Years ago, you could refer to community cookbooks as “church & club” cookbooks and that pretty much encompassed most of them and everyone knew what you meant. Then “Community” cookbooks became the general reference name. Well, nowadays there are cookbooks for virtually everyone and everything—not just churches (although I suspect church cookbooks make up the highest percentage of cookbooks in my collection—but I was searching for more “bed and breakfast” cookbooks this morning & was struck by how many other types of cookbooks are out there.
There are the Junior League cookbooks, of course and their existence doesn’t go as far back as you might think. In 1940, the first Junior League cookbook, a compilation of recipes by The Junior League Augusta titled “Recipes from Southern Kitchens”, was published and began a tradition of fundraising through cookbook publishing. (It should be noted, however, that church and club cookbooks, the first community cookbooks, originated during the American Civil War when women wanted to raise money for the Sanitation Commission. Sanitation was a huge issue during the Civil War) – so community cookbooks have been around for a very long time – almost 150 years! But the first Junior League cookbook wasn’t published until 1940. And I think it’s nigh high impossible to find a copy of that original cookbook.
Community cookbooks, however, the ones published by thousands of churches and schools, religious groups of Amish, Hutterite, Shaker, and Mormon, hundreds of different women’s clubs, State fairs all over the USA, famous restaurants and inns—all publish cookbooks. Today, I want to share a few Bed & Breakfast cookbooks with you. And I hasten to add—this is not all that I have in my collection but it would take me a week to go through all of the books that are on shelves inside the house and in my garage library. The idea for this post came from a comment in one of Marion Cunningham’s cookbooks—the Breakfast Book—in which she wrote, in the Introduction to The Breakfast Book, that she had found there were almost no books on the subject of breakfast. Now, I loved Marion Cunningham dearly and not for the world would I contradict someone as famous as she—but I couldn’t help thinking – wait, that’s not exactly true. In my own collection, I had a cookbook titled “Breakfast With Bunny” by Bunny Cameron, published in 1992. OK, I checked – Marion Cunningham’s BREAKFAST BOOK was published in 1987 so Breakfast With Bunny didn’t exist yet. And then I began thinking that I had other Bed & Breakfast cookbooks and wouldn’t that make a good topic for my readers on Sandychatter?
So, I will start with the 1987 BREAKFAST WITH BUNNY. In the Introduction, Bunny Cameron, Innkeeper of the BOMBAY HOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST tells us first about the House which was built in 1907 in the former “milltown” of West Port Blakely by the Beck family. Frank Beck, a shipwright, along with his wife, raised nine children in this house.
The house, Bunny writes, sits on a half acre high on a hillside overlooking Rich Passage, the waterway that separates Bainbridge Island from the Kitsap Peninsula. She writes “We watch the ferries pass and see the distant city lights at dusk. The setting is wonderfully reminiscent of the past with a widow’s walk, a rustic rough cedar gaze4bo, and masses of unstructured gardens exploding with seasonal color…”
She says that every family who has lived there has made improvements to the grounds and home; their first improvement was to paint the exterior of the house which took three men a month. The house was purchased in 1982 by a couple who intended to open a bed and breakfast.
“After six months of paperwork,” she writes, “they were off and running. The business was purchased by Bunny Cameron and Roger Kanchuk in 1986….we moved in on a Monday and rented our first three rooms Saturday!”
At the time this cookbook was published, the Bombay House was in its eleventh season. As nearly as I can determine, the Bombay House has been under a different ownership for the past 25 years and now goes by the name of Hotel Bombay House. My searches on Google weren’t exactly satisfactory—the place still exists; I’m just not positive who owns it. Regardless! I would love to go there. Meantime, we have Breakfast with Bunny to leaf through and mark recipes with post-it notes, those tiny sized ones. (Please, please don’t mark your favorite cookbook pages with paper clips or by turning down the corners of a page! I BEG of you not to do this—it detracts from the value of your cookbook and I have often removed old paperclips and found the pages permanently marked, often with rust.)
