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The B&B breakfast from hell

Yep, I have had people wrinkle their nose at my cream. "Cream" to them is either the powdered stuff or skim milk.

More than once guests and family members have accused me to being "too fancy".....

Sep 02, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics

The B&B breakfast from hell

"She also made all the guests gather in a little sitting room before "unveiling" the breakfast"

Is that a not so uncommon B&B practice because we ran into the same thing in the NY Fingerlakes region. We found it odd. The husband ushered us into the parlor and gave us, in my husband's words, a lecture about how we were suppose to conduct ourselves - talk to the other guests, enjoy the concept of a communal table and so on.

The doors were then slid open with a flourish and we were herded into the dining room where we were instructed to stand while he described each breakfast item. Then we were allowed to sit down to eat.

There was 12 guests and most of us exchanged "what the...?" looks.

Aside from this bit of theatre, it was a very nice stay.

Sep 01, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics
1

What to look for choosing a propane grill?

We have gone thru a number of grills in our 23+ years together. Mr. CB is absolutely brutal on them (don't ask) and so far, this one has resisted all of his abuses -

http://www.weber.com/grills/series/we...

We have another Weber (the Genesis series I think) that has lasted a long time as well. He has replaced the bars and grates at least twice but the body is sound.

Sep 01, 2015
cleobeach in Cookware

Best inexpensive but decent knives for sharing at cottage (must be avail in Grter Vancouver)

I have Victorinox knives at my cabin. They are cheap enough to replace when needed. This one has held up quite well -

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005...

The B&B breakfast from hell

Concerning expecting fresh dairy for coffee, I would as well. I keep it at home and expect it at an above average accommodation.

Sep 01, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics

Hershey ISO not chocolate

I have also heard good things about the Mill but haven't tried it yet.

We eat at the Hershey Hotel a couple of times a year. Harvest does the farm to table thing but I also prefer the Circular. (living in the area, farm to table is my normal cooking at home so I don't necessary seek it out for a restaurant)

Trevi's patio dining is lovely for light fare and cocktails if the weather cooperates but in October, it might not be open.

The lounge at the Hotel is great for cocktails.

We last dined at Bricco in late June and it was very good.

Aug 31, 2015
cleobeach in Pennsylvania

The B&B breakfast from hell

Yes, we have encountered "odd" breakfasts at B&Bs.

The straw that broke the B&B's camels back for my husband was when we were served inedible Irish soda bread and water. It was so bad, it was almost funny. The hostess was so proud of it (the soda bread) and was genuinely perplexed when we asked for juice and coffee. Two years later, I saw the house listed for sale with no mention of its prior B&B life so I guess that venture failed.

Aug 31, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics

Casual Lunch Near Rittenhouse Square

No, we haven't been to the other location.

Aug 27, 2015
cleobeach in Philadelphia

Casual Lunch Near Rittenhouse Square

We are frequent visitors to the City so our dining experiences are different than those who live there.

We enjoy Parc and I agree on the people watching. If it is a nice day, you might be able to sit outside or enjoy the open doors. We were there last week and choose to sit inside because my husband likes a larger table and it felt like we were outside because of the open wall.

We also liked Tria last time we were there.

I thought Continental was dirty last time we were there, it turned me off. Dirty like tables not wiped down, food on the floor, etc.

Aug 27, 2015
cleobeach in Philadelphia

Let's Do Something Different for the Holidays

I am sorry for your loss. I understand your desire to change. I lost my grandparents as well as the fallout of my parent's devastating divorce within a 6 month period. All four people were the center of our family gatherings.

Like someone mentioned, we used this as a reason to take a break from hosting. However, we had a standing invitation to join our dear friends.

Where is your son in this? Is he expecting you to host or is he at the stage in his life where he can, and maybe should, take over duties for at least one season? Kudos for you to extending a welcome to his girlfriend's family.

If it will be at your house, I like the idea of breaking tradition (and what better time to do it) and doing a fun dinner. A few things I have done - seafood boil (everyone splits the cost for the seafood and every household brings a side), lasagna made via group participation, all appetizer party (assign meat, veggie, starch, etc. so there is a variety) and a soup/homemade bread Christmas where people signed up to bring one or the other.

Aug 25, 2015
cleobeach in Home Cooking

Garbage Disposal Units - How common are they in the US?

My dad installed one in our house back in the 80s and as far as I know, none of my friends or family had one. Living in the country, food scraps (what wasn't feed to the domestic animals) was pitched down over the bank or into the woods.

Most houses seem to have them now.

However, there is a push in my town to discover use because the sewer system has more grease/veggie/fruit waste than it can handle. Apparently it messes with the chemical balance needed to properly process true sewer waste.

