Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Start Your Engines!"

Greetings to All from Maine!

The weather is to be warm today (yes, a whole 38 degrees!). This means the snow piles will sink a bit and I can pull down the winter wreathes that adorn the inn's windows. I would have preferred to have gotten to them earlier, but it has been bitterly cold. Standing on a ladder in that type of weather, Winter wind whipping your frozen skin, is refreshing...but not made for outside work!

My assistant, Gail, is off this week and is at the Providence Flower Show. Having no reservations this upcoming weekend, I had planned on closing the inn and heading out of town (wasn't sure where!). And...I kid you not that as I was putting up the "We are closed until March 3rd" sign on the inn's front door, a lady was walking across the porch needing rooms for this weekend. A local had passed away and her family had to come for the services. It was one of those situations you just couldn't say "no." Anyway, plans dashed for the moment, I am glad there is business and keep forging ahead on the Innkeeper's List of Things to Do.

Tim & Jay came over last Sunday and we watched episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race on LOGO Tv.

Now, none of us are crossdressers (for the record) but how we do enjoy a few things about shows like this---the backstage, reality TV drama, the determination (and common insecurities) of the contestants, and, most importantly for me, the ability of each contestant to create variations on themselves (with different looks of drag artistry). Plus, there is plenty of RuPaul music throughout the show and that alone is fun!

This format can be seen on many television shows. Whether it is us watching Top Chef to stretch our own foodie knowledge and application, or The Amazing Race teaching us that within each of us is the potential for courage and adaptation, I think that we enjoy seeing others apply themselves---perhaps with the underlying need for us to improve ourselves.

How often we might chat about wanting to make a meal other than the "same ole'?" DO IT! A change may mean watching a different cooking show that you'd might never watch (I like "Spice Goddess"--the hostess is beautiful, encouraging, and uses interesting spices I might have never used regularly). What have you always wanted to LEARN how to make in the kitchen? How closer are you to actually doing it? Is it easier to watch others do it ALL the time?

Today is Recipe Day for me (and the aforementioned outdoor work). I use a program called MasterCook that is pretty good. I hope everyone has a great day (it can happen every day). Thanks for stopping by the Inn at Long Lake blog!

Your Innkeeper,

Keith A. Neubert

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Magical Moment in Maine!

Hi, Foodie Friends near and far!

This past Saturday was a buzz at the inn! While the inn was not full in any regard, the guests that were here were so nice.

The Winter Carnival brought some up to the Western Maine area. From the inn's vantage point looking down onto the lake, snowmobilers cascaded effortlessly across the frozen surface. Crowds watched and cheered on their friends and family members. It was nice to see that always.

I took a break from the inn kitchen, went out to the front Great Room windows, and was shocked to see what I thought was a horse out in the road. As I went out the inn's front door for a better look, I realized it was a MOOSE! I smiled and quickly went in to get my camera. I returned to the front porch and said from the landing: "Moose, get off the road. Go back into the woods now." It looked at me for a moment, turned, and walked into the woods across from the inn.

No one was here that afternoon to share it with me in contrast to the evening to come, which was just a fun, homey night in from the cold. I was glad I saw the moose. It reminds me of the special moments made only in Maine.

Speaking of magic moments, a batch of gooey Whole Wheat-Chocolate Chip cookies are coming out of the oven as I finish this post. Thanks for reading---and for stopping by the inn!

Keith A. Neubert


Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Test of Time-Products from the 1920s

(Pictured above: JB Sabin, my friend and photographer, captures me pondering the making of Snickerdoodles for my guests. Check out his--and his sister Teresa's--amazing work on )

Greetings, Foodie Friends!

Maine experienced what the New England newscasters called a "Super Storm" (like many other states) these last few days. For some reason, the inn telephone was never so busy! Guests have been booking for Summer and Fall already. When this happens, I get even more excited about the upcoming year.Bold

I finally found an amazing article in a 1999 Bon Appetit magazine. The entire issue looked back at the last century in food. The individual articles expressed the social and global forces that defined what we ate during each decade. Sidebars in the articles reported which food products came on new to the grocery market.

Here is a list of products that were new to our palettes in the 1920s:

Baby Ruth (1920), Oh Henry! (1920), Milky Way (1923), Popsicles (1924), Hostess Cakes (1927), Kool-Aid (1927), Peter Pan peanut butter (1928), Rice Krispies (1928), Valveeta processed cheese (1928), Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink (1923) and Wheaties cereal (1924).

Through generations these products have remained on our grocery store shelves. I thought you'd find this interesting. I did.

Until next time,

Keith A. Neubert, Innkeeper-Chef