Carriage Corner

Fire & Ice Festival

13th Annual Fire & Ice Festival

Fire & Ice Festival 2017

Friday:

It’s not too early to make plans to shake off your cabin fever and attend the Fire & Ice Festival.  2018 is the thirteenth annual Fire & Ice Festival.  The schedule works out so that you can check into your room at Carriage Corner and then head over to Lititz to watch the ice being carved into amazing sculptures.  Last year (2017) we had both of our girls with us and our grand daughter too, the weather was a balmy 70 degrees and the ice was melting – fast!  There is no danger of that happening this year – so pack your long johns and layer up!

Once you’ve had your fill of watching the ice being carved, why not head over to Appalachian Brewing Company for dinner?  This is one of our favorite places to go.  The service is always excellent.  They have a good appetizer menu and we enjoy the beer.  After dinner, take the scenic drive back to Carriage Corner where you can enjoy fresh cookies and a cup of coffee in front of either the gas flame fire in the common room or the electric fire in your guest room.

Saturday:

Fire & Ice Festival - Ice Throne

Krystle, Eleanor & Jessica

After enjoying our filling hot breakfast – head back over the Lititz to wander around and see the finished ice sculptures.  Stand in line to sit in the ice throne (we’re looking forward to getting years of photos of Eleanor in the Ice Throne).

Options for lunch are plentiful:

  • eat at one of the many food trucks at the park;
  • enjoy the chili cook-off (the fire); or
  • stop into a local cafe.

Don’t forget there is also a carnival at Warwick High School from 11a – 3p.

The Fire is the Chili Cook – Off:

So, we’ve talked about the Ice, but what is the Fire part of the Fire & Ice Festival you ask?  Well, that would be the chili.  There is a chili cookoff that included chili from 20 different local chefs.  You do need an admission button to sample the chili at the chili cook off.  Buttons are $10 and should be purchased in advance at Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill.

This year’s Fire & Ice Festival starts on Friday, February 16, 2018 – so plan to celebrate your Valentine in style with a beautiful weekend away, a fun festival that supports the local community and some good food.  Call 717-768-3059 to book your room now!  We can’t wait to meet you and hear about your weekend at the festival.  Maybe we’ll bump into you while we’re waiting to get Eleanor’s 2018 Ice Throne photo!

What Are You Interested in Reading?

Happy 2018!!

Carriage Corner Blog Posts

Lancaster County B&B Blogs

We have our first full year behind us and are looking forward to the next one.  With that in mind, I’m interested in knowing what you are looking for in a Lancaster County B&B Blogs.  Do you read them?  Or do you just look at the room pictures, click the book now button and either make your reservation or move on?

I thought I would take this opportunity to ask you  – our guests – past, present and potential – what it is you’d like to see on this blog?  Are you looking for 5 fun things to do on Friday Night in Intercourse?  Or maybe you want to be kept up to date on the Mud Sale Schedule?  I can do more of that.

I’ve been doing some research.  And by research – I mean reading other Lancaster County B&B Blogs!  There are a couple that I’ve come across that end each blog post with a sales pitch – they detail a room and tell you why you’d like that one.  I don’t care for that format – seems a bit pushy and I’ve never been the ‘hard sales’ type.  But maybe you like that.   There are couple that I’ve come across that post so sporadically, you’d never think to go look for a new post.  I’m trying to post weekly and let you know via our facebook page when the post is live.  Finally – there are the B&B Blogs that share funny stories about guests, but absolutely nothing personal about themselves.  Again – not my favorite – I’d rather share something about us and build a sense of community.

I’ve been trying to utilize the following monthly format:

  • upcoming events;
  • something crafty (that’s for me);
  • 5 best things; and
  • a recipe

But what I’d really like to know is this:

  • Are you reading the blog – what are you looking for?
  • What frequency do you want to see blog posts?
  • Are you interested in the crafts or recipes or only the upcoming events and 5 best places for ice cream posts?

Talk back to me – please.  I really do want to know.

The Mud Sales Are Coming!

Furniture finds at the Mud Sales

We bought this beautiful piece of furniture which now holds the coffee and snacks

Do you know about the Mud Sales?

Mud Sales are a Lancaster County “Thing” and a pretty big thing too.  Every weekend from the end of February straight through to early April there is a mud sale somewhere in Lancaster County.  Each community fire department has a mud sale where people bring items to auction off.  Think high end garage sale – you can find antiques, hand-made quilts, outdoor furniture, indoor furniture, sewing machines, buggies, food and even horses!  If you are looking for it – it can be found at a Lancaster County Mud Sale!