Bunny tells us that the recipes in her cookbook were developed for good cooks who have a busy schedule (that would be all of us) – but for those who still desire exceptional food for their family and for home entertaining as well. She says most of the recipes can be made completely from scratch or by starting with a convenience product; most are simple to prepare and quick to cook and represent American cooking with an international flair. Her favorite recipes, she offers, are those that taste like she’s been working on them for three days but took 30 minutes to prepare! Bunny also likes to have recipes at her fingertips that are prepared from ingredients on hand without making that special trip to the market. (me, too!)
Some of the recipes in Breakfast with Bunny represent different times in her life; some came from her years as a caterer in Anchorage, some from her experience in the kitchen at Bombay House, and others were given to her by guests. She also tell us that twenty percent of her recipes are good – eighty percent are fabulous!
Breakfast with Bunny starts out with House Specialties which include Apple Crisp, Bainbridge Island Raspberry Cake, Bombay House’s Bran Muffins and Orange Coffee Ring – plus others.
She writes “The Bombay House breakfast presented each morning may include fresh fruit, juices, muffins, sweet breads, yeast breads, coffee cakes, pastries, jams, jellies, homemade spreads and cereals….” Bunny serves this morning meal in a large country kitchen that looks out on a deck, and further down the valley to a water view of Rich Passage…oh, my! I can just picture it and wish I were there!
The Appetizer recipes are going to take up an entire packet of post-its – here you will find everything from Artichoke Spread to Texas Chili Dip, with Pickled Mushrooms and Smoked Salmon Spread in between. (Her pickled mushrooms is different from mine and I am going to have to make it to have on hand during the holidays!)
Beverages include a Brandy Ice made with Kahlua, Champagne Punch, and “Hop, Skip, and Go Naked Punch” which sounds delish but we are warned “when you have finished your first drink and feel totally refreshed, don’t make another batch—the name of this cocktail should explain the nature of this drink!”
Under the section for CAKES is a wide array of recipes to try and I found some excellent baking tips that I did not know. In DESSERTS look for treats such as Black Bottom Cupcakes, Bombay House Bread Pudding and Orange Coffee Ring, listed in the House Specialties, but also check out the Blueberry Cheesecake and Hot fudge Sauce. There is something called Daffodil Dessert that sound utterly decadent.
Breakfast with Bunny provides a list of Entrees without Meat—ranging from Angel Eggs to Mexican Quiche, Spinach and Broccoli Casserole and Vegetable Pie – any one of which would be a great “side” dish to take along to a party. I thought my Sweet Potato Casserole was special but there is one in Breakfast with Bunny that sounds even better!
Meat Entrees offers recipes such as Beef Stroganoff, Glazed Corned Beef, Lasagna and Steak with Fresh Herbs. Other categories are Griddle Cakes and Corn Breads, Muffins, Biscuits and Dinner Breads, Salad Dressings, Salads, Sandwiches, Sweet Breads and Yeast Breads. And I know we’re all familiar with breads such as Lemon Bread and Banana Bread – but Avocado Bread? Pear Bread? Pineapple Zucchini Bread? Raspberry Nut Bread? These are just a sampling of what you can find in BREAKFAST WITH BUNNY. And I’ve been salivating – would love to visit Bainbridge Island and go see Bombay House the next time I visit my niece who lives near Settle.
Amazon.com has a few copies – a couple of pre-owned copies for under a dollar, and a new copy for $4.99. Just type in “Breakfast with Bunny” – when I added cook book to the search, I didn’t get any hits. However, alibris.com has several copies for 99c each.
Then I came across ANGEL OF THE SEA BED AND BREAKFAST COOKBOOK, published in 1994, contains 200 of the Angel’s Most Loved Recipes. This B&B can be found at Cape May in New Jersey. The Angels of the Sea was built around 1850 as a “summer cottage” for William Weightman, a Philadelphia chemist who discovered and manufactured quinine for medical application. Built as a single structure, the house originally stood on the corner of Franklin and Washington Streets where the Cape May Post Office now stands.
