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Turkey Hill Experience

The magic 3Earlier this week, we finally got the chance to do the Turkey Hill Experience.  It took us approximately 30 minutes to drive to Turkey Hill from the B&B and most of that is getting to the freeway.  It was very easy to get to – straight down 340 until you reach 30 (the longest part of the trip) and then straight down 30 for about 10 miles.  You can see the Turkey Hill sign from the freeway, so you know when you should take your exit.  They had someone in the parking lot helping with parking, so that was nice.  We didn’t have to drive all around to find a spot, he directed us to the closest spot to the front.

We arrived at just about the perfect time.  Once we had our tickets and a map of the place, we had 10 minutes to wait until our taste lab started.  Taste Lab is an additional fee, but you get to make your own ice cream flavor – within limits.  There will be no maple bacon ice cream with pecans – at least not yet because those flavors aren’t available.

Making Their Own Flavor 3

Pat Milking the Cow 2After making our own ice cream flavor and eating all of it – we then went back upstairs to the exhibits and other fun stuff.  There were 3 computerized stations which you need to do in order – if you are going to do them.  Start with creating your own ice cream flavor – again, it has limits, but this time you get to name it.  Once you have your flavor created, you then get to design the perfect package for it.  Finally, you can create your very own commercial for your ice cream flavor.  Jay, Eleanor and I all created a flavor and packaging.  Eleanor made a commercial.

But that’s not all – there is a tiny playground along with several other interactive exhibits.  You can milk a cow – it’s not real, but you JB Driving the Delivery Truck 3 copylearn the process; drive a delivery truck, find out your tea personality; sample Turkey Hill tea, haymakers, sorbet and ice cream; and really just have fun.  All together we spent about 3 hours inside the Experience.  Taste Lab is about 40 minutes and the rest wandering around, playing, creating, laughing, taking pictures and having fun.

Several times on the drive home – one of would say “That was really fun!”  The Turkey Hill Experience is open 7 days a week, so if you have in Lancaster on a Sunday and have nothing else to do – check it out!  Our opinion is that you don’t have to have children to enjoy this experience.  Be advised – it’s not a factory tour but more like a hands-on learning exhibit.  We’ll go again – it was really fun!

 

Room Names

*Edited:  Contest Closed, Winner Notified.  Thanks for playing.  

Many people have asked about the names we gave the room.

LonestarThat is one thing we did change.  You see, when we got here the rooms were a jumbled mess – at least to us.  They all had fruit or color names – depending on your view.  But they had numbers on the doors.  AND the room decor didn’t really have any tie in to the name.  See we had Plum, Strawberry, Lemon, Pineapple & Cranberry.  So, you’d arrive and check in.  I’d see you’d booked the Strawberry room and then take you to the room with the off white walls, green quilt, solid beige chair and a the number 2 spelled out on the door.  It was confusing for me!

Being new to the area and not having a chance to explore BUT wanting to do the ‘rebranding’ of rooms before the new website went live – I had no idea how to name the rooms that made sense.  I grabbed a book on Amish Quilts off the bookshelf and started thumbing through it.  Cranberry already had a beautiful Amish made, hand-quilted lonestar quilt on the bed – with that a theme was born.

 

So now our rooms are all named after quilt patterns.  3 of the 5 rooms have quilts that match their names.  The new names are:  Log Cabin, Lancaster Rose, Tumbling Blocks, Dahlia, Lonestar and the office/gift shop also got a quilt name:  Drunkard’s Path.  If you were a loyal guest of the previous owners and want to stay in the same room you always stayed in – give me a call.  Tell me the old name of the room and I’ll tell you what the new name is.  I have a cheat sheet so I don’t forget.  😀

So – let’s have a little contest.  Click over and check out the room pictures then come back and comment on which 2 rooms don’t have quilts that match their names.  The room pictures are updated with the the new quilts and names.  Leave a comment telling me which rooms don’t have bedding that matches their name.  Make sure I have a way to contact you.  I’ll draw 1 person from the comment to win 50% off their second night!  Good luck

Edited – I’m closing this contest on June 20th and the answer is in the comments.

drunkard's Path

Do You Pouf?

Pouf - Bee Kind

One of the early upgrades we made to Carriage Corner was to stock the bathrooms with BeeKind toiletry items.  We made the decision that rather than purchase tiny individual sized items that either don’t get used up and then have to be thrown away or just get taken (which is fine).  That we were going to go with the BeeKind line of products as we liked their philosophy.  All of the BeeKind products are made without parabens, phthalest or artificial ingredients.  Both Jay and I felt that the fragrance was light and citrus-y enough to work for either men or women.

The next decision was to put refillable bottles with pump dispensers into each shower.  Each bathroom has a supply of Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash (doubles as hand soap at the sink) and Lotion.  pouf - packaged

At that point, our older daughter said, if we were supplying body wash in the showers rather than bar soap, we needed to also supply poufs.  So – we ordered a case of poufs and we put a brand new pouf sealed in a plastic bag in each bathroom.  One per stay.

 

pouf - showerBut – I’ve noticed that people rarely use them and I don’t know why?  I’m looking for ideas here.  I find that when I use a bath pouf, I get better suds from my body wash than if I used a wash cloth.  I also use less body wash to get clean.

Personally – I love my pouf.  So – I’m wondering – would you use a pouf?  If not – why not?  Talk to me, because I really do want to know.  I also need to know if this a good expense or a waste of money that could be spent elsewhere?

