It often happens at the Kismet that while preparing breakfast or dinner, I find myself looking up and discovering guests drawn into my kitchen by the aromas it sends wafting through the house; these tantalizing emanations always prove irresistible and those staying at the inn always find its kitchen open for a casual exchange around the island cook top or, if they wish, a more elaborate demonstration of the culinary art. I believe anyone can become an artist at the stove, not just somebody who cooks; unfortunately, it takes time, usually in short supply for most people, an unavoidable fact of modern life which was one of the reasons which led me to establish a place to feed the body and the soul, where “slow cooking” is a way of life.
This kind of cooking begins with purity of ingredients; that means food of the highest quality, organic, natural, and, wherever possible, local, nothing canned, no additives, no pre-made broth, no packaged seasoning. I make my own tomato paste, jams, yogurt, pickles, pastry, and a form of clarified butter called “ghee,” often used by chefs because it will not burn during frying. My bread comes from bakeries that supply specialty stores or sell only at farmers’ markets or natural food co-ops. The dairy products I use come from a third generation family farm in Maine where all machines are horse-powered or hand-cranked and the cows and goats are grass-fed, yielding raw milk, butter and ice cream (also hand-cranked). Two award-winning creameries specializing in goat and sheep milk cheese, all natural with no artificial or growth hormone, supply my cheeses, artisan products made by hand in small batches and aged from two months to a year (in a cellar under conditions of high humidity and cool temperature, while being constantly brushed and turned to ensure a consistent rind).
It is only fitting that during good weather in the City of Ships, as Bath is known, breakfast and dinner are served on Kismet’s screen porch overlooking the “Fountain of the Spirit of the Sea,” a mermaid-like statue set amidst flower beds in the park below celebrating the community’s long- standing maritime tradition. During colder weather the meals move into the dining room where a large bay window allows the same view but from a less exposed vantage. Here is offered a more intimate setting, dominated by a tapestry circa 1800 done in gold, silver and silk on taffeta. In this room dimmed lights provide a romantic aura, while a set of arches allows a glimpse of the gallery featuring portraits by Tina Ingrahm, a renowned local artist. This gallery, with its lace curtains, radiant heat and oak flooring, is worth a visit on its own account.
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