Category Archives: Neighbor Connect

Hangtown Fry – David Herndon, upper Dymer

Hangtown Fry

Hangtown Fry for breakfast

Hangtown Fry for breakfast

Hangtown Fry is a gourmet combination of oysters and eggs that originated in California during the gold rush.  It is very easy to prepare.

During the late 1800s, Hangtown (known as Placerville, CA today) was a base of supply for the mining region in California.  It was originally known as Old Dry Diggings (it was called Dry Diggings because the miners had to cart the dry soil down to the running water to wash out the gold), but it was shortly labeled Hangtown after three desperadoes had been hanged there on the same day and from the same giant oak tree.

In 1849, just a short time after Old Dry Diggings had been renamed Hangtown, a prospector rushed into the saloon of the El Dorado Hotel announcing that right there in town, along the banks of Hangtown Creek; he had struck it rich and wanted to celebrate.  Untying his leather poke from his belt, he towed it on the bar where it landed heavily, spilling its shining gold dust and nuggets.  Turning to the bartender he loudly demanded, “I want you to cook me up the finest and most expensive meal in the house.  I’m a rich man and I’m celebrating my good luck.”  The bartender called to the cook and relayed the prospectors order.  The cook stated the most expensive items that he had available were eggs and oysters that both had to be carefully packed and shipped from the coast.  The miner said “scramble them up together and serve ‘em up. I’ve been living on nothing much more than canned beans since I got to California and now I can afford a real meal.”  The cook did just that and Hangtown Fry was born.  In the gold-mining camps in the late1800s, Hangtown Fry became a mark of prosperity for those minors who struck it rich and had plenty of money to spend.  The recipe swept the entire west coast from California to Washington.

In 1949, one hundred years after the origination of Hangtown Fry, E.A. Stephen, Sr., the founder of the Tides Inn in Irvington, VA, brought the Hangtown Fry recipe to the Inn as a breakfast selection.  This breakfast was served for many years at the Inn.  However, with the changes in ownership and chefs, the Inn no longer serves this delicacy.


Hangtown Fry is usually served as a breakfast on the east coast, but on the west coast, it is also served as a dinner.  It’s great either way.

About two servings.

2 whole large eggs (beaten)
4 large (or 6 small )shucked oysters

Sauté oysters in buttered frying pan using moderate heat for about one minute or until the oysters start to curl
Cut large oysters in half (to make bite sized)
Drain off the liquid from the oysters
Add the egg batter and stir it into the oysters
Continue cooking using moderate heat for another minute or two until eggs are properly scrambled

Serve on crisp oven toast (optional, but highly recommended)

Note: The above, simple, easy-to-make recipe is considered to be the original, 1849 Hangtown hangtown-fry-signFry recipe.  Many west coast restaurants have developed and now serve more complex recipes for Hangtown Fry that include adding onions, cream, bacon, bacon bits, peppers, tomatoes, hot sauce, and other ingredients.  These recipes can be found online by typing in, “Hangtown Fry.”  As adding spicy ingredients will mask the delicate flavors of eggs and oysters, most seafood lovers prefer the original Hangtown Fry recipe.

Richard Kirkland

If you pick up a copy of August/September 2014 House & Home you will find out about the life Richard Kirkland cottageand work of our neighbor, Richard Kirkland.

You may know his place: paddle or cruise past his waterfront on the south bank of Dymer Creek and you will be met by mermaids, sculptures, and fanciful relics to intrigue you.

To quote from the jacket of his book, Tales of a War Pilot, “Richard was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, six Air Medals, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. After his military career he was a manager and aerospace executive at Hughes, McDonnell Douglas, and HeliSource. His stories have been published in Air Classics and Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine.”

Kirkland's "Rappahannock Rapture" water sculptureRichard’s stories are compelling and exciting, leaving you awestruck at the breadth of his experience throughout a period of history that encompassed enormous technological change – particularly in war lessons. He is the “Forrest Gump” of our war campaigns’ histories. Gift his Kirkland Creationsbooks to your sons – with wit and understated daring the character revealed is a solitary pilots’ story  – they will grasp it.

Richard and his wife, Maria, and family are often found at the water’s edge on Dymer. Paddle by and say, “Hello.”

More on Richard can be found at



Lancaster Community Library Update

September 17 – Library Plans Revealed

The Library purchased the old River Lanes building and will be renovating it as funding allows

The Library purchased the old River Lanes building and will be renovating it as funding allows










Dear Neighbors,

Have you been curious about how the library will fill all that space in the old bowling alley? Now is the chance to find out all the creative ways the library will use their building.

We would like to invite all Dymer Creek residents and friends to a get-together at their house on Wednesday, September 17 at 5:00 PM to hear about the plans for the new Lancaster County library.

