We had to look up the word "Melange" the first year here at The Windover Inn. Defined as an "assortment" or "mixture", it is the perfect word to describe the culinary experience offered by the "Melange of the Mountains" presented by our local Chamber of Commerce. It's on Thursday, March 25th from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM this year at The Gateway Club here in Waynesville, NC. Talk about an annual event for the senses! Add to the regal atmosphere of this grand, historic building, talented chef's from Western North Carolina's restaurants preparing an "assortment" of delectable dishes, and one might say, it's hardly fair to contain such an offering in just one night . . . and they would be right! Luckily for us, our fine restaurants present these culinary delights on a daily basis, so the experience never has to end.
We always enjoy the dining "experience" whether eating out or at home. Even before we had The Windover Inn Bed and Breakfast, I always tried to make that extra effort to make what we ate look as good as it tasted. I've always been the cook in our house, or Chef Boy O' Boy, as Jen affectionally calls me. I have always loved to cook and am a constant student of the Cooking Channel! I credit my sister, Alice with 'whetting my appetite' for preparing and enjoying gourmet foods.
Recently Alice shared with me an old cheese cracker recipe she had saved from our mother's recipe box. My mother would make these crackers for the 'girls' when she hosted her Bridge Club or YWCA service club group at our home. I always looked forward to these events because I knew she'd make an extra platefull for me and my sister. They were delicious! Well, now I have that recipe, and cheese crackers have been added to our "melange" of goodies here at The Windover Inn. I can't think of a yummier comfort food than these crackers (of course, I'm biased!). As usual, I have tweaked the ingrediets a bit to make them even better for our guests.
I love to experiment with dishes, and I think I have been successful in making our breakfasts more interesting by taking standard recipes and adding an ingredient or two, or by using fresh herbs which I grow outside in our herb garden in the warm weather, and inside in our sunlite garden (great find at Gardener's Supply Company) in the cooler weather. I use fresh herbs in my veggie herb frittatas and stratas that are regular 'savory' dishes on our menu. I wouldn't think of using dried herbs in these dishes because the flavors are just not as fresh and subtle.
But enough about food! The melange of these mountains includes more than just culinary delights! Our historic downtown has a "melange" of unique shops and galleries that can't be found elsewhere, is surrounded by mountain ranges rich with a "melange" of hiking trails and scenery and our "melange" of rooms and suites are just the place to stay to enjoy it all!