Farm to table with family in Virginia

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

We just spent a couple of days visiting dear family in Richmond. We were greeted with a wonderful dinner at Byrons Aunt Jean’s house where we were able to meet all of the grand and great grand kids. What an incredible treat and blessing. There is something so endearing about southern hospitality. Life just seems to go at a slower pace and in this case, is all about family. I had  heard many stories about  Byron’s cousins, Jan and Alan, who had built a home in the country. Both had tired of Alan having to travel and being away from family so they decided to switch careers and build a family farm. Byron and I had talked about this many times and were anxious to see what country farming is all about.

I was especially excited as I believe and support the “farm to table” movement and strive to serve our family and guests fresh vegetables, herbs, eggs and meats whenever we can and the Captain Freeman Inn. I would also love to have a chicken coop one day at the inn where our guests could enjoy fresh eggs in the morning. Jan and I had the opportunity to talk, and she is a wealth of information about the affect of diet on ones health.

Before we toured the farm we visited in their large beautiful log cabin surrounded by family and a nice warm fire. Jan’s oldest daughter was visiting from Canada and they have three darling young children who were very happy to be spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa.

Since spring is the muddy season on the farm, Jan loaned me a pair of rubber boots so that we could see the entire farm. We left Harrison in the car as we did not want him to excite the chickens. We meandered down to their country store and saw Alan’s beautiful lake off to the left of the property. I was tickled to see a John Deer tractor….always thought they were kinda cool. (next time I’ll have to ask if I could have a short drive and maybe move some hay with it:))

First shot is of the family. Note the mobile chicken coup in the background that Alan is building. At first it seemed kinda crazy but once I stopped to think about it, it made perfect sense. Successful gardening is all about fertilizing the soil. (Nanna always told me that chicken manure is the best fertilizer to add to the garden soil) Alan will move the coup around their fields which has wire mesh on the bottom to allow the “bird poop” (excuse the graphics) to fall below. They have nesting boxes along the sides to pick up the eggs daily.

Farm helpers

Farm helpers

The chickens just looked so happy and were fenced in the orchard area where new pear, apple and peach trees were growing.

New chickens for fresh eggs

New chickens for fresh eggs

Jan holding one of their prized chickens

Jan holding one of their prized chickens

We were lucky enough to meet a new calf that was just born last week. The Mom’s name is Button, and they were looking for a new name for this cute little guy. This area is used for milking which they do once a day. I was interested in learning that the new breed of milking cows can now be milked once a day which is perfect for small gentlemen farms that may combine working a regular job with having a few animals at home to feed their families. I grew up in the Berkshires in dairy country and remember very well having to stop our car as the cows moved to and from the rolling country fields to the milking parlor twice a day. Having to do the milking once a day (by hand I might add) seemed like a huge advantage, especially on the cold winter days. They had 6-8 milking cows with two almost ready to give birth. They sell the delicious milk in the store. When we opened the frig in the store I saw 3 large bottles of milk with cream on the top with customer’s names on the top. These bottles are reused each time.

New calf.....name TBD

New calf…..name TBD

Mamma Button

Mamma Button

The rest of the milking herd

The rest of the milking herd

Chicken processing site:(

Chicken processing site:(

Now here is the picture Byron thought I should leave off….but hey this is a part of life. This is the chicken/turkey processing center. The farm sells fresh milk and cream, fresh eggs and fresh chicken meat and yes the poor chickens have to be killed so that humans can enjoy the fresh meat on their tables. State health code allows them to process the chicken meat but the cattle have to be processed by a licensed butcher.

Byron and Jan-  cousins

Byron and Jan- cousins

Frozen beef

Frozen beef

Byron is from Wyoming and always enjoys when we serve meat for dinner. When I looked in the store freezer I so wished we lived closer so that we could enjoy the benefits of grass fed beef from this farm.

