Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Can I Have this Dance?"

Greetings, Blog Friends.

The warm days here in Naples have begun transitioning into crisp, cool evenings. In this innkeeper's world thoughts of the busy, glorious Fall Foliage are considered and cast a certain happiness on my heart. After all, people travel from all over the world to see New England in Autumn. It is like the anticipation before a fireworks display yet...afterwards a calmness and quiet that is felt, rather than sensed through the human ears.

I've heard some static about the new season of "Dancing with the Stars." (Tom Bergeron, by the way, used to come into the restaurant I had my first job, earlier in his career!) Well, admittedly, as much I adore music (from classical to dance), I was never blessed with a "Get Done and Boogie" gene. My dear Creole friend Denise in New Orleans said I dance like a "white boy." (My favorite dance song is still "I Feel For You" by Chaka Khan). Well, you know what they say: Bad dancers should be choreographers.

In the inn kitchen, my own little stage of food production, I reflect on how well I move. How about you in yours? Is everything laid out in a way to promote efficiency? Are all your spices in the same location? (Hey, not being able to find the right spice can really slow you down, and be frustrating, too!) Do you surround yourself with music that puts you in the "right groove?"

Most times I wear my chef coat and some non-slip shoes (dress shoes, I swear, attract brownie batter like nothing else! hahaha). For this reason, hosting parties requires that much more care than when I am in my "inn chef" mode. Remember the old housewive photographs? Dresses paired with tied aprons and dress shoes?! Ummm....I think jeans and sweatshirts have replaced that! What is your favorite cooking "outfit?" Whatever it is, that's okay---as long as can "shake it" in your most comfortable clothes, the performance of your food will get lots of applause at its tasting. Cooking is coordination blended with love and creativity. Isn't it the best?!!

Consider what works for you in your preparation of food. Enjoy the process from backstage to bow. That is my thought from this kitchen countertop in a little town called Naples, Maine.

Catch you soon...

Keith A. Neubert

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Innkeeper's Journal--Star Date 9.07.10

Greetings, Blog Friends.

Well, this morning I find myself sipping coffee and writing on my blog. This is the pretty much the first breakfast this Innkeeper does not have to cook for almost 4 months! (Donna cooked 2 breakfasts so that I could get away twice.)

Summer is over and this is the first morning there are no guests at the inn. My head is still racing. I am proud and happy of the work I have done. The Staff feels the same way (and they should!). Andi and Cree have returned to college. Gail and Astra have been amazingly supportive, hard-working, and optimistic. In this Innkeeper's heart, too, is a feeling of "turning the page" of yet another Summer chapter. It is a bittersweet completion...much like finishing a satisfying novel. It is time to rest the book back on the shelf. It is time to reflect, rest temporarily, and start nourishing the creativity and energy for glorious Autumn in New England (my favorite time of year!)


JB, my dear friend in San Francisco, is coming out next month for a few days. My oldest friend in the world, Bob, who works at Disney in Orlando, Florida, might be able to get away and visit, too. Bob has never seen Inn at Long Lake and I hope he can!

That is all from this rather quiet inn in a small town in Maine. Like the waters of Long Lake this morning, a certain calmness is here. I hope your day today has a moment of this grandeur.

PS: Thinking of your favorite Autumn treat (apple pie, pumpkin bread, etc.) might bring this on!!
Relaxed and Ready,
Keith A. Neubert
Innkeeper-Inn Chef