Breakfast at the Old Mill House Bed & Breakfast
Breakfast at The Old Mill House begins with a trip to Fox Spring Farm to buyfresh eggs from nonagenarian Margaret Gibbs. Her beagle’s bark signals a customer’s arrival and soon she appears to gather eggs from her clucking chickens.
Some guests prefer a healthier menu consisting of fresh fruit, yogurt and granola so that calls for a stop at Yoder’s Amish Market. Others like to sample new recipes from Southern Living, some are total vegans and then there are those that think their stay in the country wouldn’t be complete without the typical country cookin’—fried bacon, milk gravy, grits, biscuits and the 95-year old Gibbs’ fresh eggs.
Brunch Popover Pancake
(Yields 4 Servings)
When visiting my dear southern friend, Mary Lee, I awoke to aromas permeating the air and couldn’t wait to join our other friends at the breakfast table to see what she had prepared. The Brunch Popover Pancake was as scrumptious as it was lovely and I knew I wouldn’t leave without the recipe. Eager to try my new recipe, I revived my cast-iron skillet that was a wedding gift in 1962. Many chickens have been fried in that old skillet and cornbread made to perfection. It has a new purpose now. It fits in perfectly with a B&B in the country and I love carrying it hot from the oven to the table and reminiscing about how special ourfamily mealtime was many years ago.
Combine and stir with wire whisk until blended:
4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter (melted)
Place a well-greased 12-inch cast iron skillet in a 425 oven for 5 minutes and then add batter to hot skillet.
Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes.
(Resembles a giant popover and it will fall when removed from oven)
Combine and bring to a boil:
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Add: Fresh peaches or, if not in season,
1 16-ounce package frozen sliced peaches (thawed)Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.Spoon mixture on top of baked pancake. Sprinkle: 1 cup blueberries
The Cheese Soufflé has been a family favorite for many years. My daughter, Kami, got the recipe from the mother of one of her high school friends back in the 1980’s. It is scribbled on a piece of notebook paper, barely legible now and covered with food stains. It is my “Sunday morning standby” because I can prepare it on Saturday night after my guests have retired for the evening and on Sunday morning pop it into the oven and let it bake for an hour while I shower and get ready for church.
Spray glass baking dish with oil.
Mix: 6 slices of bread (trimmed and cubed)
½ lb sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
2 ½ cups milk
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped onion
¼ teaspoon salt & pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Pour egg mixture over bread and cheese mixture. Let stand overnight. Bake at 325 degreesfor one hour.
When autumn leaves begin to fall in Virginia, my mother and I venture to the pear tree in the barnyard to begin making Pear Conserve. After picking about 18 or so, we peel and quarter them. Then we quarter and seed 5 oranges and run them through the old-fashioned food chopper (approaching the half-century mark) affixed to the Hoosier cabinet where she made biscuits for our family of seven as routinely as brushing teeth. Next, we measure fruit and put into large pan and add 1 cup sugar for each cup of fruit and cook rapidly until mixture “sheets” from spoon, stirring frequently. 1 cup maraschino cherries (chopped) gets added before pouring into hot jars to seal. Makes 12 6 ounce glasses. This treat is wonderful served on hot biscuits but I would hesitate to recommend the day-long process unless you have someone special to share the experience with.
Also in the fall when I’m picking tart apples from the tree in my backyard, there is nothing better than a sweet dip. When retired U.S. Marine and founder of Operations Interdependence Al Renteria was visiting from San Diego, he raved about the caramel dip and thought it should be packaged, labeled and mail-order sold. His enthusiasm was contagious and soon I envisioned myself becoming Diane Keaton’s character in the movie Baby Boom, successfully marketing gourmet applesauce baby food. Well, here it is------and soooo easy.
½ Cup Butter
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Can Eagle Brand Milk
1 Cup White Karo Syrup
2 T Water
1 t. Vanilla
Melt butter. Add all ingredients except vanilla. Heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Dip apples while warm.
Freezer French Toast
While on a mission trip in Gulfport, Mississippi, our wonderful chef, Dave Mickelberry, made Freezer French Toast and graciously shared his recipe with me. Although I’ve made it several times and folks seem to enjoy it, it never seems quite the same as Dave’s. Maybe it was the camaraderie of our team or knowing I needed to eat heartily to have strength for what the day might bring but it sure tasted good.
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sour cream
1 loaf French bread
¾ cup orange marmalade
1 cup milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups chopped almonds or pecans
Beat sour cream and cream cheese until smooth
Cut French bread into 20 pieces
Spread half the slices on one side with cheese mixture (don’t be skimpy)
Spread remaining slices on one side with marmalade (don’t be skimpy)
Sandwich the slices together and set aside
Beat eggs, milk and vanilla together
Place almonds in a shallow dish
Dip both sides of “sandwich” in egg mixture allowing excess to drip off
Coat both sides with almonds
Places coated sandwiches on a baking sheet lined with wax paper
Cover and freeze 3 hours or until firm
Transfer to freezer container or bag and seal
Freeze up to one month
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place frozen toast on greased baking sheet
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown turning once after 15 minutes
Whether you are an early riser or enjoy catching a few extra zzz’s while at your home-away-from-home, we try to be accommodating and serve breakfast when you would like it to be served. In season, you might get fresh vegetables picked from the garden and a sprig of peppermint atop a fresh fruit parfait. On cold mornings, a glowing fire next to the table will keep you warm and on warmer days, you will have the option of sitting on the screened back porch. Simple home cooked food, soft music, candles and incredible views are a good way to start any day.