First time camphosts in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

Our pet flamingos love our beautiful campsite here at Shawme Crowell State Forest in Sandwich, MA.

As many of you know, our life on the road has been largely unscripted. We tend to get an idea, do some research, talk to other full-timers, try something new, evaluate it, determine what we have learned and what we might want to do with the information, and then move on.  For 2019, we set a modest goal to see how we might increase our volunteering time doing things we enjoy and focus on three places in different parts of the country where we could be reasonably certain to stick to our minimum climate requirements – 70 degrees and the likelihood of sunshine.

With our dear Koreshan State Park for reference, we researched other state parks in the southwestern U.S. for the fall. We found one in New Mexico which is an historic cattle ranch from the late 19th century, concurrent with the timeline of the Koreshan Unity Settlement. We were interested in the possibility of doing more docent work, maybe tours, and special projects as yet to be determined. We applied and were invited to come to Oliver Lee Memorial State Park from late September through mid-December when we head back to Florida and Koreshan State Park.

Window boxes in downtown Sandwich, MA.

That left us with the summer. With family in New England, we focused on Massachusetts State Parks and applied in January. The process included a background check first and then a declaration of where we might want to be assigned. We picked Cape Cod and ended up with a placement in Sandwich, Massachusetts. We had camped here before and loved the location on the north side of the Cape, near lovely beaches, the Cape Cod Canal, bike trails and historic and charming villages dating back to the early 17th century.

The job we were assigned is camphosting, which means a variety of different things depending on the state park around the country. Here, at Shawme Crowell State Forest, it means one thing – keeping the bathhouse/bathrooms clean. The older part of the park, where we thought we would be, has quaint (read “old and outdated”) bathhouses with one tin shower and two toilets in a small wood frame building with cement floors. The work requirement is 20 hours per week for the free site and that would mean cleaning every day, seven days a week, at the time we determined best. There is the option of taking days off, since there is coverage available.

Glorious hydrangeas line the sides of  Route 6A on Cape Cod.

We had requested a host site near to the site we had camped in before and we were confirmed in the site. However, when we arrived on June 20, we were given a completely other site and work assignment in another part of the park cleaning the newest bathhouse which has tile floors, four toilets, and two showers each on the men’s and women’s sides. It is a much nicer facility for guests (and for us) and a lot more work since this section of the park is very busy. Eventually, we figured out that we were re-assigned based on the park’s bigger need based on the number of camping reservations. The newer section with the nicer bath had more reservations and so we were assigned to cover that bathhouse. Rolling with the punches is what’s essential when you are a volunteer!

The campsite we were assigned is gorgeous. It has a long driveway off the camp road. We are surrounded on two sides by pine woods, a ravine, dappled sunlight, low bushes and scrub oak trees. On the one side with a neighbor, about 150’ to the west, low bushes, a stand of pines about ten or twelve inches in diameter and a small ravine, provide a suitable privacy barrier. The campsite is completely dry which means we needed to fill our on-board water tanks with the 40 gallons we would need for essential water during our six week stay. We have two refillable gallon containers which we fill on a daily basis for potable water from the water spigot right near the campsite.

Our LED lanterns are wonderful and portable and collapsible!

One of the first tasks was to set up a place for the generator, away from any potential neighbors and downwind of our dining room windows. We run the generator about two hours a day – in the morning for breakfast prep and when charging up electronics like the computer or the portable vacuum or watching movies on the DVD (no TV here) which need 110. We then needed to scope out the options for setting up the solar panel on days where they could be used. That was more challenging in our shady site, but we have actually succeeded in getting the batteries nearly fully charged on the few very clear and sunny days. From the fully charged batteries, we can power our refrigerator, charge the phones and our very cool new “Luci” lights which are LED lanterns.

Once set up on our site, it was quickly apparent to us that we had lots of flexibility with our schedules which meant we could clean the bathhouse whenever we wanted on any given day. The bathhouse includes a storage facility with supplies like the mops, cleaning liquids, buckets, and broom and dust pan for the essentials. Boxes of toilet paper, the critical supply of gloves for busy hands, lined paper bags for sanitary napkin disposals and liners for the waste paper basket rounded out the basics.

My beach boy on South Cape Beach State Park.  