2 blue birds pirched on top of the fence post

2 blue birds pirched on top of the fence post

The last part of our tour included a visit to Julie’s house (Jan’s sister) which is right next door. We could see the beef cattle grazing in the far field. I was tickled to see a wide variety of birds flying around and ecstatic when I saw a Bluebird pair pirched on a near bye fence post. They were my mother’s favorite bird, and I have always loved them too. This just made my day!

The farm also includes a large vegetable garden, blueberry and strawberry patch, all sold in the country store. Jan said it was fun in the summer to visit with some retired old time farmers that love to see what they are doing. They always love to share stories that are filled with good clues on how to make the farm run more smoothly. I am learning that our elders are always filled with good advise.

As we were walking back to the house Jan shared that when they started the farm they did not know a single thing about farming. They have just jumped in and learned along the way. I was so impressed. What a great way to tackle a new life adventure.

Oh I forgot to mention that their son also helps on the farm and has a bee hive. There was a mystery last year as all the of bees left the hive. That happened to many neighbors which is a concern. They were going to try again this spring and hopefully be able to sell the honey in the store.

Thanks Jan and Alan for sharing your farm with us. Just wished we lived closer to help out and to be able to benefit and enjoy all of your farm to table bounty.

So Byron, do you think we can build a chicken coop now at the Captain Freeman Inn?

Spanish Cooking School at the Captain Freeman

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

We recently had our first cooking school of the season which included Spanish food from Valencia. Our Chef Carol Edmondson continued the tradition of providing wonderful cooking tips in the class and later an over the top delicious meal which we enjoyed in the fireside dining room at the Captain Freeman Inn.

Our wonderful chef, Carol

Our wonderful chef, Carol

The menu included warm lemon, garlic and rosemary olives,

warm olives

warm olives

figs with goats cheese,

Fresh figs served with goat's cheese

Fresh figs served with goat’s cheese

warm garlic and herb flat bred and the show stopper, Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo.

Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo

Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo

All of our cooking school meals include a wonderful fresh salad and a dessert that pairs perfectly with the meal . For this dinner Carol chose  Valencia oranges in Rioja wine with Manchego.

It was fun to learn a different way to grill the peppers which was actually quite simple and included just holding the pepper over the stove flame and then pealing away the burnt skin.

fresh roasted peppers

fresh roasted peppers

Our classes always include Wine tasting before our meal and Byron was so excited about the Spanish wines he was able to find. For those wine conoseurs, a detail description of the wines we served is noted below:
Wine

RED
• Zerran – 2011 Montsant
Garnacha 50%, Mazuelao40%, Syrah 10%

• The Saint – Rioja – 2008 Reserva
Tempranillo

• Los Dos 2012 – Campo De Borja
Grenache 85% & Syrah 15%

• Laya 2012 – Garnacha Tintorera 70% , Monastrell 30%
WHITE
• Godello 2011 – Castelo Do Papa
Godello 100%

