Pond Mountain Inn

A Vermont Bed and Breakfast Complete with Dramatic Mountain Views


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Durian – The King of Stinky Fruits

If you’re sensitive to foul smells you should avoid reading any further. Durian has the most pungent, putrid smell so repulsive it’s almost indescribable – the antithesis of describing a fine wine… a thorny tropical fruit with a sickeningly rich creamy texture. Skunky, with rotting onion overtones may be difficult to overcome. Hints of large-city sewage, early-stage decomposition with an overly ripe bacteria-rich cheese finish all rolled into this Asian delicacy. It’s delicious – and I love it! The smell is pleasingly sweet, the “stinker” the better!

Durian is forbidden on public transportation and banned in hotels. Twenty years ago we saw where a hotel had a posted sign prohibiting durian in any of the hotel rooms. We’re still looking for the photo! This stinky fruit isn’t cheap – $55.26/lb., but that’s peeled, segmented and ready to eat! It’s so rich that even a single segment wouldn’t be consumed at one time. Don’t worry, we won’t be serving durian any time soon at Pond Mountain Inn!

Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Food Eater Extraordinaire and American Culinary Expert, eats all kinds of bizarre food except durian! Watch this YouTube video as Andrew attempts to eat the King of Fruits. It’s hilarious! Durian is found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.


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There Is Only One Mint Julep Cup Enjoy the Kentucky Derby

 

Fifteen years ago Kay and I were invited to a Kentucky Derby Party – the host served each mint julep in metal cups I had never seen before. As my cup full of bourbon and ice began to sweat I began to notice the intricacy of the beading around the lip and the base that made this cup so interesting. I approached the host to learn more about these special cups and found that they were truly special.
The handmade Presidential Sterling Silver Mint Julep Cup in my hand was the most common determined by the initials “LBJ” on the underside. All, except a few, of the mint juleps severed that day were in one of these “cups”. I learned that this sterling silver mint julep cup was an inspired design from cups made in Kentucky in the early 1800s. Beginning with Harry Truman the bottom of each mint julep cup is an engraved American Eagle and the initials of the President of the United States at the time it was made – I had to have one!


After a few days I quickly learned the mint julep cup I had to have is sold by Wakefield–Scearce Galleries of Shelbyville, Kentucky and was part of the Mark J. Scearce Collection that includes three other variations. Another more crucial discovery was that these cups aren’t cheap – today they sell for $850! Later that week I decided to hunt on ebay for my cup – and to my good fortune, and on my very first ebay purchase I landed two “JFK” cups!


Enjoy your Kentucky Derby Party and I hope your good fortune is accompanied with a lovely mint julep served in one of these cups.


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Tips for Finding an Outstanding Roofer – Checklist Included

We had a thirty year cedar shake roof that was at the very beginning stages of failing. We had discussed replacing the roof and reached out to those closest to the community to get some recommendations. Unfortunately, few were to be had. With little to go on we headed to the internet to educate ourselves and found an abundance of exceptional information on all aspects of roofing and roofing repair.

Substandard companies go out of business for obvious reasons then reappear with a new name and a clean slate, only to continue  their modus opparandi on the unsuspecting. This was one of our primary guiding principles when interviewing potential candidates. We cannot be certain that we didn’t meet such a person/company, but given long and engaging discussions it’s amazing what can be learned. And, we had three such on-site conversations with the person we selected. Brad, and his team were far younger than what I had in mind, but his honesty, experience level for someone of his age was quite impressive, impeccable references and he purchased “the business” from the person he worked for nearly four years was what ultimately sealed the deal – not to mention he’s a devoted family man and generous to those in need.

Were we just fortunate to have an excellent outcome or did we approach our roofing project methodically – perhaps a little of the first and a lot of the second. Once we narrowed the field to three it then became more about chemistry, communication, repeated and thorough explanation of the process, finalizing material options, and completing a detailed checklist easily found on the internet – we combined several into a single list that best fit our Vermont needs. One needn’t write a treatise, however here’s what we learned….

