A guest’s winter experience

By Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Breakfast is one of my favorite times at the inn, and I always love to ask guests about their previous day’s experiences. This past weekend we had a lovely repeat guest stay with us that comes to Cape Cod to rest and rejuvenate. I so loved hearing about her adventures that I asked if I could mention some of her favorites in our blog. She was glad to share and actually e-mailed me one that she had forgotten to mention. Listed below are some of her favorites:

The Rose Dorothea Schooner Library in P”town-

Rose Dorothea Schooner Library

Rose Dorothea Schooner Library

For those that have never visited the library, it is a wonderful experience filled with a unique surprise- there is a replica boat in the middle of the building that is filled with history.

Rose Dorothea schooner

Rose Dorothea schooner

The Rose Dorothea won the “Lipton Cup”in a dramatic finish in 1907. The Lipton Cup was a special prize offered by Sir Thomas Lipton, who was an avid yachtsman, for the Fisherman’s Cup Race, a 42 mile race which took place in Massachusetts Bay, between Boston and Gloucester. The boat was an Indianhead schooner, designed by Tom McManus and built in 1905, at a cost of $15,000. In 1917 the schooner was sunk by German U-boat while traveling from Portugal to Saint John’s with a cargo of salt. Her crew escaped into dories and made it safely to Lisbon.
The boat that is found in the library is a half scale replica and was built as a tribute to Provincetown’s fishermen and New England ship building. Master ship builder Francis A. Flyer Santos oversaw construction, which started in 1977. The sails were hand sewn by Ernest W. Smith of New Bedford, one of the few men left who could create authentic sails for a Grand Banks Schooner. The Schooner sits on the second floor of the library with the sails high (the ceiling was modified to fit the tall masts) above which was originally the sanctuary of the Center Methodist Episcopal Church of Provincetown, built in 1860.

Wired Puppy , Specialty coffee and tea

Wired Puppy

Wired Puppy

We love coffee and tea and are anxious to try out this wonderful coffee shop. Our guest raved about the wonderful selection of teas ,and she chose the decaf jasmine green which is a loose tea option available at this eclectic house.

Napi’s restaurant, Provincetowns most unique restaurant-

Napi's restaurant

Napi’s restaurant

Our guest is vegetarian with some food allergies so we recommended  Napi’s. They have many vegetarian options and the menu is very eclectic and the clam chowder delicious!

Wellfleet Wildlife Sanctuary
Wellfleet Bay provides peace and unmatched beauty on the hillsides and shoreline overlooking Wellfleet Harbor. Extensive trails bring you to a panoramic salt marsh, sandy barrier beach, and pine woodlands, each attracting a wide array of wildlife. The sanctuary features a universally accessible trail and an award-winning “green” nature center with professional exhibits and aquariums. There is a $5 entrance fee to walk the trails which is worth every penny!

Brewster Fish House-

Bar at the Brewster Fish House

Bar at the Brewster Fish House

The Brewster Fish House is still our favorite restaurant on Cape Cod, simple, elegant dining that uses fresh local fish.

Harrison

Our lovable Harrison

Our lovable Harrison

Leslie loved Harrison, and she mentioned that spending time with him each morning had soothing affect on her soul and heart. We totally understand as our 4 legged friend loves us unconditionally.

White Cedar Swamp-

White Cedar Swamp

White Cedar Swamp

We found this wonderful walk trail last winter and have been recommending it to our guests ever since. The trail is found in the Marconi Beach area and includes a well maintained walk path and board walk through the swamp.

The Chocolate Sparrow-

The Chocolate Sparrow

The Chocolate Sparrow

We visit the Chocolate Sparrow frequently, and I love the Sparrow coffee which includes a chocolate flavoring. Our guest loved the atmosphere and was pleased when they accommodated her food allergies.

Last but not least our guest mentioned that she loved coming back to the Captain Freeman to rest by the fire in her room to read.

Truro fireplace

Truro fireplace

 We left her some gluten free cookies in her room to enjoy with a good cup of Harney and Son tea.

Thanks Leslie for staying with us and sharing all of your favorite spots.

 

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.

Rediscovering Breakfast on Cape Cod-Test Breakfast #3

My mind cannot stop thinking about breakfast foods…….I actually fall asleep and wake up thinking about all the new recipes. Our winter guests staying at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa have all been such good sports and seem to be enjoying the adventure. I usually have a motto of not trying a new recipe for our breakfasts until I try it once or twice. For this  new culinary adventure it feels OK to just roll out the new recipes to our guests. I always appreciate their honest feedback and am on a roll as the first 3 have been absolute winners! (I always have backup items in the freezer and can resort to something simple like herbed eggs if the recipe fails:)

Last night I decided upon a new recipe for our first course for our Sunday breakfast. Each breakfast now begins with a  new  “surprise health nectar” and a fresh baked delight that our guests can enjoy with their coffee or tea. I wanted to create items that were light, flavorful and not too filling. Muffins always seem pedestrian so my eye has been going to miniature bite size scones, pastries and biscuits. This mornings menu included a wonderful Savory Cheese Puff with Gruyere cheese and black pepper.

