Monday, February 23, 2009

Another storm!

Whew! I made it thru this storm ok.
What started off as rain last night, ended up like this: that's the same tree from a couple of posts ago, the one that had the work done to it.

At least this time it seems to have held up just fine, unlike the next tree...

You know which one this is, you can see the thermometer attached to it! This view is from the dining room window.

Now the sun is out and most of the snow is falling off the trees in large, cold, wet clumps...brrr!

C&G, if you're reading missed another one!

More storm damage.
It'll be a little while before we can even reach this tree to get that branch down. It's cracked almost all the way thru but, because the tip of the branch is in a snowbank, the whole branch is being held up. Otherwise, it would have snapped clear off.

You can see the white cedar (to the right of the 'thermometer tree') also lost a few branches.

These pictures were taken fairly early this morning, thus the overall blue tint to everything. Yes, I was up and out THAT early!

Seriously? I could have taken these pictures at midnight it was so bright outside with the reflected light from the snowfall and the streetlights.
My hero.

My hero...

Maine Restaurant Week!

Now is the time to check out dining in and around Portland! March 1-10, 2009 is Maine Restaurant Week. Special menus and pricing are on tap for this fantastic 10 day time frame. Freeport, Maine restaurants signed up to participate as of today are: Azure Cafe, Broad Arrow Tavern & the Maine Dining Room, Pedro O'Hara's and the Jameson Tavern.

Three course dinners are priced at $20.09, $30.09 and $40.09 (exclusive of drinks, tax & tip). There's no time like Restaurant Week to check out a new or old favorite!

Sign up to receive emails when the restaurant participation list changes. Be first in line for special events! Heck, they're even on Twitter so you can keep up minute by minute! (The previous link takes you to the Maine Restaurant Week website, over which I have no control!)

Plan a couple of days and visit more than one restaurant! We have availability here at White Cedar Inn during that time and we have a great package to boot! Click here to go to our packages page and book today!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum hosts the Centennial

During the course of the year, Bowdoin College will be hosting events associated with Adm Peary's 1908-1909 expedition to the North Pole. Each day there will be a new entry posted from the logs of the crew members. Follow along as Peary, MacMillan and Henson make the trek to the Pole.

Also available is the newly re-issued "How Peary Reached the Pole: The Personal Story of His Assistant Donald B. Macmillan" written by our own Donald MacMillan. I've just ordered a copy so we'll have it here for your perusal.

Read entries from MacMillan's own personal diary of the expedition as the remainder of the crew sets out on the last leg of the expedition as he stays behind with frostbite.

With new artifacts brought in especially for the Centennial, this is the time to visit the Arctic Museum.

