At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn
How to Hard Boil Eggs & Perfect the Peel 1 Jul 2015, 7:55 am
When my husband and I first became bed and breakfast owners having only had 3 members in our little family the idea of buying eggs by the case was a bit daunting to wrap our heads around. Never before had I seen so very many eggs in my refrigerator.
Some of the gourmet savory collection of egg dishes we create at the inn call for boiled eggs in the recipe. Now, the care and tending of the perfect boiled egg and peeling of same may sound like nothing. That said, as they say in the computer world….Garbage in….Garbage out. Lest we end up with egg dishes not up to our requirements we delved into how to hard boil and peel eggs in the best and easiest way.
* Assemble eggs.
* Choose pot that will allow the number of eggs you are cooking to lay single file. The pot should have a lid that fits.
* Add only enough cold water to cover eggs by one inch.
* Heat over high just to boiling.
* Remove pan from heat source and secure fitted cover for you pan.
* Leave eggs standing in water: X-large: 15 mins. Large: 12 mins. Med: 9 mins
* Drain and Refrigerate if you don’t need them right now. If you do plan to use them right now. Proceed to Peeling Instructions. You are just going to love it.
The Peeling: AKA: There’s More than one way to Skin a Cat
* Place the egg in a shallow highball glass. Place egg in glass and fill glass 2/3 full. Cover with your hand or a saucer. Vigorously shake for about 30-45 seconds. When you stop, remove the egg and the shell will already have begun the separation process. The rest will readily come off almost like magic.
Voila, the perfect boiled egg with peeling that could not be easier.
Reasons for Booking an Asheville Bed and Breakfast Part 3 15 Jun 2015, 11:38 am
Part of having a vacation is finding oneself in an environment that appeals to our sensibilities. By definition, sensibilities is defined as “the ability to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences; sensitivity.”
Bed and breakfasts are as variant in decorative taste, architectural style and the environment the inn seeks to project to its guests as the inn owners that purchase them.
As in most business models….competition is a big driver in the market. The differences in this competition is numbers. For 2013 stats, according to American and Hotel Lodging Association, there are approximately 53,000 hotels. In the US. there are approximately 17,000 inns according to Professional Association of Innkeepers International.
In hotel land, guests trying to choose a place to stay often do so based on hotel brand, many are seeking favorable price points. In choosing a bed and breakfast, a guest is already in search of a more personal, intimate environment. When competition is intense, everyone must bring their A game if they hope to thrive in business. We really can’t compete in numbers, but clearly excel in experiential.
We have owned our inn for 17 years this June. In that time, there have been several recurrent themes floated for choosing bed and breakfast properties over a hotel. The most recurrent of those themes is cleanliness. I am not saying hotels properties are not cleaned to be completely clear. Based on their number of rooms, rate of turn over and occupancy, it would be completely impossible to clean them to the degree bed and breakfasts are cleaned. Even frequent hotel stayers often report taking the bedspread off the bed as soon as they enter the room in the knowledge that they are likely not changed unless there is a incident of significance or they are overtly soiled.
In 2015, I am of the opinion that the trend in general is toward a more minimalist decor but minimalist is not necessarily devoid of personality. In hotels, each and every room in the establishment is, save size variations, the same. Repetition is rampant. The carpet, the spreads, the sheets, the linens, the mirrors and the lamps in 301 also exist in 315. You won’t find that in anyone’s bed and breakfast. The rooms have been decorated with care and your inn owner picked every single piece in your room. It was chosen personally and only for your specific room not a collection of rooms all across the country.
Another theme is connection vs. anonymity. Now, lest I scare you. Connection does not mean that your innkeeper is going to stalk your every movement and repeatedly engage you in unwanted conversation leaving you bleary with the onslaught of it all. Connection does mean that your innkeeper knows if you are a solo traveler or with a companion, also if there is a special occasion, or if there is anything awesome you wanted to do while in town she knows and has planned for that. Enquiries have been made as to whether you have any special requirements or allergens needing to be either removed from your room or not put on your plate in the morning at breakfast. This innkeeper is connected to the value of your stay and will work diligently toward achieving your best experience while in her home. An innkeeper is mindful of you. You are not one of 300. Our properties are not that large and the reduction in number becomes meaningful in guest experience.