Tips to help you enjoy the Mud Sales

Last year was our first year in Lancaster County and our first experience at Mud Sales.  We have some tips:

  • Go early – either the day before or prior to the start of the sale to get your bidder number and have a little look around
  • Know your spending limits – mud sales are auctions and it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of it all
  • Have a shopping list in mind – if you only need a sled to decorate for the holidays – look at the sleds and not the swings 🙂
More Mud Sale finds you can't live without

I loved this set of metal wash bins

Schedule of the February and March Mud Sales

I’ve put an asterisk* by the sales we attended.

  • Strasburg Spring Mud Sale* – February 24, 2018
  • Bart Township Mud Sale – March 3, 2018
  • Gordonville Spring Mud Sale* – March 10, 2018
  • Airville Fire Co. Spring Mud Sale – March 17, 2018
  • West Earl Fire Company Mud Sale – March 17, 2018
  • Farmersville Mud Sale* – March 22, 2018
  • Gap Fire Company Mud Sale – March 24, 2018

Honestly – Farmersville was our favorite of the bunch.  It was smaller and in the evening.  But Strasburg was amazing and Gordonville is huge and very well known.

 

Short video of a Mud Sale Auction

Tips for attending:

 

  • Dress warmly – you never know what the weather will be
  • Bring your checkbook – most of the fire departments will take a personal check and many will add a surcharge for using a credit card
  • Stay someplace where you can get a good hot breakfast to keep you going all day.  We will be offering a hearty grab and go hot breakfast during mud sale season
  • Book your room early – the mud sales are very popular and people come from far away to attend.  Last year we met people from New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky during the mud sales.

Holiday Table

Holiday Dishes at Carriage CornerAs I set the holiday table again – I think about tablescapes and how to make the table really visually interesting.  For me – simple is better.  I find if I try to do too much – it all goes south pretty quickly.  So, some pretty placemats and a beautiful napkin along with sparkling china and the table is ready to go.  But – I really, really needed some holiday china to really set the perfect holiday table.

My love of beautiful china runs deep.  If you’ve ever stayed with us – you may have noticed the wall of china in the office.  There are 7 sets of china in the office and 2 more in the kitchen.  In all honesty – they all get used and rotated through pretty regularly.  That being said, I’m pretty sure I’ve acquired the last set of china that I’m going to for some time.  My latest purchase was the holiday china –  I searched and searched and searched finally settling on Pfaltzgraff Winterberry.  See, while I’ve wanted holiday dishes for a long time – I didn’t want something that screamed Christmas, I actually wanted something that could be used from Thanksgiving through February – if I wanted.

These dishes are just the ticket for a beautiful holiday table that can be dressed up or down.  They come in many different shapes – round, oval and square.  You can get plates with sayings on them or pictures in the middle – like is shown here.  You’ll see what I ended up with a little bit further down in the post.

Along with the plates – I also added some new green placemats and napkins and red placemats to the cupboard that holds those things.  The red placemats work really wellWhite China with tree napkins make a beautiful Holiday Table with the tree napkins that I made last year for our holiday table.  I’ve also added some beautiful red fruit bowls.  We’ll used the dishes and placemats right through until February – but the napkins will be retired at the end of December for another year.

If you are interested in knowing how I made the napkins – hop on over to my personal blog for the details.

We look forward to having you join us at our holiday table and have a couple of special offers going on to help entice you to do so.  During the month of December, book a 2-night stay and receive 25% off your stay – you can either book directly (use code Happy Holidays) or give us a jingle at 717-768-3059 and we’ll be happy to make the reservation for you.  We also have our Winter Rates in effect from January through March – some exclusions apply (like holiday weekends).  There is no code necessary, the rates have already been adjusted.  Finally, did you know that we sell gift certificates?  These can be purchased in any amount or for a specific weekend – again – give us a call and we’ll take care of getting the gift certificate right.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Square Winterberry plates with ruby red bowls make a holiday table that's good through February

 

Christmas Candy That Will Make You A Hero

Most people spend a day or more making Christmas Cookies – but in our house we make Christmas Candy.  It’s all gluten free and everyone can sample and enjoy it.  And because both of the recipes for Christmas Candy that I’m sharing contain almonds – they’re basically totally healthy – right?

My warning to you with the Burnt Sugar Almonds is this:  Beware of Traditions That You Start.

