“Wine”ding down at the Captain Freeman Inn

by Heather Puffer

Even though the summer is “wine”ding down, I’m really looking forward to the fall.  Starting with the November 8 class on France  (Paris. Oui!), I’ll be the wine gal at Captain Freeman Inn!  I’ll be pairing wines to complement the cuisine guests will whip up with Chef Carol during the 2014/2015 cooking schools!  These classes are the perfect way to enjoy the Cape during the quiet season  a pick up some great tips, tricks and meals to take back to your own kitchen.  I’m really excited about the first class–you had me at baguette…and French Onion Soup and Butternut Squash Bisque!  Here on the blog, I’ll be sharing what’s in my fridge and good finds to drink now, as well as favorite wines, unlikely food pairings and maybe even some Q&A if you are so inclined to reach out with questions or comments (yes, please…I’d love that!)

This summer has brought lots of warm, sunny days, perfect for the beach, barbecues, boat rides and being outside.  My go-to white wine for this weather is Broadbent Vinho Verde (non-vintage). Vinho Verde translates to “green wine” and means to be enjoyed young. It comes from Portugal and is a blend of the Loureiro, Trajadura and Pedernã grapes.  It’s light and crisp, low alcohol, with flavors of citrus, peach, and melon and a touch of spritz.  I snuck this wine onto the beach to share with friends, and feel it’s also perfect as an aperitif or paired with a light dinner of  fish, chicken and vegetables.  Another reason to give this wine a shot…it retails for around just $10.

Rose wine is made for summer days like we’ve had lately.  The blush color, the fresh taste.  I feel like I’m in a scene from a cooking magazine whenever I have a glass of rose in hand, it’s that quintessential.  My favorite lately is Chateau La Moutete Grande Reserve Rose (2013), which hails from the Cotes de Provence. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault, this wine expresses flavors of ripe strawberry, peach and some candied lemon rind, this wine is refreshing and elegant, but not sweet and retails for around $15.  Cotes de Provence roses are rather easy to find at many local shops so I hope you’ll decide to give one a try during these precious remaining days of summer.  I’ve paired it with mussels, lemon herb grilled chicken and imagine it would be amazing with the Bouillabaisse that we’ll be cooking up during the February 21 class on…Provence!

While Labor Day tends to trigger us all into fall mode,  September is a gorgeous month to savor your whites and roses before its pumpkin bread and beef stew season around the corner.   Try these wines out and please let me know what you have been enjoying this summer too!  There is still time to find a new favorite!

Salute!

Heather

Heather Puffer is a marketing professional located in the greater Boston area with a passion for food, wine and travel. She holds intermediate and advanced certificates from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust in London and is currently enrolled in the Diploma program. Favorite places to be: in the kitchen, on the Cape (summer), skiing (winter), on a bike (preferably in Italy) or finding a restaurant with a killer wine list and cuisine to match!

The sounds of Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Brewster Band Concert

Brewster Band Concert

Many a song has been written about Cape Cod with my all time favorite- Patti Page’s “Old Cape Cod”. Her words from that song often speak to me …..”You’re sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod”

Every summer it’s such a pleasure to see all of the wonderful talent that comes to Cape Cod. Some are legends that are winding down their careers and enjoy playing at our Melody Tent in Hyannis, others are young actors or musicians who may or may not hit it big.

1. We love to pack a picnic dinner and listen to old time band music in the Drummer Boy Park. The Brewster Band is all volunteer and they play every Sunday night at 6pm.

2. The premiere music venue is the Melody Tent in Hyannis. The tented theater has 2,250 seats and there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. August’s schedule is full of wonderful talent including Gregg Allman, Abba, Little Big Town, Boyz II Men and my child hood favorite, comedian Bill Cosby.

