Yesterday I rode my bike to the bed and breakfast, to see whether it would be do-able for me. I was there in 15 minutes. How cool is that? It was a great ride, too…it’s still not excruciatingly hot outside, so it was nice and cool, and the breeze was perfect. On the way back, I stopped to snap this picture.
So what goes on during a normal workday for a bed and breakfast cook? Well, let me tell you. You get up early. Very early. You drive (or bike) to work, alone on the roads, excited about cooking and chopping and serving and creating. You walk through the gate of a gorgeous property, punch in the access code on the door of a beautiful home, and step onto the hardwood floors. At this point, you look around you, grateful for the series of strange events that brought you here. You walk into the kitchen, flip the switch, put away your things, and slip on an apron.
Breakfast is served at 7:30, so you have a little over an hour to get things done. You preheat the oven, set out the newspaper, turn on the hot plate and the water for tea, check the coffee pot, and get to cooking. First comes the bacon…thick, perfectly marbled slabs of meat, laying side by side on a professional baking sheet. Then the hot foods…maybe a raspberry-stuffed French toast or a quiche that was prepared the day before and just needs to be popped in the oven. You set out yogurt, butter, cream cheese, milk, juice, water, bagels, English muffins, cream for the coffee, and jellies. You slice up fruit and arrange a fruit plate, and set it on the buffet. You check on the bacon and oven foods, and maybe start preparing banana-pecan pancakes or almond crepes. You heat up the syrup, check everything again, and set out the hot items.
As the guests walk in to the dining room, quiet and thoughtful with morning dreaminess, you greet them and point them toward the buffet. You go back to the kitchen to clean up and start preparations for the next day. Maybe you saute vegetables for a quiche, or maybe you slice French bread for a baked French toast. You might make a few batches of cookie dough, or bake a few to set out on the mantle for afternoon snacks. Throughout all of this, you check on the guests, clear away plates, and replenish anything that has been gobbled up. At the end of the breakfast service, you clear away everything, put the food away, sneak in snack of the remnants of quiche, French toast, or crepes, and clean, clean, clean. By noon, you’re done, breakfast for tomorrow is probably already prepped, and freshly baked cookies (maybe chocolate chip, maybe peanut-chocolate, maybe toffee-oatmeal) are on the mantle.
You walk out the door into the sunshine, smile, and hop back in your car (or on your bike) for a quick ride home to a nice hot shower. By this time, it’s time for lunch, and you have the rest of the day to research recipes, read a book, clean the house, or maybe write up a blog.
It’s funny to me that some of you may read this and know that you would never want to wake up early, cook and clean, and come home smelling like bacon. But I’ve dreamed of this forever, and now that I’m here, it’s as perfect as spring flowers.