Foxy lair

hunt-country-june-2005.jpgMaybe it’s the fox that’s prominently featured in his family crest. Or maybe it’s because he’s married to a foxy lady.

Whatever the draw, I was definitely delighted when my dear husband booked us into the Hunt Country room at The Foxfield Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. And I was even more delighted when he scheduled us for a repeat visit this past weekend.

Southern hospitality abounds at this cozy bed and breakfast. Contemporary by Charlottesville standards, this 50-year-old B&B has been thoughtfully designed by innkeepers John and Mary Pat to include amenities that would have been unthinkable in Thomas Jefferson’s day. From the remote controlled gas fireplaces to the couple-sized Jacuzzis, everything at the inn has been arranged to allow guests to enjoy gracious living only a few miles from Jefferson’s Monticello and his beloved University of Virginia.

Mary Pat is a wonderful cook, and this morning we enjoyed her fabulous Pumpkin Cranberry Coffee Cake along with perfectly poached Eggs Benedict, steamed baby asparagus, and the company of fascinating fellow B&B guests.

To bring the fabulous aromas of autumn into your home, try Mary Pat’s recipe.

Pumpkin Cranberry Coffee Cake

1 1/4 cups flour
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c. fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 8-cup ring mold.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs at medium speed of electric mixer until foamy. Beat in sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Gently fold in cranberries. Spread batter evenly in mold.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in mold set on rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of mold to loosen. Cover cake with upside -down serving plate and invert to release from mold. Continue to cool on rack. Dust with powdered sugar to garnish.

Yield: 12-16 servings

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