A small cozy cottage with a simple three bedroom/three bath, wrap around porch, overstuffed, slipcovered furniture in the sitting room; the heart of this home is the kitchen. Equiped with its six burner gas range, double oven, pot rack hanging with caseron pots and sprigs of drying herbs, the sense in this kitchen is of more than a house, it is home. The island chopping block with a deep well sink for pasta pots and washing vegetables is brimming with just picked early summer flavors; sweet lettuce, crisp asparagus and pungent onions. With the window overlooking the spring blooming flower beds and in the distance a peek at the blossoming fruit trees in the orchard, the sun can not resist turning its warmth inward to spread a morning ray over the counter tops. This is where you find me, taking the piping hot blueberry scones from the oven and adding them to a tray brimming with fresh coffee, fruit bowls and yogurt made from the goats milk on the farm. I take a moment to bask in the heat of this warming sun ray before picking up the tray of delectibles and pushing the side door open with my hip.
Just off the porch I step onto the path that meanders back to the converted barn. Built into the large barn doors is a smaller man-size door that allows my entry with the tasty breakfast fare into the expansive lower level studio. Several workshop attendees are already gently awake and beginning to work on their creations for the day. Catching a wisp of the fresh from the oven breakfast, the rest of the group begins to make their way down the spiral staircase from the loft overhead. Sleeping quarters built into the old hayloft serve as luxuriously simplistic nooks for eight sleepy overnighters; whether they be workshop participants or bed and breakfast registrants, the space serves as a delightful retreat that has been commended by all those lucky enough to happen upon its existence as a slice of heaven in the northwest. With the lower level converted to workshop space, the expansive building is put to great use hosting art retreats in all mediums and disciplines by passionate instructors coming from far and near.
Just off the backside of the studio barn sits a small pond redolent with duck, fish and frog. Alongside the pond is a small goat barn where two buck and six doe reside; three of which are due to kid any day. The chicken coop supplies daily eggs with which the succulent scones and hour-fresh-egg omelets are made.
Traveling back to the cottage I wander around the backside and stop at the brick wood fired oven to ensure that the temperature is right for the loaves of bread that are ready to go in. Lunch for the guests will include fresh bread just pulled from the hot stones, with goat cheese and asparagus quiche. Most of the baking happens out of this over with the pizzas being a hands down favorite. Guests thrill at creating their own masterpieces with dough and have even come up with a few of the current house favorites.
Taking a final sweep through the house to ensure things are at the ready for the next wave of hungry stomachs, and a check to the garden-peeking to make sure the Peter Rabbit visitor hasn't stollen any more dinner salad, I return to the studio to check on the guest instructor and students then head to the computer to continue writing my book. in love. trish
Blueberry Coffeecake Scones
1 c all purpose flour
1 c white whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c sugar or organic sucanat
1/2 c butter, chilled
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon zest
1 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl blend remaining ingredients and pour into the dry ingredient crumbles. The dough will be sticky. Gently incorporate the blueberries; if using frozen, do not thaw-simply blend in while still frozen. Place dough onto a greased baking sheet and pat into a 9" circle.
In another small bowl blend:
3/4 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 c butter, chilled
Pat this topping onto the blueberry scone dough. With a bread knife, score the circle into eight pie shaped wedges.Bake 30 minutes or until lightly brown and the center comes out clean when tested. Irresistable warm with fresh yogurt and a latte!