Well done! Many of you identified last week’s mystery as Chimaphila maculata! This native herbaceous perennial goes by many common names including spotted wintergreen, pipsissewa, striped wintergreen, and striped prince’s pine. This evergreen plant is found in dry, acidic woods. It produces a delicate nodding bloom in June through August and is attractive to bees.
This week, we are highlighting another unique plant that is still green in the winter! What is it?
We had some great guesses this past week! We highlighted the bark of the flowering dogwood, Cornus florida. This tree has unique checkered, reddish brown bark. Come springtime, the white bracts surrounding the small flowers are very distinct, but in the meantime, you can identify the dogwood from its low spreading crown in the understory.
This week, we are shifting over to the forest floor. Among the pine needles, we found this delicate plant, which also has fronds in December! What is it?
“I’d rather not cook for Thanksgiving,” takes on a new meaning this year, when due to the pandemic, the holiday might include just the members in your household. So, if you want someone else to your Thanksgiving cooking, here is a list of restaurants in Talbot County that will do it for you, either eat-in or to-go. It’s also a great way to support our restaurants while getting a fabulous meal!
(Note: Although there are other restaurants open on Thanksgiving, we are only featuring those who have a special or traditional holiday menu.)
Latitude 38: 26342 Oxford Rd, Oxford 410-226-5303
Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with 6 sides and pumpkin pie to-go
$29.95/person (add bottle of wine for $12.00)
Pre-order through 11/24, pick up 11/25 1-4pm
Robert Morris Inn: 314 N Morris St, Oxford 410 226-5111
Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner to-go menu with a variety of options
Pre-order by Friday 11/20, pick up Thanksgiving before 10am
Open Thanksgiving noon-4pm. Special Thanksgiving menu. Reservation recommended
Rude Burger: 216 E Dover, Easton 410-690-3641
Smoked Turkey Dinner menu to-go, serves 8-10 or order ala carte
Dinner: 125.00, a la carte: $35-110
Pre-order 11/20 by 5pm, pick up 11/24 or 11/25 10am-3pm (cold with heating instructions)
Scossa Restaurant: 8 N Washington St, Easton 410-822-2202
Special Thanksgiving menu with two courses and dessert, plus lots of additional add-ons (eat in or to-go)
Prices start at $45/person
Pre-order starting on 11/19, pick up Thanksgiving 12-4pm
Open Thanksgiving 11am-5pm. Reservation required
Prices start at $45/person
Tidewater Inn: 101 East Dover Street, Easton 410-822-4034
Special Thanksgiving to-go menu with a variety of options.
Pre-order Friday 11/20, pick up Thanksgiving
Open Thanksgiving 11am-4pm. Special Thanksgiving menu. Reservation required
Bistro St. Michaels: 403 S Talbot St, St. Michaels
Traditional Thanksgiving to-go menu being offered by their catering company, Royal Oak Catering
Pre-order by 11/20, pick up Thanksgiving Day by 2:00pm
$55/person or select from the a la carte menu (prices vary)
To order from Royal Oak Catering: 410-490-5123 or email: Laura.RoyalOakCateringCompany@gmail.com
Garden & Garnish Catering: 4282 N. Main St, Trappe 410-820-5169
Traditional Turkey Day Supper for 4
$104. Appetizers & desserts sold separately
Pre-order by 1pm, 11/20, they will deliver 11/25 to most of Talbot Co.
Sprout: 335 N. Aurora Street, Easton & 114 S. Talbot Street, St. Michaels 443-223-0642
Special Thanksgiving to-go including: scratch-made pies (including Turkey Stuffing pie), holiday chutneys, artisanal breads, and more
Pre-order by weekend before Thanksgiving, pick up 11/25 7am-4pm
When the Oxford Social Café opened in 2018 in the 102 S Morris Street building extension, it was an experiment. Their sister store, the Scottish Highland Creamery, was known as a gathering place during the warm weather month. Could the town benefit from a social meeting year-round location that would also serve coffee and baked goods?
