a guesthouse life...
We feed the hard outer leaves to the chickens and find that the egg yolks are very yellow - I always feel I need to explain to guests that these are eggs from chickens fed on Kale and Spinach leaves. For nutritional value you can google kale and come up with a million sources of information.
If there is any doubt regarding the properties of kale as superfood - take a look these eggs: the ones on the left are store bought organic large eggs ; the ones on the right are from our hens!
My daughter's Dutch friend Anneke told us that Kale freezes well and actually tastes sweeter after being exposed to cold - which means that we now pick the leaves and leave them in the fridge before we use them. You can wrap the leaves in a moistened kitchen towel before you pop it into the fridge and you'll find that it stays fresh for days. The Dutch use it in a traditional winter dish called stamppot boerenkool, which is a mix of kale and mashed potatoes, sometimes with fried bits of bacon added to it.
Kale can be classified by leaf type:
Rape kale (we saw large fields of these in New Zealand, where it is used for animal feed)
Leaf and spear (a cross between curly-leaved and plain-leaved kale)
Cavolo nero (also known as black cabbage)
Try this delicious Smoothie recipe:
1 Oct is officially National Kale Day:
Before starting my guest house blog I had planned to start a blog where a few guest house owners could share stories and recipes, but it turned out that I was the only one who ever posted!
Because I blog regularly I changed to a blog-based site, where my blog posts form an integral part of my website content. I have kept the Blogspot blogging going even after the development of my new blog-based guest house website as it attracts a different readership. I am still humbled by the number of people who read my blog posts - my monthly unique visitors are a constant surprise to me.
I write from the heart, the way I speak and, as my mother tongue is Afrikaans, my grammar is not always perfect. I keep a post in 'draft' for a day or two to make sure that I am happy that the sentiments expressed are ready to go out on the world wide web. That also means that I will sometimes have two or three blog posts that I am working on and I always have something to post regularly every fortnight. You do not want to overdo it and have people trash your posts to junk mail because you post too often.
Another alternative is to blog around a theme. If you live in a quaint little arty town you could blog about local artists. You could blog about activities in your area, about a restoration project, about a charity project that you support, about pets. I know of two sets of guests who stayed with me because of a post that I did about Bull Mastiffs being such perfect guest house dogs - the one couple googled "bull mastiff" as they wanted to get a buddy for their elderly dog and my website came up amongst that of the breeders! They kept the details and a few weeks later decided to make use of a flight special and come to meet our Bull Mastiff.
My posts also go onto my facebook page and selected group pages. It is a constant surprise how often people will 'like' my blog posts and 'share' it with friends. I have found that the best time to post to social media is in the evening and weekends - that's when people have the time to read, 'like' and comment on the posts. Or on a Tuesday - maybe because they have no time for social media on 'blue Mondays'?
Blogging is forgiving in the sense that one can delete or edit posts as time goes by. Sometimes I will start off by just saving a recipe in the draft and when I make that dish I will take photo's and add that to the post. To finish it off I will write something personal about the recipe and there you are - ready to go! The most difficult posts are the ones where guests are involved - you do not want to infringe on people's rights. On the other hand, I do know that people enjoy reading my blog posts because of my honesty and ability to tell it as it is. By reading my website blog posts they get their questions answered: how do you handle difficult guests? Have you ever had guests who you did not want to stay? Do you not find it a terrible invasion of your privacy? Have you ever had stuff stolen? Have you had some funny incidents?
I notice that many web designers put a 'blog' link on guest house websites and then it will read: No Results Found. The page you requested could not be found. Rather ask them to remove the tab until you are ready to start posting.
I do think that people who stay in Guest Houses, opposed to Hotels, appreciate the personal aspect of a B&B stay and I, therefore, share personal anecdotes too. That calls for some funny moments - like when my husband came home and asked: 'what on earth are you writing on your website? I had a friend phone me and he called me 'Lady Chatterley's lover'.
About the blog
This is the story of our house, lovingly restored and shared with guests and family since 1995.