Years ago, I stumbled upon the recipe for Burnt Sugar Almonds over at Pioneer Woman.  That year, I made about 4 cups of Almonds – I packed them up pretty and gave them to the neighbors with their Christmas Cards.  The next year, I made about 10 cups of almonds and gave them away to my co-workers.  The third year, I wanted to do something different – but everyone wanted to almonds – with the exception of last year (our first year in Pennsylvania) I’ve made close to 20 cups of almonds annually since that third year.  They aren’t hard to make – but if you don’t want to be making them year after year – don’t start 😉

In our house, we find Burnt Sugar Almonds to be like potato chips – bet you can’t eat just one.  This is how I make mine:

sugared almonds

I think – you should be able to click on the recipe and print it.  At least I hope so.  I also want to share the Lavender Lemon Bark that I made for the Belsnickle Tour.  We had almost 200 people through the Bed and Breakfast last weekend and it was so much fun.  Meeting new people, finding out what they were doing for the holidays and sharing our home and Christmas Candy.

Lavender Lemon Christmas Candy

So – I’m going to try and make all the recipes printable from now on.   During our downtime this year – I’ll go back and edit the previous recipes.  I’d love your feed back on the layout of the recipes.

If you make either of these recipes – I’d love to hear how they turned out.  Happy Holidays everyone.

5 Things to Do in Intercourse on a December Friday

Looking for things to do on a Friday night in Intercourse?  This little town can be a little sleepy.  Most of the year the sidewalks roll up around 6p, sometimes even earlier.  BUT during December – Intercourse comes alive on a Friday Night.  Here’s a quick list of 5 things to do on any given Friday in December:

Friday Night knitting in Intercourse - yarns

 

  1.  Shop at Kitchen Kettle – Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Kitchen Kettle Stays open until 9pm on Fridays.  Giving you more time to stroll through the Village and find that perfect gift.
  2. Drop into Lancaster Yarn Shop – they really are your LocalYarnShop even if you aren’t local.  On Fridays during December there is Open Knitting – working on holiday projects and need some time away from the family to get them done?  Now’s the time.  This is a wonderful group of women who are incredibly warm, inviting and helpful.  You’ll find all the support you need to complete your project in time.
  3. Head over to the Corner Coffee Shop – between 7-9p the Corner Coffee Shop has live music.  If the weather is nice, the performance will be outside on their patio which is decorated for holidays.
  4. Do a little Christmas Shopping at The Treasure Place – this is truly one of my favorite shops in Intercourse.  If you’ve stayed with us – you’ve most likely seen my ‘collection’ of farm animal paintings – well, they all came from The Treasure Place.  I adore their re-purposed furniture and am constantly inspired by their room displays.  AND
  5. Work on a holiday puzzle at Carriage Corner Bed & Breakfast.  During the month of December the puzzle will have a holiday theme to it.

Grateful

 

 

So Grateful for You, Our Guests

Today, on Black Friday – one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Jay & I wanted to take a moment and share with you just how grateful we are for you – our Guests.

Without you coming to stay with us, sharing your stories and your vacation time with us – well we couldn’t do this.  We know you have many choices on where you spend your hard earned dollars and your precious vacation time and we truly do appreciate you choosing to stay with us.  Our lives are richer because of you.

Thank you.  We look forward to seeing you again in the coming year.  Hearing about your life, your kids and grandkids and your travels.

Happy Thanksgiving and may the upcoming Holiday Season fill you with peace, joy and much love ~~ Jay & Gaylen

Find Your Belsnickle

Tour of BelsnicklesAuthentic Bed & Breakfasts are hosting the Lancaster Belsnickle Tour.  So, I’m hearing you say – what’s a Belsnickle?  According to Wikipedia:

The Belsnickle character originated in the Rhineland. When people immigrated to Pennsylvania, they brought their German traditions with them.  Belsnickle was known in Pennsylvania in the early 1800s.  Amongst the Pennsylvania Germans, Belsnickle is the character who visits homes prior to Christmas to check up on the behavior of the children. The traditional Belsnickle showed up at houses 1–2 weeks before Christmas and often created fright because he always knew exactly which of the children misbehaved.  He would rap on the door or window with his stick and often the children would have to answer a question for him or sing some type of song. In exchange he would toss candies onto the floor. If the children jumped too quick for the treats, they may end up getting struck with Belsnickle’s switch.

Frosty SantaAuthentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County have figured out a way to make Belsnikle fun – for the third year in a row, Authenic is hosting the Belsnickle Tour – where you have a chance to visit our homes prior to Christmas.  This year, the Belsnickle Tour happens on December 2 and 3rd, 2017 and 19 bed and breakfasts are opening their doors for you to take a peak.  Each one will be decked out in their holiday finery and have a Christmas cookie available for you to sample as well as the recipe to collect.

