Older and Newer Faces at the Inn…

Have we ever told you about our amazing staff at our Maryland bed and breakfast??

To run a place like the Brampton it takes a lot of quiet magic behind the scene and our staff is really good. I’m listing them by seniority:

First there is Manick Burton, our gardener and weekend breakfast server. Manick started working for us in the last millennium, 1999 to be exact. She is the lady with the charming French accent. She has an amazing gift with flowers and we have been lucky to have her take care of them in the garden. In her spare time she is a wonderful potter.

Manick and her flowers

Manick and her flowers

Then there is Carole Baxter, the breakfast chef and the genie behind the cakes, cookies, pies, muffins, scones etc. We can blame her for all those broken New Year’s resolutions! She has been keeping the cookie jar full for 10+ years now.

Carole making biscotti

Carole making biscotti

Rita Scardino, is our innkeeper extraordinaire. She is the one who answers the phone most days and you’ll recognize her by her wicked sense of humor. She also cooks breakfast, is the perfect wedding coordinator and keeps everybody organized. Mostly me :) She joined us in 2006.

Tara Hanifee and Jen Russum are our hardworking housekeepers. These ladies know how to keep the rooms and the inn clean and sparkling.

The newest additions to our team are Lucas Hanscom and Rachel Jorgenson. Technically Luke is our most senior employee. He started as a teenager when we bought Brampton in 1987. He is Michael’s son and was put to work right away cutting grass, chopping wood, making fires, serving breakfast etc. After graduating from High School, he left. Quickly. College was calling on the West Coast. Who could blame him! However, his memory is playing tricks on him because now he is back cutting grass, chopping wood, making fires, serving breakfast etc. This time with great enthusiasm. He is very interested in continuing the hospitality at the Brampton. Luckily he met Rachel. In Chestertown of all places! They are a wonderful couple and Rachel joined us last summer as an innkeeper. She is a natural at this job. She and Rita take turns assisting and looking after our guests.

Luke and Rachel trying out the new firepit

Luke and Rachel trying out the new firepit

Michael and I are slowly pulling away more and more from the day to day operation at the inn, but we are sill popping our heads in regularly and Michael is still the handyman. Nobody knows Brampton, with its quirkiness, better than he does.

 

 

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No Recipe Needed: 2 Kitchen Hacks You’ll Love!!

A while back we shared some really easy recipes that taste great and look like they took a lot more effort than is really required, along with the promise of more to come.  So here we have 2 more simple, no-brainer kitchen hacks that will help boost your confidence in the kitchen and get you cooking real food!!

Spiced Salt:  this might just be the best thing ever.  Apologies to the writer of the cookbook we found it in, (memory loss is a tragic thing)  but that person is a genius. However we did adapt it to our taste. It’s a simple mixture of kosher salt, garlic and spices. It makes EVERYTHING it touches taste delicious.  And it is so easy.

2 cups of kosher salt   *   25 cloves of garlic (roughly 2 heads)  *   the following dried spices:kitchen hacks spiced salt

  • 1.5 tablespoons onion flakes
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • and 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary.

Blend it all together in a food processor.  Put it in a jar.  That’s it.  The copious amount of salt preserves the fresh garlic, so there’s no need to refrigerate it.  Keep it on your counter, because we promise you’re going to be using it all the time.  (We love it on our potatoes!!)

Speaking of potatoes, how about adding some spiced salt to your hash browns?  Need a recipe?  Nah, you really don’t.

Food52 is a fabulous website and blog that we follow here at the Brampton.  It covers so many different topics that it’s becoming one of our most used resources for new recipes. But one of our favorite features is their “Not Recipes” column.  In all honesty, it is the inspiration for this post and the previously mentioned one!   You really don’t always need a recipe for things.  Sometimes it’s just about ratios and proportions.  So grab some potatoes and an onion if you feel like it, and try this very cool technique for amazing hash browns. Just don’t forget to add the special salt!

Enjoy!

 

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New Restaurants for a New Year in Chestertown, MD!

This holiday season was a season of change for the Chestertown restaurant scene. Many of our favorite local chefs have gone through or are currently going through transitional periods (as Rita talked about in a recent post). The Front Room Restaurant at the Imperial closed its doors at the end of Downrigging Weekend. As sad as it was to say goodbye to an old standby, it was also exciting to welcome Steve and Monica Quigg of The Kitchen at Rock Hall to the neighborhood. The doors of The Kitchen at the Imperial are now open. We’ve always loved their food and are excited that they are in a space that will allow them to reach a larger audience. The menu features ingredients that change seasonally and they now offer tapas. The first meal I had in their new home was seared scallops over butternut squash risotto – yum! The bar doesn’t have the extensive selection that we saw at the Front Room, but perhaps that will grow with time.

Eastern Shore Restaurants

Cafe Sado is up-and-running at what was Brooke’s Tavern. What a mix of emotions! So sad to see Barbara and Kevin go, so happy to welcome Sushi and Thai to C-town! It’s pretty nice to drive 1 mile instead of an hour or more to get my sushi and warm sake fix.

Chestertown Restaurants

Rumor has it that the former sous chef for Brooke’s Tavern will be opening up his own place at what was the Kitchen at Rock Hall. Can’t wait to try it out once it’s open!

Be sure to book your stay at the Brampton Bed & Breakfast Inn when you try these delicious new restaurants!

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