The Moss House Bed and Breakfast
Christmas is Coming … Keep it Simple 10 Nov 2014, 2:05 pm
There is nothing like fresh greens at the holidays.
It is the smell I remember from my childhood … crunching through the snow to find the boughs and shaking off snow so you can put them on the mantle. That memory still makes makes me smile.
We find plenty of spots in and around the B&B to incorporate our backyard greenery. And this year, we found a new place for those holiday greens — our dining room chandelier. The cost is minimal and the effect is unbelievable.
The Moss House B & B has tall ceilings and a large chandelier in the dining room. But I believe this idea would work on any light fixture.
This started with some twisted empty branches wired onto the light fixture to create a base and wired onto those branches are greens we collected from all around the neighborhood for variety. We used some Cypress and Nandina branches in this fixture.
I happen to have a collection of birds to decorate with — cardinals and white birds for Christmas, plus some one-of-a-kind bird ornaments I have gathered over the years). Tiny lights, hanging crystals and anything else you have would work great!
By the way – at the end of the holidays when the greens have dried and gone, we take down all but the sticks and add different birds for different seasons. This Fall, we have Ravens and Owls on the empty branches.
Use your imagination and have fun!
Crisp Mornings with Apple-Sage Sausage 16 Oct 2014, 5:51 pm
Crisp mornings make me think of warm Oatmeal Pancakes and hearty Apple-Sage Sausage with maple syrup and some fruit sliding down the side of the pancakes. What’s not to love?
When we first took on the role of innkeepers at The Moss House Bed and Breakfast, I knew the best thing I could do was reach out to all my cook friends and family and gather their favorite breakfast treats. So The Moss House Apple-Sage Sausage was born and became a keeper for the last 8 1/2 years.
When the call for delicious was sent forth, all my chums came to my aid. One of our favorites was a recipe from my good friend (and an excellent chef), Reid. He had this Apple and Sage Sausage recipe from a delightful cooking magazine. I worked with it, rearranged it a bit and have since made it my own. Thanks for the start to a wonderful sausage relationship Reid!
I now have a year-round crop of fresh sage I tend carefully for cooking and a great local source for country pork sausage I like to use for the base. I have also made it from a mix of ground turkey and pork. I found the all turkey to be just a bit too lean for this, but I have made that version work too.
Okay, are you ready for really tasty sausage? Let’s get cooking!
The Moss House Apple-Sage Sausage from The Moss House Bed & Breakfast in Washington NC
1 lb good country sausage
2 TBLS olive oil
1 medium firm apple, like Granny Smith or a Fuji apple (chopped fine)
¼ cup of finely chopped sweet onion
¼ cup chopped fresh sage
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 TBLS finely ground fennel seeds (a spice-dedicated coffee grinder is great, but a sharp knife and some excellent fine chopping skills work fine too)
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Heat oil over medium heat in a sauté pan and cook together the finely chopped apple and the onion until slightly browned and soft. Set aside to cool.
Put the sausage meat in a large bowl and add the chopped sage, parsley, pepper, salt, ground fennel seed and cinnamon.
Add the cooled apples and onion and dive into it to mix well (your hands not your whole body!)
It is really great to make this the night before or you can freeze it. When you are ready to cook, just make up patties.
Usually, I prefer large patties rather than two small ones. Watch the frying temperature when you are cooking — apples have sugar and brown up fast. Make this in big batches,freeze and you’ll have some ready every Saturday morning for weeks to come!
Sail Away on the Jeanie B 8 Sep 2014, 4:37 am
Nothing — and I mean nothing — beats a day on a sailboat or a beautiful evening and returning into the sunset on a glorious breezy evening!
Scott and I have owned sailboats, but nothing beats going out on a big-rigged boat like the Jeanie B. Ahhh … just thinking about it puts me on board, cruising down the Pamlico River and smelling the fresh air with sails unfurled and the river moving past me. Captain Paul will take good care of you!
This is what it is all about!
The Jeanie B is a 72′ Gaff Rigged Schooner and a classic design based upon the famous working class schooners of the Seventeen and Eighteen Hundreds with the splendid addition of modern navigational equipment for safety and a robust diesel engine for days when the wind gets lazy.
A 1/2 Day River Excursion or an Evening Sunset Cruise are each around 3 hours in length starting at the Washington Waterfront proceeding south along the Pamlico River 5 to 7 nautical miles toward Blount Bay.
Along the way, you will experience the environmental wonderland of the Pamlico River where wildlife is prolific. We regularly see osprey, cormorants, pelicans and sea gulls, along with a multitude of fish turtles and even pods of dolphin.
The cost is only $25.00 per person for 1/2 Day River Excursion or the Evening Sunset Cruise. Children under 12 are half price.
Here’s my recommendation: First, check out the Jeanie B website. Prepare to fall in love. Next, call to find out the dates she is at dock — 252-671-0080.
