Buckwheat Pancakes, Coverlets and Shofars!

Recently Hevreh Ensemble traveled to Bedford, Pennsylvania to present a concert for the PA Consort for the Arts. We discovered a hidden treasure. Located two hours from Pittsburgh, Bedford is a beautiful small town in the Laurel Highlands with many historical sights and national landmark buildings.


The Golden Eagle Inn sits next to a site where George Washington stayed. Originally we had booked rooms at Judy’s Motel, but our generous presenters from the PA Consort were able to secure a special rate for us at the opulent Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa. The inn was built in 1806 on the site of mineral springs that the Native Americans first used for their curative properties. The inn has attracted visitors from around the globe and many presidents have also stayed there; including Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan and Dwight D. Eisenhower. And now, Hevreh Ensemble! We had a wonderful time exploring the property- the halls were lined with historic documents and photographs! The price for spa treatments were a bit too extravagant for us, but Laurie mentioned that she got an excellent “tush massage” in a rocking chair on the front porch of the inn! The day after our concert, we enjoyed a sumptuous Mother's Day Brunch in the opulent Crystal Room.


One of the big food discoveries was the Bedford Diner. It served an excellent breakfast and gave us a chance to enjoy the local Pennsylvania flavor. We ordered buckwheat pancakes that were served with a crispy breakfast sausage studded with fennel. It tasted as if it was locally sourced.


We presented a concert for the students at the Bedford High School and were impressed by how engaged the students were with our music and the insightful questions that they asked.

Student bravely trying the Shofar at our Concert at Bedford High School!

Student bravely trying the Shofar at our Concert at Bedford High School!

The next day, we played for a warm and enthusiastic audience at the Bedford Trinity Lutheran Church. The last piece that we performed, To Late to Matter, ends with a Shofar and it brought the audience to their feet! After the concert, the audience eagerly asked us questions about our instruments and Laurie demonstrated the Shofar.

We had a few free hours to explore the town of Bedford and my husband Paul and I visited the National Museum of the American Coverlet- a true national treasure! The small museum is the kind of place that can be easily missed.The rooms were filled with beautiful and exquisite coverlets (woven bed covers) from around 1771 to 1889. There was also a special exhibit of antique quilts. The Museum Directors Laszlo and Melinda Zongor graciously showed us the various styles of coverlets and explained the difficult and intricate process required in weaving coverlets.


All in all, it was a wonderful weekend, full of new discoveries. Enjoy a recipe for Buckwheat Pancakes. The buckwheat flour adds such a rich and robust flavor that I plan to make them soon as “Breakfast as Dinner” with plenty of maple syrup and chicken/apple sausages!

    1. Ingredients

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour

  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda


  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or as needed


  1. Whisk buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.

  2. Beat buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract together in another bowl. Pour flour mixture into buttermilk mixture; whisk until batter is thick and smooth. Let batter rest for 5 minutes until bubbles form and batter relaxes.

  3. Melt butter on a griddle over medium heat. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

  4. Enjoy!!


Judith Dansker