• Licia Albarino 2011 – Rias Baixas
SPANISH WINES – Grape Variey Descriptions for wines in our tasting.
Albariño – White. Native to Galicia, with small, very sweet glyceric berries which produce high quality wines. It is the basic grape of Rías Baixas DO. There has been a dramatic increase in the area planted with this grape over the last few years.
Godello – White. A high quality, very aromatic grape. Native to Galicia, new planting has been encouraged in the last few years, especially in Valdeorras DO. It is considered a main variety in Valdeorras and Bierzo DOs.
Garnacha Tinta – Red Garnacha. A high-yielding grape that produces vigorous wines. This is the most widely grown red grape in Spain, especially in La Rioja, Madrid, Navarre, Tarragona, Teruel, Toledo and Zaragoza.
Cariñena (Mazuelo) – Red. Produces robust, balanced wines. An excellent complement to Garnacha, it is widely planted in Catalonia and La Rioja, where it is known as “Mazuela”.
Monastrell – A red, very sweet and productive grape. It produces wines with a deep colour and considerable alcoholic content. It is mainly found in Murcia (52%), Alicante, Albacete and Valencia and it is considered a main variety in DOs such as Alicante, Almansa, Costers del Segre, Jumilla, Penedés, Valencia and Yecla.
Syrah – Red. A variety thought to have come from Persia, grown extensively in central and southern France. Hermitage wines are usually 100% Syrah. Very little is grown in Spain (principally Catalonia and La Mancha).
Tempranillo – Red. Superb quality and very aromatic, the star of Spanish grapes. It is called Ull de Llebre in Catalonia, Cencibel in Castile-La Mancha and Madrid, and Tinto Fino and Tinto del Pais in Castile and Leon. It flourishes in Burgos, La Rioja, Alava, Cuenca and Ciudad Real. It is considered a main variety in the following DOs: Calatayud, Cigales, Conca de Barbera, Costers del Segre, La Mancha, Penedes, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Somontano, Utiel-Requena, Valdepenas, and Vinos de Madrid.
WINE DESCRIPTIONS
BODEGAS ORDONEZ 2011 ZERRAN MONTSANT – RATINGS – WA 92 ; IWC 91+
Zerran is another fantastic deal from Spain. The 2011 Bodegas Ordoñez Zerran is a blend of 50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo (aka Carignan), and 10% Syrah sourced from vines that were planted between 1934 and 1942 (so the youngest vines are 70+ years old!).
The only ‘shock’ was how good this was in the glass, the wine’s explosive fruit component with notes of boysenberry, plum, and blackberry with a hint of cola taking center stage. There’s good minerality and acidity to balance out the fruit and the soft tannins make this bottle very approachable right now.
Very expressive, very versatile, very affordable, this has all the makings of a first class ‘house red’ or party go-to. There are excellent notes from both Wine Advocate (92 points) and International Wine Cellar (91+ points) as well as some enthusiastic words. It reveals abundant kirsch, lavender, black raspberry and dusty, loamy, earthy scents intermixed with notions of spring flowers and blackberries. There is not any oak evident in this dense effort.” Excellent value. Stock Report Aug. 2013
Robert Parker writes in Wine Advocate: “Even more so is the 2011 Zerran, which ratchets up the level of concentration and ripe fruit. It reveals abundant kirsch, lavender, black raspberry and dusty, loamy, earthy scents intermixed with notions of spring flowers and blackberries. There is not any oak evident in this dense effort. Its completeness and overall equilibrium are impressive, and this great value should drink well for 5-6 years, possibly longer. (There is no track record for these wines in terms of aging.) Production from the Rueda vineyard (38.3 acres) owned by Jorge Ordonez was begun in 2011. This well-known white wine appellation sits on the border of the province of Segovia. The 2010 and 2011 Zerran come from a vineyard planted at 1,500-1,800 feet altitude. They are blends of Grenache, Mazuelo and Syrah whose vines were planted between 1934 and 1942.”
Josh Raynolds writes in International Wine Cellar: “Vivid purple. Aromas of black raspberry, spicecake and musky herbs, with a smoky topnote. Densely packed and youthful, with spicy dark berry flavors accented by cracked pepper and a touch of candied violet. Tannins build on the zesty finish, which shows refreshing bitterness and a touch of boysenberry.”
2008 The Saint Rioja Reserva
Website: http://www.thesaintwine.com – Region: Rioja Varietal: Tempranillo
Coined by Jancis Robinson as “Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon,” its style varies significantly depending on terroir and the wine-making techniques used. Cooler regions and stainless steel fermentation tend to produce Tempranillos with fresh strawberry and cherry like fruit, similar in body to Pinot Noir. Examples from hotter, more arid regions that undergo extended oak aging often produce richer, plumper, jammier wines, typically exhibiting chocolate, tobacco, and leather notes. Tempranillo provides the backbone of the highly regarded wines of Rioja, Toro and Ribera del Duero. In Rioja particularly, it is typically blended with Garnacha (Grenache), Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano. In La Mancha and Navarra, it is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce inexpensive, great-value wines. One of the few places Tempranillo has spread to is Spain’s neighbour, Portugal. Grown mainly in the Douro valley since the mid 19th century, where they call it Tinta Roriz, it is used as one of the key blending agents in port. Lately it has been used in the region’s intensely rich, dry, table wines.
With more area under vines than any other country, it ranks third in terms of quantity of wine produced. The range of its wines is a reflection of the country’s regional climatic diversity ranging from the rich and sumptuous reds of the hot and arid Ribera del Duero to the light, crisp whites of the cool Atlantic region of Galicia and Basque Country. For some of the country’s best reds, try the regions of Rioja, Navarra, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, and Murcia. Spain is also nsible for some of the world’s finest fortified and dessert wines, the finest of which come from the town Jerez (Sherry), in Andalucía.
Complex aromas of ripe fruit blend with smoky fine woods. The wine is fantastically well structured and has a long lingering finish. The Saint Rioja is a deep ruby colored wine that displays an abundance of fruit enhanced by a full 26 months of oak aging. On the palate it shows big fruit, spice and outstanding concentration of flavors with impeccable balance. This Reserva will continue to age well for at least 10 years. The Saint Reserva Rioja will match well to most dishes for the perfect pairing, try this with grilled meats, BBQ and mushroom or seafood risottos. Enjoy this wine with good food and good friends or, try it alone in your room with the door locked, you’re the boss!

