Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: flavors of freeport

AHHHHHH, FEBRUARY!!

February 8, 2014 by Scott Gile

AHHH, FEBRUARY!!
Yup, we’re about ½ way through one real “old school” Maine winter!  Seems like we’re back in the snow cycle too!  My son (a school-teacher) skillfully predicted a “snow day” on Wednesday, and we thoroughly enjoyed a boot high “powda pig” day in the freshies!!  Nothing like skiing while snowing with almost no other skiers present!! Spent several awesome runs on Rogue Angel (Sunday River) in a long line of powder pillows.  Here’s Pat’s face to prove it!  Breathe Pat, breathe!
                                                          
Mary’s been intensely sewing new drapes, finding new furniture pieces, painting, buying new linens, and pillows.  She just finished the Cape Elizabeth Room today (minus graphic arts)! Brewster House recently acquired a lot of Real Maine artwork and photos, mat cutting equipment, etc., and are working on replacing what’s on many walls.
                                                   
I recently drove with my son down to Memphis to keep him company on the way to learning to be a USAF pilot in Mississippi.  Nice time with a very special young man!  We will sorely miss him!  Do you know what time 1P:G8 is?  Lesson to inn-keeper here!

                                                   
We just hosted “Reconnect Weekend” #2.  If you consider the picture left, it’s pretty clear how much of a weekend long blast you and yours could be having for a ridiculous price!  What a way to turn an otherwise boring, cold weekend into a fabulous reunion, filled with laughs, memories and great food!

Have an idea?  Call us!       
Up for a REAL MAINE pahty?  Stay with us, and ride to Camden for the Annual World Toboggan Championship at the Camden Snow Bowl!  http://winter.camdensnowbowl.com/24th-annual-us-national-toboggan-championships.  Here’s the picture – 400’ wooden chute, leads you out onto a frozen pond to run off steam, and let’s not forget the Mardi Gras style costumes and flowing beverages!!!  Check out the video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWbITSiFcRY
Take advantage of our generosity for Valentines Day weekend!  We have a few precious rooms left and enjoy out February is for Romance special, which includes a bottle of bubbly, flowers and chocolates.  For the adventurous, throw in a snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or dog sled mushing adventure with the LL Bean Discovery Center http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/1000001692
“Flavors of Freeport” is coming up on Feb. 21st, and the tickets sell out, so don’t hesitate if you don’t want to miss out on the Chef’s Signature Series and the Ice Bar!!  All the best joints in town will be represented!  What else do you have to do that weekend??  Here’s the link http://www.freeportusa.com/flavorsoffreeport/. 

If you were a Brewster House Newsletter subscriber, you might have read some of this, but you would’ve really loved eating the Baked Stuffed Lobstas from my magic little English Grandmoter!  Not too late to sign up!

Scott & Mary Gile
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Flavors of Freeport (6th Annual) Food Festival

January 8, 2013 by Scott Gile

If you enjoy visiting Maine, especially Freeport, and if you love food (and who doesn’t??), you’ll look forward to coming to Freeport in February for the 6th Annual Flavors of Freeport festival.

In the past the Flavors of Freeport festival has featured the Chef’s Signature Series on Friday night, and this year is no different in that respect. The Chef’s Signature Series will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with the venue continuing to be the Freeport Hilton Garden Inn.

Enjoy the flavors from Freeport’s finest chefs and top food artisans, as they present tastes of their best dishes to showcase their culinary skill and style.  Attendees vote on their favorite display and “flavor” and are also entered to win fabulous door prizes!  Will award winning executive chef Christopher Bassett of Azure Cafe take first place again this year?  You be the judge!

In addition, Maine beverage purveyors provide the opportunity to sample local hand crafted beer, wine and spirits.

As in the past, there will be a silent art auction featuring pieces from the Freeport Art & Music Festival during the event to benefit the Freeport Community Services Food Pantry.

During the evening, accompanying the Chef’s Signature Series on Friday (also 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.) will be an Ice Bar. The ice bar will feature a martini luge,  ice sculptures, roaring fires to cozy up to, music with other wonderful beverages to sample.

Bundle up in your warmest winter wear and enjoy a night of festivities outside in February with family and friends. One ticket to the ice bar gains the holder (21 years and older) entrance and one beverage – additional beverage tickets can be purchased on site.

Tickets and information can be found at http://www.freeportusa.com/events/flavors-of-freeport.

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Recipe: Nanaimo Bars

April 1, 2011 by Scott Gile

This year for Flavors of Freeport, Ruth made Nanaimo Bars – a no-bake, layered cookie, with chocolate (how can you not love a no-bake bar with chocolate?). It was a huge hit – with one lady coming back five (we counted!) times for more!

