whiterosemanor

RECIPE: Kahlua Tiramisu Trifle

RECIPE: Kahlua Tiramisu Trifle

Jump to Recipe icon  Tiramisu is always a great finish to a hearty Italian meal, but what do you do if you are English and craving this decadent dessert? Why, you make it into a trifle!

Christmas High Tea is an annual tradition at the White Rose Manor. Each year, an English Trifle takes its rightful place on the serving table along side the Marinated Lamb with Mint Sauce. For fun, we experiment with different flavours as well as modify traditional desserts to fit the trifle theme. Here is the tiramisu version for you to enjoy! Individual serving size assembly is noted at the end.

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED
Stove/Range
Bain Marie (double boiler)
Wooden spoon
Stand or hand mixer with larger mixing bowl
Medium-sized mixing bowl
Dry measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Knife (for cutting ladyfingers to size, if desired)
Scraper
Vegetable peeler
Parchment paper
Refrigerator
Freezer (to freeze mixing utensils for whipping cream)

Kahula Tiramisu Trifle Recipe

Shareable Link: Kahlua Tiramisu Trifle Recipe

INGREDIENTS
6 egg yolks
1.25 (1 ¼) C. Sugar
1.25 (1 ¼) C. Mascarpone Cheese
1.75 (1)¾ C. heavy Whipping Cream
2.5 (12 ounce) packages Ladyfingers
0.33 (⅓) C. Kahlua, or other coffee-flavoured liqueur (regular espresso/strong coffee for non-alcoholic version)
1 tsp. unsweetened Cocoa Powder, for dusting
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet Chocolate, for chocolate curls garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1
Add water to base of bain maire (double boiler). Combine Egg Yolks and Sugar in the top of a bain marie. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and whip until thick.

Step 2
Add Mascarpone Cheese to whipped egg yolk mixture Beat until combined. In a separate bowl, beat Whipping Cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold into yolk mixture and set aside.

Step 3
Line the bottom and sides of a large glass bowl with Ladyfingers. Brush with Kalua, other Coffee Liqueur, Espresso or strong Coffee. Spoon half of the cream filling over the Ladyfingers. Repeat process (Ladyfingers and Coffee Liqueur) until bowl is almost filled. Garnish with a sprinkling of Cocoa Powder. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Step 4
Just prior to serving, garnish with Chocolate curls. To make the Chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and shave the edge of the chocolate bar onto a piece of parchment paper, then sprinkle as the finishing touch on the trifle.

INDIVIDUAL SERVING SIZE: Broken Ladyfingers? Smaller guest list? Here is an alternate serving suggestion–make individual servings instead of using a trifle bowl. To assemble, place broken ladyfingers into the bottom of individual serving bowls, add coffee flavour of choice, then a layer of the cream filling. Garnish with cocoa powder, chocolate curls, and stand two ladyfingers for the finished dessert.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

RECIPE: Maple Bacon-Onion Jam

RECIPE: Maple Bacon-Onion Jam

Jump to Recipe icon   During a visit to the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, I “experienced” Maple Bacon-Onion Jam on a burger at their Bistro. During the meal, they offered me the recipe, but I forgot to ask for it when I left. This is my best interpretation of what I had there. I must say, ‘I am not disappointed.’ As a matter of fact, my 14 year old grandson likes it so much he asked me to teach him how to make it! In just one session, he has the recipe memorized. 🙂

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED
Large saute pan
Wooden/silicone spoon
Bowl to hold cooked bacon
Scissors/knife to cut raw bacon
Raw meat (red) cutting mat
Vegetable knife
Vegetable (green) cutting mat
0.5 (1/2) C. dry measuring cup
1 C. liquid measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Air-tight container for hot mixture
Hot pads
Stove
Spatter screen, optional

RECIPE: MAPLE BACON ONION JAM

Sharable Link
Printable PDF Format External Link Image

INGREDIENTS
1 Lb. Bacon, thick cut (thin will work)
2 Onions, large and sweet (I use 1 purple/1 white), chopped
0.33 (1/3) C. Coffee, strong
0.5 (1/2) C. Brown sugar, light, packed
1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
0.25 (1/4) tsp. Maple Extract (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Chop onions. Pre-measure all ingredients.

