Janet's Notebook
My Weekend Adventure at the Inn of the Patriots


Our Finished Traditional Sauce Pizza


This week, I'm doing a little something different. I wanted to share with you a fun culinary adventure my husband and I went on. A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to spend the weekend at The Inn of the Patriots in Grover, NC.



Chef Marti was our host for the weekend. He was the Executive Chef at Camp David under former President Bill Clinton, and was also brought in to assist preparations for larger state dinners. He also honed his cooking skills while serving on a nuclear submarine.

It was great to talk to Chef Marti not just about food, but about history too. The man is a walking history book always throwing out little bits of trivia. And, I loved to hear stories about his days at Camp David. For example, President Clinton used to like to just come to the kitchen, hang out and chat. Could you imagine having a president watch while you made tonight's dinner?

We arrived to the inn Friday night and pretty much headed to bed after our long ride. What we woke up to on Saturday was a gorgeous day and delicious food. For breakfast, we enjoyed oatmeal with fresh peaches, blueberry scones with golden raisins and orange zest AND angel food French toast with strawberry sauce. So much good food already.

After breakfast, we enjoyed a tour of the Presidential Culinary Museum that's adjacent to the inn. We were able to see china from the Madison, Polk and Jackson administrations, along with other collectibles. Each collectible, told a little bit of history.

Then it was off to our cooking class. We were making homemade pizza. Did you know, that to cook with authentic products from Italy it must say product of Italy - not imported from Italy? It was one of the fun trivia bits we learned over lunch.



Chef Marti made us feel right at home in his kitchen and we got to work on making our pizzas. We created three types - one with traditional red sauce, one with pesto and one white pizza.

The white pizza had pattypan squash and other vegetables on top (along with a TON of cheese) and was my favorite. I loved the addition of veggies to the pizza. We topped our traditional pizza with pepperoni, sausage and then drizzled it with a balsamic glaze. We tore up fresh basil, sliced tomatoes and added them to the pesto pizza. Those pies weren't too bad either!



We used whole wheat flour in the dough... it was fun to get in and make it from scratch. We also added different ingredients to the dough - like Parmesan cheese, rosemary, Italian seasonings, etc - to give each pizza a unique crust. I love to make pizza from scratch and can't wait to make these for my friends.

When not at the inn, we also explored a few wineries in the area and ate at a lovely restaurant. Check them out if you ever find yourself in town - Owl's Eve Vineyard, Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and NiFen Bistro. You can visit the The Inn of the Patriots' website if you'd like more info.

I enjoyed so much good food on this trip, you can be sure I did not leave North Carolina hungry. It was like an amazing day in the Test Kitchen! If you could cook for any president, who would you want to cook for?



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20 Comments
mamarita55
Rita Tweedell - Sep 30, 2014
You must have had a completely different experience than my husband and I had at the Patriot Inn. We left breakfast very Hungary looking for a Waffle House! There is nothing around there without a drive. Some of Marti's decorations were a stretch to the imagination. The rain forest room with the burning bush about cracked us up. I guess this just was not our thing. We were very disappointed
Quilted4U
Sherry Rhoads - Sep 24, 2014
President George Bush....he was so down to earth and loved good food !!
Quilted4U
Sherry Rhoads - Sep 24, 2014
President George Bush....he was so down to earth and loved good food !!
georgiabuda
Georgia Buda - Sep 24, 2014
The Clinton's, I have been in their company a few times and find them very easy to just sit and chat with...Hillary has a really great down to earth laugh..
DeeDee2011
Diane Hopson Smith - Sep 24, 2014
What a FUN adventure!!
BlueGinghamApron
Teresa G. - Sep 24, 2014
Sheree, don't feel like you have to do that. The Apache chili sounded intriguing, but nobody would want you to put a recipe above your health! You take care of yourself and just try to enjoy life and enjoy JAP. We all love to chat and tease each other on here, so please keep us posted on how you're doing and don't worry about doing anything that you don't feel up to doing. {{{Hugs}}}
SheeDreems
Sheree Voshell - Sep 24, 2014
I will give it a try. I am going through a tough time with my health right now. But if you hang in there with me I will try to send them as soon as I am able. I've never sent a recipe before. This was actually only my second post. Please bare with me and I will sure try to get them sent. Just got back out of hospital last Wednesday. I never know how I will feel from day to day, week to week. I was surprised I posted the menu but it was such a fun question :-) Be watching for them.
CinCooks
Straws Kitchen - Sep 23, 2014
I noticed that too Teresa......Sheree has no recipes posted, they sound so good.
Maybe she'll post them♥
BlueGinghamApron
Teresa G. - Sep 23, 2014
OK, Sheree, you got my mouth watering, now how about posting those recipes? ;-)
SheeDreems
Sheree Voshell - Sep 23, 2014
I would choose President Reagan. He, too me, seemed to be one of the most down to earth Presidents we have ever had, he and President GW Bush. I loved that about both of them. Just regular fellas. I wouldn't make a big fancy meal either. They get enough of those big elegant dinners in The White House. I would make a simple but filling supper.
With both of them being or having had been ranchers, I would make a few of my signature dishes.
1. I would start off with Ambrosia, a small serving as it is a little on the sweet side and I don't want this to interfere with dessert.
2. The main course - my Apache Chili with homemade cornbread. I can guarantee he has never had chili like my Apache Chili served with homemade cornbread. Even though I always serve shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onions along side, no one, but no one ever uses any in Apache chili. Just my hot cornbread. You can dip the cornbread in the chili, break it up in the chili, or just eat it on the side with butter on it. Oh, Real butter! Any way you choose, with this chili, it's delicious.
3. For dessert I would serve one of my most requested dishes, good Ole Fashioned Southern Banana Pudding from scratch! None of that Cool Whip stuff here. Indeed!
All of the above are my own Signature Dishes.
I think President Reagan and even Nancy would appreciate a simple meal like this. And I know the GW Bushes would love this meal! It's all in the flavors and tastes. This meal would satisfy the likes of President William Howard Taft who weighed 335 pounds.
Jcolle
Judi Collett - Sep 23, 2014
Thanks so much....I will give this a try this weekend when my kids come home!
CinCooks
Straws Kitchen - Sep 23, 2014
Judi, I actually like this one even better.......
carlsbadcravings.com/angel-food-cake...
CinCooks
Straws Kitchen - Sep 23, 2014
Judi, I don't know if this is the one they ate or not but here is a good one......has the step by step photos with the recipe.
howsweeteats.com/...ood-french-toast
Jcolle
Judi Collett - Sep 23, 2014
Are you going to share the recipe for the angel food french toast.....that sounds interesting!
CinCooks
Straws Kitchen - Sep 23, 2014
Enjoyed the article Janet, thanks for sharing♥