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Soap Box Derby 2012

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Soap Box Derby photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Drivers at the starting line

On Saturday, June 2nd, the Hill City Classic Derby took place at Falwell Aviation.  22 drivers competed in the double elimination competition, ten in stock and 12 in superstock.  The double elimination format meant that some of the drivers raced down the hill as many as six times. 

Since there aren’t any engines in soapbox derby the difference between stock and uper stock is the size of the driver. Stock cars accommodate drivers in the 10-13 age range.  In superstock the cockpit is larger to accommodate drivers aged 13-17.

Fallwell Airport runway by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Drivers reach speeds in excess of 30 MPH

The drivers must make their cars, using a hard plastic kit that weighs about 60 pounds.  According to two of the drivers, the hardest part of building the car is getting the steering cables installed correctly.  Most of the drivers had assistance from a helpful adult.

A tight race by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

A Tight Race--Superstock Class

In the 1950′s and 60′s the Derby was a fixture in downtown Lynchburg, the course taking advantage of various hilly streets.  This year, Falwell Aviation was chosen as the sight of the derby due to the layout of the land and the slope of the runway.  Without an engine, gravity plays a vital role in the running of the race.  The track was about 100 yards (the length of a football field) and the drivers reached a speed in excess of 30 miles per hour.

The stock and superstock winners, Fulton Fitzgerald and Nathan Hansen, respectively, will travel to Akron, Ohio to compete in the National Soap Box Derby on July 21st.  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast wishes the best of luck to Lynchburg’s representatives!

The derby was such a success the organizers plan to offer the event again next year.

Celebrating Memorial Day

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Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg VA

Flowers at grave of fallen soldiers

Once a year we celebrate Memorial Day.  To some it represents a three day weekend, to others it means sales at the store and to others it represents the unofficial start of summer.  To the vast majority of Americans it is a time to reflect on who we are as Americans.   Our way of life, the freedoms we enjoy, the opportunities each of us has wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for those brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us and our way of life.  Freedom isn’t free and our cemeteries are full of the graves of those who gave their lives to protect us.  Many of us took the time this weekend to place flowers or flags on the headstones of our fallen heroes.   In Lynchburg, there was a service on Sunday in the Confederate section of the cemetery and afterwards flowers were placed on the graves of the soldiers.

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Lynchburg Virginia

Memorial Day 2012--A single rose

Please don’t wait until Veterans Day or next Memorial Day to thank a veteran as many of them need our help now.  If you are an employer consider hiring a vet.  If you know of a family that has someone serving overseas and you can help with their yard work, house cleaning or even babysitting.  When you see a veteran thank them for their service.  These little acts of kindness will go a long way and will be appreciated.  Finally, if you are in downtown Lynchburg on Fridays from noon to 1:00 pm at the foot of Monument Terrace honk to show support of our troops or better yet, get out and talk to the veterans that gather each Friday.

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Tribute to the fallen

We all have a lot to be thankful for so let’s not forget to thank them more than once or twice a year.

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.