Brampton Chili will help take the chill off!


The chill of winter always makes us crave soup.  It’s so nice to end the day with some good bread, a green salad, and a bowl of something piping hot.  We’ve shared some  of our favorite soups with you before, and now we’d like to share the recipe for our chili that has nourished many of our guests at our Chestertown, MD Inn over several winters past.

This is a simple and very forgiving, even malleable, recipe.  You can make it with whatever meat you want (beef, turkey, chicken, or a mixture), or you can leave out the meat altogether and simply add more veggies (carrots, celery, different colored bell peppers) and more beans.  This will make a particularly colorful chili, especially if you add corn, carrots and different types of beans (black, pinto, kidney).  There are, however, 2 particular key ingredients that make either version so good.

If you have a favorite chili powder blend, by all means use it.  If not, then we highly recommend something called, I kid  you not,  Chili 3000  from Penzeys Spices.  We discovered it years ago and now it’s one of those items we can’t be without.  And by the way, if you aren’t familiar with the Penzeys Catalog, you don’t know what you’re missing. This is one of the very few catalogs that we are actually excited to get at our Chestertown, MD Inn.  To see what new blends they’ve come up with, and to check out the tons of recipes submitted by actual users. It’s one of those times when the catalog is actually better – or more fun – than the website.

The second ingredient that’s key is the vegetable juice.  Remember that this will be on the salty side, even if you buy the low sodium version, so be sure to let the chili cook down and taste it before you add any salt. Many chili recipes only call for chopped or crushed tomatoes, but the addition of the veggie juice really does give the flavor depth.


Serves 4 to 6 depending on how hungry everybody is.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound lean ground turkey

1 small onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1-2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste

2 cups vegetable juice (V8 type)

2 15 ounce cans chopped tomatoes

1 15 ounce can kidney beans (or your favorite bean, or a mixture of beans)

1 cup frozen corn kernels (optional)


Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan; add onion and cook over medium  heat until it softens and is just beginning to caramelize.  Add pepper (and other veggies if using) and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often.   Add ground turkey and mix well.   Cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until turkey is no longer pink.  Stir in chili powder mixing well and let cook for another 5 minutes before adding all remaining ingredients.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with sour cream, grated cheddar cheese and freshly chopped cilantro and parsley.


Chestertown, MD Inn

cyclonebill via Wiki Commons

Add a crackling fire and some fuzzy slippers and what more could you ask for??

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Same Sex Weddings at the Brampton Inn

Ever since the state of Maryland changed it’s laws to permit same sex marriages, back in January of 2012 we’ve had several calls and inquiries, and a few ceremonies here.  But more recently, in June of 2013, when the Supreme Court decided that the federal government must recognize these marriages, the inquiries have practically tripled!!

We have been delighted to host so many Maryland gay weddings (at one point, we had 3 in one weekend!!)  Our intimate wedding and elopement packages seem to be just the thing so many couples are looking for, regardless of sexual orientation!!   Whether it’s a small gathering of up to 20, or just for the two of you, we are here to help you celebrate your Maryland gay weddings and make it your own.  And we don’t care if you want two bouquets, two boutonnieres, or one of each!  Give us a call; we love planning weddings!

maryland gay weddings

Here are just a few photos from some ceremonies last summer:

Rachel and Christine

maryland gay weddings


maryland gay weddings



Karen and Tara

maryland gay weddings


gay weddings in maryland


Jen and Leigh

gay weddings in maryland

gay weddings in maryland

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Happy MMXIV!


Happy New Year and welcome to 2014…  We wish you much health, happiness and joy in the coming months.  Thank you to all of our wonderful guests who have stayed with us at our Eastern Shore, Maryland bed and breakfast this past year.  We really do appreciate that you choose to spend your precious free time with us.


You’ve got to love Wikipedia.   Just on a whim I typed in the search box “2014”, not expecting anything, really.  I had no idea that so much thought went into the definition of a year:

 “2014 (MMXIV) will be a common year starting on Wednesday…..of the Gregorian calendar, the 2014th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 14th year of the 3rd millennium, the 14th year of the 21st century, and the 5th year of the 2010s decade.”

Well.  Isn’t that something?  By the way, did you know that a “common year” simply means a year with 365 days, or not a leap year.   It’s only 3 days into the year and we’ve all learned something already!

2013 was a momentous year for the Hanscom family here at the Brampton Inn.  Youngest daughter Simone got married, sister Sophie got engaged to be married this year, oldest daughter Jenny had her second baby, and number one son Lucas moved back east to help with our Eastern Shore, Maryland bed and breakfast.

Our eastern shore, maryland bed and breakfast family

Michael, Lucas, Jenny, Liam, Taylor, Sophie and Simone


2014 will bring some changes to the inn.   A while back we mentioned on Facebook that the Brampton was getting a little nip and tuck.  Well, we (and by “we”, we mostly mean Michael) have replaced a jetted tub in the Sunset Room bath and upgraded to larger flat screen TVs in many of the rooms.  Repaired and replaced the slightly sagging ceiling in the den (also known as the cookie room).  The Yellow Room‘s ceiling also needed some attention.  The bathrooms in the Fairy Hill Suite and Sophie’s Suite have gotten upgraded rain-shower  shower-heads.

But the biggest change to come is an update to the Red Room, with a new bathroom, a slightly different layout, and a new lounging area with a large flat screen tv.

Always moving forward here at our Eastern Shore, Maryland bed and breakfast…just like the millennia!  We will be sure to keep you posted on the progress.


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