I was wide awake at 5am this morning with visions of cheese puffs bouncing in my mind. I decided to get an early start since I was trying something new. The cheese puffs were actually very easy to make and all came our picture perfect! Once they came out of the oven I placed them on a warming tray so that they were warm when we served them to our guests. Cheese puffs also freeze really well and can be used later.

Savory Cheese Puffs

Savory Cheese Puffs

These airy cheese puffs are a relative of the popover, leavened only by eggs to expand in the heat of the oven. Called gougeres in French, they are a delicious way to start your day.

Bon Appetit!

This recipe is a keeper and has been added to our new recipe book that I am creating for our staff to use. Once I get organized I want to collect all the good recipes and have a cookbook available for our guests. As always, just let me know if you would like any of the recipes that I blog about. I have always said that life is too short to keep any recipes secret!

Rediscovering Breakfast at the Captain Freeman Inn on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

I have always loved breakfast with fond memories of my mom’s breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. It was such a special time for our family to gather and not be hurried! When we purchased Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa I was so thrilled to recreate this vision and feeling for our guests. I was testing many new recipes way before we closed on the inn and still have friends in Houston that tease us about the “test” breakfasts they use to enjoy after church on Sunday. It’s been 9 years now since we started this wonderful career of being innkeepers, and I have found over the last few years that we have, out of habit, been making the same breakfasts- our guests love them and they are healthy, farm to table, always homemade and usually very little comes back to the kitchen. BUT, I have always been a huge proponent of change and realized over the holidays that I was ready to take on a new challenge of creating some creative new breakfasts for our guests. We’ll certainly keep a few of the favorites such as the buttermilk pancakes and herbed eggs, but it feels appropriate to reach out of my comfort zone and try some new things.

And so this blog seemed like the perfect vehicle to chronicle all of the recipes I will be trying over the next few months. The goal is to have 14 new menus in place by May which will include a savory and a sweet option for our guest. We have also decided to add a 4th course to our breakfast meal which will be a petite homemade scone or muffin to enjoy over your coffee of tea while you wait for your main course.

Today is New Year’s Day and my quest to test and create new menus for the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea begins.

This morning our guests enjoyed an apricot scone with our homemade raspberry jam and sweet butter. Fresh fruit is always important and today included fresh squeezed orange juice and cantaloupe with fresh pomegranates.

My new adventure was creating a cinnamon bun similar to the ones in the mall. Just the smell alone is intoxicating. I was so tickled to find a recipe that is very close in a cookbook that was given to me this Christmas. I made the sweet yeast dough last night and rolled the buns so that all I had to do this morning was to bake and frost. They truly were amazing with not one left.

Savory Breakfast at the Captain Freeman Inn

Savory Breakfast at the Captain Freeman Inn

We also had a wonderful omelet with a suggested filling of sauteed mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, Gruyere cheese and greens. It is a yummy combination but we always give our guests an option to make the omelet any way they like.

Tomorrows test breakfast is Buckwheat Crepes with Ham, Gruyere and Fried Eggs……yum……..oh the joy of being a happy innkeeper!

Happy New year to all.

Brewster is Blooming on Beautiful Cape Cod

by Shannon Lane

The official Brewster In Bloom festivities don’t kick off until April 26th, but driving down Main Street one would think they have already begun! Between the bursts of yellow daffodils and forsythia, the bustling of locals taking advantage of unseasonably warm weather, and the lighthearted songs of our native birds returning home after spending their winters down south, there is no doubt that spring has sprung on Cape Cod.

The daffodils are blooming early this year at the Brewster General Store!

At the Stony Brook Grist Mill, the herring have already begun their annual trip from the ocean to freshwater known as the Herring Run. Never ones to let the fish have all the fun, the endangered North Atlantic Right Whales have also been spotted early this year playing off the shores of Race Point Beach in Provincetown. Turtles have begun their spring mating and egg laying in the marshes of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History’s walking trails.

The herring are already running at the Stony Brook Grist Mill in West Brewster!

Even the local gardeners seem eager to get a start on their spring planting! Many of them have been seen basking in the sun as they work on getting their yards summer ready and their gardens farm fresh, and we’re no exception here at the Captain Freeman Inn. Antonio, our trusty and wonderful handyman, has been hard at work getting the grounds of our property ready for the busy season ahead. So for those of you looking to enjoy all the natural beauty that Cape Cod has to offer without the chaos of our summer crowds, now is the time to visit!

Antonio is already getting the Captain Freeman Inn grounds ready for summer!

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!

Maple Walnut Bars

From — Sunie Pope, Innkeeper Captain Freeman Inn

If you’re anything like me, you’re thrilled for Thanksgiving!  FAMILY TIME!!!  And it’s also my time for a mini-vacation from all the cooking, believe it or not… My multi-talented aunt hosts a glorious meal with wonderfully cheery guests at her home in New Jersey.

Do you have guests coming this week or perhaps you need to bring something to your Thanksgiving buffet?  I have just the recipe!

