Posts Tagged ‘Bath’

HODGDON ISLAND INN BOOTHBAY HALF HOUR’S DRIVE TO BATH AND MAINE MARITIME MUSEUM

February 24th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Bath, Maine - a New England City

If you have ever driven along Route 1 headed towards the Boothbay Region from the southern part of the state you have passed through Bath, Maine.  You would remember it – It has a very unique profile.  Bath, built along the shores of the Kennebec River and unlike the towns of Boothbay Harbor or Damariscotta for instance, is a city. On one side of Route 1, the view is that of a very typical New England city – tall white church spires, domed public buildings and preserved remnants of impressive 18th and 19th century mansions and storefronts.  On the other side of Route 1 is one of the city’s crown jewels: the Bath Iron Works (BIW). 

Massive cranes tower above Bath Iron Works where state-of-the-art military vessels are still built

This center of shipbuilding is outlined by the massive cranes which tower above the facility where state-of-the-art military vessels are still built.  And just beyond BIW is the other of the crown jewels in the City of Bath: the Maine Maritime Museum.

Now several times this winter, Richard and I have set off to explore any number of sites within a half hour’s drive of Hodgdon Island Inn and Boothbay, and somehow we have found ourselves back at this, and I quote, “mecca for boat lovers” and history buffs.

Maine Maritime Museum: the state's premier marine museum!

It is no wonder that the Maine Maritime Museum is the state’s premier marine museum!  The setting, on 20 acres along the Kennebec River, includes the award-winning Maritime History Building and Welcome Center (where the permanent and temporary displays are housed along with the gift shop), the restored original buildings from the Percy & Small Shipyard where wooden schooners were built in the 19th century; a late Victorian home; and the boat shop where volunteer craftsman build and restore small boats.  The displays and artifacts are amazing!  The staff welcoming and the volunteers enthusiastic and knowledgeable!

You definitely don't want to miss this!

 On February 19th, a new exhibit opened in the John G. Morse, Jr. Gallery.  It is called “Cold Waters, Cold War:  The 21st Century Navy in Maine”.  It is an amazing story about the part Maine played in naval and defense operations during the Cold War.  If you’re a Tom Clancy fan, you definitely don’t want to miss this!  If you consider yourself a patriot, you definitely don’t want to miss this either!  The exhibit runs through August 7, 2011.

To get to the museum (www.MaineMaritimeMuseum.org) from Hodgdon Island Inn, Boothbay:  take Barter’s Island Road, making a slight left on to Corey Lane which becomes ME-27.  Take ME-27 to US-1 South.  Take US 1 South to exit for ME-209/DOWNTOWN HISTORIC BATH/PHIPPSBURG (you’ll be on Vine Street). Turn LEFT under bridge on to Washington Street.  Go past BIW and MMM will be on the LEFT.

COASTAL MAINE INNKEEPER’S WINTERTIME REMINISCENCES, RESOLUTIONS, RECIPES AND WRITING BLOGS – PART TWO

February 16th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

The sun is beginning to set on Hodgdon Island Inn

It is now Friday afternoon and the sun is beginning to set.  Richard and I have had a wonderful day here on our tiny little island in Maine. (I read somewhere recently that Maine has more than four thousand islands, but I will not digress).  We have progressed a little further on our current re-decorating projects (more on that later); we fed our resident seagulls and crows who are experts at landing on what you and I would deem slippery spots; we stretched our legs and walked over to the Post Office while dodging incoming cars to the Trevett Country Store at lunchtime; and stopped by our neighbor’s and got invited to have tea. As I said, it’s been a lovely day.

Maine has more than four thousand islands ...

That’s been one of the surprises that we have discovered in our new life here in Boothbay – there are so many places to explore (this week alone we have been to Newcastle, Damariscotta, Wiscasset, Bath and Brunswick), so many things to do; so many people to meet  and nasty bronchitis to get over once and for all.

SO, what all this boils down to is that I am way behind on my New Year’s resolution (like I am all alone here!) to test and post some new Hodgdon Island Inn or Pamela Byrne Riley-favorite recipes each month.  But henceforth (I have always wanted to use that word) I will endeavor (always wanted to use that one too) to adhere to my resolution.  Going forward, if I do not have a new recipe posted, let’s say, by the 15th of each month, you have my permission to nag me, okay?

This is NOT your grandmother's plum pud!

