Monthly Archives: June 2009

PrinceStreetPeanutButter

Prince Street Cafe

With what finally felt like some summer weather, last weekend involved a nice, refreshing mix of activities for me that reminded me how thankful I am to be home in Lancaster. Saturday morning started off with a successful trip to Central Market with a close friend of mine. The market bustled with people taking advantage of a nice morning to be awake and downtown. Some fresh asparagus and deep purple flowers for the house in hand, we perused the market aisles, finally deciding that bread samples failed to suffice after a good work-out earlier in the morning. All I had to do was mention Prince Street Café’s baked oatmeal, and any notion of a debate concerning what to do for lunch was gone.

One thing I have always appreciated about Prince Street Café is its large windows that let in the daylight. I tend to get a lot of my studies and work done in coffee shops, what with the regular caffeine kicks, warm environment, and periodic study breaks consisting of quality people-watching as conversations and interactions transpire. I always like to study by windows, and with the high-top tables alongside those of Prince Street Café, I have gone there several times to get schoolwork done while home on break. The free Wi-Fi is yet another reason to visit. I also value the incorporation of art into the space, pieces of local talent against the warm hues of the café’s walls. I have a lot of respect for local businesses who embrace and support the arts, serving the community beyond their primary purpose.

There is always a sense of youthfulness at the café, perhaps due to its fresh style and the many local students and young adults who frequently visit this relaxing and creative environment, much like myself. Just around the corner from Central Market, we found ourselves there in no time with cups of hot coffee, a medium roast from Ethiopia. I recently learned that Prince Street seeks to find fair trade coffees, in addition to buying their foods locally, what with all their pastries, gourmet desserts, soups, salads, and sandwiches.

On this particular visit, the café was naturally busy. My friend got her usual, a bowl of blueberry baked oatmeal and milk, while I decided to try their yogurt parfait. The baked oatmeal was delicious as always, and the parfait was a hit amongst the two of us. With fresh berries, baked oatmeal, and rich yogurt from Pequea Valley Farms, we found ourselves raving over our new find. It’s hard to find a healthy treat that remains too good to classify as anything short of a true indulgence. I’m sure I will be making my way back to Prince Street Café for a cup of coffee and a stroll through Downtown Lancaster sometime soon. And when that just doesn’t seem to be enough and a pick-me-up is necessary, I’ll know just what to get.

Stay Classy 19

VerdantView

Verdant View Farm

This morning was unlike any other for me. Although I have lived in Lancaster my entire life, I never had a hands-on, personal experience with the farming lifestyle that has surrounded me for the past twenty-one years. While I am probably more of a city girl, there is something about living and working on a farm that I truly appreciate, so much that I think I could easily get used to this way of life.

There was something comforting about Verdant View Farm Bed & Breakfast - the smells, the food, and the people I encountered during our visit – that made me feel at home, despite me being completely out of my element.  Everything there is a direct product of hard work. To me, it is a clear and beautiful portrayal of creation, the way we interact with it, and the way it is intended for our use, given that we respect it. Owners Don and Ginny Ranck could not paint a better picture of this concept through the way they run their farm and share it with others.

I knew the morning started once I stepped out of the car and realized how cold we would be. I had missed out on my cup of coffee before heading out, but the temperature certainly kept me awake and ready for the morning events.

We were immediately welcomed by the farm’s tiny dog, Rosco, a Wishbone look-a-like that followed us everywhere throughout the morning. Ginny came outside right as we pulled up and greeted us with a big smile. It was milking time, and she explained that we would be accompanying her and the other workers and family members in their routine chores just like any morning on the farm. Although I am normally a huge ditz with things I’m not comfortable or familiar with, my first attempt at milking the cow proved to be quite successful. As more guests joined us in our visit, the morning continued with various other chores such as feeding and letting out the animals.

Even Aaron, one of Don and Ginny’s sons, shared a new hobby of his with us as he explained the art of cheese-making and allowed us to sample some of his homemade cheeses. We were joined by other family members and some guests who had stayed overnight for a wholesome breakfast, and my favorite – meadow tea made just that morning. It was just what I needed to warm me up a bit for our wagon ride around the farm.

My visit to Verdant View Farm left me feeling thankful for the people I had just met and appreciative for the sense of community I experienced within just a few hours of being there. Not only did the Ranck family welcome us into their home, but they shared with us a huge part of themselves and what they know so well. It was a morning well spent, and that says a lot considering I missed my morning cup of coffee.

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