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Berkshire Sweet Gold (<link) is a special brand of Maple Syrup and we’re not just saying that because our cousins are the ones making it. Nope, this stuff really is in a class by itself. You’re probably already calling shenanigans on me as you’re certain Maple Syrup is Maple Syrup. It’s just sap from a Maple tree that someone poked a hole in and stuck a bucket under right?

Wrong!

While you do have to tap the trees and have hoses run down to the sugarhouse for processing there’s several other things you need to do as well; like cook it. Why? Well for one thing you need to reduce it by close to 90%. In other words, you need a thousand gallons of sap to make a hundred gallons of syrup.

The longer it takes you to cook it the more adverse affect you have on the flavor. Which brings me to the first thing that makes Berkshire Sweet Gold different from syrups you can get at your local gourmet shop:

Imagine you have a gallon of chicken broth that you want to cook down to a cup. If you put it in a gallon size saucepan and let it boil its way down that will take quite some time. If however, you were able to put the broth into a large skillet with a larger surface area in direct contact to the heat, it boils down a lot quicker. Without finding a technical manual, that’s roughly how to describe what they do.

And by "they" I mean these guys

So now here’s the second thing:

Did you know that after the trees are tapped in early spring,  the sap produced changes in color and intensity as the year goes by? It starts off as a color lighter than honey but by autumn it’s twice as dark as you’re used to seeing in store-bought syrup. As it gets darker, the intensity of the distinctive Maple flavor gets stronger.

Most syrup producers mix all the color types together into one big batch but my cousins keep it separate. This gives you options in flavor intensity and with what you can do with it. For instance the light makes a fantastic sweetener for things like coffee.

If you don’t want to take our word for it, you can always come and sample some on your next visit with us. You can even purchase a bottle from our gift shop. 🙂

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It was Dave’s birthday last week as he turned…..a year older. When asked where he wanted to go for his birthday dinner he instantly chose Bankok Noi in Gloucester. It’s a 20 minute drive from our Inn but SO worth it. Thai food is one of his two favorite cuisines and Bankok Noi is not just the best Thai restaurant in the area, it is one of the best anywhere. We’ve suggested it to many of our guests (some from places like Washington DC and New York City) and they all have told us that it is as good or better than any Thai restaurant they’ve ever been to. We believe it.

The service is also great. When told that we were there for Dave’s birthday, they prepared for him a special dessert. It was ice cream with fried banana and sticky rice rolls. After an entre of grilled rockfish, shrimp and scallops topped with vegetables cooked in a ginger sauce, Dave didn’t think he could eat a dessert. That is until he saw it. Just take a look:

"David" The parenthesis are there because....well we don't know.

 

There's the old man

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Hi everyone. Just a quick post to tell you about our past month here at the inn. It was by far our busiest month and probably can’t ever get any busier as we were booked solid almost the whole way through. That’s in large part thanks to the good folks at the DIY Network.

We posted at the time of the announcement that a house not far from our inn was chosen to be renovated top to bottom by several of the DIY network’s shows. So as you can imagine we were thrilled to host many of the crews who worked on the project. In between two weddings and a family reunion that is. They were a lot of fun and we got to serve several lunches on site for them and have some nice sit down dinners for them back here at the inn. A really good and crazy time!

We’ll have more info soon, especially about how you can register to win the house they renovated (we got a sneak peak and it is AWESOME!). But for now, you get some pictures of the last month!

House Crashers started us off

 

With the first of 3 Crab Pickings

 

The second went as well as the first

 More to come.

 

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We became one. For a day anyway. It was the annual Tour De Chesapeake here in Mathews County Va a couple of weeks ago. We were happy to host once again, our very first guests from two years ago plus a whole lot more as we became a stop along the way for many of the bike riders that come to our area.

It was sponsored by the Mathews Maritime Foundation (who owns and operates the Mathews Maritime Museum) and they brought refreshments that they gave out for free to all who bike riders who stopped at our Inn for a quick break. And there were a lot.

One of the reasons the Maritime foundation wanted to team up with us was to highlight their Heritage Trail Project that now includes the East River. Right off where we’re located. They handed out brochures and talked to all interested parties. All in all, it was a big success for both the foundation and us!

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Is there such a thing?

Well perhaps not, but we came as close as possible last week. John and Serena, a lovely couple from California came all the way across country to have their wedding here at our Inn. Her family from California (and London) and his family from Illinois came together (and in some cases met for the first time) and held a small quiet service on our front porch. The weather cooperated just enough and everything went as smoothly as weddings can go.

The happy couple always get first dibs on the porchswing

So now we’d like to send out our Congratulations to the happy couple John and Serena who are honeymooning in London as of this writing.

Best wishes and CHEERS!

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  Don’t tell the police but we had a murder at the Inn Saturday night! It was the second murder to occur here as it happened just a week before. It was horrifying!

At least he died with a smile on his face

 

But the dinner we had a half hour later was delicious.

Okay, you’ve probably figured out what I’m talking about. If not then we, along with some of our guests dressed up in our best Roaring 20s outfits and played a game of murder mystery. We did Murder at the Four Dueces from http://www.dinnerandamurder.com/ and let me tell you, it was as much fun as we have had in a long time. I think all of our participants would say the same thing. We did it a week before with some local friends too and it was just as fun then as it was the second time around

Lori was the host who put it all together and directed the game (while getting dinner ready at the same time!). Greg twice played the murder victim (poor thing) and it was up to everyone else to figure out who did the killing. Let me tell you, it was not easy to solve either. No one solved the murder the first time and only one got it right the second time but that didn’t matter. What mattered was the fun we had! Just take a look:

Our first group posing outdoors

 

Our second group posing in the pub room

During the game, our host Lori handed out secret information to each player. This provided all the things characters knew that they could use to extort or trade with others to help them solve the case.

Our first group gets it's secret info. Time to plot strategy!

 

Immediately after dinner, the Inspector presents all the clues and evidence that has been acquired. Will it help solve the murder or mislead the sleuths?

Frank aka the Inspector, presents his information but alas it wasn't enough for him to solve it.

It was super-sleuth Katie who out inspected the Inspector.

So who was the killer? Well you’ll have to play to find out but you’ll have a great time doing it.

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It seems we got one.

We were surprised thrilled to find out that we are named as one of the top ten innkeepers by The Best of Bedandbreakfast.com Awards 2010-2011. It is a tremendous honor to receive any kind of recognition after just a little over a year of operations. It’s also served to give us a goal for the future; to keep it up and strive to be the best.

So to bedandbreakfast.com and to everyone who has supported us in the past year and a half, we would like to say Thank You. From the bottom of our hearts.

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