As we ready (and steady) ourselves for the upcoming tourist season, which includes the baking of a gazillion cookies, I was reminded of a hilarious article I read on the Huff Post about stupid idiotic not so smart things people say when it comes to reviewing their travel experiences.

Things People Say

As innkeepers, we do have the occasional guest that will cause me to roll my eyes toward the back of my head while silently screaming, but truth be told 98% of our guests are quite nice, very friendly and reasonably sane.  Because after all, aren’t we all just a bit touched in the head with our little idiosyncrasies?

Two of my favorite things guests have said to me are:

#1.  Guest to me upon their departure, “We had a nice stay but my wife would have liked an ice bucket.  When we stayed at xyz Inn, they gave us an ice bucket.”  My response, said oh so sweetly, “Well, if I had known you wanted an ice bucket, I would have been more than happy to give you one – with ice!”

#2.  We ask guests, at the time of booking, if they have food allergies or dietary restrictions.  A woman told me she was lactose intolerant, so the next morning at breakfast I served her a fruit cup without yogurt.  She asked why she wasn’t served yogurt, to which I replied, “Well, you did say you are lactose intolerant.”  She responded, “Oh, well, I am lactose intolerant but I eat yogurt because it is good for me.”

Oh, and one more, “I’ll eat eggs but only if I can’t see them.”

Behind the Scenes

Aside from the silliness, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of running a B&B.  So much more than most realize.  Guests believe it to be easy, because we make it look easy.  Surely, it’s just making a few beds and serving up a plate of breakfast, right?! It might surprise you to know just how many actually believe that’s all there is to running a B&B.

The cabinets above my sink.

The cabinets above my sink.

Let’s Talk About Cookies

Because I like to be as prepared as I possibly can be, in an effort to lighten the load when we’re running at full speed for 5 non-stop crazy months of high tourist season, I am currently in prep mode as evidenced by my freezer full of cookie dough.

cookies

Ten tubs and about eight bags full of cookie dough balls ready for the oven.  But I still have shelf space so I’m not done yet!

And that’s 5 months without a single day off.  Our tourist season runs from mid-February through the 1st weekend of November – based on the production schedule of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival – but our “high” season is mid-May through mid-October. That’s when we’re really on the run and I start counting down the days until the fall, which as I’ve mentioned before is my absolute favorite season of the year.

What Makes Life a Bit Easier?

So what makes my life just a little bit easier?  What do I think every innkeeper needs in their proverbial book of tricks?

Here’s my list:

  • A Swiffer wet mop – pure genius on the part of the inventor
  • An ice cream scoop – for scooping cookie dough, not ice cream
  • A Rachael Ray bowl – you know what that is, right?
  • A husband with a tool bag – saves us 100’s of dollars each year.
  • A housekeeper who actually knows how to clean – I’d be lost without her!
  • A first-aid kit – if the innkeeper happens to be a klutz around knives.
  • The perfect calendar – absolutely must have more than one.
  • A white board – a second must have/a white board combined with a calendar, even better!
  • Kitchen scissors – can’t function without them.
  • A gym (Costco) – my weekly work out.
  • A good cherry pitter – because so many don’t work.
  • A laptop – so I can tell you tales from behind the kitchen door.
cookies

Snoopy makes everything better.

A Freezer Full of Cookie Dough

But the biggest thing that really helps make my day a bit easier during the hot and busy summer months is – believe it or not – having that freezer stuffed with cookie dough.  Once I finish baking/cooking/serving breakfast, I pop those cookie dough balls into the oven and in 15 minutes I’ve got freshly baked cookies, the house smells of sweet cookie goodness and I can turn off the oven before the heat of the day kicks in.  It may sound simple, but it’s a really BIG help.  Every single day that we have guests, we serve afternoon cookies.  Sometimes, the occasional brownie, or cupcake, but cookies are the BIG ticket item.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many.

And since we’re talking so much about cookies, here’s one for you:

Molasses Cookies

The credit for this recipe belongs to one of my favorite cookie cookbooks, “Cake Mix Cookies.”

  • 1 package spice cake mix
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg – beaten (into submission)
  1. Combine cake mix, flour and ginger in medium bowl.  Beat in butter, molasses and egg at medium speed until combined.
  2. Roll dough into golf-ball size balls, roll in granulated sugar and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees (use parchment paper on cookie sheet) for 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and the tops crack.
Cookies

Love this cookbook! Technically, this is a recipe for Gingerbread cookies, but I swear they are Molasses cookies!

cookies

Before …

cookies

… and after

What’s your favorite cookie?!

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