Maifest at The Lindenhof
Sunday, May 6th, 2012
12 Noon - 6pm
Al's Pals Band and Combo
Lindenhof Echos (Alpine Horns)
German Food & Beverages Featuring:
Frikadela, German Potato Salad, & Applesauce.Bratwurst and Bavarian Pretzels
German Wine and Beer, Including Maibock!
May Pole Ribbon Dance
And other German Folk Dances
Sponsored by the Music and Culture Committe of the German American Society of Peoria, Illinois
7601 N. Harker Drive - Peoria, IL 61615
(Just off Pioneer Parkway by Finish Line Ford)
Click here for Flyer (pdf)
Dorothee Gossel, originally from Germany, owns the Inselhaus Bed and Breakfast. She has put her heart and soul into the Inselhaus and it shows. The house in which her business resides is full of character. Not only is the house over 100 years old, but Dorothee has been able to bring some of Germany with her to the States. The Inselhaus proudly displays decorations and items that she brought from her native country. These memories truly make the Inselhaus unique. Dorothee has a very comfortable rhythm and pace about her that keep daily activities at the Bed and Breakfast running smoothly.
Guest’s may make reservations by visiting the Inselhaus website at www.Inselhausbb.com, www.BedandBreakfast.com, or by emailing or calling the Inselhaus. Dorothee quickly responds to all emails since she always carries her trusty Blackberry, which of course she uses exclusively for Bed and Breakfast e-mails and phone calls. The Inselhaus utilizes “Rezovation” system software. The software is backed up daily, just in case something goes wrong. Unfortunately, Dorothee has learned the necessity of backups the hard way. Because of this, she always makes sure she has printed copies of all reservations. These are stored in a very organized file cabinet.
Mornings are most often a game of “hurry up and wait.” The employees or Dorothee hurriedly prepare breakfast in anticipation of the guests’ arrival. Then the waiting begins as the staff waits for the guests to slowly meander into the breakfast room. Once the guests are seated at the breakfast table, the hurrying begins again. Granola, fruit, and yogurt are immediately served. Next coffee cake and muffins are speedily put into the microwave and warmed. Small plates are garnished quickly, usually with an orange slice and a sprig of mint. The warmed baked good are then added to the garnished plate as it is rushed out to the guests. Next, the main course becomes the focus of those who are cooking and serving. The main course usually consists of quiche, breakfast casserole, or various forms of eggs. Sometimes toast or bacon is included with the main course. These larger plates are often garnished with a tomato slice and twig of parsley. Once everything has been served to the visitors, the waiting begins again. The staff enjoys a brief respite while waiting for the guests to savor their gourmet meal.
The tables are elegantly set well before the meal is prepared. First, a white napkin is folded in half, and then into triangles, so it is able to stand up on the table. Immediately to the right of the napkin, lie a fork, knife and a small spoon. Above the silverware, which of course is polished daily, sits a coffee cup with the Inselhaus logo and a small glass cup for juice. And, as would be expected, the brown chairs match elegantly and compliment both the table and the triangularly folded napkins.
After breakfast, the next task is cleaning the guests’ rooms. One is often shocked by the disgustingly untidy and dirty condition in which some rooms are left. Other rooms seem as if they have hardly been occupied. Upon walking into a room, the windows are opened to bathe the room in fresh air. Next the lights are turned on so that they can all be synced with the main light switch. If the guests are departing this same day, the sheets are removed and the towels replaced with new ones. The bed is then remade with fresh sheets with the blanket neatly tucked under. Lastly the comforter is placed at the foot of the bed. Even when guests are remaining, dirty towels are replaced with fresh ones and the bed is impeccably remade. Inside the bathroom, the sink, toilet and shower are thoroughly cleaned, as is the floor. Opened amenities like shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are always replaced. Finally, the room is dusted and vacuumed. Only now can the room be declared clean and once again ready for guests.
In the evening hours the occupied rooms must be turned down. To complete this task, the lights are first turned on in the bedroom. The night light is also turned on in the bathroom. Next, the decorative pillows are set aside nicely, usually under bed stands or in corners. The pillows used for sleeping are placed delicately on the bed. Usually the blinds are slightly closed making the room just a little bit darker. All clothes are hung up or folded, and shoes are placed safely out of the guest’s path. Lastly, the bathroom trash can is emptied.
Baking is another important activity taking place daily at the Inselhaus. One is given much freedom in choosing what to bake. For example, when baking scones, there are many different fruits from which to choose, forever adding to the variety. The baking binder has numerous muffin recipes, ranging from fruity to those spiced with Italian herbs. The coffee cakes vary from sweet, like caramel crumb, to fruity, like apricot cranberry. There are many options in between that provide the baker with the choice to mix and match, ultimately creating a unique recipe. The majority of items that I baked have turned out quite well. I have discovered that I enjoy baking muffins the most.
Of paramount importance, all food and other supplies must be on hand and readily available at all times. Dorothee frequently visits local grocery stores like Neiman’s County Market and Aldi. Farmers markets are another place Dorothee purchases select items. She also patronizes Wal-Mart, purchasing many necessary “day to day” supplies. Sam’s Club is an occasional destination, as it sells items in bulk, including varying sizes of zip lock bags, paper towels and toilet paper. However not everything can be purchased locally. Dorothee buys some products directly from distributors. Items including guest’s soap, body wash, conditioning shampoo, and lotion are bought from Gilchrist & Soames. Dorothee proudly contributes to a cleaner environment as her products are delivered in eco-friendly packaging, instead of plastic. Dorothee carefully plans her orders for amenities in an effort to waste as little product as possible. “Going green” and protecting the environment are important considerations for establishments such as the Inselhaus to consider.
Overall, my experiences working at the Inselhaus have taught me how much hard work is required, and how demanding it is, to be the proprietor of a fine Bed and Breakfast. The hours are long and at times gruesome. Waking up early can be a challenge. I am always amazed at how Dorothee is able to continue day after day. Although I do not wish to open my own Bed and Breakfast, working in one has been a valuable educational experience. I have enjoyed the opportunity to witness and participate in all that is required each and every day. I have also caught a small glimpse of just how dirty some guests’ rooms are left. I now appreciate how much hard work is required daily by hotel cooks, servers, maids and other staff. I will be much more conscious of the condition in which I leave any room where I have been privileged to be the guest. I have enjoyed learning to bake and serve breakfasts in the morning. I can now poach an egg, which I was unable to do prior to working at the Inselhaus; I have enjoyed many experiences I might otherwise have missed working elsewhere. My work at the Inselhaus will be of great help to me as I decide in which direction my career will progress.