New Cooking School Calendar at the Captain Freeman Inn

by Donna Cain

Cooking School at the Freeman

Cooking School at the Freeman

We have a fabulous time each winter during our Cape Cod Culinary cooking schools at the Captain Freeman Inn. Chef Carol will continue conducting the class. This year’s calendar is filled with some new comfort foods including bread and soups, all from the areas that we love in Europe including Italy, Spain and France.

The cooking school package includes a one or two night stay at either the Captain Freeman Inn or our sister property Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa. The package includes a fabulous breakfast each day, cooking school for two and wine tasting and dinner afterwards. We pair both red and white wines to compliment our evening meal. Guests can sample different wines and decide which one they would like to enjoy with their meal. The dinner always concludes with a wonderful dessert or biscotti that I love to dunk in the dessert wine:)

Savory breakfast the the Freeman

Savory breakfast the the Freeman

2014/2015 Schedule

November 8, 2014- France

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In Paris the crisp fall air is filled with smells of baking bread and simmering comfort food. The flavors are amazing but the best part is that these classic dishes are simple and fun to make. We will make French bread, classic French Onion soup and French garlic sausage and butternut bisque that will transport you to Paris.

mushrooms from a previous class

mushrooms from a previous class

January 17, 2015 – Northern Italy

Winter chills mean fragrant country loaves and simmering soups overflowing with the bounty of the Tuscan hills. We will make country bread, stracchiatella, chicken and egg soup and hearty white bean and kale soup. Flavors to delight an Italian palate.

February 7,2015- Spain

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Winter is the season for warm bread dipped in fragrant olive oil and simple but beautiful paella, the comfort food of Spain. This hearty and simple rice sauté traditionally loaded with seafood and poultry. We will honor our local seafood bounty and prepare a sausage and scallop delight with all of the seasonings of Espagna!

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February 21, 2015- France/Provence

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As the cold mistral winds blow across the lavender fields of Provence, learn to shape French loaves in many shapes and sizes and enjoy classic Bouillabaisse, the provencal city of Marseille’s world famous seafood soup made with our local bounty of fish and seafood.

March 7, 2015- Southern Italy/Sicily

As spring approaches the hills of Sicily we will make hearty Sicilan country bread and two wonderful soups: Ribolitta (literally bread soup)and escarole soup with veal meatballs.

April 11, 2015- Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Where northern Africa meets southern Europe the flavors of Spain, Portugal and Morocco are all influenced by their common geography and unique histories. We will make traditional flat bread with its soft pillowy texture and amazing flavors. To accompany our bread, a selection of delicate soups and hearty tagine highlighting the local flavors of the region.

Our winter classes fill up quickly so it’s important to get your reservations in early. The package price includes best available room at time of booking giving you even more reason to book early so that you can reserve your favorite room.
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Bon Appetite and Exhaling on Cape Cod!

Former Guest of the Captain Freeman, Suzy Brooks makes headlines

Suzy Brooks, third grade teacher.

Suzy Brooks, third grade teacher.

“Class Act” was the title of the headline of our local newspaper this morning. When I glanced over the headlines I knew the face looked familiar but I did make the connection that Suzy Brooks and her husband had stayed with us for our French cooking school at the Captain Freeman Inn.

Suzy was one of five teachers nationwide to receive the national award recognizing her social media savvy in the classroom. The third grade teacher at Mullen Hall School in Falmouth has more then 12,000 followers on Pinterest, where she shares teaching strategies, links, tools and suggestions. Add to that 600 friends on her professional Facebook page and more than 3,000 twitter followers, and it’s no wonder her fellow educators call her a social media rock star.

Congratulations Suzy!

Mystery Ride to Cape Cod at the Captain Freeman Inn

Guest blogger, Suzy Brooks

We recently had a wonderful gathering at the Captain Freeman for our Provence Cooking School. My husband and I enjoyed a lovely dinner afterwards (where we get to eat all of the delicious food made in the class) with a lovely couple that joined in on the festivities. Their family has a wonderful tradition of creating mystery trips for their kids. This trip was a surprise for Suzy and when we heard she loves to blog about their “Mystery trips” we anxiously awaited her post. Thanks Suzy for sharing on our blog.

