Category Archive: The Lodge At Old Trail

  1. The 21st Annual Festival of the Book

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    The Lodge at Old Trail is excited to announce that we will be a site for one of the programs for The Virginia Festival of the Book.  The Festival brings readers and writers together for a five-day celebration of books, reading, literacy, and literary culture. The 21st Annual Festival will be held March 18-22, 2015.

    The Festival is the largest community-based book event in the Mid-Atlantic region and has attracted audiences of more than 20,000 for each of the past eleven years. They have a captivating list of authors, ranging from international bestsellers to topical specialists to debut authors.

    Programs range from traditional author readings and book signings to a StoryFest day of children’s authors and storybook characters; from a panel on how to publish a novel, to a discussion on running a book club to a workshop on bookbinding. All programs are open to the public; with the exception of a few ticketed events, programs are free of charge.

    The Festival programs are on a wide range of topics set among a variety of venues throughout the City of Charlottesville, County of Albemarle, and the University of Virginia.

    The Book Festival has become an integral part of the Charlottesville-Albemarle County community and is now a part of The Lodge community as well.

    Please come see three of this year’s participating authors at The Lodge on March 19th, 2015 at 5:30PM at they discuss their works of fiction.


  2. Food, Family and Fun

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    Holidays are all about food, family and fun so we went to our food expert, Lodge Executive Chef Jesse Kaylor, and asked him for a favorite Holiday dish.  What he came back with is nothing short of lovely deliciousness that can be used as an obvious dessert… or as a warm, delicious Christmas morning delight.

    How much would your family love waking up to warm, bubbly, blueberry goodness?!

    Blueberry Crumble Bars
    (makes one 9×13 pan)

    for the berry layer:

    • 5 c. Blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
    • juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 c.)
    • 1/4-1/2 c. sugar, depending on sweetness of berries
    • 4 tsp of cornstarch (or 8 tbsp of all-purpose flour)

    for the crumble:

    • 1 c. sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 3 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1 c. cold, unsalted butter — cubed
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • zest of 1 lemon

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line or grease a 9×13 pan.

    Stir together berries, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, baking powder, and flour. Using a pastry blender or your hands, mix the cold, cubed butter and the egg into the flour mixture until it is crumbly. Spread half of this mixture in the 9×13 pan and pat down. Evenly spread the berry mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining flour/butter mixture on top of the berry layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until berries are bubbly and crust is slightly golden.

    Cool bars completely before cutting into squares.



  3. Morris Men Invade The Lodge

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    Morris Dancing?  What is Morris Dancing?!

    Morris is a term applied to traditional English folk-dancing that is done as a performance rather than as a social event.

    Morris Men

    There are many kinds of Morris dancing. The Albemarle Morris Men dance a type of Morris called Cotswold Morris, named for the southwestern region of England from which the dancing comes. The origins are obscure. Some scholars think that Englishmen on crusade in Europe in the 14th century saw, and perhaps participated in a Spanish dance which was a reenactment of the driving of the Moors from Spain, hence the term “Moorish,” or “Morris.” Morris dancing was incorporated into existing seasonal festivities and was handed down from generation to generation.

    Morris Men 1

    The Albemarle Morris Men use as the basis of their dance style the dances collected in the village of Bledington, Gloucestershire. The costumes they wear are their own design, but reflect the tradition of the Morris dance attire. They have been dancing in and around Charlottesville since 1978.

    The Lodge was lucky that they were gracious enough to join us for an energetic performance.  Visit the Albemarle Morris Men page for more information and videos of some of their performances.


  4. Crozet Culinary Competition for Charity

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    The Lodge at Old Trail officially opened its doors on May 18, 2012, but many months prior to that event, a tradition was started to bring the Crozet community and The Lodge community together. This tradition, called Third Thursday at The Lodge, is the brainchild of owner, David Hilliard.  Since September 2011, Third Thursday has hosted vintners, authors, historians, chocolatiers, master gardeners, chefs, a former Governor, not-for-profit organizations, and other local, notable professionals. A few Third Thursday events have become annual traditions due to their popularity and positive impact on the greater community.

    IMG_0328One such event is the Crozet Culinary Competition for Charity. This exciting evening is a favorite and was designed to enable The Lodge to raise funds in support of local organizations and repay the kindness  Crozet residents have shown our senior living community. The event is based loosely on a television show, Iron Chef America.

    Four Crozet restaurant Chefs are given one hour to create an entrée and dessert using  local ingredients selected by Lodge Executive Chef Jesse Kaylor. The mystery basket is unveiled at the start of the event. What follows is an exciting hour of friendly but fierce competition.  One or more celebrity judges watch the competition and sample the dishes at the end to select the winner.  The CCCC has been a huge success, selling out every year.

    2013 CCCC Results



    On Thursday, September 18th at 6pm the Third Annual Crozet Culinary Competition for  Charity will commence.  This year we are raising money for  Claudius Crozet Park and DSC_0017specifically, the development of a small pond-side amphitheater. The amphitheater will accommodate both inside and outside seating and is expected to become a focal point at the Park and for Crozet.  This will attract a variety of musical guests, events, plays, and other performances. Claudius Crozet Park is a 22-acre, community owned and operated park that relies on charitable donations to operate and continue to expand its programs, services, and amenities. The amphitheater is expected to cost $120,000.

    DSC_0065Please buy your tickets ($20) in advance to support this local organization and come join us for a wonderful, fun-filled evening of  local wines, micro brews, bites prepared by The Lodge culinary team, a silent auction of local art, a raffle for three-seats at the judges’ table and the chance to win one of the Chefs’ creations, not to mention witnessing the fast-paced culinary prowess of our local Chefs.

    Purchase your tickets from The Lodge at Old Trail, the Senior Center, or the competing Chefs’ restaurants.

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  5. Sweet Success

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    The first recorded evidence of chocolate as a food product goes back to Pre-Columbian Mexico. The Mayans and Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the God of wisdom, and the seeds had so much value they were used as a form of currency. Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter, frothy liquid, mixed with spices, wine or corn puree.

    When Tim Gearhart started Gearharts Fine Chocolates in 2001, artisan chocolate was a rarity in the United States. He brought a global vision of fine chocolate making, gleaned from years of experience in professional kitchens, to his Charlottesville shop.



    The Lodge at Old Trail welcomed Tim Gearhart, of Gearharts Chocolates, last week as a part of our Third Thursday lecture series.  He discussed the ins and outs of his career and his chocolate making process, where Tim and his team blend the world’s finest chocolate with local sweet cream and pure butter.  They use top-quality fruits, nuts, herbs, teas, spices, and liquors to complete each piece as it is finished by hand.


    Tim brought in some of his beautiful creations for attendees to sample.  Chocolates have changed quite a bit since that bitter liquid!

    To taste what Tim has to offer, visit Gearharts Chocolates shops:  the flagship shop at Main Street Market, 416 West Main Street #C in Charlottesville or the new shop in Richmond at The Avenues at Libbie and Grove, 306 B Libbie Avenue.

    Also, don’t forget to join us for our next Third Thursday event on September 18th at 6pm where four local Chefs compete for bragging rights and to take home the trophy in the Third Annual Crozet Culinary Competition for Charity.  This year we are raising money to benefit the Claudius Crozet Park!


    Pictured here (left to right): David Hilliard (Owner), Judy Bowes (Executive Director), and Tim Gearhart.