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Shirred Eggs Florentine

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Shirred Eggs Florentine

Shirred Eggs Florentine

When serving our legendary 4-course breakfast at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg VA, we alternate a sweet morning with a savory morning.  Thus, this month’s recipe showcases fresh spinach (from our garden), fresh eggs and cream (from the farm up the road) as it gets our guests ready for their day of outdoor activities i.e. hiking, biking, tubing or kayaking the James River.  Exploring historic sites i.e. Point of Honor, the National D-Day Memorial or Appomattox Courthouse National Park.  Indulging in wine tastings at one of 20 wineries within a half-hour drive.  Or just relaxing on the wraparound porch or patio with fish pond.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.IMG_8482.1
  • Spray 4 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray.
  • Arrange spinach leaves, loosely, in ramekin, making a “nest” of spinach.  You need the spinach to fill the ramekin but enough space to allow the cream and eggs to cook into the “nest” without over flowing the ramekin.  Place ramekins on foil covered baking sheet.
  • In separate bowl break two large eggs.  Lightly salt and pepper.  Gently pour eggs into spinach “nest.”
  • Add about 1-2 tablespoons cream to the spinach & eggs.  Top with freshly shaved parmesan cheese, to taste

    Cook after everything has been added.

    Cook after everything has been added.

  • Bake in oven about 20 minutes, or until egg whites are set and yolks are semi-firm.  Carefully remove from oven and serve, in ramekin.
  • Remember to warn guests that the ramekin is HOT and not to hold the ramekin when eating contents
  • We serve this dish with hash brown sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus and tomatoes along with a corn muffin.

Enjoy in your own kitchen or visit us and request this breakfast dish when you make your reservation at 434.846.1388.

Blueberry Bread Pudding

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Blueberry Bread Pudding

Blueberry Bread Pudding

To celebrate summer our signature dish for the month of June is Blueberry Bread Pudding (or overnight blueberry French toast.)  Blueberries are an abundant summer fruit, are good for your health and memory and can be featured in recipes covering all courses of a meal from appetizers, salads, breads, main dishes and desserts.  We like to make this recipe when serving a full house at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast since it makes a large portion and must be prepared the night before, leaving time in the morning for last minute dishes.  We have only made this using fresh blueberries, but we may experiment with other sturdy berries or even frozen berries.  Enjoy!

Bread Pudding:

  • 12 slices white bread, cubed (1 inch cubes)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 12 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup cream

Blueberry Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Bread Pudding Preparation:

Arrange 1/2 bread cubes in a well-greased 13X9 baking dish.

Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and blueberries evenly over bread cubes.

Top with remaining bread cubes.

Mix together eggs, maple syrup, milk and cream.

Pour over bread cubes, compressing bread cubes to absorb egg mixture.  Cover pan with foil.  Let chill in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove blueberry bread pudding from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes then bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until fluffy and golden brown.  Let sit 5 minutes before slicing.  Top with Blueberry Sauce.  Serves 8-12.

Blueberry Sauce Preparation:

Cook water, sugar and cornstarch, over low heat, until thickened.  Stir in blueberries and simmer 10 minutes.  Add butter and stir until melted.  Serve over Bread Pudding.  Can be made ahead.  Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

2nd Annual Lynchburg Restaurant Week

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Lynchburg Restaurant Week was such a hit, in it’s inaugural year, that it is returning in 2013 between June 22-29, 2013.  Restaurant Week invites the local community and those visiting our city, while staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, to experience some of Central Virginia’s delicious local fare.

Featuring 22 local, independently-owned restaurants offering 26 special “price fixed” dinner menus, this week of wining and dining also benefits Meals on Wheels of Lynchburg through a portion of the sponsorship proceeds given to the local non-profit.

As an added feature this year menus will feature a “100-Mile Meal” logo.  This logo represents the conscientious effort made by the local restaurant owners and chefs to source ingredients from within a 100-mile radius of Lynchburg.  Some of these ingredients include herbs, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy.

Restaurants this year can be found throughout downtown Lynchburg, Boonsboro, the Wards Road and Graves Mill Road area and other great dining pockets found in the greater Lynchburg area.

For more information about which restaurants are participating, menu selections, hours and for the chance to win a gift card to one of the 22 participating restaurants visit www.LynchburgRestaurantWeek.com.  You’ll be glad you did!

Prisoner of War Camp in Lynchburg

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The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Civil War tents on grounds of E. C. Glass High School

 

It’s hard to imagine Americans being held as a Prisoner of War in America, but there was once an instance in our history where this actually occurred, during the Civil War.  Most of us probably never think about this but during the Civil War Lynchburg housed thousands of Prisoners of War.  In 1862, the current site of E. C. Glass High School, was known as the fairgrounds.  During this period it was a large military encampment that quartered Confederate troops on their way to various battlefields earlier in the war.  In June of 1862 (about 150 years ago) the city of Lynchburg had thousands of Union POW’s arrive in the city as trainloads of prisoners, who were captured by General Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, were taken to the Fair Grounds.  Below are copies of articles that were reprinted from The Daily Virginian which recently appeared in the News and Advance.  The photo above shows what a tent during the Civil War would have looked like.  These tents are on the grounds of E. C. Glass High School, which can be seen in the background.  The Virginia State Flag would not have been flying during the War.