The post below along with the great pictures was written by Suzy Brooks.

Mystery Ride

Posted April 20, 2013 By Suzy Brooks

“A Mystery Ride? For ME?” After years of planning Mystery Rides for my children, husband, family and friends, the day had finally come… Mr. Brooks had just announced to me that he was planning a Mystery Ride to celebrate my birthday.  I truly couldn’t believe my ears, and instantly my excited anticipation began to grow.

What is a Mystery Ride, you ask?  That’s a good question!! Mystery Rides have been part of our family fun since ten years ago when we tried to spring a surprise Disney Trip on our kids. We were in Boston when they confusedly demanded to know what we were up to. We took pity on them and excitedly announced we were going to Disney World!  Their reaction was less than happy, and in fact, one child (who shall not be named) dissolved into a puddle of tears, demanding to go home.  It was on this Pillar of Joy our Mystery Rides were founded.  Since then, we have been whisking each other off on surprise trips to Hither and Yon, with mixed results along the way.

The trip that launched a thousand Mystery Rides: Florida!

Through the years, our Mystery Rides have run the gamut:  from simple (Kite flying in Newport) to complex (an April vacation spent at Six Flags) and from unsuccessful (a hike on a hot day) to awesome (a historical trip to Boston).  All rides have the same common denominator – the Ride Recipient has no clue what the plan is.  Questions and guesses are encouraged and welcome, and are fired off at every turn of the steering wheel.  However, the answer is always the same.  No matter what we are asked, we always answer with:

“That’s a good question!”.

Here’s a peek at a few (oh, okay – a BUNCH) of our past trips:

A heated, historical hike. This one was a flop!

Hanging out with V.B. from Fox 25 News. He included the kids in his broadcast.

High atop the Custom House in Boston

Matfield Maple Farm, where we learned all about Maple Syrup!

Basketball Hall of Fame & Six Flags on this Ride!

A day in Newport, RI

Waterfire in Providence, RI

The Urban Art Bar in Boston

Ghost Tour with our favorite Freedom Trail Tour Guide, Jeremiah Poope

Another fabulous day in Boston. Quack, Quack!!

International Auto Show

5 Wits at Patriot Place

A Mystery Ride for 40 grown-ups!!

A van full of Mystery Riders :)

I bet by now you are wondering where Mr. Brooks brought me on my Mystery Ride, right??  That’s a good question! Unfortunately, due to all the storms we had this winter, my Mystery Ride was cancelled.  Twice.  It was nearly two months later before we were able to get rolling!  But, the day finally arrived, and we were off!  We headed down Cape, and after many incorrect guesses on my part, around noon we arrived at the Captain Freeman Inn in Brewster.

The Captain Freeman Inn, Brewster

The smile on my face began to broaden as we checked in and our host asked if we were here for the Cape Cod Culinary Cooking School. Cooking school?? Yaay!  Mr. Brooks finally filled me in.  We were here for a French cooking class, along with some other guests at the Inn.  We would be working in their commercial kitchen to prepare a meal with Chef Carol, and later on, we would be enjoy our creation for dinner.  I couldn’t wait to get started!

Putting the finishing touches on the fresh fruit tart.

All finished!! Would you like some?? YUM!

Salad Nicoise with fresh tuna. Delicious!

I have to say it was well worth the wait.  Innkeepers Donna and Byron have a beautiful inn, and provided such a memorable experience for all of their guests.  Arriving there was a wonderful surprise, and truly worthy of the Mystery Ride title!

