January, 2011 | Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for January, 2011

Use Those Fruit Skins After Breakfast!

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Copyright The Bettina Network, inc. 2011

We discovered an elegant way to use the skins from the fruit we have for breakfast.  Sometimes we serve oranges – different kinds – having taken off the skins and separating them into segments, putting the segments on the plate as beautifully as possible.  Normally, we put the skins in the compost after breakfast, but this day, we julienned the skins, put them in one cup water and one cup organic turbinado sugar and let them cook until the temperature reached 240 degrees.  What a great discovery! Oh, before I forget – we put the water and sugar in a pot with the fruit rind or skins and didn’t stir – we didn’t touch it, we just let it do its thing until it reached the proper temperature.

When the mixture reached about 220 to 240 degrees, we took the skins out of the syrup, put them in a pan of organic turbinado sugar and mixed them around until the skins were well coated.  We took them out of the sugar, put them on a plate laying them out very carefully and let them sit overnight.  The next morning the skins had hardened on the outside, were soft on the inside – not too soft, but sill recognizable as oranges – and enjoyed them on a little of everything.  They were great to add a lovely touch to dessert dishes.  We also put them out, in a cut glass candy dish, for snacks.  We served bread pudding and decorated each plate with a few candied orange peels.

We took the syrup left from boiling the orange skins and used it to make Bettina’s Marshmaples – only without maple syrup in the dish we are going to have to rename those ‘sort of’ marshmallows.

This was a great find.  Not only did we now have a use for something we would have – not thrown away, but composted – we had also found a way to add a lovely touch to breakfast and other meals with snacks inbetwen.

Onward and upward.  We have been looking for ways to use the left over ginger root after we boil it to make ginger tea.  What better use than this?  After all, candied ginger costs quite a bit at the store and it is usually neither organic nor made with a really good sugar.  So we put the Corning glass pot back on the stove, added one cup of water and one cup organic turbinado sugar and dropped in the sliced ginger, which had just been used to make ginger tea.

After about 15 – 20 minutes, the syrup reached 240 degrees and we took out the ginger root.  We used the leftover syrup to make Marshmaples and they were also sensational.  Marshmallows that taste like ginger.  The orange rinds produced Marshmaples which taste like oranges.  We have discovered something really great and alleviated the kitchen of leftovers that would be thrown out or composted. The flavor of the Marshmaples are real – not produced by using synthetic flavorings.

And we have found a way to use what would have been left-overs. As days move along, we hope to have lots of the candied fruit rind to offer guests and visitors as idle snacks to be eaten while talking, reading or just looking for something to ease that food craving and our dishes will begin to take on another look as we decorate with candied fruit peels.

P. S. We searched our cookbooks for recipes for this candied peel and found one major difference between their recipes and ours.  All the recipes we found suggested you first ‘blanche’ the rind – in other words put the rind in cold water, bring the water to a boil, let them in the boiling water about a minute.  Some went so far as to suggest you do this two or three times before candying the rind.  A couple recipes suggested you bring water to a boil, put in the rind for about a minute before using them the way we did. We disagree.  We didn’t know about blanching so we didn’t.  We have tried making candied fruit rind the cookbook way and it tastes like a medium of some kind was used to produce another way to eat sugar.  And in each recipe you had to add flavoring to the water and sugar to get the rinds to taste again.  We just put the rind in the water and they came out full of flavor and had flavored the syrup so we could use it for other things.  I can see using the syrup as a flavoring for a lot of different dishes.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Beauty in 2011

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

copyright The Bettina Network, inc. 2011

This is the year I throw out my cosmetics and follow organic beautify treatments.  Not organic cosmetics, but organic foods used the way I have been using cosmetics.


I was part of a fantastic breakfast conversation at one of the Bettina Network bed and breakfasts which talked about – basically – only using on your face, skin and hair, those products that you would eat because within seconds what you put on your skin shows up in your blood stream.


I was the one denying this and talking about the block your skin has from products getting any further than just on the surface – certainly not getting as far as your blood stream.  And then, when I got home I looked up what we were talking about and realized folks must have thought me really ignorant because I didn’t really know anything about the topic.  I didn’t let that stop me from spreading ignorance.  I don’t normally act like that, but these are emotional topics and everyone thinks they are experts.  I thought I knew everything there was to know about cosmetics, etc. because I spent a few thousand dollars a year on cosmetics and here I could have had better results spending only a couple hundred for everything.


