Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Interesting Visitors

In the last two days I've had some fascinating and wonderful people stop by the house. On Sunday afternoon I saw Camilla Herlevich as I was riding my bike to the store. Camilla is the Executive Director of the NC Coastal Land Trust, and the driving personality behind the acquisition and creation of the Springer's Point Nature Preserve. I invited her to join me and a few other folks at my house for a glass of wine at 5 o'clock. Everyone raised their glasses high and toasted Camilla for her work in saving this ecological treasure. You can read about the Coastal Land Trust here: http://www.coastallandtrust.org/index.jsp.

Also present were Victor Allen and his wife who are renting the house across the lane. Victor is the great-great nephew of Floyd Allen, principal character in the 1912 "Hillsville Massacre" in Carroll County, Virginia. It has been described as "one of the most sensational and bizarre incidents in the criminal and legal history of Virginia." Everyone sat on the edge of their chairs and listened as Victor recounted the story. You can read more about it here: http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Allen_Floyd_1856-1913.

Yesterday a reporter and a photographer for the German magazine Brigitte (http://www.brigitte.de/) stopped by. Brigette will be publishing a story about Ocracoke sometime next spring. Imka and Beatrice were so energetic and friendly that Amy, David, and I invited them to come back for dinner. Purely by coincidence I had made kipferln, crescent shaped walnut filled Austrian cookies (originally created to celebrate the lifting of the siege of Vienna in 1683!), for dessert. We laughed our way through dinner telling stories about life in Ocracoke, Germany, and elsewhere.

Don't ever think that life on an island is boring!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a small photo album with historic pictures, including the aftermath of the 1944 hurricane, the 1921 Ghost Ship of the Outer Banks, the 1935 wreck of the Nomis, the Island Inn, the Methodist Church, and the Wahab Village Hotel. I've added a short paragraph under each photo to help put them in historical perspective. You can see the pictures by clicking here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082609.htm.


  1. Anonymous4:22 PM

    I know this isn't a cooking blog but well, there you go again mentioning a delicious sounding item to eat. Where might one find a kipferln recipe. I have been on the lookout for an almond horn recipe....

    Ahh Principle character?? ahh ummm is he related to the person that was responsible/mastermind behind the massacre?

  2. Anonymous9:26 PM


    * 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1 pinch salt
    * 7/8 cup butter
    * 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
    * 1 egg
    * 3 teaspoons vanilla sugar
    * 1 1/4 cups ground almonds


    1. * To Make Your Own Vanilla Sugar: Place 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar and place in pint jar. Put a clean vanilla bean in the jar, cover and shake well. Let stand for a few days, shaking the jar occasionally, before using the sugar. As you use the sugar, replace with fresh sugar.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt and the flour. Cut in the butter or margarine, and mix in with your hands.
    3. Add the confectioners' sugar, the egg, the vanilla sugar, and the ground almonds to the flour mixture. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
    4. Divide the dough into several parts. Make rolls that are approximately 1 inch thick. Cut the rolls into 1 inch pieces, and bend the pieces into the shape of a semicircle ( just like a croissant). Place the kipferl on a baking tray, and leave them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
    5. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 10 to 15 minutes. When done, remove kipferl carefully from the tray.
    6. While still warm, dip the kipferl in a mixture of confectioners' sugar and vanilla sugar.

  3. Here is my mother's "kipfel" recipe (her parents were German-Hungarian immigrants and they spoke Schob Deitsch [a dialect of Schwäbisch, which is a dialect of High German]):

    1/2 # butter
    4 egg yolks
    4 tbsp sugar
    1 tsp baking powder
    4 c. flour
    1/2 pt. cream
    pinch of salt
    1 tsp vanilla

    Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir together egg yolks, cream, and vanilla. Gently mix liquid into dry ingredients a small amount at a time. Shape dough into about 4 balls and chill for about 1/2 hour.

    Mix together for filling:

    About 3 cups of walnuts (chopped fine)
    grated rind from one lemon
    1/4 c. hot milk
    [Adding some sugar to the filling makes them tastier, I think]

    Roll one ball of dough at a time, fairly thin. cut 3" squares. Put a spoonful of filling on corner of square and roll into a little log, beginning at filling corner. Curve slightly. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

    Dust with powdered sugar when cool.

  4. Anonymous1:39 PM

    Wow On behalf of the cookie monster in all of us thank you for sharing.