With heat off and into a large saute pan, cut cold, uncooked Bacon across the grain into 1/2 inch pieces.

In saute pan, cook Bacon until soft-cooked, but done. Spoon cooked Bacon into bowl for later (no need to drain). Reserve 2 Tbs. of Bacon drippings in pan.

Add Onions to Bacon drippings and cook until onions are translucent.

Add Brown sugar, Maple Extract, and Coffee to cooked Onions. Mix well, then add cooked Bacon. Mix thoroughly.

Cook Bacon-Onion mixture until sugar begins to caramelize.

Add Balsalmic vinegar to Bacon-Onion mixture cooking until liquid is mostly absorbed.

Serve hot as appetizer with crackers and cheese or on hamburgers–hot off the grill. Can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Only reheat amount needed.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

RECIPE: Family Turkey Tetrazzini

RECIPE: Family Turkey Tetrazzini

Jump to Recipe icon   Left-over Thanksgiving turkey makes the best next day meal while letting you–the cook–enjoy some down time. Cook the pasta and refrigerate in advance. On Thanksgiving day, bone the turkey, stir all ingredients, pour into the baking dish, then cover and refrigerate until ready to heat and eat. Tah dah! You are a genius!

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED
Stove, oven, and potholders
13X9 inch baking dish greased with cooking spray or butter
Stock pot for boiling pasta
Strainer
10-inch non-stick skillet
Large mixing bowl
Measuring spoons
Dry Measuring cups
Can opener

Family Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe

INGREDIENTS
12 oz. Pasta, uncooked (angel hair, spaghetti, or vermicelli)
2 Tbs. Butter, salted
8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced and fresh (about 3 cups)
3 C. Turkey, cooked and chopped
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup (10.5 oz each)
2 C. Sour cream
0.5 (1/2) tsp. freshly ground Pepper
0.33 (1/3) C. Parmesan cheese, grated
Chopped fresh Parsley, if desired

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook pasta as directed on package using minimum cook time; drain.
3. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms in butter 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned.
4. In large bowl, mix cooked pasta, mushrooms, chicken, soup, sour cream and pepper. Pour mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
5. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbling on edges and completely heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh parsley (Oregano or basil works well, too).

Enjoy a family favourite of ours!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

RECIPE: Beer or Hard Cider Bread

Jump to Recipe icon   Making Beer Bread – no dry yeast needed. For bakers, this is an out-the-door bread in an hour and 10 minutes when you get comfortable with the recipe. Super awesome flavour! You can use many different beers like an IPA for a hoppy bread. Note: Heavy beers generate a lingering beer aroma in the warm bread. Enjoy!

From bowl to ready-to-eat in 1-1/2 hours.

VIDEO LINK: Prep & Cook Online Series: Beer or Hard Cider Bread External Link Image

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED
1 large mixing bowl
1 1.5 Qt oven safe loaf pan (I prefer glass)
Wooden spoon
Whisk
Scraper tool
Dry measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Oven
Microwave or stovetop pan to melt butter

Beer/Hard Cider Bread Recipe

INGREDIENTS
3 cups All-purpose Flour (sifted)
3 teaspoons Baking Powder (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1 teaspoon Salt (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1⁄4 cup Sugar
1 (12 ounce) can/bottle Beer or Hard Cider (bottle opener, if not twist off)
1⁄4 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon Butter

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Using 1 Tablespoon of butter, grease loaf pan (butter bottom and sides).
Melt remaining butter on stove or in microwave (typically 30 sec max). Set aside.
Thoroughly mix all dry ingredients, then add beer/hard cider stirring until all dry ingredients are moist.
Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan. Spread evenly.
Pour melted butter evenly over mixture.
Bake 1 hour, remove from pan, and cool for at least 15 minutes.
Alternate method: Mix butter into dough for a more regularly textured bread loaf).

