Serving cream/milk/dairy

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Madeleine's picture
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If you serve fresh dairy products on the tables for guests to use for coffee, etc, how do you serve it/them? I've been using mini moos and have decided to go for fresh cream/milk instead (except for evenings when I can't control if it's stored properly).

Do you use ceramic or metal creamers? Dump the cream after breakfast or only serve when asked for it? Put the creamer in a bowl of ice on the table? Do you have an insulated creamer?

If you serve fresh, how long is it ok to leave it on the table before it has to go back in the fridge? I can set the creamers on the table when the guests sit down to keep it cold longer. But it does get hot in the summer.

I used to do the little cow creamers but they just don't hold enough and I stopped as I kept having to refill them during breakfast. (And they slop all over the place!) I would get a larger creamer if I do this again. Not the little cows, cute as they are.

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I used small individual creamers for coffee/tea on a small dish for drips.  Small enough to stay cold and since we did a plated service we just replenished as needed during breakfast. I started out putting the creamer in an ice bath, but found it wasn't necessary as the cream went quickly. Mini moos (regular and several flavored types) were in the guest fridges and in the coffee service areas for 24/7 coffee/tea service. 

If I was serving cereal, I'd use a high quality double walled stainless steel carafe for the milk and would offer 2% and some type of lactose free stuff. 

For serving warm syrup, I used these.  I saw them being used in a super popular breakfast place in Atlanta.  They worked fantastically well.  I could remove the top to heat in the microwave, the smaller size of the top prevented a lot of drips and kept people from over dumping syrup by accident.  I always put them on the table on a little dish.   I think that I bought mine at Pier 1. 

I never really thought about milk/creamer usage.  It was just part of the cost of food for the inn.  For every person that used a ton of cream, there were a bunch of folks that took their coffee black. 

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bc30md's picture
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I have bowls of minimoos and mini french vanilla creamers sitting near coffee and on each table. I also have small (pint size) milks - one or two whole and one or two reduced fat - in the small fridge in the common area. So few people actually seem to drink milk any more, and I've found quite a number of our guests eat their cereal with yogurt (instead of milk) (we also have 6oz yogurts in the small fridge). When we first opened, I was putting a small insulated pitcher of milk on each table, but poured out about 90% of it!! Also, if I put out reduced fat they wanted whole or vice versa!

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Skamokawa's picture
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I've been looking for a good insulated server for half and half, or milk.  Can you recommend the ones you use/used?

 

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Skamokawa's picture
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We use small stainless individual servers for the half and half at the breakfast table.   For the guest fridge upstairs I just put a pint carton of half and half.  I was using the mini moos, but discovered that they can indeed go bad.  Might have just been a bad one in the box, but I don't want to chance it again.

 

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 I would eat my cereal with yoghurt because the milk needs to be cold, most places it is never cold enough. I would have to toss it, I couldn't get it down if it was tepid.

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Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

 I would eat my cereal with yoghurt because the milk needs to be cold, most places it is never cold enough. I would have to toss it, I couldn't get it down if it was tepid.

I can tell you from experience that if a guest jams a bottle of wine in the fridge, the door does not close and the milk freezes solid. Cold enough for ya?

What I don't get are the guests who take the bottle of cream out of the bowl of ice, pour some cream and then put the bottle very carefully on the counter and walk off. Maybe they want it warm later on when they come back? Oh, and they guy who every single time he poured himself some juice moved the pitcher clear away from all the other lined up pitchers and put it on the tray that held the juice glasses, what was up with that? He had to MOVE the glasses to put the pitcher down. He did not have to move the glasses when he picked the pitcher up, was he not getting that something wasn't right?

These are BIG pitchers, too. Lined up. RED. On a mat so they don't drip all over.

Always an adventure.

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Madeleine wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

 I would eat my cereal with yoghurt because the milk needs to be cold, most places it is never cold enough. I would have to toss it, I couldn't get it down if it was tepid.

I can tell you from experience that if a guest jams a bottle of wine in the fridge, the door does not close and the milk freezes solid. Cold enough for ya?

What I don't get are the guests who take the bottle of cream out of the bowl of ice, pour some cream and then put the bottle very carefully on the counter and walk off. Maybe they want it warm later on when they come back? Oh, and they guy who every single time he poured himself some juice moved the pitcher clear away from all the other lined up pitchers and put it on the tray that held the juice glasses, what was up with that? He had to MOVE the glasses to put the pitcher down. He did not have to move the glasses when he picked the pitcher up, was he not getting that something wasn't right?

These are BIG pitchers, too. Lined up. RED. On a mat so they don't drip all over.

Always an adventure.

Please don't even go there.

Innkeeper OCD is what it is called.  If I have a little bowl for tea bags AND a cup w saucer they lay the thing wet on the table cloth. WHO DOES THIS? Guests.

No matter what, they will do and put things where they logically DO NOT GO< EVER.  

