Shell fishing in Barnstable on the bay – the saga continues!

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It was a beautiful day at the Scudder Lane Town Landing.  Hopeful oyster fisherman and women, and hardworking clammers, were abundant.  We had to park about a half mile away this time – shell fishing is very popular this time of year!

 

 

 

Busy, busy, busy – people were working hard for their catch. It wasn’t too difficult– the oysters are very plentiful this year.  You could fill a bucket in about 30 – 40 minutes of leisurely work.oysters2 011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not so easy for this hardworking “Mussel Man”.  We watched him dig for steamers about an hour, to catch his limit. But he was determined, and successful. It was kind of funny, he actually admitted, that he doesn’t like shellfish (heresy!), but his family does – so he’s here doing it for the team.

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Buried treasure!  Here is what he was working so hard to get – in the raw.  So, when you enjoy your next bowl of steamers, at your favorite Cape Cod pub, now you can say ” I know where my food comes from!”      oysters2 019

 

Nancy is smiling – she filled her bucket quickly, and without too much work.  A good payout for short effort.  The American dream!oysters2 028

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy chips off barnacles and excess shell from her catch, so that the oysters fit compactly in the basket.  She is also sporting her new shell fish license on her cap — she has been promoted from shell fishing assistant to a fully tenured shell fisherwoman.

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This is one great deal.  A license for the 5 month season only costs $ 30 – and you are allowed to catch a half-peck each week.  This half-peck is worth about $60……SWEET!

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Now the hard work begins – shucking the catch.  it takes strong hands, surgical precision and patience to prepare the catch for the table…but it’s worth it when you slurp down one of these beauties with a little freshly grated horseradish, some lemon and a dash of hot sauce.  Just don’t stab yourself during the prep or you might be saying more than “Aw Shucks!”oysters2 041

 

The end result of yesterday’s activities was a magnificent plate of Oysters Rockefeller.  Here’s the recipe Nancy used – all we can say is “Yummy in the tummy!”Oysters Rockefeller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup bread crumbs, Panko preferred
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1-2 tablespoons of Pernod or dry a dry Vermouth (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash red pepper sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley or chervil
2 dozen oysters, on the half shell
Rock salt or dry beans
Lemon wedges, for the garnish

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Melt butter in a skillet.  Saute garlic for about 2 minutes.  Put bread crumbs in a bowl and add 1/2 butter-garlic mixture – set aside.  Add shallots and spinach to the pan with the remaining garlic butter and cook for 3 minutes, until the spinach wilts.  Deglaze the pan with Pernod, or white wine, if you are using – you can also use water or stock to deglaze, if your prefer.  Season with salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper sauce.  Let the mixture cook down for several minutes.  To finish the breadcrumbs, mix in olive oil, grated cheese, parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture on each oyster followed by a spoonful of the breadcrumb mixture.  Sprinkle a baking pan with rock salt or small-sized dry beans (like small white navy beans).  Arrange the oysters on the salt or beans to steady them.  Bake in a 450 F oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden.  Serve with lemon wedges and a red pepper sauce of your choice. We grated fresh horseradish and mixed it with some lemon juice, minced shallots, champagne vinegar, cracked black pepper corns, and a generous dash of red pepper sauce.   ENJOY!

 

 

 

We made the list……

We learned this past week that Honeysuckle Hill Inn had been included in a list of the
“8 Prettiest New England Inns that Inspired Gilmore Girls.”   Here’s what Trivago’s checkin author, Natalia Kvitek wrote:   “In the spirit of the premier of Gilmore Girls on Netflix and the perfect fall foliage landscape in New England, we’ve amassed the prettiest, most idyllic New England Inns where you might just run into Lorelai and Rory Gilmore when you’re checking in.”

Below are the pictures featured on Trivago’s checkin site for Honeysuckle Hill Inn.   YAY!!!