Beer temperature results: Using room temperature beer in one batch and refrigerator cold beer in the other, I found that – while baking – the loaves rose at different times; however, both loaves came out the same size in the end presentation (see photo).

VIDEO LINK: Prep & Cook Online Series: Beer or Hard Cider Bread External Link Image

Wonderfully yours,

~Alice

RECIPE: Basic Baking Mix

RECIPE: Basic Baking Mix

Jump to Recipe icon   Many who have stayed at the White Rose Manor, or who follow my Prep & Cook Online Series, know that I bake. Often, I use olde world recipes. This is one of those recipes.

To those who have attended my scones classes, here is the Basic Baking Mix we used as the base to create them. Please note this is a large quantity of baking mix, but it is scalable.

For use with biscuits, scones, waffles, pancakes, coffeecakes and more, here’s to happy baking!

Basic Baking Mix Recipe

YIELD: Approximately 12 Cups

INGREDIENTS
10 Cups All-purpose flour
1-1/3 Cup Nonfat dry milk
4 Tbs. Baking powder
4 tsp. Salt
2 Cups Shortening/Lard* (unsalted butter may be used if not being stored)

Nutrition Facts image

*Lard is soy-free

INSTRUCTIONS

In a very large bowl, combine flour, dry milk, baking powder, and salt. Stir well. With a pastry cutter (or 2 knives), cut in shortening/lard until coarse crumbs form.

Store in an airtight container in cool, dry place for up to 3 months. Stir before measuring as some settling may have occurred.

Use as directed in White Rose Manor recipes like our French Crumb Cake.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

RECIPE: Holiday Magic Ice Cream

RECIPE: Holiday Magic Ice Cream

Oh-la-la!
My, oh my!
Santa Claus got
Holiday chai . . .
ICE CREAM!

Jump to Recipe icon   Have you ever had ice cream made from tea? Done well, it is something very, very special.

Over the holidays, I got creative with some of our loose leaf teas. The Pearamel Delight tea that we featured in November made a nice palate-cleansing token to share between meal courses; however, our Holiday Magic chai was a show-stopper as an ice cream!

How to Order Holiday Magic chai – WhiteRoseManor.com

Our annual High Tea featured a tasting of this rich, creamy, churned ice cream to see how it would be received. It was an overwhelming success! Special thanks to our new friend, Desma Hart, for loaning me an ice cream maker for the “test kitchen”. I assure you, we will be returning the ice cream maker with a quart of freshly-churned Holiday Magic.

If you have never made homemade ice cream, I believe everyone should do it at least once. That said, I have a simple recipe that you can use to make your own churned ice cream, whether you choose to incorporate our tea or use your own (FYI, Matcha makes a great ice cream, too!). This recipe is for a churned ice cream, so be prepared to “kick the can” of ice and salt for an hour or so, or use an ice cream maker.

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED:
Stove and potholders
Ice cream maker (or small coffee can with lid that fits into a larger coffee can with lid)
One-quart plastic or glass container with lid
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups (2 cups works well)
Stovetop Bain-Marie or double boiler
Tea sieve/strainer
Egg separator (unless you can do it by hand)
Whisk for egg yolks
Wooden spoon for constantly stirring during cooking time
Metal spoon for verifying cooking consistency

Holiday Magic Ice Cream Recipe

Yield: Approximately 1 Qt.
Category: Dairy, Sweet, Dessert, Gluten-free
Difficulty: Moderate to easy
Time to Make: 2 days (includes steeping)
24 hours steeping, 20 minutes cooking, 4 hours cooling, 30 minutes churning, 8 hours hardening

