Hot Cross Buns

For the buns:

8 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar

2 Tablespoons dry yeast

1 ½ cups warm milk

1 cup warm water

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2/3 cup currants

2/3 cup dark raisins

2/3 cup light raisins

For the cross paste:

1/2 cup flour

3 to 4 Tablespoons cool water

Sugar Glaze:

¼ cup granulated sugar

5 Tablespoons milk

Traditionally, these buns are served for breakfast on Good Friday. Because we like them so much, we serve them all during the Easter week, as they are a festive addition to the breakfast table, with a cross on top, and shiny with their sugar glaze coating.

Mix 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons sugar, the yeast, warm milk and warm water. Cover the bowl and set this sponge aside for 20 minutes in a warm place.

Mix the remaining flour with the salt, spices and remaining sugar.

Add the softened butter, beaten eggs, dry ingredients, currants, dark and light raisins to the yeast batter, blending after each addition. Mix well to form a soft dough, adding extra flour if the dough is too sticky to handle. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about ten minutes by hand or two to three minutes with a mixer and dough hook.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about one hour. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, punch it down and knead it for about 2 minutes.

Divide the dough into 24 pieces and shape them into buns by cupping your hand around each piece and rotating your hand in a circle while simultaneously pressing down lightly on the dough to form a small sphere. Place them on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place until they’ve doubled in size. Just before baking, top each bun with a cross using a pastry tube fitted with a small opening and filled with the cross paste (the consistency of frosting).

Bake in a 375˚ oven for about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and brush each bun with a sugar glaze while still hot.

Sugar Glaze: Dissolve the sugar in the milk over low heat. Raise the heat and boil rapidly for two minutes.

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Sourdough Chocolate Waffles

First Day:

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups whole or 2% milk

4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, packed

2 cups White Starter

2 teaspoons salt

3 cups all purpose flour

½ cup Dutch process cocoa

Second Day:

4 large eggs

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup buttermilk

Vegetable oil

Poached Vanilla Cherries

3 lbs fresh cherries, rinsed and pitted (2 lbs Bing and 1 lb Pie cherries, or 1 lb each Bing,Rainier and Pie Cherries)

1 ¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup orange juice

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Mascarpone Topping

12 oz. Mascarpone cheese

¾ cup whipping cream

1 ½ tsp vanilla

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Two-Day Recipe (Makes 8 to

10 large waffles)

First Day

On the evening before you serve the waffles, prepare the initial waffle batter:

Place butter, milk and brown sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until butter melts. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Add White Starter to the above cooled mixture. Sift remaining ingredients, flour, salt and cocoa. Whisk dry ingredients into starter mixture until blended, being careful not to over mix. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the batter stand at room temperature for 8 to 14 hours

Second Day

Preheat the waffle iron 20 minutes before you will be ready to make your waffles. Uncover the batter and whisk the eggs and baking soda in until well combined. The batter should be quite thick and elastic. Add buttermilk to thin batter a little bit. Lightly brush the hot waffle iron with a little vegetable oil. Pour ¾ cup of batter onto the hot waffle iron. Close the lid and let the waffle cook until it is crisp, yet done on the inside, about 5 minutes. Repeat for each waffle.

Poached Vanilla Cherries And Mascarpone Topping

In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, stir the pitted cherries, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, orange juice, and vanilla bean until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Mix cornstarch with lemon juice to remove any lumps, then pour into cherry mixture and stir in to dissolve. Turn heat down to simmer and continue to cook until cherries are cooked through and mixture begins to thicken, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and chill if not serving right away. Reheat to serve. (Discard the vanilla bean.)

For the Mascarpone topping, whip together ingredients to form soft peaks.

To serve:

Sprinkle each waffle with powdered sugar, top with poached cherries and some juice, then follow with a dollop of the Mascarpone Cream Topping.

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Baked Apple Upside Down French Toast

3 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced

6 Tablespoons butter

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

8 slices French bread, sliced ¾” thick

6 to 7 eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup milk
½ cup heavy cream

Melt butter in large sauté pan and add sliced apples. Top apples with sugar and cinnamon and stir to incorporate. Saute over medium heat until apples are limp and translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring so they don’t scorch.

Pour apples into a 9” x 13” glass ovenproof baking dish. Top with sliced French bread. Fill any spaces with small pieces of sliced bread so that entire surface is covered. Whisk eggs with vanilla, nutmeg, milk and cream. Pour this mixture over the Bread evenly so that all pieces absorb the liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until morning.

The next morning, pre-heat the oven to 400º. Bake French toast for 25 minutes or until bread is golden and custard is set. Invert carefully onto a sheet pan and cut into squares to serve, apple-side-up. You may add the syrup of your choice and a dollop of crème fraiche. Serves 6 to 8.

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Sourdough Banana Bread

1 cup butter, soft

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 ¼ cup mashed, ripe banana

1 ½ cups sourdough starter

½ cup buttermilk

4 ¼ cups unbleached white flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

1 ½ cup chopped walnuts

Cream together butter and sugar.

Add egg and mix until well blended.

Stir in banana, starter and buttermilk.

Sift flour with salt, baking powder and soda.

Add flour mixture and walnuts to the first mixture, stirring just until blended.

Pour into two greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pans.

Bake in a 350º oven for one hour or more, until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool thoroughly on a wire rack before slicing.