2012 Los Dos Grenache / Syrah
Brand: Bodegas Aragonesas – Region: Campo de Borja – Varietal: Grenache Blend Style: Red Wine
Winemaker’s Notes:
From slopes on the edge of the Sierra Iberica, just south of Navarra where Garnacha is king, this special cuvée blends Syrah with rich Garnacha produced from vines of 30 years of age. The resulting wine is nuanced and elegant. Fermentation is classical, with no carbonic maceration. Aging is entirely in stainless steel. The wine is immediately aromatic, full and friendly on the palate and finishes with a refinedlength.
Almira Los Dos is bright cherry red with violet hues and has a pleasantly intense and complex aroma of subtle fruit and balsam, with a full, well-structured and lingering taste.
85% Grenache and 15% Syrah The fun and fruity character of Los Dos might seem simple at first taste, but Grenache and Syrah have been making hap…
RP: 87 + Wine critic This is a dark rich wine with a nice fruity aroma. Bold black berry flavor, that hold it flavor right to the finish. The tannin on the finish were … Read more
classic old world Garnacha dark-fruit-forward flavor profile with a long, dry, spicy Syrah finish. would be excellent with something like carolina-… Read more
A round, fruit-foward palate of cherries and blackberries carries through to a refined, lengthy finish. Read more
Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Spain Easy Paella featuring RiceSelect™ Arborio Rice – RiceSelect™ Arborio Rice has an exceptional ability to absorb flavors, which makes it the perfect choice for tasty paella and Spanish Red Wines
Parsnip Risotto with Pancetta and Sage Recipe
Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass Recipe
Garlic-Infused Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root Recipe
02/17/2012
This is a dark rich wine with a nice fruity aroma. Bold black berry flavor, that hold it flavor right to the finish. The tannin on the finish were present but smooth. We had this with some spice chili that my wife prepared, I wondered how this wine would match with the hot and spice dish. This wine stood it ground, it’s flavor came through the spices in the chili nicely, even mellowing out the chili a little. One spoon of chili followed by a sip of wine (alright , maybe a gulp), then some more chili. It was great. Two years ago a reviewed a 2008 vintage of Los Dos, but I was not impressed and stated I would not purchase again. I am happy that I forgot about that review. I would buy the 2010 vintage again.
Snooth User: kleith
classic old world Garnacha dark-fruit-forward flavor profile with a long, dry, spicy Syrah finish. would be excellent with something like carolina-style smoked pulled pork with a vinegar slaw topping (with cilantro, I think). Keep it at proper temp, as Garnacha can get cloying if let get too warm and Syrah loses dimension when too cold.
External Reviews for Los Dos Grenache Syrah Campo de Borja 10/05/2011
A round, fruit-foward palate of cherries and blackberries carries through to a refined, lengthy finish.
External Review Source: Astor Wines & Spirits 09/28/2011
An excellent Spanish red from the Campo de Borja region, made from a blend of old-vine Garnacha and a bit of Syrah. Dark, fresh and – no surprise – deliciously “grapey” on the palate. Light, silky tannins make for a very pleasant finish. Try it with grilled fare for a failsafe pairing.
Winemaker’s Notes: From slopes on the edge of the Sierra Iberica, just south of Navarra where Garnacha is king, this special cuvée blends Syrah with rich Garnacha produced from vines of 35 to 50 years of age. The resulting wine exhibits an elegance rarely encountered in the wines from this DO. Fermentation is classical, with no carbonic maceration. Aging is entirely in stainless steel. The wine is immediately aromatic, full and friendly on the palate, and finishes with a refined length.
Tasting Notes: The fun and fruity character of Los Dos might seem simple at first taste, but Grenache and Syrah have been making happy noise together for centuries in the southern Rhône Valley. The grape duo are no less rewarding in this wine, showing oodles of fruit such as mulberries, boysenberries, and raspberries.
BODEGAS ATALAYA 2012 LAYA ALMANSA
WA 90
Neal Martin writes in Wine Advocate: “The 2012 Laya, a blend of 70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell, has a superb bouquet of pure dark cherries, blackberry and incense that would normally grace a wine far more expensive. The palate is medium-bodied with layers of succulent black fruit that is neatly entwined with the subtle French oak. It is not a complex wine, but it is supremely well-crafted for the unbeatable price. Excellent.”