In 1881, Mr. Weightman’s son, William Jr., decided that an ocean view from the broad porches of his “cottage” would be appreciated by family, friends and guests. To accomplish this goal, he hired a number of local farmers to move the house to a piece of property on the corner of Ocean and Beach avenues which the Marquis de Lafayette now stands.
The farmers discovered the house was too large to move as one unit. Not wanting to lose the winter work. They decided to cut the house in half, move it in sections and then reconnect it after the move. Their task took all winter long, pulling the sections on rolling tree trunks with mule and horse power! Unfortunately, after both halves of the house were moved to the new location, the farmers discovered that, although their mules and horses were quite adequate for “pulling” the house, they proved totally ineffective in “pushing” it back together. Summer was close upon them and Mr. Weightman would soon be returning to Cape May. The Farmers enclosed the sides where the cut had been made, renovated as best they could and hurried back to their farming chores. The results of their efforts are the two buildings as they stand today.
The house remained in the Weigthtman family until Mr. Weightman’s death in 1907. In 1962 a powerful Nor’easter ripped through New Jersey and devastated the city of Cape May…,.the Angel survived but not without considerable damage…it was going to be torn down when it was saved by Reverend Carl McIntire and moved from the site to their present location on Trenton avenue. This time the houses were moved on flatbed trucks…from 1962 to 1981 the houses were used to board employees from several nearby inns and used as a dormitory for students from Shelton college…during this time there was very little maintenance and the buildings were left abandoned to vandals an the elements until December 1988.
A builder and developer, John Girton, purchased the property and began renovations in January, 1989. The first of the two buildings opened in July of 1989…after its first two successful seasons as a bed and breakfast, the Angel of the Sea was acknowledged as one of the top Ten B&Bs in the United States…there is considerable more information about the renovation of Angel of the Sea, which was purchased in 1996 by John Girton’s daughter and her husband who expanded upon the angel’s tradition of excelle3nce and refurbished many of the guest rooms….
Open year round the Angel of the Sea is Cape May’s largest and most elegant bed and breakfast. Each guest room is uniquely furnished and decorated; most have ocean views and all of course have private baths. All guests have access to the Angels many porches and verandas. Mornings at the Angel begin with a hearty, sumptuous full breakfast. Guests can help themselves to a buffet of fresh fruits, cold juices, a variety of cereals, mouth-watering freshly baked muffins and coffee cakes…guests then choose one of two gourmet entrees which are served piping hot to their table.
Some of the recipes you will find in the Angel of the Sea cookbook are Bacon Pie, Farmer’s Breakfast, Glazed Sausages & apples, Fruit Kugel, Dutch apple French Toast, Mushroom Cheese Strata and many more…yum! The Spinach Cheddar Bake has caught my attention along with “Christmas” Breakfast Casserole! There are dozens more recipes, each on a separate page inside hidden spiral binding – the book will lay out flat or can easily be propped on a kitchen counter. Angel of the Sea cookbook is about to become one of my favorite cookbooks, residing on a baker’s rack in my kitchen along with other favorites.
Angel of the Sea is available on Amazon.com starting at one cent for a pre-owned copy; Alibris.com has pre-owned copies for 99 cents. Some new copies are ridiculously priced; if I am to believe them, my 1994 copy is worth almost $200.00. (Just remember, a book is only that valuable if someone is willing to pay that much. I am never going to be willing to spend that much money on one book!) However, that being said, I love, love, love the format of Angel of the Sea – and I am thrilled by so many of the recipes –I can’t wait to try so many of them!
Next on my list of favorites is a place called Trout Springs Bed & Breakfast, located in Hamilton, Montana. In the introduction we read “Nestled against the backwaters of the Bitterroot River in the heart of Bitterroot Valley lies an elegant and spacious Bed & Breakfast. The location is a haven for Beaver, Birds and Deer with trout ponds and beautiful gardens in the yard…a true paradise for nature lovers and sportsmen alike. “
We’re told that all bedrooms have king size beds and private baths. There is a honeymoon suite and a Jacuzzi room available. The bedrooms and rest of the house feature original western art designed and built by the proprietors in their own gallery on the premises..there are fireplaces, TV, laundry and spacious decks overlooking beautiful gardens. In the evening there is a campfire for all guests to share and get acquainted with each other. Recipes in Trout Springs Bed & Breakfast quite logically follow a western theme—Western Ham Steaks with Lemon, Montana Grasshopper Pie, Russler (Rustler?) Punch, and Lil Buckaroo Chocolate Pie—but there are plenty of other recipes to try and appreciate.