The first time cleaning was the worst. Our standards for details, for example, sweeping the spider webs from the corner of the ceiling and around the open windows, became immediately obvious. This hadn’t been done yet this season, though it did appear that the place had been power washed recently. The keys we were given opened three of the four toilet paper disposal units in the women’s bathhouse. There wasn’t a clean mop/sponge to use to wash down the walls of the shower (another personal cleaning detail). There wasn’t a bottle of Lysol in the place, and Peter is still waiting for that. He did use our own personal sponge and mop to clean the shower stall that I use since we haven’t been given one.

Peter did eventually get the process down to a total of 1.5 hours for the men’s and women’s cleaning. My involvement is limited to refilling the soap dispensers, the toilet paper rolls and sweeping for spider webs in the window wells. Things were doable until July 4th week which was pretty much of a nightmare. The traffic in each bathhouse probably averages about 50 a day but that week, there it was more like 200 a day. The supplies ran out in a day, which meant that week we had to check twice a day for toilet paper. The condition of the showers was deplorable after one day since the messiest people did not clean up after themselves – I leave it to your imagination! The darker side of human nature seems to prevail on the busiest of weeks.

In addition to this volunteer assignment, living this long on a dry site did require some serious planning. For example, we wanted to avoid having to pull the trailer off the site to the dump station. Rather, we pulled out our trusty little Blue Boy, last used about three years ago. This handy little portable dump station allows us to empty the black water holding tank every 10 days or so and take it down to the camp dump station.  The process takes about one hour. Simple.

We use potable water from the water pump in the campground at the rate of about a gallon each a day. The hardest adjustment is doing the dishes. We have limited on-board water and so washing dishes required re-calculating. There is a stainless steel camp sink at the bathhouse so we have gotten the process down to a once-a-day trip up to the bathhouse to wash dishes. The water is hot, plentiful and aside from lugging the dishes up there and back, they are certainly cleaner with the abundant water and space.

Our solar panels, from Zamp, are great. We can get a good, though not full, charge in about four hours here on the Cape.

When planning the time here, knowing there would be no electricity, we realized the likelihood of hot and humid weather was pretty high. Last year while getting our annual service at Airstream we had the technicians install something called EasyStart, an adapter to our air-conditioner that allowed us to run our AC off the generator. EasyStart reduces peak starting current and controls power throughout the start-up so the compressor starts more smoothly and the generator has a lighter work load. After we first got here to our campsite, we tried it and it failed to work correctly. We figured that the Honda generator probably needed to be serviced since we haven’t had that done in the two years we have had it. We found a dealer nearby in New Bedford, MA and they completed the service it needed. On the re-try, the AC worked like a charm! It has been a life-saver during the 90 degree weather and the summer humidity for which New England is known. Imagine dry camping in the summer heat and having AC, it’s awesome.

What this experience here for six weeks of dry camping has taught us is something pretty important. We have learned how much work it takes to keep a household going. It’s more like the way people lived before the availability of electricity – from getting water, to preparing food, to handling waste. While we wouldn’t presume to be living like the pioneers did, we do take a great deal of granted when it comes to convenience and modernity.

This is high quality ice cream country – and we are doing our part.

This life underscores the reality of how we are living on the road. We are living in a tiny house, 250 square feet, and we take it where we want to go. We have it set up in the way that suits us, comfortable and spare and pretty energy-efficient. We are living in an Airstream but we aren’t camping. We don’t do campfires, roast marshmallows, or cook over an open fire. I love taking showers in the Airstream whenever we have full hook-ups and the occasional outdoor shower in the sunny warmth of Joshua Tree or in the occasional BLM campground is a special treat that I look forward to when the conditions are right, but I don’t want to perpetually live that way.

I love lighting candles for atmosphere and mood in the beautiful aluminum interior of the Airstream, but I don’t want to rely on candles for essential lighting. We love our portable LED lanterns and our portable small fans that easily charge, along with our phones, in the USB ports built into the Airstream right running off the battery. We use propane for heat, when needed, and right now we are running the refrigerator on propane, along with the water heater. The generator runs eight to ten hours on one gallon of gas. We do have an inverter built into the Airstream and once the batteries are fully charged, we can switch it on and provide power to charge the computer if needed.

Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, is an easy 45 minute ferry ride away.