Not only is Spain cranking out an abundance of great values overall, there are certain sources that have consistently hit the mark year after year. One of the producers that we keep going back to is the Gil family. These are the folks who bring you an impressive list of exciting wines: Bodegas Atalaya, Juan Gil, Shaya, Can Blau, and El Nido. We’ve carried the Laya every year ever since the inaugural 2009 vintage was released in the U.S.. There have been changes in the organizational aspects of the company since that time. But thus far there have been no changes in the quality and value of what goes in the bottle. This 2012 Bodegas Atalaya Laya from Almansa is a blend of 70% Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouschet) with 30% Monastrell (aka Mourvedre). Although every vintage has been quite the juicy value, this is the first vintage that pulled in 90 points from The Wine Advocate. Neal Martin of The Wine Advocate writes, “It is not a complex wine, but it is supremely well-crafted for the unbeatable price.” There are immediate impressions of mixed berry preserves with a hint of smoked meats and fresh cracked pepper that carry from your nose to your palate. There is also surprising volume and length for a wine at this modest price. You might want to keep a few bottles handy for those summertime neighborhood BBQ’s or as a hearty all-around house go-to. A juicy ‘90-pointer’ for $7, this is definitely a case buy.

Lícia Albariño 2011
Wine Description
Lícia is a shortening of Galicia, the autonomía in northwest Spain known for its Celtic influence and overall greenness due to the maritime climate. This refreshing, flavorful white is made from 100% Albariño, sourced from the subzones of Condado de Tea and O Rosal in DO Rías Baixas. Situated along the border with Portugal, vineyards in these subzones benefit from the drier climate and warmer growing season.
Tasting Notes
Straw yellow with greenish hues, the Lícia Albariño has strong varietal characteristics with hints of grapefruit, candied fruit, quince jelly, notes of fresh herbs, green apples, and minerals. It is fullbodied and wellbalanced, highlighting the aromas of citrus and green apple, with a long and persistent finish.
Food Pairing – This wine pairs deliciously with grilled fish—or any kind of seafood—Asian cuisines, rice dishes, salads and grilled vegetables.

