Saturday, November 26, 2011

Home Improvement Project: Pot Rack in Dan's Kitchen

You may remember a previous blog post about the pot rack that Bob added in our kitchen.

During a recent visit to see our son, Dan, we all worked together to add a new pot rack in his kitchen. This is another example of using the same construction in an area that has a soffit. When there is a soffit there is not room for a shelf above the rack. If you compare the two photos, you can see the difference.

Before the pot rack was completed the wood board that spans between both cabinets did not exist. The kitchen cabinets are just stock cabinets, but the wooden valence was added to make the cabinets look more custom. Dan and Bob made the wooden valence and added the small crown molding.

On the inside you can see the two brackets (old ones that Bob found at an antique store). Bob took all of the paint off and spray painted them black. The copper pipe was added with the rebar inside to keep the copper pipe from bending.

I filled, primed, and sanded all surfaces that were to be painted. We bought the hooks at the kitchen store Sur la Table.

The pots are ready to be used, and Dan has already used one to cook eggs!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Burlington's 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Making Contest

It’s time to preheat the oven, gather your creativity and supplies and enter the 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Making Contest sponsored by the Historic Burlington Business Association!

As part of the 2011 Historic Burlington Christmas celebration on December 2nd and 3rd, we are inviting people to register and participate in this exciting contest; judging will take place at Noon on December 3rd. On December 3rd, Eagle Bend Alpaca Farm will have a satellite shop with yarns, a spinning demonstration, and an Alpaca on-site.

The Prizes for the Adult and Child Categories are "To Be Announced"
- check back soon for updates!

All ages are welcome to participate, but houses in the adult category must be made from scratch: photos will be required to prove that they are made from scratch, examples must show the person making the house in the photos.

All houses will need to be displayed in the lobby of the Old Court House at 2988 Washington Square during the Historic Christmas Celebration to qualify. The Old Court House is at the corner of Rt. 18/Burlington Pike and Rt. 338, in the center of historic downtown Burlington. Creations must be delivered on Friday between 12:00-5:00pm. Judging will take place at NOON on Saturday, December 3rd!

How to Enter
To register to participate in Burlington’s 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Making Contest, call Nancy Swartzel at 859-689-5096.

Contest Rules/Details
ALL HOUSES ARE TO BE MADE FROM SCRATCH IN THE ADULT CATEGORY. THE CONTEST IS OPEN TO ALL AGES. KITS MAY ONLY BE USED IN THE CHILDREN’S KIT CATEGORY FOR AGES 12 AND UNDER. For adults, photos taken during the process of making of the Gingerbread House will need to be shown with the person making the house in the photos to qualify.

Need inspiration on how to make a gingerbread house from scratch? Martha Stewart is a valuable resource. Her book, Martha Stewart‘s Christmas Entertaining, Decorating, and Giving (1989), provides details and step-by-step instructions.

You can also visit her website to download templates, click here to see gingerbread information on

Martha's Gingerbread Recipe
This recipe is from the Martha Stewart Show (December 2005), adapted from "Martha Stewart Living" (December 1995).

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses
6 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt. Beat in eggs and molasses.

Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Divide dough into thirds and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes, or using template instructions, if desired. Place dough shapes on ungreased baking sheets; chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake 15 minutes, or until gingerbread is firm in the center, but not dark around the edges.

Good luck!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter is on the Way!

We woke to an early morning frost recently...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Gratitude

This Veteran's Day, we honor and give thanks for all those who have served and are serving our country!

(Nancy and Bob's son Dan is pictured above, he is currently serving our country and he is getting married in a few weeks - all of us working at Burlington's Willis Graves B&B are so proud of him!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lola is moving to the other Commonwealth!

Repeat guests may have seen our helper, Lola, on the grounds during their visit to Willis Graves B&B. She stays in our private quarters, but she is around during some of our outdoor projects.

Lola will be joining our son and moving to the other Commonwealth (Virginia) later this month. This week she had a check-up and she has been given a new bed and a new collar with a name tag and her next address, Virginia Beach.

We are all sad to see her go, but thought that you might want to know about her new adventure!