Archive for January, 2012

Boxwood House: Amalgam of Architectural Styles, Near Troy-Bumpas Inn

January 19th, 2012 by Judy Horn

One of the things I enjoy about being innkeeper at the Troy-Bumpas Inn is our neighborhood. The inn is located in Greensboro’s historic College Hill district. Part of the Greensboro College campus is directly behind the inn, and the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) is two blocks west.

Boxwood House

Boxwood House on Mendenhall Street, Greensboro

The Troy-Bumpas Inn is the second oldest home in the neighborhood; another home just two doors to the north on Mendenhall Street comes in as No. 3. This stately home was built in 1859, two years after the Bumpas House was built and just before the Civil War. The home was originally the residence of Rev. Nathan Hunt Daniel Wilson, Presiding Elder of the Raleigh District of the North Carolina Methodist Conference and a leader of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Wilson was a trustee of Greensboro College and was also involved in the early formation of Trinity College (which became Duke University), 

Rev. Wilson might not recognize his home if he walked by it today. Originally the home had simple lines appropriate for a member of the clergy. However, in the 1950s, then owner Julian Johnston, who operated a nursing home in the house that he called Boxwood, added a great deal of ornate trim and architectural detail salvaged from Greensboro residences that were being destroyed. Bay windows, eve brackets, finials, and interior features were pulled from the Bellemeade Mansion a short distance away. Gable ornaments were salvaged from the home of W. C. Boren, who had co-owned and operated Pomona Terra Cotta, one of the largest manufacturers of clay pipes and sewer lines in the nation. Windows and doors were recycled from other Greensboro sites. All of these additions remain, and so does the Boxwood name.

Nowadays, Boxwood is a true “painted lady,” a term used for Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. Boxwood was designated a Guilford County Landmark in 1990, two years earlier than when the Troy-Bumpas Inn became a Guildford County Landmark.

In the coming months, we’ll post more information about the wonderful homes in the College Hill Historic District, a place the Troy-Bumpas Inn is proud to call home.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Honeyed-Cranberry Sauce

January 11th, 2012 by Judy Horn

Pancake on the griddleToday a guest who had stayed at the Troy-Bumpas Inn this past fall sent me an email requesting the recipe for pumpkin pancakes that I served while she was staying with us. These pancakes are especially delicious in the fall and winter, when both pumpkin and cranberries are popular and plentiful. The cranberry syrup is a great accompaniment and very attractive. You’ll find the recipe for the pancakes and cranberry syrup below.

This recipe calls for egg whites beaten to stiff peaks. Did you know that whole eggs separate most easily when cold, but the whites beat most easily when the egg whites are at room temperature? If you’ve never folded beaten egg whites into batter, check out this video for an excellent demonstration.

All pancakes taste best when served immediately and I only serve freshly made pancakes to guests. That said, I have found that these pancakes are remarkably good when stored and reheated. Cool any leftover pancakes completely on a wire cooling rack. When cool, stack the pancakes, using a piece of wax paper to separate each pancake. Place in an airtight, zipper sealed plastic bag. Refrigerate. To reheat, heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Remove the wax paper separators. Place pancakes in a single layer on ungreased cookie sheet and heat for approximately 10 minutes or until desired temperature.

Pumpkin Pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 eggs, separated
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups skim milk

In large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, egg yolks, oil, vanilla extract and milk. Stir until smooth; set aside.

In a medium bowl with straight sides, beat egg whites until stiff.

Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix just until moistened and ingredients are combined. Gently fold in beaten egg whites, mixing just until all ingredients are blended.

Spoon batter onto hot, oiled griddle using a ladle. Cook until golden brown on first side. (Batter is thick so bubbles may not rise to the surface.) Flip and cook pancake on second side. Serve immediately on a warm plate with Honeyed Cranberry Syrup. 

Honeyed Cranberry Syrup
1-1/2 cups honey
½ cup cranberry, orange, or grape juice (I like to use orange juice.)
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, divided (do not bother to thaw if using frozen cranberries)

In medium saucepan, combine honey and juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the cranberries and cook until cranberries pop, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ½ cup cranberries and let sit 5 minutes before serving. This sauce reheats nicely. Makes 2 cups.

Troy-Bumpas Inn Living Room Gets a Facelift

January 6th, 2012 by Judy Horn

Innkeepers are always busy, but Larry and I have been especially busy these first few days of 2012. We took advantage of a short lull in bookings to give our living room a facelift.

We liked much about the “old” living room, but it was always dark, even on a sunny day. We wanted to keep the walls red, but the red color that was there reminded us of cream of tomato soup. We wanted a livelier red! We also thought long and hard about painting the pine wainscoting. I scoured the Internet for “inspiration” photos of painted wainscoting before we decided to move ahead.

The renovation took us three days to complete. Because we were covering red walls with more red, the walls only required one coat of paint. The dark wainscoting took most of our time. It needed a coat of oil-based primer followed by three (yes, three) coats of semi-gloss latex paint.

A picture does say a thousand words, so I’ve included several shots that will quickly walk you through the project. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results. The room is now bright and welcoming. As an added benefit, it looks much larger. Let us know what you think! Better yet, come visit us at the Troy-Bumpas Inn in Greensboro, NC, and see for yourself.