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Archives: December 2016

Christmas Star Twisted Bread

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Twisted Christmas Star Bread

Twisted Christmas Star Bread

For December 2016 our signature dish, at The Carriage House Inn B & B, is Christmas Star Twisted Bread.  It’s delicious, impressive and a great way to celebrate the holiday season.  Don’t let the lengthy directions scare you….it’s not that difficult to make.  Just read the directions thoroughly before you start and refer to them while making the dough and bread.  Your family and guests will be most impressed!


  • 1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 3/4 cup warm whole milk (110-115 degrees)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/4 -3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4-1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • confectioner’s sugar


  1.  Dissolve yeast in water until foamy.  Combine milk, egg, butter, sugar and salt; add yeast mixture and 3 cups flour.  Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes.  Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into four portions.  Roll one portion into a 12-inch circle.  Place on greased 14-inch pizza pan.  Spread with one-third of the jam to within 1/2-inch of the edge.  Repeat twice, layering dough and jam, ending with final portion of dough.  Place a 2 1/2-inch glass/cup/biscuit cutter on top of dough in the center of the circle–do not press down.  With a sharp knife, make 16 evenly spaced cuts from the round center to edge of dough.  Remove glass/cup/cutter; grasp two strips and rotate twice outward to twist.  Pinch ends together.  Repeat with remaining strips.
  3. Brush dough with melted butter.  Cover with plastic wrap; let is rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake until golden, 18-22 minutes.  (Watch during the final 5 minutes for any dripping.)  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Move to serving platter and dust with confectioners’ sugar.


Tips from Kathy:  To get your egg at room temperature, have the egg sit out on the counter top for about two hours.  The next time I make this I will not use the electric mixer, but rather will incorporate all of the dough ingredients by hand, like my great grandmother taught me when making bread dough.  After dividing the dough into 4 equal portions lightly shape the dough into balls, this will make it easier to roll the dough into circles.  The rising time may vary slightly depending upon how warm the room is, so watch the clock but also keep checking on the dough.  I used the raspberry jam.  Next time I will use a bit more so that when the bread is complete there is more of a jam taste.  You can vary the jam used to blueberry (with 1 tsp. lemon peel) or blackberry (with a 1/2 tsp. cardamom.)  Give it a try and have fun!

The History of Lynchburg, Part 2

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Sandusky Plantation

Sandusky Plantation

This month we are continuing with the history of Lynchburg, starting in 1864.

During the Civil War, Lynchburg served primarily as a supply and hospital center, and was spared most of the destruction that befell other Virginia cities and towns.  The Battle of Lynchburg was fought on June 18, 1864 Confederate forces successfully fought off a Union attack.  After inconclusive fighting the Union troops withdrew under the false impression they were fighting a very large Confederate force.  Part of the deception arose from the continuous series of train movements on several rail lines, giving the impression that reinforcements were arriving at a steady pace.

In September 1870, Lynchburg experienced its worst flood in history when the James River rose 26 feet above its banks.  The flood destroyed all bridges across the river, all railroad property in the river basin and on the island, the main gas pipe across Blackwater Creek and the water works pump house, leaving the city without water for months.  A similar flood occurred in 1877, again destroying all bridges over the James River.

Following Reconstruction, Lynchburg entered a period of prosperity.  Iron works, blast furnaces and steel mills fueled the growth.  Railroads eliminated the need for the canal system.  By 1800 the population reached 15,000.  Also in 1880 work began on a street railway system, whose initial purpose was to facilitate transportation from downtown to Miller Park.

By the beginning of the 20th century Lynchburg was well-underway in its evolution from a tobacco-based economy into a manufacturing one.  A large number of factories opened, some of which are still in business today.  In 1882, Lynchburg Foundry-today known as Griffin Pipe.  In 1888 Lynchburg Cotton Mill.  Also in 1888 Craddock-Terry Shoe Company, which became Lynchburg’s largest industry and the largest shoe manufacturer in the south-it was in business until the 1960’s.

Lynchburg’s wealth helped to transform itself into a modern city.  Houses were built in the Diamond Hill and Rivermont areas of the city.  In 1894 the Lynchburg Hill Climbers brought baseball to the city.  In 1907 a 21-mile wooded pipe system was laid to Pedlar Lake, which to this day, serves as the city’s primary water source.

Randolph College, formerly Randolph Macon Women's College

Randolph College, formerly Randolph Macon Women’s College

The arts and education also flourished during this time.  Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (1891), Sweet Briar (1901) and Lynchburg College (1903) were founded.  The Academy of Music opened in 1905, replacing the Lynchburg Opera House as the city’s premiere theater.  The Jones Memorial Library opened as a public library in 1907.

