Friday, May 15th, 2009
This year Mother’s Day Weekend was very special. I had two mothers with their daughters. One was a local from Bath, Maine so they were here only for the day the other one was a mother with her two daughters from Boston. All were great people.
The local ones, had body exfoliation for both the mother and daughter. It was great, they came around 2 p.m. toured the inn followed by a good cup of Kismet Inn’s tea on the red chair facing ‘Spirit of the Sea’ Afterwards, they started the soak in the Deep Japanese Soaking Tub, they filled the tub only a quarter way but because they kept the door closed the bathroom had become really steamy which is the way it should be. It was like being in a steam room.
The tub is a great one, it is custom made with tile based on both Deep Japanese Style soaking tub and Turkish Hamam so it has the good of both worlds. It even has radiant heat so during winter the tub can be filled with water soaked in couple of times in the same day so in a way it is environmentally conscious as well because the tub doesn’t need to be emptied if the same person is going to soak again the same day.
Anyway, the mother and daughter soaked for about an hour then I went up and exfoliated/scrubbed each one of them for about 45 minutes. The mother wanted to be exfoliated first so I scrubbed off her dead skin first, neither one of them could believe their eyes to see so much dead skin rolling off in long and fat inches. After each scrub the body was rinsed off outside the tub so they would enter the tub all cleansed. When both were exfoliated and scrubbed, they showered and shampooed their hair to complete the cleansing. I left the bath area, cleaned off, started setting the table.
I prepared the Jewel Rice with lamb for them. Both the rice and the lamb came out very good. It is one the my guests favorite dishes. The aroma is simply intoxicating… cardamom, cinnamon, cumin infused with saffron over slivered pistachio, slivered almonds, julienne carrots, orange peel, barberries, raisins mixed with basmati rice … brewed, steeped… it is simply divine.
As for lamb I never add water to my lamb/shanks. Right from the start I put it on very low heat, add onion, garlic, spices and let it cook on very low heat for sometime. The aroma starts spreading through room to room, upstairs and every where.
I started them with wine, sheep milk brie and goat milk torte and beets drizzled with olive oil…oh! goodness was it good. This was followed by spicy green leaves mixed with other salad greens both from ‘Squire Tarbox Farm’ .. a local MOFGA certified organic farm who have the best spicy green and salad greens. The salad dressing was fresh ginger, roasted seeds, fresh lemon, olive oil, just a bit of goat cheese, salt and pepper… every bit of it was finished. The entrees was followed after the salad and for desert I made my famous pear simmered in my strawberry syrup spiced with ginger powder and nutmeg. They enjoyed every bite of each food.
For the other mother and daughters I made the tamarind fish dish served with white basmati rice infused with lots of saffron. It was excellent too they also enjoyed and loved every bite of the food. In fact, they loved it so much that they said, they want to make a tradition of coming to the inn every Mother’s Day Weekend.
It is always an honor and exciting to serve such a good people and see them enjoying my cooking.
Sunday, April 12th, 2009
Even though Bath is called a city, but it is really a small town. Bath is located on the Kennebec River about 10 miles inland from the sea with which it has had a close tie for centuries. Because of its location on the Kennebec River and the river’s inland proximity to timber, Bath became one of the largest centers of wooden-hull ship building and shipping commerce on the eastern seaboard in the 1800′s. Today, Bath still boasts a major shipyard – The Bath Iron Works. Tying us to this past is the Maine Maritime Museum which is located just a mile from Kismet Inn Bed and Breakfast Spa. This past is also reflected in the wonderful architecture of Bath’s residential Historic District where you can take a Sagadahoc Preservation sponsored tour of its beautiful homes or follow a detailed map which takes you on a self-guided tour of the District.
One of these architectural buildings preserved by the Sagadahoc Preservation is Chocolate Church a fine Gothic Revival structure now housing the Center for the Arts. Now turned into The Chocolate Church Performing Arts Center whose diverse year-’round program offers the traveler a wonderful evening of entertainment, and is just around the corner from the Kismet Inn. This Gothic Revival Church was built in the mid 1800′s by part of Bath’s Congregational Parish. Today it is painted a deep chocolate brown.
There are other performing art centers in Brunswick such as the Maine State Music Theatre which presents a full summer of musical productions at its home stage on the Bowdoin College campus. The other one is The Theatre Project the mission of which is to change young and old; to enrich and inspire their living, and to provide a safe environment for original and dynamic exploration. Finally, there is Eveningstar Cinema in Brunswick tucked into the Tontine Mall showing films from artsy to first run indy movies, and frequently events are held in the theatre.
If you are a nature lover there is ample beauty in the surrounding area of Bath. There are two extraordinary ocean beaches. Popham State Park and Popham Beach are at the end of our peninsula, where the Kennecbec River meets the ocean, and have a marvelous pristine quality with a beautiful five-mile stretch of white sand. Rated one of the most beautiful beaches in New England, Popham Beach is particularly noteworthy because it is close to the site of the unsuccessful 1607 Popham colony as well as Fort Popham, a Civil War bastion, and Fort Baldwin, a World War I redoubt. Reid State Park, on Georgetown Island is both a rugged and rocky and a sandy beach.
Fall foliage enthusiasts should also know that the states of New Hampshire and Vermont do not have a corner on the foliage market (the same can be said for maple syrup). The great advantage of visiting Maine in the fall is that you can combine the beauty of autumn leaves with the grandeur of our beaches.
A favorite place to go hiking in the immediate area is Morse Mountain, a land trust and bird sanctuary managed by Bates College and located near Popham Beach. The “Mountain” is not really a mountain at all, but rather a forested and hilly trail periodically intersected by marshland. At the two mile mark, halfway through your hike, you will find yourself at Popham Beach overlooking the ocean. For those wanting a greater challenge, there are some wonderful hikes within a reasonable driving distance. For joggers or the ones who want to simply stay away from your car for a day take a walk to Thorne Head Preserve about 3 miles north of the inn where you can hike or jog.
During Summer and Autumn after day of outing sit on the porch of the Kismet Inn B over looking the Library Park enjoy watching and listening to the Bath Municipal Band and Jazz in Library Park. During Winter and early Spring sit in the library or the fireside of the Inn looking at the snow or Spring arriving.