We have learned a great deal here in the beautiful place. Last week, we took the ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard to visit my sister and brother-in-law for an overnight. We invited friends to join us for lunch in Sandwich, which is an easy invite since most people love coming down here. This week we are having dinner with one of our granddaughters who is coming to the Cape. The location is amazing and we do love it. The Whole Foods is 15 minutes away. Macy’s yielded a new bathing suit on sale, lobster rolls are readily available and superb, the ice cream is plentiful and of unusually high quality. The hydrangeas are in full bloom in their blue beauty, dotting the landscape with color and in splendid contrast to the roses, daylilies, and Shasta daisies that remind me it is full summer in New England. Life is very good on our campsite here at Shawme Crowell State Forest.

Peter and Liz continue their travels and their adventures in their Airstream, settling in New England for the summer. 

 

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Estero, Florida in the rear-view mirror.

This is Bonita Beach and our piece of heaven in Florida.

One of the most mysterious effects of being in one place for a long time is how time folds in on itself and neatly puts itself away.  We’ve been in Estero, Florida for nearly five months and in that time, Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone, we witnessed what south-Florida calls the seasons – winter (temperatures in the high 40s);  spring (temperatures in the mid-70s); and currently, summer (temperatures in the mid-80s).  We pulled together a wedding reception for two of our fellow volunteers here at the park, complete with a cake and champagne toasts.  We made a quick trip to the deep and frigid north for a wonderful family weekend, we celebrated a reunion dinner with Triangle X friends who winter here in Florida, met up with people we met on the road in Ann Arbor, and enjoyed a reunion with our first Airstream friends who met in the panhandle of Florida in 2015.  We continue to delight in the company of our Koreshan State Park fellow volunteers following our official fourth anniversary living full time on the road.

Peter with his children, Davis, Elizabeth and Justin at the party for Elizabeth. Thank you Ed, Izzy and Emily for putting together the party.

The unexpected cards that life deals out continue when living on the road.  From a devastating piece of health news about a family member far away, to the joyful news of my son’s engagement, to the breaking news of a nephew’s January 4, 2020 wedding in Chile, to the water-meets-MacBook Air debacle that happened the night before leaving Estero*, life continues.

The unexpected and joyous party honoring a milestone birthday for Peter’s daughter took us back to New Hampshire for a cold, March weekend with Peter’s three children, and four of our amazing New Hampshire grandkids.  Waking up to a couple of inches of new snow, blustery winds and the exposed, bare bones of New England trees, I was grateful to be merely a visitor this time.  Earlier in the month of March, we had shared a much quieter birthday for Liz in the warmth and sunshine of Florida.  It all occurred in this tiny slice of time.  Tomorrow, Peter celebrates his birthday in the continued embrace of the loveliest of Florida days.

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Peter & his crew at the Cast Iron Cafe.

Our jobs this year at Koreshan State Park were rewarding and lots of fun and very busy during the height of the season.  Peter’s cooking program has been very successful and his crew this year was great.  They were cooking on Sundays and sampling Koreshan recipes for upwards of 200 people a day, spreading the good vibes of historic recipes from Meyer lemon pie, to Koreshan risin’ bread, to bread pudding, and Portuguese cornbread, and some new dishes like pineapple cake, and coconut cake.

In addition, this year, he has expanded a program called Lunch & Learn which includes a private group tour (which I get to lead and customize for each group), followed by a full lunch in the historic Cast Iron Cafe with his commentary on what folks are eating, all from original Koreshan recipes.  It’s been really well received and he is hoping to expand it even more next season.

Here I am in costume talking to a group in the Art Hall.

The planning for year two of March’s Women’s History Month paid off with a record number of visitors this year. Our three special public tours throughout the month of March introduced guests to historical re-enactments of some of the women who lived here in the Settlement during its 98-year history.

This year we had two great evening lectures in the historic Art Hall at the Settlement, including one about the music of the Koreshans, which included presentation of songs they performed using well-known music (like a piece of music from a Verdi opera) with lyrics written by one of the women in the settlement. The more that I learn about the lives of the Koreshans, the more passionate I become about telling their stories to our guests here at the Park.  Our fellow volunteers share our love for the place and part of the delight of putting together a program like this, or Peter putting together his cooking program, is the way we can help people to better understand the complexities of their 19th century lives and the historical realities that led to the formation of this Settlement, and the hundreds of others just like it around the country.

The golf-cart makes travel around the park a bit easier for Peter.