Give a bed and breakfast a try. Give your vacation a value added bonus. You deserve it.
Reasons for Booking An Asheville Bed and Breakfast, Part 2 27 May 2015, 5:41 am
There are so many reasons why choosing to stay at a bed and breakfast can help you create your very best vacation. In our last blog, we dealt with the parking issue. In this blog, we are moving into an area that can have great impact on the quality of your vacation-Time and how you spend it.
In the U.S., the average worker all year long, including holidays, gets 16 days vacation. This lags very far behind most advanced economies. French citizens (30 days). UK (28 days) Sweden, Denmark, Norway (25). Only Japan lags behind the United States. To add insult to injury, according to a 2913 study, we let 3.2 of those days go unused. All this equates to one clear thing. Time off is premium time and the expectation surrounding it can be disproportionately weighted with expectation.
Generally, vacations occur in places the visitor is not familiar with. New territory, new opportunities for fun. Less familiarity with an area can create a waste of time engaged in research and deciding on what might bring the best experiences for the time available but it doesn’t have to. Coming to the ” vacation rescue”, none other than your innkeeper. They live in the area you’ve chosen to visit. They know the area you’re visiting in a way that will not be found in guidebooks or even online sources- Even if you choose to spend hours of your time researching the best things to do rather than living your vacation. They know the easiest way to get there saving you traffic snags and hours of precious time that could regretfully be spent getting lost.
Your innkeeper understands vacation is short and that it can be better spent than doing research and trying to figure out how to navigate your way to the place finally chosen. Your innkeeper is also fully vested in helping you to create your best vacation. Folks tend to return to places they really enjoyed so in helping you find your vacation zen, she may get to see you again.
Many of our guests make early communication with us before their arrival letting us know the kinds of activities they enjoy. Upon Check-In, we have already done all the leg work and provide them with all the information they’ll need to access places of interest we know they’ll like and spot on directions to get there. It’s a win-win! Then, it’s as simple as enjoying a piece of freshly made cake, compliments of your innkeeper, along with a great cup of coffee as you decide which part of the LIST you’ll undertake tomorrow. Now, that’s a vacation.
Reasons for Booking an Asheville Bed & Breakfast 14 May 2015, 7:15 am
This blog series is dedicated to exploring the varied and very valid reasons for making an Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn your lodging choice for maximizing summertime fun while minimizing the cost of vacation.
Many of my guests on a bit of a budget appreciate the “all inclusive nature” of a bed and breakfast stay. As those of you having booked a hotel stay recently could attest to, the fee of the room is just one of many fees associated with a typical hotel overnight stay.
Parking is generally a charge item and can be made even more pricey if one forgets something in the car and it has to be re-accessed once parked. Each time the car is “brought around” there is the customary gratuity associated with its appearance. Further, there is the actual parking cost. Depending upon location, this could range from a low of $20 per day to the cosmopolitan rate of $70 per night depending on location. When added to the top of accommodations daily, this can exponentially increase the cost of a nightly lodging.
No one doesn’t think about cost these days. Further, as anyone who has watched the secret videos, usually compliments of 60 minutes of some other “reveal” kind of programming, of valets creating a carnival rides out of their parking duties while performing wheelies or recklessly conducting real life studies of how long it really takes the owners car to get from 0-60 know that handing your car keys over comes complete with some risk. All this is to say nothing of losses incurred by unsuspecting car owners of personal belongings that go missing, loose change and cash or entire identities compromised by errant slips of paper, wallets or credit cards left in the car.
Parking is completely free at our bed and breakfast. It is off street and securely situated in the back gardens of our property. We do recommend locking of all vehicles as is recommended by law enforcement in general terms. The only person accessing your car each and every time you need to get to it~is safely, securely only you. We may love your car, think its both its color and styling have no compare, even have genuine avarice for it and wish we owned it….but despite all this…. we promise NO WHEELIES!
Annual Spring Plant Sale at Asheville’s Botanical Garden 1 May 2015, 1:29 pm
There are few things I look forward to more than a plant sale. Mid Spring is dotted with more than a few opportunities but none with more local growers than this one. This year’s dates are Friday, May 1 2015 noon to six and Saturday, May 2 2015 8:30 a.m.-3:00.
