Christmas in Staybridge Suites, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania


Our son just started working in Harrisburg, Pa and didn’t have enough vacation time for Christmas.  Harrisburg is about 2 1/2 hours from Honesdale and so that he wouldn’t have to rush up and back, over the mountain in possibly inclement weather, we decided to take Christmas to him.  With this in mind,  I booked a room at the Staybridge Suites in Harrisburg for Christmas Eve and Christmas, about 6 minutes from his apartment.  The room had a 2 element stove top, a full sized refrigerator and a microwave.


Recently, I saw a blog that praised the merits of Colonel Bill Newsoms Aged Kentucky Country Ham.  Whichever blog that was, please raise your hand.  I’ve forgotten where I saw this but want to thank you.   After soaking the ham for 24 hours, I boiled it in a convenient West African market pot.  I knew I would need this one day 🙂  I glazed the ham with mustard and brown sugar and after it cooled, wrapped it in aluminum foil and enclosed it in a very large zip lock bag.  Boom!  In addition, I made a cranberry chutney and a macaroni and cheese casserole to be reheated in the suites’ microwave.  A quick shopping trip in Harrisburg provided me with brussel sprouts, shallots and pancetta lardons for the vegetable.


We also bought a full sized Christmas tree for the room, tied it to the luggage rack on top of the car and brought along lights, decorations and our wrapped Christmas presents. Unfortunately, Staybridge Suites refused to let us bring the tree to the room, citing possible health concerns about bugs or something.  Our dog, vigorously scratching and biting on her tail in front of the reception desk, was overlooked for the $75.00 non- refundable deposit.  We were forced to dispose of the very pretty tree in the large garbage bin outside  🙁


Undaunted, my husband and son bought a potted Norfolk pine, sneaked it up the stairway and we were back in business.  I love these guys 😀  Nothing against Staybridge.  It’s a very nice, clean hotel but could be a bit more flexible in determining the difference between a law and a guideline.  All their employees should spend a mandatory week in France 😀


Nostalgic for France, I bought the only Camembert available, President, and made a Jamie Oliver recipe of warmed cheese with garlic and rosemary as an appetizer.  M. Parret would not approve but we’re in Pennsylvania now 😉


I forgot to get some lemon for the avocado in the salad but gave it a toss in balsamic vinegar and while not aesthetically pleasing, the salad was good.


We didn’t have a Christmas last year for the first time in our lives as a family but this year more than made up for it.  Hope all of yours was as good!

Friendly advice to Staybridge Suites:  Be sure to check your kitchen equipment after each occupant leaves to make sure that the pots and pans are clean (buy sponge/ scrubbers) and that important items haven’t gone missing.  Some people actually cook in the rooms.



About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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24 Responses to Christmas in Staybridge Suites, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

  1. Michelle says:

    Hand raised. Glad you liked the ham. And glad you “stuck it to the man” named Staybridge. We’ll not discuss the Président cheese other than to cite it as proof that the French do get some things wrong. 😉 Glad you had a merry Christmas!

  2. Laura says:

    So glad the Mullally family had a good Christmas together!! Meal sounds lovely.

  3. Brilliant. Love the ham, love the tree, love your spirit… The whole thing just oozes Christmas! All the best my friend. I’m glad it was a good one 🙂

  4. Love the pan and love the ham….as I don’t know which I like best, I’ll take both, thank you! Lovely post:)

  5. Oh well done! What a lovely meal to pull off with a hotel suite “kitchen”. Quite the undertaking but I bet it was very much appreciated. 🙂

  6. Trish says:

    How lovely!! Everyone should spend a mandatory week in France!!!! Glad you and your family had a good Christmas all together.

  7. Looks delish!

  8. Mad Dog says:

    That’s a terrific looking ham! I think M. Parret would applaud you for finding genuine French cheese, even if it isn’t the best. I applaud you for all the effort you made, especially getting a tree into the room 😉

  9. AnotherDish says:

    Very nice and endearing post — great as always! Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your family.

  10. mrothwarren says:

    Wow, what a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing such a fun and heart-warming Christmas tale.

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