We left the park April 1 on our generally northbound trip which is our continuing pilgrimage of life.  We will take time off, re-grouping and visiting family in Florida and then North Carolina before heading up to Atlanta and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and hopefully, make it this time to Washington DC for more family visits and tourist time.

Life on the road makes city visits more challenging since finding places to camp that are close enough to the interesting places is always present.   When I was growing up on Long Island, merely 40 miles from downtown Manhattan, I took access to places like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Plaza, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art for granted, thinking it would always be so easy to get to these places. But now, we are more intentional about our travel arrangements, realizing the days ahead of us are fewer than the ones behind, and we need to get on with it.

From last summer, I love this picture of Peter enjoying a walk just before sunset on the beach at Sandwich, Massachusetts.

This summer, we will journey back to New Hampshire for a granddaughter’s high school graduation, more family time and then a completely new adventure. We plan to spend six weeks on Cape Cod as camp hosts at the beautiful Shawme-Crowell State Forest, a place we have camped a number of times.  Close to the Cape Cod Canal bike trail, and the glorious beaches of the Cape, and favorite restaurants like the Ice Cream Sandwich and The Hole Donut, and more lobster rolls than I can imagine, the prospects are exhilarating.  We have wanted to see what it would be like to be on the Cape during the summer for a long stretch of time and we’ll let you know how it all turns out.  Thank you for coming along for the journey, and let’s stay in touch.  In closing this blog, here’s a souvenir photo of us in cold-weather gear in Vermont on our quick weekend trip north.  Gotta love the cow poster in the background!

* By the way, the MacBook could not be repaired and yes, this is the first blog on my shiny new gunmetal grey new MacBook Air.

Peter and Liz continue their pilgrimage up the east coast, heading into Spring in their Airstream, and capturing memories and stories along the way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two snowbirds roost in south Florida.

This is our campsite, decorated with Christmas lights and pots of chrysanthemums.  We are facing east and the morning light is lovely.

Returning to Koreshan State Park in Estero, Florida on November 2 felt like a homecoming.  There was much that has changed since we left the park in April (more on that later) but somehow time compresses itself in the familiar and it seems like merely weeks since we were last here.

First, news about where we are living.  Our new site this year in the Volunteer Village is our favorite of all three years here.  We are up against the fence which means we are closest to the very busy Tamiami Trail but the huge advantage is we have a really lovely “front yard”, a place to securely store our bicycles and no neighbors on our front door side.  Plus, we are removed from the center of the very busy Village, the bathhouse, and the Rec Hall.  The morning sun streams in the kitchen windows and the afternoon sun hits the back of T2, keeping things much cooler than last year when we faced straight into the afternoon sun.  We are next door to some friends from last year who are easy to be around.  It’s all good.

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Amana, Nauvoo and then Paris (Tennessee)

Our lucky charm, handmade with love by a dear friend, continues to grace T2.

Life on the road is full of unexpected occurrences.  There are the happy ones, like discovering the creamiest and richest peanut butter ice cream we’ve ever had (more on that later), or the warm hospitality of strangers (we’ll cover this below), to the stamina-building mechanical breakdowns like the one we experienced upon pulling into Paris, Tennessee.  Yes, gentle readers, we had an “event” and we continue to see how blessed we are.

 

 

 

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Long gazing through Wyoming.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park was a welcoming and restful stop in Colorado Springs.

The morning of September 6 broke hard, clear, and cold as we headed north from Colorado Springs on the final leg of our trip to Wyoming.  Pikes Peak was dusted in snow from a brief encounter with winter, a prelude of things  to come.  At Fort Collins, we were at 5,000′ elevation but our ascent would continue as we headed north.  As I learned from John McPhee’s Rising from the Plains, southeast Wyoming is a tipping point of geological wonder, higher in elevation than the plains of Colorado to the immediate south and higher than the northern part of Wyoming. Continue reading

Enchanting New Mexico

We have had a love affair with New Mexico since we first came here thirty years ago, and crossing the border this time felt just as remarkable.  There were specific things we had on our itinerary and first was a trip to the town of Las Vegas, in the northeastern corner of the state where we were in search of a very special building.

The original “Big Cowgirl”oil painting  lived in our home in Keene for many years.

