Archive for December, 2011

Chocolate Crinkles, a Favorite Cookie at the Troy-Bumpas Inn

December 23rd, 2011 by Judy Horn

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

One of our recent guests requested a copy of my recipe for Chocolate Crinkle cookies. Many of the recipes I prepare for guests are ones that I developed myself, but this one is an old recipe that came from a Betty Crocker cookie cookbook. It’s fun to watch these cookies bake because as the dough softens in the heat of the oven, a crinkled appearance forms. Besides being tasty, the cookies are dairy free and contain no lactose.

Chocolate Crinkles

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

½ cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Melt chocolate by placing squares in small microwaveable dish. Heat in microwave oven at high for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Squares may retain their original shape. Stir completely until melted.

In large bowl, mix melted chocolate, oil, and granulated sugar until well blended. Stir in eggs, one at a time, blending well. Add vanilla extract. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt to form a soft dough. Chill several hours or overnight until firm.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Drop into confectioner’s sugar and roll until well coated with sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until set. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks. Enjoy!

Makes about 72 cookies

Greensboro Neighborhood has Magical Holiday Light Display

December 12th, 2011 by Judy Horn

One of the “must-do” things to experience while in Greensboro for the holidays is to drive through the Sunset Hills neighborhood to see the magical display of lighted Christmas balls. A good place to start viewing is the corner of Madison Avenue and Ridgeway Drive. Most of the homes in the neighborhood participate. The homeowners make Christmas balls by wrapping strings of holiday lights around a chicken-wire base. The first Sunday after Thanksgiving, hundreds of light balls are thrown over branches of trees and then they are all plugged in. The effect of muti-colored balls of light dangling over the streets and yards is magical and wonderful. Thousands of cars drive by during the holiday to view the lights. Everyone is encouraged to leave behind donations of non-perishable food for the local food pantry at several collection sites throughout the neighborhood.

A 2009 YouTube video does a great job of giving you an idea of how cool the neighborhood looks at night. (My photos just don’t do it justice!) The video also tells the story of how this all got started. You can also visit their blog for more information and instructions on how to make Christmas Light ball.

The Christmas Light Balls in the Sunset Hills neighborhood are part of what makes Greensboro special. Come and visit to see for yourself! And, of course, we invite you to stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn whenever you are in Greensboro, NC.

 

Why are North Carolinians Tar Heels?

December 3rd, 2011 by Judy Horn

December is the month for parties, so if you’re looking for some ice-breaker trivia, look no further. When the conversation need a little pick-me-up, you can pose the question: ‘Ever wonder why North Carolinians are called Tar Heels? Then, be a smarty pants and tell ‘em the story:

The origin of the nickname comes from the fact that North Carolina has an abundance of pine forests that for centuries were our country’s chief source of tar, pitch and turpentine used for painting, caulking and preserving the wood and ropes used in navel and merchant vessels. By 1768, North Carolina produced 60 percent of the colonies’ supply of these three products. Production involved heating pine lumber in charcoal beds to extract and collect a black ooze. This was a messy process that often caused the soles of the workers’ shoes to be coated with tar. Popular legend says that after a Civil War battle in Virginia in which the Virginia troops fled while the North Carolinians stuck to their positions, as if held fast by tar, Confederate General Robert E. Lee is said to have exclaimed, “God bless the Tar Heel boys.”  The story goes on to say that Confederate President Jefferson Davis asked jokingly if there was a surplus of tar available from North Carolina for other commanders to use to smear it on the shoes of their soldiers’ heels to help them hold steadfast against the Union attacks.

While it is unproven that Robert E. Lee actually coined the Tar Heel nickname, he certainly popularized the term and gave it a positive meaning. North Carolinians have been proud to be called Tar Heels ever since.

It’s no surprise that the pine is the state tree of North Carolina. There is a spectacularly tall long needle pine tree in the front corner of the yard at the Troy-Bumpas Inn in Greensboro. While the age of the tree is unknown, it towers over the inn, which is three stories tall. This tree has no doubt been witness to a lot of history. Greensboro is a great city for history buffs. Come see for yourself, and we welcome you to stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn, 114 S. Mendenhall St., Greensboro, NC.
The tall Troy-Bumpas Inn pine tree

This long needle pine tree
has towered over the Troy-Bumpas Inn
for many years.