She has Arrived!

Posted on July 26, 2022 by Bedfordlandings
Curacao cruise

She has arrived! Well let me tell you what I mean.

Jack and I like cruises and when we first happened upon their art auctions, we had such fun!  Drawing you in with champagne, we started learning about their artists.  Park West Galleries, who holds these fun art auctions on cruise lines (Carnival and Holland American in particular) are a gallery that features artists from Thomas Kinkade to Michael Chevall to Peter Max.  We have gotten caught up in their presentations in learning about their artists. If a painting really speaks to us both, we bargain for it and use any coupons they have dropped by our room.  We certainly wait until the last minutes to be sure we can get the best deal!

About 18 years ago, we purchased out first piece of art by Emile Bellet.  I have blogged about our fun art collection in the past. 

Over 16 years ago, Jack and I were on a cruise for our honeymoon and spotted a lovely piece of artwork that we could not afford.  Jack, in particular was quite smitten with the woman at the piano.  The piece is entitled Diminueo by Tomasz Rut and she is stunning.  Each time we check with the Gallery manager and describe her, they have not been able to locate one for us. Not that we could afford it now, but we kept checking.

The last cruise we took in March 2022, the art auction expert was able to locate a Diminueo (woman at the piano) Giclee on canvas.  Rut signed it on the lower corner. Park West does a fantastic job of framing to set off the work. We have been tracking the Fed-Ex delivery and today she arrived!

Artwork in box
First reveal
Artwork by Rut  hung
Didn’t take long to hang it in the chosen location
artwork location
She can be seen from both floors

We hung her and our eyes are now drawn to this piece that we have been looking forward to owning for over 16 years! Yes we bargained and we got a pretty good deal. Merry Christmas and Happy birthday to us!

Pets at Bedford Landings

Posted on July 6, 2022 by Bedfordlandings

Bedford Landings does not allow pets to visit along with their owners.  We are happy to refer people to pet boarding at Little Ponderosa. We have even offered that the pet can stay crated and on the hangar porch or inside the hangar (in a crate).  Why don’t we allow pets?

When we were researching building and operating a B &B, we did our own research with our little dog Kramer.  There was an inn that hosted us with our dog in their “pet friendly” room.  As soon as housebroken Kramer sniffed where other dogs had trod, he also marked the territory.  Also we know that many humans sleep with their loving pets.  Well, it’s not really fair to put the next person in that bed after a dog has slept there.  Allergies, etc. come into play.  So we made the tough decision, no pets.  That being said, we do understand how therapeutic a pet can be.  They indeed provide a level of understanding and emotional support beyond belief.  There is an abundance of research literature driving home this point. 

Kramer through the years
Beloved Kramer

One study examined pet and adult interactions. There are recorded changes in blood pressure and heart rate before and after a pet therapy visits in an adult community when compared with (human) volunteer-only visits. Relationships among stress, pet attitude, social support, and health status were also examined. Study findings supported that pet therapy significantly decreased blood pressure and heart rate (Krause-Parello & Lolassa, 2016). 

Bella
Bella the Beauty

When Kramer passed on, we got Bella.  When Bella passed on, we got DooLittle and I must say that their loving presence beside me or on my lap are truly fulfilling.  We laugh as they play and the chemical reactions to our bodies is healthy! Of course holding a sleeping infant does the same to me.  Jack, not so much!  He loves just hearing a radial (airplane) engine. 

Mighty Doolittle
Mighty DooLittle

In 2020, we experienced the death of three close family members and then Bella.  Jack boo hooed greatly over Bella as we set her in the ground next to Kramer. But DooLittle has won our hearts and also of those who visit.   You can’t bring your own pets but you can interact with ours!  We see how helpful it is as many want to take Doo with them as they leave.  

Just this morning, we had a guest leave because their dog back home (about 7 hours away) was having seizures and they needed to leave.  Lois and Leon inspired me to give some thought to this pet effect.  As she kissed Doo goodbye this morning, I said a little prayer hoping that their dog back home would be miraculously better when they arrived home because indeed, they need us too!

Share your pet stories and pictures with us!

Reference:
Cheryl A. Krause-Parello & John Kolassa (2016) Pet Therapy: Enhancing Social and Cardiovascular Wellness in Community Dwelling Older Adults, Journal of Community Health Nursing, 33:1, 1-10, DOI: 10.1080/07370016.2016.1120587

Bedford Landings Coffee

Posted on June 2, 2022 by Bedfordlandings

Some of you know the story of our mellow, tasty Bedford Landings blend coffee.  When we first opened in 2013, we were serving Sam’s Warehouse Breakfast blend coffee.  We had a lot of compliments on it and so we kept purchasing it.  Whatever coffee we serve, we buy the beans and grind it fresh for each pot.  Jack drinks his coffee black.  He likes it that way and consumes a great deal throughout the day.  I drink my coffee with about 4 T. flavored non-dairy creamer and I like about one cup a day!  BUT, Sam’s discontinued this tasty coffee.  We tried Sam’s substitute and it was too bitter.  We bought locally and it was not a good fit either.  

coffee and strawberries

We had a small bit of Sam’s coffee left and were lamenting to our guests one day that we were having a tough time replacing this particular coffee blend.  Lo and behold, this couple had a son who had recently opened a coffee roastery in Floyd, VA.  We noted the man’s name and made an appointment.  We ventured over to Floyd.  My brother lived there so we could stop for a family visit along the way! We met the owner and coffee roaster of Red Rooster Coffee

We took a gallon of our tap water to the roasters.  The taste of the local water effects the taste of the coffee, of course.  We also took the little bit of sam’s coffee with us so they could match the taste. They took on the assignment to blend a similar taste. They mailed us samples and we tasted them.  Jack and I agreed that they nailed it with Sample #2.  Now we order exclusively from Red Rooster Coffee.  

