Shop Locally, Eat Locally: New Spots in Chestertown!

Saturday, November 29 is Small Business Saturday: a day we’re all encouraged to shop at locally owned small businesses.  There is certainly no shortage of great shops in Chestertown; in fact, this past year has seen the arrival of even more.

Just about a mile from the inn, on High Street, there is a cluster of new shops doing their best to enliven the downtown storefront scene:

Bloomin’ Wild is a lovely florist and gift shop that amazingly, is open every day!!!  This shop has done the most to change the look of this part of town, simply because of the beautiful displays of plants and flowers out front.  It looks just fabulous!

Shop Local Saturday

Another colorful and fun storefront is Coco’s Pet Center, an adorable pet boutique specializing in pet supplies and unique gifts for pets and pet lovers.  Though only open Friday, Saturday and Sundays, the shop is hoping to grow and be able to offer other services and events, including featuring adoptable animals from our local Kent County Humane Society. Cool, huh?

Kent County Humane Society

With flora and fauna covered, let’s move on to antiques and collectibles.  A great addition to the antique trail of Kent County,  Poor Richard’s is a lovingly curated collection of antiques and vintage items.  They’re so new they don’t have a website, but trust us, you’ll want to stop in and have a look around.

On Cross Street we have yet another new shop with a fabulous name (and without a website) Curiosity on Cross offers women’s clothing and accessories and neat little gifty items. It’s a small store, but they have managed to fill it with very interesting items without making it seem cluttered.

When you need sustenance to keep your shopping mojo alive, we’ve got news in the restaurant scene as well.

The venerable Front Room at the Imperial Hotel closed its doors this fall and while we were very sorry to see them go, we are delighted with the new occupants.  One of our very favorites, The Kitchen at Rock Hall, has taken a leap and moved to Chestertown.  Now called The Kitchen at the Imperial, they will be open at the end of November.  We look forward to it and wish them much luck!

You may also know we lost another favorite earlier this year, Brooks’ Tavern.  Kevin and Barbara have moved back home to Kennedyville, and will unveil a new business with cooking classes and other food related endeavors soon.  In their old spot in the Radcliffe Mill, we will now have Cafe Sado: Thai cuisine and sushi!!  Something different and a very welcome addition to the Chestertown restaurant scene.

And believe it or not, Chestertown now has its very own FOOD TRUCK!  The Black Burro can be found parked on Cannon street most days. . .it’s best to check their Facebook page first.

Local Food Truck

It has been a bit like a game of musical restaurant chairs here lately, but we’re very excited about the new additions and look forward to hearing your reviews!

In addition to Small Business Saturday, this weekend, November 28 & 29, most  stores will have extended hours for “Home for the Holidays” – which includes the “official lighting of Downtown,” a parade, and caroling in the park.  Just the thing to get you into the spirit of the season.

 

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookie Recipe

These cute chocolate crinkle cookies look so festive setting out on a plate, and are equally chocolate crinkle cookie recipetasty! Perfect for the holiday season!

Brampton Chocolate Crinkles

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, (½ stick)
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups un-bleached flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • powdered sugar

In a medium sauce pan melt butter and chocolate. When melted set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl of a stand-up mixer combine melted chocolate mixture, 1 cup of flour and all the remaining ingredients except the chopped walnuts and powdered sugar. Beat at medium speed, scraping down the sides until well blended. Remove mixing bowl and with a rubber spatula fold in the remaining flour and the walnuts. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Form balls using a 1 ½ inch ice cream scoop. Roll in powdered sugar and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 min. until almost firm to the touch. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let sit for a minute. Gently remove cookies and cool on cooling rack.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

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Waterfowl Hunting Season is Back!

It’s that classic time of year:  shorter days, brisk and windy, beautiful fall colors, the pleasure of a warm drink at any time of the day.  Fall into winter isn’t everyone’s favorite season it’s true, but around here we love it!  Gingerbread, hot chocolate, and of course, our homemade marshmallows make their recurring appearances.

Hunting season

Another constant at this time of year is the arrival of the hunter parties.  That’s right, hunters like to stay at nice places, too!  We’ve been hosting duck and Canada geese hunters ever since the doors opened in 1987; the Eastern Shore is the goose hunting capital of the world, after all!

For 27 years, every winter Danielle has been getting up extra, super early to offer a full Brampton Inn breakfast to these intrepid folks; sometimes as early as 4:30 am!!!  That is not something you can get just anywhere.  What’s more, she also offers to fill their thermoses with coffee, tea or hot chocolate.  It really doesn’t get more full service than that.   Coupled with the special rate available for our mid-week waterfowl hunters, it might be the deal of the decade.

Now, even if you’re not a hunter, or even an early riser, chances are you still like hot chocolate.   Here is a quick and very easy recipe for a homemade hot chocolate mix that is great to have on hand when you have a crowd.  This is another installment in our list of easy recipes that have very few ingredients that everyone should know.

 

Hot Cocoa Mix

2 1/4 cups cocoa powder

3 1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon salt

milk for serving (dairy, soy, almond, etc)

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.  Try to get out any lumps. You can sift the cocoa if it’s easier.  Store in a large glass jar.  Easy, huh?

For each serving, the ratio is one cup of milk to 2 tablespoons of cocoa mix.

Heat the milk until just before it boils. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa mix. Blend until smooth.  The whisking will release the heat from the milk, so after it’s smooth, put it back over a low flame to bring back up to temperature, being careful not to scorch it.

For fun, add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or chili powder.  You can add vanilla or mint extract to the milk.  Serve it with a candy cane, or marshmallows.  Whipped cream and shaved chocolate.  Whatever your taste buds dictate!  And then, enjoy!!!

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