Calling his experiment a “pop up,” owner Richard Leggett “popped” open the Social during the 2018-19 winter, reopening it again in the fall of 2019, only to close in the spring of 2020 due to the pandemic. By then, Leggett was two and a half years into restoring the building to its original appearance. His plan was to have the Social find a permanent location in the main building and use the extension as a spacious production facility for the Scottish Highland Creamery. But even more than that, Leggett dreamed of restoring it as a hub for the Oxford community.
Renovating a historic building is no easy task, as Leggett would tell you. Much of the time is spent on getting special permit approvals. But in many ways, it will be well worth it. 102 S Morris Street has a rich and interesting story to tell about Oxford—a story that continues with the Social.
Originally built in the 1800s, when local businessmen sought to create a tourist destination to rival Ocean City, the building was part of a resort hotel known as Eastford Hall. In the mid-1880s, Oswald Tilghman leased the building as part of the short-lived and ill-fated Maryland Military and Naval Academy. Following the Academy’s closure in 1888, the building reverted to a hotel until a subsequent fire in 1894 demolished all but the structure we see today, closest to Morris Street. In addition to the shop, the building hosted three apartments, one over the shop and two waterfront units behind the shop.
John and Gertrude Thompson purchased the property in 1916 and operated businesses there for over three decades. The Thompson’s confectionery, soda fountain, and AMOCO gas station were popular destinations for locals and visitors. John Thompson also served for 13 years as Town Commissioner and for 27 years as postmaster (from 1940-1967).
The property was sold in the 1950s to James Kreeger and later sold to the Bringman family (who also owned the shop where the Oxford Museum is now located). Through those decades, the Thompson building, as it continued to be known, housed many businesses, including a barbershop, dental office, a hair salon, and, most recently, Tred Avon Yacht Sales.
Historic photos of the Thompson’s Confectionery show the front of the building was graced with large bay windows. One of Leggett’s goals was to restore the large oriel structures. As they’d been demolished long ago, this required extensive construction to reframe and pane the space, which adds light and cozy alcoves to the shop. The original front door remains the centerpiece.
Windows along the builds’ sides were restored, though that required reframing, as the wood had deteriorated over the years. Along with the bay windows in the front, these tall vistas overlooking the park offer a beautiful view of Oxford’s small-town charm. With the addition of a fireplace along the north wall, Leggett expects to offer comfortable fireside chats during the winter months.
Another added feature, though appropriate for the early 20th-century architecture, is wainscoting. The white walls are the perfect backdrop to showcase art, so it’s no surprise that the Social is the new hot spot for artists to display their work. With his bold colors and iconic images of Oxford boats and buildings, local celebrity painter Howard Lapp is currently on display.
You’ll find your favorite Rise Up coffee, Turnbridge Point baked goods, Blue Heron Catering frozen dinners to go, and of course, Scottish Highland Creamery ice cream by the scoop, pint, or quart. Leggett hopes to expand the menu in the future, adding sandwiches, etc. But the best news of all is that this former “pop up” is here to stay and will be open year-round.
Oxford Social Café is open Friday-Sunday, 8 am to 3 pm, and is located next to the Oxford Town Park, easily accessible (handicap access via the south entrance), with lovely Tred Avon River views. They will seat up to 20 people due to social distancing, although they can accommodate more in the future, as regulations relax. The Social is available to rent out for special events.
For more information, check their website https://oxfordsocialcafe.com/, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Oxford-Social-Cafe-577668676002859, or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/oxfordsocialcafe/, or by calling them at 410-924-6298.
Heather Hall is a Leadership Coach, Spiritual Director, and Storyteller through arts and crafts. Born and raised in Maryland, she spent 22 years in Alaska, working in environmental service. She recently returned to the Shore and resides in Oxford. Photos courtesy of Heather Hall.