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Joys of Summer

Summertime brings with it so much that we wait for all year long, here in the Pacific Northwest, specifically, good weather with enough warmth to wear less clothing, and all the beautiful produce that grows in this region. I scored some perfect Marion berries recently and was inspired to bake a pie for the restaurant. Here’s a photo of the pie and the recipe, too. It’s so simple and sooooo good!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Prepare pie crust for two crust pie, and roll out bottom crust. Prepare filling:

4 cups berries, washed

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup unbleached flour

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Mix above ingredients, except for butter and fill pie shell. Dot the top with butter. Roll out top crust and make slits to allow steam to escape. Apply to top of pie and crimp edges. Brush with milk and then sprinkle top with sugar.

Bake in preheated 450 degree oven for ten minutes. Cover with foil and reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 40 minutes more. Remove foil for last ten minutes so that crust browns nicely. Allow pie to cool before serving, as the juices set up. You can substitute blackberries for the Marion berries.

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Birders Flock Together

We were recently hosts at China Beach Retreat and the Shelburne Inn to a lovely couple from Spain, named Joaquin and M. Angels Nieto, who had found us on the Internet. They were drawn to our location largely due to our large bird population, as they are avid bird watchers. They were delighted to hook up with a member of our local chapter of the Audubon Society, Mary Atherton, of Discovery Coast Audubon Society. Mary met them early one morning and showed them where to go for some great bird sightings. Interestingly, they own Hotel Mauberme, in Salardu, Lleida, Spain. The area from which they come is also quite a mecca for birders. A visit to their website will reveal this, as well as the Nietos’ passion for bird watching (in other parts of the world, too, such as Africa). While it may be difficult for us to get away from the inn for any extended period during the summertime, we feel as though the world comes to us because of our diverse clientele. The Nietos were kind enough to send us this photo of M. Angels that was taken of her on their hike in Pacific County. If you would like to learn more about birding in our area, please visit our local Visitors Bureau website, funbeach.com, where you’ll find a wealth of information.

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Victoria Magazine Features Shelburne Inn

The July/August, 2009 issue of Victoria Magazine lists the Shelburne Inn among the Inns We Love section. On the cover it reads, “Our Favorite Beach Finds, charming coastal shops, soothing interiors, and enchanting seaside inns.” The Shelburne is one of five featured inns, and the only one on the west coast. The Herbfarm Restaurant, located  in Woodinville, Washington, owned and operated by our friends, Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van Dyck, received six pages of well-deserved attention in the same issue. On the stands now–pick it up!

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Washington Wine Country

On a recent trip to visit friends in Yakima and Spokane, David and Laurie took a little detour through the Yakima Valley wine country. Not to be missed is the printed brochure, “Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail,” which has a map and listing of 16 of the region’s best wineries. A handful of these winemakers went into winemaking about the time David and Laurie became Innkeepers. We’re proud to offer wines from Eaton Hill, Masset and Silver Lake Wineries in the Shelburne Restaurant and Pub. According to the Rattlesnake Hills brochure, there were over 150 awards given to wines produced by the 16 wineries along this wine trail. You can attibute that to the rich, volcanic soil, long days and warm climate of this region as well as the ever-expanding expertise of the winemakers. Definitely worth the trip!

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The Historic and Romantic Shelburne Inn

The Past…it’s just so  yesterday, or is it?

A former guest sent us a copy of an old “Hotel Shelburne” brochure that appears to date back to the 1950’s. When we read it we were struck by how things had changed, of course, and also by how they hadn’t. Inside, the brochure read as follows (with the exception of our italicized editorial comments): 

Modern Hotel Shelburne is located in Seaview…when you think of the sea, you will think of the Shelburne. Many wintry gales have weathered its features, but the Shelburne still maintains its salty dignity, the glow of its hearth, and the warmth of its charm. Here you will find:

           No juke boxes—

          No pinball machines—

          No chrome or streamlining—

                       BUT!

You Will Find—

          A relaxing home-like atmosphere; good beds (sleep in if you like—a hearty breakfast served ‘til noon) [now true on Sundays], home-cooked foods (yummy home-made bread); and twenty-eight miles of splendid beach thrown in. The tide is in and out twice every 24 hours.” [duh!]  

Today we take pride in the Shelburne’s history, dating to its beginning in 1896 and the fact that it is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the State of Washington. Indeed, the Shelburne has weathered many a storm, but in addition, as a business, it has survived two world wars and a major depression. Admittedly, that gives us a little extra dose of courage as we face current economic challenges. As much as it is historic, it’s also modern in terms of its comfort level and the amenities offered such as a full-service restaurant and pub, wireless Internet service and of course, all private baths. The Inn is getting a new coat of its signature forest green paint and antique white trim, so it’ll be all spruced-up for the spring and summer season. The flowers are blooming and the glorious local foods of our region are on the table. Our friendly staff is eager to point you in the direction of all that the area has to offer. Won’t you join us soon for a much-deserved escape?

 

 

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Long Island on Willapa Bay

As the weather warms and is somewhat tamed by the change of season, we hanker for outdoor activities that inspire and challenge us. One of our favorite things to do is to go kayaking on Willapa Bay, specifically to Long Island, in the middle of the bay. Spangled by bright sunlight, the water gleams and glistens as our kayaks slice through it. A small copse of western cedar, hemlock and Sitka spruce are all just a few steps from the shoreline of Long Island. The only sound other than the raspy protest of a Stellar Jay is the low prayer-like gurgle of water rubbing stone. Such simple treasures abound on Long Island, the jewel of Willapa Bay on the east side of the Long Beach Peninsula.

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