INGREDIENTS:
2 C. Cream, heavy whipping
1 C. Milk, whole
3/4 C. Sugar, granulated – divided (1/4 cup, 1/2 cup)
6 Tbs. White Rose Manor Holiday Magic loose leaf tea (BUY)
1/2 tsp. Salt, table
6 ea. Egg, yolks only (room temperature, if possible)

Day 1:
Step 1 – Steeping the Base Cream
Steep the tea in a one-quart container with tight lid by mixing heavy whipping cream and loose tea. Seal container with lid, then stir/shake well. This will become your base cream.

Step 2 – Monitoring Time
Place base cream in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, stirring/shaking two times per day.

Day 2 or 3:
Depending on how long you steep the tea, this day is when you cook the cream.

Step 3 – Preparing the Bain-Marie
Using a stove top Bain-Marie (double boiler), add water to the base of the Bain-Marie (water ‘bath’) until just below the top part when inserted. Do not immerse upper part into the water.

Step 4 – Egg/Sugar Mixture
In two small bowls, separate egg yolks from whites. Refrigerate egg whites for other uses. To the yolks, stir in 1/4 cup of the sugar reserving the remaining 1/2 cup for cooking with the Base Cream.

Step 5 – Cooking the Base Cream
Strain cream through a tea sieve (fine metal mesh) into the upper part of the Bain-Marie. Add the one cup of whole milk, part of the sugar (1/2 cup), and salt. Stir well.

Time-saver Tip
Wash and rinse the one-quart container and lid to reuse to store the finished ice cream.

Step 6 – Cooking the Base Cream or “Custard”
Much of this process is really like making a custard.
With the Bain-Marie assembled and base cream in the upper portion, begin heating the water bath to a boil, constantly stirring the base cream with a wooden spoon. To keep from scorching, gently stir all portions of where the cream touches the pan. When sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to simmer.

When the base cream begins to produce steam on the top, it is ready increase the temperature and add the egg yolks (without cooking them). To avoid cooking the eggs, bring them up to the base cream temperature by gradually adding the heated base cream to the yolks, a spoonful at a time. Adding slowly, constantly stir to blend well and thoroughly warm. The gradual addition of the heated cream will slowly make the egg yolks as warm as the cream so they can be added to the Bain-Marie without cooking the eggs. Using egg yolks that are room temperature hastens the tempering process.

When the egg mixture is warm. Slowly stir the egg mixture into the remaining base cream (in Bain-Marie) and continue to cook to 165 degrees F (for safe egg consumption) and thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. When you can draw your finger through the mixture on the metal spoon and it leaves a trough/gap, the mixture is ready for Step 7.

Step 7 – Finalizing the “Custard”
Strain the cooked mixture into the one-quart container and refrigerate for four hours or more.

Step 8 – Churning the “Custard”
Using your best method to churn the custard into ice cream, the ice cream will be soft-serve ready once churning is complete. Freeze for two hours or more for a harder ice cream.

Serving Suggestions:

This flavour stands alone, but we also found it is a great complement to apple and crapple pies. My husband is ready to put it in his coffee. I will let you know how that is. Making a new batch now, so we have some more. 😊 Enjoy!

TEA: Tea Bars

TEA: Tea Bars

More and more people are hearing the term “Tea Bar” these days . . . quite frequently, really. Tea is becoming as hot as coffee was before it became ever-popular staple enjoyed now. While tea is often on the menu at coffee shops, a new type of establishment is emerging that makes tea the focus. Tea bars have started appearing in urban areas, and their popularity is causing a growth of shops that are dedicated to tea service. There are tea fusions, tea cocktails, hot tea, cold tea– whatever you can imagine, it is being explored. A tea bar is where we began custom tea blending.

