Thursday, August 30, 2012

Breakfast à trois, and other thoughts

Only three!
It's the week before Labor Day, historically one of our busiest weeks of the year, and yet this morning I have only three for breakfast. Four of our guests were out early this morning to participate in the Hampton Classic Horse Show, and another two were heading to Montauk to go whale watching. It seems so funny to have made more "care packages" than full breakfasts, especially during high season. As we are serving Grand Marnier French Toast, which is prepped the night before and then baked off in the morning, I feel like I am rattling around this morning with almost nothing to do other than prepare a fresh fruit starter and fry some bacon! I am positively discombobulated!

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time we were cleaning up after Hurricane Irene, counting ourselves lucky to been dealt only a glancing blow. Today, we're experiencing a perfect beach day, with one eye on the TV to track Isaac's progress over New Orleans and the Gulf Coast... communities that, after Katrina, know better than anywhere never to underestimate a hurricane. My heart goes out to them as they wait for the storm.

Lots of fun these past weeks, as old friends and new stayed at A Butler's Manor. It's just not summer without some of our great repeat guests! And they keep my creativity flowing, as it relates to breakfasts. I've mentioned before that I keep notes of what I serve each day, as I try not to repeat a breakfast entree (unless specifically requested!). In the past week, we have had three of our most frequent repeat guests visiting us...had their visits overlapped, planning breakfast REALLY would have been challenging!  (Okay, I admit: For Walter, whose business out here has made him our most frequent guest --over 30 visits, totalling just about 60 nights-- I've given up trying not to duplicate a recipe. He's had everything in my cookbook, and then some. Bless him, he's up for anything I might try, too!)

As summer winds to a close this year, I've noticed less people avoiding gluten, but more who profess not to be egg lovers. Usually when folks tell me this and I follow up on it, I discover that they just don't like "obvious" eggs, such as fried eggs, but that eggs baked into a strata, for example, are fine. Recently, we had two of of ten guests who were "not egg fans," and thus I made a new (to me), easy non-egg savory breakfast; my version of baked ham and cheese croissants using Pillsbury crescent rolls. Simple, easy, and so tasty! Chris was fighting me for the extras!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Art Appreciation

I'm so excited. We have a very cool Aussie designer and master blogger staying with us at A Butler's Manor right now. She is here because she loves all things Hamptons/Cape Cod, and she has a design business in Queensland where she sells a lot of things that look like they grow here. I already follow her blog. I aspire to her daily blog activity for either Chatter From the Manor, or In My Words, my writer-persona blog. (In my spare time!) In point of fact, she's in New York to attend a blogging conference. Until she told me that, I had no idea there was such a thing!

It's a lot of fun to see visitors enjoy their exporation of the area, and Anne-Maree is so exuberant that I want to share her impressions (and all the photos!) by attaching her blog here. If you've not yet been to the Hamptons, between our blog and What to Do page and Anne-Maree's, this will give you a good feeling for our little town. If you've been here before, it will bring back happy memories!

Anne-Maree's blog: The House That A-M Built

It's been a big month for art events. The second weekend of July was the massive ArtHamptons fair, and last weekend was art Southampton , both held in separate locations inside a huge, air conditioned luxury "tent" (well, it qualified as a tent because it wasn't there last week and won't be there tomorrow, but this structure had glass fire doors, a bar and a snack bar). I dropped by to see what was on offer at the second show, which was modern art from dealers from all over the world, and was impressed by the scope of the show. What was particularly nice was that, unlike most art or antiques events held out in the Hamptons, both events offered extended gallery hours, the latter until 10 PM most of the four nights it was open. This is a novel concept, as most events force visitors to choose: Beach? Shopping? Special Event? during daylight hours. It's nice to be able to fit it all in!

On a smaller, more local scale, Art in the Park was held the third weekend of July in Agawam Park over Saturday and Sunday. Art in the Park is sponsored by the Southampton Artists' Association, who also hold a number of shows each year at the Southampton Cultural Center. No bar or air conditioning here; just a true village art festival featuring some extensive local talent. And there's plenty of it.

Just in case you thought the Hamptons were just all about the beach!