Then — book passage to make your sailing adventure a reality!
Do not miss this joyful excursion when you are in Washington, NC. By the way, The Moss House B&B is only three blocks from the dock! We’d love for you to come stay with us.
Beckie’s Bag of Biscuits and Beans 13 Aug 2014, 10:07 am
I am an innkeeper. I take pride in my B&B and what we offer our guests here at The Moss House and I am often asked as a seasoned innkeeper (more than 8 years now!) …
“I have always wanted to own a B&B — What do I need to know to be a good innkeeeper?”
Being an innkeeper means lots of time in the kitchen!
Innkeeping is … hmmmm … well …. if you ask any given innkeeper you will get a totally different answer. I think, my answer is: Start with being interested in being a Great innkeeper. You will get from it what you put into it.
So here is my personal primer. Take from it what you like:
Beckie’s Basket of Biscuits and Beans
Maybe the interest I personally had in this honored and highly active profession started with my own history and “mixed skills.” Yes, let’s call them “skills.”
I packed my bag and in it I put:
- A love of cooking, baking and feeding people
- Having a cleaning business for several years
- Being a housewife and mother and running a home and a farm for years
- Many years of fixing and remodeling homes with my hubby, Scott (I love to paint a room!)
- Many years of being on stage, doing props and decorating for productions … and, oh yes …
- A childhood of doll houses, dress-up, cake baking and making pretty places for fairies in the backyard
I believe each innkeeper, and potential innkeeper, brings to this demanding and rewarding lifestyle his or her own set of skills.
Scott and I have set up The Moss House Bed and Breakfast with our collective tastes and eclectic style. Another innkeeper would find his or her own style. For instance, don’t buy a B&B in a ski zone if you hate winter! (I know, duh!)
We happen to love being in town, in a house with historic value — but even more than that — a traceable family history with the town and the house. We love our garden and the wide veranda being part of the garden.
We wanted a warm and inviting outdoor space as well as private and comfortable rooms for the guests. We also love water so we chose The Moss House because the Pamlico River and River Walk were right out our front door in Little Washington, NC.
Being an innkeeper may not be for everyone, but for a creative soul in search of a satisfying lifestyle it is absolutely something worth looking into. Many state organizations offer Aspiring Innkeepers classes. In NC, contact the North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns Association.
Talk to an innkeeper and get a job at one if you can. That is was sealed it for me. I worked at a NC inn and knew I had to have my own! Look into your own basket of biscuits and beans to find what you have to offer to the guests at your own B&B.
Love and happy travels,
Rollin’ on the River in Washington NC 22 Jul 2014, 8:49 am
It is a warm summer evening or even a cool fall night and the walks along the Pamlico River always make me smile. The town of Washington, NC ( sometimes called “Little Washington”) owes a great deal of its unique wonder to this glorious river we live on. It’s what drew Scott and me here to open the bed and breakfast. It offers home to the many kinds of birds that nest near here. And, of course, the Pamlico River provides a perfect setting for walks, sailing, fishing or a kayak paddle.
This river holds a full history going back to Indian settlements, the Civil War and changing commerce along the rivers edge. You can walk along the river walk in the evening and see folks fishing along the docks and the boardwalk or watch the boats follow the flow.
In the summer, you can watch the sailing school boats go by and catch an expert bringing in a flounder for his dinner. The mix of salt water coming up the river from the Pamlico Sound and the fresh water coming in from the Tar River and the other smaller creeks makes this area the second largest Estuary system in the Eastern US.
Come and enjoy the river, this wonderful place called the Pamlico.
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Garden Life at The Moss House B&B 2 Jul 2014, 7:18 am
Spring and Summer offer so many colors and living critters in the small gardens here it feels like a large space sometimes. Every month brings in new colors and to catch the eye so I just had to share some with you all.
Each year my little garden offers new surprises and reminds me that life renews all on its own, all by itself — with a little rain, sunshine and bit of gardener love.
You never know who you might meet at The Moss House! Sit on the veranda or on the back porch and the visitors will come.
The Chaste Tree on the corner of the garden is over 100 years old and still blooms for us every year. No, I did not plant it!
Come by and check out the changes that happen everyday, sit on a rocker and visit the dragonflies.
Rainbows in Washington NC … Gold Still at Large! 16 Jun 2014, 9:00 am
Isn’t this a delightful sight?
Ever dream of a rainbow with its proverbial pot of gold? Well, this one has the lovely city of Washington, North Carolina at the end! We were driving over the bridge one rainy evening and saw this colorful display. I made my husband, Scott, pull up in our driveway so I could run into the B&B, grab my camera and drive back.
I jumped out on the bridge and snapped as many of these as I could.