This one may be a little harder to find—I didn’t find any listings on Amazon or Alibris but you may find a copy somewhere else; I am trying to reconcile the idea of going trout fishing on your honeymoon—or for that matter, trout fishing from ponds. The last time I went trout fishing with my then-husband, he fished at a lake in the Sierra mountains while I spent a lot of time reading. But I am impressed with some of the recipes – smoked trout, for instance, and Smoked Trout Crepes, Trout Greek Almondie, I even found a recipe for homemade soap!! Yowza! **
My next cookbook is a compilation of B&Bs – lucky you! COLORADO BED & BREAKFAST COOKBOOK is a collection from 85 B& Bs and Country Inns, by Carol Faino with Doreen Hazledine. I was admiring the cover and the hidden spiral binding when I noticed the publisher – Wimmer – a company I am well acquainted with. Wimmer publishes a lot of cookbooks and they are always well done.
In the Introduction, Carol Faino explains how she and her husband had their first B&B experience some years ago in Victoria, British Columbia. The hosts were delightful, their room was charming, breakfast was memorable and when they said their goodbyes, the owners presented them with a keepsake – and pen and ink drawing of their inn. “Needless to say,” Carol writes, “We were hooked! We have stayed din many B&Bs since and even dream of someday having our own”.
Carol says, “Combining my enchantment with the B&B concept, my longtime interest in cooking, the generosity and enthusiasm of 85 Colorado B&B owners, the invaluable guidance of special friend and mentor, author Gary Enright and willing co-author and friend Doreen Hazledine, COLORADO BED AND BREAKFAST COOKBOOK became a reality…”
She writes that the cookbook is a collection of recipes from the simple to the gourmet that have received rave reviews from B&B guests. Many dishes can be made the night before or have shortcuts to help make entertaining easier. (I almost always look for recipes that can be made in advance when I am planning a party or expecting out of town guests. If I am having guests for several days, I like to have at least two breakfasts prepared – and at least one or two casseroles to plan dinners around).
Carol says she and Doreen have researched and compiled B&B information and recipes with care so that their cookbook is as reliable and accurate as possible. COLORADO BED AND BREAKFAST COOKBOOK was first published in 1996 and my copy is from the 4th printing—always an encouraging indication of a popular cookbook!
The Table of Contents ranges from Bread & Muffins, biscuits, Rolls, Coffee Cake & Scones….to Egg Entrees, side dishes, evening Entrees, Desserts and B&B Potpourri. There is a Colorado map of B&B locations and an alphabetical listing of the B&Bs. Inasmuch as this cookbook was published sixteen years ago, I suggest you check with any B&B to make sure they are still in business or—as sometimes happens—may have changed hands.
The format of COLORADO BED AND BREAKFAST COOKBOOK is a cookbook collectors dream; each featured B&B has its own page with an inkline drawing of the B&B, and all pertinent information—owners names, address, telephone number, the type of rooms and whether or not children (and pets!) are welcome. The very first B&B featured is the Tudor Rose, described as “a stately country manor located high on a pinon hill. The land surrounding this unique tudor estate covers 37 sprawling acres that were once part of an 1890s homestead.” The Tudor Rose is accompanied by a recipe for Chocolate Bread with Raspberry Sauce (be still my heart!).
Dripping Springs Inn, described as a unique country inn located in the Roosevelt National Forest on the Big Thompson River boasts of seven acres of ponderosa pines and aspens that border a horseshoe bend in the river, allowing plenty of wildlife viewing for guests. Their feature is Bread Pudding Bread that sounds delicious! (And can be made with leftover French bread, croissants, muffins, etc—something to keep in mind when you have leftover breads and don’t know what to do with them).