Without further ado, here they are

Nanaimo Bars

Bottom layer:

1/2 C unsalted butter
1/4 C granulated sugar
5 T cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 3/4 C graham-cracker crumbs
1 C coconut flakes (can use reg. coconut)
1/2 C finely chopped almonds

Middle layer:

1/2 C unsalted butter, room temp.
3 T whipping cream
2 T vanilla custard powder or instant vanilla pudding mix
2 C powdered sugar

Top layer:

4 squares (1 oz each) semisweet chocolate (or 4 oz choc. chips)
2 T unsalted butter

1. For bottom layer: Melt butter, granulated sugar and cocoa powder together
in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Add the egg and stir
constantly until thickened, about 2-3 min. Remove from heat. Stir in graham
cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds. Press firmly into an ungreased 8×8 pan.
Refrigerate while making next layer.

2. For middle layer: Cream together butter, cream, vanilla custard powder
and powdered sugar. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer. Refrigerate
while making next layer.

3. For top layer: Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. When
cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and use offset spatula to spread
over entire surface. Chill in refrigerator about 15-20 min., then carefully
cut into bars.

Will stay for several days in airtight container in refrigerator (I put wax
paper between layers)

Maple Syrup: Maine’s March Madness

March 2, 2011 by Scott Gile

Not that Maine won’t be watching the NCAA basketball playoffs (New England is filled with great college teams!), but there is another March madness in New England: Maple Syrup!

The sap begins to run, usually in late February and March, with a large maple tree producing as much as 60 gallons of sap! The sap will be quickly processed, boiling it to make it more and more concentrated. When it reaches the correct temperature, it is filtered to make it clear, then packed in sterile containers for distribution world-wide.

To celebrate our Maple March Madness, we’ll be serving something with maple every day in March! We started with Maple-Pecan Sticky Bars (pictured) from Epicurious. Scott says they’re delicious!

Our supplier of pure Maine maple syrup is Maple Valley Farms in Jay, Maine. On Maple Syrup Sunday (March 27, 2011) they, like other Maine maple syrup producers, host a big event at their farm, celebrating the season, and offering tastings, as well as syrup you can take home, fresh from the vat.

The Maine Maple Producers Association has a map of Maine syrup producers by county, so if you visit, you can easily find a producer of pure Maine maple syrup to visit on Maple Syrup Sunday!

If you’re thinking of coming, make plans for the entire weekend – Flavors of Freeport is Friday and Saturday, March 25-26, so you can visit the Chef’s Signature Series on Friday, the Celebrity Waiter Luncheon on Saturday, and top off your visit with Maple Syrup Sunday on March 27! See you then!

A Taste of Freeport

February 22, 2011 by Scott Gile

It’s hard to believe, but the fourth annual Flavors of Freeport is right around the corner!

This year’s event begins Friday, March 25 with the guest favorite, the Chef’s Signature Series. Last year’s event included a silent art auction, plus samples from restaurants, pubs, bed and breakfasts, candy companies, wine distributors, and more!

It is a great exhibit of some of the finest samplings of food you’ll find anywhere – and there is so much of it that you won’t need to go out to dinner!

This year there is a new event on Saturday, March 26, called the Celebrity Waiter Luncheon. A three course luncheon will be prepared and served by the Hilton Garden Inn staff, and service will be provided by local celebrities, who will also keep the diners amused with their humorous back-and-forth banter, pouring water and coffee, and catering to the requests of the guests. Attendees of the luncheon will be encouraged to tip their celebrity waiters based on the level of service and entertainment they are being provided (are they making you laugh so hard you are in tears?). All of this is in good fun, and all celebrity-earned tips will benefit the event’s charities.

Advance tickets are available separately for the Chef’s Signature Series and Celebrity Waiter Luncheon, or buy a combined “Flavors Pack” for a discounted rate. Major credit cards are accepted online. Tickets at the door will be cash only.

Check availability and book now, so you’ll be here for a taste of Freeport!

Chocolate on the Menu (of course!)

February 1, 2011 by Scott Gile

Our Valentine’s Day special has grown over the years from weekend special into a month-long package – so much so that this year our February is for Romance package was named one of the Top Ten Romantic Getaways.

As most of our guests know, our daily breakfast menu, as well as our afternoon refreshment menu, changes from moment-to-moment, so who knows what we’ll be serving while you’re here (reasonable requests may be possible, if received in time). However, it is very likely that, especially in February, we’ll have some chocolate on the menu!

