For the third consecutive year Chippy continues making his presence known as most favorite guest. Bounding across the uneven landscape whenever called he has amassed no fewer than 7-8 pounds of peanuts, almonds and occasional cashew for the harsh winter ahead. Chippy has become quite an attraction – not only taking an inordinate amount of food from all our guests, he has also taught us a few tricks along the way. One morning he enjoyed Karen and Martha’s generous mimosa and a strong cup of coffee, but clearly has other food preferences.
Kay has been making New England Clam Chowder since we lived in the Philippines – certainly an unlikely place for chowder, but it’s one of my favorite things in the world. We just moved to Vermont full time last week and what better way to commemorate the move than with a fresh batch of chowder – two dozen cherrystones, normally three though. I’m a chowder fanatic, or in polite society, a connoisseur – Kay’s chowder is absolutely the best, with one slight exception. This lovely couple visiting Pond Mountain Inn last year came prepared to make a batch of their own! His recipe was from a Massachusetts restaurant that I have since forgotten, but his chowder had a sophisticated elegance that was unforgettable. Someday I hope to get that recipe! I hope Norbert finds this blog….
Vermont Maple Festivals are held in many towns across the state on April 2-3. This family and town tradition has been going on for decades! Maple Open House Weekend offers visitors an opportunity to visit a variety of sugarhouses throughout Vermont in operation during sugaring season. It’s an exciting time for everyone – Kay and I visited Tinmouth Mountain Farm this week and learned about how maple syrup is made. The amount of wood required to produce the syrup is staggering! Poultney Maplefest 2016 Celebration begins on April 2nd is only a few miles away from Pond Mountain Inn and never disappoints! There is an abundance of things to do beginning with a pancake breakfast. Shortly thereafter the Maplefest 5k run begins followed by Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides, Maple Sugar Flag Football Tournament, Tree Tapping Ceremony, Maple Cooking and Baking Contest, Cooking with Maple Syrup Workshop at Green Mountain College, Maple and Craft Beer Tasting, and the Poultney Historical Society opens its doors to tours and exhibits. For further information please view the link below.
Tinmouth Mountain Farm… Kay and I were fortunate to watch and learn about First Boil at Tinmouth Mountain Farm. Owners Kat & Shane Yoder are an incredibly talented and interesting couple that we were privileged to meet a few years back.
The photo shows the complex setup to produce maple syrup. Fresh sap enters the evaporator where it is heated, water is released as steam, and the finished syrup is drained off. The fuel source is tons of wood!
With three thousand trees tapped, Kat and Shane made their first maple syrup of the season this week. What’s nice about early syrup is how its taste is unique – the silkiness and innocence to the taste of early syrup is quite special. Once the syrup is bottled it starts to age, which creates a different, more complex flavor. Now that we’ve had both, I cannot say which I prefer – both are excellent! We only serve the Yoder’s maple syrup at Pond Mountain Inn.
Later in the season the Yoders produce darker syrup that also has a great flavor, but far more complex. Kat discussed how the flavor of the later syrup is influenced by the mineral content of the soil, the soil itself and climate, but the range of flavor diversity is a topic for another day. Ask Kat when you see her!
Join us at Pond Mountain Inn for a weekend your family will never forget!
Today’s lunch was a wonderful childhood memory – the same lunch that I had yesterday; a very melty grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup on a cold gray day with a hint of snow in the air. Few eat canned soup anymore; I was surprised to find that the Campbell’s Soup I had as a child was still as delicious as I remembered almost fifty years later!
A Vermont Valentine’s Day Package at Pond Mountain Inn… Enjoy a four night getaway and pay for three! Arrive Thursday at your leisure and spend the next four days enjoying the Green Mountains of Vermont.
Candlelit breakfasts are served in our beautiful well-appointed sun-drenched dining room with stunning views of Northeast Mountain. We use only the finest seasonal and locally sourced foods. Our extraordinary breakfasts feature a Viennese & French Roast blend as our signature coffee, fresh orange or grapefruit juice, fresh fruit and berries with hearty entrees.
Afterward head to the slopes or enjoy all the local attractions found in quaint near-by towns. Return to the property much later and enjoy some delightful appetizers in front of a roaring fire in the Main House. We can prepare you an extraordinary four-course dinner, or enjoy the many great restaurants in the area. Take a look at our dining recommendations. We hope to see you on Valentine’s day!
Kay has been captured on canvas no fewer than four times in the last decade. Most recent is John Traynor’s, Lady in White, originally titled, Kay, when débuted last year in John’s exhibition at the J.M. Stringer Gallery in Bernardsville, New Jersey. Lady in White was also exhibited at the Union League Club in New York City earlier this year.
Portrait painting is a picture of a person in which the face is the main focus of attention. Traditional easel portraits can be executed in a variety of poses, such as head-and-shoulders, half-length, or full-body. Portrait Art was ranked number two in the hierarchy of the genres behind history painting. John easily captures Kay’s elegance, but the essence of Kay’s inter-beauty is what truly makes this portrait extraordinary.
Please read more about John Traynor in the November edition of Southwest Art magazine (link below) and the brief discussion about the painting. Other portraits of our beloved Kay can be viewed at Pond Mountain Inn.
Like most mornings, we rose with the aroma of freshly brewing coffee as our Vermont morning routine unfolded – now, comfortably seated outside in our Adirondack chairs with the sun still hidden by Northeast Mountain. We were shaded until about eight o’clock as we solidified our plans for the day. We have a fairly full schedule that includes painting, cleaning, and transporting a cord of wood into the garage in preparation for the winter months. And, the wood must be split for the wood burning oven – Kay often prepares her Sunday Sauce and homemade soup there in the winter!
We’re not really a breakfast couple, but we were both a little hungry this morning. Kay had made some incredible Thai food the other day that we didn’t have and thought, “why not.” Consider this for breakfast, Thai Vegetable Green Curry over rice – tofu, eggplant, red onion, ground chicken with a spring onion garnish. Well, it’s more than a garnish; it’s another unique flavor that completes the dish. We don’t even have this in Bangkok when visiting family! I cannot begin to tell you how delicious this was and a great way to begin a physically demanding day!
The photograph is the closest picture I could find that reasonably looks like the dish we had this morning. Photo by; D. Schmidt for About.com