I love the flavor of cardamom, and our guests do too. Last weekend Ruth, Kate and Gabe came to visit. They may be our longest running guests – we saw Kate grow up visiting Leith Hall, and now the next generation is doing so. This is for Ruth’s Christmas cookie collection since she has the Norwegian roots to claim it.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg 2 2/3 cup flour
¼ tsp. Salt
2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1 Tbs. ground cardamom
400 degrees F. 8 to 10 minutes
Beat all of the ingredients together. Scoop onto parchment lined cookie sheets with a small cookie scoop. Bake. Transfer to wire racks after cooling ten minutes.
For these and other teatime treats, call Leith Hall and make your reservations now!
Have you thought, “What Cape May needs is more places to have beer!” You’re in luck. Three upcoming MAC events are calling out to you. First is Brews at the Lighthouse, on July 19 from 4 to 8 P.M.. Located on the grounds of the Cape May lighthouse, the party will include music by Nate and Marnie, Barbecue by Matt’s barbecue, and Mr. Softee ice cream – and of, course beer by Cape May Brewing Company.
On August 15 from 4 to 8 P.M., MAC will present Brews at Harbor Cove at Harbor Cove park off Texas Avenue. The music will be by Lynne Smith, food by Hank Sauce, Matt’s Barbecue and Mr. Softee.
The annual big bash is August 3rdon the grounds of the Physick Estate on Washington Street. The Craft Beer, Music, and Crab Festival will frolic to its 8thyear, with steamed crabs, crab cakes, pulled pork, shrimp and hot dogs. Local breweries, distilleries and wineries will provide beverages. There will be music and kids activities. This is a fun day and the high point of many visitors’ stays in Cape May. Make it your new tradition.
I don’t claim to know much (or anything) about beer, but my niece and her fiance, Emma and Max, do, and they introduced me to Cape May Brewing Company. Suddenly, Cape May County is full ofbreweries. Some are reasonably big – like Cape May Brewing Company. Some are tiny, like 7 Mile Brewery. What many have in common it that they are run by enthusiastic young people and have a great atmosphere to hang out in – even if you are not a beer person.
Cape May Brewing Company is located in the airport about three miles north of Cape May. It has a great feeling and really nice employees. I’ve tasted many of their flavors of beer and am told that they are very good. There is also a taco place next door which is run by the owners of The Red Store (a high-end restaurant in Cape May Point) and you can get Mexican treats to go and bring them into the brewery. There’s a large outdoor patio where you can eat, drink, and hang out. Another nearby attraction in the airport is Naval Air Station Wildwood, a WWII aviation museum hosed in a wonderful old hangar. Both the building and the museum are wonderful.
Cold Spring Brewery is located in a rebuilt c.1900 barn on the grounds of Historic Cold Spring Village, about three miles north of Cape May. Here, the attraction is the craft beer, of course, but also the many local bands, the building, and the rest of Cold Spring Village. They also provide for your dog, so you can bring Fido or Rover along.
Gusto Brewing‘s motto is “Keep it small, keep it weird.” It’s located on Bayshore Road in North Cape May. It was founded by two guys (and a gal) from local families who are full of enthusiasm and optimism. The interior is bright and inviting and its tiny size makes you feel at home and part of the family. They also get high marks for their beer.
Bucket Brigade is a little brewery on Main Street (route 9) in Cape May Court House, about eight miles North of Cape May. It was opened by two Philadelphia firemen, and features lots of firehouse theme stuff. It is right in the middle of town, near the courthouse, the hospital, and shopping centers. People talk about how nice the staff is, how fun the interior, and how pleasant the atmosphere.
Make your reservations at Leith Hall bed and breakfast today and tour these and many other breweries soon.
A weird and wonderful phenomenon has spread across Cape May County over the last few years. It began with wineries, which are part of New Jersey’s efforts to encourage agriculture in The Garden State. Cape May Winery started the movement. It’s owned by the Craig family which also owns the wonderful Washington Inn, Lucky Bones, and Love the Cook; so they know about food and drink. Located on Townbank Road in North Cape May, they have a charming building and a great tour.
