To Lori Rabon; General Manager of the Nassau Inn

Natural Leaders: Leaders influence, mold, and encourage others. For my years working for and along side Lori Rabon it is no wonder she is the 2011 Business Leader of the Year by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce. This is a well-deserved award for a person regarded as a natural, dedicated and hard working leader. I am honored and very proud to know and support Lori Rabon: a natural leader.

Congratulations, Lori!

Frank A. O’Reilly; Director of Operations

I was hired in the early 90’s as the manager for Palmer’s Restaurant. Since I was new to the area and having experience only in a full service restaurant, I was most fortunate to meet Lori when she was the Assistant Controller. I knew then that she had a wealth of knowledge and great leadership skills and was willing to share her experiences with me.

Lori was a great leader back then and showed she was capable of much more. It was a great day when Lori became our General Manager: the hotel and employees have never been in better hands. It will always be my pleasure to serve her and watch this great establishment grow under the leadership and passion Lori has for this property.

Jim Byrnes; Director of Food and Beverage

I have had the great honor of working with Lori Rabon for the past 18 years. She has been an incredible mentor to me both professionally and personally. The passion that Lori has for her “home”, the Nassau Inn, is contagious and unmeasured.

Lori has managed to raise a family of five children while simultaneously increasing the success of the Inn. This effortless focus and constant energy in the community has earned her this great honor of a true business leader.

Congratulations, Lori!

Mariela Blanco; Director of Sales and Revenue

Leadership personified: This is the first phrase that comes to mind when asked to describe Lori Rabon.
It is truly a rare blessing that someone will come into your life and have a truly profound effect on the rest of it. Yet when I met Lori Rabon six years ago, that is exactly what happened. There is no measure to all that I have learned in her presence, there is no way to quantify my gratitude or put into words all that I have personally and professionally gained in my time with Lori.

It is no surprise that the one I have learned so much from, stood in admiration of and am forever appreciative to, has been named Business Leader of the Year. Lori Rabon is most deserving and I hope that our tireless leader will take a moment to reflect on all of her great many accomplishments. It has been a true honor and pleasure to work for and alongside Lori Rabon.

Congratulations to you Lori, it is well earned and I am proud to be a part of your team.

Nick Ballas; Director of Rooms

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

By: Greg Bressler

This is Bressler: beer aficionado, bartender extraordinaire and just all around good guy. I’m coming to you this month with a very tasty addition to our 16 draft beers. This month’s addition is a seasonal beer from the Easton, PA brewery; Weyerbacher. Weyerbacher has blessed the Tap Room with maybe the King of all Pumpkin beers, their Imperial Pumpkin Ale!

This 8.0% ABV (alcohol by volume) pumpkin ale is the mother of all pumpkin ales. It is heartier, spicier, and more “caramelly” and “pumpkiny” than its faint brethren. Weyerbacher has added a ton of pumpkin, about 380 pounds of real pumpkin in every batch of beer, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of cardamom and clove giving this beer a spicy, full-bodied flavor. This truly is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale!

Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale is the ideal fall weather beer. Perfect finisher on a cool autumn night, or match it up with a slice of pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream, or just throw a few back in the company of some good mates. The Imperial Pumpkin Ale will never leave you disappointed. So come on into the Tap Room and enjoy one; and tell them Bressler sent you.

Cheers!

To Brine or Not To Brine?

By: Keir DeFonzo

We all have our uncompromising ways of just how to prepare a Turkey for the big Thanksgiving feast. Some pride themselves on generations of family secrets to get their birds just to the right desire of crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. There are lots of different ways to handle the main attraction on our dinner table. But one question to ask as we kickoff the holiday season is whether or not to brine your turkey.

Brine is a salt solution in which the turkey is submerged and kept chilled, in the refrigerator or a cooler, overnight, before being cooked. Some may argue brining a turkey is the only way to guarantee the juiciest meat. This especially occurs in the turkey breast which is notorious for being dry if over-cooked. Others feel that the brine will compromise the flavor since the ones we buy from the store already are high in sodium and have been pre-treated with brine before being sold.

With salt as the main ingredient, the solution will allow the salt to transfer into the meat overnight and act as a sponge to retain the juices and moisture. The bird will lose some of its water when cooking off in the heat; brine will prevent the bird from losing too much. The fun part of preparing the brine is that you can add herbs and aromatics to give the flavor a twist that will enhance the meal. For example, some people add bay leaves, rosemary or peppercorns. The options are endless. Having experience with the brine myself, I will say that once I started the tradition, I find there is no other way to go. Where I keep perfecting my technique is in the ingredients of the brine. One thing is for sure; my days of serving turkey that needs to be drowned in gravy are over! Turkey can now stand alone on the plate and compete with its rivals (the potato, the stuffing and the cranberry) for your taste buds attention.
One last tip I will share that I picked up along my cooking travels: place the bird breast down. The majority of the fat is actually in the back. By cooking your turkey face down, the fat will naturally create an additional baste for the white meat and create perfection!

Executive Chef Nino LaCasio’s Turkey Brine Recipe For an 8lb Turkey:
2-1/2 gallons cold water
2 cups kosher salt
11/2 cup sugar
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
4 tablespoons dried thyme
1 whole head of garlic, peeled
1 cup of pickling spice
2 tbsp Ground pepper

Whisk sugar and salt in water till it dissolves. Stir in other ingredients. Pour over turkey in a plastic bag and tightly seal the bag before refrigerating. Make sure turkey is fully submerged in the solution and let soak overnight. Drain Turkey and pat dry. Allow to sit one hour before roasting.

The Holiday Spirit

By: Jackie Brigante

I am a last minute holiday executer. I scrupulously plan out my entire life, but I tend to procrastinate on the actual executions. Halloween costumes get thrown together the day before Halloween, presents get purchased within days of events and my Thanksgiving Day desserts get (literally) put on the back burner. As an avid consumer – or shopping obsessed as some are so inclined to refer to me – it would make sense that I would completely be all over the retail holiday magic. Not so much.

By the end of October, stores are chock full of holiday…well, crap. Decorations are not only already being sold in department stores pharmacies and the grocery store, but aforementioned stores have decorated themselves to the T! As I have never been a retail employee myself, it is hard for me to understand this phenomenon. Does this drive holiday sales? Do kids really already know what they want? Am I already supposed to know what I want?! Am I supposed to want things?

This is all extremely overwhelming – I haven’t even cracked open the bags of my leftover Halloween candy or savored enough pumpkin lattes!

The holiday spirit is wonderful; and I absolutely adore the smell of freshly baked sugar cookies and cinnamon Yankee Candles – I am not completely cynical – I just want the spirit to still feel whole when the holidays do finally approach and the sounds of the season are fresh.