Last year, for our Flavors of Freeport dessert, all the local B&Bs had agreed to serve a Julia Child dessert, in honor of the (then) recently released film, Julie and Julia. As our contribution, Ruth prepared a wonderful Chocolate Almond Cake (yes, that is the cake from the film) from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. For the event, we cut the cake into bite-sized pieces as shown in the photo, but of course you can serve it however you like it!

For all who were not able to be here for the 2010 Flavors of Freeport (by the way, did we mention that the 2011 Flavors of Freeport is March 25-26? It’s not too late to make plans to be here!), below is the recipe from Julia Child, with some minor alterations by Ruth!

Chocolate Almond Cake

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 4 ounces or squares semisweet chocolate , melted with 2 Tbsp. rum or coffee
  • 1/4 pound or 1 stick softened butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar to mix with butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tb granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup pulverized almonds
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (scooped and leveled) turned into a sifter

Icing

  • 2 ounces (2 squares) semisweet baking chocolate
  • 2 Tb rum or coffee
  • 5 to 6 Tb unsalted butter

Directions:

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour cake pan (pan should be 8 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches deep). Set the chocolate and rum or coffee in a small pan, cover, and place (off heat) in a larger pan of almost simmering water; let melt while you proceed with the recipe. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cream the butter and (the 2/3 cup of) sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.
  4. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
  5. Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the 1 Tbsp. sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
  6. With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almonds, and almond extract. Immediately stir in one fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
  7. Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.
  8. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.

Icing

Place the chocolate and rum or coffee in the small pan, cover and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife, and press a design of almonds over the icing.

Bon appétit!

No doilies or wallpaper, and only en suite bathrooms, here!

April 27, 2010 by Scott Gile

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast dining roomWhat is that title about? At Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in Freeport, Maine, we’re advocating truth in advertising!

A week or two ago the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) released the results of a study, asking travelers their perception of staying at bed and breakfast inns. The results revealed some interesting myths about staying in B&Bs. This link is an article listing the findings, and the myth-busting replies.

The list includes decor, shared bathrooms, breakfast seating arrangements, curfews, and whether or not children or pets are allowed. But are these really problems? We know some guests who prefer separate tables for each group of guests, and others who love the interaction of a single dining table. Some like a more modern style of decor, while others revel in the historic accuracy of period decor.

Stepping back a bit from the results, it really looks like the concern isn’t so much what the travelers say about the B&Bs, but what they don’t say. That is, they seem to be concerned that they just don’t know what they are going to get when they choose a bed and breakfast.

In truth, our experience indicates that bed and breakfast inns are as varied as their locations and the personalities of their owners. Some are themed around the surrounding area or its history, like one we know in an old bordello, or railroad cars, and others are very formal, in keeping with the mansions in which they are located. Some are quite casual, reflecting the attitude of the innkeepers, and some are less so.

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Room FourIn these days when the internet provides the opportunity for inns of all kinds to put their best foot forward, showing accurately what the guest can expect when they stay at that property. In fact, there really is no excuse for not showing the prospective guests exactly what they can expect, whether it is wallpaper or paint, doilies or not, separate dining or family style, etc.

With all that in mind, we want to make it clear what you will find when you come visit Brewster House. We invite you to look through our web site, explore the photos of the rooms, look at the virtual tours, and really see what we have to offer. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • No doilies or wallpaper, and no patchwork quilts. Our rooms are painted (we have no wallpaper) with soothing colors – some relatively bold, some softer, with coordinating paint in the baths. Most of the beds have rich, designer, comforters, though a few have designer quilts. We do have antiques in the house, mixed with more modern furnishings, as well.
  • We have no shared bathrooms. All our rooms have baths in the rooms (that is, the bathroom is entered from inside your guest room, and not shared with other guests). In our two bedroom suites the bath is a pass-through between the two bedrooms, so it is shared by members of your own party, not with other guests.
  • You do not have to sit with strangers at breakfast, and dietary restrictions can be accommodated. We think our dining room has the best of both worlds. It has individual tables (most are for two, one is for four), so you sit with your own party, but the other guests are not far away, in case you would like to have a friendly conversation with them. We serve a set breakfast each morning, usually alternating between a sweet dish one day and a savory dish the next. We routinely ask about dietary restrictions, and can nearly always select something from our repertoire of breakfast dishes that will meet your needs.
  • We have no curfews. Each guest is given a room key which opens their guest room, but also opens the guest entrance to the house. Thus, while our check-in time is from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (and we can make arrangements for late arrivals, if needed), guests who have checked-in have no curfew and can come and go at any time using their room key for access to the house.
  • Not only for couples. It is true that most (by a good measure) of our guests are couples. However, with our two bedroom suites, we also often have either a group of four traveling together or a family, staying with us. Maine does not allow lodging properties to refuse accommodation on the basis that the guest is accompanied by children. In compliance with this requirement, we welcome well-behaved guests of any age. We do ask that guests with children be considerate of other guests, and supervise their children at all times, being aware that most of our guests are here to enjoy a quiet, romantic, getaway, often as a time away from their own children.

