Marching On

It’s nearly the end of my winter hibernation. Though the weather itself wasn’t very pleasing–really cold, ice, rain, freezing rain, sleet, and not much snow to lift the gloom–I spent most of the long stretch inside looking out. And things got done. Pages written, house purged, soups and stews cooked, breads baked.

I don’t ask much more of winter.

The other day BW asked me when I’d last been out of the house (feeding dogs, filling bird feeders don’t count). I dunno. Six or eight weeks. What’s your point?

I’ll end my winter hunker in and down next Sunday for some out-of-the-house fun when I head into town for a photo exhibit at Inn Boonsboro. On March 18th from 1-3, Lush Emerald Fields And Ancient Stones will feature photographic art of Ireland by Fran Byne, Suzanne Hill Thackston–and our own brilliant photographers Bruce Wilder and Laura Reeth. 

If I’m going to venture out after a couple of months, it should be for fun, friends–and beautiful art. Stop by if you’re in the area. See some art, raise a glass.

The exhibit follows a ceili at the inn on Thursday–talk about fun! Food, drink, art and Irish music. Slainte!

For a portion of his winter, BW’s been down in his studio installing his dark room. While he’s embraced digital photography, he still loves film–and now he’s got a good, creative space to work on that part of his art.

BW’s darkroom domain. Photo by BW
For me, I kicked off the last hibernation weekend making family dinner. Well, not all, as BW made his famous flank steak–always a crowd pleaser. I did all the sides, including a last minute addition of spiced shrimp. I think Logan ate a solid pound of it.
Flank steak a la BW. Photo by NR
Logan’s portion of spicy shrimp? Photo by NR
The bread of the garlic. Photo by NR
Roasted herb potatoes. Photo by NR
Carrots a la Nora. Photo by NR

Before you ask: I really don’t post recipes. I’m a how does this look, taste, smell sort of cook, tossing in things as I go. However, the shrimp–and a few other of my dishes–are featured in the really fabulous Inn Boonsboro Cookbook, available exclusively from Turn The Page Bookstore.

This labor of love was produced and edited and created by our amazing Kat. She cooked every dish in her own kitchen–aided by Jason who served as supply chief, and photographed by her brother Adam. There are some fantastic recipes in there (including MY brother’s to-die-for peppermint patties), from friends, relatives, from the inn itself, and our other Boonsboro businesses.

In case that doesn’t tempt you, all the profits from sales of the cookbook go to local food banks. So truly a labor of love serving the community.

Now, since spring forward’s completely messed up my body clock, I’m going to go work out. And maybe make a nice red sauce for my last hibernation Sunday.


Note from Laura: As I HAVE been out and about the last six to eight weeks (Nora’s completely serious about that btw) I stopped at Gifts Inn BoonsBoro last week to drop off my photos and had to snap this gorgeous corner by the front window.  Manager Natoma Vargason and her creative crew always create displays that capture the season perfectly.
Gifts in BoonsBoro ready for St. Patrick’s Day. Photo by LMR

29 thoughts on “Marching On”

  1. Wow. More than almost any other post, the food photos made me really hungry. Jealous.

    Once again, I’m envious of your staying-in-the-house lifestyle. What a joy it must be look out on your property. Certainly a tranquil inducing view.

    Thanks for the visit.

    1. I want to add, after reading your exchange with BW, and your answer “What’s your point?” It seemed like pure Eve. She would say that. Now we know.

  2. Are Nora’s recipes for her bagels and sourdough bread in the Inn atBoonsboro cookbook

    1. No they aren’t. I don’t think they are bagels, but pretzel rolls. When Nora received a sourdough starter as a gift, she googled sourdough bread recipes. The same with pretzel rolls. There are a ton of them on the internet — you should be able to find one that suits you.


      1. Please tell Nora to try sourdough pancakes if she hasn’t already tried them. I think they are much better than regular pancakes.

  3. I have the Inn Boonsboro Cookbook displayed prominently on my book shelf in the kitchen. Reading this makes me hungry! Just grabbed it and plan to try some of the recipes today!

  4. Okay, okay. I’d persuaded myself that I really, REALLY didn’t need another cookbook (mine have their very own bookcase). But peppermint patties? I may have to re-think this. Thanks for sharing, all of you!

  5. This week’s post was a much happier one than the last one. Yay. It’s so fun to get a glimpse. Good on BW and his new fun space; pictures on film, the meat and vegs . . . mmmmm, wonderful.

    Happy Sunday. You too, Laura.

  6. Food looks delicious! Thanks for sharing. Cookbook soinds like fun recipes! Someday hope to bust the Inn!

  7. It’s raining ☔️ here in SC today and just a little cool, but it’s my only day off this week, so I may hibernate today lol.
    The pics of the food looked fantabulous and also made my stomach growl. Surf and turf is always good. My kind of eating.
    Loved the St. Patrick’s day decorations. It puts me into the mindset of springtime.
    Have a great Sunday and thanks for sharing.