3. If your looking for casual entertainment with a beautiful ocean view, nothing beats the Beachcomber in Wellfeet.

Beachcomber in Wellfleet

Beachcomber in Wellfleet

4.The Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival has become very popular on Cape Cod offering nearly a month (July 27- August 22) of classical and contemporary chamber music. They perform 13 performances in 7 different Cape Cod towns. Performers include young musicians in school as well as established groups like the Emerson String quartet.

5. The 25th Anniversary Cape Cod Five Pops in the Park concert will be playing this year by the Cape Cod Symphony in Orleans.

6. The Provincetown Jazz Festival cannot be contained to one town. This year the festival begins in P’Town on August 16th with Kathy Kosins, Dane Vannatter and Cape Cod Jazz Quintet. Later in Cotuit on August 18th you can enjoy Rebecca Parris, Shawnn Monteiro and Avery Sharpe.

Exhaling on Cape Cod and enjoying all the sounds of summer, including all of the chirping birds at the Captain Freeman Inn.

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How does your garden grow Captain Freeman?

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner

The Captain Freeman Inn

The Captain Freeman Inn

We have been caretakers of this beautiful property for 4 years now, and I often wonder what Captain Freeman would think of all that we’ve done. He took tremendous pride when he built this property in 1866 and it has been a joy to lovingly restore as many of the original details as possible.

I love to garden and every spring my husband and I talk about what this years projects are going to be. This year we wanted to make a splash of color in the front gardens. We have beautiful hanging baskets full of colorful petunias grown by Crocker Nursury in Brewster. They are large and full of color. After talking to Ann Marie at Crocker we decided to add more petunias in bright pinks and purples in the front gardens. Petunas really are a great annual as they are hearty and bloom all summer long.

Colorful petunias in our front gardens

Colorful petunias in our front gardens

Our innkeeper Ivana also painted our old bike to add a fun twist to our front decor:) The basket is full of Cleomes, which add a nice bit of color for our Cape Cod bed and breakfast.

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We have enjoyed several Butterfly bushes around the inn. They are very fragrant and attract both butterflies and hummingbirds.

Butterfly bush

Butterfly bush

We are very proud of our raspberry patch in our back yard. We built the patch 2 years ago from a model created by Martha Stewart. It was practical in that there is a gravel walk way in the middle and the beds are raised which keeps out the weeks. There are two strands of wire across each side which supports the long stems. This July we had a fabulous crop of raspberries, and I made many dozens of jars of jam for our guests to enjoy.

Raspberry Patch at the Freeman

Raspberry Patch at the Freeman

The patch holds a special place in my heart as the plants were off spring of the original raspberry patch my mother had back in the Berkshires. There are also several bird feeders on the posts that were built by my Uncle Al many years ago.

Bird house

Bird house

Exhaling on Cape Cod and loving our gardens at the Captain Freeman Inn.

Pan Mass Challenge comes through Brewster, Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

Picture by Byron Cain

Picture by Byron Cain

I just walked over to our wonderful Brewster General Store to get a picture of the cyclists ridding by for the 2014 PMC. As I was walking past the many spectators cheering on the riders, I had that feel good feeling in my stomach. Everyone was screaming thank you to the riders and the riders were giving everyone the high 5. After reading the history on-line of the pan mass I was even more impressed with the cause. Some of our guest staying at the Captain Freeman had friends or family doing the race and wanted to be close by for moral support of the challenge.

“Established by Billy Starr in 1980 and under his direction, the PMC has grown considerably and consistently from its modest beginnings into an event that draws 5,500 cyclists from 36 states and eight countries. Today, the Pan-Mass Challenge raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event in the country. The PMC generates half of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and it is Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. Over the past 34 years, PMC cyclists have ridden to raise and contribute $414 million to cancer research.” as quoted from the Pan Mass Challenge Web Site

Wishing all of the cyclists a safe journey as they cycle across our wonderful peninsula, Cape Cod!