What coffee should I order? 
What I am still confused about, however is how to order coffee that I would like when I order it from a coffee shop.  I noted this cool list in the New York Times today and want to share it with you in case you have the same difficulty.  Here is an A-Z list of coffee terms.  Enjoy (over a cup o’ java!) while you work your WORDLE!  

A Glossary of Coffee Terms

By Oliver Strand

AFFOGATO – Ice cream (traditionally vanilla) “drowned” with a shot of espresso.

AMERICANO-A shot of espresso diluted with hot water.

BARISTA – The person who prepares coffee at a coffee bar.

CAPPUCCINO  – An espresso shot combined with foamed steamed milk. Five to seven ounces total.

CHEMEX- The classic hourglass-shaped filter coffee brewer. Chemex filters are denser than other paper filters, and many believe that this creates a sweeter, well-balanced cup of coffee.

CLEVER COFFEE DRIPPER- Recently introduced, a filter cone with a stopper that lets coffee steep before dripping, extracting more flavor.

CLOVER- High-tech single-cup brewing machine. Company was bought by Starbucks in 2007.

COLD DRIP COFFEE- Coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for about 12 hours, then strained to make a concentrate that’s used for iced coffee and cut with milk or water. It’s associated with New Orleans.

CORTADO- Espresso topped with flat steamed milk, 4 to 4 1/2 ounces total.

CREMA- Thick, caramel-colored emulsified oils that sit on top of an espresso.

CUP OF EXCELLENCE- A competition to determine the best coffee bean grown in a particular nation. The top Cup of Excellence (C.O.E.) lots fetch significantly higher prices at auction.

CUPPING- Tasting method used by coffee professionals. Coarsely ground coffee is steeped with hot water in shallow bowls, then slurped from flat spoons.

DARK ROAST- Coffee beans roasted until they exude oils. The style has fallen out of favor among many artisanal roasters who think it overwhelms certain flavors.

DIRECT TRADE- When coffee roasters buy directly from farms rather than from brokers. Proponents say it increases coffee quality and gives farmers more power.

DRIP COFFEE- Coffee made with a filter, a press pot, a percolator or a countertop coffee maker. Flavor is extracted by contact with water not under pressure.

ESPRESSO- Concentrated coffee made when hot water is forced at pressure through fine coffee grounds. Usually slightly less than 2 ounces total. Baristas prefer 8 to 10 bars of pressure and 15 to 25 grams of coffee.

FLAT WHITE- Espresso with flat, steamed milk, about 5 to 7 ounces.

FRENCH PRESS- Coffee made by steeping grounds with hot water in a vessel with a plunger and metal filter that pushes the grounds to the bottom. Often used in coffee bars for limited-edition coffees. Also called a press pot.

GREEN BEANS- Unroasted coffee beans.

LATTE- Espresso with steamed milk, 8 ounces or more total.

LATTE ART- The pattern formed by rhythmically pouring steamed milk into an espresso drink. Decorative and demonstrative; only properly steamed milk will hold a form.

MACCHIATO- Espresso topped with a dab of foamed steamed milk, about 2 to 3 ounces total.

MICRO-LOT- Coffee from a single farm, or a specific part of that farm.

MOCHA- Espresso mixed with chocolate syrup and steamed milk.

NEL DRIP- Short for “flannel drip,” it’s a form of drip coffee that uses flannel filters imported from Japan. The filters are temperamental, and must be washed by hand and kept chilled when not in use.

EXTRACTION- Drawing flavor from coffee grounds. Coffee can be underextracted and taste sour or overextracted and taste bitter.

FAIR TRADE- A private program that certifies that farmers or coffee growers are paid a minimum price for coffee.

FILTER COFFEE- Drip coffee made with a ceramic, glass or plastic cone lined with a paper filter. Favored by professionals because it gives them control over water temperature — ideally 200 to 210 degrees. This coffee is sediment free, though some believe the filters add unwanted flavor.

PORTAFILTER- The filter basket and handle on an espresso machine.

POUR-OVER COFFEE- A method of drip coffee developed in Japan in which the water is poured in a thin, steady, slow stream over a filter cone. One cup of coffee takes as long as three minutes to brew. Some coffee bars have pour-over setups with several cones and distinctive swan-neck kettles from Japan.

PUCK- Spent coffee from a portafilter or Clover.