What is a tea bar? Imagine if you will, the Baskin Robbins® of tea selections with even more than 31 flavours–canister after canister of ingredients lining shelves and counter tops. Many exceptional, and unbelievable, ingredients (not just tea leaves) are available to mix and match as we blend the perfect tea for the perfect occasion. Experimenting is half of the fun!

We started experimenting almost five years ago. At the White Rose Manor, we have a built a relationship with a tea-aficionado in California through our daughter’s relationship with him. One of our daughters lived there and thought we should have custom blends here at the Manor. She was so right! Now we get to share them with you!

Admittedly, some of the blends do not happen as imagined; some are better. Then again, while some flavours are not my favourites, I have found others to enjoy them– like our loose, black tea, A Black-Tie Affair with licorice root which we released three years ago at a New Year’s Eve celebration. Where else is better to experience “a black-tie affair”?

To date, we have thirteen custom teas here at the Manor, plus a Wonderland Collection of six tea packets designed with Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Listed below, we have started featuring a different one for each month of the year. “A Black-Tie Affair” and our Manor House Chai are not shown, and we have approximately 10-12 under development.

BUY TEAS HERE

  • January – “Fig”ment of your Imagination
  • February – Queen of Hearts
  • March – Maple Leaf Rag
  • April – Lavender Grey Dilly Dilly
  • May – My Fair Lady Anne
  • June – Serenity
  • July – A Golden Afternoon (part of our Wonderland collection)
  • August – Peach Blossom Special with/without Lavender
  • September – Pomberry Tea
  • October – “Just in Time for Tea” (part of our Wonderland collection)
  • November – Pearamel Delight*
  • December – Holiday Magic

We have blended some custom teas for others, like Crafted Southern Speakeasy in Lincolnton, NC. Their tea is named Southern Peach tea; in addition to serving in hot/cold, they have crafted signature cocktails using the tea as a base. We would love to work with you to create custom blend for you to enjoy and share. Call us at 704.735.6161 or email reservations@whiterosemanor.com to discuss what you might like. Discover what a fantastic, personal tea has to offer. Casual, everyday tea that is not your everyday experience.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

*Pearamel Delight is available in November only. Holiday Magic, our Christmas blend will debut on Thanksgiving. All of our teas are available in bulk which is less expensive per ounce than the Sampler packages. Please contact us for pricing and orders (BUY TEAS HERE).

CLEANING: Laundry – Keeping Whites White and General Stain Removal

CLEANING: Laundry – Keeping Whites White and General Stain Removal

We have white towels. We have white washcloths. We have white hand towels and bathmats. Then there are our white napkins, tablecloths, sheets, and pillowcases. While all of these can be “standard issue” in a household, the white can be an underlying issue. Fair warning—long post.

When I was growing up, I thought everything should be white because you could bleach it clean. Put in washer. Add soap and bleach. Wash. Ta da! White again. This, however, was not how our housekeeper saw it. She believed that everything should be dark colours. Her rationale? “If it stains and the spot does not come out, you will never see it on dark colours.”

Enter, my grandmother. Apparently, NOT the right thing to say. And so, the lessons began.

Today, flipping to the back of Grandmother’s cookbook, the secrets of old are shared; many I learned as a young girl. Here we go–

  1. Lift any solids from the fabric. Do not rub as this only presses it further into the fibers of the fabric.
  2. Be sure to rinse the area(s) in cold water making the water flows through the fabric the reverse way the stain was created to keep it from permeating further into the fibers. Rinse as much of the residue as possible.
  3. Pre-treat and wash. Aside: We will forgo the discussions of boiling whites because that is not happening at my house.

End Grandmother’s notes. Now enters Alice and her cleverness, aka, tips/tricks learned through trial and error, and a few friends along the way.

I fully check tablecloths and sheets before they are ever removed to launder. I pre-treat simple stains with Spray ‘n’ Wash® stick where the fabric lays, then I remove and wash.

