A Recipe Most B&B’s Won’t Use!

As the “friendly” inspector for the Maryland Bed & Breakfast Association, I have the good fortune of visiting the member inns in the state to conduct the inspections required for membership.  The MBBA uses a third-party service for this purpose.

Last week, I visited Pleasant Springs Farm in Boyds.  It was the first time I had been to this 30 acre farm and soon learned it is quite different from most other B&B’s anywhere!  A settler’s log cabin built in 1768,  it has been expanded from the original 16 x 20 with a couple of additions over the centuries.  Peg and Jim Coleman reconstructed the cabin to its original condition and it is now on the National Historic Register.  The two-bedroom (one in the loft) cabin accommodates a couple or a small family and the only heat is the original stone fireplace and (for us mamby-pambies) electric space heaters of present vintage.

Peg prepares breakfast at the main house and shuttles it to the cabin at the requested time, with the typical gourmet flair of any good innkeeper using, of course, farm to table ingredients.  But that is not the recipe that captured my interest in this visit to a colonial-era piece of history.

See that white stuff between the logs next to Peg?  The Coleman’s sought the help of the National Park Service for a recipe to make the mortar to chink the logs the way the settlers did it a quarter of a millenium ago.  And she shared the recipe with her friendly inspector!  And I am sharing it with you since all us innkeepers share recipes! Equal Parts of:

Pig Bristles (boiled to remove the fat and skin…Peg says that was the really stinky part!)


Cement similar to Portland Cement (which dates back centuries according to Peg)

This close-up of the mortar shows the pig bristles sticking out of the mortar (Eewwww!…but historically interesting!).  The bristles are actually the material that holds the mixture together…the binder.

What a great place to take the family for a trip back into time!   Scott

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