Patti’s Desk

Wytheville’s Christmas Parade

I feel so fortunate to live in such a sweet little town where there is so much community spirit. We had our Christmas parade this past Saturday with really good entries and lots of floats. My favorite, of course, was the Farmers Market Float (my daughter is the Farmers Market Manager, so I’m being a proud mom!) Their Christmas tree was decorated with vegetables, and the float had several vendors peddling their produce along with a costumed cow and lots of vegetables all around. Great float by Town of Wytheville, and several church entries featured living nativity scenes complete with choirs and hymns. We had the usual bands, fun Shriner entries, shelter dogs for adoption and the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner’s Theater’s float which featured the cast from their current production of “Christmas in The Mountains.” As unbelievable as it may sound, our local hospital has taken responsibility for the parade after it was almost discontinued a few years ago. Hospital personnel (all on their personal time) coordinate the entire parade, and a local civic club serves hot chocolate and cookies to everyone at conclusion of parade. What a great town!

First Snowfall of the Year

Our first snowfall this year began around noon yesterday and by nightfall had blanketed all of Southwest Virginia turning the mountains and our little town as well into a winter wonderland.
You can see the beauty of the snow-laden trees and the blur of snow all around. I felt surely our guests would cancel last night, but all arrived on time and then dashed off to see our local dinner theater’s production of “Christmas in the Mountains.” Today I am reminded of my years living in Iowa and of both the beautiful snowfalls and horrific blizzards we experienced through the years. My mind turned to some of the good snow stories I’ve read in the past. I think first of Laura Ingall Wilder’s “The Long Winter,” a classic prairie snow story. More recently, I read “No Time on My Hands” by Grace Snyder who lived through many a rough winter in the Midwest from the 1850’s to the 1930’s. And, I noticed another, long-forgotten book on my shelf–“Winter Thunder” by Mari Sandoz. It too is set in the Midwest and is the courageous story of a young teacher and 16-year-old bus driver who survived with seven children in a 1949 blizzard when their bus tipped over in the snow and burned. I think it is a fictional account, but based on a true story.

And, poetry, too, comes to mind. What about Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” as well as his “Dust of Snow?” “Snow-Bound” by John Greenleaf Whittier is the poet’s simple observations of his family members as they amused themselves while snowed in.   If you are fortunate enough to have snow where you are, enjoy the imposed confinement and snuggle up with a good book.

Murder Mystery Weekend – Class of ’57 Reunion

 

Just completed another murder mystery weekend.  What a fun group from Mill River, NC.!  Great costumes, and the group stayed in character all weekend as they solved this spine-tingling “who-done-it.”  We returned to the good old days when Elvis was king, and poodle skirts were the rage!  The weekend concluded with a  “sock hop” and “dance off”  while rock n’ roll blasted from our juke box.

 

 

 

Peach Streusel Muffins

These yummy muffins are easy to make — and our guests love them!

Muffins

Milk
1 (8.75) oz. can peach slices, drained, reserving liquid
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon chopped pecans
1 tablespoon shreds of whole bran cereal
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons butter, melted

1. Heat oven to 375.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups and spray paper cups with nonstick cooking spray.  In small bowl, combine all topping ingredients and mix well.  Set aside.

2. Add milk to reserved peach liquid to make 1/2 cup. In blender container, process peach slices until almost smooth, leaving just a few small chunks.

3. In large bowl, combine 1/3 cup brown sugar and 3 tablespoons butter; beat until well blended.  Add milk mixture, peaches and egg; blend.  Add remaining muffin ingredients and stir just until combined.  Divide batter evenly among paper cups and sprinkle about 2 teaspoons topping on each muffin.

4.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove immediately and serve warm.

Trinkle Mansion Bed & Breakfast
525 W. Main Street
Wytheville, Virginia 24382

Listed on National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Landmarks Register