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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Northwest Micro-brewed Beer

The historic Shelburne Inn in Long Beach is a romantic Washington Hotel with a gourmet restaurant and pub. Since 1896 visitors to the Long Beach Peninsula and the local population have frequented the inn which is known for its use of fresh, local ingredients. Recently, three new taps were added in the pub, bringing the total to six. The current draft beer offerings are: Alaskan Amber Ale, Blue Moon Belgian-style Wheat Ale, Organic IPA Fishtail Hefeweizen, Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery, Black Butte Porter from Deschutes, and Curve Ball Summer Ale from Pyramid. Pictured below is the popular Blue Cheese Bacon Burger and hand-cut fries with a mug of Black Butte Porter. Black Butte Porter is crafted from chocolate and crystal malts, and is Deschutes Brewery’s flagahip brand. It was developed in 1988 and has enjoyed a passionate following since then. The Shelburne Pub remains loyal to its regional micro breweries, since it is a Washington Pub. So,  the featured micro-brewed beers on tap are all from Washington and Oregon. With warmer weather on the horizon, the innkeepers have spruced up the outdoor seating on the pub deck, for their guests to enjoy the  longer days of spring and summer. Open 7 days a week, the friendly staff extends a warm invitation to all to come in and experience a longstanding Pacific Northwest tradition in dining and hospitality.

Black Butte Porter and Burger

Black Butte Porter and Burger

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Fiber Arts at the Shelburne Inn

On most Thursdays if you were to wander into the Lobby of the Shelburne Inn, you would find a group of women sitting at their spinning wheels spinning an array of fibers. As a general rule they meet here every Thursday from about 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. They are all members of the local Clatsop Weavers and Spinners Guild, which started in Oregon in the early 1950′s. Membership in the guild stretches from Gearhart, Oregon to Grays River, Washington. There are currently 24 members and they meet monthly at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco. A variety of fibers are used by the spinners, including sheep’s wool, bamboo, cord, silk, llama, angora, cashmere, alpaca and even poodle. Once spun, the yarns are used either for a knitting or weaving project, some for personal use and some which will be sold. If you are a guest of the inn or restaurant and would like to watch the spinning process and learn about it, these women are a wealth of information and they give it freely! Between the four women who were here this Thursday, they have a combined 60 years of spinning experience. If you’ve never spun and are curious or would like to try it, please come by for a free lesson on Thursday evenings. To encourage you, Rose Power taught her 75 year-old mother to spin in one day. Rita Smith  taught herself. Cheri Diehl has been spinning for 20 years. Here are some photos of the spinners and some yarn and knitted items from Rose Power.

Spinners in Lobby

Spinners in Lobby

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