PULL- Espresso shots are “pulled.” The term is a holdover from when machines were lever operated.

REDEYE- A cup of brewed coffee with espresso.

RISTRETTO- Espresso pulled short — with less water — for a smaller, more concentrated drink.

ROAST- Unpalatable green beans are heated to create complex flavors that are extracted during brewing.

ROAST DATE- Most small-batch roasters print the roast date on bags of coffee. The rule of thumb is that coffee should be used within two weeks, and some coffee bars won’t sell beans more than a week after they have been roasted.

SEASONAL COFFEE- Coffee beans ripen at different times of the year in different regions, and can appear in markets and coffee bars for limited times.

SINGLE ORIGIN- Coffee from a particular region, farm or area within a farm.

SIPHON- A coffeemaking device, using vacuum pressure and a series of vessels, that originated in the 19th century. It recently gained popularity in Japan and is being used more in the United States. Despite its complications, it is known for producing fruity, bright coffee.

SLOW DRIPPER- Unusual devices imported from Japan with a glass sphere and a series of tubes and valves that make coffee with cold water in about 12 hours.

TRIFECTA- A high-tech single-cup coffee brewer introduced this year.

Avocado Toast & Eggs Benedict

Posted on May 10, 2022 by Bedfordlandings

Today’s blog is a step by step process to make one of our most popular breakfasts.  Eggs benedict has the bread, the meat and the eggs all wrapped into one dish with a luscious, rich hollandaise sauce drizzled on top. We add our pecan encrusted bacon and fresh fruit to even out the palette.  But some people don’t care for hollandaise nor runny eggs, so we balance the plate now with avocado toast.  Then the guests seem to love it. 

Jack handles the eggs and I handle the fruit and avocado toast for this breakfast. A couple of hints.  Eggs that are at room temperature are best.  Fresh from the chicken works for us. Not all people have laying hands, so just take the eggs from the fridge and crack them as soon as you enter the kitchen. 

Eggs coming to room temperature and hollandaise sauce ready to mix.

Selecting an avocado for the day you plan to use it is a real trick.  That requires a little squeezing and estimating.  The perfect avocado for me almost peels itself.  I slice the skin into quarters then just peel the skin off. 

The ingredients I add are a bit of olive oil, a little garlic salt, fresh ground pepper and a few dried red peppers. Fresh squeezed lime juice is essential.

ingredients

I use a masher (others may use it for pastry blending) to chop up the avocado.  Adding a splash of color with a little chopped tomato (which is optional)that it makes the spread more colorful!

masher
tomato

In the meantime, Jack is boiling water and mixing up the hollandaise sauce from scratch which involves eggs yolk and butter. 

eggs in boiling water
It only takes 3 minutes to boil the eggs.

We don’t start boiling the eggs until we see the guests seated and ready. Then Voila! We add a little garnish and paprika to the plate and round it out with fresh fruit and always our pecan encrusted bacon! You gotta come visit to get the real deal (http://bedfordlandings.com). But just email through the blog if you have any questions for clarification! Enjoy!

Eggs Benedict

If We Don’t Answer the Phone…

Posted on April 28, 2022 by Bedfordlandings

Running a Bed & Breakfast is an interesting business.  Believe it or not, we don’t just sit by the phone waiting for reservations, however!  If we don’t answer the Bedford Landings Phone line, most likely we are not in the house.  Remember the old Maytag Repairman commercial?  That’s not us.

Maytag Repairman would just WAIT around for business!

Then Where are They?

Actually, Jack is the President of the SML Chamber of Commerce which involves meetings, ribbon cuttings ,and other business meetings.  He is also on the SML Center Board helping develop plans for a new community center at Smith Mountain Lake.  He teaches flight lessons, gives aerial sight-seeing tours, is on the church Board of Trustees, and is a realtor!  But, if he is on the property, he could be mowing the grass or building something; it was airplane building in the hangar, but now he is building a sailboat!  Sometimes he is playing bagpipes for weddings or funerals and he sings in the church choir.

Then where is Karen?  Karen is the President of the Smith Mountain Arts Council, give leadership to the Lakeside Singers community Chorus and is Chair of the Methodist Church Preschool Board.  She sings in the SML Boomer Band (All 60-70’s music) for charity events.  

Karen & Jack both sing in the church choir so there are several rehearsals with choirs and singing groups!

But rest assured, with the technology we have at hand, there are ways to connect!  If we don’t answer the phone, Karen’s cell number is on the voice recording.  We text, we email and Karen has the reservations calendar on her phone.  So if we are out and about, rest assured, we WILL get back to you. 

SML Boomer Band
SML Boomer Band

Your reservation is taken online and is delivered directly into Karen’s email.  The confirmation, however is personalized by Karen and added to the online calendar before it comes back to you.  The online calendar is as up to date as your reservation confirmation! So together, we can take care of you as our guests!

Doolittle Update
So if we are not doing laundry, cooking or serving in the community, we are giving Doolittle (our 11 month old pup) some attention.  He is so deprived you know!  And he still loves to steal things from us and leave them all over the house! Check out his shennanigans!  Come see for yourself!

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