Monday, July 1, 2013

The Half Hour Drive

The joke among the inn staff is that whenever guests ask us how long it will take to get to a nearby activity or attraction, you're always safe to say "about a half hour drive".   Because it seems to be true.    Although our catch-phrase used to be Escape to the Middle of Nowhere, it really should be Escape to the Middle of Everything.

Here's a list of just some of the attractions that are a half hour drive or less from our front door.   Come on out and discover them for yourself.
Velvet Ice Cream factory and museum
Historic Roscoe Village
Holmes County Pottery
Bowden Bells
The town of Millersburg for shopping and antiquing
The Victorian House Museum
Shopping in downtown Mount Vernon
Heritage Winery
Tree Frog Canopy Tours zip line
6 golf courses
Kokosing Gap Trail for cycling or hiking
Kenyon College Campus
Numerous antique stores
Amish Country Furniture store
Several Amish bakeries, bulk food stores, produce stands and cheese shops
Many Amish farms, schoolhouses and other Amish businesses
Several fruit orchards
Blueberry Hill, pick-your-own blueberry farm
Kokosing Valley canoe livery
Camp Mohaven Horseback Riding
The Kokosing River for fishing,canoeing and kayaking
The Bridge of Dreams covered bridge
Mohican Valley Trail
Honey Run waterfalls and park land for rugged hiking
Angels, Cups and Pages used book store
Mohican State Park
Schnormeir Gardens
Brown Family Environmental Center at Kenyon College
Several Farmers' Markets

Any time is a great time to come and discover the heart of Ohio.    

Yvonne Martin
Innkeeper White Oak Inn

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer is in Swing at The White Oak Inn

While road-tripping across the beautiful countryside of Central Ohio, whether it be on your way to Roscoe Village with the family or journeying to one of the many fine Ohio Wine Tastings, be sure to stop and visit us here at the White Oak Inn. We are busy as always with romantic outdoor weddings and hosting an assortment of guests all summer long. We are also always excited about the summer season for all of the sizzling recipes straight off the grill. We hope you come stay a night, try one of our delicious dinners, and experience all that Ohio Amish Country and the White Oak Inn has to offer...Tree Frog Canopy Tours, anyone?

And doesn't this look like a deliciously romantic way to spend a Saturday evening for two?

Innkeeper White Oak Inn

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Jam Recipe

This is a wonderful concoction, full of warm spices like cinnamon and ginger.   If you're looking for an unusual home-made gift for friends, a batch of this can be made in less than an hour.   Gives 6 to 7 half-pint jars.

Christmas Jam

1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
2 pears, peeled, cored and diced into small pieces
1 large can crushed pineapple, with juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
one pouch of liquid Certo or other pectin
6 1/2 cups sugar

Prepare preserving jars by sanitizing in a dishwasher or immersing in a pot of boiling water.

Mix everything except the Certo and sugar in a large pot.   Bring to a simmer.   Keep at a low simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until pears are soft, stirring frequently.    Add more water as necessary.    Mix in Certo and sugar and bring to a full rolling boil.   Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.    Remove from heat and pour into prepared jars.   Screw on lids with bands.   Cool and refrigerate for up to a month OR process in hot water bath for longer storage.

Yvonne Martin
Innkeeper White Oak Inn

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Year's Packages and menu

Just thought we'd give you a sneak peak at our New Years' packages and menus.
Both our one and two night packages include a New Year's Eve clebration of pre-dinner appetizer party, dinner, midnight celebration followed by a dessert buffet, and brunch on January 1.     Our two night package also includes a light buffet dinner on Dec. 30 and breakfast Saturday morning.

The New Year's dinner menu will be:
Crab Bisque
Spring mix and Arugula salad with roasted beets, candied pecans, goat cheese and pears and a lemon oregano dressing
Choice of:
Beef tenderloin with Bearnaise sauce
Atlantic Salmon filet with Mango Ginger Salsa
both accompanied by Duchesse potatoes, and a Rosemary Roast winter vegetable medley

Dessert will be chocolate of course!

Yvonne Martin
Innkeeper White Oak Inn

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Never a dull moment in Ohio's Amish Country

Working out of your home can be stressful.   Combine that with working with your spouse and you have a real challenge.    Ian and I are now in our 20th year as innkeeper partners.   I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn't.   My fiery Scottish temper doesn't make it any easier.   And unfortunately in such a close working environment, our staff are often witnesses to our differences of opinion.

A few weeks ago we had arranged to have the parking lot surface sealed.  Since nobody was to drive on it for 48 hours, the paving company blocked the driveways with empty buckets and yellow caution tape.    Two of our staff were arriving for work the day after the job was done.  As usual, they parked in the staff parking lot, across the road from the inn.   As they crossed the road, one of them noticed the yellow tape, looked at the other and said, "Oh my, do you think she finally killed him?"

I think they were relieved to walk into the kitchen and find Ian alive and well.

  Innkeeper White Oak Inn

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Morel season in Central Ohio

Mushroom hunting is a favorite pastime for many local residents.   The elusive morel mushroom starts appearing in the woods around here mid-April, depending on weather conditions.   Apparently weather conditions right now must be very good  because we've been hearing about a lot of big finds.   Of course we're also hearing stories about "the ones that got away" and mushroom hunters who have come up empty-handed.

What special little treasures these mushrooms are.   They are only available for a few weeks each spring, and allegedly cannot be cultivated.    Which explains why they can fetch up to $100 a pound at the local produce auctions.    Our favorite way to enjoy them is simply dredged in seasoned flour and fried in butter until crisp on the outside.   (Although we have a theory that even an old sneaker sole dredged in seasoned flour and fried in butter until crisp would be tasty).

The inn's Spring Nature weekend, usually held the last weekend of April, generally coincides with mushroom season, and while they're out in the woods birdwatching and doing other pursuits, our guests also keep an eye out for mushrooms.  Any of their finds are carefully prepared and cooked as an appetizer at dinner on Saturday evening.

It was with great surprise and delight that innkeeper Yvonne stepped outside early this morning to take the inn dog Dougal for his walk and noticed something unusual in the grass beside the driveway.   Stepping carefully, she bent down for a closer look and realized, yes, indeed, there were a handful of morels growing no more than 25 feet from the inn.    Closer inspection of the area revealed a total of 17 of the tasty little darlings.   Which is going to make Easter Dinner very enjoyable indeed.

Yvonne Martin
Innkeeper White Oak Inn

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Photo shoot at Amish country bed and breakfast

A few weeks ago we had Mark and Matthew from Jumping Rocks Photography come to the inn to photograph some of our rooms and take more food photographs.  We were just delighted with the results and hope to have them back again later this summer to do more of the rooms and get some outdoor shots when the gardens are looking their best.   I think our two favorite pictures were a lovely sunset picture of the exterior of one of the log cabin cottages,

and a great closeup of a piece of Orange Marmalade Cake.

Many of the new photographs are now sprinkled throughout our website.   To see more of them take a look around, particularly at the White Oak, Walnut and Pinecone Cottage room pictures. 

On a slightly sad note, the very old gnarly Redbud tree pictured in a photograph on our wedding page fell victim to the last ice storm.  We have lots of memories involving that tree, including teaching our pet Robin to fly from its low branches.  We'll miss it, particularly in the spring.

Yvonne Martin
Innkeeper White Oak Inn