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The American Flag and our 5th President

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The Flag in 1814 had 15 stars and 15 stripes

When you think of America you may think about Freedom, Democracy, Free Speech, Opportunity, Justice and all that makes this a great country.  The American flag is the one symbol that represents not only who we are but what we are as a county.

 


Last week Kathy and I took a road trip to Charlottesville and visited the home of our 5th president, James Monroe (1817-1825).  His home is known as Ash Lawn and is owned and maintained by The College of William and Mary, his alma mater.  In many respects it is a simple home but worth visiting.  One of the interesting facts I learned was President Monroe  had legislation enacted that makes our flag look the way it does today.

The flag that flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore in 1814 (pictured above) has 15 stars and 15 stripes.  One star and one stripe for each state.  President Monroe recognized that if we kept adding stripes for each state the flag would create design and proportion problems so in 1818 he signed an act declaring that henceforth our flag would have 13 stripes and a star for each state of the Union.  Had he not signed this act by the time he left office in 1825 there were 24 states and one could only imagine the flag with 24 stripes.

When you see the American Flag today you have our 5th president to thank for the way it looks. Speaking of presidents, next Tuesday we, have the privilege of choosing our president for the next four years.  Remember to get out and vote.

 

 

 

 

Zombie Walk

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Headless zombie at 2012 Zombie Walk

The sun was setting on Saturday, October 20, 2012 as several hundred zombies rose from the dead to walk along Main Street in downtown Lynchburg, VA.  Almost as many spectators lined Main Street to see the zombies up close and personal, hear their moans, groans and screams and “enjoy” an unusual yearly event.  Who knew so many zombies lived among us?

Blond Zombie

Some participants clearly spent hours or perhaps days, working on their costumes and planning, then applying their makeup.  We saw traditional zombies, brides, headless zombies, zombies with missing (but carried) limbs, zombies with gashes and missing flesh….you name it.  The “Best Child Zombie” was a boy with a cleaver embedded in his head.  “Most Authentic Zombie” was Abraham Lincoln, risen from the dead, who was accompanied by his wife dressed as John Wilkes Booth.

Abe Lincoln and John Willks Booth at Lynchburg Zombie Walk

The event had a philanthropic theme as well.  Participants were asked to bring along a non-perishable food item or donate cash to the Lynchburg dog park.  More than $200 was raised for the dog park and it is estimated that over 800 pounds of food was donated to Lynchburg’s food bank.

Child zombie

Next year plan on spending the Zombie Walk weekend at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Rise Saturday morning to our legendary breakfast, get yourself ready for the walk and then haunt Main Street with your fellow zombies.

Next week will be the Ghost walk down Main Street.  If the zombies didn’t scare you then come downtown to hear stories of residents of years past that just don’t want to leave downtown.  Who can blame them with as much revitalization that is happening!.  The Ghost Walk is put on by the Lynchburg Historical Foundation and tickets can be purchased the night of the event at the Community Market at the corner of 12th and Main Streets.  See you there!

Cemetery Tours

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This Sunday, October 21, 2012, residents of the Lynchburg, VA area have 2 cemetery tours to take advantage of.

In Lynchburg’s Old City Cemetery, starting at 3:00pm, a tour highlighting the history and horticultural aspects of the grounds will take place.  If you have never visited Old City Cemetery or have visited on your own and have wondered why this historic site is Lynchburg’s most visited historic site this tour will enlighten you.  Explanations of the graves, grave sites, some of the “residents,” plants, shrubs and trees will give you an overview of this not so hidden gem.  The leaves should be almost at their peak color, the weather is forecasted to be partly sunny and warm, so the day will be well spendt at Old City Cemetery.

Just up Route 29, in the town of Amherst, the Amherst County Museum and Historical Society is offering their first Cemetery tour at 2:00pm.  The tour begins at the Christian Aid Cemetery (next to the Subaru dealer on South Main Street) and continues onto the Amherst Cemetery (on North Main Street.)  This tour will feature actors, from Amherst County High School, who will portray some of Amherst’s more interesting “residents.”

As both of these tours will be walking tours, on uneven ground, it is suggested you wear comfortable shoes.

