Monday, July 19, 2010

Local farmers market offers local produce, fresh fruits, baked goods, oh my!

I’d like to introduce myself.  My name is Emily, and I am Ian and Yvonne’s assistant.  I am their “do whatever needs to be done” person.  I’ve been at The White Oak Inn for 3 1/2 years and have loved every minute of it. I thoroughly enjoy my job, whether it’s helping out in the kitchen, walking the Inn mascot, Dougal, conversing with the guests, or working on the computer in the Bat Cave (H.Q. in the basement).

During the summer time in and around Amish county, it seems as though a person is never far away from a farmers market. There are farm markets, which are essentially roadside produce stands, and then there are farmers markets, which are on public property and feature a variety of vendors and products. In a nearby village called Fredericktown, the farmers market is held every Thursday from 3-6, starting at the end of May and running until the middle of October.

The Fredericktown village square, with it’s community-built gazebo, antique cannon, and surrounding historic downtown, is the perfect stage for the weekly performance that is as American as apple pie, baseball, and hot dogs. On average in Fredericktown, there are 6-10 vendors who set up and proceed to sell their best goods.  This weeks’ offerings were tantalizing to any palate. There were fresh red skinned potatoes, naturally grown blueberries, baby beets, fresh baked breads, fruit pies, cakes, and cookies.

I have to boast a tad. Our daughter is the baker behind Katy’s Kakes. She’s an 11 year old girl with her eye on the prize. She has been baking with me (Emily) since she was 6. When she turned 8, she asked if she could make something on her own. We found a recipe for an Oatmeal Cake that has become her trademark cake. It’s a very moist cake that is the right blend of spice and sweet. When she tops it with her coconut pecan topping, it’s out of this world. Yes, it’s all from scratch. And yes, she’s got the recipe memorized!

She’s not the only entrepreneur in our family. Our son, Christopher, is a 10 year old boy who is slightly more cautious, but driven to do things his way, just the same. He created a stand out recipe for lemonade that is earning him rave reviews from his customers. With a little more confidence, he’ll be hard to beat!

The heartland of America is a wonderful place to get reconnected with the old-fashioned values and traditions of the past. A farmers market brings it all full circle from past to present.  Fresh produce, fresh fruit, homemade baked goods, neighborly conversation, and a knowledge that your food didn’t travel more than 15 miles to get into your hands is a great way to spend an afternoon. When you visit The White Oak Inn, check out our local farmers markets and farm stands. The difference in taste and quality will have you coming back for more!

The sign says it all!

No matter what day of the week you stay at The White Oak Inn, chances are there is a Farmers Market being held.  We’d love to point you in the right direction to help you get back in touch with a time-honored tradition.

Innkeeper White Oak Inn

Friday, July 16, 2010

Spa services at Ohio Bed and Breakfast

As many of our guests have experienced, we offer in-room massage services at The White Oak Inn.   These services have been provided by the excellent and professsional ladies from Soothing Touch Massage in Mount Vernon, Ohio.    Recently the business was purchased by one of its long-time employees, our very dear friend Kim Dean.    Kim has been coming to the inn to provide massages for our guests for a number of years.    She has relocated the business to a larger facility to allow more services and additional therapists.    All of Kim’s massage therapists are licenced and insured.

Although most of our guests prefer to enjoy a massage in the comfort and privacy of their own room at The White Oak Inn, some of them enjoy it so much they decide to continue enjoying the services of Soothing Touch when they aren’t staying at the inn.    Ian and I recently went for a visit to see the new office.    Kim and her talented husband Greg have renovated and decorated the Victorian style building to reflect a calm and tranquil atmosphere, and provide comfort and privacy for their clients.   Soft music plays in the background.   Small water fountains trickle gently.   Live plants and flowers abound.     An eclectic collection of art graces the walls.     It’s soothing, comfortable and relaxing – exactly what the whole massage experience should be.

In addition to standard massage, Soothing Touch will be offering hot stone massages and body wraps.    A small gift area sells massage oils, lotions and essential oils.   Gift certificates are available.

For those guests who book a massage at the inn, the therapist will arrive shortly before your appointment time and set up her table in your room.    She’ll start soft music, perhaps light a scented candle.   The tables are heated in the winter time.     You will undress to the degree of your own comfort and slide under the sheet on the table.     And then the bliss begins….

We love to see the faces of our guests after a session with Kim or one of the other therapists.   The best description would be that they ooze into the room.    Totally relaxed.   All stress gone.     Guests who have never experienced a professional massage before will rave about the experience.

I think I’ve just talked myself into booking a massage with Kim right now!

Innkeeper White Oak Inn