Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Baking with Glass Pans

Almost all of my bake ware is glass. Pyrex, Fireking, or any other brand that might have been popular and easy to find at garage sales in the Midwest. You see, my parents were big on garage sales and country auctions. When we bought the inn, my dad amassed a large collection of glass bake ware, broken toasters, 1950s era waffle irons, marginal vacuum cleaners, and sparking (not sparkling) lamps that he was sure we would find useful. Although I could have lived without the home perms caused by some of the lamps and toasters we did use almost all of his "treasures.

The unfortunate thing about glass bake ware is that it retains heat so well that baked goods keep on baking after you pull them out of the oven. That's just fine for somethings but for some reasons guests didn't appreciate overly crispy coffee cakes and brownies. The solution? Tin foil. Mold foil over the outside of the pan, insert the form into the pan and gently smooth it into place.
Spray it with non-stick spray if the recipe calls for greasing the pan. Bake as usual but within a few minutes of removing it from the oven gently pull up the foil and remove the cake from the pan to a cooling rack or counter. The extra foil around the edges can cover the cake when it is cooled. As a bonus the pan is still clean so just put it away when it is cool. That' a tip that works for me on Wednesday or any other day of the week.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Escapee Innkeeper

Innkeeper Dave has been holding down the fort in Narragansett while I spent three glorious days in the Berkshires with 15 of my Internet innkeeper friends. We talked shop, laughed, shopped, ate like a small army, talked more shop, sampled wine and cheese from far and wide, and generally felt like carefree humans again. We had innkeepers from TX, LA, WA, NC, MA, RI, PA, and OH.

If you ever have a yen to get away to the Berkshires (think Tanglewild, think ski country) plan on staying in Lenox, MA at either the Birchwood Inn or the Rookwood Inn. Even in March, the unpopular Mud Season, you will find glorious rooms, amazing innkeepers, great shopping, yummy dining, relaxing spas and other amusements that will keep you going back for more.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Breakfast Banter

One of the best aspects of innkeeping is meeting and interacting with so many different people. Seely and I both enjoy observing how other couples relate to each other.

This week we had a 20-something pair booked for Thursday night. She was from Durham, N.C., made all the arrangements for the trip and was pleasantly chatty at check-in. She wore a Duke University hoodie down to breakfast and I teased them about being the only two people traveling north from the Carolinas on the opening day of the ACC Basketball Tournament.

Her boyfriend replied that he'd come from much farther than North Carolina. Seems he's from Belgium and had flown in for her spring break. She then said at least she'd met him halfway, which prompted him to roll his eyes in my direction while she wasn't looking.

So, I asked jokingly: "Does that mean that you flew to Greenland and doubled back?" That got a big laugh from him, and a three-alarm blush from her. "Well, I did drive to New York," she said.

Trying to make amends, I told the boyfriend: "I get it. I've been married for 32 years and sometimes, when the right person is involved, meeting halfway can mean she takes two steps while you cover a mile." Being no fool, he immediately responded, "Absolutely." Which got him a dazzling smile, and a hand reaching across the table as I made myself scarce.

Apparently I didn't embarrass her too much, because they added a second night to their booking.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Training Narragansett Style

Spring Training?

Another sign of the changing seasons is the return of winter fowl, but we usually don’t see it quite this early. Last week as I passed the American Legion field, I was startled to see an unusual group of occupants.

Normally when you think of birds on the diamond, Orioles, Cardinals and Blue Jays come to mind. But these Canada geese (refugees from the World Baseball Classic?) apparently couldn't wait for Opening Day, so they took the field, with the area near second base being a particularly favorable gathering point.

I soon discovered that geese and Hollywood celebrities have something in common. They flee at the sight of paparazzi. I had hoped to tiptoe in for a closer shot, but I only succeeded in clearing the area.

Birds returning north and ball fields conjure up images of fun in the sun. But I’m not quite ready to start fixing the bare spots in our parking lot. That would just ensure one more heavy snowfall and the whole neighborhood would know who to blame -- the goofball who regraveled his driveway before April.

Posted by Roving Photographer Dave, Blueberry Cove Inn

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Narragansett's First Restaurant Week

We have yet another reason for you to visit March 23 to 29. The Narragansett Chamber of Commerce has organized our first Restaurant Week. Currently 17 wonderful local restaurants are participating in the event. How could you miss sampling their Prix-Fixe Dinner Menus at discount special pricing?

Between lunch and dinner, can I hit all of them??? Does my waistline need me to go to all of them? YES, because on Friday March, 27th , 9 pm the Chamber is sponsoring a Spring Dance at the Towers. I can enjoy dancing away the calories in what is one of the most fantastic historical buildings in town. Then, of course, I can attend the weekly Wednesday ballroom dance classe at the Historic Towers and then relax at the Musica Dolce Chamber Music concert Sunday, March 29 at 2 pm. Plus, I can walk to at least five of the restaurants and all of the events at the Towers.

the Towers at Narragansett Pier near Blueberry Cove Inn B&B

I really believe all the snow will be gone by then.

Posted by Innkeeper Seely, Blueberry Cove Inn

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shipping Cookies

This Works for me Wednesday tip is both a recycling hint and a fabulous way to ship cookies. My mom started this family tradition. Whether it was her idea or something out of 1960's magazine we don't know.

First, force feed your family lots of Pringles. Bake your favorite cookies the same diameter as the Pringles can. Eat all of the ones that are too large for the cans. Don't worry if it makes your can larger.

Drop the cooled cookies into the can. My sister was sending this to a soldier in Iraq so she also used a plastic bag. Mom never sent me cookies in a bag in a Pringles can.

Box up the cookies and send them on their way. The cookies will not crumble. And someone will love you very much for your efforts.

Posted by Innkeeper Seely, Blueberry Cove Inn

Monday, March 2, 2009

Murphy's Law

Innkeeper/Head Cook/Roving Photographer Dave has been writing a few posts lately. I may be prejudiced but he is a fine writer - as well he should be since he is a retired journalist. I must admit that I erred in letting him post "Narragansett's Signs of Spring." It put the jinx on the weather of course. Mother Nature is not to be second-guessed but did she absolutely have to dump eight inches of snow on us? I may not let Dave post his second Spring post until May.

posted by Innkeeper Seely, Blueberry Cove Inn