  8. Retirement means that next winter I will hibernate in front of my fireplace with a stack of books and a pot of coffee. I love to cook and like you, most of my product is created on the spot–a pinch of this and a little bit of that. My granddaughter and I created a barbecue sauce together last summer which I did write down. Thanks for the blogs. Really enjoy reading them.

  9. My son is having his annual St. Paddy’s party with lots of corned beef and cabbage and his Shepherds pie along with Jameson cupcakes. Can hardly wait.

  10. You didn’t mention it, but we all know that as soon as your hibernation is over, you’ll be hitting your garden. I thought since it’s March, we’d be finished w/winter. We just got over a noreaster, & this coming monday nite, here in Eve & Roarke town, NYC, we’ll be getting snow again. Hope it doesn’t reach baltimore.
    I must google flank steak. I like my steaks medium rare. I go out in the snow to bbq. I use thick fillet steaks, & I always thought that flank steaks were too thin, but yours looked pinkish in the center. I must check them out again.

  11. Loved the Celtic knot picture. As always, the pictures of food makes my mouth water. My mother used to do a delicious flank steak – your picture brought back memories. The Gifts Inn Boonsboro look tempting – sorry I’m in California so I can’t drop by ?. Looking forward to true Spring with buds, flowers blooming, the fresh look, etc. We have the need for more rain here, which we may get this week. BTW’s dark room looks ready for pictures. Keep writing and blogging. Slainte!

  12. Your dinner looks delicious! I’m envious! I am in the midst of a closet purge. Ugh- how do I ever acquire so much STUff? Soon there will be room for new stuff…..evil grin!

    I can vouch for the Inn Boonsboro Cookbook. Such a beautiful book- full of good recipes! Every Nora fan needs one- even if cooking is not your thing.

  13. Ok, that’s it, if there is a peppermint pattie recipe in it, I’m buying the recipe book!! Early birthday gift for moi. Nora, since you usually mention a lot of the main ingredients in what you are cooking, I head to Pinterest and to find something similar. With great success, I might add. I love meal suggestions.

  14. I don’t cook much. Living alone it’s no fun eating the same thing for days on end. I’m going to make some enchiladas this week and take them to my niece. She and her family live with her dad who is my brother-in-law surviving spouse of my sister who died in 2014.
    We had a fun afternoon celebrating the youngest grandson’ birthday. He’s a great nephew to me and just turned two today.

  15. I know I will miss Winter. I’m hibernating kind of person 😉
    But I feel the green thumb twitching anxious to get outside and into the garden 🙂
    Enjoy the exhibit and all the promised fun.
    Laura, that picture is awesome and really puts one into St. Patrick’s spirit. Slainte!

  16. I’m thinking seriously about retiring about the end of this December, so maybe next January I can also hunker down & relax with a few (hundred) books to play with as well as stitching! I might even clean out a closet…but that might wait till February!

    I had wondered if the Nor’easters had hit that far south that you needed the generator again. If so, you must be very glad you got it; to need it more than once in a winter means a nasty winter!

  17. I took a ‘Googled’ recipe for shrimp gumbo and one for shrimp and sausage creole and made a great dish with shrimp, andouille sausage and little neck clams , tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, celery, onion and okra, Cajun spiced. Served over white rice. Turned out yummy.

  18. Enjoy the exhibit; would be lovely, if you are able, to share some of BW & Laura’s photographs after the exhibit, hoping you do

  19. Six to eight weeks inside – wow, you really do hibernate for the winter but obviously you get a lot done during that time. Sounds like the exhibit will be an enjoyable one and a good way to get yourself out and about and ready to welcome Spring.
    I, on the other hand, must go to the tax man on St. Patrick’s Day – ugh.
    I wonder what is in those small tins (picture of Gifts in BB)?
    Take Care Everyone,

  20. Just stopped by to wish you both – Nora and Laura – a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.
    May the Blessings of the Irish shine upon you on this day and “until we meet again” ☘️

  21. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Glad I only cook for 2, even if it looks good. ?

  22. Thanks for post Nora & Laura. I love your writing Nora both fiction and non-fiction. I bought the cook book and it is a beautifully crafted content and layout. I bought one for my nutritionist friend. Snow is still on the ground in Minneapolis but every day we get more sunlight and melting temps so I’m happy. I’ve given up on Facebook which is just as well – the articles on this blog are much more entertaining and inspirational so now I have more time to read and post here. May everyone reading this post have a spectacular Spring full of sunshine and warmth. Peace.
    Melissa Blanchard

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