About a month ago I stumbled upon a Maple Walnut Bar recipe that I’ve tweaked and baked in honor of autumn, my favorite season.  Days later, one of our guests contacted us.  She couldn’t stop thinking about these delectable treats and had to have the recipe.  She said, (and I quote) “I died and went to heaven on them!!”  And what better time to share an EASY recipe than a few days before Thanksgiving, when you’re rushing to get things done and aren’t so sure how that dessert is going to hold up this year…  Good luck!

These maple walnut bars are begging you to give them a try.  They’re very easy, straight-forward and quite delicious!  Plus, it’s partially sweetened with maple syrup – so you can feel a little better about your choices for your health!

Bars:
2 c flour (1 part white, 1 part whole wheat pastry)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c salted butter, softened
1 c pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c (4 oz) walnuts, chopped
1. Combine flour and soda, mix well.
2. Electric mix sugar, butter then add maple syrup, egg and vanilla on high, until creamy.
3. Slow mixer’s speed and add flour mixture and walnuts, be careful not to over mix.
4. Pour batter into greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan and smooth out.
5. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
6. Cool in pan for 15 min.
7. Remove from pan and cool completely before icing.
Frosting:
1/2 c salted butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 T light brown sugar
3 T pure maple syrup
1/4 c + 2 T confectioner’s sugar
walnut halves
1. Cream butter and cream cheese with electric mixer at high speed.
2. Add brown sugar and maple syrup, until smooth.
3. Slow speed and add confectioners’ sugar.
4. Return to high speed and mix until smooth.  (I found it was not nearly thick enough, so I added an additional cup of confectioners’ sugar.)
5. Once bars are completely cooled, spread frosting on and top with a walnut!
You and everyone else you’re feeding will love them!  Give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think!
If you don’t bake, I guess you’ll just have to make your way to The Captain Freeman Inn to taste these goodies.  Be sure to mention them when you make the reservation!
Oh, and if you come for my high tea‘s, let me know you want these and I’ll be sure they’re on the menu.
Any requests for a recipe you’ve been dying to try but haven’t found the right one or are too afraid to try first?  I’m ready!  Just ask!  :)
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
For those of you still looking for a place to go for this wonderful holiday, think about making a last minute booking with us.  At our bed and breakfast, you will be treated like Kings and Queens with delicious breakfasts and relaxing scenery.

Top 12 Reasons to stay at Captain Freeman Inn over the Holidays

From — Sunie Pope, Innkeeper Captain Freeman

We may all think of Cape Cod in the summer season as a vacation spot not to be missed, but have you even considered taking that drive or flight out to the Cape when the snow is glistening and the inns are warm and cozy?  It’s truly a beautiful time of year.  The shoreline is stunning, filled with migrating birds and disappearing footsteps.

Just in case the landscape isn’t enough draw, there is plenty to do over the Holidays on the Cape!

1) Brewster for the Holidays, exploring the shops of downtown Brewster greeted by cheery faces, homemade temptations, tree lighting and caroling.

2) Cooking Schools at CFI with Carol Edmonson.  We are holding several European cooking classes over the season, followed by a scrumptious cocktail hour.  Not to be missed!

3) Harwich Port Stroll & Sleigh Rides.  Walk downtown and get to know many locals and tourists alike while you experience the charm of Harwich Port.

4) First Night in Chatham. The music is excellent, the town charming and the fireworks beautifully presented over the sea.  I recommend you get there early to be sure to get a ticket!

5) A wonderfully peaceful place for a quiet time of reflection.  Perhaps you’re writing a novel or beginning a new hobby?  The space and quietness of The Captain Freeman Inn are perfect for stirring the creative mind.  So many artists make the Cape their home in order to attune their imagination amongst the solitude and peace this outside world provides.

6) Meeting Santa at Snow’s in Orleans while being entertained by the wonderful trains choo-chooing around the store.  Perhaps you could stop at Nauset Beach on your way back to the inn for a brisk stroll along the ocean.

7) Of course, Christmas shopping.  You will find many unique gifts and locally owned shops on the Cape.

8) Don’t forget to bring your ice skates for ice skating on Local Ponds.  Brewster has the most fresh water on Cape Cod.  Then head back to your room at CFI for a cup of hot tea or coffee and some delicious pastries.

9) Cape Cod Central Railroad.  Hop aboard the Cape’s railroad and travel through our elegant towns, picturesque salt marshes and cranberry bogs.  The train offers the Thanksgiving Dinner, the North Pole Express and Murder Mysteries.

10) Yoga/Meditation – Where better to practice then in the setting of our natural world during the quiet season?  Join Sunie at CFI for private Yoga sessions in your own room beside the fire.

11) The P’Town Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument, a tradition dating back to 1910, is a beautiful site to see.  The Lobster Trap Christmas Tree by the pier downtown is always a treat.  A true Cape Cod presentation of the Holidays.

12) Indulging in our High Teas with Sunie (CFI’s private chef) or luxuriating in a Spa Getaway at The Captain Freeman Inn.  (Not to mention our plush feather like topper mattresses and pillows and 600 thread count triple sheet linens!  Talk about luxury!)

If that’s not enough, gives us a call at (508) 896-7481.  We’ve got plenty more ideas to give you for a most enjoyable stay.