I won't replace ours during the kitchen remodel. We have a compost area where the veggie/fruit scraps can go.

Aug 25, 2015
cleobeach in Cookware

So did you just wear the stain ?

Vacation 15 or so years ago. My husband and I were having breakfast at an outdoor café prior to catching a ferry. I like ketchup on my eggs but hate that ketchup "water" that often comes out first. Therefore, I have a habit of shaking the ketchup bottle prior to dispensing.

That particular morning, I didn't check the cap and the first three strong shakes showered my husband in ketchup. His yelp startled me and I somehow turned it onto myself for the next two shakes.

We sat for a few second and then just kept on eating as our food was getting cold. The table next to us actually got into a fight because the wife pointed out that my husband didn't freak out the way her's apparently would have after a ketchup shower.

I remember the sweater I was wearing that day, it had a really thick yarn with a loose knit so that ketchup seeped in and stained my white tank as well. I looked like a walking crime scene.

Vernick

Any guess what the really sweet flavored fish was? Those pieces in ours were delightful. It was the hunks of the white/light fish that were hard and dry in ours. I think they were overlooked even before they went into the crock.

As for the not seating you, we were speculating that maybe they were pacing the tables for the sake of the kitchen. There was certainly even staff on the floor.

Our waitress gave us a great wine recommendation that we really enjoyed.

We will go back again next time we are in town but just stick to the small p

Aug 21, 2015
cleobeach in Philadelphia
1

Tip jars - love 'em? Hate 'em?

Funny this popped up again as I was just annoyed (again, it doesn't take much) the other day by the tip box at my drive thru carwash place. Its the automatic type, no one towel dries the car or vacuums. The only human interaction is the guy who instructs you to put the car in neutral and sprays some sort of stuff on the front end. Most of the time, it is the owner. Every time I see the tip box, I wonder what he is thinking put it out there.

Aug 21, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Have you ever lost . . . .

A gallon of grape juice purchased at a winery. It was packaged in a jug like milk gallons are sold in.

Purchased in October and slid under my SUV seat on the way home. Totally forgot about it. Black interior, dark jug, completely escaped notice.

This SUV had a fabric curtain that came down from the rear seat to the floor. The jug somehow slipped between the gap at the edge on the ride home and was completely hidden from view.

Winter months go by, spring months go by and at some point the fermentation caused a slow leak.

Summer rolls around and the smell started. We could not figure out why the vehicle smelled like a bar.

Then I noticed the mold. Yes, the carpeting under the floor mats developed creeping mold.

What a mess that was to clean up!

Breakfast Campfire Cooking for a Crowd?

Honestly, the "camp" cooking challenged me more than I thought it would, glad to help save you some frustration.

Let us know how it turns out!

Aug 19, 2015
cleobeach in Home Cooking

Who's next ?

Ditto ricepad's response.

I have a dear friend who is a very sweet, considerate person but who is the most clueless person in the world. She stumbles through life blindly and would be the type to assume she was next because she simply is lost in her own world.

Aug 19, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Breakfast Campfire Cooking for a Crowd?

a 60 person camping party sounds like my kind of party!

Having lived with out a kitchen at our cabin all summer, I'll share my successes and failures of grill-only and/or campfire cooking:

Hashbrowns or other manner of fried potatoes - only if you have a huge flattop and a lot of time and do all the slicing/dicing before hand.

Biscuits - I would rate these a medium success. It was hard to regulate the temp of the cast iron pan and they burnt on the bottom but the tops were fine.

For a crowd, I would cook them ahead of time and warm them in a large, foil covered disposable pans. This is my plan for this weekend. Just so with lots of butter would be excellent hangover food. What about doing one or two compound butters in addition to regular butter? Eggs and bacon could be added to make sandwiches.

Pancakes - no. I can't seem to get the pan at the right temp using a cook stove.

The shredded potatoes might work but based on my experience, there is a danger of scorching the bottom while the top simply steams. I have made them on the grill successfully but it took a lot of tending to keep them evenly crisped.

Aug 19, 2015
cleobeach in Home Cooking

Repurposing leftovers

Count me in as a leftover for breakfast lover. I just finished off a portion of last nights chili with a topping of cilantro and a couple shakes of hot sauce.

Like the OP, leftovers as a means to a second family meal doesn't work in my household either but I do enjoy them on my own.

Aug 19, 2015
cleobeach in Home Cooking

non-stick pan: all clad others?

I agree, don't invest the cash in an AC non-stick pan. I have one that is on its last legs and I won't replace it. The cheapie ones work as well and have lasted longer.

(For what its worth, I am very happy with my regular AC pans)

Aug 19, 2015
cleobeach in Cookware

Looking for Family Restaurants near Reading Market, Please

Parc might be worth the cab ride.

