Archive for February, 2016

The Whether Channel

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Meteorology is a science, just like anatomy, physics or astronomy. There are highly sophisticated equipment and highly educated people involved in predicting the weather. The watching of these professionals has become something of a national pastime. Indeed, there is an entire television network devoted to tracking, explaining and predicting weather patterns and events. Certain announcers and reporters on this network have become stars in their own right. You see them, wearing high-end rain gear standing in a tropical storm with palm trees bending over at 90 degree angles. Or wearing high-end polar parkas standing in a blinding snowstorm with the background whited out by the blizzard. Or wearing high-end safari gear standing up to their knees in a dusty gully with sand blowing, obliterating the sun.

Who are these heroes who risk life and limb to let us know what’s going on outside? What brave souls expose themselves to fire, torrential rains, ferocious winds and all kinds of dangerous phenomena just so we can call in to work and go back to bed! And why is it that when we look out our own window, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and we know we have to get dressed and trudge off to work? Could all their Dopplers, computers, charts and graphs have been wrong? Can those masses of pretty colors on their maps be from their kid’s finger-painting class and not mean the end of civilization as we know it? Are flying frogs really coming?!

Okay, I exaggerate. But when someone calls Camellia Cottage and wants to know our cancellation policy because they see that a storm is forming over the coast of Africa, we have to wonder about the power of entertainment in science. We are located in North Carolina, a long way from Africa, and you can call us to check on local weather conditions anytime. If we’re evacuated (and it has never happened!), you’re welcome to come with us. And, by the way, our cancellation policy is one week.

Beat the Winter Blahs

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

It’s late winter and some of us have the blues…
So hop in the car toward Wilmington and choose
To stay a couple nights at Camellia Cottage B&B.
Unwind, relax and set yourself free!

Make some magic in front of the fireplace in your room
Or wander the garden with many colors of camellia in bloom.
Head to the beach which you’ll have all to yourself
Or hang out on our porch, a vacation unto itself!

Local breweries and bottle shops are sprouting east and west
You need to sample each to determine which is best.
With Ironclad, Fly Trap, Water Line and Front Street
The Wilmington beer scene can’t be beat!

The Cape Fear cultural community continues to thrive
Our art galleries, music venues and theatre make it worth the drive.
For movie aficionados, there is Cinematique at Thalian Hall
Sure beats the standard movie fare at the mall!

Check out the Camellia Cottage Calendar of Events
Then reserve the dates that make the most sense.
Here’s an incentive to ease your plight—
Stay 2 nights Sun-Thurs through March and it’s ½ off the 2nd night!

A Food for All Seasons

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

Here we are, just before Super Bowl, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Lent, Easter and…. SPRING!!!!!! It is a time for reflection and celebration, moderation and indulgence, letting go and moving forward. It is a time for substantial hors ‘doeurves, beignets, King’s cake, jelly bellies and beautiful simple seafood. The Spring garden is perfect for blending together all these apparent contradictions. Greens and radishes are abundant now and can be the basis for a simple and cleansing meal or jazzed up to be something more lavish. This is a dish that is equally festive for breakfast or dinner or can even be used as an appetizer for your Super Bowl Party.

Greens and Bacon Tart
6 slices bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 to 2 pounds spinach, kale, collards or combo
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dillweed
2 eggs
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 pound puff pastry dough
2 tablespoons melted butter
Saute bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until golden.
Combine greens, onion, sour cream, dillweed and eggs in processor or blender and puree. Transfer to bowl and stir in bacon and feta cheese.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 8-inch round baking dish. Divide puff pastry into 4 equal parts and roll each into 8 inch round. Reserve pastry scraps. Set 1 pastry round in bottom of prepared dish. Brush with some of melted butter. Top with another pastry round. Spread greens mixture to within 1 inch of edges on all sides. Paint pastry rim with water. Top with another pastry round, brush with butter and add final pastry layer. Press edges of pastry together. Roll out pastry scraps and cut into decorations. Brush with melted butter and bake until golden, about 45 to 50 minutes.