Our New Roof Checklist

  1. References, Reference, References: get a list of the last three and not only discuss the job itself, but discuss the selection process and how they handled any post-installation communication.
  2. How Long Has the Roofing Contractor Been in Business? Longevity is a good indicator of quality and service.
  3. Proof of Insurance…
  4. Manufacturer Qualifications… the manufacturers of some roofing materials require special training and/or certification before they allow a contractor to install their products.
  5. Manufacturer’s Specification Sheets… ask the contractor if he supplies copies of the manufacturer’s specification sheets.
  6. Get a Copy of the Manufacturer’s Warranty… ask the contractor to provide a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty for the roofing materials.
  7. Contractor’s Warranty… does the roofing contractor offer an additional warranty?
  8. Scope of Work… what is the contractor’s scope of work? Can the company offer you a variety of roofing options?
  9. Will Subcontractors Perform Some of the Work? Some roofing companies handle the entire project, but other companies depend on subs to perform specific jobs. They require reference checking as well.
  10. Maintenance Program… Find out if the roofing company offers a preventative maintenance program.
  11. Worker Knowledge…how does the roofing company train its workers?
  12. Inspecting for Quality… how does the contractor ensure quality workmanship? It’s helpful to examine the entire process and continue to ask questions. I did every day!
  13. Industry Memberships and Affiliations… find out what trade associations the roofing contractor belongs.
  14. Is this Contractor a Safety Liability? Ask the contractor to see a copy of their safety records.
  15. Is the Roof Edge Metal Code-Compliant? If you’re installing a new roof system, you’re likely installing new roof edge metal too. Since the perimeters (edges) of the roof are most vulnerable to wind damage, it’s important the metal system you choose is ES-1 certified.

 

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Vermont Welcomes the Arrival of the First Day of Fall

Vermont welcomes the arrival of the first day of fall! Nature’s color palette will soon be ablaze here at Pond Mountain Inn – birches with brightening yellows, vibrant red maples still to come all with mountain backdrops of fading green. Frosty mornings will give way to cool crisp days perfect for mountain hiking and coming together once again with nature.


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What’s the Real Difference Between Duck and Chicken Eggs

When was the last time you had a fresh duck egg omelette? Pond Mountain Inn now offers duck eggs for breakfast, which are now available locally as a delightful alternative. Over the last few weeks many of our guests have enjoyed our new offering!

Some of us are fortunate to have experienced the rich, clean flavor of farm-fresh chicken eggs a few days after appearing in the nest and duck eggs are no different. The flavor and nutritional value of a fresh egg is far superior to that of a supermarket egg, which may be over a month old by the time it reaches your kitchen.

What’s the real difference between duck and chicken eggs?

Let’s begin with taste – the flavor is tastier and a bit different, but only slightly – fresh eggs are fresh eggs with the majority of the flavor coming from its freshness. I find the duck egg yolk creamer when having a hard-boiled egg.

Size… duck eggs are considerably larger and the shell is far tougher than a chicken shell, which may allow for a longer shelf-life. Eggs can be stored on the countertop for a month and another month in the fridge – still, fresh is best!

Nutrition… a duck egg will provide about 20% more Kcal of energy than an equal size chicken egg. Carbohydrate content is about identical and the mineral content is also similar with duck eggs containing slightly higher amounts of potassium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, zinc,  calcium, iron, and sodium.

Vitamin content is quite similar too… Vitamins A, B6, B12, D, E, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, and retinol are present in both.

The biggest differences are the monounsaturated fat is about 50% more in duck eggs and the cholesterol content is more than twice than its chicken counterpart.

We dry and feed the egg shells for our neighbor’s chickens to help naturally supplement their calcium requirements. Our duck eggs are from Mountain Ledge Farm, Wells, Vermont.

We love duck eggs when we can get them… from omelettes, to fried or scrambled; they’re all great. Our recommendation is come visit us – have us prepare your our duck eggs just the way you like them!

 

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Find Out What Makes Our Coffee Incredibly Delicious

Our Philosophy at Pond Mountain Inn

One of the defining characteristics of an excellent bed & breakfast is the emphasis on serving the finest cup of coffee available. We serve a non-flavored Viennese Roast in the Main House during breakfast, which is the lightest of T.M. Ward’s Espresso roasts – it’s unusually smooth, delicately strong, with a nice velvety finish. And, to really make our morning coffee interesting we add French Roast, a blend of Arabica beans, which is a very dark roast with smoky overtones. This hybrid recipe brews an outstanding cup of coffee! They’re both delicious and we hope that you enjoy them too!

