Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Art Springs to Life in Lake Erie Wine Country

Cherry and grape blossoms in North East, PA.
Can you really tell that winter is over?   Events are heating up all over Erie and Chautauqua counties as the last of the snow has finally melted away!

Just last weekend we had many amazing artists displaying their work for Wine and Art Weekends in both North East and New York wineries.  Included in the displays were our own Tajana Roehl, with her wonderful photography.

And..while we are talking wineries...in just three weeks we have Wine and Cheese Weekend on May 16, 17, and 18th...the only thing that goes better with wine than cheese is..maybe...chocolate!

Heads up---two really fine artists coming to the area this summer.  Jay Leno is coming to Jamestown NY for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival the first week in August--lots of fun events throughout the weekend.  Steely Dan is stopping at the beach in Erie as part of their national concert tour that same weekend in August!  August 9th is the date with tickets on sale April 26.
I can't wait for the cherry trees to blossom!

Innkeeper Grape Arbor Bed & Breakfast

Monday, April 14, 2014

Could it be...Spring?

Presque Isle Sate Park Friday, April 11
I have heard the same message from many of the wonderful guests that have passed through here in the past several months--they are tired, exhausted...fatigued from work, from the long cold winter, from demands of their families.   What keeps ME going is seeing that, when they are ready to leave, these same guests look more rested, happier and ready to go back and face the world.

It HAS been a long cold winter...but, despite the fact that Lake Erie is not quite de-frosted yet, and we are supposed to get a bit of snow tonight...the crocus are blooming, and I saw my first blooming daffodil on a walk today.  So take heart!  Things are getting green!

Coming up in the next couple of weeks is First Friday (May 2nd) from 5pm to 8pm here in town with games, art and fun (North East Chamber), and a Garden Walk on June 21st..where you get a chance to peek in all the wonderful hidden gardens around town.

The Erie Otters and in the finals for their division, and the games have been exciting! www.ottershockey.com---they are playing the final games against Guelph after shutting out Saginaw Spirit.   The SeaWolves have started playing, it's so fun and easy to catch at game...check out the schedule..Erie Sea Wolves.

So flowers and baseball...it MUST be spring!

Innkeeper Grape Arbor Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

For the Love of Maple Syrup

Do you love maple syrup as much as I do? I’m talking about REAL maple syrup. Not the high-fructose impostor. In my opinion that liquid that passes for syrup should be outlawed.
Real syrup from real maple trees. Syrup that is painstakingly collected and simmered down into the most sublime condiment I can imagine. 

Here at Grape Arbor Bed and Breakfast we only use REAL maple syrup on our pancakes, waffles and french toast, and some bread and cookie recipes. You could say we take our syrup seriously. We also buy our syrup from local producers. 

Maple syrup was used and collected by the indigenous people of North America. There is a legend of venison being cooked in maple sap instead of water, and then served to a Chief.  When the Europeans settled in North America, the locals taught them how to tap, harvest and cook the sap. 

Did you know that before the American Civil War abolitionists used maple syrup instead of southern grown cane sugar and molasses (much of it was grown by southern slaves), to boycott the plantation owners. 

When in our area, there are many places to buy REAL maple syrup. It can be found at the Grape Country Marketplace and Orton's Fruit StandFor a special treat, take a scenic drive and go to the Sugar Shack on Route 5 in Westfield, NY (15 minutes from the Inn). While there, you can taste test a plethora of flavored maple syrups, all with vanilla ice cream.

Maple syrup is so much more than a breakfast treat.  Add a tablespoon or two to baked beans and taste the added depth of flavor. For an awesome slightly sweet and sour salad dressing, try whisking a teaspoon of maple syrup (or more to taste) into three (3) tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, a few dashes of lime juice (to taste), salt and fresh grated pepper. No preservatives and no corn syrup!

If you want to learn more about maple syrup, Wikipedia has a great page with tons of facts about my favorite condiment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple_syrup

Until next time, stay sweet.

Grape Arbor Bed & Breakfast