Castelo do Papa
Papa, spicy scents of citrus peel, green apple and anise, with a salty mineral overlay. Fresh and taut, with the wine’s minerality dominating fresh apple and pear fruit and notes of fresh herbs adding complexity Exceptionally concentrated and focused. Finishes brisk and persistent. This fresh, mineral-inflected Godello will pair well with swordfish sautéed in butter and wild herbs, grilled or pan-fried sweet veal or pork sausage, and a host of casual foods like tapas, pasta with white clam sauce or fried oyster sandwiches.
Wine Advocate
Made from the indigenous Spanish varietal Godello (25-year old, organically farmed vines), this cuvee is aged completely in steel and sees no malolactic fermentation. A restrained yet intense minerality along with spicy, lemony, flinty, stony notes make for a fresh, medium-bodied, complex white to enjoy over the next year.
Score: 90. —Robert Parker, August 2012.

Best Wines to Pair with Paella?
Fabulous Blog Post – http://enofylzwineblog.com/2013/03/27/best-wines-to-pair-with-paella/
Every cuisine has at least one – a one-pot meal, a dish of humble origins that is the quintessential definition of that place and people. There’s Gumbo, Cassoulet, Risotto, Irish Stew and Pad Thai to name a few. And the Spanish? Well, they have paella. March 27th is National Paella Day.
Paella originated Valencia region of Spain.
Paella was originally farmers’ and farm labourers’ food, cooked by the workers over a wood fire for the lunchtime meal. It was made with rice, plus whatever was to hand around the rice fields and countryside: tomatoes, onions and snails, with a few beans added for flavour and texture. Rabbit or duck might also have been added, and for special occasions, chicken plus a touch of saffron for an extra special colour and flavour. Paella was also traditionally eaten straight from the pan in which it was cooked with each person using his own wooden spoon.
There are three main types of paella; Valencian consists of rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck, pork), land snails, beans and seasoning; Seafood replaces meat and snails with seafood such as prawns, mussels, and clams and omits beans and green vegetables, and Mixed, a combination of meat, seafood, vegetables.

Paella Valenciana (image courtesy of daytondailynews.com
In addition to the three main types of Paella, two other popular variations are Vegetarian, which typically contain vegetables like artichokes, lima beans, red and green peppers,and Paella Negra, which is typically seafood, cooked with squid ink, so it looks black.

My personal favorite – Paella Negra (image courtesy of piospaella.com)
When pairing paella with wine, I recommend keeping a few food and wine pairing guidelines in mind:
• What grow together, goes together – I prefer to pair with wines from Spain, Portugal, or wine from the neighboring Languedoc-Roussillon region in Southern France. Outside of Spain or France, consider Sangiovese or Pinot Noir for red wine.
• Pair humble with humble, great with great – Paella has humble origins, I generally pair with inexpensive wines unless it’s a special occasion.
• Sparkling wines go with almost anything – Pair Valencian, Mixed, and Negra paella with rosé Cava and Seafood and Vegetarian with Brut Cava

Can’t wait for the next class. We have a few slots left  in the Naples class.

February 8, 2014     Naples, Campagnia

March 1, 2014     Rome
March 29, 2014     Provence

New Frittatas at the Captain Freeman Inn on Cape Cod

Roasted Red Pepper Frittata

Roasted Red Pepper Frittata

Yum!  We continue to test new recipes for our summer menus at our two Cape Cod Bed and Breakfasts, Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa and Captain Freeman Inn. We have made many Frittatas with our favorite last season being a zucchini and sun dried tomato with Monterey Jack Cheese. Our new combination is over the top delicious and includes roasted red peppers, sweet sausage, basil and feta cheese. It’s always nice to think about the vegetables and herbs being harvested fresh from the garden, and we always have delicious aromatic basil all summer long.
Frittata-20130318-0202