 

 

Casual Cape Cod


Honeysuckle inn 1 8 Of The Prettiest New England Inns That Inspired Gilmore Girls

This historic National Register Inn dates back to 1810 and sits at the edge of a tiny village in a lush, stereotypical Cape Cod landscape. Relax in the screened-in porch with a book from their extensive library. Wake up to delicious coffee and breakfast before hitting up the whale watching boats. Your stay at the Honeysuckle Hill Inn will be nothing short of idyllic!

Bay morning light 8 Of The Prettiest New England Inns That Inspired Gilmore Girls

 

You can call me Al……

One of the things that we love about Cape Cod is the interesting and friendly people that inhabit this special place. Al Schofield is one of them. Al and his wife Cathy own the Old Village Store, in West Barnstable — just down the street from Honeysuckle Hill Inn.

Old Village Store This quintessential general store is a true small village gem, offering delicious deli sandwiches, and a little bit of everything else a weary traveler needs to make his or her Cape Cod experience that much more comfortable (especially the growlers of Cape Cod Beer!). However, what really sets it apart is Al’s daily “philosophies” prominently harked on a sandwich board (that’s appropriate)in front of the store. While his daily wisdoms aren’t Plato or Aristotle, they’re good enough to put a smile on your face – maybe they are better than Plato! We walk our dogs past the store every day, sometimes twice (they’re Australian Shepherds and have endless energy!), and we always make a point to see what Al has to say for the day. Here’s a couple of his more recent posts.

 

 

Sign at StoreSign Feb 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever the marketing wizard, Al goes to great lengths to make sure people are aware of his store, and that it is open for business even in the most inclement weather. On a recent snowy day, Al took his life in his hands and climbed the formidable “Mount West Barnstable” to get his message out there.

Al on snow pile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needless to say we were very impressed, especially our dogs who barked at Al incessantly until they tired of him, and then went back to scratching themselves.

Gildy and Spree Winter Blog

 

The only being who wasn’t so impressed was the store’s polar bear mascot who was overheard saying “What storm? “

Bear at StoreSo the next time you’re on the Cape, visit West Barnstable. It’s a tiny town, just a mile down from Sandy Neck Beach – one of the nicest beaches on the Cape. Stop by Al’s store, and purchase a yummy deli sandwich and a growler of beer. Then head home to the Honeysuckle Hill Inn and enjoy your meal on our wonderful screened in porch. Of course there’s a catch, you need to be a guest at our inn to enjoy the porch but, hey… it’s a great place, and you’ll enjoying staying here at this historic, romantic Cape Cod bed and breakfast  — we guarantee it!


Rick & Nancy

Inspiration for our gardens!

If you’ve ever stayed at The Honeysuckle Hill Inn, you’ve seen our beautiful English influenced gardens. We are always on the look-out for new ideas. Last week we took a road trip to the world famous Philadelphia Flower Show for inspiration. The theme of the show was America’s love of English gardens, of course!

Flower Show 2013 007As we entered the show, we knew we were in for a special treat. Big Ben was waiting for us, along with about a trillion flowers! What a show!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Show 2013 014This beautiful exercise melded nature and man-made materials in a wonderful way. Rick’s challenge is to take all of his tools, bend them in an artful manner, and situate them throughout our gardens before our daffodils rise. Rick’s more than happy about donating his tools; especially the shovels, picks and rakes!

 

 

Flower Show 2013 042Nancy strives to make the breakfast experience a beautiful event, insisting on fresh-cut flower bouquets from our gardens on all guest breakfast tables. She especially liked this arrangement although questioning whether there would be enough space for the frittata.

 

Rick suggested that perhaps a simpler, yet still elegant approach might be more practical.Flower Show 2013 044

 

 

Flower Show 2013 025Nancy acquiesced a little and decided to go with this theme for the upcoming season. Talk about pampering our guests!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Show 2013 045Rick was concerned that Nancy was getting a bit carried away when she showed him her new plans for the kitchen. After much conversation about where would they put serving plates, keep the bacon warm, and find a spot for the coffee maker, both parties agreed it was time for a spot of tea.

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Show 2013 064It is very common on Cape Cod to have an outdoor shower – it’s great for getting the sand off of you after the beach, and communing with nature. Rick came up with this brilliant idea as an extension to Honeysuckle Hill’s outdoor shower facility. Nancy was not so sure this would fly with our guests. Nancy won.

