Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Here is a recipe for Carrot Jam made at the Kismet Inn Bed and Breakfast by the owner. Enjoy it.
How to make Carrot Jam:
Carrot jam is quite easy to make it just needs some patience to do the preparation manually and cook slowly. It is also important that all the ingredients be organic. I bought the carrots from a local farm called ‘Fish Bowl Farm’ I made my own vanilla from organic vanilla beans which I bought from a local organic spice merchant called ‘Gryffon Ridge’ These were organic Tahitian beans which I marinated in plain vodka for about 6 weeks. Cardamom pods and organic cane juice sugar.
For this batch I used 25 big, fat carrots, 2 teaspoon vanilla, 4 cups sugar, handful cardamom pods.
Wash the carrots.
Grate them manually.
Put a layer of carrots, then sugar, sprinkle some cardamom, repeat till the pot is full, add 2 teaspoonful of vanilla.
Put the lid on, turn the heat on very low to dissolve the sugar.
Once sugar is dissolved, mix it with wooden spoon.
Let it cook under low heat till all the liquid has evaporated.
Set the jars the carrot is going to be used for inside the sink, pour boiling water in the jars then take one jar at a time pouring the water out, putting it on a cloth to get the water out, then fill it up with the jam then put the lid on and tighten it then turn the jar upside down leave over night.
I serve carrot jam to my guests most of whom – kind of all say, they have never had carrot jam before and without exception everyone loves it. The last batch was finished by a guest from Florida to whom I will be sending 5 bottles next week. You can also have it with lentil rice, yogurt even snow. I have a brother who absolutely loves carrot jam, once when it had snowed he took a plate filled it up with snow, put some carrot jam on it and ate it. This was 40 something years ago when the world was less polluted. Enjoy making it or better yet, come over to the Kismet Inn enjoy it for breakfast or afternoon tea.
Saturday, March 13th, 2010
I went to visit my daughter in L.A for two weeks and had a wonderful time. During my visit we went to a Korean Spa which was simply great, hot pools, cold pool, infrared sauna, heated floors to lie on, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, towels, exfoliation and massages. It was indeed impressive. I thought the exfoliation would be just like the one I offer at the inn … it is at the same time it is not. The differences are quite a few, it is in the attention an individual receives, the ingredients I use, the setting, the intimacy and relationship I build with the guest which goes both ways, it applies to the guest building up the relationship with me. I speak English so I am able to explain the ritual to the guest, the guest does not lie down on a bench or bed to get exfoliated but sits up on the tile made bench conversing with me while the exfoliation is being done. It is done in a private bathroom, the bathrooms are beautifully tiled. And above all I use absolutely no synthetic ingredient for the exfoliation. the Korean spas use synthetic, cheap mittens, they also don’t use any exfoliant to exfoliate the skin. To me when one is cleansing it means one is getting rid of all the pollutions of everyday life, how can one cleanse if all the synthetic stuff touches ones body.
The mitten I use is made with goat wool, the exfoliante is made of sheep fat and beach sand, the pumice is natural volcanic rock. The guest keeps all these ingredients after the exfoliation is done plus a bottle of sesame oil which is all organic and locally produced in Maine by Avena Botanicals. The process takes a few hours which relaxes the muscles, helps the blood circulation and dead skin comes off rolling in big, fat inches leaving the skin soft, silky and smooth, the body simply relaxed.
I also serve tea with some confections/pastries/cookies I make myself. The tea also is a ritual making sure it is not tea bag, it is good tea brewed to the right taste without tasting bitter. The goodies are made with highest quality ingredients. All this is served after the exfoliation while most guests opt to have dinner which they enjoy eating it over couple of hours or longer.
I do try very hard to bring a sense of the Old World where nothing was rushed, pushed or hurried. Life was set at a pace that you could live, learn and enjoy. This kind of bathing and exfoliation was done in a setting as such which also brought about much healing. I try to offer just that.
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
I have set up the inn with a full purpose in mind which is to offer a place of peace for people to come to restore and do away with the pollution of life. During the years I have opened the inn which has been since August of 2006, I have had many different kinds of guests who have come to stay at the inn for different reasons. I have made friends and kept in touch with almost all of them.
However, I never imagined losing any of them through death. I have lost two, one who was quite healthy during his visit with his wife and in-laws. He passed away suddenly in November 2009 which I was very sad to hear of the news. The other was a cancer patient whose sister wanted to take her to a spa or yoga center so after googling she found Kismet Inn and decided to stay at the inn in October 2008. They stayed for 3 nights, One stayed in Room 1 called Saffron, she was the one with cancer and the other sister who was taking care of her stayed in Room 3 called Safari. They enjoyed yoga and massage with dinner at the inn.
Here is a note I received from her sister today.
Dear Shadi, It is good to hear from you. Sadly I must tell you that Barbara passed away on November 24, 2009. She lived to see her daughter marry on September 26, but seemed to lose her purpose after that. We were sorry to see her pass on but knew that she would have peace in her journey. There was a bald eagle flying over her house the day she left us and an owl followed me out of her driveway hours later. She will be with me forever. I will always remember our visit to your Inn and how much better she felt when she left. Your company and your hospitality helped restore her energy and kept her going for a while longer.
I was honored and happy that I was able to offer the hospitality and care that I did. I miss Barbara and Bill … I know they are both resting in peace… they were both good people.
Sunday, February 7th, 2010
It is with devotion and joy that you approach each day. Although it is your work, what manifests is a sweet and simple song, true to the near forgotten ways that recall a softer, slower time. There is a quiet celebration of life here at your Inn; the vibrant colors, the warmth, the tastes of a knowing cook connected to the Earth, the clear, clean breath of spaciousness, and a voice that mirrors the songbird qualities of a peaceful morning sunrise. Thank you for sharing your essence. A house is wood and mortar, a place to rest your head, but a home is comprised of life and an energy that afforded by the walls and a roof. Your home is a true place of beauty, for its essence is reflected not only in its brilliant design, but the openness of joyous spirit that is built with your care. Much thanks and many blessings.
Nushejon! Scott & Kim Sullivan, Woodbury CT
Shadi, Like ships passing while sailing through the night-
our kindred souls have connected in our paths of life-
We are eternally grateful for the uplifting experience…..
Lisa McDonnell & Sam
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Chris Toy a local Chinese born raised in the States does cooking classes in Bath area as a hobby. We are thinking of having Chinese – Cantonese style dinners at the inn. Yesterday he came over and was kind enough to make some wanton soup with Chinese meatloaf for me to taste his cooking. It was delicious… thanks Chris. Here are some photos.