Frittatas are actually very easy to make. You will need to have an oven proof skillet where you can actually cook the first part on the stove top and then move into the broiler to melt the cheeses and to make sure the eggs are cooked through. We used maple sausage but the recipe actually called for sweet sausage. I like the maple sausage that we use at the inn because they are not greasy and have a wonderful sweet yet savory taste. The peppers can be roasted ahead of time and actually are very easy to do by placing under the broiler and turning frequently until the skin is black all over. Once cooled you can remove the black layer and dice into small pieces. The fresh basil, feta cheese combined with the sweet sausage and roasted peppers created a wonderful combination of flavors.

Another winner for our summer menu. We decided to serve the Frittata with corn muffins (using fresh ground corn form Brewster) and grapes. Frittata-20130318-0211

Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast Winter Color

By Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

It may be white outside for many of us, but at our two Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa, our winter fruit courses have been filled with color.

This mornings breakfast included a delicious baked pear that Byron garnished with fresh orange, blueberries and blackberries and a homemade raspberry sauce…..mnnnnn!

Baked Pear served with orange, berries and pomegranates.

Baked Pear served with orange, berries and pomegranates.

We like to consider our breakfasts at both of our Cape Cod Inns to be Farm to Table whenever possible and always look for in season produce that is the freshest possible. The winter months are always a challenge with February probably being the hardest. Basically the fresh fruit choices are lemons, apples and pears. Lemons are a treat, and we just served our Lemon Biscotti as our afternoon tea this weekend. We also love our Baked Apple which is recipe served on the QE2 cruise lines. It’s very decadent and delicious.

QE 2 Baked Apple

QE 2 Baked Apple

Another storm is on the way. That’s OK!  We just feel blessed to have time to finish up our winter projects. The biggest change guests will notice this year is our hall common areas which are now newly painted with new wall sconces- no more dated wall paper.

Newly remodeled hall

Newly remodeled hall

. We just brought over Nanna’s Grandfather clock which fits perfectly in the hall. The Captain Freeman is such a beautiful stately building, and we feel very honored to be it’s stewards for part of our lifetime journey on Cape Cod as happy innkeepers.

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 #2

We are on a quest to find 14 new breakfasts to serve at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman. This morning was day 2 and I was delighted with the results.

We have a lovely couple staying with us at the Captain Freeman, and I had heard through our staff that the gentleman loved savory.Zeumer-Breakfast_20130102-0002

So my mission yesterday was to find a new recipe that included eggs. I landed on a recipe that was Buckwheat Crepes with Ham, Gruyere and Fried Eggs. The recipe intrigued me as I have always wanted to do a savory crepe. We have served raspberry crepes with Mascarpone cheese and Lemon curd. They were delicious, but I always felt like it was an ultra sweet breakfast that some of our guests did not enjoy.

The results were amazing and a wonderful combination. I made the batter early this morning and refrigerated it for several hours. I then made each of the crepes and kept them warm on a warming plate. When the guests arrived I prepared each crepe with a little butter, grated cheese and thin slices of Black Forest Ham. I then topped with a little more cheese and placed in the oven while I cooked the sunny side eggs.

Buckwheat Crepes with Sunny Side Eggs

Buckwheat Crepes with Sunny Side Eggs

Our guest gave us an A+rating, and I took that as a compliment since both were very worldly travelers, appreciating good food and spending time in Provence.  I had a little left over and left a platter in the frig for our son to eat when he returned from the gym. I just smiled when he called and asked us what accompanied the eggs…he loved it and ate every morsel. We always offer breakfast alternatives which today include old fashion cheereos and blueberries….how special is that!

How sweet to order Cheereos with Blueberries!

How sweet to order Cheereos with Blueberries!

So, I now have two new recipes to add to our summer menu. These crepes really were exceptional and a nice compliment to the sunny eggs.

Bon appetit from Cape Cod!

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.