Monday, February 16, 2009

25 Things about White Cedar Inn

With a nod to the craze on FaceBook for 25 facts about you, here are 25 facts about White Cedar Inn:
  1. The LL Bean Flagship Store is visible from the inn's front porch (only when the leaves are off the trees!)
  2. There are at least 5 restaurants between the inn and LL Bean. We have menus for all of them.
  3. This is the home of Rock's 'world famous' blueberry pancakes.
  4. There is only one gnome in the garden.
  5. The boat paintings and drawings are of the Bowdoin, now the state of Maine's official sailing vessel. (The Bowdoin, originally commissioned by Donald MacMillan, harbors in Castine.)
  6. The inn is centrally located in the southern Mid Coast area, an easy drive to Kittery or Camden.
  7. One of the innkeepers has 10 US patents and several foreign patents.
  8. The inn dog is Bre. She keeps to herself but will be happy to visit if you ask.
  9. There is one acre of landscaped grounds, pull up an Adirondack chair.
  10. One of the young Fogg girls, Lillian, wrote her name in chalk on the brick wall under the porch, which is now the sun room where breakfast is served.
  11. Rear Admiral Donald MacMillan grew up in this house, where he lived with his sister, Letitia and her husband, Winthrop Fogg, after his parents died.
  12. The electrical hookup for the push button call bell is still in the floor of the original dining room. The mechanism is disconnected, so no room service available!
  13. Ask about the visit a spirit medium paid to the inn.
  14. The original birch floors are still in beautiful condition after 120 years. The Parlor Room and the Casco Bay Room both have these floors.
  15. The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum on the campus of Bowdoin College contains artifacts once on display here when Donald MacMillan would give impromptu lectures in his sister's living room.
  16. Once upon a time there was a daycare in the building. We've had several local brides stop by to book the inn for their wedding guests. All of them know where the 'time out' corner is!
  17. Both of the innkeepers are corporate escapees.
  18. This is not the original building on this location. The original building is 4 houses up the street.
  19. The design of the inn building is based on the homes EB Mallett built for the employees of his many industries in Freeport...two of those being shoe making & granite quarrying.
  20. The inn has one dog-friendly room available- The Bowdoin.
  21. Many repeat guests have been coming since 1987 and love to tell stories of watching the original inn owner hanging wallpaper and thawing out frozen pipes the first year the inn was open. We've changed out some of that wallpaper and the pipes haven't frozen on us. Yet.
  22. That 'big construction project' downtown is the new Freeport Village Station shopping center due to open in May, 2009.
  23. The shameless commerce side of me requires that I put in a plug for staying here! We have free WiFi, great breakfasts, off-street parking, all day coffee and tea and a casual, relaxed atmosphere in the 7 non-smoking guest rooms. OK, now I'll stop!
  24. In the dining room we have a painting done by Brad's mother. Brad still lives across the street and I got the painting at a yard sale. (His mother saw me buy it, so it wasn't like that at all!)
  25. We hauled the 'tete-a-tete' on the front porch all the way from VT where we used to use it to sip champagne and listen to the radio to count down to New Year's. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!

The Flavors of Freeport Festival is well under way and I just wanted to share a quick note on the Chef's Signature Series. This is the second year the Flavors of Freeport Festival has been in existence and this year there was a Chocolate Challenge for the local B&B's.

There were 6 entries into the Chocolate Challenge covering all manner of chocolate delights...brownies, heart-shaped cookies, cannolis, truffle tarts and, last but not least, the chocolate raspberry clouds pictured below.

Although we didn't have a contest, it was fun to watch as folks came around the corner and were suddenly faced with an entire 2 tables filled with nothing but chocolate desserts! Amazingly enough, most everyone had 'dinner' first by sampling all of the local restaurants' fare before hitting the 'dessert' aisle.

The Chocolate Challenge table was bookended by Wicked Whoopies and Simply Divine Brownies, so it was pretty much 'death by chocolate' in that aisle!

So, here it is, the White Cedar Inn Chocolate Challenge
'entry': Chocolate Raspberry Clouds

And if you want to make them at home, here's the recipe:

Chocolate cups (make them yourself with melted chocolate and a cup form, or buy them premade at BJ's or the like)
Cannoli Cream
Raspberries or other fruit for topping

Cannoli Cream:

For one box (42 pieces) of chocolate cups, you need the following ingredients:
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup heavy (whipping cream) + 1/4 c
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 metal mixing bowls, place one in the fridge/freezer before you start.

Mix the ricotta cheese and the 1/4 c of heavy cream in one bowl, put in the fridge to chill.
Whip the 1 cup heavy cream, cinnamon and powdered sugar in the cold bowl until medium-stiff peaks form.
Gently blend in the ricotta cheese mixture.
Cool in fridge for 30 minutes or more.

Pipe the ricotta-whipped cream mixture into the chocolate cups, top with fruit. Chill before serving. If you don't have a piping bag, use a plastic freezer bag with one corner snipped off (small snip or it makes a mess!)

These can be frozen for about 1 week.

If you have any cannoli cream and raspberries leftover, lucky you! Plop that cream on top of the raspberries and enjoy!

Other fruits to try...blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, mandarin oranges

It remains to be seen what next year's 'challenge' will be but we hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Grill Zilla BBQ in Damariscotta

Just met Sarah and Jay of Grill Zilla this weekend. We've got a bottle of their Maine-famous, and hopefully soon to be world-famous, Killa Zilla BBQ sauce sitting here in the kitchen just waiting until we can get the door to the deck open to fire up the grill.