Jay and I attended the Belsnickle Tour last year.  We managed to visit 9 of the participating bed and breakfasts on the only day we had available.  We had a great time!  The cookies were amazing and the houses – wow!  I loved being able to peak into all of them.  Most of them will allow you to look into guest rooms provided they are not occupied. Holly Jolly Santa

Because we had such a fun time touring the houses last year, we have decided to put Carriage Corner on the tour this year.  We have been making Christmas decorations for a few months now and purchasing decor at the mud sales and local shops.  We have decided to offer 2 complimentary tickets to guests who book 2 nights during the tour.  We have 1 room available for Friday & Saturday and 2 rooms where you could come in on Thursday and leave on Saturday.  Saturday evening, we plan to have a little evening event with cocoa and homemade marshmallows.  We hope you can make it.

Even if you aren’t able to stay at Carriage Corner – we do hope you’ll check out one of the other Authentic Bed & Breakfasts and book your stay.  Or just purchase your Belsnickle Tour Tickets – proceeds go to Make-A-Wish.  Along with the tour tickets, you get an admission ticket for the National Christmas Center – if you haven’t had a chance to visit this treasure, you’ll want to do so this year as we’ve learned it will be closing the doors for good in January 2018.  You don’t want to miss this!

We look forward to meeting you and showing your around Carriage Corner!  Happy Holidays.

Fall is Happening Around Us

Showy Trees

We are just hitting our stride with the fall colors.  The leaves are just getting into the spirit of Fall and starting to put on a wonderful show.  The weather has finally turned cool – but not cold.  I’m finding it to be the perfect sweater weather.   Here some ideas for you to enjoy the Fall happenings in Lancaster this year.

Pumpkin Ideas

With all the farmlands in Lancaster County, this is the ideal spot to go pumpkin picking – get your sugar pumpkins and roast them down for everything!  I love having both cubes of roasted pumpkin in my freezer as well as pumpkin puree.   A quick google search will return more ideas then you can shake a stick at, here are some of my favorite things to make with pumpkin:

Corn Mazes

Another great thing about all the farmlands is the corn mazes.  Why not take a few hours and challenge your brain.  There are several corn mazes close by.  You might want to try: Orange Leaves

  • Cherry Crest Adventure Farm
  • Brubakers Corn Maze
  • Corn Cob Acreas
  • The Corn Maze at Oregon Diary
  • The Golf Maze at Foxchase

Shop and Relax

Or maybe, just maybe you want to do a little shopping around Kitchen Kettle Village and then relax and enjoy the crisp air, while having a seasonal coffee and listening to live music at the Corner Coffee Shop.

Whatever inspires you about Fall in Lancaster – come and enjoy a little get away!

Fall Flavors

fall flavors at their finest

It’s finally Fall here in Lancaster County and with the crisp air and changing of the leaves, I’ve been inspired to play with fall flavors while creating breakfast.  When Fall rolls around, the fall flavors I think of first are pumpkin, cranberry, apples & pears.  My first thought was pumpkin granola – but I already have a very, very good granola recipe that I’ve shared and I wasn’t sure I really wanted another.  So first I googled pumpkin granola and printed out a bunch of recipes – which I then compared to my original granola recipe.  This is what I ended up with:

 

 

Pumpkin Crunch Granola:

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 Cups oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1t pumpkin pie spice* – I made my own
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3T packed dark brown sugar
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats through pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites.  Add in pumpkin, syrup, oil, brown sugar & vanilla – whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour wet over dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.  Spread onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes, making sure to stir every 10 minutes to prevent burning.
  5. Allow granola to cool for 20 minutes.  Gently add dried cranberries.  Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Beautiful jar of cranberry curdThis was served layered with plain greek yogurt and cranberry curd.  It was amazing – if I do say so myself.  Please let me know if you try it.

I have actually been thinking about the flavors of Fall for a few weeks now.  Earlier this summer, I made both lemon and lime curd [but not lemon/lime curd, hmmm] and I could stop thinking about what else I could curd.  Cranberry would not leave – so I made that as well.  I will share that recipe later – but it was amazing!

*I had a guest staying with us who has a cinnamon allergy – so I had to make my own cinnamon free pumpkin pie spice.  There are many recipes available for pumpkin pie spice – I used nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves & mace.