I think Mystery Rides have become so ingrained in our family tradition because of the side effects…  For those of us planning a Mystery Ride, we have the opportunity to plan with the receiver in mind.  It is fun to surprise others and it makes for playful interaction.  As a recipient of a Mystery Ride, we learn patience, trust, flexibility and geography!!  Joy is in the anticipation, and with Mystery Rides, our anticipation is even higher than when we plan typical family outings.  I hope to keep planning Mystery Rides for years to come, and having one planned just for me was SO fun!!

Ride on,

French Mediteranean Cooking on Cape Cod

Cooking school

Cooking school

This past weekend we sampled Avignon in the heart of Provence, true French country cuisine, at the Captain Freeman Inn. Our cooking schools have been a wonderful success this winter where we combine a relaxed two night stay on Cape Cod with delicious food and lively conversations. The cooking school is led by our talented chef, Carol Edmondson. Carol is full of helpful cooking hints that can be used at home as well as many hands on techniques as the class prepares our evening meal.

Fresh ingredients

The menu always includes the freshest ingredients available at the time and why she does not publish the menu ahead of time. She likes to see what is fresh and in season when she shops for the weekend class.

This weekend’s menu included a wild mushroom saute,

A mixture of wild and cultivated mushrooms

A mixture of wild and cultivated mushrooms

a main course of delicious Game Hens with a Honey Lavender Glaze

Game hens

Game hens

and my favorite, Salad Nicoise with haricot verts, baby potatoes, black olives and sliced fresh tuna.

Salad Nicoise

Our wine tasting begins at 5:30 and the antipasta made in the class always pairs perfectly with the meal. We enjoyed a savory Tapenade which is a blend of briny,earthy flavors using black olives, garlic, anchovy paste and herbs and oil with french bread. cookingSchool-Provence-20130323-0121 We also enjoyed  a lovely assortment of French cheeses with the favorite wrapped in fig leaves.

And the happy ending included a delicious Rustic Pear Tart with a French Sauterne wine and coffee.

Pear Tart

Pear Tart

The last class of the season to be held at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast is “April in Paris”. The April 6th class brings us classic French preparations featuring the finest local ingredients available in the spring. Fiddle heads, asparagus and baby greens adorn spring salads. Berries are a must in tarts. Cheese is everywhere in great variety. Young chickens and ducks are available to roast on a bed of root vegetables and to confit, a slow braise in a bath of chicked or duck fat produces a succulent result. Bread is a central ingredient for a perfect Parisian meal. We will pair locally raised poultry with great Parisian flavors. Can’t wait to see what the menu includes. Bon Appetit to all of our guests staying at our two lovely inns on Cape Cod, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman Inn.

Cooking Schools at the Captain Freeman Inn

Cape Cod Culinary and Captain Freeman Inn

Presenting a season of Mediterranean cooking with locally grown ingredients, combined to create small plates with big flavors.

Demonstration at our Cape Cod Culinary Cooking School

Demonstration at our Cape Cod Culinary Cooking School

Our chef, Carol Edmondson, has been combining the simple, healthy preparations of Mediterranean cuisine with fresh local ingredients in the kitchen of the Captain Freeman Inn for many years. Her professional training, world travel and love of food and sharing her cooking knowledge with others, was the inspiration for our cooking classes. Classes are held in our welcoming kitchen, built by master ship builders in the mid nineteenth century, with an eye for light and air.

We had a sold out class in  November’s Tuscan class featuring northern Italy at its best and show casing game birds, local cranberries, root vegetables, seafood and herbs flavored with Italian pancetta, Parmesano Reggiano and Tuscan olive oil.

Our 2013 schedule is noted below:

On February 9th we will explore Naples and southern Italian winter comfort food. Naples is known for it’s fresh made and cured cheeses, herbs and olive oil. Agro dolce (sweet and sour) dishes make great use of winter squashes like pumpkin, acorn and butternut. Salumi or cured meats play a key role in flavoring pastas. The Campagnia region has over 35,000 pizzerias and pizza is a signature street food in Naples. Our menu will make the most of these flavors using local fresh ingredients.

