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 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.

It’s Wedding Season on Cape Cod!

by Shannon Lane

Cape Cod is one of the most desirable wedding destinations in the world, and the newly remodeled Captain Freeman Inn is a perfect venue for intimate ceremonies on the beach or in our beautiful gardens. We specialize is small weddings and elopements that are highly customized, which means that each event is as unique as each couple we host.

One of our unique and beautiful flower arrangements

Our first wedding of the 2012 season was for a wonderful Scottish couple named Elaine and Sandy. After 20 years together they finally decided to tie the knot, and we were honored that they selected us to help plan their special day. Traveling across the Atlantic to celebrate with them was their amazingly fun family, and boy did those Scots know how to celebrate! The gents all wore traditional Scottish kilts, sporrans and brogue shoes while the ladies donned some fabulous fascinators. They even had Scottish themed plaid confetti to throw at the happy couple when they were pronounced husband and wife!

Elaine and Sandy at Linnell Landing Beach in Brewster

Another happy couple to get married at our Inn this summer was Deana and Chris. To say that these two lovebirds were crazy about each other would be an understatement. They were so in love that I honestly wept as I watched them say their vows to each other (I wasn’t alone – Chris later told me that he had successfully managed to avoid crying himself until he saw me doing so, and then his own tears started flowing). Along with their family, they married on the beach, toasted with champagne and strawberries back at the Inn, and enjoyed fine Italian food at Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse for their dinner reception.

Deana and Chris at Paine’s Creek Beach in Brewster

As much as we love planning weddings, we also love hosting vow renewal ceremonies and this summer we were fortunate enough to do so for Erik and Aprile as they celebrated their 10 year anniversary. They chose the always beautiful Paine’s Creek beach as the setting for their special day, and this time around it was Byron who got teary-eyed listening to their touching and heartfelt vows. Not even the hot sand could put a damper on the happiness of the day, because Erik and Aprile just cooled their feet in the always refreshing Atlantic Ocean, wedding dress and all!

Aprile and Erik at Paine’s Creek Beach in Brewser

A true elopement is always such a romantic occasion, and Julia and Simon are a gorgeous German couple who decided to elope in secret here on Cape Cod before they have a larger wedding for their friends and family back home. They chose to have their ceremony at a beach in Harwichport and it was a perfect location for them, with the waves crashing at their bare feet. Even a group of children playing nearby wanted to get in on the action, and they managed to pose in many of the post wedding pictures with the glowing bride and grinning groom. Afterwards they headed to a romantic dinner for two at the Ocean House in Dennis, capping off a perfect day with a perfect dinner on the water!

Julia and Simon at Ayer Lane Beach in Harwichport

Your Innkeeper’s Perfect Day in Brewster by the Bay

by Shannon Lane

I grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Brewster for my high school and college years. Coming home now after 10 years in the Boston area has brought back a flood of great memories, and recently I’ve been dreaming about what my perfect day in this beautiful town would be like.

This is the poolside porch at the Captain Freeman Inn, where guests often enjoy their breakfasts and where Shannon dreams of enjoying hers!

It would honestly start here on the Captain Freeman Inn’s poolside screened-in porch, eating one of Lisa and Donna’s delectable breakfast creations. Fresh squeezed orange juice and a cup of Harney & Sons Earl Grey Tea would definitely be involved, as would fresh pineapple with dried cranberries, Crème Brûlée French Toast and a couple of slices of hickory smoked bacon. Yummers! To complete the perfect breakfast experience, I would enjoy one of our warm, lavender and grapefruit scented hand towels draped over my welcoming face.

Creme Brûlée French Toast

After that I would head over to the John Wing Hiking Trail at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. This is one of my favorite walks, as it passes through the coastal pitch pine woodlands, across a salt marsh to Wing’s Island, and finally descends through a salt marsh swale to the barrier beach and tidal pools of Cape Cod Bay. It is truly a microcosm of the Cape’s landscape, highlighting the natural and human development which has shaped this fragile land from geological times to the present. The tidal flats and creeks are home to a variety of fish, crabs, shellfish, worms, and snails as well as many seaside plants, grasses and trees. I discover something new every time I walk there, and always leave with a smile on my face :)

This is the end of the Wing’s Island Trail at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

From there I would bike along the Cape Cod Rail Trail to Nickerson State Park for a quick swim in Flax Pond. This is one of the cleanest and loveliest bodies of water I have ever encountered, a 48 acre natural kettlehole pond sitting along 1.1 miles of undeveloped shoreline protected within the confines of Nickerson State Park. The water transparency is excellent, aquatic vegetation is scant and the bottom is composed primarily of soft, light sand. All of this combined makes for a perfect swimming experience, with no worries of unwelcome critters or dark, mysterious algae preventing you from diving right into the refreshingly cool waters. You can even rent canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats there through Jack’s Boat Rental!

Flax Pond at Nickerson State Park has some of the cleanest swimming water around!

Next I would drive on over to Paine’s Creek Beach to watch the sunset. In my most humble opinion, this is the prettiest place in the world to watch a sunset! There’s as good a western view as you can get here on Cape Cod, and the landscape seems to reflect the light as if by magic. Words cannot describe how peaceful and beautiful this experience can be but the amazing picture below, taken by our very own and very talented Byron Cain, should give you a sense of it!

Watching the spectacular sunset at Paine’s Creek is awe inspiring!

Finally, to cap off my perfect Brewster day I would enjoy dinner at the Peddler’s Café on Thad Ellis Road. This is undoubtedly the best hidden gem I have found in 25 years of eating on the Cape. From the moment you walk through the front door you are transported to an intimate French Bistro where food is meant to be enjoyed to its fullest and guests are encouraged to take their time savoring every delicious flavor they encounter. The smells alone are intoxicating, but the first bite that hits your mouth will have you literally moaning with pleasure! The service is welcoming and personal, the ambiance warm and romantic, and the wine list surprisingly expansive.

Head Chef Alain Hassan prepares another delicious entree at the Peddler’s Cafe & Bistro.