The Botanical Gardens in Asheville is an independent not for profit organization offering wonderful, right in the middle of town opportunities for walking and exploring local plant specimens. Likewise, all the vendors participating in this sale are regional growers. Gardeners know how much importance this is relevant plant growth and health. Plants that are regionally grown enjoy a head start as they are already accustomed to the soil, ph and climate conditions in their areas.
Yearly, all of the annuals we put out for the vibrant garden color our guests love and the robustly lovely Japanese Maples that dot our landscape here At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn have come from this sale in years past. The Men’s Garden Club is our mother lode ship for annuals from marigolds to geraniums. Caladiums in all colors, sweet potato vine and healthy and beautifully hued begonias are just a few of the many things these gentleman specialize in.
For those who much prefer more bang for the buck and less pain in your back perennials are also on tap. Azaleas, Rhodi’s, unique and rare Japanese Maples, hostas, ferns, viburnum, and a host of trees from Fringe to Ginko. This offers a rare opportunity for shoppers to actually experience face time opportunities with people who really know their plants and whose knowledge base has been honed and perfected from years of experience in the field.
Just in case you are not able to attend this years sale…put a mark on your calendar to start checking online to look for this sale’s date at the first weekend of each May. That is generally when it is held. Convenient because of Asheville’s frost date of May 10.
It marks the real pot planting at our inn and frankly, after this winter season, I am chomping at the bit.
Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival Asheville NC 20 Apr 2015, 12:47 pm
Cheese by definition is a food rendering created from pressed curds of milk. To say only this is not to understand cheese in all its very tasty glory.
There is aged cheese, practically an art form and more simplistic versions of cheese like cottage and goat cheese. There is an entire history of cheese and the manner in which it was made food dating back approximately 4,000 years. According to legend, an arabian tradesman starting out across the dessert, put his traveling supply of milk in the container pouch of the day “AKA- a sheep’s stomach” and began his journey. As the heat of the day increased, the temperature in the pouch did too. That coupled with the rennet, an enzyme noted in the stomachs of ruminate animals, created a separation of the whey solution from the curd of the milk and cheese was born.
The love of cheese and interest in the making of it continued to flourish. In Asheville, everything is local. So began the idea for the First Annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest. Highland Brewery in Asheville will host this event on Sunday April 26, 2015 from 12-4 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase @ MountainCheeseFest.com and are $12 Address is 12 Old Charlotte Highway.
Beer and Cheese pairings, wine and cheese pairings, opportunities to purchase cheese and meat, cheese aging, opportunities to sample various local cheeses and even mozzarella stretching will be on the docket. 19 of the best regional cheese makers will have brought their wares available for tasting. The first 500 guests through the door will be offered a complimentary insulated bag to house their purchases but if planning to arrive later for the event bring a means to keep your purchases cold and also some cold, hard cash. Some vendors accept credit cards but some don’t.
If your love of cheese is an obsession, stay tuned for my next Blog. Asheville now has a cheese trail. From Bakersville, to Marion to Asheville and beyond cheese is making its whey through WNC. Forgive me, I couldn’t help the way I spelled whey. The cheese made me do it.
Spring Flowering Bushes in Asheville B&B 2 7 Apr 2015, 11:49 am
Winter seems vanquished for now. We are expecting 75 degrees in our back garden today with 77 to follow tomorrow. If Asheville stays true to form however, there will be one last gasp before winter 2015 takes it’s final curtain call. Gary and I have been living in Asheville now starting our 17th year in June and we no longer fall for these winter weather tricks beguiling you with temperate winds and warm sunshine only to ruin all the lovely annuals carefully planted only weeks before the all clear on May 10.
Pieris: AKA Andromeda. One of last years favorite editions ~ Long, pink floral tendrils, ever so fragrant accompanied by very pretty foliage known for it’s reliability. We lined the far side of the pond along the guest path with a few of these in 2014.
Flowering Quince: When I think of quince it calls to mind the pupa stage of the butterfly. They go without notice of any kind throughout the year. In the spring they are breathtaking. The flowering quince At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn is located at the back property where the guests park. It is mature and a glorious dark, dark pink color. It is called Double Storm and though it, like other flowering quince counterparts, lives a life of quietude save the spring bloom~that alone makes it worth the price of admission. It is my vision to try and place some Forsythia in close proximity to it next year seeking to create a riot of color for Spring 2016.