I’ve gone over Bettina’s Blog and found some of the things talked about and have tried a few.  The one that has produced the best result for me is the virgin organic coconut oil.  That is the one I objected to over breakfast because over the years, everything I heard about coconut oil was telling me to stay away from it because it was bad for your health.  Imagine my amazement to hear folks talking about how great it was over breakfast and their experiences with it.  And just think how uninformed I was and sounded, especially since I insisted I knew what I was talking about.


This letter is my way of ‘eating crow’ from my bad behavior at breakfast. I hope you will share it by putting it in Bettina’s Blog.  If you don’t I will thoroughly understand.  Also feel free to edit it anyway you feel necessary, in case you have space requirements.


The woman whose beauty regimen I have been following, was very quiet at breakfast,  but she did describe how she uses coconut oil all the time. She looked stunning.  She is not a great beauty – sorry – but she had this aura around her, which apparently comes from her beauty regimen.  She uses coconut oil as an all over massage after her bath (yes, Virginia, she takes a bath – that freaked me out) – who in this day and age takes a bath.


Once I got over her bathing instead of showering – I could hear her again – she massages with coconut oil and uses it to give her scalp and hair a real good massage as well.  Another quiet person around the table suggested coconut oil was being touted as being good for Alzheimer’s and for thyroid problems.  Since I am at that change of life stage, the thyroid sounded good to me.  I don’t have a thyroid problem, but I am at the age where that is possible, so I massage my neck every day with the coconut oil – hitting the spots where I think my thyroid lives.  I know about thyroids thanks to Dr. Oz.


I’ve been using it for a few months and feel great, – I look much better – and my skin and especially my face have taken on the brightness and healthy look of the woman who I admired. I love the soft sheen her face had and that is what I’ve been trying for.  Some of the other stuff talked about I haven’t yet tried.  The use of beta carotene on your lips instead of lipstick struck me as really great, but so far I have been going without lipstick.  Once I get the coconut oil down, I will move on to the beta carotene and then the aloe vera as an alternate massage to coconut oil.


There is so much I heard around that breakfast table that today sounds really great to me – I really regret getting up on my high horse of knowing it all and not really listening.  I could have learned so much more.


Thank you for providing this forum.  I’ve added a lot of good habits to my daily life which I had no knowledge about before staying at your bed and breakfast.  Do all of your homes have this kind of breakfast?  If so, I will never travel another way.  To visit friends and pick up good habits which will last a lifetime and make me look really good, what more could I ask.  Thanks also for putting up with me – I wasn’t the best breakfast conversationalist.  a bit too pushy, but I am really nice deep down.  When I’ve made a nute of myself I always apologize.  In this case, please accept my apologies and my thanks for what I took away from your bed and breakfast.”

Ed Note:  We published the letter we received in its entirety with no edits.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Sew Creative

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

copyright The Bettina Network, inc. 2011

Sew Creative
14 Elliott Street
Beverly, MA. 01915
phone:  978 524 8848   fax: 978 524 8858
web site: www.sewcreativebeverly.com

Hours: Tue – Sat 9:30am – 5:30pm; Thursdays until 7pm, Sundays 12-4pm, closed on Monday.

A guest sent us an email suggesting we add “Sew Creative” to Bettina’s Blog. She also sent a review of the shop and urged us to put her review in the Blog.  We were intrigued and went to visit.  It was everything she described.

Her review follows:

During a recent visit to the North Shore, where I spent several days in a Bettina Network home,  I spent one morning looking for sewing, quilting, arts and crafts stores, – since this is my interest and I always like to see what’s out there when I get the opportunity to visit other cities.


I literally stumbled over ‘Sew Creative’ and almost didn’t stop because I was rushing to meet a friend for lunch.  I doubled back, however, called my friend and she met me at Sew Creative.


It is a wonderful, warm, friendly shop which contains everything you need, to do all kinds of quilting.  Yards and yards of beautifully printed cottons; all the findings – like thread and equipment you might not have or run out of; patterns, and more- but mostly the people who own and work in the shop are unbelievably helpful.  They have classes and regular times when you can just show up and sew with like- minded people.


