Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy 5 Year Anniversary!

It was five years ago today that we bought White Cedar Inn.

Five years ago I didn't even know if I would ever write those words! So many guests have asked us over the years if this was a life long dream of ours, to own a B&B. The short answer to that is no. This was not something that even crossed our minds until around seven years ago when we were in transition at work. Lots of layoffs, rumors everyday about layoffs, a very uncertain climate in which to try to plan for anything in the future.

Then, six years ago, when the layoffs really did happen to us, we got serious. What were we going to do with the rest of our lives? Most of you have heard the story about how Rock wanted to own a diner (and how I am NOT Flo!) and how we proceeded from there to find a way for him to do the 'greasy spoon breakfast' thing but not in a way that involved me in a pink nylon uniform, big hair and gum snapping! Voila! B&B.

It took us close to a year to find just the right town so we (and you) could walk to everything, a place that would allow both of us have employment and someplace we felt comfortable living. I've wanted to live in Maine since I was a teenager. And, as it turns out, Rock 'came home' when we moved here. He has a number of cousins who live in Maine, some in Madawaska, some in Portland and some in Brunswick. Small world!

So, on the anniversary of our fifth year here, what do we know now that we didn't then?
  • Holy cow, there's a lot of laundry involved in running a B&B!
  • No matter how quiet it looks outside, as soon as you run to the bathroom the doorbell rings.
  • As soon as you put the cookies in the oven, the doorbell rings.
  • If you've just dumped a load of dirty laundry in the entryway, the doorbell rings.
  • Cookies are an occupational hazard.
All kidding aside, we've learned a lot about ourselves (we won't kill each other when we retire, we spend quite a lot of time together now and we've survived); Rock really does make wicked good omelets (pancakes, waffles, french toast); it takes all kinds to make a world (and we've met a lot of them!) and that for us, at this point in our lives, running a B&B was the right choice.

Thanks so much for being a part of our adventure. Hope you stick around for the next five years, we'll keep the light on for you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Time and Tide at Popham Beach

Popham Beach, Maine
Last time we were at Popham Beach in the spring, we couldn't walk out to the Fox Islands because of the change in the tides and the direction of the river. What a difference a few months will make! Today we were able to get out to the islands again at low tide although it looked like it might now be difficult to get around to the beach at the western end of the parking area. (See photo above for the view from the island back to the beach.)

Popham Beach, Maine
While standing on top of the island, we noticed it looked like it was now possible to walk out to the island at the mouth of the Kennebec. But, we didn't have time to walk all the way down there to verify that. We could see a couple of people walking out that way but don't know how far they could get.

We'll save that bit of exploration up for later on in the month.

sand dollar

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Turkey Stoup- November Recipe of the Month

In spite of the name and the list of ingredients, this is really an interesting variation on stew or soup. Because the consistency really depends on what you've got in the fridge, it's not really stew or soup, it's stoup! So here goes...

You definitely need a crock pot, the rest of the list is up to you!

Friday or Saturday morning after Thanksgiving, open up the fridge and see what's in there. Turkey? Check. Gravy? Check. Cranberry sauce? Check. You get the idea. It's basically a recipe that uses up the bits and bobs leftover after everyone has had their fill of turkey and stuffing sandwiches. Did I mention stuffing? If there's any left, throw that in the crock pot as well.

Is there anything I usually leave out? Oh yes! No broccoli. No green beans. No salad. You've still got some of that green bean casserole leftover? Serves you right. Who eats that stuff anyway?

Here's a typical list of what might go into the pot on Saturday morning:

  • Turkey (cut into chunks)
  • Stuffing (yeah, like there's ever any stuffing leftover!)
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Carrots
  • Mashed potatoes (with garlic!)
  • Onions (those little pearl onions are perfect)
  • Celery
  • Sweet potatoes (not if you put marshmallows in them)
Pile it all in there with the celery and carrots on the bottom and add enough chicken broth to make it stoup-y. With the stuffing and potatoes you don't need any flour or other thickeners. Heat until bubbling. Enjoy with some crusty bread.

Kids seem to really like this so get them involved. You may hear this, but continue on anyway: 'Ewww, Mother, you're not putting cranberry sauce in the stew? Oh, you ARE? Neat.' (Yes, my kids call me 'Mother' and they used to say 'neat'.)

Bon appetit!