The Ultimate Buttermilk Pancake

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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancake with blueberry syrup

What makes this pancake so great?  For starters, it’s easy to make and it tastes really great!  Beyond that, it is very versatile.   The pancake holds up as a plain buttermilk pancake, but if you want to do something different, turn it into a blueberry pancake by tossing in some fresh blueberries.  Making it for the kids or someone with a sweet tooth?  Toss in some chocolate chips and have a chocolate chip pancake.  Add a quarter cup of cocoa mix and some dark chocolate chips that have been chopped into smaller pieces and you have a great chocolate pancake that you can top with raspberries and have a great Valentine’s Day breakfast.    Looking for something a little more savory?  Cook up some bacon and break it up into little pieces and add it to the batter.  Serve these with eggs as your bacon and eggs breakfast (the pancakes take the place of toast).  You could do the same thing with adding some cooked sausage to the batter.  With all these options you can use one batter and produce a dozen different pancakes to satisfy all your picky eaters.

Make the batter as follows and start experimenting by adding other ingredients to the batter:

  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar (white)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Cups buttermilk-room temperature
  • 3 eggs-room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (can substitute skim milk or 1 or 2% fat milk)-room temperature
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter

 

Sift the dry ingredients together in one bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).  In a second bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, whole milk and melted butter).  Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to make the pancakes.

Heat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix using a fork or wooden spoon.  Mix until just blended together (it will be lumpy).  Do NOT over blend the mixture.  Using a scoop (I use an ice cream scoop)  pour the batter on the griddle or frying pan.  Brown on both sides and serve with butter and maple syrup.  This recipe should serve twelve people.  If you are making them in batches you can preheat the oven to 200 degrees and store the cooked pancakes in the oven on the shelf until you have cooked all of them and are ready to serve them (will keep well in the oven for 30-45 minutes).

We have had several return guests ask us to make these pancakes for them again.  Yes, they are that good!

Pictured above is our buttermilk pancake.  When the batter is on the griddle we tossed some fresh blueberries in the batter.  The hot fresh blueberries burst with flavor when eating them.  Then we tossed a few blueberries on the plate as garnish.  The pancake is served with homemade blueberry syrup.

Blueberry Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 oz (1/2 package of frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

 

In a saucepan combine water and sugar and bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the blueberries and return mixture to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes more.  Combine the cornstarch with a little water and add to the sauce a little at a time stirring the sauce until it is thickened to the desired consistency.

Guests at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast enjoy our legendary breakfast each morning and each month we post one of our recipes so you too can enjoy our delicious breakfast at home.  If you have any ideas for a great breakfast or an old family recipe you would like to share please send it to us.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Special

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Between now and November 30th the Massage and BodyWorks Studio at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is offering a fall special. 

Our “Pumpkin Spice” body care package is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the change of season. 

Warm, cozy and familiar, who doesn’t like pumpkin pie?  This yummy scrub and Swedish massage will envelope you in scents reminiscent of fall and will leave you feeling relaxed, hydrated and spicy!  A total mind, body and sensory experience.

This treatment is 75-minutes and priced at $125 (normally $150.)  You must mention this blog post special to receive the discounted price.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to schedule your appointment.

Pierce Street

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This past Saturday Lynchburg, Virginia’s Pierce Street Historic District (located in the 1300 & 1400 blocks) celebrated the addition of two state historical markers, the people who resided here that influenced Lynchburg and beyond, the music of years gone by and food and drink as enjoyed by both past and present residents with a festival enjoyed by locals and visitors.

Only two blocks long, Pierece Street Historic District is the smallest of Lynchburg’s seven historic districts.  It is the only historic district made more notable due to the people who lived here rather than the architecture of the buildings.

Settled in the 1850’s the area was the site of the Confederate Camp Davis, which served as a military hospital and gathering point for recruits from Virginina.  During Reconstruction, the abandoned barracks were converted into housing for Federal soilders, a freedman’s school and a black Methodist Church.  The area became part of Lynchburg in 1870.

The markers dedicated honor Walter Johnson and Professor Frank Twigg.  Johnson’s marker commemorates his efforts to desegregate the game of tennis in the United States.  Johnson trained Wimbledon champions Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe.  Twigg’s marker commemorates this Virginia educator who was born in 1850 “into slavery in Richmond.”  He worked as a teacher and pricipal for 22 years in Lynchurg’s public school system, and later served as president of colleges in Virginia, Maryland & North Carolina. 

Look for a future post about Annes Spencer’s House and Garden, also located in the Pierce Street Historic District.  On your next visit to the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast take time to visit this tiny, but very interesting, historic district.