Some stains are tough! Depending on the stain type, there are ways to fight back. Chocolate, blood, lipstick, mascara, and rust (from hard water and old pipes) have always been challenges. So, here is what works for me—

Yes, definitely complete steps 1 and 2 above.

Protein stains like oil-based lipstick/make-up, blood, cooking oils, meats

  • Dawn® dish washing liquid (safe for the environment, so great when camping, too) – Rub concentrate into stain until stain is mostly/all gone. Wash as usual.
  • Spray ‘n’ Wash stick – So there is a story behind this. It does tend to work well if you act quickly. Sometimes I can even let it sit in the laundry basket until more pressing things are washed and out of the way; however, the stick does not work as well as the original Spray ‘n’ Wash aerosol from years ago. The reason? Phosphates, which were exceptional for destroying proteins, were removed from cleaners when deemed they were not safe for the environment. Nevertheless, with proper attention, the stick works well. Other people I know use Tide® sticks, but I stick to tried and true for me.
  • Wash with laundry soap and a full cup of baking soda. We will come back to the baking soda part.

Chocolate

  • LOTS of cold water until you get it ALL out, if possible.
  • Pre-treat any remaining visible signs with liberal amounts of Spray ‘n’ Wash stick.
  • Wash in cold water, laundry soap, and a full cup of baking soda.

Blood

  • LOTS of cold water until you get it ALL out, if possible.
  • Depending on the fabric and freshness of the blood, hydrogen peroxide works great! I learned that at a hospital when I wanted to save a little baby’s cap for a keepsake. Old blood is more of a challenge.

Old blood/rust/age spots – These are the awesome ones!

  • Efferdent! Yes, Efferdent—the denture cleaning tablets. Get a tub and liberally use the tablets, possibly, multiple times or even starting again with new tablets. Do not worry if the Efferdent is blue, the colour will dissipate. Believe me, I panicked the first time I saw the blue. I have never had any issues with the blue adversely affecting the fabric. Be patient! It could take a few days, but if the item is important to you, it is worth it to do it right. I brought a family heirloom Christening gown back to white with absolutely no distress to the gown.
  • Hydrogen peroxide—Depending on the fabric and freshness of the blood, hydrogen peroxide works great! I learned that at a hospital when I wanted to save a little baby’s cap for a keepsake. Old blood is more of a challenge. Persevere, but be prepared for less fortunate results, just in case.
  • Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover—Use as directed. It even removed dried blueberry juice from my grandmother’s damask napkin; I missed one when initially washing the tea napkins. Warning, in this case, the stain turned black as soon as the spot remover was applied. I shrugged, figuring it would work, or not. No risk at that point. I could not use the napkin with the stains. And, it worked! Absolutely no sign of the stains.

Back to the baking soda discussion . . . This helps keep everything fresh without fragrance and can help keep your washing machine smelling fresh, too. I buy it in large bags and use about two per month; I use it on all the laundry in the house. With regular use, it also helps neutralize body musk in clothing and sheets.

Just for fun, here are renditions of some similar tips I found. Let me know what works for you!

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and rub it gently into the fabric with a clean, soft cloth until the stain is gone. Do this before laundering as usual.
  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and pour it over the stain. Allow the area to saturate for 20 to 30 minutes before gently scrubbing the area with a clean, soft cloth. When the stain is gone, launder the garment as usual.
  • Rinse the garment immediately with warm running water to remove as much of the stain as possible. Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide to a clean, white cloth, and dab the area to remove the rest of the stain before washing the garment as usual.
  • Cut a lemon in half and rub it all over the stained area making sure that it’s completely saturated. Place the garment outside in the sunshine for at least an hour. Launder the garment as usual.