 

 

 

Rick is an old drummer and was especially captivated by this unique arrangement. Nancy, on the other hand, is tired of all the space Rick’s drums take up in the basement and has plans for them in her garden. Rick’s not smiling at the moment.

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 Flower Show 2013 030

All in all, it was a terrific show. We gleaned a ton of new ideas for our gardens, and are chomping at the bits for spring to arrive (it’s just around the corner) so we can get started with future gardening plans. So when you come for your next (or first) visit to the Honeysuckle Hill Inn, you will be certain to be pleasantly surprised. Hope to see you soon!

Honeysuckle Hill Inn – open for business despite NEMO!

Ok, Ok, so sometimes it does snow on the Cape – but not much – really! However, Nemo certainly had its way with us this past weekend. We got about 18” of snow, and winds up to 84 miles per hour were recorded in nearby Hyannis. This is definitely not the norm for the Cape! However, Cape Codders are a hearty lot, and we know how to survive a good Nor’easter. Our humongous generator “Big Bertha” saved the day, keeping us somewhat warm, and with lights and water.

[singlepic id=51 w=320 h=240 float=left]Rick, the ever diligent innkeeper, was out immediately clearing the guest sidewalk. He was muttering, “Got to get it clear, there could be a weary traveler come knocking at our door.” Nancy, on the other hand, was out shooting pictures of the snow. Rick was heard muttering again “Somehow this doesn’t seem fair.”

 

Our always inviting Adirondack chairs out front still offered a pleasant place to park oneself – Just bring your own shovel, and sip your wine quickly before it freezes. [singlepic id=52 w=320 h=240 float=left]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It might be a while before the Wisteria blooms, but when it does, it’s beautiful.[singlepic id=55 w=320 h=240 float=left]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our lovely Japanese garden looks as if plucked from a scene in Snow Falling on Cedars  – ethereal to be sure.  But nature springs eternal, and the pond and water plants, will come out of their deep-freeze before you know it.

Honeysuckle Hill weathered the storm well, we’re back in business, the guest path is clear, the fireplace is warming the guest living room nicely, and a carafe of sherry is waiting for you.  Come on down for a winter getaway. We have some great specials, and some great beaches to entice you. By the way, it was amazing to see Sandy Neck Beach yesterday – the beach area was totally clear of snow! The waves  washed in so high that they swept away all the snow!  A walk on the beach was actually possible and pleasant.[singlepic id=54 w=320 h=240 float=right]

 

Stay warm and safe. Hope to see you soon.

Nancy & Rick

Nature’s Ice Sculptures on Cape Cod

[singlepic id=48 w=320 h=240 float=]Cape Cod’s beauty never ceases to amaze us. Even in the depth of a rare deep-freeze, the Cape’s natural beauty was abundant. We took a trip down to Barnstable Harbor to show some friends our lovely Millway Beach, and to view the impressive barrier beach, Sandy Neck, which protects our marshes from storms. A view of this barrier beach is always a treat, especially over the holidays, when the Sandy Neck Lighthouse is decked out with a huge Christmas wreath!

 

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The view this weekend stopped us in our tracks. Huge slabs of ice were scattered all over the beach and harbor where the waves had abruptly frozen due to the frigid cold-snap.

 

 

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We walked the beach (quickly, it was cold!), and were smitten by the ice sculpture show. Our breath was taken away by the show (and the cold) – it was better than many art galleries we’ve visited.

 

 

[singlepic id=47 w=320 h=240 float=center]Afterwards, we went to the nearby Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern for a hot toddy to warm us up. Their tavern, with its relaxed ambience and plentiful woodwork, is a cozy setting for good conversation; check out their February 2013 special tastings at http://www.barnstablerestaurant.com
A pleaseant end to a pleasant day.

The Cape’s year-round natural beauty re-enforces why it’s a special place to come, anytime of the year.

Winter on the Cape…something for everyone!