The story is that years ago, in our life back in New Hampshire, we had purchased a large oil painting by a Massachusetts realist painter named Randall Deihl.  For a decade, “Big Cowgirl” hung on the wall of our high-ceilinged condominium in Keene, reminding us of all things about the west that we loved.  There were lots of stories about the painting that had developed over time, but what we did know is that it was painted when the artist lived in Santa Fe in the 1990s, because he was inspired by a mural on a building in Las Vegas, New Mexico and we were on a quest to see if we could locate it. Continue reading

Adventures in paradise and various utopias. Part 1.

A visit to our friend Mark’s tiki bar which he constructed completely of repurposed materials. Wonderful!

On Sunday, we spent a glorious, lazy summer day with our friend Mark at his tiki bar, The Sunset Grill, on the shore of a lovely little lake in Brown County, Indiana.  The tiki bar is dedicated to a sense of escape from the ordinary and humdrum into a paradise that those of us of a certain age have populated with common, even if distinct, memories.  The tiki bars of our younger days often included a soundtrack of Jimmy Buffet songs, and a kitschy decor of fishnets and buoys and mermaids and drinks with paper parasols.  The paradise of the tiki bar is unrelated to anything historically accurate and more like an island nirvana straight out of the imagination. Continue reading

The end of the road.

I am an incurable romantic and quite capable of being brought to tears by the most improbable of situations.  Today was one of those days where I have been reduced to a melancholy and teary reflection based on a decision that had to be made.  Today,  I parted company with Big Red, my well traveled, reliable suitcase.  Big Red was huge and clunky compared to the standards of today’s suitcases with over 6,400 cubic inches of carrying space.  His wheels were worn out, his retractable handle long ago succumbed to the indignity of duct tape and his zipper, twice replaced, had seen better days.   His ballistic nylon fabric, once deep red, had faded and he had actually suffered a mysterious burn somewhere and his sides were deeply worn along the edges.  After one long flight, he limped off the baggage carousel with a puncture and tear caused by some errant fork lift.  It couldn’t be repaired. Continue reading

New England around the 4th of July.

The Ashuelot River runs along the border of our campsite in Swanzey, New Hampshire. The summer season is an especially glorious time to be here.

When it comes to the most beautiful places we have seen in our travels, there is little that can compare to an early July morning in verdant New Hampshire.  It was one of the things I loved most about my decades living in the Granite State and it is shear indulgence to be able to selectively return when the climate here outdoes itself feeding the soul.  We had booked a full four weeks at Ashuelot River Campground for our summer address and under the caring attention of Chuck and Laura, we are thoroughly enjoying our seasonal home. Continue reading

Eating our way through the South.

The happy epicure, here in Savannah awaiting biscuits at Back in the Day Bakery.

One of the delights of our travels is we occasionally treat ourselves to eating out and sampling the local cuisine.  We are pretty picky in our choices and since Peter is such a wonderful cook, our standards are high.  Last fall, we sampled perhaps the best of Southern fried chicken in a funky place called the Old Country Store in Lorman, Mississippi where the proprietor, Mr. D, comes by occasionally to serenade his stuffed and very happy customers.   What made it special?  The sheer lightness and crispiness of the batter, which served to lock in the tender and flavorful chicken which was fried hot in a cast iron skillet. This place does chicken right.  Our time in Abbeville, Louisiana included some étouffée that was ethereal, so rather than try to compare those highlights, we opened the horizons to new experiences of some traditional dishes with new flair. Here is an eclectic mix of some of the highlights from Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina.

At Belfords, Peter prepares to indulge in one crab cake Benedict, and. half a fried oyster po’boy. We shared!

First in Savannah, the crab cakes Benedict were amazing at a place called Belfords on Franklin Square.  The crab cakes were moist, perfectly flavored and rich with tender crab meat (very little breading).  They were topped with a perfectly poached egg and Cajun remoulade sauce with just a touch of heat.  Peter ordered a fried oyster po’ boy, just because, and loved every decadent bite.

I’ve been researching the best buttermilk biscuits, one of the traditional of Southern foods that are hard to get right and easy to mess up.  In Savannah, we headed to a beautiful little bakery called Back in the Day.  It came highly recommended and so we wandered over one Sunday morning.  One of their specialities is buttermilk biscuit breakfast sandwiches and they did not disappoint. The biscuits are perfectly made and light and flavorful.  The compact egg frittata, with cheddar cheese, was flavored with a touch of thyme.