On March 2nd we will sample the classic cuisine of Rome, influenced by it’s history and geography. Rome is the home of many religions and ethnic groups not unlike many major cities. Their influences are felt in preparation unique to the region. Winter soups harvest flavors preserved from fall gardens. Pork is an essential ingredient both fresh and preserved in Salumi. Artichokes and eggplants are fried in olive oil to whet winter appetities. Capers and other pickled vegetables perk up the winter Roman table. A harvest of flavors to bring to our late winter menu along with the freshest of local food and preserves.

March 9th brings us to the island of Sicily with its Morrish, Greek and Italian flavors. Sicily is not unlike any other region of Italy. You will find hints of the middle east with lemons, cumin and other unique flavors in braised and grilled preparations. Rice plays a leading roll. Fresh tuna caught off the Sicilian coast in the early spring is prepared and preserved to perfection. Rosemay and oregano perfume the hillsides and our menu!

Fresh grilled tuna

Fresh grilled tuna

On March 23rd we will sample Avignon in the heart of Provence, true French country cuisine influenced by ingredients found daily in the market square. In March, the mistral, a cold winter wind from the Alps, blows across Provence. Warming stews and soups are a must. Spring lamb, winter squash, great cheeses and local grains are the staples of early spring. Early greens are peeking through and lemony salads brighten spring tables. Poached winter fruits finish hearty meals.

Fruit tart for our dessert

Fruit tart for our dessert

April 6th brings us April in Paris. Classic French preparations featuring the finest local ingredients available in the spring. Fiddle heads, asparagus and baby greens adorn spring salads. Berries are a must in tarts. Cheese is everywhere in great variety. Young chickens and ducks are available to roast on a bed of root vegetables and to confit, a slow braise in a bath of chicked or duck fat produces a succulent result. Bread is a central ingredient for a perfect Parisian meal. We will pair locally raised poultry with great Parisian flavors.

As local and imported ingredients become available and our menues begin to develop we will keep you posted on what’s coming in each upcoming class.

All of these cuisines are world renowned for their fresh ingredients, simple home based preparations and complex flavors. The tradition of small plates simply prepared and enjoyed almost any time of day is well established throughout the Mediterranean region.

The class will be from 2 – 4:30 PM on Saturday with wine tasting that is paired with the food made in the class beginning around 5:30. We then all gather fireside to enjoy all of the food made earlier in the class along with plenty of laughter and good cheer!

The two night package can be either a Friday/Saturday stay or a Saturday/Sunday stay in best available room at time of booking. The package includes breakfast each morning, afternoon tea, cooking school for two with wine tasting and dinner afterwards. 2 night package- $649 plus tax

Our permit for the cooking school from the Brewster selectmen’s office requires that the attendees be guests at the inn. To accommodate local Cape Codders, we also have a one night package, call us for details.

We are offering a $50 coupon off of our cooking school package if you book your reservation in January.

Forbes Magazine recommends the Captain Freeman Inn Cooking School as one of the best in New England

written by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Annie Fitzsimmons, travel writer for the Forbes magazine recently wrote an article on Cooking Schools in New England. The Captain Freeman Inn was chosen as one of the two best hotel cooking schools for this area. Annie feels that “the most popular lifelong learning opportunity that people seek out is arguably the cooking class. For some, it comes from a desire to throw together an easy dinner, while for others, a wish to indulge their inner Jean-Georges and learn some serious cooking techniques.For an incredible value at a charming New England B&B, Captain Freeman’s Inn on Cape Cod runs a cooking school during their quiet season, November-April.”
Cooking classes at the Captain Freeman Inn

Chef Carol Edmondson, loved for her hands-on approach and delicious food, leads classes that explore different regions in Italy, as well as Cape Cod. You might learn to make fresh fig and goat cheese focaccia or shrimp grilled in prosciutto. One of the innkeepers favorite classes included fresh grilled tuna that was actually caught the day before the class and purchased from our favorite fish market, Nauset Fish and Lobster.