Willow Creek Winery in West Cape May is also nearby. It is the prettiest winery around. It features flowerbeds, beautiful grounds, and a very impressive building. You can also eat and drink outside and they frequently host craft shows and other events. While you are there, you can also visit Beach Plum Farm – an organic farm, next door.
Cape may has become the place for the thirsty vacationer to drink.
Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery on Seashore road is one of my favorites. Among other things, they grow Tempranillo grapes, which is what Rioja is made of in Spain. Tempranillo is dry red wine but isn’t very tannic, so your mouth won’t pucker and shrivel when the wine is young. Hawk Haven is also very informal and fun, with entertainment and food on the crushpad every weekend.
My favorite wine comes from Turdo Vinyards, which is just on the North side of the Cape May Canal. It is a small, house-size, winery and makes wine from Nebbiolo (think Barolo) grapes, from Nero d’Avola (the grape of Sicily), as well as others. Their wine is very good and brings back memories of trips to Italy.
Natali Vineyard and Jessie Creek; are both on Route 47 in Cape May Court House. I’ve been told by my guests that Cape May is called the Napa of New Jersey – and these two wineries offer wines for every taste. Whether you want sweet or dry, easy or tough, light or heavy, you can find a wine to love.
You already know that Cape May is a great town for dining out, but this week, it’s even better.
It’s Cape May Restaurant Week June 2 through 9, and you can get three course prix fixe meals at some of Cape May’s best restaurants for $35 . These are outstanding places like the Cajun, Creole and Caribbean 410 Bank Street – where $35 is a small part of their regular price. Or you can dine at the delicious Merion Inn, which is one of my favorites.
Think of dining at Union Park. It’s one of Cape May’s most elegant places – with a wide variety of seafood as well as short ribs and steak. I remember once dining at Union Park and all the plates arrived under silver domes, and were revealed at once. I’m a sucker for that kind of presentation.
Another great choice is Tisha’s on the Washington Street Mall. They have a broad menu of seafood, steaks, and chicken, and they really know how to cook.
More good news! Leith Hall has a Restaurant Week Special to encourage you to visit, and we look forward to seeing you again.
This year’s Cape May Music Festival kicks off on Sunday May 26 with the Atlantic Brass Band in the Victorian bandstand in Rotary Park playing Americana to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend.
Then, the festival continues two days later, on the 28th, with an innovative concert called Chamber Jazz, by the New York Chamber Ensemble. It will include works by Duke Ellington, Astor Piazzolla, Roy Orbison, as well as Mozart and Rossini. Suzie and I will be there and are eagerly anticipating a great evening.
Out third concert will be the most easy to listen to classical music – the most accessible – Viennese. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will be at the Church of the Advent on My 30th at 8 P.M., playing Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, and others.
I made this teatime treat this past weekend and four different guests asked for the recipe. I’m happy to share it.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
350 agrees F.
line a 9×13 baking pan with cooking parchment
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at aa time. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture in parts, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Turn about half of the batter into the baking pan.
I make these blueberry muffins for my guests whenever I make scrambled eggs with cream cheese and dill. When I can get them, I use wild blueberries from Wyman’s. Otherwise, I use fresh or frozen cultivated blueberries.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbs. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
½ cup sugar
¼ cup melted butter
1 tsp. Lemon extract
1 cup blueberries
Beat the egg, then beat in the milk, butter, lemon extract. Mix the flour and baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix the dry into the wet ingredients util incorporated but not more. Mix in the blueberries. Portion into paper lined and cooking-sprayed muffin cups. Bake at 375 F. for 10 minutes on top shelf, then 10 minutes on bottom shelf. They should spring back when fully baked. If they don’t spring back, leave them in the turned-off oven for 3 to 5 minutes to firm up.