Meadow Creek, once part of the 250 acre Douglass ranch, was built in 1929…the property is nestled in a secluded meadow surrounded by stone outcroppings…Tall pines and aspens border a small spring fed creek—and the recipe from Meadow Creek is Pistachio Banana Bread—which I can’t wait to try for holiday baking this year!
There are a wealth of breakfast recipes in COLORADO BED AND BREAKFAST COOKBOOK—ranging from Upside-Down Apple French Toast to Crème Caramel French Toast, Crustless Quiche and Breakfast Rellenos. B& B Potpourri piqued my curiosity so I had to check it out – Blueberry Vinaigrette from Romantic Riversong Inn, Black Bean Dip from Elizabeth Street Guest House and Grandma Kitty’s Little Quiches from Red Crags are just a sampling of what you will discover.
I can’t describe all 85 of the B&Bs, and I discovered that the website domain www.bbcookbook.com is no longer valid. I then checked Amazon.com and discovered that Colorado Bed and Breakfast Cookbook was reprinted in hardcover in 2009; that one, pre-owned, can be bought for $8,.70. However, copies of the edition that I have with the hidden spiral binding can be yours starting at one cent & up for pre-owned. I also found it listed on Alibris.com and available under their 99c books. Everything I have found in COLORADO BED AND BREAKFAST COOKBOOK makes me want to head for the kitchen and start baking!
“Angels” return to us under the title of BREAKFAST WITH THE ANGEL, An Angel Arbor Bed & Breakfast Recipe Collection, by Marguerite Swanson.
Angel Arbor Bed & Breakfast Inn was built in 1923 for John and Katherine McTighe and is a stately red brick Georgian-style residence and a City of Houston Historic Landmark. Marguerite and Dean Swanson acquired the property in 1994 and immediately began a thorough restoration which resulted in a comfortable 5-bedroom inn that it is today, just 5 minutes from downtown Houston.
While I found references to the Bed & Breakfast in several travel sites, I was unable to find a copy of the cookbook in either Amazon or Alibris. Unusual recipes to be found in BREAKFAST WITH THE ANGEL would certainly include Sweet Potato Bread (a good way to use up an excess of mashed, cooked sweet potatoes after Thanksgiving!) or Pumpkin apple Muffins. I found a recipe for Lemon Zucchini Muffins that I wish I had noticed about a week ago when I was trying to use up an excess of shredded zucchini – but I think the recipe for Cranberry Oatmeal Dutch Crunch Muffins has to be a winner (it uses fresh cranberries, not dried ones!) I am also interested in trying Marguerite’s recipe for Apple Oatmeal Bread (as soon as the weather cools down here in the high desert!) but there are lots of other recipes as well – sausage and egg breakfast casserole, potato ham and egg casserole—or perhaps Bountiful Breakfast Bake—it sounds like a winner. I wish I had some ordering information to share with you; you might keep a lookout for it, especially if you visit Houston.
Another beautifully compiled cookbook with a washable cover is THE HOUSE ON THE HILL/A Bed & Breakfast Inn that comes to us from Ellsworth Michigan, Published in 2002. This B&B has only been in business since 1997 but over 3000 couples and singles have visited the B&B since it opened its doors. There are a lot of recipes, as you might expect, but I am especially interested in a wealth of muffin recipes—so many that it has its own category. There are a wealth of egg recipes—Baked Eggs and Mushrooms in Ham Crisps, Bake Green Chile Eggs – or how about Baked Blueberry-Pecan French Toast with blueberry syrup (including directions for making your own syrup). I like the sound of Baked Brie Strata and Favorite Breakfast Casserole. As a matter of fact, I plan to keep the B&B cookbooks together on a shelf because I have discovered that I’ll have all the recipes for almost any kind of party at my fingertips.
I didn’t intend for this post to be quite as long as it is—and no doubt will start finding other B&B cookbooks as soon as I post this on Sandychatter…but I hope this gives you some ideas and what a great resource for your own future brunches or breakfasts when you have guests.