Flowering Tulip Bush: A reasonably compact plant about 5’X5″ it’s fragile pale pink beauty is one of the first signs of spring in the back garden. It is a relative, genus speaking, of the Magnolia tree.
Azalea: The staple flowering bush of the southern garden. Much of the garden at our inn is at least partially shaded so it should come as no great surprise that we have made azalea a star performer. Pre-dating our arrival, a breathtakingly red, mature and robust sized bush on the left as you ascend the front marble stairs and a mature. low lying entire bank of pink on the right. In 2014, fall, we planted 2 Gibraltar bushes lining the path to the house and this year we added 3 Orange Frost Monrovia spring-fall bloomers to this same path. Under our majestic, towering 60 feet Ohio Buckeye tree in front of the inn, the beginnings of a brand new azalea garden begun in 2013 are taking shape. Simply gardener whimsy, I began a collection of what I call “dead dog” plants. Found in various garden centers across Asheville with no specific color in mind at all & fully prepared to go along where the fates of color took me I began my collection of miscreant plants. Most of these plants were in such dire shape upon their purchase that their very survival was in question. Of the 10 I purchased, only 3 lost their battle and the others have flourished. We added those 3 back this year plus one more to grow on. In my mind’s eye, at some point yet to be determined an azalea garden of whimsy, strength and simple will to live will take place under that fine old tree creating a splash of color so fine the guests will never know they began as poor bets.
Camillia: The front garden on the left is home to April Rose. My Mom grew a Camillia when I was a young girl. I was always struck by the utter perfection of their petal formation. April Rose displays a vibrant, nearly electric, deep rose color of such beauty all guests approaching the front door have little choice but to pay homage to her beauty.
As I was composing these last two posts it read like a history of the garden at our inn. Even when there was virtually no garden- the minute I saw the land expanse the wheels of color begin their inevitable churnings in my mind and the dreams of what was yet to come projected into focus. Our guests love this garden and their enjoyment of all the magic we’ve woven here makes it all worth while.
Spring Flowering Bushes In Asheville B&B 1 26 Mar 2015, 10:44 am
Winter seemingly was entrenched for good as I straggled to work a few weeks back. Generally, I am ok with winter but like many in the country though I was not dealing with a Boston, I was well over the winter. The thing about cyclical seasons is that they become time markers of a sort. The rhythm of our lives seem built around the waxing and waning of the calendar as it moves ever forward marking the passing of another year.
We have owned our inn for a long time purchasing in June of 1999. Both of us embrace gardening as a passion. When we came to the property, there was very little garden here but as I stood in the back yard, I envisioned the nearly .75 acres here with the artistry some people think of only in terms of canvas or some other kind of traditional art.
We immediately began the planting plan with one thing in mind~SPRING.
Viburnum: Most of these plants are in shades of white or pink. We chose Miss Kim. It was one of the last plants selected because, we assigned it a purpose of~ scent. One of the most acute of our senses, the olfactory element, act as memory stimulants for all the wonderful things in our past. We carefully placed it on the side path to the front of our home so that as guests arrive, making their way to the front door, they are accompanied by its heavenly vanilla aroma till we greet them at the front door.
Mock Orange: As our guests leave their car, Mock Orange, a very old shrub in terms of genus, are located in gardens to their left. Their bright white color coupled with their citrus scent announcing to the car weary traveler….”Hey, you are on vacation now. All will be well.”
Deutzia: A relative of hydrangea with an equally loyal following. We uncovered this beautiful and oh so fragrant bush behind mid garden on the right. Late in the spring, it is awash in too numerous to count small pink blossoms with yellow eyes. It’s lovely fragrance is straight out of central casting.
Forsythia: In our inn’s garden this herald of spring lines the drive. It is wild and free in spirit resisting any intention we have of creating order out of chaos. It’s habit is very much announcing~”Look, it’s been a long winter. Don’t cage me in-Rather, follow my lead and I’ll show you about having a riotous good time. ”
Lilac: Positioned in prominence and one of our older garden occupants ushering guests through the garden promising beauty and sweet fragrance in profusion. Our lilac tree is purple and in the language of flowers that expresses the first emotions of love. As reliable as it is captivating. We often harvest a few for bridal bouquets in the intimate weddings we have hosted here.