The dunes are alive with the sound of music!  [singlepic id=33 w=300 h=200 float=right]The Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth offers unique events and workshops throughout the year. Of special interest this winter season…

Occidental Gypsy will be in concert Friday, January 18, at 7:30 pm. These pioneers of “Gypsy Pop” deliver a combination of high-energy rhythms of Gypsy, and strong melodies of Pop. This eclectic sound will certainly make you want to get up and dance!

Harlem Works returns to the Cape on February 9th at 7:30pm. This unique rhythm, blues and jazz  musical team is led by composer and producer Gary Foote, on bass, who plays with Smokey Robinson and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Don’t miss this extraordinary event!

For more information visit www.cultural-center.org

Have you always wanted a boat – or wanted to build a boat? What are you waiting for?[singlepic id=35 w=200 h=150 float=left]

The Seventh Annual Boatbuilders’ Show on Cape Cod, returns February 8-10, 2013 to the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis. View a large selection of unique, custom and limited-production boats in both wood and fiberglass. Boaters looking for something other than off-the-rack, will have the opportunity to go on board and compare workmanship and features from a variety of builders.  Over 50 exhibitors will be on hand to answer your questions.

Talk with builders, compare designs, features and price.  if you’re in the market, walk away with an affordable boat that meets your specific requirements.  If you’re just looking….walk away with a new dream!

For more information visit: http://www.acbs.org/calendar/index.php?eID=359

 

Chocolate…the ultimate comfort food!  Don’t miss the 8th annual Osterville Chocolate Festival!  On Saturday, February 9, the streets of Osterville will be flowing with chocolate! At the Osterville Baptist Church, 824 Main Street Osterville, MA there will be a day-long cooking contest where the main ingredient is CHOCOLATE, of course! Samples from all participants’ scrumptious creations will be for sale during the day at the Osterville Baptist Church.[singlepic id=36 w=225 h=115 float=left]In addition, participating merchants throughout the town will be offering chocolate themed refreshments and special deals on great merchandise.

For more information visit: www.ostervillevillageassociation.org

[singlepic id=37 w=175 h=100 float=right]Go Green (we’re not talking energy-savings!)The Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Yarmouth on March 9th is the Cape’s largest celebration of the green! This annual event has become one of the largest and most anticipated off-season occasions on the Cape, drawing upwards of 45,000 spectators from all over the country. The parade and festivities
starts at 11 am. Come, enjoy, be an honorary Irishman for the day – and BE GREEN!

For more info visit: www.capecodstpatsparade.com

 

Brahms’ Masterpiece comes to life on the Cape![singlepic id=38 w=300 h=200 float=left]

The Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra will be performing an amazing program at

The Barnstable Performing Arts Center, 744 West Main Street, Hyannis. There will be two performances:

 April 6, 2013 at 8PM, and April 7, 2013 at 3PM

 

 

The Program

Johannes Brahms / Symphony No. 4
Johann Sebastian Bach / Passacaglia
Georgre Frideric Handel / Passacaglia
Anton Webern / Passacaglia

A common thread masterly woven throughout this program is the intriguing art form of the passacaglia. The intrigue is heightened as two of the Symphony’s principals perform Handel’s famous passacaglia for violin and viola with an original orchestral arrangement by Brett Abigaña.

 

For more information visit: www.capesymphony.org

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Romance…and the ultimate aphrodisiac!

 

 

Heat things up with a romantic escape to the Cape! We offer romantic walks on the beach, fine dining, terrific specialty shopping and…The Ultimate Aphrodisiac – WELLFLEET OYSTERS!

The Honeysuckle Inn is the perfect setting to enjoy your romantic getaway on Cape Cod. Checkout our specials on our website!

 

[singlepic id=34 w=320 h=240 float=right]THE BEACH!

 

Visiting the beach,
like Sandy Neck Beach, just down the Street from The Honeysuckle Hill Inn in
West Barnstable, is a truly splendid adventure anytime of the year – need we say more?

 

So come to the Cape this winter for an absolutely splendid adventure!

