A Behind the Scenes Look at the Bayfront Marin House

The hub and I dreamed about owning a bed and breakfast for 14 years, finally buying the beautiful Bayfront Marin House last September 1 (our year anniversary is coming up, if you wanted to send flowers!!)

During those 14 years, I did all sorts of things that I thought would be helpful to me in my new career. Things like:

  • trying a new breakfast recipe every time we hosted a large group of people. I made breakfast burritos on Cinco de Mayo, French toast on Bastille day (it’s best if you use Mexican vanilla and soak the bread slices overnight). I made homemade granola, muffins of all shapes and flavors, waffles, scrambles, omelettes, and maple-syrup baked bacon. Most of the time, these experiments were awesome. However, I’d like to take a moment to personally apologize to the family members who were forced to endure a batch of asiago scones that could have been used to build a retaining wall (I improved as I went along–the scones were an early venture into fancy breakfast baking).
  • peppering my Christmas and birthday lists with cookbooks of every type. I got recipe books from bnbs around the country; I got all of Williams Sonoma’s books on breakfast. I dug out all of the church cookbooks I had gotten in my hope chest (where I found a bunch of family recipes–thank you Mammy for submitting your raised cake recipe in 1972!!) I also got lots of good dessert recipe collections–The Mrs. Fields I Love Chocolate Collection, Semi Homemade Desserts, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Secrets, etc.
  • yelling at Mike every time we made a bed together, insisting he learn how to make hospital corners and keep his pillows EXACTLY even with the pillows I fluffed on my side of the bed. (Note: the key to always winning this “discussion” is to fluff your pillows first, and then let the other person try to match yours).
  • keeping an extensive idea book. Every time my job sent me to a high end hotel, I always tried to “steal” two or three great ideas that I could use someday in my own high end bnb. For instance, one of the hotels I visited had free postcards for people to fill out and mail, complete with a picture of the hotel on them (I’m working on the artwork for that now). One of them left little notes for us about our special occasion–which is why we now do that (assuming we know about it–we always love it when guests tell us if it’s their anniversary or birthday!) We’re still working on implementing all of the ideas…but they’re all carefully preserved in my little book!

Anyway, for years (14 years, in fact) I worked on perfecting my skills to be a perfect, skilled bed and breakfast owner.
And then I bought an inn that was so large (15 rooms) it came with a complete staff. A staff with mad skills, who put my little amateur skills to shame!!
That’s how I became the head gardener at the Inn (no one else wanted to do it, and they were all too busy anyway). And head blogger. Other than those two areas, they completely leave me in their dust (or lack of dust–you should see these women clean!)

Which is why it was a huge surprise to find myself cooking a whole oven-ful of bacon strata yesterday. The whole story is that Mary, our amazingly talented cook, went to the Inn at o’dark thirty, only to realize that the oven (pretty necessary for bacon strata), didn’t heat up!!

So she called us in a panic, and the next thing you knew she was bringing the casserole pans over to my house. And dropping them off.

Other than making desserts, and strawberry soup once or twice, it’s the most cooking I’ve done for the Inn (and technically, I still haven’t made breakfast for our guests–all the strata were already made, just not cooked).

We took the strata back to the Inn at 7:55 (the first guest was eating at 8). Three of our staff came out to the car, all wearing oven mitts (I’m telling you, these ladies are always a step ahead of us!)

And the crisis was averted. (And a financial crisis was avoided as well…the appliance repair company–the amazing Appliance Technicians–fixed the oven for under $100!!)

Back to business as usual–the Eggs Benedict were completed this morning without any excitement!!