Breakfast Inspiration – Lemon Blueberry “Pan” Cake Edition

So – where do you get your ideas for breakfast? People ask me all the time. Are they my own recipes or someone else’s?

Honestly – it’s a combination of both a found recipe and then the tweaks to make it mine.

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Baked Pancake topped with lemon curd & fresh blueberries

While I like pancakes, personally – I hate serving them to guests. I want them all to be the same perfect size and all piping hot fresh off the griddle at the same time. But – I don’t have a dinner griddle in my kitchen.  So, that makes it nearly impossible to serve 10 people fresh, hot pancakes at the same time when you are running a B&B.

Early in January, we took a couple days and went to Jersey City to help our daughter with her “Daddy Do” list before our perfect little grand-daughter was born. We met the kids at the Brownstone Diner for lunch. One of the things on their menu is a pancake wrap and our son-in-law ordered one. It was a large buttermilk pancake rolled around a savory breakfast filling.  But then, I didn’t really want a savory filling. So what to do? That’s when I came up with the lemon curd and blueberries.

I mean, a savory filling would be okay – but it wasn’t going to make me try and figure out how to make that when I got home.  Or ask for the recipe.

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Sheet pan-cake rolled. Not pretty, but it tastes great

Hmmm – an idea was born. I already do an omelette roll as a means of serving omelettes to a large group. Could something similar be done with pancakes?

At Carriage Corner, 90% of the pancakes, waffles, scones, muffins, and sometimes the bread in the baked french toast is made from scratch.  So, the first thing I had to do was come up with a good pancake recipe.  Not too sweet but still fluffy and griddled pancake like.   Plus, while I can’t claim a gluten free kitchen, I can prepare gluten free foods using GF cup for cup flour – so having a good, go to pancake batter is necessary.

First, I tried baking my pancake on a sheet pan – but that didn’t roll well and didn’t look pretty.  Honestly, I think I baked it too long.  And I haven’t tried doing it again with a shorted cooking time, because I came up with something works.   For the filling in that first sheet cake, I blended lemon curd with marscapone cheese and a tiny bit of powdered sugar to create a ‘lemon cream’ to spread on the cake and then sprinkled it with fresh blueberries.  Blending the lemon curd and cheese didn’t really add any flavor or richness to the filling and just created more work, so another option was needed.

First Lemon Blueberry "Pan" Cake served to guests

Lemon Blueberry “Pan” Cake served to guests

A good friend from Seattle is an amazing baker and her instagram feed is filled the images of gorgeous layer cakes.  So, taking my inspiration from her, my next step was to bake the pancake batter in a cake pan. It worked!!  It still had the fluffy texture of a pancake.   Once the cake had been removed from the cake pans, it was sliced horizontally to make 2 layers.  Between each layer, I spread lemon curd and sprinkled blueberries.  This was good, it was sweet without being over the top and the blueberries added a nice freshness.

But then, blueberries started getting questionable and harder to find nicer blueberries.  So, I started thinking – what if I made a fresh blueberry compote?  I could start with frozen blueberries and you still have the ‘freshness’ of them and I’d have ‘syrup’ to put on the table if someone needed something else.  It works a treat!  I’m telling you – I’m so happy with this breakfast item – it feel decadent and the combination of blueberries and lemon is amazing – it’s fresh and tart and the cake is just the tiniest bit sweet.  I say this all the time – but it’s really one of my favorite breakfasts.

Next – I’ll share the recipe and show you how the entire cake looks before slicing and serving.  Until then, tell me what inspires your breakfast choices?  Is it something you saw on Food Network?  Something you ate?  Or a favorite food?  Do you have a challenge for me?  A breakfast you’d love to see recreated?

Authentic Inns of Lancaster County

affiliate-authentic-bed-and-breakfastWe were approved!  As a bed and breakfast owner one of the first decisions you have to make, after what to make for breakfast, is what associations to join.  Will they only help the bed & breakfast or are there any that will also help our guests.  In searching associations in Pennsylvania to join, we found a couple that were really worthwhile.  One of which, truly helps our guests as much as it helps us.  Which one is that?  Authentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County.

The Innkeepers that belong to Authentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County have come together as a group and come up with ways to make guests’ stay in Lancaster County even more enjoyable.  It might be discounts they’ve negotiated on shopping or food.  Possibly, it’s the passport program where as a frequent guest to Lancaster County you can earn a discount on a stay at any one of the member bed and breakfasts by staying five different times at three different bed & breakfasts.  Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the fun events that are planned within Authentic – such as the Belsnickle Tour (December 2 & 3, 2017 – we’ll be including tickets for our guests staying at least 2 nights that weekend) a fun tour of several of the Bed & Breakfasts that make up Authentic, you get to tour the B&Bs decorated for the holidays, sample cookies, collect cookie recipe cards, find the Belsnickle (an angry Santa) and enter to win great prizes including 1 night at any of the Bed & Breakfasts that make up Authentic.

But – one of the things I like most is the Passport Program.  What’s that you ask?  That’s discounts the Innkeepers have managed to arrange with local merchants for all sorts of stuff.  Check out the Things to Do Pages, anyone with a red star is participating in the Passport Program, but the discounts are only available if you stay at an Authentic Bed & Breakfast of Lancaster Country.  Don’t forget to ask your Innkeeper for your Passport.

Hope to see you soon!