A New Cafe in Town


There is a new cafe in the small Indiana town of Hagerstown. It is worth the trip if you enjoy local fare and learning about Indiana heritage.

The Sidewalk Cafe – located in an historic building and open 11-3 daily, 7 days a week.

Along with the cafe, there is a lovely Christmas store attached called Every Day is Christmas. You can also step across the street to the Museum (open 1-6pm Thurs./Fri./Sat.).

Go out and explore the small towns in Indiana – they can hide some wonderful treasures!

Feel free to visit my food blog where I wrote more about the cafe food.

A Renaissance Faire


We went for a sweet ride in the convertible this weekend (you know, that warm day in between snowstorms) and we stumbled upon the second year of The Blackhawk Manor Festival – our first ever Renaissance Faire -near French Lick, Indiana.


It was a combination of entertainment and education. The Society for Creative Anachronism put on a demonstration of a contest as seen in these photos, and then answered our questions afterwards.


The Sleeping Bear Retreat grounds were absolutely beautiful and the Faire, while small, was enjoyable.






And Robert  gave one of my friends a photo op. What could be better than that?



The Ruby Pear


Find yourself a cup of tea; the teapot is behind you.  Now tell me about hundreds of things.  ~Saki

The Ruby Pear is a lovely tea parlor located in an authentic Victorian house. It is conveniently located on the main street that runs through downtown Noblesville (Conner Street/US32).

This was my first experience of a Victorian Tea and I am now hooked. The Velvet Chicken soup was excellent, the chicken salad sandwich had the perfect blend of flavors and textures, and the scones a delightful complement to the selected teas.

Call ahead and don’t be in a hurry. This is meant to be a time of contented companionship.

Abbott’s Candies all Danced in Their Heads

In a small town in Indiana, there is a magical place where children’s sweet dreams are awakened and adults’ are relived. A place where wondrous creations can be watched as they are being born. It is a small factory, tucked away on a side street, called Abbott’s Candies. My family members have had their hand in making the Christmas rush of orders and the factory has been around longer than I have existed (since 1890, to be exact — now that is something to be proud of.)

Melt-in-your-mouth caramels from Abbott’s have had a far reaching reputation and are much coveted. The greatest compliment to a non-factory, hand made batch of caramels was to tell the beaming cook “these are as smooth as Abbott’s!”

Photo taken from website: http://www.abbottsalso.com/default.htm

I remember going into the store to buy a box of caramels for my Mother for Christmas. It was a solemn and very important occasion. A box of those sugary delights were the holy grail of Christmas candy and were treated with great respect.

This is why discovering that the company had been purchased brought both chills and thrills all in the same instance. Yay that our small town was retaining a precious tradition and heritage, but fears of change couldn’t help but seep into the joy. Come to find out, the new owners had been selling Abbott’s candies for nearly 10 years, so they already understood the appeal.

In reading the local paper, it appears they will not only be keeping tradition, the new owners are going to bring back old favorites that had been retired. What an exceptional marketing plan! And they will continue to offer them online and at their current stores.

By the way, my favorites are the plain or the cream puffs, if anyone is taking notes.

Picture of the Palladium Item – Richmond IN

Excerpt from the Palladium Item news article:

…So they bought the factory and store in Hagerstown and went to work, renovating some of the display cases inside the Hagerstown shop and learning all they could about the candy. They even encouraged employees — more than 20 work at the factory — to bring suggestions for new candy ideas.

Click for the full article from the Palladium Item.