirloom rose cuttings and bushes will be available for purchase between May 6-13, at the Cemetery Center.  Choose one that may be sprawling or upright, sweetly perfumed or without any fragrance, with or without thorns, in a new color or to match what you may already have growing in your garden.  There will be something for everyone.

In addition to the rose sale there will be a special, guided Mother’s Day Rose Walk on Sunday the 13th, starting at 3:00pm.  What a nice way to spend some time with your mother on a lovely spring day.

Come stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and  you will be greeted with a rose upon your pillow.

The Museum of the Confederacy

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Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg

Museum of the Confederacy

The Museum of the Confederacy Appomattox is now open!

Visitors to the museum start and end their tour in the main exhibit area with the museums crown jewel: the sword worn by Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Army of Northen Virginia’s ceremonial surrender on April 12, 1865.

Touring the museum will take about two hours.  During this time you will experience exhibits that include: the story of secession and the beginning of the Civil War, Confederate flags, soilders of the war, slavery and the important part it played in the Civil War, war correspondence, five important battle campaigns, the Appomattox surrender and Reconstruction and life after the war.  You will not want to miss the Wall of Faces, an interactive feature, that shows pictures of people who lived during the Civil War-era and includes biographies about them.

Located at 159 Horseshoe Road, Appomattox, VA the museum is open daily between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Admission fees apply.

You will want to combine your visit to the museum with a visit to Appomattox Courthouse National Park, located just a few miles away.

Flags of the Confederacy fly at the new museum

The state flag of each state that belonged to the Confederacy fly at the entrance of the museum as well as the American flag which represents the re-unification of the North and South.

Located about a 25-minute drive to Appomattox, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg, VA is a great spot to stay while exploring the area and it’s Civil War sites, museums and points of interest.  Call 434.846.1388 to make your reservation or visit our web site at www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com.

Asparagus Sourdough Strata

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Strata cooling after baking

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast‘s signature recipe for the month of April is this delicious, custardy dish made with spring’s fresh asparagus and tangy sourdough bread cubes.  Ideal when feeding a crowd this brunch dish is sure to delight your family and friends.  Just remember, you need to make it the night before you will serve it!  Visit us in Lynchburg, VA and you too will have a chance to enjoy our spring garden dish.

 

  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread, cubed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 9 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into sections
  • 8 ounces diced ham
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheese
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Gather everything you need to make strata

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking pan with parchment paper and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Toss bread cubes with the melted butter and spread evenly onto baking sheet.  Toast in oven about 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp.

Cook asparagus sections in rapidly boiling water for about 4 minutes, just until tender (they will continue cooking in the oven.)

Toss onion, asparagus, ham and 1 1/2 cups cheese with the bread cubes.  Spread mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.

Mix everything in a large bowl

Mix together the eggs, half and half and salt; pour over bread mixture, pressing the bread gently into the liquid to cover.  Add  more half and half if there isn’t enough to come within 1/2 inch of the top of the bread cubes.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6 hours.

Put everything in pan and press down then add additional cheese

Remove strata from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Bake the strata uncovered in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.  A knife blade inserted in the center will come out clean.  Remove the strata from the oven and allow to set for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 12-15

Notes–We plate our food rather than serving family style so we bake them in muffin pans.  Cooking time is about 10 minutes less this way.  Also make sure pan is sprayed with a cooking spray before adding ingredients.  This made 12 individual stratas.

Historic Garden Week in Lynchburg, Virginia

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April 21-28, 2012 is Historic Garden Week in Virginia.  On Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Lynchburg, Virginia is proud to host visitors to our city and locals to our Garden Day Tour.

Sponsored by The Lynchburg Garden Club and the Hillside Garden Club this year’s tour includes admission to 6 locations:  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast at 404 Cabell Street, 301 Cabell Street, Point of Honor at 112 Cabell Street, 4935 Mountain Laurel Drive, 4924 Mountain Laurel Drive (all in Lynchburg) and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest at 1542 Bateman Bridge Road in Forest. 

The houses and gardens will be open for touring between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.  You may visit the properties in any order.  Contact the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce at 434.847.1811 for information about purchasing tickets, in advance, to this day of nature and heritage.  Tickets may be purchased at each location on Garden Day.  

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast has limited availability should you wish to stay the night before or after the tour.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to inquire about your luxurious accomodations while celebrating Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

Old City Cemetery Daffodils

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Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg

Tombstone and Daffodils at The Old City Cemetery

The Old City Cemetery, Lynchurg, Viginia’s most visited tourist site, is a nature-lovers paradise.  The daffodils throughout the cemetery are just about finished blooming, due to our extremely mild winter and early spring.  The pictures included with this blog are from several grave sites throughout the cemetery.  Some daffoldils grace actual gravestones and plots, others are blooming where surely there is a grave below but the grave marker has long since disintegrated.

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg

Graveyard iron fence with daffodil in background

Established in 1806 Old City Cemetery is one of the oldest public cemeteries in the United States that has been in continuous use since its founding.  Approximately 20,000 people are buried here, including over 2,200 Confederate soilders from 14 states.

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Entrance to the Confederate Section of the Cemetery

Located at 401 Taylor Street the cemetery grounds are open daily from sunrise to sunset.  The visitor center is open daily between 11-3, or by appointment.  The five museums on the property can be accessed during the hours the cemetery is open through the use of prerecorded taped messages.

www.thecarriagehouseinnbandb.com

Graveyard fence

Visit soon to catch the last glimpse of the daffodils. Be on the lookout for our upcoming blog posts about other events and announcements of things to see in the cemetery in the months ahead.  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast will be offering various specials and packages throughout the year which will include special events at the cemetery.  Call us at 434.846.1388, keep reviewing our blog or visit our website at www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com for more details.