There is an Embroidery Club, a Quilters Boot Camp, which gives you the basics of quilting; a ‘Girls Night Out’ which is $20 and gives you five hours of uninterrupted sewing time to work on a project of your choice and get expert help. The projects include quilts, clothing, using sergers, machine embroidery and some general sewing.  There are also classes for kids with no adults allowed.


What is shameful is that there are so few such stores around today where one can buy the beautiful materials I used to buy on a constant basis, whether I needed them or not.  I have quite a stash, but my heart goes out to those young people who won’t know the joy of finding an exquisite piece of silk for a beautiful suit to take home and sew or stash the material away for rainy days.  They won’t know the excitement which comes from discovering that all the pieces of material you have so carefully stored away – after making a project or cutting up an outfit you can no longer wear – are enough to make a divine quilt.  With the pieces from old outfits, it is especially wonderful to discover you have the kind of clothes and pieces of material which you can use to make a memory quilt.


When I return to Massachusetts I will always make Sew Creative one of the stops during my stay.”

Ed Note:  We sent someone to Beverly to check out Sew Creative.  It is as described and we had a lovely late morning stay.  We also added Sew Creative to Bettina’s Menu of Events.

We had an unexpected bonus from that trip.  Our ‘checker’ found material we were looking for to use to upholster walls. That has been a request from a couple of our bed & breakfast host families, but we haven’t had the time to go searching for just the right under-cloth to use. We will give you a write-up on wall upholstering in another blog – mostly because our host families wanted to know how to do it to save on their heating bills.

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Time to Get Back to Work

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

copyright The Bettina Network, inc. 2011

Well, 2011 is well on its way to becoming 2012 and before that happens it is time for us to get back to work.

We have a few emails from our bed & breakfast guests who read Bettina’s Blog.

Let’s start the New Year with a great suggestion for baking.

“I was in the kitchen one morning when my host family was making breakfast.  They baked a wonderful sour cream breakfast cake.  I would love to have the recipe.


Although the cake was really good they had a hard time getting it out of the cake pan.  It eventually came out, but not as pretty as they had hoped.  I gave them a suggestion, which I decided to also send to the blog.  It is one which has served me well over many years – and I never have and never will use that spray stuff you see being put into baking pans on the cooking shows.


When I start to bake a cake, the first thing I do is oil the pan with organic butter and put it in the refrigerator until I have finished with the cake batter and it is ready to be poured into the pan.  I have never had a problem getting my cakes out of the pan.  Once out of the oven, let the cake cool about five minutes (no longer) and then put a plate over the cake pan invert it and the cake will come right out of the pan.”

Ed. Note:  We tried this several times and it worked beautifully.  Needless to say we passed this suggestion on to the bed & breakfast host family who was mentioned as having a hard time getting their cake out of the pan.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Looking for Homes to join the Bettina Network

Friday, January 7th, 2011

From now through March, 2011 we will be scouring the country for new homes to add to the Bettina Network, inc.

If you have a home you would like to use to  accommodate bed & breakfast guests, call us to find out more about the possibilities.

We have homes ranging from two bedroom apartments, where the host family lives in one bedroom and uses one bedroom and bathroom for bed & breakfast guests, to large mansions.  We are looking for farms, ranches, off-the-beaten track places, interesting host families, etc.  Do you have a dairy farm and want a little help?  Try bed & breakfast with guests who would love to spend a few days working on your farm.

Call us and let’s discuss putting your home in the Bettina Network!  Are you an artist and want to stay home to develop your art – try having bed & breakfast guests to pay your overhead while you give yourself time to develop as a full-time artist.

We have accommodated host families who are very wealthy and want to break out of their closed circle of friends to know more about the world –  to those who were facing foreclosure and bed & breakfast was survival and a way to maintain a home they were about to lose.

Call us to find out more about the possibilities and how this road could be your yellow brick road – except instead of the wizard at the end of the road, you could find knowledge, understanding, wisdom, fun, a world view you couldn’t get no matter how long or far you travelled and extra income.  Keep your home private, but at the same time open it to world travellers to let them see how you live and you find out about them over breakfast.

617 497 9166
800 347 9166 toll free
email – bettinanetwork@comcast.net
web site – www.bettina-network.com

We look forward to hearing from you and exploring the possibility of your becoming a part of the Bettina Network in 2011.

__________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

Donate to Bettina’s

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Donation Total: $5.00 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.


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