History – T.M. Ward Coffee

One of the oldest institutions in Newark, New Jersey is the T.M. Ward Coffee Company; originally opened by Timothy Ward in 1869.  Unlike many businesses over its 140 years of continuous existence, Ward’s has remained a locally-based, family-run company that embraces its employees.

Our Morning Brewing Process

It all begins with using exceptional filtered water – Pond Mountain Inn’s water is delivered from a 360 foot deep artesian well. By the time the coffee reaches your coffee mug, our water has been filtered twice and has passed through ultraviolet technology.

Our recipe for making great coffee begins with controlling the temperature of the water when it comes in contact with the coffee, which highlights the characteristics of our great coffee – we use both a drip coffee maker and percolator, both brew an outstanding cup of coffee!

The Coffee

We begin with great coffee. We found T.M. Ward, an exceptional quality roaster that sells freshly roasted beans. We experimented with quarter of a pound of a many different varieties of coffee and selected a non-flavored Viennese Roast as our signature coffee. We actually took the beans out of the bag, smelled them, and smelled the coffee again after we ground them. Even if you like your coffee with milk or cream, we tried a few sips without anything added and tasted it. We considered what we tasted and the aroma as we would with a fine glass of wine. We wanted to make sure that we provide the best coffee possible and I believe we were successful! Our guests will ultimately make the final determination.

We use a standardized scoop of coffee. Most experts say two tablespoons of ground coffee per 8-ounce cup, but coffees differ and tastes differ, but we found that this works for us at the inn. Occasionally, we make more coffee than we can use immediately, we always pour the remaining coffee into a thermos or carafe to keep it warm. We never let coffee sit on a burner or warming device, as this will kill the taste.

We want your morning coffee to be the best cup of coffee that you’ve ever had and we’ll keep trying to exceed your expectation; we even warm your coffee mug before pouring your first cup of coffee! See you in the morning….

Interesting Backstory

What has been most responsible for putting T.M. Ward on the map has to be its Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito “Bold Justice Blend”, a rich blend of Columbian, Java and New Guinea, with a bit of espresso. This was the longtime client’s favorite cup, and Ward’s pushed the product in support of Alito’s 2005-06 run through Senate confirmation. Bold Justice Blend became all the rage amongst the journalist and internet crowds, and to this day, the Trenton native seems to have successfully branded his own personal way of motivating Jersey’s masses.

Click here for T.M Ward Coffee of Chatham, New Jersey

See Our Inspiring Day Trips & Unique Itineraries! for more fun in our surrounding area!


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A Treasured Memory at Pond Mountain Inn

One of the more memorable things that happened last year was this drawing. What makes the drawing most impressive is that it was drawn by one of our guest’s ten-year daughter. The backstory is that Erin had received $20.00 from her grandfather to spend on vacation as she wished and decided to purchase one of our Pond Mountain Inn mugs, which was nearly the same price. I suggested a barter of sorts where I would give Erin one of our mugs in exchange for a drawing of our property – she immediately agreed then deliberated and chose to draw the Main House and Loft Apartment. A day or two later I had a beautiful drawing of our property and Erin had one of our mugs. The day after her family left we had the drawing framed and placed in the Loft. Another treasured memory….


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Yankee Ingenuity and Your L.L. Bean Boots

I purchased my first and only pair of L.L. Bean Maine Hunting Shoes in 1980 – I removed the mud for this photograph. I had them resoled a few years back and replaced the laces maybe three times. They have served me well for thirty-seven years! But alas, I’ve stumbled upon a new alternative use…. The Vermont Wine Carrier – excellent for transporting both red and white! Brought to you by your friends at Pond Mountain Inn. 


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Chippy’s First Video… This is Adorable!

We love our little chipmunk, Chippy. He joins us throughout the day – mostly in the morning and conveniently at the cocktail hour. Chippy is enormously responsive – he always comes when called regardless of the distance and our guests feed him too! I decided to video him the other day…. Turn up the volume and listen. It’s my first wildlife video so be slightly patient. It’s always an adventure at Pond Mountain Inn!

 

 

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“Chippy” Says Spring is Here…

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Prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil called for six more weeks of winter; however Pond Mountain Inn has its own prognosticator, “Chippy”. Our adorable little chipmunk arose from his winter’s nap yesterday looking a little groggy, a tad plump and a touch timid, but today he’s alert and had his morning breakfast. It looks like spring may be here!