Lemon scone, glaze, and pistachios from Back in the Day Bakery.

Later, I found out that the owner-baker was nominated for the James Beard Outstanding Baker award.  In addition to the buttermilk biscuit, the lemon scone topped with pistachios is beyond belief.  This place is worth the stop.

As New Englanders, we know a lot about ice cream and Peter will happily remind folks that we native Yankees are known to consume more of the delectable dessert than those in any other part of the country.  So when my well-traveled sister (a resident of Connecticut, one of the original thirteen colonies) recommended the ice cream at Leopold’s in Savannah, we paid attention.  The ice cream parlor is great fun with movie posters and kitschy decor, including a telephone booth, and the first time we went by on a Sunday, the line was a half a block long and we decided this is why we were staying for four days.  We returned on Monday and with no wait.

Enjoying the Lemon custard ice cream at Leopold’s.

One of their hallmark flavors is called Lemon Custard, which is rich lemon ice cream with fresh lemon zest and subtle lemon flavor.   The winning recipe is unchanged since 1919 and I can see why.

So while we are on ice cream, let me share the experience of the amazing Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in Charleston, South Carolina.  Located in the hip neighborhood of King Street the store is filled with display cases of the fabulous and very unusual flavors of Jeni Britton Bauer who started making ice cream in Columbus, Ohio in 2002.  What distinguishes her ice cream is the unusual combination of flavors, the delectable nature of the ingredients, high in butterfat and low in air, which are creamy and rich and not filled with sugar or thickeners.  The flavors change with the seasons as fresh fruits change.

Half-scoop samples of coffee chocolate chip, lavender berry, and Savannah buttercream mint at Jeni’s.

On our first trip (yes, we made two distinct visits!), it was brambleberry crisp which is made with brambleberry jam laced with tasted oat streusel in rich vanilla ice cream.  Then it was a smooth lemony, rich cream laced with what I remember as after dinner mints. Oh my.  Jeni’s has begun packaging these dreams from heaven in pints which are now available through the country, but I’m not sure if that is good news, or not!

Peter’s quest around the South was for fried oysters and after the po’ boy, it was lunch at Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar in downtown Charleston.  These fried oysters were light and tender and there was nothing left over. On a gorgeous, spring day, we walked from the restaurant to the lovely Waterfront Park and its iconic Pineapple Fountain which apparently doubles as a wading pool for residents during the heat of summer.

Grilled shrimp in butter and garlic on fried grouper at Seewee’s Restaurant.

The fried oyster sampling culminated (at least to date!) at a funky roadhouse called SeeWee Restaurant north the city in Awendaw.  The decor alone in this restaurant that’s been serving southern home cooking for decades is worth the trip.  The food was up to the locals’ recommendation.  The fried oysters were great and my grilled local shrimp on top of fried local grouper was equally tops.  So much food was served that we took it home and re-heated for lunch the next day and it was just as tasty.

We headed up next to Wilmington, North Carolina and decided to tour the riverfront downtown along the Peace River.  In the process we tripped upon a place called The Peppered Cupcake, which apparently is known for its remarkable tiny cakes.  We have a world class pastry chef in the family (one of my sisters) so we are accustomed to some of the best in buttercreams, ganache, and light cakes.

Rose water buttercream raspberry cupcake from The Peppered Cupcake.

Let me say that this place is amazing.  First of all, the little restaurant is comfortably air-conditioned and that is a first clue as to the attention of the owner-baker.  Climate control makes for superb buttercream chemistry and texture. Second, the little cakes are gorgeous to look at, each one a tiny masterpiece that one hesitates (but only briefly) to destroy.  And third, the taste which is often an unusual combination of ingredients. It’s called The Peppered Cupcake because of the addition of peppers and chilis that are used in some of the recipes.  In addition to that, the offerings include coconut buttercreams, and brownie chocolate ganache and the devine rose water raspberry.  We fully intended to eat one in the sweet little Victorian shop and take the other two home but the poor dears never had a chance to make the trip after we tasted the first morsels.  Besides, it was too warm a day and the buttercream would have been stressed out.  Really.

Ending this Mother’s Day post with a variety of chocolate offerings including mocha, peppered mango, and coffee buttercream from The Peppered Cupcake.

 

Peter and Liz continue their gastronomic sampling through North Carolina and Virginia as they work their way around the South in their Airstream.