Sunday, April 01, 2007

Cooking With the Inn Crowd

Back at the beginning of the year, I had to evacuate my lovely new abode one night as the renovation of the building next door caused clouds of dust in my place. My landlord very graciously put me up at a local bed and breakfast, run by a friend of his.

Over breakfast the next morning, the Innkeeper and I sat and savored our morning coffee... and talked. And talked. And talked. And laughed a good deal.

And when I left, we made plans to meet up for coffee the following week, and I knew I had met a wonderful new friend. Our interests and enthusiasms meshed so well that we had already begun to suggest plans for future adventures together, one of which involved my joining the Innkeeper to make breakfast for some of her future guests.

This weekend, my Fabulous Aunt (and Uncle) headed up to visit me, and since I have no room for guests any longer (unless they enjoy the floor), I offered to put them up at this lovely Victorian bed and breakfast, run by my new friend. When I called the Innkeeper to make the reservation, we also discussed the plan to have me help her in the kitchen.

I woke up early yesterday morning and made a fresh batch of scones to take with me. This recipe is one of my best first scone recipes, calling for the harmonious mingling of orange peel, chocolate mint, and chocolate chips. Though I had no chocolate chips on hand, I willingly sacrificed the remains of a bar of bittersweet Scharffen Berger chocolate, broken into small shards, for the scones.

Once I arrived at the inn, the Innkeeper and I got to work preparing a glorious morning feast. She set the table, poured the orange juice and water, set the kettle on for tea (and the coffee pot to brewing for us), and cooked a marvelous scrambled egg dish with fresh avocado. At the other counter, I peeled, sliced, diced, and otherwise prepared muskmelon, pears, strawberries, and grapes for a delectable fruit salad.

All in all, it made for a well-rounded and beautifully presented breakfast in a gorgeous setting. (It's not often I get a chance to cook in such a classy establishment!)

As you might expect, my aunt and uncle were suitably dazzled by the excellent food. (No sense in being modest; the Innkeeper comes from a restaurant family, and I'm not too shabby a cook myself.) They were even more dazzled by the delightful conversation as the Innkeeper insisted I join my family for breakfast, and she sat down with us, too. Good times!

Almost the same menu found its way to the table this morning (save that the scrambled eggs were replaced by baked eggs in toast cups), along with another lively and fun-filled conversation. The Innkeeper and I now have even more ideas for additional collaborative efforts, including starting an herb garden and a compost bin on the grounds, and my Fabulous Aunt's enthusiasm for some of our ideas just fed our imaginations even further.

This is definitely an Inn crowd I want to join!


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