Our neighbors at today’s Mutt Strut downtown

April 23, 2011

TASTE OF THE TOWN

April 21, 2011

Next Sunday, May 1st, is one of Chestertown’s most popular events: Taste of the Town….and we have both rooms available for Sunday night! We’re full on the weekend nights, but Sunday is still open, so we’d LOVE to have you! Bring friends to stay in our other room, and we’ll give you a special Sunday night rate that will tickle your taste buds!

On Sunday, the Plein Air Painting event will be winding up, so there is LOTS going on everywhere, and you won’t want to rush off! Arrive early Sunday, then spend the morning and afternoon taking everything in. Enjoy a relaxing evening afterwards without the Sunday traffic rush back, and scoot on home when it’s all quiet.

Sound like a plan???

Better make haste–
No time to waste
For Chestertown’s Taste
Of the Town!

Call soon!

Easter Finery

April 21, 2011

Washington Avenue

I never knew Aunt Hannah and Aunt Lizzie, sisters of my mother’s mother (I think), but one of them was the baker of MD Beaten Biscuits and the other was a seamstress. It was the seamstress who taught my Aunt Bernice to sew–which was why my sister and I had matching navy blue coats, white hats, white pocketbooks, white patent leather Mary Jane shoes and white, lace-trimmed anklets for the Easter that I was 4. Aunt Bernice had made the coats and the dresses to match, so Bobbi and I were a pretty pair. Our Sunday School outfits almost always matched, which we both thought was marvelous. Oh, ye-ah. We. Were. Decked. And this decking in our Easter finery was tradition. We could count on it, and count on it, we did! And the tradition carried over into our own families as well, with Aunt Bernice also decking out our daughters like she had us before them–(at least, in our early years). Yep, I can still see our own girls’ Easter dresses when Emily was almost 4 and Erin was about to be 2–overlapping pastel cotton widths trimmed in lace at each bottom edge, tiered out to a subtle flounce perfect for twirling…, but they were …well, a tad inadequate as proper covering for the chilly sunrise service early that particular Easter morning! (Don’t worry; we had them wrapped tightly with blankets and heavy coats), but underneath at Miss Dorothy’s house for the traditional Sunrise Service Breakfast, their princess clothes were unveiled. Might as well get your money’s worth of wear out of them, I figured, since Easter only comes once a year! (And OK, yes, I was so darned proud of them looking like little magazine minis, that that was the real reason I dressed them in the dresses so early, if you must know. I simply couldn’t wait to show them off!)

Today as I was driving south on Washington Avenue, I noticed how DECKED Chestertown is in its finery! Ornamental cherry trees, planted years ago by the town, are all in bloom and they line the Avenue like lovely ladies ushering visitors into a ball. The streetscape is breathtakingly lovely. (OK. So I live here. But you’ll agree; they are really pretty, perfect, and primped for a party–and just in time for Easter! Thank you, Lord, for this extra-special gift this year!)

It just doesn’t get any better than this….

April 19, 2011

Our almost-3-year-old grandson watching the love of his life--TRAINS

We were at “Jonabob’s” house because that’s where the trains are. Emily and Gian, (her husband), Erin (“Auntie”) and Adrian met us Saturday at Joan’s and Bob’s in Middletown, DE because Joan’s and Bob’s basement is a train museum. Oh, it’s not a museum open to the public; Bob simply loves trains. But he’s also a good “sharer,” so we were all invited to come to see. And so Adrian looked and looked and he looked and looked some more. As his daddy said, it was like Disney, and a couple of other super-cool, extremely fun things (which I can’t remember now) rolled up into one for Adrian. He really was in 7th heaven. The rest of us watched him watch, which was like Disney for us. A great day.

Easter Egg Hunt Special!!!

April 8, 2011

I only remember going to the Kennedyville Community Easter Egg Hunt once in my early childhood. I have no idea who sponsored it, but all ages were invited. Great! The more, the merrier, it seemed. After all, doesn’t the sight of a pumped-up crowd add to the enjoyment and excitement?? ….At least, that’s what I’d thought. But it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, since it was one of those 50’s age-inappropriate events scheduled to be “fun” for children, but which instead brought out the worst in some and exacerbated feelings of unfairness and sadness in others. The problem and the solution were simple, really: just divide the group and have them hunt in different areas so that the groups were homogeneous according to age. It really wasn’t that hard. But those were the days when the adults just didn’t know and they were just doing the best they knew to do to give the country kids a thrill. And really, since we didn’t get out much, it really was a thrill. And I do mean that. Even with my dashed expectations and heightened view of unfairness, it was still fun to try to find the biggest egg–for that was our task. From the youngest to the oldest (and I do think some of those older kids were about ready to drive–cars, I mean, not just tractors), we were given the command to FIND THE EGG, then the whistle blew, and off we scattered. With hopes high, I thought I really might have a chance. Even at 5, I guess I was realistic, but this was Easter, and so I hoped big. I did get some little eggs — and that was truly fun! But it sure enough was one of those big kids who had apparently dived into a big bush to find the prize, and I can still see him even now, in my mind’s eye, waving his eggy trophy high over his head.

