The rest of the
Sherlock, the Hound
Wesley, the Cat
A little story about me and the house
scroll to read it all
I did not get very far from Cleveland, my parents, my four brothers and sister until after I was twenty-one and had graduated from college. My first travel memories include Dad piling us and our stuff into our old Dodge and driving to New York State to visit relatives. After stopping at an aging gas station on a two-lane road my mother and sister disappeared into the restroom. After quite a wait, they reappeared when the restroom door and its frame came falling straight out onto the pavement! The door with a tired broken knob had refused to open and could not withstand the repeated pounding and unheard shouts for help. My mother lifted the door and frame back up, leaned it back in place and off we went, laughing hysterically for the rest of the trip at my mother‘s power and strength. The repeated visual of the door passing out and being propped back in place still make‘s me laugh.
There were day trips to the beach. Mom finally learned to drive. There was the Chevy inherited from Grandpa and a few bucks for McDonalds before picking Dad up at work. Hospitality memories include sleeping on the floor padded with the sofa cushions when the relatives returned the visit. Dad spending his last dollar on Friday night ice cream. Years later, a cab driver in Manhattan pulling over by a phone booth and personally calling for directions to my meeting. A driver in Ft. Lauderdale returning my complete wallet found on the floor of his cab after a series of ten calls to ten people to find me.
Well, I have since been a part of some impressive construction projects with imported wood doors with custom knobs. I have been to Hawaii first class, owned a BMW, slept in some pretty nice places and had an ice cream soda at the St. Moritz in New York. But I will never forget the importance of those first experiences: making a lot out of a little.
So that‘s what I do at Clifford House. I do not have time to starch the sheets. I don‘t always do gourmet but it is homemade. I have provided directions to appointments over coffee, listened to life stories, and driven someone downtown the night before to see where they are meeting the next day. I have recommended day trips, restaurants, bars and best-kept secrets. I have nodded hello in the hallway to the 330am party guy and driven him to the airport the next morning because he is too tired to cope with the train. I have agreed to let visiting parents invite someone to sleep on the floor in his sleeping bag. Their college graduate son who had been building homes for the Habitat for Humanity in the heat all summer and had been sleeping on the floor in a non air conditioned church with his coworkers. Clifford House became another sort of habitat for humanity that night and that spot on the floor more of a treat than the adjacent four-poster Henredon bed.
It is all different. It is sharing architecture, history, antiques, food and experiences. It is leaving romantic couples alone. Sharing a drink with a single traveler. It is waking you up with the smell of cooking. It is laughing at breakfast about the events of yesterday. It‘s knowing you can call me if you need me. It is making travel an experience. It is helping people create their own fond memories.
Thank you for sharing my home with me, Wesley and Sherlock.
Chicken and Turkey Sausage: tasty trends from D W Whitaker Meats, Dionne’s Poultry. Mild turkey is a favorite
Low-Sodium Bacon: from Apple Cured Meats at the West Side Market. No chemicals, low sodium. This stand was doctor recommended to my mother.
Less-Fat Chicken Sausage (including Apple Chicken and Cajun Link Sausages): No growth hormones and grain fed; available at Kaufmann Poultry
Pork Ropes, Links and Patties (grilled outdoors): D W Whitaker at West Side Market
Spinach Goat Cheese Quiche a favorite
Asparagus and Parmesan Omelet
The ABC Omelet: I copied from Heck‘s restaurant around the corner (Apples, bacon and cheddar).
The Clifford House Omelet: I use any thing else found in the fridge !!
The Vegetable du jour Potato Frittata: always makes a great impression arriving at the table in a steaming hot cast iron pan. It is a layer of scrambled eggs cooked with Parmesan cheese, home fries next, the green veg of the day, some cherry tomatoes for color and a topping of cheese given and then one final melt under the broiler. Based on the Asparagus Potato Frittata in Williams-Sonoma.
Good old scrambled or sunny side up eggs.
Noodle Pudding: Egg noodles, cream cheese, butter, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, heavy cream, apricot nectar and bread crumbs. I have been baking it since the February 1984 Cuisine magazine arrived so it must be good !!
Homemade Banana Bread with nuts
Raspberry Corn Muffins from William Sonoma
Baily's Bagels from Christopher's Bakery
Breads: Seven grain, whole wheat, sourdough, raisin walnut wheat, French baguette, and Asiago
Poppyseed or Nut Rolls from Farkas Hungarian Bakery
Pumpkin Date Bread from William Sonoma
Cornmeal and Cream Cheese Pancakes with heated syrup and dried cranberries / apricots
Homemade French Toast made with Christopher's French baguette
Rice Flour Pancakes (Gluten Free)
Baked Cheese Grits even the non grit lovers love ‘em
Fresh ground organic Coffee: Equal Exchange Fair Trade small farm, quality
Tea: West Side Market, Harney and Sons and wherever.
Orange and Assorted Juices: fresh squeezed from West Side Market when available; pre-packaged when not.
Ice water in cooled, antique pitchers.
In Room Refrigerator: assorted soda and water
Fresh Fruit: Always fresh fruit, whatever is available.
Hand Picked Berries: sometimes the best blueberries hand picked by my sister Jan Toth.
Garnishes: chopped dates, dried cranberries or those colorful Mandarin oranges - color is everything ! Low fat yogurt on the side.
Assorted jams, jellies, honey and cream cheese
Fruit Loops: The Kellogg variety pack (you know its amazing how many adults sneak the fruit loops!)
Granola: boxed or market granola - not homemade but many people have wondered.