Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Honeymoon: Wednesday Breakfast

Wednesday May 1, Newberg OR

I'm not a breakfast guy ordinarily: the last thing I want to do when I get up in the morning is put food in my face. You might be one of those that wakes up ravenous and is a bear to face before food, but that doesn't work for me. I'm good with a cup of coffee until 10:30 or 11:00 in the morning and then we can talk about breakfast.

But I was on vacation, at a bed and breakfast (Chehalem Ridge B&B), one whose cook had been to culinary school, and breakfast was another opportunity for rare alone time with my wife, something the restaurant business affords us not. So gladly and cheerfully did I approach the breakfast table at 9am each morning, which was bearable enough since I had already been up for a couple of hours and already had plenty of coffee to get me going.

This morning, after our late night at Thistle in McMinnville the night before, I was up at 6:30, showered, shaved, and downstairs for coffee at 8:15. Ann came downstairs just before breakfast was served. It was very pleasant sitting on the sofa in the family room looking out over the valley, lazing around until breakfast. Kristin arrived around 8:30 and greeted me as she came in the door from the short walk over: she and her husband Curt live next door in quite the fabulous house. After hearing Kristin bumping around in the kitchen for about a half an hour, she invited us in to breakfast. That's still a very weird thing for me: I'm supposed to be the one in the kitchen!

Different Jellies and Jams Each Morning
The table was set each morning with different jams and jellies and different herbs and flowers in the vase that was like a series of test tubes in a rack. The house is surrounded by flower, herb, and vegetable gardens. I really didn't walk around too much outside, but I saw lots of herbs, blueberries, rhubarb, and artichokes along with garden beds ready to plant.

Rhubarb Crumble with Hazelnut Granola Topping
During breakfast, we got to chat with Kristin in more depth and found out that she went to culinary school and is no stranger to restaurants. Early in her career she moved from the hot line to the pastry side and it shows in the delights that she made for us. I appreciate the fact that nearly everything on each plate, she made. The hazelnut granola on the rhubarb crumble was a great topping whose crunch offset the soft crumble. This is a great trick that we use at the restaurant. And I really appreciate that the rhubarb came from the back yard and that its acidity was deftly balanced with sweetness.

Chai-Spiced Scones

Southwestern Eggs Benedict
The rest of our breakfast consisted of chai-spiced scones and Southwestern Eggs Benedict: black bean cake, avocado, poached egg, pico de gallo, and cheese. The eggs were beautifully poached. There is something really awesome about a good poached egg and these were a great start to our first day of wine tasting in the Willamette Valley.

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