The end of the rainbow is right over our place — The Moss House Bed and Breakfast — just behind the trees in the middle of the shot. I tried jumping up and down to get the Moss House’s red roof into the shot. Evidently, I do not have any frog in me. <wink>
I could not even see the first leprechaun, nor spot any signs of gold! …….. But with the mild bursts of rain we’ve been getting lately, I am optimistic and keeping my eyes open for rainbow sightings and pots of gold!
Come see us and bring your lucky camera!
Great Granola with More Taste, Less Fat! 3 Jun 2014, 1:45 am
Homemade Granola with Lots of Crunch — Sweet and Nutty!
I love granola on fruit, yogurt and even ice cream, but most of the time the “good-for-you-stuff” is masked by tons of sweetener and fats. I had to find a better solution, so I set out to do some detective work! I knew I did not want anything artificial or weird in my granola, but it had to be really tasty — a little bit sweet and nutty, I love the nuts!!
Is it possible to have delicious granola without all the fat and added sweeteners? Yes!
So here is what I worked out. I make it often at The Moss House Bed and Breakfast and put it on fresh fruit or sprinkle it over some “Spiced Oatmeal Pancakes” with sauteed apples or fresh strawberries. Yummy!
Great Low Fat, Tasty Granola Recipe by Beckie
Set oven at 325 degrees – two racks upper middle and upper
2 oven trays with silpats or parchment paper
Bake for 20-30 minutes, swapping trays in oven and stirring twice
Mix a big bowl
4 cups Oats (not quick oats)
1 cup Nuts chopped ( I like chopped up whole almonds, walnuts, pecans and even pistachios)
1/2 cup raw Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup raw Pepitas ( shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 Tablespoon good Cinnamon
Warm in a measuring cup for 20 seconds:
1/2 cup Local Honey
1/2 cup Water
Stir together and pour over the Oatmeal mix, stir it all together (Use clean hands, ok?)
Divide onto the two sheets and put in the oven. Remember to check on it so it doesn’t burn.
Change trays and stir it all twice during the cooking. The point is to crisp it all, get some brown crispiness going and then let it dry out.
Cool and put in a glass jar. Use liberally … often.
Toasting a Creative Delicacy in Washington NC 27 May 2014, 8:19 am
Small town America can offer lots of quaint little “small town” shops and restaurants. Isn’t that why we stop and explore little towns as we travel — looking to find what treasures are waiting to be discovered? In my town, one such unexpected little luxury shop is Wine, Words …. and Gourmet in Washington, NC on Main Street.
“Chef Yvonne” knows how to present a selection of imported and North Carolina specialties to go with the wines and a few special select beers. She makes wonderful home-baked breads and hummus — and can always offer great suggestions for using a specialty Raspberry vinegar and some Kalamata olives in Herbs De Provence. I am addicted to those olives! And the cheese selection at Wine, Words …. and Gourmet is comparable to a fine shop in NYC. Just try to resist!
The wine selection is the best in the area, with monthly specials and weekly tastings on some new delights every Friday afternoon at about 5:00 pm. James, a.k.a. “The Wine Guy,” will introduce you to some great varieties you may never have gotten a chance to sample. I always appreciate that they offer some modestly priced wines as well as pricier ones for special menus and occasions.
Chef Yvonne has a few recipes on the shop’s website. I haven’t tried any – yet. Let me know if you do and how they turn out. Scrumptious, I’m sure!
Truth be told – I enjoy taking a stroll to the shop (just a few blocks from The Moss House B&B) and selecting something Yvonne has cooked for me! It’s a wonderful change of pace when innkeepers have someone cook for them.
Music in the Streets 2014 Returns to Downtown Washington, NC 17 May 2014, 1:03 pm
Come enjoy the celebration — every third Friday through October!
Walking down along Main Street is good fun on any day, rain or shine. You’ll find plenty of cute shops, some good eats and art galleries to explore. But … on the third Friday of every month from May– October from 6:30-8:30, it is a magical and musical place to be. That is when there is “Music in the Streets.”
Every year, the Festival just gets better. Come out to hear the wonderful variety of music along with other strolling locals and visitors. Trust me, there is a bit of something for everyone in every age group.
Main Street and Market Street are blocked off and the music fills the streets — in front of the local restaurants, shops and galleries that remain open. Be sure to visit them all as you listen to the various bands. Food vendors are also on the street making it easy to grab a snack.
And, of course — you can dance on the street to all your favorites! We expect this year will be as years past — with a Beach Music dance area on Market Street. You’ll want to find it so you can have fun working off the ice cream from “Scoops,” line dancing with a group or slow dancing to a favorite tune with your honey.
If you love antique cars there are always a select group of them on North Market. I keep hoping someone will give me one of these beauties. The Moss House Bed and Breakfast is only a block away from all this fun. So book your stay now and make plans to let the good times roll in Little Washington, NC!
Check the upcoming schedule at http://www.washingtononthewater.com.