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!
There are many different concerts that are part of the Cape May Music Festival; classical, popular, folk, and jazz. I’m going to describe just one of them. Tuesday, May 29, the New York Chamber Ensemble will be performing at the Church of the Advent. Their concert will include a fandango by Boccherini. He was an Italian who lived and worked at the royal court in Madrid – we used a piece of his for the recessional for our wedding. The concert will also include Bela Bartok’s Roumanian Dances, (My father was Bessarabian – so Roumanian Dances are very familiar.) as well as Dvorak’s “American” string quartet. Everything in this concert is fun and lively. I don’t know lot about classical music and I find this kind very entertaining. Imagine your day in Cape May including dinner at one of the many spectacular restaurants, a stint at the beach, and this wonderful concert.
This is the most melodic and easy to listen to classical music ever written. If you hear it, you’ll love it. Come to Leith Hall for a visit and enjoy some of what Cape May has to offer.
Cape May has been named the best Beach on the Jersey Shore. An article by Joe Atmonavage quotes on NJ.com “As the farthest point south on the Shore, Cape May is the crown jewel of the region with gorgeous beaches and a quaint town center filled with gingerbread Victorians and colorful red and breakfasts.” the Travel Chanel post read. “Bring your binoculars to the beach to spy the playful dolphins jumping in the wake.”
Bonnie stayed with us last weekend and had these lemon squares for teatime. I always serve something chocolate and something non-chocolate at teatime. Otherwise the guests rebel.
These are very easy to make. You could also use two or three packages of cream cheese, which will make lemon flavored cheesecake. You can sprinkle the squares with powdered sugar to serve, or you could decorate them with candied violets or rose petals.
preheat oven to 350 F.
1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups flour
Mix the crust ingredients together and turn into an 8”x8” or 9’x9′ metal baking pan, lined with cooking parchment. Press the crumbs into an even crust on the bottom of the pan. A small measuring cup works well for this.
1 8 oz. Package of cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup flour
2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice.
Grated zest of ½ lemon
Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer, scraping the sides regularly, until the cream cheese is soft and smooth. Beat in eggs, ,one at a time, beating well after each addition, to avoid lumps. Then beat in all of the other ingredients and pour the mixture on top of the crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until just colored around the edges. Do not brown.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate ’till cold. Loosen the cooking parchment. Turn the cake onto a cutting board, peel off the cooking parchment, then turn again onto a serving plate,
Cut into squares with a small knife dipped into water between cuts.
This Spring in Cape May there are so many things going on that the festivals overlap and you’ll be dizzy with the choices. Three Cape May organizations are presenting festivals – all running concurrently. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts puts on Spring Festival with dozens of tours and events. Among my favorites (and my guest’s’ favorites) is the
CHOCOLATE LOVER’S FEAST
It’s a bountiful feast for chocolate lovers! Enjoy seven plated courses of delicious chocolate desserts at the Blue Rose Inn, 653 Washington St., and hear how each was created from the chef who prepared it. This is a limited event so reserve early.
If food is your interest, check out Chef Poon’s presentation. He is a hoot and often stays with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.
Saturday, May 19
Slicing & Dicing:
Watermelons and More
with Master Chef Joseph Poon
Chef Poon will be presenting his fun, informative, high energy food demonstrations at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom, including information on healthy eating and carving and sculpture demonstrations. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Chef Poon has appeared on the Food Network along with local and national television shows including the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Ellen DeGeneres Show and PBS’ Christina Cooks.
For straight silliness, view the Edwardian naughtiness at Elaine’s
with The Salty Sirens as The Fleur de Fantaisie
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, May 17, 18 & 19: 8pm (cocktails at 6:30pm)
Elaine’s Cape May, 513 Lafayette St.
Enjoy a variety of entertainment when The Salty Sirens take on a French twist. Let yourself get swept away for a night of sensual delights and hysterical whimsy while we daydream of a Parisian enchanted forest at springtime. Flirt with nature in bloom… la nature en fleurs! You’ll have a fun-filled trip back in time to a period when entertainment was theatrical, sassy, and teased the imagination. Experience this modern take on classic burlesque, rooted in Victorian vaudeville. Food and beverages available for purchase.
Limited event; advance purchase recommended Purchase tickets online or at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth at Ocean Street
It’s not to late to reserve for Saturday, August 5, for the Craft Beer and Crab Fest. Go to the beautiful grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate for an all-day festival featuring local craft beers to wash down favorite summer foods … steamed crabs, pulled pork, crab cakes, shrimp and hot dogs. There will be music all day, Jugglers, acrobats, and low-wire walkers from the Little Circus, and a crafts and collectibles show.
The music will begin at 11 A.M. And will feature The Honeyhawks, James Callio, Jake Tavill, Sean Preston, and the Quixote Project. Some of our local food purveyors will be Gaiss’ Market offering Bacon on a Stick, Crespella offering crepes, Eat Well with lobster rolls and grilled cheese, Executive Catering selling fish tacos, and Wahlburger offering hamburgers.
P.S. Suzie and I recently visited the Cape May Brewing Company with our niece and her fiance. It was a wonderful place to be and I even liked the beer, (and I don’t even like beer). I’d recommend the festival at the PhysickEstate for Saturday, and the Brewing Company for Sunday, after the beach. The owners of the Red Store in Cape May Point have opened a taco place next to the brewing company, so you can have some food to go with the beer.