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April 2010 E newsletter

inntouch newsletter master  April 2010 E newsletter

Dear Friends

Already mid-April! The days, weeks seem to pass at an alarming speed. Not too long ago we welcomed the New Year, we made wishes. I promised myself that I would never say again that I had no time! That my email Inbox would only contain the day’s emails! I have not succeeded so far and it gave me the idea to create a new package; “Take Back Your Time“ package. A little perk if you take this package, a credit of one hundred dollars to spend as you see fit here at our hotel. Mention newsletter when you make your reservation to receive this bonus! A little more time to spend not working and learning how to be, doing less may bring us a little bit more happiness. “ There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy” Robert Louis Stevenson.

What is new at Sooke Harbour House?

After our annual closure in January, we reopened with renewed vigour, optimism and energy. I have personally tried to not listen too much to the news, always negative, to keep my outlook on life fairly optimistic and find ways to keep our business somewhat profitable in this very difficult economy! A daunting task after 31 years………………….

THE GARDENS:

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We have started, in addition to our certified organic edible and sea gardens at the Sooke Harbour House, another garden: the Sooke Harbour Farm. It was in 1929 where the first owner of Sooke Harbour House Mr. Kohout had his home. We are closing the circle! It is an acre and a half of beautiful earth, dirt that we know will be producing more vegetables and fruits for our kitchen. Our garden team, Byron, Sharon and Jill are very excited as is our head chef Sam Benedetto. Here are some of the photos of before and now, and it is still a project in progress!

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We have on this farm a small cottage with three bedrooms and will welcome “WWoofers” and/ or avid gardeners that want to learn more about organic gardening, you are welcome to apply – we have limited space; we offer accommodation at the farm and meals. Send an email to Jill, our farm woman, farm@sookeharbourhouse.com

We are having again our series of Garden Workshops. We had our first one on April 10th It was all about organic salads: growing, foraging and tasting with a three course lunch following the workshop. This link will take you to a short  video on Sooke Harbour House salads. Salad Video Link On  May 29th the workshop will be “Growing Edible Organic Plants in Containers” Check our website for further upcoming workshops. Also please send us your suggestions (Byron@sookeharbourhouse.com ) for workshops that you would like us to do.

sam benedetto April 2010 E newsletter byron 1 April 2010 E newsletter

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THE KITCHEN:

Spring is in the air and one of the first spring edibles is a Stinging Nettle. Celebrated by many cultures, nature’s spring tonic is abundant this time of year, FREE, and simple to enjoy. Here is a simple suggestion:

Stinging Nettle Soup with Minted Sour Cream
2 cups Stinging Nettle leave packed tight*
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup celery sliced thin
2 tblsp garlic sliced thin
1 Bay leaf
1 cup yellow onion coarsely chopped
½ cup salted butter
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Minted Sour Cream:
Mix and refrigerate:
¾ cup sour cream
1 tsp minted finely chopped
2 tblsp yellow onion finely grated

To Prepare:
In a medium sized pot over medium heat melt butter. Once melted add onion and celery and cook until translucent.
Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes more then add chicken broth and bay leaf and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Add Stinging Nettles and simmer for 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Remove and discard bay leaf.
Blend soup mixture on high speed in a blender for 4 minutes and return soup to pot and bring to a boil and then serve.
Garnish with 1 tblsp minted sour cream and serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
* When handling the Stinging Nettles wear rubber gloves.
On April 29th, students from the Culinary Program of Edward Milne Community School ( high school) will cook, with our kitchen team, a fund raising dinner for their culinary program. Some of the students, with instructor Chef Pia Carroll, will be in Ontario to visit the Stratford Culinary School. They will come back with some of the Stratford students. It is a creative culinary exchange between students and people passionate about food! All the proceeds of the dinner go to the high school. Reserve your seat ( limited to 50) now, phone high school at 250- 642-6371, multi course menu for $50.00 per person

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ART and CREATIVITY:

After the great success of our first Fashion Show-fund raising, we will have on Sunday May 16th another one in our beautiful pavilion in our top garden. Gwen Fisher from Pure Elements will have avant-garde hair creations, local designers will showcase their newest outfits and accessories, and we will have entertainment, art and little cake offerings from our extraordinaire pastry chef Matthias. Part of the proceeds will go to the Family Resources Centre. Check on You tube some of the videos of the last Fashion Show.

Watch YouTube promo

Every month we showcase in the Garden Room one of the numerous artists we are fortunate to have on Vancouver Island. This month “From the Sun Down” features the art of Jill Winstanley and Aurafidelite Arindam.

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FORAGING:

SP David Arora and Sinclair April 2010 E newsletter sinclair w pines April 2010 E newsletter
Sinclair has embarked,with his usual passion, into the discovery of the world of mushrooms. We will announce in one of our later INN TOUCH some foraging excursions, please send an email to Sinclair (Sinclair@sookeharbourhouse.com) to have your name put on a list for future excursions.

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We have also started a referral program to thank you for your patronage and also to entice you to be our ambassadors and refer to us as many new guests as possible. While we hear less about the negative impact of this deep recession to the tourism industry, every one of us in the hospitality sector is under tremendous pressure to reduce our prices while offering the same amount of services. It is a very delicate balance that may be impossible to sustain for very long. We are asking for your help, your suggestions so we can be better and your encouragement……to re-fuel our spirits. We have strived for these past 31 years to do the best we could, to conduct our business in the most sustainable way, the greenest way, long before the word green was fashionable. We have always believed in local, seasonal cuisine and in showcasing our local artists. We love our local community and in giving you, our guest,s the best of what this region has to offer. Thank you in advance. We will be issuing you, dear guests, what we call our “Sooke Harbour House passport to pleasure” and Sooke Harbour House new money!

Wishing you the best for the next coming weeks until the next INN TOUCH……

Frederique Philip

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www.sookeharbourhouse.com info@sookeharbourhouse.com Call: 250-642-3421

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