Every summer we pick a family-friendly destination, load up the car and head out on our annual Witkin Family Adventure. This summer, with the help of our girls—Amoryn, eight, and Ella Rae, seven—we decided on Boston. Considered the “Capital of New England,” Boston is Massachusetts’ capital city and one of the oldest in the U.S. A famed university town (“Hah-vah Yahd”) and medical center set on the banks of the Charles River, you feel its Puritan roots in the city’s quaint architecture.
Arriving at Four Seasons Hotel Boston after a nine-hour drive from Toronto, Canada was like happening upon a mirage in the desert. Tired and frazzled from the journey, it was a pleasure to be greeted by smiling doormen in crisp uniforms who effortlessly unloaded our car and ushered us into the lobby, where more smiling staff greeted us with welcome gifts for the kids. Once in our room, the girls were overjoyed to find cookies and milk (in champagne glasses, might I add) waiting for them—which they savored in their cozy robes and mini slippers.
The next day it took some coaxing, but once we convinced the girls to leave the hotel, we were in awe of all the city had to offer: the Boston Children’s Museum, New England Aquarium, bustling Quincy Market (AKA Faneuil Hall Marketplace) and the energetic Boston Duck Tours, cruises aboard WWII amphibious landing vehicles. Our visit was jam-packed with fun.
Even as we enjoyed our summer getaway, I couldn’t push aside nagging thoughts of the usual back-to-school hoopla. Obviously, I was delighted when Four Seasons Boston Executive Chef Brooke Vosika invited us back into the kitchen to learn how to make a few breakfast recipes back home. These were a welcome change from our usual menu and a huge hit with the girls. (Add these to your start-of-the-day fall line-up?)
Feeling fulfilled with great memories and loaded up with some delicious new recipes to kick off the school year, we were ready to head home. Saying good-bye to summer is always bittersweet, but somehow, knowing our mornings will have a little Four Seasons in them is making the thought of setting the alarm again just a bit easier to bear.
This dish was a definite favorite. Easy to make the morning-of or in advance, it can be served quickly and will last a few days in the fridge. And I’m always a fan of any recipe that sneaks in some fresh fruit! These would make easy to-go breakfasts for the car, too.
• 1/4 cup granola
• 1/4 cup oats
• 1/3 cup milk
• 1/4 cup yogurt
• 1 to 2 tsp maple syrup or honey
• 1/3 cup fresh berries (sliced strawberry, blueberries or raspberries) or raisins
• Additional berries, granola and honey to garnish
• 1 Mason jar for a fun presentation
1. Combine all ingredients and spoon into a Mason jar, leaving some room at the top.
2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. When ready to eat, top with additional berries, granola and a drizzle of honey. Enjoy! Makes one serving.
Chef Brooke introduced us to his PB & J Pop Tarts. This is a fun and healthy meal that we all loved. It combines protein and fruit, and you can easily swap in soy butter or almond butter if you prefer.
• 2 slices whole-wheat or white bread
• creamy peanut butter
• 1 banana, sliced
• powdered sugar for garnish
Use rolling pin to flatten the two slices of bread. Spread the peanut butter onto both slices. Top one bread slice with banana slices, covering it entirely. Place the second slice on top of the first, making a sandwich.
Cut off the crusts, then press the sides of the sandwich together, to seal. Cut the sandwich into rectangular pieces, then place them in the toaster oven and toast to desired doneness. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm. Makes one Pop Tart.
While I was keen on the quick and easy school morning recipes, I really liked this one for a lazy Sunday morning with the kids.
• 4 ripe bananas, sliced
• 1 cup apple juice
• 1½ lemons, juiced
• 2 TB powdered sugar
• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
1. In a medium saucepan, combine bananas, apple juice, lemon juice and sugar. Stew over medium-low heat until bananas are tender.
2. Place mixture in blender pulse until smooth.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, whip heavy cream til it forms stiff peaks.
4. Once the banana mixture is cool, fold whip cream into it. Set aside.
• 2 whole eggs, with yolks and whites separated
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 cups buttermilk
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 oz butter, melted
• 4 ripe bananas
1. Separate eggs, and in a bowl combine egg yolks and buttermilk.
2. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly add to egg yolk mixture.
3. Whip egg whites in a clean bowl with beaters on high speed til they form firm peaks.
4. Fold egg whites gently into the batter with a large spoon.
5. Lightly butter a griddle or Teflon pan. Pour in batter in spoonfuls to create pancakes. Spread the sliced bananas over each.
6. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Top pancakes with Banana Cream (see above) and serve immediately. Serves four.
Read more about Boston in Four Seasons Magazine.
Read our “Concierge Recommendations” for Boston in Four Seasons Magazine.
Toronto, Ontario (Canada)-based Meryl Witkin blogs at AfterMom.com. and works for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Corporate Marketing. She is the mom of two little hotel lovers: Amoryn, 10, and Ella Rae, eight. Along with her husband Andrew, they have taken the girls on trips to Montréal, New York, Hawaii, the Bahamas, Maine, Boston, Cape Cod, Florida and the Rocky Mountains—always in search of exciting new experiences to enjoy together. In her free time, Meryl is a creative consultant to Andrew’s new company, StickerYou.com.
View all posts from Meryl
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