Rendering of the restored 1905 Academy of Fine Arts scheduled to reopen in 2018

Rendering of the restored 1905 Academy of Fine Arts scheduled to reopen in 2018

The First World War saw many of Lynchburg’s men in the military.  The city’s industries supplied the war effort.  A Red Cross-operated canteen served troop trains at the Southern Railroad station, giving the city the nickname Lunchburg.  In 1930 the first radio station started broadcasting, WLVA.  The first airport was constructed in 1931.  Side-by-side football and baseball stadiums were built on a former fair ground.

Since the 1950’s, Lynchburg has evolved from a small, tightly-knit manufacturing city to one with a diverse economy, with most residents living in the surrounding suburbs.  This transformation began in 1955 when Babcock and Wilcox (nuclear technology) and General Electric opened plants in the city, bringing in an influx of new residents.  In the 1960’s the city’s first shopping center, Pittman Plaza, opened.  The new shopping center signaled the end of the original downtown area as a retail center.

Since the early 2000’s downtown Lynchburg has transformed itself again.  Numerous restaurants, shops, commercial businesses and almost 800 residents call downtown home!  If you haven’t dined at a downtown restaurant you are missing out on delicious food.  Shopping with small, local businesses brings unique and oftentimes handmade products.  The Community Market continues to service the city with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and flowers, along with artisan cheeses and an assortment of yummy baked goods.

In the coming months we will concentrate on local businesses and commercial endeavors found in downtown Lynchburg as well as just outside of the official city limits.

Historic Churches of Lynchburg

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Historic Churches of Lynchburg

Historic Churches of Lynchburg

On Saturday, December, between 10 until 2, the Interfaith Outreach Association will be hosting the Downtown Lynchburg Historic Church Open House.  Nine churches, within a 5 block area of downtown Lynchburg, VA, will be open for tours.  In addition to touring the churches each church will be presenting musical performances throughout the tour time as well as a silent auction.

The participating historic churches of Lynchburg are:

  • Court Street Baptist
  • Court Street United Methodist
  • First Unitarianimg_8146-1
  • First Baptist
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal
  • Holy Cross Catholic
  • Diamond Hill Baptist
  • Eighth Street Baptist
  • Jackson Street United Methodist
Historic Churches

Historic Churches

Some interesting facts about a few of the churches on tour follow:

Court Street Baptist: was organized in 1843.  It holds the distinction of being the “mother church” of all Black Baptist Churches in Lynchburg.  The renowned architect R.C. Burkholder designed this church. Its spire is the tallest object on the downtown skyline, 167 feet above ground level.  The copper ball on the top of the spire is 9 1/2 feet in circumference.

Court Street United Methodist: was organized in 1849.  This church is considered the “mother church of Methodism” in Lynchburg.  Known for its music, the second pipe organ in Lynchburg was installed in 1866.  A Midday Music Series is performed from May through September with area organists and instrumentalists as well as guest organists from other cites and states.

St. Paul’s Episcopal:  St. Paul’s crèche and angels memorialize and honor loved ones.  From Advent until the Epiphany they are remembered in the prayers of the Parish.  Children of the Parish add a small stone or some moss to help in the creation of the crèche scene.  At the beginning of Advent the precipio are atop the columns throughout the nave.  Each week they make their way to the manger.  On Christmas Eve a child carries the baby Jesus as part of the procession and places him in the manger.

Diamond Hill Baptist:  founded in 1872.  The late Rev. Haywood Robinson, Jr. was the longest tenured Pastor having served this house of Zion for 36 years, from July 1964 until his retirement in 2000.  Close relationship with Virginia Seminary (currently the Virginia University of Lynchburg) many ministers have been ordained here.

Historic Churches

img_2064-1Eighth Street Baptist:  grew out of Church Street Baptist.  Dedicated in 1899.  The interior is reflective of the worship practices of the late nineteenth century Protestant congregations.  It is an auditorium church with sloping floors and carved pews facing a shallow chancel.

Tickets to the tour can be purchased via cash or check at the Lynchburg Visitor Center, Depot Grille, Boonsboro Pok-E-Joes, Aylor’s Farm Store or the Outreach Association Office at 701 Clay Street.  Adult tickets are $20.00.  For more information contact the association at 434.846.6098.

All proceeds form the tour benefit the Outreach Association programs.  These include Emergency Assistance, Emergency Heating Assistance for the Elderly, Furniture and Furnishings for abused women, Interfaith Building and Vision Information Programs.