Sunday, June 20, 2010

GETTING AWAY FROM THE INN


Getting away from the inn is not easy. You can't just shut the door and say gone fishing! At least I can't because the Inn needs to be running and income flowing whilst I am away.
You have to leave someone in charge to take over the tasks that you would normally handle. In my case the means someone needs to be able to cook breakfast, answer the phone and emails for reservations, check in and check out guests, make electronic deposits, shop for the food items we serve ...and be prepared to handle any plumbing etc problems that might crop up! I've been very lucky to find two marvelous inn sitters to take over when I leave.
Just recently I left the Inn in the hands of Laurel Shuffitt, who has been working for me as assistant innkeeper for 2 years now. She will be leaving for Florida in a few weeks and wanted to get experience as innkeeper before she left.
And off I went to visit my daughter Emilie, my son in law John and my granddaughter Madison in San Francisco. Since they are soon to move to Washington State, this visit we tried to fit in some new excursions and also repeat our favorites.

CAVALLO POINT
I love the Golden Gate Bridge and the area around it. A couple of years ago I saw an article about a new inn opening up at the old Fort Baker which is located on the northern edge of the bridge. You cross the bridge and immediately you are in this serene area with spectacular views of San Francisco!
Now called Cavallo Point, the Lodge is the Bay Areas first historic national park lodge. The overnight accommodations are in faithfully restored officer's quarters that were built in 1901. We loved the fact that it is a property that emphasizes green practices, using local produce in the restaurant, native plantings of ornamentals and grasses ( we especially loved the grass!) and water conserving toilets.












NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN

Another great trip while in the San Fransisco area is the Napa Valley Wine Train. It only takes one hour to get from San Francisco to Napa. The train runs from Napa north passing many of the regions best wineries. My family and I took the Sunday lunch outing and we loved it. All the cars are 1920's vintage dining cars that you can walk through to a wine tasting bar at the back. Mid way is the kitchen where the staff prepares the four course gourmet lunch. It's a leisurely 3 hour trek with beautiful vineyards on both sides and an excellent and knowledgable staff to help you select wines to accompany the food.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

KENTUCKY BEER CHEESE



We had some guests with us this past weekend that brought us a sample of this wonderful beer cheese that there family has been making since the 1930's. In fact the Allmans are supposed to be the first to make and serve it at there restaurant near the Kentucky river in Boonesborough Kentucky. It's a concoction of aged cheddar cheese, garlic, and beer. The cheese spread is very smooth and would be a great snack with crackers and pretzels. We made cheese grits this past weekend that turned out great. Baked cheese grits are a specialty in this area. Every recipe used to use a Kraft garlic cheese log. It was only available regionally...I've had to transport some to relatives in Detroit and San Francisco before! But last year Kraft discontinued making this cheese, so finally I have a substitute....and one that is local too.
Beer cheese is so popular that there is even a festival in Winchester Kentucky each year. This year it is going to be held the weekend of June 11 and 12. You can find more information at www.beercheesefestival.com