Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Arbor House Construction

We were hoping for good weather today because we are pouring concrete on our expansion project. Meno Graber and Paul Yutzy (right to left) are the  two Amish men working on the concrete. The temperature is about 34 degrees, but it should get up to a toasty 47 degrees by 2 PM. We are adding 2 rooms and a living quarters to the old restaurant building.
We should have the new addition framed and weather tight within a week at the most. We plan to finish the project in the Spring.
Follow our progress as we work to get our new rooms completed and open for the next season.
Framing Begins
Gail and I will be living in the new quarters and renting out the Arbor House as a cottage. We are calling it Grandma's House! It is also getting a face lift and will have 4 bedrooms and sleep 8 comfortably. We hope to get more family business next year with the cottage open. We get a large number of Mormon families traveling through Jamesport and they usually travel in large family groups. Hoping for a great 2012 season. Come visit us if you are in the neighborhood.
Framing: Framing began Friday on the new room additions at the Arbor House. Paul Yutzy is busy, but he won't get the building closed in until Tuesday. Of course, we are scheduled for a big rain storm on Saturday.
The temperature has been below freezing for the past week, but framing has progressed at a fast pace. As of 12/10/2011 the roof is up and the structure is covered.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving at the Arbor House

Turkey Day at Last! I am the designated cook on Thanksgiving. When Grandson Noah lived nearby in Chillicothe, Missouri, he used to come by the Arbor House to help me cook. He was always a hit with the guests. This year I will miss him and the other grandchildren because they live in California and Florida.
I still enjoy cooking and plan to cook a lot this weekend. We are having a dinner party at the Arbor House and I will be cooking all Mexican Food. I will probably make turkey enchiladas with Thanksgiving leftovers.
The Arbor House will be shutting down for the Winter, so this will be our last party with our local friends. After this month we will be packing up and heading out for California for a couple of months. We are looking forward to returning to the spring and expanding the Arbor House with three more units. Plan to visit us in 2012. It promises to be a good year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Most Important Man in Jamesport

Davey Davis and Roy Bontrager
One thing evident in this small town is that there is a strong work ethic among the local tradesmen, and foremost among our local tradesmen is Davey Davis. I don't think you could find a single long term resident who has not dealt with Davey at one time or another. Davey is the man behind Davis Plumbing and Heating.
Taking a Smoke Break
Most Important Man in Town
It isn't everyday that you get excited over a plumber, but Davey is the exception. His brand of service is part Will Rodgers and part magician. He appears as if by magic when he is needed and makes you smile with his wit and good natured ribbing, while at the same time making your plumbing nightmares disappear. As if that wasn't enough, he and his crew are the backbone of our First Responders and Volunteer Fire Department.
Davey obviously loves his work and does it in a way that reminds you of how great everyday life can be, even when all you are doing is working on your plumbing.
I am currently working on adding rooms to the Inn and during the process we needed to reroute the water mains under the building. The day these photos were taken, Davey and his wizard's apprentice Roy Bontrager were tunneling under the building and encouraging me to grad a shovel and join in the fun. Davey is a modern day Tom Sawyer. He made the job seem like a great opportunity to have a good time. It made my day!
If you ask me who is the most important man in town, I would have to say, without a doubt, Davey Davis.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yoga in Jamesport

Jamesport Yoga
Yes Virginia, there really is yoga in Jamesport. It never ceases to amaze me that in such a small town (population 500) there is such an abundance of cultural activity. The Jamesport Yoga Studio is one example of that. I love this town!
Check out the Jamesport Yoga web site and prepare to be impressed.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin
One thing you will learn, sooner or later, is that everyone in this area of the Midwest knows what a pork tenderloin is! It didn't take me long to find out once moving to Jamesport, Missouri.
Every local restaurant knows how to make a tenderloin and the locals all have favorites. I get mine at the Country Cupboard Restaurand in Jamesport. Since I am myself a cook, I do have my own recipe to share.
The most distinguishable feature about a pork tenderloin is the size. Most restarants use a 5-7 ounce slice of the tenderloin and then run it through a meat tenderizer a few times to get it good and flat. The local Jamesport Grocer has a butcher department and will tenderize tenderloins to your specifications. After running through the tenderizer the pork looks somewhat like a waffle. The tenderloin is dipped, breaded, deep fried, and served hamburger style on a bun with all the fixins. The reason everyone likes them is that they are cooked fresh and taste delishious. Here is my recipe:
I use a 5 ounce tenderloin. If I cannot get one at the market I will get 5 ounce loin steaks and tenderize them with a tenderizing mallet (works fine and the pounding gets out aggression). The tenderloin is first floured (season the flour with salt, pepper, and other spices you like, such as garkic powder), then dredged in egg wash, then dredged in saltine cracker crombs (trust me on this, you want to use fresh saltines that you crush in a baggie). The crushed saltines will have lots of chunks but that is OK. Deep fry the tenderloins at 300-325 degrees until golden brown.
You can make more reasonably sized tenderloins by using 3-4 ounce tenderloin slices, but what is the fun in that? If you don't have a deep fryer, just fry it the way you would chicken in a skillet. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nobody Home! Deer Season Begins

Trying to do business this week is almost impossible. Everywhere I go around town, people are not available. They are all busy preparing for the favorite local sport.
So fall is here again and the locals are all abuzz about opening day of deer season. Tomorrow is Veterans Day in most parts of the U.S., but here in Jamesport tomorrow is the first day of Deer Season for rifles. Bow hunters are already out hunting.
The sound of gunfire has been ringing about for the past week as hunters get their guns sighted in. I wouldn't want to be a deer right now. And yes I know that my animated picture is an Elk  .... not a deer. Alas, it is all I had. BTW, I myself am not a hunter.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Iowa Boys

Duck hunting season attracts a lot of hunters to Jamesport. A group of Iowa boys stayed at the Arbor House. I snapped this photo of them while they were here.
We keep a journal in the Inn rooms and encourage our guests to write about their stay with us. This is what the Iowa boys wrote:
"10-29-11. We came, we saw, we conquered. Duck opener 2011 provided us a guys night away. We drank a lot of beer, played some poker, & got up and shot 14 ducks that should have known better than to fly over us. We also hit the local Amish bar & had unbelievable bacon cheeseburger! The End. Iowa Boys."

To be clear about the Amish bar referred to.... They were at the Jamesport Tavern. Amish do not have bars here, but many local Amish youth do go to the bar to play at the pool tables.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Amish Country Stores

One of the benefits of living in Jamesport, Missouri is the abundance of Amish Country Stores. One of the favorite tourist attractions is the H and M Country Store. Located just a mile south of town on State Hwy 190, it is easy to find and has a large parking area.
I first started going there when I could not find certain spices at the local grocers. H and M specializes in bulk spices and baking supplies. When all else fails, I head on over to the country store to find my spices.
The store has expanded in recent years and added some large skylights to brighten up the store. Amish of course do not use electricity, so gas lamps are the primary light source in the building. The skylights were a great addition.
H and M is located right next door to the Countryside Bakery and The Fabric Barn. Tourists can visit all three Amish stores at one convenient location. This is a must see place for any tourist.