Black Beauty Cupcake Recipe at the Captain Freeman Inn

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Our guest staying at the Captain Freeman Inn always look forward to our afternoon treat. Sunday’s was extra special, and I decided to share the recipe with our followers. It’s a decadent chocolate cupcake that we like to prepare in the smaller cupcake tins so that it is a perfect 2 bite chocolate delight! Our chef Nick made them with a light ganache chocolate frosting that was perfect.

Black Beauty Cupcakes by Nick

Black Beauty Cupcakes by Nick

Black Beauty Cupcakes- yields 16 cupcakes

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 ounces of your favorite chocolate
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch)
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350
In medium size stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until blended

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler

Once the chocolate is cool, add to the sugar mixture

Mix in the eggs and yolks one at a time, just until blended

Mix in oil, vanilla and sour cream until blended.

Sift together dry ingredients and add to the liquid mixture in three intervals, mixing until just combined

Mix in water until just combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.

Check for doneness in 18 minutes- a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake should come out clean. If they are not done, check every 3 minutes until they are done. Immediately remove cupcakes form the tins and let cool. They are delicious warm but we usually cool and add a light chocolate ganache frosting.

Thanks Nick for finding such a great recipe and Bon appetit to all of our guests, especially the ones that like chocolate like we do:)

Chef Nick

Chef Nick

Biking on Cape Cod takes a new twist

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

IMG_0789We have a wonderful summer innkeeper, Ivana. She is here on a J-1 Visa from Serbia and is working on her master’s degree in hotel management. She is always filled with good ideas, and we love having her input into our daily operations and knowing that we have an employee that truly cares about our guest’s experience at the Captain Freeman Inn.

The other day Ivana mentioned that she would love to paint the old Schwinn bike that we found in our basement. It was rusted and not rideable but for some reason we just couldn’t part with it. We decided to put it out front next to the flag pole and added some lights to the wheels. Ivana saw a similar picture to the above on the internet and wanted to give the bike a facelift. We were elated! Now we just have to adjust the lighting so it shines at night on the flag and the fancy white bike.

She found a basket in the basement, added some shells with plenty of white paint……and voilla we have a beautiful new landmark in the front of our inn. How perfect since many of our guests come to Cape Cod for summer fun and Cape Cod biking. We have the wonderful Cape Cod rail trail just up the street which is a perfect way to see and enjoy Cape Cod while being healthy.

Thanks Ivana for all of your creativity and hard work.

Kettle Pond Swimming on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Boat Meadow Bay Beach

Boat Meadow Bay Beach

Everyone thinks of beaches when they come to Cape Cod for their summer fun. Most are drawn to the National Seashore beaches where one can see the crashing waves from the Atlantic, or on the Bay side with our breathtaking sunsets. But for Zen like swimming in little seas of tranquillity, Cape Cod also has many beautiful kettle ponds.

Flax's Pond in Nickerson

Flax’s Pond in Nickerson

Today we had a beautiful walk in Nickerson State Park. Since we can’t take our dog Harrison swimming on the bay beaches we are always looking for new places to let him swim during the summer. Nickerson is a beautiful park which has wonderful biking and walking paths.

Bike path at Nickerson

Bike path at Nickerson

Kettle ponds have an interesting geology on Cape Cod as they were formed more than 15,000 years ago, when blocks of glacier ice melted, leaving massive holes, called kettles, that filled with fresh water.
These kettle ponds are sprinkled around Cape Cod and are great places to have a summer swim. Harrison can attest to how wonderful they are….

Harrison swimming after a stick

Harrison swimming after a stick

We love to hike around Nickerson. It’s such a beautiful park with many hidden areas.

Byron in Nickerson State Park

Byron in Nickerson State Park

For afternoon relaxation many of our guests staying at the Captain Freeman Inn also enjoying relaxing by our lovely pool. It is flanked by beautiful gardens and singing birds.

Captain Freeman pool

Captain Freeman pool

Exhaling on Cape Cod and feeling very blessed!