This general recipe also works for any other kind of muffins. Leave out the lemon extract and blueberries and replace with vanilla paste and chocolate chips for chocolate chip muffins. Or replace with orange extract and dried cranberries, or replace the sugar with light brown sugar, the lemon with vanilla, and the fruit with rum soaked raisins for rum-raisin muffins. Or substitute coconut extract and shredded sweetened coconut. Vanilla, a finely chopped apple and cinnamon will make apple muffins.
Yes – Cape May is the new Off Broadway. Cape May now has three theater companies plus a dinner theater! Cape May Stage is presenting a full season extending through Christmas, plus lots of special short-term productions featuring famous actors visiting Cape May for a few days. East Lynne theater Company will be running plays in the Presbyterian Church all through the summer. And, the new kid on the block, Actors Offstage, will present three plays this summer at the Cape May elementary school.
Our dinner theater is of course, Elaine’s dinner theater, which will presentd a lineup of silly and funny plays to delight our visitors.
Cape May Stage will present plays for every taste this season, from light comedies to serious drama. First will be Chapter Two by Neil Simon from late June through early August. August 8 through mid-September will bring The Lion in Winter. From September 9 through November 9, we’ll have The Shuck – a family drama set in Cape May. The season finale will be An Actor’s Carol, running through New Year’s Eve. You can find all of the details and order tickets at Cape May Stage’s website.
East Lynne Theater Company will be presenting lots of crowd-pleasers this summer. On the Sunny Side of the Street will run until July 21 – featuring favorite music by Dorothy Fields. July 21 through September 1, will bring one of my favorites of all time – Arsenic and Old Lace. I grew up watching the Cary Grant movie version over and over. August 12 at the Chalfonte, East Lynne will present We’ll Meet Again – Songs of WWII. Silent Sky follows from September 19 through October 13. October brings two greats of the mystery genre Poe by Candle-light and Sherlock Holmes – Adventure of the Speckled Band. Finally, the year ends with O.Henry’s Christmas Talesfrom November 24 through December 8. Go to the East Lynne website for all of the details.
New Theater Company
Our third theater company is called Actors Off Stage, and will present the Sherlock and Shakespeare Festival from June 19 through September 30. Sherlock Holmes and the Avenging Angel will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays June through August. And I Hate Monologues will be available on Mondays and Wednesdays, June through August and Sundays in September. Their website has all of the info that you need.
Suddenly it’s summer in Cape May! Our guests are lounging on the beach. There’s music everywhere and all of the restaurants are in full swing.
We are still celebrating the Cape May Music festival, and two upcoming concerts are the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players on Tuesday June 12, playing two pieces by Bach, a Mozart quartet, as well as two others.
The concert will be in the Episcopal Church of the Advent, which is one of Cape May’s most beautiful interiors and acoustically wonderful.
Summer in Cape May
June 14 will feature another concert in the Church of the Advent. The New York Chamber Ensemble will perform a concert called “The Italian Influence” oddly including three Germans and one Italian. All of music was influenced by Italy and includes Bach, Handel, and Telemann. The finale is by Antonio Vivaldi – one of my favorites.
Our third musical offering is completely different. The Cape May Hops Fest (Saturday, June 23) will include blues, beer and barbecue. The blues will be performed by the Corndog Blues Band, the James Supra/Sarah Ayers Band, and Bluebone. This is one of our most popular events of the year in Cape May and includes kids’ activities, and a crafts and collectible show. It’s a great day for the whole family.
Anytime you visit Cape May, there is plenty of music and good food to try. At least a dozen places in town offer music in the evenings and there are great restaurants at every price. Call us now (609 884-1934) for your reservations at Leith Hall – your Cape May bed and breakfast – or go on line (www.leithhall.com) . Our website offers the guaranteed lowest price for our rooms anywhere on the web, as well as access to special offers. Call or go online now — the coming weeks are filling up!