46 + 5

One of our guests this weekend had never been to a B&B before. Their daughter and son-in-law had been guests of ours in 2009 and last year had purchase a gift certificate for them to our inn.

After breakfast the next day, our couple strolled out to the front porch. I took several pictures. On leaving, the wife mentioned that when people leave they are filled with all the memories of a wonderful time they had and the graciousness of their hosts. As she spoke , tears welled up in her eyes, “We are married 46 years today and in 46 years,  plus 5 if you add the years we were dating, we have never been served breakfast in our room..”  Yup that was a Kodak moment and a memory for the heart.

Safe Journey Gerry and Joan.

Cambridge Memorial Day Parade

While it still had that small town feel, this year’s Memorial Day Parade was filled with high energy and pride.

It seemed as though all 1101 locals, and then some, came out to watch the parade.  Little feet danced, the cameras snapped, and our veterans held their flags at parade rest.  All were anticipating the start the parade when the Cambridge police blocked West bound traffic on Main Street to signal the start of the parade. Our flag, our veterans, girls scouts, goats, the gondola from a hot air balloon spewing flame and heat,

On Wisconsin played by our middle schoolers, dogs in bandana, decorated bikes, boy scouts, the high school band in their uniforms playing their marching cadence, the limos and bus from Presidential Limo, and the red fire trucks. The band’s cadence opened my heart, tears formed in my eyes and a flood of memories came back as I recalled our band parent days where we’d travel from town to town through out the day: five parades and two band stand shows all before 2 PM. There is nothing like that home town cadence.

Five Saturdays

In Cambridge, five Saturdays in a month means there is more to do. Cambridge organizations packed May with many local activities such as:

May 8:    The Museum and Music Mothers’ Day Folk Concert at the Historical Museum.

May 9:    Mothers’ Day Celebrated at community churches.

May 15: Plant Sale at the Cambridge High School & Community-wide Rummage Sale

May 22: Friends of the Library Plant Sale; Tree and Shrub Sale & Lake Ripley Regatta

May 23: Historic Museum open house

May 29: Opening Day Ripley Park

May 30: Koshkonong Prairie Historical Society – Grilled Pork Chop Dinner

May 31: Memorial Day Parade & Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast

I’ve also noticed that couples seem to find more time for each other in months with five weekends. Our occupancy goes up and people book weddings and vow renewals for that special date in May. I believe its because the extra weekend means more opportunity to carve out alone time to enjoy each other’s company and just be.

This year, three couples chose May to tie the knot. Our congratulations go to David and Kara and Omar and Pamela on their May nuptials.  Further congratulations to Paul and Dianne on renewing their vows for the occasion of their fifth year anniversary.

If you would like more information about Weddings and Vow Renewals go to http://www.ohhanson.com/weddings.htm and for more information about the area, go to


The Old Apple Slicer-Corer

I brought out the apple slicer-corer on Saturday as I was making Mixed Berry and Apple Crisp for guests at the inn. The apple slicer-corer is made of metal, and is sort of round with metal handles on the side. It is the perfect template for coring and slicing an apple with one press. Place the small hole in the middle of the gadget over the stem end of the apple and push down hard on the handles right through the apple. Ka-Pow! A cored apple with eight perfect slices or so that is how it worked when I first got it.

I seem to remember the slicer-corer was part of my Hope Chest and when our sons were in kindergarten, we learned how to make applesauce together by just cutting the apples with this handy gadget. We’d then put them in water just to cover and cook over the stove until they were falling apart. Sometimes we’d add sugar or red cinnamon candies just as my grandmother had taught me. Yum-mo.

Mixed Berry & Apple Crisp right out of the oven

So when I made Mixed Berry and Apple Crisp this weekend, I added one chopped Granny Smith apple to the mix for texture, flavor and the apple’s wonderful pectin. I brought out the slicer-corer on my way back from getting the apple out of the refrigerator. Ka-Pow! Only this time after 36 years, the slices are not so perfect and it was work to getting the core out. After a bit of a tussle, I won. The core was free. In looking over the gadget, the blades that used to make perfect sections are now bent and dull. According to Duke, its time to hang it from a nail in the wall. Interested in a copy of the recipe, e-mail the innkeepers at info@ohhanson.com and it’s yours.

An Afternoon at the Museum

Late in the afternoon on Saturday, May 8, Mothers’ Day eve, the Cambridge Historic School Museum was filled with the sweet vocals and guitar sounds of the calicoDrifters.  A crowd of the 20 gathered to celebrate time with mom, with each other, and their families. It was truly a family event. Patrons were free to move about the museum or lulled to a place of relaxation. Singer-songwriters, Thomas Burns and Sue Prodell     entertained

concert-goers for two hours. Appetizers, sweet treats, and beverages were available at intermission.