Fireworks

Where to see fireworks on Cape Cod this Fourth of July…

Cape Cod is a great place to celebrate the Fourth of July this (and every) year. Sun, sand, salt water, stuffed quahogs, lobstah – it just doesn’t get better than that! And to top off your Fourth of July celebration, why not go out on a truly unique fireworks cruise. Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruise out of Barnstable Harbor (just 10 minutes from the Honeysuckle Hill Inn) is offering “The Best Seats in the House” for your fireworks extravaganza. Their Fireworks Cruise includes waterside seats, complimentary snacks and entertainment, and breathtaking views. Give them a call at 508-362-6088, or check out their website
http://www.whales.net

Don’t want to go on a cruise, but still see fireworks? The Honeysuckle Hill Inn is centrally located to many Fourth of July Fireworks celebrations. They include:

Falmouth: Falmouth Heights Beach at 8:45pm

Mashpee: Mashpee High School at 9:30pm

Hyannis: Lewis Bay at dusk

Orleans: Rock harbor at dusk

Provincetown: Provincetown Harbor at dusk

Onset: Onset Harbor at Dusk

So come on down to the Cape…to escape…relax…enjoy…and celebrate the Fourth with a BANG!

Doug the Quahog says 84 days of sunshine for this summer — yippee!

The 4th Annual Quahog (Ko-hog) Day was held yesterday, June 20th, at Parker Beach in Yarmouth – in celebration of the first day of summer. Residents and tourists alike came to hear the famous “Doug” predict how many days of sunshine Cape Cod would enjoy this year. Even Santa showed up to celebrate the event (hey, a little part-time job on the side never hurts!).

Doug the Quahog was accompanied by his life-long pal Johnny Quahog, who is thought to be the only human that actually speaks “Quahog”. When Doug whispered in Johnny’s ear the magic number of days of sunshine to expect this summer, the massive crowd was silent. When Johnny Quahog announced “84 Days” the crowd was jubilant. Throngs of participants then headed off in the direction of the smell of melted butter for a hedonistic quahog celebration. Doug was spared so he could predict sunshine for next year’s celebration.

Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog) has got nothin’ on Doug the Quahog. Quahogs rule!
For more information on this spectacular event check the Quahog Day Official Website
http://www.quahogday.com

Why should you come to the Cape in the winter or early spring – the Cape’s dead…right?

I think not! There is plenty to do here during the “quiet” months. The beach is a great place for reflective walks, most of our unique shops and art galleries remain open, and the restaurants are still dishing up wonderful seafood. But that’s not all. The Cape is blessed with many unique attractions that are open all year long. The Honeysuckle Hill B&B has conjured up some great get-away packages that will give you ample reason to visit the Cape “off-season”. Our special off-season weekend packages include:

 

Cape Cod Beer Package [singlepic id=49 w=200 h=140 float=left]Start your weekend get-away with a Free Factory Tour and Tasting of some of the best beer on this planet at Cape Cod Beer’s Brewery, and receive a free Cape Cod Beer Growler Gift Set!

[singlepic id=42 w=150 h=100 float=left]Romantic Getaway Package

Stay with us for two nights, any weekend during November through April (holidays excluded),and receive a free Ocean Heart, handblown at the Glass Studio of Cape Cod in East Sandwich, MA, and a box of chocolates from Cape Cod Chocolatier.  It’s a great momento from your romantic weekend get-away on the Cape.

 

Book Lovers’ Delight Package [singlepic id=41 w=150 h=200 float=right]
Do you love curling up with a good book by the fireplace? Stay with us two nights, anytime between January 21 – April 30, 2013, get a special rate of only $299 plus tax, AND… Receive a Free Gift Certificate for $40, good for a bunch of books from Books By the Sea, a terrific independent bookstore in nearby Osterville.  Visit the store, select your books, come back to our warm and cozy living room, and enjoy your new reads by our crackling fireplace!


 

 

 

Black Crow Gallery Collection

The walls of Honeysuckle Hill Inn’s guest living room and dining room are filled with a lovely collection of local art…courtesy of Black Crow Gallery, located down the street on 6A. Works are available for purchase at the inn.

For more details check out our “Specials & Packages” page on our website:

www.honeysucklehill.com