June 12, 1862

“A large number of Yankee prisoners variously estimated at from 3,000 to 3,500 who were taken by Jackson some weeks since, arrived here yesterday, and were escorted to the Fair Grounds.  The poor [demons] looked jaded and dirty, whilst some of them were actually bare footed. …though they came into our country upon a hostile mission and deserved death on the battlefield, there was much in their woebegone appearance to excite our sympathy.  They are prisoners in an enemy’s country and that is enough to repress any undue manifestation of exultation over them, and to excite emotions of humanity towards them; but if it were not, the fact that many of our own brave country men are similarly circumstanced should …awaken feelings of pity for our …foes.”

June 13, 1862

“Our Yankee Guests—The prisoners of whom we spoke yesterday are encamped near the Fair Ground, and will, we understand, remain there several days.  We indulged in conservation with a number of them yesterday and found them exceedingly insolent.  They seem to presume upon their condition as prisoners, to offer insult to those who would reason with them calmly about the folly and wickedness of their invasion of our territory … We saw not a man who talked otherwise or seemed disposed to admit that we have any right of self government.  They say that we will be compelled to submit to their overwhelming numbers … We are sorry to say that we left them with a more decided repugnance for the whole race than we had previously.”

June 13, 1862

“We are not in favor of treating our enemies who are helpless prisoners in our hands, with either inhumanity or indecorum … And yet it becomes us not to act in such a manner as to lead our enemies to suppose they are welcome amongst us, or that our people have any sympathy for their cause. … They should not be feted and entertained at private houses, as we understand was the case with the Yankee officers who were here a few nights ago.  If Northern men amongst us … would indicate to the public, their sympathy for the cause represented by the prisoners of, they could not adapt any means that would more effectually accomplish that object, than by acting in the manner aforesaid … it is obviously proper that the community should know whether there are any amongst us who have Northern proclivities…”

Old City Cemetery celebrates National Donut Day

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Celebrate National Donut Day at Old City Cemetery

Celebrate National Donut Day at Old City Cemetery

In honor of National Donut Day, Old City Cemetery is giving out free donuts on Friday, June 7th at the Stapleton Station House (located on the cemetery grounds.)

What is National Donut Day?  National Donut Day was first celebrated in Chicago in 1938 as a way to honor Salvation Army “doughnut lassies” from WWI and to raise money and bring awareness to the Army’s social service programs during the Great Depression.

During World War I, starting in 1917,  approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers provided assistance to American soldiers fighting on the front lines in France.  The young soldiers were faced with physical and emotional peril while fighting.  To ease some of the stress two female Salvation army officers came up with the idea to comfort the soldiers with good home cooking.  As they had very limited supplies they decided to use their limited ingredients to fry delicious doughnuts, using helmets as the frying vessel, for the soldiers.

These women nicknamed “Doughnut Lassies” or “Doughnut Girls” served many of their treats and coffee to grateful soldiers serving in trenches throughout the battle fields.  The doughnuts became an instant hit and was brought back to America by the “doughboys.”

Between the hours of 11 AM and 1 PM the Stapleton Station House Museum (the train station) will be held open to showcase items and memorabilia from World War ! and to serve you a donut.  For more information or directions to the Old City Cemetery visit their web site at www.gravegarden.org.

And for those of you staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg, VA we will be serving donut holes, as one of our courses served during our 4-course breakfast, on Friday, June 7th.

Lynchburg’s Community Market–a hidden treasure?

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Lynchburg Community Market--Happy Birthday!

Lynchburg Community Market–Happy Birthday!

June 1st will celebrate the Lynchburg, Virginia Community Market’s 230th anniversary.  The third oldest continuously running market in the United States it is 3 years older than the city itself!

Fresh radishes

Fresh radishes

Created as a commercial center on the riverfront it, on what today is 9th Street, it started as an open air market on Water Street.  The market quickly became the central place of commerce for the growing city and as a gathering spot for the city’s residents.  It was initially heavily involved in the tobacco trade.

In 1814,when the market outgrew its original home, it moved to the center of Water Street where it remained until 1872.  In 1872 it relocated to Main Street between 11th and 12th Streets where the space allowed for ample commerce space plus a livestock yard.  It remained there until 1932 when it moved to its current location at     Main Street.

Improvements were made to the market in 1987 that included enclosing an interior space plus adding heating and central air, outside farmer’s stalls and parking.  The market is now home to over 100 vendors each year that include farmers, artisans, bakers, cheese mongers, truffle creators, 4 locally owned restaurants and boutiques.  A great place to find locally grown vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, wine, jams and jellies, flowers and plants or purchase homemade sweets such as pies, cakes, cookies or candies.

Home grown tomatoes.

Home grown tomatoes.

This year the market is opening a demonstration kitchen.  Local chefs will demonstrate how to utilize local ingredients, found at the market, that will allow the community to learn skills and recipes featuring ingredients from our region (the grow local movement) and in season.  It is anticipated that cooking and culinary classes will be added to take the demonstrations to the next level.

The Community Market is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 until 2.  Wednesdays, between 10-2 and Saturdays between 7-2 the farmers booths are filled to the brim with delicious offerings.  A word to the wise: get to the market early!  There are many Wednesdays and Saturdays when the booths are bare by mid-morning.

If you are staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we often shop (very early) to get produce for the mornings 4-course breakfast or for wine and cheese in the afternoon for those guests arriving between 4-5 PM .  And we source the market when gathering truffles, wine, cheese, breads and cookies for our room “add-ons” that are available as part of a package or just because.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to discuss your reservation and how to make it more special.