Our Melbourne Beach Bed and Breakfast Agrees with Nathaniel Hawthorne!

One of our many gables!

The staff here at our Melbourne beach bed and breakfast has been inspired this summer by the Florida high school kids’ required reading list. This week I’m having fun with a classic ghost story, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables. We don’t have any ghosts here at Port d’Hiver, but we do have lots of gables, interesting characters, and well-provisioned breakfast tables that even good ole’ Nathaniel would enjoy!

“Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly
arranged and well-provisioned breakfast-table.  We come to it freshly,
in the dewy youth of the day and when our spiritual and sensual elements
are in better accord than in a later period; so that the material
delights of the morning meal are capable of being fully enjoyed.”

– Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables

After sunscreen, the second most important item to take to the beach is a good book! Our Sunroom at our Melbourne beach bed and breakfast is full of great beach reads to share with our guests: some classic, like the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and some not so classic, like The Deep Blue Good-Bye by John MacDonald.

Melbourne beach bed and breakfastWe thought it fitting to share with you on this 4th of July, one of our favorite egg dishes as it is perfect for a big 4th of July brunch or to simply snack upon while enjoying an intriguing summer novel!

  Tomato Basil Strata
1 small jar tomato pesto  sauce
16 slices French bread, remove crusts
1 small jar tomato pesto  sauce
16 slices French bread, remove crusts
4 -5 ripe medium size tomatoes peeled and cut into ¼” slices
1 bunch fresh basil, stems removes and leaves chopped
10 slices of lunchmeat ham sliced into really thin strips
8 eggs, beaten
3 2/3 cups whole milk
¾ teaspoon salt
½ tsp pepper

Coat the sides and bottom of 13 x 9 pan with butter (lots). Spread a thin layer of pesto on each slice of bread and stand up in pan to make rows. In between each piece of bread, layer a tomato slice, basil and ham. The bread, tomato, basil, and ham should look like file folders in a drawer.

Wisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl until frothy.  Pour over the bread, pressing gently to ensure the bread soaks up the liquid.  Cover pan with tin foil and chill overnight.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake covered for 40 minutes then remove foil and bake nother 20 minutes until golden brown  and bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.