Duke, one of the innkeepers at the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B loves music and was instrumental in locating a group and working with American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

Many thanks also go to the Cambridge News and museum supporters who promoted the event; sold tickets; set-up seating and the stage area; provided appetizers and beverages for intermission; and cleaned-up.

The Oscar H Hanson House B&B is an 1883 Victorian home with 4 guest rooms. For more information, go to www.ohhanson.com.

Really Small Wedding at the Hanson House

This weekend the inn was filled with romance with a wedding: just the bride and groom and two witnesses. In fact, the witnesses were our neighbors. Here are some of the moments we’ll remember.

  • The bride was ready to go, but the service waited while the groom finished dressing.
  • The service was only 5 minutes long.
  • After page 1, the bride and I noticed that the bouquet and boutonnière were still hanging out in the refrigerator.
  • Our neighbors, Dianne and Paul, stopped by to serve as witnesses.
  • The bride and groom were still walking on air when they left Sunday morning.
The Minister - Mary Jane, and our couple.

The Minister - Mary Jane, and our couple

The Oscar H. Hanson House is a four-room bed & breakfast in south central Wisconsin.

Gluten-Free Bed & Breakfast

People with gluten sensitivities are doing more than just day trips where the only meal out is lunch. We’re taking our gluten-free food, but we’re leaving our toasters and toaster ovens at home. Instead we are staying at places such as the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B which provides celiac-friendly great breakfasts.

Our homemade gluten-free goodies and bread accompany each breakfast. We also utilize a gluten-free prep station.  Gluten-free items are baked on separate days from gluten-full items and then segregated. The gluten-free prep station has a gluten-toaster and bread machine. Only gluten-free products are allowed on the prep station.

My name is Mary Jane and I am one of the innkeepers at the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B. I have been living gluten-free for three years.

The Oscar H. Hanson House is a four-room bed & breakfast in south central Wisconsin.

Mother’s Day Eve Folk Music Concert in Cambridge.

The 1906 School along with the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B are offering a 2010 Folk Music series beginning Saturday, May 8 from 4-6 PM.

Families, Mothers, Music and the Museum

On May 8, spend a late afternoon filled with history and music at the 1906 Cambridge Historic School. The 1906 School along with the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B are offering a 2010 Folk Music series beginning Saturday, May 8 from 4-6 PM. The first in the series features a Dane County favorite, the Calico Drifters. Tickets for the performance are only a $5.00 donation per person. No donation is required for children under 12. Refreshments will be available. On May 8, the museum exhibits will be open from 12:30 PM until the time of the concert.

Tickets are available in advance at Badger Bank.
You can use a charge card by calling the Hanson House at 608-423-4379.
Or at the door.

Seating is limited, and advance tickets purchases are strongly advised.

As an added bonus, your ticket will be good at several dining locations in Cambridge for a discount on food after the show – details will be available at the show. A fun evening of music and dinner.

Bronze winner 2010 “Best of Madison”!

Last week we got the letter from the fine people at the Madison Magazine that for the second year in a row- the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B won the Bronze award in the reader’s poll in “Best of”  in the category of Bed and Breakfast.

To be frank, MJ and I are very honored to again have such great support from our customers and our fans.  We strive to deliver the best service, breakfast and over all B&B experience to each and every one of our guests.

We started to get the feeling that we were doing something exceptional in the Madison area by the number of very positive reviews we’ve received.  In fact, we have the most reviews of any B&B in the southern region.

Thanks again to all our customers and fans, and we hope to see you soon at our inn.

Hanson House Trivia #3 – Who is that masked lady anyway?

The woman behind the mask is me, your innkeeper, Mary Jane! About 2 and half years ago, I realized I had problems digesting gluten, the protein chains found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. When I accidentally eat gluten, my body attacks itself. Needless to say, it takes its toll so abstinence is a must.

Early on, I found that when I am baking, I would inadvertently touch my mouth with floured hands or accidentally breathe in the flour from the air when I am talking and I contaminate myself. To avoid any unintended exposure, I wear a chef’s jacket and a respirator.

Most of my baking occurs when guests are out or in their rooms. Sometimes, however, a guest will catch me in the kitchen doing morning prep the night before. The mask prompts interesting looks. Rest assured, I’m not contagious nor have I been caught in the middle of a painting project, I’m just practicing “safe baking.”

Masked Baker - MJ Mihajlovic

For our Celiac guests, our great Oscar H. Hanson House breakfasts also come gluten-free (GF).  When making your reservation at our inn, please let us know if you need a GF breakfast or have any other food allergies or dietary restrictions.

The Oscar H. Hanson House is a 4-room bed & breakfast located in Cambridge, Wisconsin.