I have SYRUP POURER on a small plate or bowl and they place it right back onto the tablecloth every times, drip drip down the syrup goes from their pouring it. Yes, I can pour it without it dripping, they don't.

They don't put the creamer back because they don't do it, not at home, not here, they leave the milk out of the fridge, the leave the cap off the toothpaste, they leave the toilet seat up. Ever go into their rooms to freshen? A mess.  The hair dryer is still plugged in hanging into the sink, towels on the beds...

Madeleine's picture
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Ha, ha, the syrup. I don't know how long it took me to put the little plate under the syrup pitcher, probably when I started using tablecloths. And the syrup will be right next to the little saucer, but not on it. The bottle of Coke will be right next to the coaster but not on it. (Last week I picked up a coaster and peeled the finish right off the nightstand, soda all over the underside of it had eaten the finish right off. Sigh.)

I will say the tea bags are not a problem here. The guests either toss them in the trash, put them on their fruit plate or stick them on top of a pile of empty sugar packets. If I see them with tea, I bring over a little tea bag tray (former ashtray, reinvented) for the table.

What does drive me batty is how they will pull it out of the cup and wave it all over to drop it into the trash. Yeah, nothing better to do than clean that up all day long. (Which reminds me of a story a couple told me about being in the food court at the mall when a guy at another table picked up his tray and proceeded to dump it on the floor in front of the woman who was going around wiping down the tables. When she said, 'That belongs in the trash,' he sneered at her and said, 'It's your job ain't it?' The person telling the story said it was all he could do to not belt the guy in the mouth. Point being, we could have it worse than a few tea stains on the floor or syrup drips on the tablecloths. There are mean, spiteful people out there. Most of whom we never have to meet.)

Syrup drips are annoying when I have multiple seatings. I have to mop them up before the next guests sit down which doesn't always happen. Then they put their stuff right in it. Cellphones, newspapers, books, elbows, whatever. Please, let me clear the table before you sit. Please.

You know, someone cleans up behind those people at home because there aren't 5-10 cartons of sour milk sitting on the counter, we can only hope. So, they're used to someone else cleaning up behind them. Wonder what that life is like?

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Incidentally, Trudeau makes a syrup container that fits a full 540 ml can of syrup. So you don't have to keep part of the can in the fridge after you open it. (It's the standard size can used for maple syrup. And yes... a can, anything in a bottle around here is intended for tourists.

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Joey Camb's picture
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I went spare last week had two chaps stay seemed nice workmen on a project one ate his biscuits outside the front door with a mug of tea in his hand, left the fricking mug outside and biscuit wrappers all over then when they left chucked things out of the van on the car park. They booked for the next week and got a lecture said who do you think has to go outside now and pick all that up? the faries? siad if you want to clean the van ill give you a bin liner and you can put it in that. People who put all the tea bags in a glass or something drive me mad thats what the trash can with a liner in is for!

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  GUILTY!

i like a little coffee with my light and sweet.  tea ... not so much, but still ... it's because i like the taste of coffee, but it's much stronger than tea ...

with the little mini creamers, i probably use 5 (could be 6) depending on how strong the coffee is and how big the cup is, the flavored ones, not as much ... but i am totally guilty.

last b&b i stayed at for a couple nights, i brought in a quart of 1/2 and 1/2 and put it in the guest fridge in a paper bag with my name on it so i could go light. i poured some into my mug before going to the coffee pot to fill up. the innkeeper chided me and said it was silly of me to do that but i felt better for having my own stash. i did it with no one around but she didn't 'appreciate me doing that'.  i hadn't told her what was in the bag, she didn't see me using it, she opened the bag to see what was inside and approached me about it.  i told her i use quite a lot of 1/2 and 1/2 and i also drink a lot of coffee and didn't want to use up all her 1/2 and 1/2. 

oh well, here is a twist ... you can't please every innkeeper!

as innkeeper i was totally confused by the guests who poured 1/2 and 1/2 in their cereal with milk sitting right there 'til i saw cereal cream in a guest fridge.  aha!  at least i eat my cereal with nonfat greek yogurt or dry now so i hope it balances out a bit. 

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Madeleine's picture
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We do have guests (nice, sweet, wonderful guests) who bring what they deem to be the 'essentials' and I get that they don't always get what they need at other B&B's. (We don't do flavored creamers as an example and we get 2 guests who love flavored creamers, they always bring their own.)

For an innkeeper to chide you for bringing something you wanted to have, putting it in the fridge provided and not making a big deal out of it is silly. You saved her a bundle. She probably took it as a slap that you assumed she couldn't provide for the guests. Hey, guess what? QTIP! (Not you, the innkeeper.)

4 guests no showed for brekkie today. I'm enjoying the down time!

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My full-house cleared out by 10 so we could go to Church and be the Greeters we were scheduled to be. Then DH decided he did not want to go to his club picnic - we went to Subway for lunch to take home. Yea. 2 loads of laundry done and lots to go - EVERYONE wore robes this weekend! And one room even left a tip!

