Greetings from the Harraseeket Inn! Corn stalks, pumpkins and the last of the fall foliage splash their colors across Maine as Halloween draws near. Here in Maine, Stephen King gives us an edge in the Halloween department. We can also lay claim to our own horror film, arguably one of the best of the worst horror films ever produced. It's called "Prophecy",and if you haven't seen it yet perhaps this should be the Halloween you make a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for a spooky evening. Prophecy takes place in what's suppose to be the north Maine woods and Stephen King, the grand master of scary, has admitted to watching it four or five times. This movie introduces a whole different meaning to "Maine camp", tho if you have little ones it may discourage them from ever wanting to go to any Maine camp...or even take a walk in the woods after dark. Parental discretion advised!
All Hallows Eve, also known as Samhain ("sah-win"), originated as an ancient Celtic celebration of the harvest, a time when the Gaels brought in their crops and prepared for winter. It was believed that on October 31 the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead would overlap. Great bonfires were lit to send those souls that had departed that year on their way and to keep evil spirits from crossing back over. Masks and costumes were worn to trick or appease the "mummers". These bonfires drew insects, which in turn drew bats, which added to the spooky aura and traditional symbolism of the event. The Irish and Scottish immigrants brought this tradition to America in the early 18th century and we've been having fun with it ever since. "Ghosts of Maine" is a book I recently read to discover any known ghosts in the Freeport area. It was a disappointing quest. Aside from a few ghost ships like the Dash, Freeport seems bereft of "mummers", tho Fort Kent lay claim to one of the spookiest stories, which took place not far from where I live. There's a book written about that one called "Satan's Harvest" and every year around this time, college kids who imagine themselves as "Ghost Busters" cruise the dirt road I live on at midnight looking for ghosts and imagining all sorts of supernatural happenings.
Chef Eric Flynn is currently competing at the prestigious Harvest on the Harbor in Portland. His bio for the event: "Chef Eric Flynn and the food at the Inn have been described as refined, contemporary New England cuisine. Chef Eric has taken that style of food and added classical French cooking techniques with a Nuevo twist, focusing on the local, seasonal, sustainable and Organic bounty of Maine. Using bright colors and exciting textures to awaken the most seasoned palate. Chef Flynn has joined The Harraseeket Inn by way of The Hilton and The Ritz-Carlton Hotels, as well as other prestigious restaurants from around the country. He has been with the Company going on five years, starting as the Chef D Cuisine in the Dining Room before taking over the entire operation as Executive Chef and now, Food and Beverage Director." Good luck, Chef Eric, and thank you for your tireless dedication to excellence!
Speaking of thanks, have you thanked a veteran lately? Upcoming Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans--living or dead--but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.We're offering a "sweet" thank you to our veterans in honor of Veteran's Day this year; a free dessert in our Maine Dining Room or Broad Arrow Tavern through the entire month of November.
Many of you will remember one very special veteran who was on staff here at the inn for many years hosting our afternoon tea. He made quite a number of friends during that time and many of you still ask about him. Mr. Cooper served as a crew member on a bomber during WWII that was shot down over enemy territory and he spent two years in a POW camp. Arthur Cooper will celebrate his 99th birthday this coming January. He is currently living at Hill House in Bath, Maine and would love to hear from you.
HillHouse Assisted Living
166 Whiskeag Road
Bath, ME 04530-4135
On Veterans Day and every day we thank all veterans for your service to this country.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and we're nearly booked for our Grand Buffet. Check out the mouth watering bounty our chefs are preparing this year and make reservations soon to join us on this very special day. Leave all the cooking and cleaning up to us and enjoy being with friends and family. That's what the holidays are really all about.
Coming up soon on the first weekend in December is Freeport's legendary and fun-filledSparkle Weekend. Craft fairs and fun weekends abound. What better way to celebrate the season than to spend the day whittling down your shopping list and then sharing your "treasure hunting stories" with friends over a festive luncheon buffet? We'll announce the dates of our special holiday luncheons in the Maine Harvest Dining Room next month. Our Broad Arrow Tavern serves from 11:30 until 10 pm daily off the menu, as well as the very popular luncheon buffet daily, 11:30 until 2, except for Sunday. Sunday is our award-winning Lobster Sunday Brunch Day served in the Maine Harvest Dining Room, featuring all you can eat fresh Maine Potts Harbor lobster and many other mouth watering creations from Chef Elizabeth DeFranco. Yum! Brunch reservations are recommended well in advance as we sell out very quickly. (1-800-342-6423)
This holiday season we're continuing a special tradition at the Harraseeket Inn. We'll be putting up a Christmas tree that will be decorated with ornaments brought by YOU. If you want to be a part of this special tradition, the next time you visit for a meal or for an overnight stay, bring along an ornament we can display on what will become YOUR Christmas tree. It would be extra special if it had your name and the year on it. We started out with a tiny tree on top of the piano but in a few short years this very special tree has grown to rival the big one in our Drawing Room.
Last month's trivia question was for all you Robert McKloskey fans (and I was surprised how many there were!): How did Maine's Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man, get out of the stomach of the whale that swallowed him? Burt was very ingeneous and by using up all the cans of paint and so forth stashed in his boat, he was able to get the whale to regurgitate him back onto calm waters after the storm had passed. The answer to this month's trivia question was posted on our Facebook page a week or so ago: What menu item is Chef Eric preparing for the Harvest on the Harbor competition this year? All correct answers win a voucher worth $5. toward food or lodging on your next visit, and from all the correct answers a grand prize winner will be drawn for dinner for two in the Maine Harvest Dining Room or Broad Arrow Tavern.
Good luck, Happy Halloween and we hope to see you soon!
The Gray family