Each bed and breakfast makes its own decision whether or not to allow pets. At Brewster House we have a number of guests who are allergic to animal fur and are very sensitive to the presence of animals. Consequently we do not allow pets. However, there are excellent boarding facilities nearby, as well as other properties who do allow pets.

Whether you are traveling to Freeport, Maine, or anywhere else, you can almost certainly find a bed and breakfast where you will be welcomed like an old friend, with comfortable surroundings, a wonderful breakfast, appropriate levels of privacy and all the help you need for recommendations of restaurants, activities and directions. Look for a B&B for your next getaway!

Flavors of Freeport: A Taste to Return To

April 13, 2010 by Scott Gile

Lobster, Hilton Garden Inn, Flavors of Freeport 2010Last weekend’s Third Annual Flavors of Freeport is in the books, and a wonderful time was had by all we could see!

The weekend began with the always-popular Chef’s Signature Series and Libations Gala. Three hours of tasting the food samples, wines, Maine vodkas, beer, desserts, candies, Whoopie Pies, and more, all from local farms, restaurants, beverage distributors, bed and breakfasts, tea rooms, distilleries, candy makers, etc. Betty Reez WhoopieZ took first prize for her display, and Petrillo’s restaurant won the best food, both by votes of the people attending.

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, dessert for Flavors of FreeportSaturday began with Lifestyle Demonstrations throughout the day and a Block Party with music, balloons, etc., in the late afternoon and evening. Both nights also featured music in more intimate settings.

A slide show of the events is located on the Flavors of Freeport website.

If you missed this year’s event, start making plans now to be here for the Fourth Annual Flavors of Freeport in 2011!

On the Road Again

March 10, 2010 by Scott Gile

Texas highwayAs many of our guests and readers know, we’ve been making a number of changes at Brewster House, including redecorating Room Five, painting the hallways and stairways, new carpet on the third floor (the second floor got new carpet last winter), repainting Room Six, and a few other details. We still have some more nice changes in the works, for April/May, but it was also time for a break.

This month (March), we are attending the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) conference in Austin, Texas. This annual conference for innkeepers includes keynote speakers on marketing, food presentation and preparation, technology issues, and more, as well as a trade show where we can meet the vendors we work with, meet new vendors, establish (or rekindle) friendships with innkeepers throughout the country (or the world), etc. Scott is also presenting sessions on choosing reservation software and on reputation management.

We drove to Austin, stopping for a few days in Virginia to visit some dear friends, and are currently enjoying the Innkeeping conference. From Austin we drive to Tucson, Arizona, then to the Grand Canyon, and on to San Jose, California, where we’ll visit friends and family. The next stops will be Salem, Oregon, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, for more family visits. We’ll be turning for home after that, with stops at Mount Rushmore, in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Jackson, Michigan to visit still more family, and finally a return near the end of March.

Once we’re back in Freeport, we’ll be preparing for the Flavors of Freeport festival which takes place April 9-11. If you haven’t booked your rooms for Flavors of Freeport, we still have rooms available (and we do have our reservation book with us!).

Slow Transformations

January 26, 2010 by Scott Gile

As we’ve mentioned previously, the slower winter season is our time to work on our projects at Brewster House (it is also our time to take a break and travel or visit family, but that is a post for another time!).

Room Five at Brewster House B&B, Freeport MaineThis year the transformations began early – before Thanksgiving – with the changes in Room Five, the front room on the second floor, with a bay window. It had been a nice shade of gray, appearing almost blue-gray in certain lights. The room had a red, white and blue floral bedspread which needed to be replaced.

We located a very pretty new bedspread, with matching valances for the windows, in aqua, with gold accents. We found a honey-colored paint for the room, and painted the bath the same aqua as the bedding. We also updated the bath with some new features. New chairs for the bay window completed the transformation.

Room Six, one of our two bedroom suites on the third floor, has also had its bath painted and renovated.

Ruth painting back stairwellAfter Christmas Ruth began painting the third floor hallways and the front stairs, to match the second floor halls. She was precariously atop a ladder, over the deep stairwell in the front, painting the top of the highest walls. More recently, she has completed the halls and been working her way down the back stairs. In the accompanying photo you can see here atop a ladder, at the almost two-story rise of the back stairwell.

More exciting changes are in the works, and we will be posting updates throughout the Spring months (interrupted by some family vacation time, as well).

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