To get the proverbial ball rolling, I have already shared the much requested Baked Plum Pudding recipe which I was originally going to post in keeping with the old English tradition of serving a second plum pudding on New Year’s Day and will be posting my February recipes:  Barm Brack or Barm Bread in a tribute to my Mom and her favorite Irish saint, St. Brigid (see blog titled Nine Room Bed and Breakfast Inn On The Water Located Four Miles From Boothbay Harbor, Maine), second only to St. Patrick himself and  a super easy-to-make Raspberry Bavarian soufflé in honor of Valentine’s Day.

In honor of the Irish saint, St. Brigid, second only to St. Patrick himself.

Easy-to-make Raspberry Bavarian souffle

 

For March we must have something for St. Paddy’s Day of course, but the question is what?!

These recipes and more can be found at www.boothbaybb.com/blog

As always, please feel free to share your favorites and if you have any suggestions re: recipes for me to try, I would love to hear from you!

NINE ROOM BED AND BREAKFAST INN ON THE WATER NEAR BOOTHBAY HARBOR MAINE

January 30th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Hodgdon Island Inn's western view.

Yet another pink Maine sunset!

It is almost 4:30PM ET here at Hodgdon Island Inn, just a mere four (4) miles northwest of Boothbay Harbor, Maine and the sun is just now getting ready to set!  I am excited because the days are getting longer. My desk faces westward and I am watching the great “golden orb “sink down behind Sawyer’s Island as I hear the clicking of the timers beginning to kick lights on throughout the house. The water is reflecting yet another pink Maine sunset tonight tinged with touches of lilac and pearl grey.  It is beautiful!  Somehow at sunset I am often reminded of my Mom. 

She was a brave, kind woman.

"My Mom"

My Mom was originally from a large town and seaport nestled at the foothills of the Dublin Mountains in Ireland called Dun Laoghaire (anglicized as Dunleary) as was her mother.  That seaside town is not much different than some of the towns around us here in mid-coast Maine:   Bath, New Harbor, Bristol, Camden, to name a few.  They were brave, kind women who never passed up an opportunity to smile and they never failed to make the best of things. Tomorrow, February 1, is an important day for the Irish – it is the traditional First Day of Spring and it is the Feast Day of St. Brigid. As you can well imagine, it was a day to look forward to growing up – special outings, special food, special breads.

February 1 feast Day of St. Brigid and traditional first day of Spring in Ireland

Barm Brack - special bread which is customary to eat on the feast day of St. Brigid.

And just who is St. Bridgid you might ask? Saint Brigid, or to be really correct Saint Brigid of Kildare, is a saint of many names: Brigid of Ireland, Brigit, Bridget, Bridgit, Bríd, Bride, Naomh Bhríde or „Mary of the Gaels“. Living from 451 to 525 (it is said).  She was an Irish nun, abbess, founder of several convents, held the rank of bishop and generally venerated as a saint. Considered as one of Ireland’s patron saints, she ranks only behind Saint Patrick himself in importance.

In Ireland, the special bread which is customary to eat on the feast day of St. Brigid as well as at Samhain, or Halloween is Barm Brack or Barm Bread. 

Traditionally, it was part of an annual fortune-telling ritual. Similar to the English ritual of hiding  tokens representing what fortune has in store for whoever discovered the prize in his or her slice of  plum pudding. Family and friends would gather to have tea and Barm Brack, with each anticipating their fortune.

The tokens baked into the Barm Brack were a pea or a thimble, a piece of cloth, a coin and a gold ring. If your slice contained the pea or the thimble, you could expect another year of being an old maid. If, on the other hand, your slice revealed the gold ring, you could expect to be married within the year. The cloth, symbolizing rags, meant poverty or bad luck in the year ahead. The coin signified fame and fortune were on the way!

Although some versions of Barm Bread or Barm Brack are leavened with yeast, beer or ale, baking powder, or baking soda, one thing that appears to be common in most forms of these breads is the preparation of the fruit. Before the raisins and other dried fruits are added to the batter or dough, they are soaked for a period in hot tea until they are plump and rehydrated. This makes them wonderfully soft inside the baked bread.

It can be eaten at breakfast or at tea time and some establishments in Ireland serve Barm Brack with every meal. My favorite recipe, as always, because I have found it to be the easiest and least time consuming, is from Angela Hynes’ book The Pleasures of Afternoon Tea.  I will add it to the recipe section of the website.

P.S. February 1st may be the “traditional” first day of spring in Ireland, but meteorologists would say that the first day of spring is actually March 20th .