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Fig Jam Is Just So Southern

Figs are so special – they are a real delicacy.  

Easy, homemade Fig Jam recipe with fresh figs from the farm (or your local Farmer's Market) is a favorite of guests at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast, near Greenville, NC. Uses less sugar and is Southern comfort food in a jar! | @bigmill | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/homemade-fig-jam-recipe-has-less-sugar

Fig Jam is oh so southern and such a treat!  This fig jam recipe actually uses less sugar than you’ll typically find, so that is good for every body.

I had fun making it because this is the first fig jam I have ever made using figs I grew! I have seven fig trees in several varieties — the oldest is five years old and two are not quite a year old. I remember most of their names, but there is one that has slipped my mind.

With this recipe (as with a few others on Chloe’s Blog),  Don’t Double the Recipe! And be sure to make enough jam so that when holiday entertaining is in full swing, you can wow your guests with your Creamy Brie & Fig Preserves Appetizer – what a treat! Click to get the Recipe for my Fig Jam with Less Sugar and some great photos too …

Refreshing Summer Punch is Perfect for Those Lazy Summer Days 

This pretty citrus punch is a real crowd pleaser - Big Mill Bed and Breakfast guests love it. Recipe on Chloes Blog | @BigMill | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/summer-punch-recipe-nc-bed-breakfast

This Citrus punch is perfect for your summer parties

Ah, the Halcyon days of summer are coming to an end at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast and that saddens me. When the green leaves turn to gold and then fall away, you can hear the whine of the train and the lonesome whippoorwill. There are fewer whippoorwills; that too is sad. And you just know that is a country song.

So on these last balmy nights of summer, grab a cool glass of Summer Punch, loll in the hammock and listen to the sounds of the changing season. You can hear the quiet except for the cicadas. Click to get Chloe’s Summer Punch Recipe

Bill’s Hot Dogs in Washington, NC is an institution

Bills Hot Dogs is a Mom and Pop eatery that serves up great hot dogs in Washington NC. Read more on Chloes Blog. @Bigmill | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/bills-hot-dogs-eastern-north-carolinas-best-hot-dog

Bill’s Hot Dogs in Little Washington, NC

It doesn’t matter if you like hot dogs or not — you just have to eat a Bill’s hot dog if you are in Washington, North Carolina. Bill’s has been open as a hot dog “stand” since 1928 and it hasn’t changed much; not that I can see.

Located on Gladden Street in “Little” Washington, NC, it is just a short distance from the Pamlico River. Bill’s is an institution for most everyone who has ever lived in Washington or eastern North Carolina. For the locals, this is Road Food at its best. Click to read More about Bill’s Hot Dogs in Washington, NC

Big Mill B&B is going to be part of the Tar River Quilt Trail

The Eastern side of North Carolina is joining the Barn Quilt Movement with the first quilt block going up on the barn at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast in Williamston, NC. This quilt square will become part of the Tar River Quilt Trail. Learn more on the NC innkeeper's blog. @bigmill www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/big-mill-bed-breakfast-barn-quilt-williamston-nc

Kim Young & Chloe Tuttle examine Quilt Block for Big Mill’s Barn Quilt

How did the Big Mill B&B barn quilt idea and project happen? In essence, I read about the American Quilt Trail and I wanted to be part of it. I picked a favorite quilt pattern – one that my mother made. And I joined the Tar River Quilt Trail. Now this pattern is being painted on plywood and will be installed on the side of my Pack House Barn here on the farm.

The Tar River Quilt Trail is part of the Franklin County, NC Arts Council. After I joined the Quilt Trail, they started to work. First, the pattern had to be approved. It has to be one that no one else on the Trail has chosen.

Take a behind-the-scenes peek as Big Mill Bed and Breakfast prepares their Barn Quilt block which will be placed on the Pack House Barn of the B&B near Greenville, NC. | @bigmill www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/big-mill-bed-breakfast-barn-quilt-williamston-nc

Each color on the blocks is painted separately

My quilt square will be 8′ x 8′. Charles Powell built four 4′ x 4′ blocks and primed them with a special paint and marked off the pattern onto these blocks.