There will, of necessity, be an additional post to cover spring blooming At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn. Until I started this blog today, inspired by our beautiful Spring day here, as I took inventory, it’s simply too many to be contained in one Spring Blog. I have to go to the garden now, it’s calling my name and I must answer. More soon.
St. Patty’s Day 2015 Asheville Style 14 Mar 2015, 12:24 pm
It is believed that Saint Patrick (not truly born in the Emerald Isle) was captured and later enslaved by Irish raiders as a mere teenager. He endured this pitiful state for some six years in Ireland. Later finding himself in France, he successfully studied for the priesthood progressing to the level of bishop. Proselytizing the faith upon his return to Ireland, he worked in that country until March 17, 461 A.D., the date of his death which now riotously celebrated across the U.S. and many other countries.
Boston and Chicago may make claim to larger celebrations but none are any more dedicated to all things Irish than Asheville’s wearin of the green.
Just some of what’s going on:
March 14, 2015: 9th Annual Shamrock Run: 5K and 10K event will benefit North Asheville Catholic School’s drive to improve their technology program. Post race beer from Asheville Brewing Company.
March 15, 2015: St. Patrick’s at Unity Show- Carolina Ceili: If you are of the mind to Irish dance like no one’s watching-Mills River at 1:30 March 15 will be your dream come true as step dancers, reels and jigs are on tap in a fun filled show.
DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE: Tuesday March 17, 2015
Downtown After Five and St. Patrick’s Day Party: The Orange Peel will use this date in celebration of the saint, a kick off to summer and the announcement of the Music line up for the 27th Season of Downtown After Five. It is destined to be a good time. Doors open at 7 p.m.
St. Patty’s Day With Cutthroat Shamrock: March 17, 2015 at Highland Brewing Company from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Food Trucks and Irish tunes.
Jack of the Wood: All day-All night Irish celebration of St. Patty’s Day. Gypsy Dargle and Red Wellies tapping it out in true celtic fashion.
St. Patrick’s Feast and Food at Lex 18 March 17, 2015 where for the price of a ticket there is dinner, drinks and a celtic show. $95 lex18avl.com can provide all the info you want & tickets.
Hi- Wire Brewing (W. Asheville) and Altamont Brewing Company, Green Man Brewery: March 17, 2015 will each have shindigs of their own in celebration of St. Pat’s
In Asheville, one would not require leprechaun magic to enjoy a Celtic Feast in honor of St. Pat’s Day.
All the downtown locations are within walking distance of our Asheville inn and our bubbly, relaxing jacuzzi tubs and warm fireplaces will make you feel like you’ve found your own pot of gold. Happy St. Patrick’s Day you all!
Live Well Expo Asheville 2015 9 Mar 2015, 10:47 am
Every time we think we have it all together regarding recent advice supplied by the experts regarding best practice to… live long and prosper- to coin my favorite Vulcan, someone changes the play book.
For 28 years I worked as an R.N., before we bought our inn. I was front row center to all the many alterations of advice put forward as “best standard.” Changes ran the gamut of alterations in acceptable lab values to drugs we absolutely should be taking in response to menopause, cholesterol elevations and a myriad of other conditions. All these edicts were put out with complete assurance of the highest of authorities based on the latest, cutting edge research. Nearly, without question, as time moved on they were altered again & again…Sometimes completely countermanded. Data abounds but is constantly in flux changing the message. It can prove challenging in an environment of rapid fire information to enjoy any surety regarding a path to health enabling us to Live Well.
In it’s 2nd year, the 2015 Live Well Expo will be held on Saturday, March 28th at Asheville’s Ag center, presenting completely free an opportunity to gain some of the best information currently available on living well. True to the “wholistic” nature for which Asheville has gained a well deserved reputation, there will be topics designed to address the fullness of living. All elements of a well balanced life will be covered inclusive of the physical, emotional, financial & spiritual components. Free health screening, most current info, games for kids, entertainment and more.
Live Well 2015, Davis Event Center and 100’s of exhibitors may create a slightly more illumined path to living well. Don’t miss it.