Lindsy Gardner, Executive Director of the Library, will explain the details for renovating the former bowling alley, and she will be assisted by Marianne Henderson. Wine and cheese will be served.

Directions to the Smiths: Address: 177 Dawson Lane. From Kilmarnock, drive south on RT 3. At the turnoff for the hospital on the right (Harris Rd), turn left onto Simmons Lane. Turn at the next right ( Dawson Lane). The Smiths’ house is the third on the left. (Their telephone number is 703-209-8068 in case you get lost.) Here is a link to a Google map to help.

Best regards,

Carl and Wendy Smith

Oyster Stew, J & W Seafood, Deltaville

3 T   butter
                                                      1 C  milk
1  clove garlic, sliced
                                     1/2 C  half-and-half cream
1/2 t  salt
                                                         1 pint  fresh shucked oysters
1/8 t   ground white pepper                         2 T  chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1 pinch  cayenne pepper (optional)

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, salt and pepper; cook and stir until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and half-and-half, and transfer to the top of a double boiler. If you do not have one, set the pan of soup over a pan of simmering water.

When the milk is hot, add the oysters and heat just until the oysters are opaque. Do not allow to boil. Season with fresh parsley, cayenne pepper.

Oyster Stew

Raw oysters have a protein content of about 9 percent and a fat content of less than 2 percent. One-half pound of raw oysters contains about 150 calories.

Pecan Turtles – Kathy Davidson, upper Dymer

These are fun and easy to make! PecanTurtles

1 1/2 C   pecans
8 oz        semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips
12 oz      soft caramels

  1. Cover cookie sheet with foil and lightly spray with oil
  2. Arrange pecans in clusters
  3. Place caramels in microwave bowl . If they are stiff a few drops of water may be added. Microwave until melted stirring every 20-30 sec.
  4. Use spoon to drop melted caramel over pecan clusters
  5. Melt chocolate in microwave stirring every 20-30 sec or so. You may add a drop or two of oil to make the chocolate easier to spread. NEVER add water to chocolate. Don’t over cook.
  6. Spoon melted chocolate over caramel layer.
  7. Put in the refrigerator for 30 min.
  8. Lick spoons! Yum!

Pecan season is coming…  October and November

July 4th Fireworks – Dave Herndon, upper Dymer

Tabbs Creeks Annual Independence Day Fireworks Display begins around 9:00 PM (sunset is at 8:30 pm and last light is at 9:01 pm).

The best location to watch this fireworks show is in Tabbs Creek, near the fireworks original point. There are no public land locations in Tabbs Creek to watch this show and all non-Tabbs Creek residents desiring to see the fireworks from Tabbs Creek must come and watch by boat. Many boats enter Tabbs Creek every year and anchor near the origination point to watch the show.  If you are not familiar navigating into Tabbs Creek, it is highly recommended that you cruise into Tabbs Creek during daylight hours before the fourth and learn the entrance channel and creek.  The channel from Fleets Bay into the entrance of Tabbs Creek (just to the south of the entrance to Dymer Creek) is very narrow.  However this channel is deep (over 6 feet), has just been dredged, and is well marked with Aids to Navigation (not shown on local charts).

Alternate Dymer Creek Viewing Locations: For those who are unable to boat into Tabbs Creek to watch the fireworks show, there are several places in Dymer Creek that normally offer a partial view of these Tabbs Creek fireworks.  These Dymer Creek locations include:

  • Ashley’s Cove: vessels anchored in the southern part of the cove will have fair view of the higher-shooting fireworks looking to the southwest.
  • Homes on the northern side of Dymer Creek from around Johnsons Cove to the west to Lees Cove to the east and boats anchored in the middle of Dymer Creek in this same area should be able to see some of the higher-shooting fireworks.  The fireworks will be seen looking to the southwest.

Oysters Rockefeller Casserole – Bev Hart, Ashley Cove

2  pkgs. frozen chopped spinach                 1/4 C  butter
2 T  anchovy paste                                         1/2  medium onion, chopped
2 T  lemon juice                                              1  clove garlic, chopped
1 T  Worcestershire sauce                            1 C  bread crumbs, coarse
pepper to taste                                              1 quart  oysters, drained
Tabasco sauce to taste                                 1/4 C  Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350º.
recipeOystersRoc Cook spinach and drain thoroughly. Blend anchovy paste, lemo juice, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and Tabasco sauce. Mix in with the spinach. Brown onion and garlic in butter; add bread crumbs and cook until crums are slightly browned. Combine with oysters and spinach, stirring carefully together. Spoon into a shallow casserole and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes.

Serves 8 – 12