The barn quilt design is drawn and painted on blocks before mounting onto the barn at Big Mill B&B | @bigmill www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/big-mill-bed-breakfast-barn-quilt-williamston-nc

Charles Powell sketches the design for Big Mill’s Barn Quilt

Suzie Parron, who wrote the book Barn Quilts – the American Quilt Trail Movement, describes a Barn Quilt this way:

“You know that quilts are made up of squares? Well, a barn quilt is a replica of one of these squares,  painted on plywood, usually eight-by-eight feet, and hung on a building for passersby to see. Most of them are mounted on barns, so they are called Barn Quilts. There are thousands of them all over the country – currently in thirty states – and in Canada.”

In fact, there are barn quilts in at least 48 states in the U.S. and as far north as Canada. She also says there is usually is a cast of characters, going back many years, who are involved in the production of a Barn Quilt.

My Barn Quilt idea goes back as early as 1976, when the United States celebrated its Bicentennial. Everyone wore Red, White and Blue. My mother Chloe made me an Eight-Point-Star quilt in red, white and blue. Her friends met once a week and quilted it as a work of love.

This is the quilt pattern I chose to put on the wonderful Pack House Barn my dad built in 1935 (2nd picture in the left column). That barn is now part of Big Mill Bed & Breakfast and three of our rooms and suites are actually in this renovated barn. I have since learned that this pattern is called LaMoyne Star and I have named my Barn Quilt Miss Chloe’s LaMoyne Star. To see the finished project check out my blog post Eastern North Carolina Quilt Trail.

Inspiration for the Big Mill Barn Quilt is the LaMoyne Star quilt made by the innkeeper's mother and her quilting circle during the USA's Bicentennial celebration in 1976. See more about the Quilt block and Barn Quilts on Chloe's blog. |The barn quilt design is drawn and painted on blocks before mounting onto the barn at Big Mill B&B | @bigmill www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/big-mill-bed-breakfast-barn-quilt-williamston-nc

Quilt made by Chloe’s mother in 1976 is called LaMoyne Star

I read about the American Quilt Trail Movement many years ago and really wanted to be part of it. At the time, I thought I had to paint a quilt on my barn. Well, I knew I could do it – but I didn’t think I will live long enough to finish it. Then I realized I didn’t have to do this myself. I called the Western North Carolina Quilt Trail folks and they were wonderful; they sent me to the Tar River Quilt Trail folks, part of the Franklin County NC Arts Council.

I joined the Tar River Quilt Trail and after a few months of behind-the-scenes coordinating, my Barn Quilt is almost finished! Thanks to Kim Young, who painted my quilt. Kim is an artist who works in watercolor, oil and acrylics. You can see her work at The Art of Kim Young. And thanks to Charles Powell and the Franklin County Arts Council for all the work behind-the-scenes to bring this vision to life.  These folks are volunteers and they do a great job. Soon they will mount it on the barn for all to see.

The Martin County Arts Council in Williamston, NC is also getting a barn quilt. They have chosen the pattern Crossed Canoes. Hopefully, the Town of Williamston will join us.

Wherever you’re travelling across North Carolina, you are likely to find a map of all the Barn Quilts in each area. That makes it so easy to plan your trip to ride by and look at these wonderful replicas of our heritage. I am so excited to be part of the Tar River Quilt Trail.

You can see Miss Chloe’s LaMoyne Star quilt painted on the barn at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast. It’s time to set your GPS for Big Mill Bed & Breakfast, 1607 Big Mill Road, Williamston, NC 27892. And if you get lost, give me a call – (252) 792-8787.

Take a behind-the-scenes peek as Big Mill Bed and Breakfast prepares their Barn Quilt block which will be placed on the Pack House Barn of the B&B near Greenville, NC. | @bigmill www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/big-mill-bed-breakfast-barn-quilt-williamston-nc

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Chloe Tuttle Big Mill Bed and Breakfast near Greenville NC

Blueberries are a gift – they speak “Summer”

Just picked blueberries make the best jam. Easy recipe on NC innkeeper's blog| www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/easy-blueberry-jam-Recipe-with-cinnamon-lime-zest

Just Picked Blueberries from the farm at Big Mill B&B

If you can pick your own blueberries that is the best. I have blueberries growing right outside my kitchen window and I try to use them any way I can. Local farmers’ markets also have good berries.

