Pam Lute didn't plan to write a cookbook. But she didn't plan to operate a bed and breakfast either. Yet, she has put her heart and hospitality into both ventures and couldn't be happier.
Lute and her husband, Gerry, own and operate White Hall Manor Bed and Breakfast on East Baltimore Street. Their hospitality business began as a result of Lute's love for the house. "I always admired it and thought I would love to live there some day," she recalled.
That day came about 10 years ago when the couple purchased the home after it popped up on the market.
The three-story structure featuring massive Greek-style columns was built between 1906 and 1910 by William R. Davidson, a local judge. It features a central hall, custom cove moulding, massive pocket doors and several fireplaces.
"All the floors, windows, woodwork and lighting are original," Lute said.
The home was always a private home, but well-suited for a bed and breakfast with a few renovations, so the Lutes decided to become innkeepers.
Now, the B&B is a popular destination for parents of Mercersburg Academy students, skiers and other local travelers. "We're booked usually every weekend and have businessmen during the week," Lute said. "We get people from everywhere—Germany, Spain, China and even Iran."
It's thanks to the bed and breakfast that Pam recently became author of a cookbook. "Favorite Recipes from White Hall Manor" was published earlier this month. It includes beverages, main dishes, side dishes, breads and desserts served at White Hall Manor. "It's little, but packed with all the recipes everybody likes," Lute said.
The inspiration for the cookbook came from guests who frequently asked for recipes. One guest recently suggested she have a cookbook and that's how it got started.
"I do a lot of cooking or baking by eye, so I had to make these recipes to measure them," Lute explained. It took her about four months to compile the recipes in the book.
Some of the recipes were family favorites from her mother, grandmother and sister. "Most are mine I've had for years, some from high school home economics class," she said.
Breakfast, of course, is her favorite meal and the cookbook includes guest favorites such as baked French toast, pecan waffles and lemon-stuffed pancakes.
The books are available for purchase by calling White Hall Manor and are also available at La Rouge Vintage in Hagerstown.
Lute will be hosting a sale and book signing from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at The Write Cup on the square in Greencastle. Copies are $10 each.
Contact Andrea Rose at email@example.com or 717-762-2151 or on Twitter @AndreaCiccociop.