I was recently reflecting on what food means to me and what I think about when I cook. If you have been a guest at the Inn at English Meadows, you know that food is a big part of our passion for hospitality. From the daily breakfasts we craft for our guests, to our Monthly Supper Club events, good food is at the heart of what we love about being innkeepers (and what we love about being alive).
Cooking is about bringing people together to share the gift of food and company.
From the beginning, cooking for a crowd is what I had loved the most. Be it a dinner party, holiday feast, or simply breakfast.
This makes being an Innkeeper a good fit.
A long time ago, in my mother’s kitchen, she instilled in me the importance of the daily “family dinner.” Being from a large family, all of my siblings and I had a role; setting the table, peeling potatoes, preparing a salad, or washing dishes.
As a food lover, hosting dinners is exciting from the conception. I thumb through beloved cookbooks and magazines, and I get on the web, imagining the endless combination of flavors, to adorning the table with flowers, fruit or whatever strikes the mood. Lately I’ve used a lot of edible table-scapes.
At the Inn at English Meadows, breakfast is the meal of focus, as I continue to explore ways to keep each days offering, fresh and unique.
It thrills me when guests share their love of good food, and when David comes back into the kitchen and reports on the delight and happy energy in our dining room.
This month, I thought we would share a few of our kitchen tips-and-tricks, as we know that many of you are thinking about summer plans, or even a late winter/early spring escape, and you are longing for a true Taste of Maine.
Our minds are naturally turning to maple syrup, as the season for tree tapping and a fresh supply of the beloved culinary “gold” is almost upon us. Farmers in Southern Maine are prepping for the upcoming maple syrup harvest that will begin (if the weather cooperates) in late February to early March.
We use real maple in so many of our recipes here at the Inn at English Meadows that we would call it our “not-so-secret-weapon.”
Many of our guests have asked us: “Why does your Greek yogurt taste so good? What do you do to it?” We keep it simple and you can easily do it too.
Add a few tablespoons of Grade A Maple Syrup to a serving of full-fat plain Greek yogurt of your choice. (We like Cabot brand here in Maine.) Stir to combine and that’s it! The tanginess of the yogurt is complemented by the sweet richness of the maple syrup.
It’s a great way to bring a taste of Maine to your breakfast.
Here are some other ideas on how to use maple syrup:
- Mix 1 parts Sriracha with 2 parts Maple Syrup for a sweet and spicy topping to savory waffles or chicken wings.
- Top a soft rind cheese like Affinois or Brie with maple syrup and toasted pecans
- Add it to your salad dressings with a touch of apple cider vinegar
- Mix a chopped apple with maple syrup, granola, and Greek yogurt for a European-style breakfast Muesli
- Fold some into whipped cream and use it to top your favorite pies and tarts
- And of course, top your pancakes and French toast with lots of butter and a hearty syrup for great sweet-and-robust flavor.
One of our absolute favorites is Maple Marshmallows. We love homemade marshmallows and if you haven’t tried one before, it is a revelation!
Our house recipe is based on the one from The Kitchn Website. They are foolproof (if you follow the directions) and they are sure to be a crowd pleaser – if you don’t end up eating them all yourself!
We make one small change: Instead of vanilla, we use Real Maple Extract. You can substitute with any flavorings that you like. For the full tutorial on Basic Fluffy Marshmallows, Go to The Kitchn (Yes! There is no ”E” in Kitchen on the website.
We hope to see you soon and we wish you all a wonderful February!
Goings-on About Town:
1. February is for Lovers in the Kennebunks! Join us this February for Paint the Town Red. This Chamber of Commerce month-long celebration features events from Ice Bars and Cooking Classes, to wine tastings and specialty coursed dinners. Find out the full schedule here.
2. Stay tuned for our next Supper Club Event on 2.28.2018 on our Facebook Page. This past January’s event sold out quickly. The team from Curate Maine put on a spectacular dinner complimented by the wine from Vacationland Distributors. Curate Maine will be back in February so reserve you seat now at 207-967-5766. Overnight room specials at the Inn are available for guests who book the dinner event.
3. Locals Breakfast is in full swing! We want to welcome our seacoast locals to breakfast his winter. A Three-Course breakfast features select homemade breads & pastries, seasonal fruits, and a sweet and savory main course. The menu rotates based on seasonal availability. Please advise upon making your reservation if there are any food allergies.
Cost is $25 per person and includes three courses, coffee, tea and juice. Additional charge for alcohol. Breakfast can be booked for Saturdays or Sundays. Reservations are required and are open to everyone. Call 207.967.5766 to make your reservation today.
4. Winter is a great time to book a getaway to the Inn at English Meadows. The best rates of the year include our signature breakfast. There’s a lot to enjoy in Maine in the Winter. See our guide post here for a full list of things to do and places to enjoy!