Captain Freeman Inn Cooking School

The classes have been a great success and include wine tasting and a delicious meal after of food made earlier in the class. Next year’s schedule is already in place with a wonderful assortment of cuisines from different regions of Italy. April’s class is appropriately called “April in Paris”and will include regions of Italy that have been influenced by French Cooking.

We feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful and talented chef leading our classes at the Captain Freeman Inn. Always look forward to tasting all of the delicious food and visiting with our wonderful guests that partake in the class.

Bon Apetite!

 

Winter in Provence cooking school at the Captain Freeman

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper/Owner

Cooking school at the Captain Freeman Inn

Executive chef, Carol Edmondson

We had a special treat this weekend with our professional chef, Carol Edmondson, conducting our Winter in Provence cooking school at the beautiful Captain Freeman Inn. Our theme this year is “Small Plates- Big Flavors”  which falls in line with my New Year’s resolution to not deprive myself of good food but to eat smaller portions and to savor each bite. We always have plenty of food to satisfy all our guests with larger appetites.

Carol finalizes her menu last minute after she contacts her local markets and farms to see what is fresh and

Cooking schools at the Captain Freeman

Fresh Mushrooms

available. When I visited her on Friday she was prepping the food in the inn’s kitchen and as we were talking, she was carefully cleaning and artfully placing the fresh mushrooms in a basket for the Wild Mushroom Medley. Carol really loves food and it shows in her class. I am a history buff, and I am always  intrigued as she weaves the  history of each region into her recipes with food hints and demonstrations.

This weekend we explored Province, the Mediterranean heart of Southern France. Our menu included Olive Tapenade on Baguettes, Wild Mushrooms Saute, Duck Breasts Roasted with Honey Lavender Glaze, Salad Nicoise with Fresh Grilled Tuna, AssortedFrench Cheeses and then for dessert a delicious Rustic Tear Tart with Rosemary and Goat’s cheese…Mnnnnn

Cooking school at the Captain Freeman

Students in our French Cookingclass

As I grow older I really appreciate fresh, well prepared food. One of my favorite restaurants is the acclaimed, Brewster Fish House, which is just up the street from the Captain Freeman. Their meals are light, beautifully prepared, and the flavors just burst in your mouth. Enjoying a nice glass of wine that truly compliments the food is my idea of a happy ending to any day on Cape Cod.

Cooking school at the Captain Freeman

Duck Breasts Roasted with Honey LavenderGlaze

Well this meal was exactly that! The tuna was perfectly prepared, just seared on each side for a few minutes. The Nicoise salad was the perfect compliment with the tuna and the mushrooms.  Now onto the duck. I have never been a duck fan and rarely order it when we go out, but this duck was delicious as well. It was seasoned with Herb D’Province seasoning and glazed with Honey. It was truly remarkable.

Finally it's time to eat!

Every good meal is deserving of a good glass of wine, and we always include wine tasting with our cooking school. My husband Byron loves to talk with the folks at Orleans Wine and Spirit. They certainly do know their wines and always have good suggestions when they know what type of foods we will be serving. This time we went with 2-whites , 2 reds and a delicious dessert wine afterwards, all French of course.

For those wine connoisseurs here’s our selection:

Eric Bonnet Muscat de Beaumes-de Veniise Saint Dominique Reserve

Chateau La ouche

Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine

Chateau Morillon-Saint-Emillion Grand Cru 2008 (my favorite)

Chateau Fabas Mourral

I am already looking forward to our next class which is on February 11th and will include foods from Florence and Siena. Just to give you a hint, this region celebrates beef and bread along with fruits and vegetables grown locally. Hearty pasta dishes like lasagna and potato gnocchi are popular. Risottos made with Carnaroli and Arborio rice are enhanced with mushrooms, and truffles are gathered and game hunted in local forests. Pumpkin and squashes are popular staples and wine grapes grow on hillside vineyards. Will be fun to see what Carol comes up with for this class.

Bon Appetit!