We invited friends and neighbors to an Easter brunch at Coveside, so Carolyn could try out new recipes and get back into baking after our lengthy sojourn in Europe. The event was a great success and the food — especially the baked goods — was wonderful. Many new ideas for breakfasts next summer! Recipes for the baked goods came mostly from Thomas Keller’s beautiful new cookbook, Bouchon Bakery (Artisan Books), and from the new cookbook from our favorite Portland bakery: Alison Pray and Tara Smith, Standard Baking Company Pastries (Down East Press).
We returned from Europe a few days ago, hoping to find the beginnings of Spring. But we found the remnants of a late winter snowstorm: Spring comes to Maine — slowly. The snow is melting fast, however, and we have high hopes that we’ll soon see the first stirrings of the season to come. In the meantime, we’re making plans for the summer season; Carolyn is testing new recipes; and we’re looking forward to our 16th year as innkeepers.
Our first website, a classy, state-of-the-art website in 1998, was designed by our good friend, Chap Bowie (now retired from the website business). It served us extremely well during the years of dial-up internet service and beyond. But its narrow format and compressed photographs were no longer suited to the broadband era. We were lucky to obtain the services of Whitestone Marketing – the national leader in websites for inns and bed & breakfasts – to design a new website for us. And we employed Lynn Karlin – a preeminent Maine professional photographer – to do a 2 1/2 day photo shoot here at the inn last summer. The result, we think, is stunning. Thanks to Whitestone and to Lynn for a superb job!
For years we had a photo album showing the changes we made at Coveside from 1998, when we bought the property, to the present. The pictures were always falling out, fading, etc. So we had the photos scanned and put together a bound photo book that gives a nice summary of before and after. It will be available to peruse when you are here; but you can see it on your computer immediately if you click on this link. The book was made on Snapfish, HP’s photo site. If you don’t already have a Snapfish account, you’ll be asked to provide an email address and password to create one (a bother, but it is a great site for sharing photos, making books, cards, etc.) The book takes a while to load.
We don’t normally get white caps on Gotts Cove, but the winds today have been incredible. But the brunt of Sandy has apparently passed to our south. We’re getting strong winds, but we still have power at 10:30 pm, when we’re headed for bed. We seem to have survived at least the first part of Sandy intact.
Tom & Carolyn spent the weekend in Norwich, Vermont, at the King Arthur bake center and school. Tom took a class called “Baguettes Six Ways” taught by Jeffrey Hammelman, chief baker at King Arthur. Carolyn took a class on “Artisan Breakfast Breads” taught by Ciril Hitz, author of several books on breads and pastries. Who knows how this will change breakfasts next summer! Some pictures of the classes:
It’s August and the wild blueberries are in season. Time for us to make our usual 3 1/2 gallons, enough to last us until next year’s crop comes in. A big job, made easier with a food processor. We basically make blueberry jam and can it in quart jars. When we need syrup (for those great pancakes) we just dump the jam into the food processor and add enough orange juice to thin it into the right consistency and whir it just until the lumps of jam are gone.
CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
Coveside Bed & Breakfast
We were notified last month that Coveside won tripadvisor’s prestigious Certificate of Excellence for 2012, their highest award. This was based entirely on the opinions of our guests: 63 of the 66 reviewers gave us a rating of “excellent” (the other three rated us “very good”). We’re proud that folks thought enough of our inn to take time to say nice things about us on tripadvisor. It turns out that reviews on sites such as tripadvisor, google, and BedandBreakfast.com are a major source of information for prospective guests, so we appreciate every review. If you’ve stayed at Coveside and would like to write a review, you can do so by clicking on the following links: tripadvisor, BedandBreakfast.com . Thanks!
We’ve closed for the season, and will reopen Memorial Day weekend, 2012. We will be traveling a bit throughout the late fall and winter, but we’ll never go far from our email. Should you wish to contact us, just write at innkeeper@CovesideBandB.com. We’ll also be posting recipes and miscellany throughout the winter, so keep in touch!
Hurricane Irene was hyped as a “killer storm” for the Northeast, but — fortunately for us — it was pretty much of a non-event on the Maine coast. Here at Coveside, we took the boats out of the water, moved pots and outdoor furniture inside, and spent a half-day battening down the hatches. But the storm turned out to be quite mild, less intense than many of our winter Nor’easters. An inch or so of rain fell Saturday night, with a couple of nasty wind gusts, and then strong but not damaging winds most of Sunday. We lost power for about 7 hours. For the hearty souls who decided to ride out the storm at Coveside, we served “hurricane hamburgers” on Sunday night and by the time folks were ready for bed, the power was back on and the generator off. We managed to get the terrace tables and chairs set up in time for a breakfast of plum crumble coffeecake and western omelets. See above. The weather is spectacular and supposed to remain so all week.