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 We usually ask if they want milk or cream and then bring whichever (or both) to the table in ceramic creamer pitchers. We get a lot of two-nighters, so we generally remember for the second b'fast and have it already on the table.

After b'fast, we put it in the fridge and hubby will use it in his coffee (I take mine black) or I'll use it in scones, french toast, or baking. An hour or two on the table is not going to turn milk. Just don't pour it back in the jug! (We have bags, not jugs, here, so not a concern) Smiling

Milk for the cereal/granola is in a glass or stoneware pitcher in the mini fridge in the dining room. Guests can help themselves if needed. Yogurts sit in a bowl with lots of ice cubes and go back in the fridge if not used.

Some people do add insane amounts of milk or cream in their coffee. Or I should they add scarce amounts of coffee to their milk or cream! So I do try to remember to check the pitchers to see if they need topping up while I'm going around the table refilling coffees.

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Interesting how you must have been thinking creamers like I was today.

This is the deal, and British guests/innkeepers forgive me - Let me ask the Brits this question: When you have tea, do you take the creamer and dump half a cups worth of creamer into your tea? NO. Of course not.

So why the blamin' heck do you do it with coffee?

Listen, when someone brings out a coffee service, you TIP the creamer to your cup and then stir, you don't DUMP THE WHOLE THING in your ONE CUP/MUG and leave none for anyone else.  Coffee at an inn is NOT A LATTE, I REPEAT, NOT A LATTE! It is a "cup of coffee"

So if you see a mini moo do you ever wonder why they are so small? I mean, when you stand there opening 25 of them for one cup of coffee? You are meant to put ONE in, two if you are a weenie.

So to answer that question Maddie, if I have UK Guests I need to put a blinkin' gallon of creamer out for them.  It is remarkable how much they use and it ain't cheap! You know the cost of 1/2 and 1/2.  Look at the normal size of a sugar and creamer set you buy, you aren't suppose to have ONE PER PERSON PEOPLE!

You lighten your coffee, tip it in, JUST LIKE TEA.  

I implore you!!!

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

... It is remarkable how much they use and it ain't cheap! You know the cost of 1/2 and 1/2....

It's $4.00 a litre around here...

I haven't paid attention to the Brits and cream, though some people ask us what the difference is between milk and coffee cream (we don't have half&half around here, just 10% coffee cream and 5% coffee creamette.) We have other weirdness... Let's see, it's hot milk for the French (love that Aeroccino) and a few want it foamed. What I call "bowls of regret" for the Brits (they take a big bowl of cereal and I serve them their hot breakfast after it, at which time they regret the bowl of cereal, because what I put down in front of them is a heck of a lot more interesting and delicious than their bowl of cereal could have ever been. Espresso for the Italians. Some of the Yanks are big decaf drinkers or some of them drink half coffee and half hot water because our coffee is too strong.

Madeleine's picture
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The joke at my house is 'have a little tea with your milk, dad.'

Not sure why some people really do overuse the milk/cream but that's the way they are.

Now you don't have cereal but I had to buy smaller bowls because EVERY guest who has cereal FILLS the bowl with milk, to the top. And then they don't drink the milk. They just leave it there.

So, white tea/coffee bothers you, a bowlful of milk from cereal drives me around the bend.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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we serve (4, one for each room) 1/2 & 1/2 in small ceramic creamers. The milk for breakfast (4) is in small glass antique milk bottles when we're serving oatmeal or granola with breakfast which is nearly every day. So much was being thrown away, so recently we've decided to save the unused 1/2 & 1/2 & milk together in a small container in the fridge and use for the next entree I bake with milk (french toast, pancakes, etc). I feel comfortable doing this because the milk mixture is being cooked, so I don't have to worry about reusing it.

I know that it's supposed to be discarded, but it's such a waste!

gillumhouse's picture
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I have a couple clear glass cream pitchers - just measured and I put about 1 cup of 1/2 & 1/2 in it on the table in the morning. I use the left in the pitcher for my coffee until empty (and sometimes just leave it next to the coffee pot in the kitchen because I forgot to put it away. It is still good at the end of the day. Usually I just put the pitcher in the fridge and use it rom there. If you put it out AT breakfast, it should still be OK when breakfast ends. There are preservatives in everything these days to retard the going bad process. You probably have enough guests that a cup of cream would be used up at each table of coffee people - and I DO ask if they need cream with their coffee before I put it out.

Madeleine's picture
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That's a good one. I can just ask, or watch as they set up the first cup for themselves.

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We use half and half in creamers on each end of the table. Then throw it out afterwards. If we find no one uses it at the beginning of the meal, we will pick it up and put back in the refrigerater. Sometimes, we will also set out the little creamers of hazelnut and french vanilla (the sizes of the mini-moos).

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