August 2014 Newsletter

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Greetings from the Harraseeket Inn!  Thanksgiving is upon us once again, and we at the Harraseeket Inn have much to be thankful for.  First and foremost, we're very grateful for your continuing patronage over the years, as well as the constructive critiques that keep us motivated and moving (we hope!) in the right direction. You're the reason we were voted one of the top five hundred hotels in the world by Travel and Leisure Magazine.  We're grateful to our farmers and growers for bringing us such an incredible bounty of the finest and freshest locally grown foods, which we'll be serving at our Thanksgiving Grand Buffet, as well as in our Maine Harvest Dining Room and Broad Arrow Tavern throughout the year.  We're thankful for our fishermen who bring us the fruits of the sea at their freshest and best, and we thank our talented chefs for bringing their enthusiastic creations and culinary flair to the table each and every day.  Last but

Celeste, Stephanie, Natasha and Mr. Snook!

certainly not least, we thank all of our loyal and dedicated employees, many of whom have been with us for decades, for helping to make this inn such a special place. We're so very grateful to have all of you in our lives.  No matter what happens in this sometimes crazy and always fast paced world, it's a comfort to walk through the doors of this inn and see so many friendly and familiar faces. It's like coming home.

 

Thanksgiving is a time for the gathering together of family and friends, for counting our blessings and sharing good food and good times, making new memories and honoring old and cherished ones. 

Holiday traditions march down through time, passed from generation to generation.  Perhaps it's a savory dish our great great grandmother made, or a special prayer spoken before the meal.  Traditions are a comfort, but how many of us still polish the sterling silver before the holidays, and iron the linen napkins?  It's important for us to make the effort to keep the family traditions alive, but adding a few new twists keeps things interesting.  Click here for a dry brining recipe for your turkey from Yankee Magazine. Or maybe forego that turkey altogether this year and opt for a Thanksgiving with a Maine lobster theme!

 

Harraseeket Inn's Award Winning Lobster Stew: Serves four

Ingredients:

Maine lobster boat
Lobster boat in South Freeport Harbor

4 one pound lobsters

2 C mixed mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot)

4 sprigs thyme

4 sprigs parsley

3 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 C sweet sherry

4 pints heavy cream

1/4 C butter

 

 

Remove the meat from the claws and tails of the four steamed lobsters. Discard all shells except the spiders (the body of the lobster with the carapace and shell removed)

In a large sauce pan, saute 1/4 C butter, the mirepoix, spiders and fresh herbs for 15 minutes at medium heat, until onions are clear.

Add sherry and reduce until "au sec" (the consistency of syrup)

Add heavy cream and reduce by 1/4

Strain

Chop lobster meat, add to stew base and warm.

 

Thanksgiving kicks off Moonlight Madness here in Freeport!  This description is taken from the Freeport USA site:

"Freeport is a beautiful coastal village known all over for world-class shopping. From premium international brands to unique local finds, Freeport has it all. The Moonlight Madness Celebration officially begins at 12:01 a.m. with a fun run down Main Street with Santa on a Harley leading the way. Dozens of outlet shops like  J. Crew Factory, The North Face, Tommy Hilfiger, Nine West, Jones New York and more will open their doors at midnight filled with great merchandise and special holiday deals - but remember, L.L.Bean is always open!  Stroll through Freeport's brick sidewalks and shop dozens of famous brand outlets lining the charming and historic streetscape.

Amtrak Downeaster $5 Fares

Unwind after a busy Thanksgiving holiday with a relaxing ride on the Amtrak Downeaster to Freeport for Moonlight Madness - an extraordinary Black Friday experience - for just 5 dollars each way. On Thanksgiving night, Train 697 will arrive in Freeport at 10:35 pm and Train 699 will arrive in Freeport at 2:05 am on Friday morning. Start your holiday shopping at midnight with coupons, special discounts, prizes and more. Shop 'til you drop, then climb aboard a special Downeaster Train 680, departing Freeport at 4:40 am and enjoy a relaxing ride home - for just $5" (A far less exhausting plan would be to spend the night at the Harraseeket Inn.  We offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the train station any time of year and if you book your room reservation directly with us you'll get a FREE full buffet breakfast and afternoon tea!). For more information on Amtrak Downeaster's special rates click here

 

Sparkle Weekend is December 5 -7 If you have children, or there's even a tiny little bit of childlike wonder left in you, you'll love the town of Freeport on Sparkle Weekend.  It'll make you believe in Santa Claus even if you're a big time scrooge. You'll feel the magic of Christmas in the air as sleigh bells ring and snowflakes fall on this village of holiday enchantment.  There are all sorts of fun and festive activities going on, check out the schedule and plan your itinerary.  Oh, and don't forget the kids!

 

On Friday December 19th we're offering a special holiday buffet luncheon in the Maine Harvest Dining Room.  Enjoy the festive decorations and delectable foods with friends and family, and finish up your holiday shopping on the same day. 1-800-342-6423 for reservations.

 

Harraseeket Community TreeFor those who are sharing Christmas with us this year, if you haven't yet brought an ornament for our "Guest Tree", you're welcome to add your own; just put your name on the ornament and the year you began staying with us and find a place for it on the tree.  Our guests spend a lot of time reading and admiring the ornaments on this very special tree, it's a real favorite!  

 

This holiday season we'll be posting sign up sheets for "Reading for the Holidays", an annual event which is great fun for kids who love BIG gentle dogs like these gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dogs. These special dogs are also certified therapy dogs who love listening to the children reading to them.R.E,A.D. stands for Reading Education Assistance Dogs.  The bond between kids and dogs is a timeless and beneficial one. Come to think of it, the bond between grown-ups and dogs is pretty darn beneficial, too.

 

Last month's trivia question asked what Chef Eric was preparing for the Harvest on the Harbor "Harvest Dinner".  Answer?  Ocean perch with accompaniments.  Did he win?  I was told afterward by Executive Chef Troy Mains there wasn't a competition this year, but that "ours was by far the best".  Next year I'm planning on attending so I can get the story straight (and get a great meal to boot).  Also I won't bring Facebook into the trivia "search" realm again because so many of you aren't on Facebook.  If you click on the link to Facebook at the bottom of this newsletter, it will bring you to our Facebook page.  If you want to get our Facebook postings, just click "like" on our page.  You don't need a Facebook page yourself to get postings from us. This month's trivia question has to do with ourThanksgiving Grand Buffet at the Harraseeket Inn.  How many pounds of potatoes does it take to feed nine hundred guests?  (Hint: the answer is in a 2012 newspaper article from the Portland area.)  All correct answers win a voucher worth $5. toward food or lodging on your next visit and a grand prize winner will be selected to win dinner for two in the Broad Arrow Tavern or Maine Harvest Dining Room.  

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and we hope to see you soon!

Best regards,

Penny Gray

The Gray family

The Great Turkey Chase