You can find them in-season serving up delicious BBQ in Damariscotta. You can find them online anytime at

Monday, February 02, 2009

Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe of the Month-January

Ok, this one is so easy, it's embarrassing to post it...

Peanut Butter Cookies:

1 cup of peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Drop batter by the tablespoon onto cookie sheet. If you used the chunky peanut butter, leave extra room, they spread out a LOT. You can get 16 cookies on a big cookie sheet if you use the creamy peanut butter. Press the tines of a fork into the top of each cookie to flatten them a little.

Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on how hot your oven gets.

Extra special: Don't use the fork to flatten the cookies but, instead, press a Hershey Kiss into the top AFTER they come out of the oven. Don't forget to take the tinfoil wrapper off first!

Yet another idea...make a small thumbprint in the top of each cookie before baking and scoop in a little rounded drop of your favorite jelly. Bake as usual. PB&J cookies! I use seedless raspberry, but if you would use the jelly to make a PB&J sandwich it will probably work.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032

Bowdoin, Bates and Colby College Graduations 2009

It's that time of year! If you haven't made your graduation reservations yet, please do so quickly. Lodging fills up quickly for Memorial Day Weekend (Bowdoin College graduation and Colby College graduation) and May 30 & 31st (Bates College graduation).

We have rooms available for both weekends. Please call today (1-800-853-1269) or book online at our website.

Don't be like me and have to stay in another STATE for your child's graduation!

Storm damage

We had some damage back in December from the ice storm. The large red maple at the corner of the driveway sustained major damage to one large limb, causing it to split in two, although it did not break completely off. As winter progressed and more water got into the split, it got larger and larger and longer and longer. Last week we had the limb removed by Scott Gallant. He also did some work on another tree that was starting to lean a bit.

So, safe in your armchair, have a look at Scott 'hanging around' at our house...

Up a tree.Notice how he blends in chameleon-like as he buzzes his way around that pesky branch! You can really only see his denim-clad legs, if you look closely enough!

They started in working at 7 AM (be glad you weren't here trying to sleep in!) and were all done with the cutting and picking up by 9 AM. That day the temp was around 25 in the early morning and below 0 by dinner time. Brrrr! Scott said that is one of the difficulties in working in the winter...the cold!

Out on a limb.It is totally amazing to watch someone take a tree apart limb by limb. You can see the very end of the limb is already on the ground as he works his way closer to the trunk. Until we get used to it, the tree is going to look very 'naked'. That one branch, as you may recall, was substantial. Less overhang in the parking area this year.

Back of the houseThis is in the back of the house, where most of you never see. Scott is not standing on the roof, he's standing on the limb he is cutting. This is the 'action' shot as you can see the branch is falling at this point. For anyone who has ever wondered, those windows you see on the corner belong to our kitchen. Yes, we have our own!

When hotels trim amenities, B&B's become a better value

Just read the article in the Wall Street Journal about how high end hotels are putting an end to those B and B amenities they trotted out years ago to lure travelers away from the Bed and Breakfast experience.

There has been no 'trimming of amenities' here at White Cedar Inn! As a matter of fact, in picking up a secondary point in the article-cleanliness-we have just replaced all the carpet in the 4 guestrooms upstairs. (The Bowdoin's carpet was replaced in 2005.) And, so guests know, we don't wash your drinking glasses in the bathroom sink, everything goes into the dishwasher for a sanitize cycle. And the blankets, quilts and mattress pads are washed on a regular basis, in hot water and using bleach. (Sheets, of course, are changed for every guest!)

So, what's free here that the big name hotels are charging you for?

  1. Parking
  2. WiFi
  3. A full, sit down breakfast (no buffet lines here!)
  4. Coffee and tea whenever you want it
  5. Afternoon cookies or cake
  6. Concierge services such as boarding pass printing and restaurant reservations
  7. Loaner laptop
  8. Morning newspaper
And, we've added a microwave in the guest pantry along with the fridge so you can reheat those yummy restaurant leftovers!

The more the hotels trim, the more value there is in staying in a B and B where the owners are on hand to insure you are greeted with a smile and treated like good friends come for a visit. We hope to see you soon...don't forget your complimentary cookies and tea when you check-in!