There sure is! In fact, we have a doctor in each one of our five rooms this weekend. What are the odds? No, there isn’t a medical convention somewhere. Just Memorial Day weekend.
It’s a busy weekend, too — the official kick off to Summer 2009. Ran into town to pick up a few things, and it took me longer to find a parking space than it did to run my errand. It certainly looked like a summer weekend in the Hamptons! Everyone has broken out their white clothes (does anyone remember that old adage that you weren’t supposed to wear white until Memorial Day?), sleeveless tops, and flip flops. Every outdoor table was full outside the restaurants, the Golden Pear, and the Village Cheese Shop, and the streets were thronged with window shoppers. There were three people in line before me at the cash register in Bookhampton. Nice to see!
Speaking of doctors, which makes me think “health:” This past week we had a guest who was part of a golf club outing, playing National and Maidstone courses. Golfers, like business guests, are generally on a schedule with early tee times, so we accommodate them separately from our leisure guests, who breakfast later. Dan was really watching his diet — no carbs, tons of protein, and told me his usual breakfast was egg whites and turkey bacon, plain yogurt and blueberries. Of course, yogurt and fruit are no problem — we have nonfat Fage yogurt that has the best texture of any yogurt I’ve ever had! But I’d never tried turkey bacon, so I bought some for him. I tried some too…not bad at all, especially if you like bacon crisp, as I do. But egg white omelettes are challenging because by themselves, egg whites have absolutely no flavor, and I want each breakfast served at A Butler’s Manor to make a great impression. So I chopped a tomato and some fresh herbs from the garden and added it to the omelette. Dan was a happy camper.
The other golfer, Jeff, was staying an extra day. He was so intrigued by his friend’s meal that he wondered if he could have something similar for breakfast on his last morning. I was making our Manor House Omelette (a baked omelette with Canadian bacon, fresh spinach, and Gruyere cheese) for our leisure guests, so I made Jeff (and me!) a version with egg whites, scallions, crumbled turkey bacon, and about a tablespoon of grated Jarlsberg (a light Swiss cheese). Hey, it was some kind of yummy! Proves that eating healthy can be tasty too.
Truly, necessity is the mother of invention!
Quote of the Day: To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art. — La Rouchefoucauld
In the three months between the time that we bought the property that would become A Butler’s Manor and our official opening in late April, 2002, I was eager to develop a variety of breakfast entrees to introduce to our guests. To that end, I would scour through cookbooks and online sources, try recipes, tweak them if necessary, until eventually I developed my own repertoire of breakfast recipes.
Problem was, Chris comes from the school that states Thou Shalt Not Serve Thy Guest Something You Haven’t Perfected First…he was very nervous about my trying things for the first time on guests. Ergo, I practiced on us. For three months, every dinner I made was actually a breakfast until he started saying, “Oh no, not French Toast for dinner AGAIN!”
Now, I love breakfast, and could eat it any time of the day or night. (Thank goodness for diners and coffee shops.) Anyway, the upshot of this episode was that a) We opened for business with a good stable of recipes to start off, b) Chris has learned to trust my cooking (our guests have always been appreciative), and c) if I even mention that I’ve got a good breakfast recipe I want to try out at dinnertime, I instantly have an offer for a dinner date out. 🙂
Chris had to have one of those periodic preventative medical procedures this AM that meant he couldn’t have any dinner last night, so — whoo hoo! — last night, I made myself breakfast for dinner. We’ve been cutting fresh asparagus and chives from the garden, and so those became the featured ingredients in my omelette. I didn’t think to take a picture of it, but here’s what I made:
ASPARAGUS AND SWISS CHEESE OMELETTE (serves 1)
1/8 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp canola oil
2 Tbsp. shredded Swiss cheese*
2 stalks asparagus, cut diagonally into 1″ pieces and blanched in the microwave (about 40 seconds on high)
a small handful of frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or scallions
Beat the eggs with the salt and pepper until frothy. Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add peppers and cook just until softened, perhaps two minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add eggs, swirling to coat pan, and cook, lifting sides to allow uncooked egg to run underneath until underside is set, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle the asparagus peppers, peas, and half of the cheese over one half of the omelette; fold the unfilled half over to enclose filling. Sprinkle with remainder of cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Slide onto a plate, sprinkle with chives, and enjoy!
* BONUS: I’ve adapted this from the new Weight Watcher’s Momentum Cookbook — replace eggs with 1/2 cup Egg Beaters, and use a low-fat version of the cheese, and this very filling meal is only 3 points!
Chris may not agree with his fellow countryman here in Southampton, but Somerset Maugham and I are definitely on the same page:
Quote of the Day: If you want to eat well in England, eat three breakfasts. — W. Somerset Maugham
Yesterday saw an end to several days of rain and a glorious morning was served up just as we were making breakfast. Our business guests ate early and left for work around 8:00 AM, but our other two guests, Lynn and Leo, were more than happy to partake out on the patio.
After breakfast, I went out into the garden to weed and I planted the rest of the herbs: Italian/Flat and Curly Parsley, Basil, and Cilantro as well as the Roma and Beefsteak tomato plants. I also harvested more asparagus and salad greens which we had last night for dinner.
The grass is mowed and we are ready for the arrival of the Mini Rally participants around 3PM today! It should be a busy time as we also have 3 rooms checking in today:-) The Hamptons are heating up! Raspberry French toast for breakfast at the B&B today! AND SUNSHINE TOO!!!!