Please share your tips/tricks in the comments!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

GUESTS: Disney Magic

GUESTS: Disney Magic

“Cats and rabbits
Would reside in fancy little houses
And be dressed in shoes and hats and trousers
In a world of my own”

~ Disney’s Alice in Wonderland – Songwriters: Sammy Fain / Bob Hilliard

Most who have known me knew I wanted a B&B from a very young age– 10, to be precise. And ten-year-old girls have dreams of what the future holds. Just like in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland and the song Alice sings, “In a World of My Own”, having a B&B is a world of my own. Fortunately, I have a family who believes in dreams coming true.

It seems apropos, after all these years, that my imagination and my love for Disney play hand-in-hand. All our children adore Disney movies and music which brings me to a story about some guests we had stay with us. As a matter of privacy, we do not share who stays at the White Rose Manor and when. With permission, I am able to share this story of a family who came to stay.

Fast forwarding to the last day, I appeared at breakfast wearing my Mickey Mouse button apron. Ms. Mama Guest smiles and says, “Mickey.” Mr. Papa Guest grins from ear-to-ear and asks if I am a Disney fan. Well, yes. My whole family loves Disney and could break out in Disney song, or spout a quote, at any given moment. We “whistle while we work” and dream of “a whole new world”, especially when it snows, and we head out “to build a snowman”. We tend to be Disney trivia nuts, as well.

Our story begins when a newlywed couple came to visit Lincolnton and chose to stay with us at the White Rose Manor. We were quite excited because we had not been open very long and they rented all three guest rooms. With them, they brought the bride’s parents and her brother. They came to Lincolnton to see the groom’s family.

On the heels of the wedding and having traveled from China, I was not surprised the bride slept for most of the five days they were here. The others spent time in front of the fireplace playing chess, reading, and having coffee or tea throughout the day. The father apologized “for being slugs” the whole time and was appreciative of the down time. No worries, Mr. Papa Guest. We hope that each guest gets what they need when they come to the White Rose Manor.

On the other hand, Ms. Mama Guest spent her time lounging on the couch surrounded by multiple laptops and tablets. Every time I came with tea or to check on them, she would turn them face down or pull the one she was using close to her chest. No worries, Ms. Mama Guest. Just checking on you.

Back to breakfast on the last day, Mr. Papa Guest continues his questioning of our love for Disney and asks, “Do you know what an Imagineer is?”

“Yes, Sir, I do.”

“Do you really?”

“Yes, Sir. We all do,” I say with a smile. (I am not sure he believes me.)

“Did you know there is one sitting here at your table this morning?” he asks. From the astonished look on my face, it confirms that I do, in fact, know what an Imagineer is. He motions to his wife and introduces the Lead Disney Castle Imagineer for Shanghai. While “lounging” on our sofa, she has been designing drawings for the yet-to-be-completed castle for Disney Shanghai which was still under construction at the time.

Yes, we do get unique, fascinating guests–from all over the world. *sigh . . . my wonderland.

TIPS/TRICKS: Staying Connected

TIPS/TRICKS: Staying Connected

The White Rose Manor Bed & Breakfast is decorated in ways to harken toward a simpler time. This means soft lines, turn-of-the-Century antiques, afternoon tea, and no electronics. But wait! We are in the 21st Century and may be very attached to connectivity. At the Manor, we cover that, too.

The parlour at the Manor has soft music, but also a turntable with albums our guests can play. Frank Sinatra seems to be a popular choice as well as the instrumental jazz albums. We are also “connected” with guest WIFI for phones and other devices; some guests just cannot ignore them; therefore, being easily engaged also means having power to keep everything charged.

In effort to keep guests relaxed and not crawling around on the floor looking for outlets, we have anchored extension cords to the bedposts– one per side. Using a split, flat plug extension cord keeps it simple. Guests have their phones/alarms/calendars at bedside reach. Then again, if they get too relaxed, it may be better for them to put the phones across the room. 

When discovering the easy-reach extension cords, one guest exclaimed, “Brilliant! I am going to do this at home.” Now it seems appropriate to share the tip/trick with you to do the same.

Hint: Take care to buy the grounded extension cords if you need the extra prong.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice