Archive for September, 2012

6th Annual Coronado Wine Stomp

September 28th, 2012 by Mike Hug

Coronado Vineyards Sign

Coronado Vineyards

Coronado Vineyards held the 2012 – 6th Annual Grape Stomp on August 18th and 19th. There were two days full of sunshine and wine while listening to live music featuring GRIND on Saturday and BUZZ &

Band Picture

Buzz and the Soul Senders

THE SOUL SENDERS on Sunday. This is always a family event and there were some young buckaroos there to enjoy the music, fun and games.

There were various types of food for purchase that complemented the wine tastings. And as always the people that wanted to

Buckaroo picture

Buckaroo’s have a good time too

know what it was like for the great actress Lucy to stomp around in a barrel of grapes, the barrel and grapes were provided for the enjoyment of the celebrants. Angie got into the act with her rendition of the Cha-cha. She wasn’t alone since there were other people there that wanted to experience the grapes between the toes. You will have to wait for next year to try this out. No stomping experience is necessary for this fun event. Shade was provided.

The charge for the event was $10 for adults and

Munchies with wine

Munchies with wine

that included a souvenir wine glass, all the grapes you can stomp while listening to live music, and a wine tasting of Coronado’s current releases. Wine club members got into the event for half price. We have gone to the event many times and each time we enjoy ourselves. We meet new people and enjoy the food, music and wine. What a pleasant way to spend the day. All of Jacque’s staff were

Terry Picture

Terry Ready to pour tasting

there to made the day a great success and our friend Terry was pouring the tastings. We tried to get Jacque to pause a moment so that we could get a picture of her with us but time ran out and she was a little busy making sure things were running properly.

So next year when you are ready to go to the southeast Arizona wine country and stay at a BnB. Just think about what to do to get out of the heat during an August weekend. Then think about spending time at Down By The River B & B in southeastern Arizona at the BnB that is The Lodging Hub of Cochise County. Take a look at our events page after May for next years Grape Stomp dates. Throughout the

Stomping grapes

Angie doing the Cha-cha

year there are wine events happening in the area. Since we are between both of the wine regions in Sonoita and Willcox we advertize the events that are coming up.

On October 20 and 21, The Willcox Wine Festival will be in full swing with more than 60 wines available for tasting and live entertainment. See you there.

BREWER’S WEEKEND

September 27th, 2012 by Mike Hug

 

Down By The River B and B announces a

Beer Brewer’s Weekend at the River.

Stay the nights of November 2 and 3, 2012 at Down By The River B and B and learn how to brew Beer. The demonstration will start shortly after breakfast on Saturday and will go through the

Ingredients Picture

You can purchase the ingredients as a prepackage kit or separately.

process for brewing your own beer. You will be shown the equipment, some of which is home made, and there will be literature available for the
participants to review.
We will go through the whole brewing process up to the wort being placed into the fermentation tank. After finishing this step, the rest of the process will be discussed

Steeping grain picture

The water must be held at a certain temperature to get the sugars out of the grain.

so that so that you know the steps needed to bottle the brew. You may decide after watching that you can also do this and a home brew six pack might make a great Christmas present for someone on your list.
Now the best part of the entire process is that the demonstration costs nothing. You just have to attend and watch the demonstration.
This is open to anyone that wishes to attend and you do not need to have any experience in brewing beer to watch the process.
There are a couple of the fun things that you do after you have bottled your beer is to make a label. Angie and I have made 2 labels so far. One for the Pumpkin Ale and the other for the Imperial Porter. The other thing to do is to drink the beer. Cheers!
Now if you are a member of the fairer sex and don’t want to learn about brewing Beer, you may decide to do something else in the area or at the BnB. If you would like to pamper yourself, then we also will be offering facials by Janan. Reservations are required at the time of reserving your room, at least 48 hours in advance.
Click here to see the menu that is offered by Janan.

 

 

 

Working With Stained Glass

September 14th, 2012 by Mike Hug

Partial Picture of the 40 foot stain glass window in the Gadsen Hotel

Partial Picture of the 40 foot stain glass window in the Gadsen Hotel

I have made most of the stained glass on display at Down By The River B and B in the bedrooms and in the common areas for our guests to view. I always liked to look at what artists did with stained glass when I was growing up. When we traveled, the glass that I would see in churches fascinated me. I wondered how anyone could make such beautiful things out of glass. I lived in a small town and we didn’t have resources to explain to me how it was done and no one that I knew had an inkling of what it took to make those colorful scenes out of glass. I would help my mom clean the church so that I would be able to see the sun coming through the glass.

By chance in 1992, I found a glass shop that taught people how to work with glass. I had previously been buying pieces in stores, at swap meets and yard sales for gifts. When I walked in the door of the shop the variety of colors and shapes awed me. All the windows were covered with sun catcher creations and there were items hanging from the ceiling. Along one wall were shelves that contained sheets of glass of all sizes, types and colors for hobbyists to buy. Before I left the store I had signed up for the next class to learn how to work with glass.

Vendors display of glass for sale.

Vendors display of glass for sale.

The class started out learning how to cut glass and not have the glass cut you. This was surprisingly not a simple thing to do when I first started. And I learned that cutting a curve is trickier than a straight line. When I broke the glass I learned what to do to prevent a crack that ruins the piece and not down the line I scribed. But after some practice I didn’t make the foolish mistakes that I did when I first hurried through the process.Learning to cut a piece of glass so that if fits perfectly into the pattern takes some time. Too big a gap and I had to re-cut the piece or fill the extra space with solder. Having the piece too large made the rest of the pattern looked shoved out of place. I thanked the person that invented the glass grinder many times. This can be expensive since the grinders are made out of diamond dust. It is better to learn how to cut correctly so that the grinder is not needed.

Cut pieces of glass before foiling.

Cut pieces of glass before foiling.

I learned to put the glass in lead channels and also the art of foiling. These are the two ways of binding the glass pattern so that it all stays connected. With leading, smaller pieces can be covered up because of the thickness of the channels. This process is mainly for larger glass projects that are going to be framed. Foiling allows you to make smaller lighter pieces. Foiling is more tedious since the foil needs to be evenly spaced on both sides of the glass.

However, both leading and foiling require the joints and pieces be soldered together. Foiling requires more solder work than leading but smaller pieces are lighter and can be hung with suction cups from windows. The next skill that I needed to perfect was soldering. Soldering takes a lot of practice so that there aren’t bubbles and uneven lines in the work. When I quit working with glass for a while I ended up needing to reacquire my skills at soldering again.

Finished Glass of an Angel on the Moon

Finished Glass of an Angel on the Moon

Now that I am here in St. David, I am no longer close to a glass shop. The nearest one is in Tucson, an hour away. I first found the shop because Barb needed glass for a shade to complement an Art Deco lamp that she found. I didn’t have the colors she wanted so we went to Tucson, found the glass and purchased it. The shade now sits on a floor lamp in the Prospector Room. At the time we were in the glass shop, the owners were just finishing up a class on fused glass.  I asked about when the next class was and signed up. I found that fused glass has some other aspects that are unique to the art. With my cutting skills, I found that it was easier than foiling or leading glass. The one drawback was that I didn’t have the variety of colors that are available in the other mediums. This is because all the glass has to have the same coefficient of expansion so that when it heats up and then cools it doesn’t crack and ruin the work.

When Angie and I go into Tucson we will sometimes stop to buy some glass for projects or get ideas for things to do. We are also looking at creating some sun catchers to have available as souvenirs from the B and B for our guests to purchase. This summer Angie and I went up to our web hosting company and met the people there. We talked about what we wanted on our new website and we are excited that this is being worked on at the present time. We are hopeful that it will be up and running this month.

Fused Glass Plate

Fused Glass Plate

On the way back to the airport, we took time to stop at the Museum of Glass. I had heard of this museum when I visited the Chihuly exhibition in Phoenix in 2009. The museum was a great find and the exhibits that we looked at were unbelievable. We also stopped at the Space Needle in Seattle to see the Chihuly exhibit there. I have some photos on the B and B Facebook page. We hope you view them and “Like” the pictures and our page. You can also Like the B and B.

Apple Annie’s U Pick Orchard

September 12th, 2012 by Mike Hug

We are lucky at Down By The River B and B because we have fruit orchards near us in Southeastern Arizona. Being the “Lodging Hub of Cochise County” has its advantages. We are a short distance to many sights and locations. Our BnB is close to Willcox wineries and U pick orchards.

We especially love the peach picking season in August and go to an orchard called Apple Annie’s located in

Apple Annies Lot

Apple Annie’s Entrance and Main Buildings

Willcox. When we travel to Apple Annie’s we usually have an entire day planned out so that we can get everything done in a day. We try to stay away from weekends when the crowds are at the orchard. It makes our experience a lot more enjoyable, although we do miss the peach pancakes and ice cream that offered at the kiosks on the weekends.
The day begins early and we try to leave the B and B by 7 AM for the drive to Willcox. We leave early

so that we are picking in the cool of the morning but also so that we aren’t still processing peaches into

Peach Tree Picture

Peaches are just hanging from the trees and are ready to pick.

late evening. The elevation of the orchard is at 4275 feet, a little higher than our B and B, so it is cooler there compared to the metropolitan areas of Tucson and Phoenix. We know what type of fruit is ripe prior to arriving but when we check to verify what is left. We do dress for the orchard since it can be muddy and you can catch clothes on branches. Apple Annie’s is a U Pick orchard but they also have fruit there that is already picked for a little higher price for those who don’t want to go into the orchard.

We gather together our pails, basket picker and either a wagon or a wheel barrow. We like the wheel barrow as it has bigger tires and provides a smoother ride for the peaches. There are signs on the rows of

Angie Picking

Angie with her peach picking tools and some peaches.

trees showing you which fruit is ready to pick and what type of fruit it is. Other rows are roped off as the fruit has not yet ripened. We like picking the larger peaches so we time our trip to occur when the J H Hale and the O’Henry peaches are ripe. We go up to the trees and hold the peaches. If the peach falls into our hand easily it is ripe. If you have to pull a little it isn’t and we leave it on the tree. We do this because we process the peaches the same day we pick them and we want the ripest ones. However, if you are picking then you may want to have them a little less ripe so that you can get them home and enjoy them a couple of days later. Annie’s gives you an explanation to guide you with your picking.

We usually pick between 40 and 60 pounds of peaches. Each 5 gallon bucket

Mike Picking Picture

Mike found a couple of peaches within reach and they were perfect for our needs

holds about 20 pounds of peaches. To a lesser extent, we pick some other fruit like Asian pears and some apples. We ave some crepe recipes for the pears that we have tried. We use the apples in our Apple Stuffed French Toast and we also have an apple crepe that is good.
It takes us about an hour to go into the orchard, pick and then return to pay the bill. The peaches we pick will be used for menu items that we have for our guests. We place the peaches in brown paper bags or in boxes though not more than two layers tall. This keeps the peaches from becoming damaged when we head back home to Saint David. We learned our lesson when we had the peaches stacked into a couple of bags and found that the bottom ones were bruised and mushy.

When we get back home the fun begins. Note I use the word fun interchangeable with the word WORK!

Ready to Go picture

We finished with 3 buckets – 60 pounds of peaches and are heading to the asian pears and apples.

We first take the peaches and wash them to get the fuzz off and so that they are clean for processing. We sort the peaches out with the larger ones being set aside so that we can cut them into peach rings about 1/8” to 3/16” think. To accomplish this we cut the top and bottom ends off the peach. This portion we set aside and cut up into pieces that are used for the peach smoothies we have in the mornings.

This center cut for the ring has the pit in it. Hale and O’Henry peaches are both freestone peaches. As you cut the ring around the pit, the fully intact ring will come loose from the pit. In some cases the stone falls out or is easily pulled free and you can finish cutting the rest of the rings without hindrance of the stone. On the larger peaches you might get 6 or 7 rings but usually you only get 5 or 6.

After about 4 hours of steady work you finally reach the end of the pile of peaches. We end up with a lot

Pear Tree Picture

Pears can also be found at Apple Annies

of baggies full of cut up peaches for smoothies and containers with peach rings. We freeze these for later use. After cleaning up and putting things away it is close to 4 PM and we are glad to finally get off our feet and sit down to relax our aching backs. We do have the satisfaction of knowing that our guests will be getting the best tasting peaches that are available. Store bought peaches just don’t compare to what you can pick in the orchard. The flavor and the smell of ripe peaches are perfect and we are always asked by our guests where we got the peaches since the smoothies or pancakes are so good. We tell them that we spent a day picking and processing them ourselves just so that they can savor the breakfast.

10 % Multi – Night Discount

September 7th, 2012 by Skyla Grimes

10 percent off

10 % discount for our guests

Just a quick word about our multi-night discount that we have introduced at Down By The River B and B. The discount is for a minimum stay of 2 consecutive nights but is not valid in combination with other discounts, coupons nor during holidays or special event weekends that required 2 night minimum stay.

The rate is really good considering it is about the same as our 2006 rates.  Just think you can have rates from 6 years ago when you stay 2 or more nights at the Lodging Hub of Cochise County.

Helldorado Days In Tombstone

September 5th, 2012 by Mike Hug

Helldorado Days will be held in Tombstone on October 20 and 21 of 2012.  Check out our previous blog from 2010 about what happens during that time in the Town Too Tough To Die.

Down By The River B and B is a perfect Lodging place to stay during Helldorado Days,  since it is close to Tombstone. We are a  more upscale lodging opportunity than you will find in Tombstone.  The tranquil  BnB located on the San Pedro River in St. David is just 20 minutes north of Tombstone. This allows you to have fun for the day in Tombstone and when the town starts to close down about 5 or 6 you can sit back and have a relaxing time on the patio while you watch the night become darker and the enjoy the stars as they come out.

In the morning you will awaken to fresh coffee or tea, smoothies and  be fed a gourmet breakfast that isn’t found in any of the area restaurants.

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