Friend Fest 2012

Picture a small college town, fairly quiet on a cold February night. Then zoom in on that small town to the fairgrounds, where during a week in the summer, it is buzzing with people and entertainment.  Those fairgrounds lay dormant for the winter time with not so much as a row of school buses lining the paved pathways.  Now zoom in towards the permanent structure that typically houses the quilts for display during the folk festival and imagine that building bustling with young people tasting beer and wine from all over the country, talking with friends, and dancing to two of the best local bands- The Wallace Brothers Band and Frog Hollar.  Now that’s what we call a great Saturday night in good ole Kutztown.

Friend Fest is sponsored by a local non-profit organization, Friend Inc. They are a wonderful group that helps individuals and families in need in Northeastern Berks County.  They provide many different services including support groups, counseling, interventions, and a food pantry.  Friend Inc. has several fundraising events throughout the year including an auction, Bowlathon, Brake the Cycle of Poverty Bike Ride, and this year’s 4th annual Friend Fest.

Friend Fest is a wonderful event and fundraiser where many locals purchase tickets that give them access to tasting over 20 different wineries and breweries from across the country.  This year’s annual event was expanded to three separate tasting sessions to accommodate the growing interest among the community.  We here at the inn attended the last session, 7-9:30, and had a ball socializing, drinking, and dancing the night away.  A few of our favorites were the Oatmeal Stout from Vermont’s Wolaver’s Organic Brewing and their Wildflower Wheat, Sly Fox’s Lager, Paradox Vineyard’s warm spiced wine, and the University Wine Company’s U-Freeze wine slushies.

The three of us ladies here at the Inn really enjoyed ourselves (because most of you know how much we all like our wine).  Overall it was a really wonderful event for a great cause.  It’s always nice to see the community out supporting a local organization and we hope that next year’s event is just as successful.

What the Heck is a Fasnacht?

A Fasnacht, sometimes spelled Fastnacht, Fashnacht, or Faschnacht, looks like a square or triangular, less sweet doughnut, without the hole, it’s traditionally made with mashed potatoes, risen with yeast, deep fried, and you eat it with a thick sugary syrup.  We here in PA Dutch country celebrate Fasnacht day on Tuesday, February 21 this year, also known as Fat Tuesday, and in New Orleans, Mardi Gras!

Fasnacht Day is celebrated Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins.  It originated in Germany as a way to rid the household of fat and sugar before the fasting of Lent has begun.  The holiday is celebrated in the areas around Lancaster country and eastern Pennsylvania along with areas of Europe such as Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

This week at the Inn, in preparation for Fat Tuesday, we decided to try our hand at making an authentic and tasty Fasnacht.  There are so many different ways of making these tasty little treats, it was hard to pick just one recipe.  Lets hope they turn out to be as delicious as we’re dreaming they will be!

Click HERE to see a great website that includes seven different recipes for Fasnachts.  We still haven’t decided which recipe to try for next week, but it is sure to turn out a totally delicious treat!

Photos coming soon!

To celebrate or not to celebrate…St. Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here and whether you choose to avoid it all together or dive head first into the fun of the holiday, think again about how Valentine’s Day started.  One of the theories of how Valentine’s Day began is that Saint Valentine was priest in 3rd Century Rome and would secretly marry young lovers during a time when young men were prohibited to marry because single men made better soldiers.  Another account of Saint Valentine is that he was imprisoned and sent the first love letter to a woman who would visit him in the prison.  He would sign the letter “Love your Valentine.”

Valentine’s Day is no longer considered a religious or pagan holiday but more culturally declared a “greeting card” holiday.  But either way you look at it, its origin stems back to ancient Rome and a real Saint Valentine who believed in true love.

It’s not just a holiday for lovers.  In order to celebrate Valentine’s Day you don’t have to be in a smoochy smoochy relationship.  It’s a holiday to celebrate and express your love towards friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and even pets.  Sending out a few cards to long distance friends and family, making some cute sweet treats to hand out at work, or just wearing red and telling one person that you care for them is all you need to do.

Here at the Inn, we add just a few little touches for the holiday of Love.  We have our pink peppermint biscotti out for the guests, the red table clothes on the dining room tables, and possibly a few fresh flowers in the buffet area.  We do this to remind our guests how much we love and appreciate them!  Pam and Angelo will also be celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary this month, so Valentine’s Day is always extra special for them.

Don’t forget to check out the packages we offer here at the Main Street Inn because for the month of February, they are 15% OFF!  Choose from four different specially designed packages to make your stay here extra special and memorable. These packages include Lucky in Love, Life’s Simple Pleasures, Pamper & Relax, and Celebrate Good Times.

To be inspired for Valentine’s Day check out tastespotting.com and type the word ‘valentine’ into the search bar.  There you will find pages and pages of ideas for cute and sweet treats.  Or, stop in to your local florist and be swept away by the aromatic scent of flowers and have a bouquet sent to someone special.  And if you are feeling extra crafty, you can grab a few pieces of red and pink paper and make some homemade Valentines to hand out or send in the mail.

Here are a few gift ideas for those of you who would rather ‘buy’ than ‘make’ this Valentine’s Day.  Just click an idea below and get inspired!

FlowersCandyJewelryApronCookbookPajamasBubble bathWineBreakfastDinnerCute Note, or Frame a favorite photograph