I’ve mentioned before that it is the people stories that amaze me about this business. I’ve met parents of dying children who describe themselves as blessed to have met their heroic child; a child who doesn’t question their fate but knows they have a limited life-span and puts every ounce of living into the time they have. I’ve met survivors of illness and injury, including a mother of 2 who was determined to walk up our stairs to her room every night and down again for breakfast, despite having to use a wheelchair at home as she recovers from an injury expected to leave her unable to walk again.
However, this past week, we met an amazing young woman from Russia who had been adopted by a US family just 3 years ago. She was just like any 12 year old girl you may know in your neighbourhood. Having spent time this summer at camp, she was eager to teach my husband how to make smores over the gas fire pit in our back yard and she thrilled at the opportunity to show us the new top she bought her last night here.
What makes her a hero to me is how she doesn’t bat an eyelash at the trials she has survived. Apparently life hasn’t been so good to her in the past – but instead of asking for sympathy or using it as a crutch, she is very proud to tell us about life in the Russian orphanage and how she learned to work hard and do her part to keep the orphanage clean.
You see that’s what makes a hero….the ability to rise above our challenges and keep focused on what is important. Perhaps children are natural at it – more resilient than adults, but I choose to think that we all have the ability to be heroes. And better yet, there are heroes all around us that can help to inspire our own inner hero!
Have you met any heroes lately?
Many of you have asked for the recipe for our famous cherry scones. Well, here you have it directly from Chef Kent’s Kitchen. Let us know how they turn out!
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cherries
Egg wash, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water, beaten
Sugar and sliced almonds, for sprinkling
Preheat oven: 325 degrees F.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter to flour, mix with hands or pastry blender till crumbly. Combine wet ingredients and mix into dry just until moistened. Add cherries. Mixture will be very sticky. Turn onto floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times with floured hands. Cut ball into halves and cut 6 triangles from each half. Brush tops with egg wash. Sprinkle tops with sugar and sliced almonds. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
Serve with preserves and Devon cream as desired.
Many of the guests at Maria’s B&B have actually never stayed in a B&B before, so I sat down at the dinning table with Maria to ask her about a few B&B do’s and don’ts. Here are some of her tips for those of you new to B&B etiquette.
- Be sure to arrive on time or let the B&B owner know when you might be arriving if outside of the posted check in time. Remember, unlike a hotel, you are staying someone’s home and they likely need to run errands like the rest of us.
- Observe the check out time and try to stick to it. Like tip #1, the owner needs time to get ready for their next guests and while you might be on vacation time, they probably have a tight schedule to get all their chores completed before welcoming their next guests.
- Food allergies? Be sure to let the owner know in advance if you have any special dietary restrictions. Most B&B owners will go to great lengths to accommodate allergies or dietary restrictions but you can’t be sure that substitutes are always kept stocked. It is better to let them know at the time of booking and then confirm on arrival. Letting them know that you are allergic to eggs as your omlette is set in front of you is not a great way to ensure good relations.
- Make yourself at home, but not too at home. B&B owners are proud to have you enjoy their home and are pleased when you make yourself comfortable in the space provided – afterall, that is the benefit of staying in a B&B. However, it can be a fine line between making yourself comfortable and encroaching on their private space. If you aren’t sure – just ask! The owners will let you know what areas are reserved for their personal use.
- Need something – ask. The charm of staying in a B&B is that it is a personal residence. As such, if you find yourself in need of something it is likely the owner has what you need and is happy to lend it to you. But please ask; no one likes to know their kitchen drawers have been rifled through if only to borrow something as innocent as a pair of scissors.
- Introduce yourself. When you see other guests at the B&B, be sure to introduce yourself. I know many of us are a bit shy until we know we have common ground to talk about, but hey…you do! You are both staying at the same B&B. And aren’t interesting conversations wtih other vacationers the reason you choose to stay at a B&B?