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Goes Well With Grits: The Southern B&B Breakfast Experience #travel #food #roadtrip #bookboost

Title Goes Well With Grits: The Southern B&B Breakfast Experience

Author Ellen Maxwell Cowan

Genre B&B Travel Reference, Food Writing, Food and Drink

Book Blurb

When a traveler books a room at a bed & breakfast, half the experience is lodging, and the other half is breakfast. In these pages, a seasoned innkeeper takes a philosophical and lighthearted look at the fine art of breakfast at a cozy Georgia B&B. Readers can share a virtual B&B breakfast experience and ponder the following interesting topics.

· Debate whether or not permaculture bacon (and sausage) really is better.

· Learn the shocking reason why Dr. John Kellogg invented corn flakes.

· Discover the human emotional attachment to chickens and their eggs.

· Contemplate the subject of pancakes versus waffles: the controversies, the contests, and why you shouldn’t throw them out or at somebody else.

· Consider alternative ways to make toast interestingly (as opposed to boringly).

· Get schooled in the only right way to cook grits—Georgia’s official prepared food.

· Find out how to make the best brandied figs courtesy of the crazy cat lady who lives across the tracks.

These subjects and many more are interwoven with stories about nature, the animals, the chickens, and the people who share their home with the world at The Firefly. You’re welcome to join them for breakfast.

Click our website at This book as well as others are a compilation based on blog posts over the last couple of years.

There is a transformation story here as well.

Our place is the temporary home of a wide assortment of characters, including action heroes, attendees at a hypnosis seminar, and several other walks of life.


1 – The Story of Our Bed & Breakfast

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a little house was built. It was not as grand as some of the big places in the area, but it was solid. It overlooked the main road into town as if to say, “Welcome to Madison,” and all the local people knew it.

A few years went by, and a new, big road was built in the vicinity. The road by the house became a little quieter. The house’s builder, an engineer, moved away. A new family moved in and made some additions to the structure. Then, there were more families, and, after a time, the little house began to show its age. After an even longer time, it sat empty and seemed a bit sad.

It so happened that one day a beautiful girl appeared. She was an explorer and was passing through town. When she saw the house, it spoke to her.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” the house said.

“I know,” said the girl. “How do you feel about guests?”

“I like them fine,” said the house. “But you’d better run it by the County Zoning Board.”

Not long after that, the girl moved in with her helpers. There was a black chicken named Weezy, who was brave and smart. There was Posh, a big friendly white dog. The girl also brought her son, Nathaniel, who was kind and helpful but a bit of a trickster.

They named their house “The Firefly” after the little bugs that live at the edge of the woods and, in the summer, shine their light out into the world.

Before too long, the house was under construction, which, as everybody knows, involves heroes, and villains, and monsters. As in any great story, there was an abyss when everything seemed to be going wrong.

But then, one cool spring day, the disasters ended. A lady appeared—a quiet lady with a quiet little dog. She was a healer and liked to go out to sit by the pond and watch the fish. The girl and the chicken worked together to give the lady a little breakfast. She loved the place and told her friends about it. Even though the construction wasn’t quite finished, the spirit of the place was emerging.

Pretty soon, more healers came from all over the world because they liked the place and the breakfast. Before long, there were other kinds of guests. There were action heroes, and beautiful brides, and a hurdy-gurdy player, and lots of regular people from everywhere. They were all on a journey of one kind or another. Some needed breakfast, and some didn’t. By then, Weezy had a team of helpers, so there was plenty of breakfast to go around. The menu expanded, and there were even more options for what to serve.

No one knows exactly when it happened, but a transformation had taken place. At some point, the little house had become a beautiful destination. It was so scenic that some artists came one day and painted its picture.

The girl was transformed too. She became the Earth Goddess, the fellow traveler who welcomed all the guests and saw to their needs. If they wanted, she even made them a nice breakfast. She was the one who had endured the mud and put up with villains.

Today, she walks around the grounds feeling lucky to be in a place so beautiful.

Is this the end of the story? Oh, no. The Earth Goddess occasionally goes on treasure hunts and quests and returns with something tasty or fun. The guests are on their own journey, and, to them, the little house is part of their adventure. We write all of these things down when it suits us. Every rock, tree, broken window, and piece of furniture has a story. There is always some tiny detail to fix or improve about the house as well.

Every guest changes the place a little as they become part of the story. The place changes the guests too. And everyone in town that goes by the little house still loves to look at it to see what’s changed from week to week. The next chapter of The Firefly’s story is still being written, but everyone there is living happily ever after, just the same.

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Author Biography

Ellen Maxwell Cowan is part of a team of busy innkeepers who manage a bed and breakfast located an hour away from Atlanta, Georgia. As the resident scribe for The Firefly at Madison, she chronicles its day-to-day activities. The property, guests, staff, animals, and food are all woven into her ongoing story of the bed and breakfast experience. Aside from writing, she teaches art classes and is a portrait painter in the Madison area. After getting her bachelor’s degree in literature from Wheaton College, she found a sturdy backpack, bought a one-way plane ticket, and spent four years wandering through Europe and Africa. While there, she developed a first-hand appreciation for the link between food and culture. She is a fan of sustainable agriculture, natural medicine, buying and eating local food, and human-scale living. All of these preferences suit her small-town lifestyle. She loves chickens and animals but loves to travel most of all, especially to sunny, sandy destinations. Her motto is, “Live every day of your life.” With the help of online sources, she is currently researching her immigrant ancestors for a possible historical novel. Other writing projects currently in the works include a southern music road trip journal, a field guide to little southern towns, and a manual for prospective B&B owners about the bed and breakfast life.

Social Media Links

Instagram @fireflyatmadison @thefireflymadison


Barbara Bettis
Oct 04, 2021

The post is just fascinating! I'll bet the book--and the house--is also! Best of luck.


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Oct 01, 2021

Thank you, Ellen, for sharing your book with us! Your B&B sounds lovely!

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