My comment about the menu was a bit unfair. The menu haas a small but varied selection of entrees of things like duck, veal shank, steak frites, pork (I think) and a nightly special (check the website) and a fun selection of apps.

My husband and son each got an order of escargot and groaned with pleasure. I also thought it was fantastic, served with a couple of slices of thick toast. The atmosphere was fun and had a busy but pleasant vibe.

My husband liked his duck. My son had a pasta with rabbit that was very good. My veal with spetzel was ok but I really liked everything else we had.

It is right on the park in rittenhouse square, which makes it a nice place to stroll before or after dinner.

Aug 18, 2015
cleobeach in Philadelphia
1

Wegmans going downhill

I returned to my closest Wegmans a couple of weeks ago and I had the same observation that it was "less than" it was years ago.

I used to look forward to those Wegman's shopping trips and would stock up on certain items and go crazy buying "treat" items like cheeses, breads, fresh juices, desserts, etc. My recent visit left me wanting the Wegman's I remember from 8-10 years ago.

Aug 18, 2015
cleobeach in Chains

Looking for Family Restaurants near Reading Market, Please

We ate at:

Il Pitorre - enjoyed it

Independence Beer Garden - hated it but there were a number of games the kids might enjoy. Thought the food and service was awful

Vernick - enjoyed it, small plates were decent size, split a full order (seafood roast) that would have feed four as an entrée. Thought the price was fair for the quality, not a low priced option

Granite Hill (at the art museum) - good alternative to the café, high prices and good food

Parc - enjoyed it. Menu doesn't have a ton of variety, thought the prices were appropriate.

My son happily eats anything so I picked choices that satisfied the parents first.

If you search under the Philly thread, there is a fairly recent thread about kid-friendly places that I used to start my research/planning.

Aug 18, 2015
cleobeach in Philadelphia

Vernick

We were also there Friday at 5pm. Interesting they kept you at the bar as the second floor remained half empty until at least 5:30pm-6pm. (My husband noted this because he was not pleased that I made a 5pm reservation, the only available)

I agree 100% on your assessment of the seafood roast. Some of those fish pieces were extremely dry. We enjoyed our toasts, oysters and small plates. We should have skipped the sea food roast.

Aug 18, 2015
cleobeach in Philadelphia

Looking for Family Restaurants near Reading Market, Please

We just got back from a three night stay in Philly with our 9yo and had really great meals. What are the menu needs relating to the kids?

Aug 18, 2015
cleobeach in Philadelphia

Anyone tried Yuengling ice cream?

Yes, we often get the vanilla. I like it well enough.

FYI - it is a different (and somewhat distant) branch of the family but apparently Dick Yuegling (the patriarch of the beer company) unofficially endorses the ice cream.

Memories of Diners

>>>If I was lucky, we'd get a spot at the counter, on the stools that spun<<<

Wow, this bring back memories!

My mom waitressed at a silver diner (one of those shiny oldey-timey diners) and my grandparent, who watched me while she worked, used to take me in for lunch.

The grandparents hated the stools (wanting support for their backs)so the best days were when the booths were full and we had to sit at the counter.

Aug 17, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics
1

Would you/have you put stainless steel counters in your kitchen?

Would I? No. But I nearly put copper in our cabin kitchen so you probably shouldn't give any weight to my opinion.

A friend's parent's house has stainless counters. It is an old brownstone and the kitchen is circa 1950. Those counters survived a couple of large families that used the kitchen hard.

Aug 05, 2015
cleobeach in Cookware

Do you pray before a meal?

My father moved to the States (from Germany) as an adult and he was always bothered by public displays of one's religion in business and social settings. He definitely considered it to be bad for business.

Apparently personal public statements was/is uncommon in Germany as well. My younger cousins was amazed at "the glowing Jesuses" in people's yards at Christmas. (I think they thought the wise men were also some kind of symbol of Jesus)

Jul 31, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Do you pray before a meal?

>>>I am genuinely surprised at how many are not only nominally religious but clearly practice their faith<<<

I was raised in a conservative area where nearly every family attended church on a regular basis.

However, nothing prepared me for what I experienced during my second job out of college. It was in an area populated with a large number of independent bible churches. Those members are all religion, all the time. Large families with large businesses and large bank accounts. The business owners wore their religion on their sleeves, so to speak.

Prayer prior to lunches was expected and prayer at prior to business meetings was not out of the norm. Businesses place ads with bible verses in their print ads as well as bible verse readings on the radio sponsored by the businesses.

I remember one business had a huge bible on a stand in the reception area and I was invited to read it while waiting for my appointment. I was regularly questioned about my faith, where I attended church, what my husband thought of me working outside the home, etc.