I love cooking with fresh blueberries and this is the very BEST jam recipe I have ever made – and it is EASY. If you don’t like the cinnamon and lime, then I have another Blueberry Jam recipe for you. And remember – Don’t Double the Recipe! Click to get Chloe’s Blueberry Cinnamon Jam Recipe

Built in 1823, the Ocracoke Lighthouse is North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse still in use.

Ocracoke Lighthouse - fun thing to do in the Outer Banks, NC @BigMill | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/ocracoke-lighthouse-on-the-outer-banks

Ocracoke Lighthouse on Ocracoke Island

In fact, Ocracoke Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse still in use in the entire United States, although this is controversial. It has been in constant use since 1823, except for a brief period during the Civil War when the Rebels dismantled the light. It continues to emit its constant fixed beam, visible for 14 miles – a welcome beacon for sailors. Click to Read More about the Ocracoke Lighthouse

This easy Strawberry Bread recipe uses self-rising flour

Fresh strawberries make the best bread. Get the easy Strawberry Bread recipe from innkeeper at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast in eastern NC on Chloe's Blog.  | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/easy-strawberry-bread-recipe/

Fresh strawberries make the best bread

I just love this photo – I was outside getting ready to take a picture of these berries when a rainstorm made me take cover in my Old Red Truck. While I waited out the storm, I took this photo — the lighting was perfect. It is one of my favorites.  To get Chloe’s Strawberry Bread Recipe click here

Somerset Place Plantation

Somerset Place Plantation in Creswell, NC, is off the beaten path.

Somerset Place Plantation in eastern North Carolina is an easy day trip from Big Mill B&B | http://chloesblog.bigmill.com/somerset-place-plantation/

Somerset is isolated. That is one of the reasons it is so haunting.

In 1860, Somerset Place Plantation near Creswell, NC had 328 slaves, making it the third largest plantation in North Carolina.  At one time it encompassed 100,000 acres of land and swamp sitting on the shores of Lake Phelps right in the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina, which meant drainage ditches, canals, mosquitoes and basically not an easy life. To read more about Somersest click here

Southern Molasses Pudding Cake Recipe

Molasses is a staple in the south – we use molasses for everything.

Molasses pudding with Bourbon Sauce is a southern staple | http://chloesblog.bigmill.com/southern-molasses-pudding-cake-recipe

Molasses Pudding with Bourbon Sauce is a southern tradition

It seemed like everybody’s grandmother made Molasses Pudding and it was always a treat. In some parts of the country, it might be called Molasses Cake, but southerners call it Molasses Pudding. Once you add the Bourbon Sauce, it does seem more like a pudding.

Friend Nancy and I set out to recreate this old-fashioned southern recipe and we did it! We added the Bourbon Pecan Sauce to spice it up. Southerners love molasses and use it everywhere. Read more about Molasses and Chloe’s Molasses Pudding Cake

The Church Moved by the Hand of God

There is a small wood frame church in Swan Quarter, North Carolina, that was truthfully moved by the hand of God.

Church moved by the Hand of God in Hyde County, NC. This is a story so unbelievable, even Snopes had to verify it is authentic. Read more on Chloe''s Blog. |  http://chloesblog.bigmill.com/the-church-moved-by-the-hand-of-god

Church Moved by the Hand of God traveled by itself to sit on this lot.

In 1874, members of this small congregation in eastern North Carolina tried in vain to buy a piece of land from a Mr. Sam Sadler in order to build a church. This lot was perfect –it was higher land than any other lot in town.

Mind you, almost all of Hyde County is barely above sea level, so a higher lot was important. Mr. Sadler vehemently refused to sell.

The congregation then accepted a gift of another lot behind the courthouse and soon they had a basic structure for the church. It was a simple wood building on piers called the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

Folks began worshiping in this new church. On the eve of the dedication, September 16, 1876, a big storm was brewing out in the Pamlico Sound. By the next day, September 17th, a full force hurricane hit all of Hyde County; Swan Quarter was under 5 feet of water. Click to find out what happened next – it’s quite amazing!