The first night, we were kind of excited.
What do you think it will be, I asked The Girlfriend. Strata? Bacon and eggs?
Oh. I. Hope. It’s Omelette. she said sweetly, innocently. I. Love. Omelette.
We fell asleep in our cute yellow B&B room, dreaming of omelette.
We woke too early, afraid of missing the 9 a.m. breakfast call. As a result, we were just a little cranky when we realized breakfast was actually a three-course meal. Parfait glasses held an unidentifiable cold gruel, adorned with blueberries and mint leaves. At least the second course was recognizable: French toast with local maple syrup and sausages.
But still, were in Prince Edward County, a region noted for its wines, its good eating, its cheese and its gourmet cuisine. That day, we would eat local aged cheddar, homemade pickle relish, a multitude of heirloom tomatoes at a tomato tasting, steak and ale pie, and panfried pickerel. Not to mention all manner of local wines. Why then, would you fill your guests’ bellies with rich and unnourishing food?
We skipped the next day’s breakfast, saying we wanted to sleep in.
But curiosity got the better of us, that third fatal morning.
It was a weekday. Maybe. She’ll. Keep. It. Simple. I said, with weak optimism.
No such luck. On the little blackboard where the host – we’ll call her Laura – listed her breakfast menu, we saw, as we groggily took our places, a phrase that struck fear into our hearts. Southwestern Sausage Bake. With Sour Cream, Guacamole, and Salsa.
Who the hell wants to look at guacamole this early in the day, she muttered to me as we stumbled over to the sideboard to get our coffee.
It was as dreadful as the name predicted. Wizened grey sausage pieces peeked out of the tomato-cheese topping, and lurked everywhere in the “casserole”. Egg was clearly an afterthought. It was a 70’s nightmare: hard, rubbery, downright bizarre.
On top of which, we had to endure conversation with two 60-something couples from small towns. One of the husbands, we’ll call him Mr. Doughboy, insisted on regaling us with descriptions of every single thing he’d eaten the previous day.
By the time we got back to our room we were nauseous, and shrieking with laughter.
We didn’t eat again until dinner time, at a pub on the way home.
Next time, we vow, we’re renting a cottage , or an ‘efficiency unit’. Or, we’ll stay at a hotel and grab breakfast in a diner, where eggs are eggs and sausages are sausages and they occupy separate sides of the plate.
I hunted down a reasonable approximation of a recipe for Southwest Sausage Bake, for your amusement.
Any scary B&B breakfast stories out there?
Southwest Sausage Bake
(Shamelessly lifted from Taste of Home)
This layered tortilla dish is not only delicious, but it’s a real time-saver because it’s put together the night before. The tomato slices provide a nice touch of color. I like to serve this crowd-pleasing casserole with muffins and fresh fruit.
TIME: Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 1 hour + standing
* 6 flour tortillas (10 inches), cut into 1/2-inch strips
* 4 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies, drained
* 1 pound bulk pork sausage, cooked and drained
* 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
* 10 eggs
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/2 teaspoon each salt, garlic salt, onion salt, pepper and ground cumin
* 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
* Sour cream and salsa
In a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, layer half of the tortilla strips, chilies, sausage and cheese. Repeat layers. In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk and seasonings; pour over cheese. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 50 minutes. Arrange tomato slices over the top. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with sour cream and salsa. Yield: 12 servings.