BUT I don’t want you to worry. Our Easter Egg Hunt Special is not just for the biggest and the fastest. It’s actually for those who are ready to slow down for a bit with a few days off and a trip to Chestertown. If you book 2 weeknights in the couple of weeks around Easter, we’ll give you an eggs-tra eggs-citing deal where you WILL win the prize: the 3rd night FREE!

Book Mon, April 18 and Tues, April 19 and Wednesday will be FREE…or come on Tues and stay till Friday that week. If the week before Easter doesn’t work, then book Tues and Wed nights the next week, and Thurs will be on us! Bonus: let us know what your favorite kind of Easter egg is and you just might even be able to hunt and find it here!

Another anniversary!

April 6, 2011

Silver & white: 25th anniversary colors

OK, so Marie Antoinette might not have fully gotten the gist of her surroundings when she said, “Let them eat cake,” but on some level, she at least got the cake part. People do love cake. Cake makes people happy. These things are true. So….what better way to celebrate an anniversary, especially a 25th anniversary (the silver one), than with a cake?

I needed to make a gluten-free cake, and since I haven’t mastered the art and science of gluten-free baking, I decided to go with a mix. I’ve done those before and they taste scrumptious. (I’ll transform the yellow cake mix tomorrow morning into a blueberry coffee cake, which I’ve done once before, which was why I chose a chocolate one for the anniversary cake.) As I got ready to begin, I had a stroke of genius. (Or at least it seemed like it at the time.) As a quilter, I love “making do” with the scraps that I have, and I seem to have that mindset with other things as well. Like with this cake. It was to commemorate a wedding, so I thought, “OH! I’ve got that new small-ish springform pan so I can use that to make a bottom layer. I can use my new tart pan for the middle layer and a cupcake for the top, then VOILA–a tiered cake! How fancy! How special! How wonderful! So that’s what I did….

But check out the picture. The cake, when completed, just made me laugh. It’s so funny-looking! The “tiers” were the wrong proportions and so it looked more like an oversized doorbell gone wrong, rather than a tiered treasure. Oh. My. But not to worry–I had yet another stroke of genius! After sprinkling on some silver-colored sugar, which didn’t save it, I was going to melt some chocolate to make some chocolate leaves to put around it somewhere. But I only really had a half-hearted hope that it might improve things. The doorbell look wasn’t going to die easily. But when I reached for some chocolate, I saw the silver-wrapped Hershey’s kisses and knew that that was where my hope lay. Brilliant! Silver. Check. Kisses–cute. So I decided to go with the fully wrapped candy around the whole bottom tier, thinking that maybe they might hide the fact that the proportions were mismatched. David saw me and asked very carefully, “You’re not going to unwrap them??” I said, a little too quickly, “They’re SILVER.” Duh. And called it a day.

So. Wasn’t it Marie who also said, “Well, it’s the thought that counts???” Oh. Not Marie, you say? Well, somebody said it and so that’s what I’m going with. Cake makes people happy, even if it’s because they’re laughing at it!! 🙂

Harry and the peas

April 6, 2011

Stir-fried pea tendrils (from the Farmer's Market) w/ a touch of fresh ginger

To a couple of little girls growing up on the farm in the 50’s and 60’s, a visit from The Cousins was as good as it got. Frankie was older–really too old to be our playmate, so he just “deviled” with us–but Harry was my buddy, my partner in crime, my idol, and my mentor. 2 1/2 years older than I, he was up there right around God, it seemed, and he was never without an idea to add a creative twist to our play. An electrical engineer today, he started early: with the darkroom in his bedroom closet, and the soldering iron on top of his white painted bedroom bureau mounted next to the many small towers of hardened, molten solder. Harry had a tree house–when we didn’t–and he did experiments out in the milkhouse and he had a solution one Christmas that allowed him to peek through the wrapping paper to know what he was getting ahead of time, and there was that day when he came close to blowing himself up. It was his idea to swing through the air on the ropes like Tarzan in the barn that day before we got caught, and I’m fairly certain that he had to have been my inspiration, at the age of 6, for writing a letter to Santa, asking for a go-cart, and well, there just never seemed to be an end to his penchant for unusual fun. Even peas were fun with Harry around! I think some of this is the difference between boys and girls, but it had just never occured to me to pop the peas in a pea patch with bicycle tires. I’d really never even noticed the peas when they were just doing their thing, growing in the field. But to Harry, they provided an arena for “illegal” activity. I was sure we’d get in trouble for malicious destruction of a crop, but for Harry, the peas were put there for him to ride his bike through just to hear them make a delicious sound of popping. I can still see him winding through the rows, curving around right next to my sister and me, laughing, as he rode through the staccato notes of his pea playing…his version of Farm Be-Bop with Pea Pop?? Sorry. Don’t shoot me. (Unless you shoot me with fresh peas since they’re to die for….)

I didn’t see any peas last week at the Farmer’s Market, but the pea tendrils were back!!! I LOVE THOSE THINGS! They’re great plain–just the raw, leafy curl-i-cues held in your hand and stuffed into your mouth, or in a salad, or stir-fried with a bit of fresh ginger grated into them. They’re $ 3 a handful, and last week, there were plenty for all. Don’t miss them!

Mornings….

April 2, 2011

Location, Location, Location.

You might notice the WAC Administration Building cupola out of the corner of your eye as you walk onto Simply Bed & Bread's brick path, since our house is just a stone's throw away from the college. Or it might be the ...
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