Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Let's Have "Just Pasta" Tonight!"

Greetings, Blog Friends.

I recently was so busy around the inn one day that I had neglected lunch. Innkeepers need their carbs so I brainstormed "just some pasta" for my mid-day meal. During this I realized that "even pasta" has its finer points of cooking---easy steps to really make pasta "rock it out" (insert rocker hand signal here). LOL.

Some helpful tips from an inn chef:

1). Always cook pasta (or rice) in a flavored stock (chicken, vegetarian, etc.) Pasta cooks by "sucking up" boiling water. Why not let it suck up some flavor?!

2). After the pasta has cooked and well drained (hard for sauce to adhere to water), heat the sauce you will be using (slightly spicy marinara, decadent Alfredo, spitfire Diablo, etc.) and then add the pasta TO THE SAUCE, simmering for 1-2 minutes. Using a set of tongs, fold the pasta INTO the sauce as it cooks. Let set a moment before plating (I'm a guy--I like pasta in a big ole' bowl). Make sure the sauce to pasta ratio isn't a dry one.

3). Prepare your sauce in advance and heat up on a simmer while the pasta is finishing cooking (leave enough room for the pasta being added to it--see Step 2). Sauce flavors develop while sitting---a stored freezer tomato sauce from last Summer's tomatoes is sublime!!)

Hope these tips help. Thanks for reading.

Keith A. Neubert

Innkeeper-Chef, The Inn at Long Lake

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Trekking the Good Trek"

(Pictured above: Jim and Myra from Ithaca, New York preparing for their next leg of their cycling trip---from South Bend, Indiana to Rockland, Maine--then to their daughter's graduation. A good inn-cooked breakfast at the inn on that rainy morning and some leftover By Scratch Brownies--from their greeting the day before--helped them face the rainy road ahead!)

Their next stop was my friends Jim and Larry's B&B in Bath, Maine. Hope they survived their cocktail hour!!

It is also amazing to see such adventurous, lovely people showing up on your doorstep!! "Pedals to the metal" and "Godspeed", Jim and Myra!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Isn't It Romantic?"

(Pictured above: Tyler and Sarah from New Hampshire re-visited Inn at Long Lake for their 5th Anniversary. They are holding the picture taken of themselves in front of the Inn at Long Lake fieldstone fireplace on their wedding day!).

Tyler and Sarah recently celebrated 5 years of wedded bliss here at the inn. I remember their wedding event at Inn at Long Lake well (in April 2006--my! how time flies!). The inn was quiet the weekend they visited last month and as much as I must have everything "in its place," I smiled when I went out to the Great Room one evening and all but one light was on. There they sat--in the darkened solitude of the room--cuddling and just chatting. romantic!

One afternoon I saw Sarah sitting on a couch with a couple of notebooks. I asked, "You don't have to work on the weekend, do you?!" She replied, "No, I am reading all the e-mails I printed out from when Tyler and I were getting to know each other." Ahhhh...even more romantic!!!

Having Tyler and Sarah return to the inn was lovely. Seeing two great people that actually "fit" stay together, weathering the little storms as a couple, "did my heart good." It was a weekend, I hope, we will always keep dear to our hearts.

Keith A. Neubert

Innkeeper, Inn at Long Lake