Pond Mountain Inn

A Vermont Bed and Breakfast Complete with Neighboring Mountain Views


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George Kalinsky Legendary Sport Photographer in Vermont

The Southern Vermont Arts Center

Presents

Faces of Champions • George Kalinsky Legendary Sport Photographer

Opening Reception Saturday, June 30 from 4-6PM • The Show Continues Through July 22, 2018

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George Kalinsky is a photographer. He has been the official photographer for Madison Square Garden since 1966 and also serves as the official photographer at Radio City Music Hall. In November 2010 the National Arts Club awarded him their Medal of Honor for Photography.

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I was fortunate to have met and spend a few minutes with George Kalinsky when the show was only partially finished. I asked George if he wouldn’t mind standing in front of his photo of Joe Namath and quickly captured George with Joe (first photo below) only to realize the humor when George asked to see my telephone. “Not bad”, he said, referring to the quality of the photo. With that I got one more with him in front of a collage of his photographs you’ll see further below.  My photos of George Kalinsky’s work are not even remotely close to the color and detail of the museum quality photographs that are on display at The Southern Vermont Arts Center. Hope to see you there!

 

I watched the New York Rangers win the 1994 Stanley Cup from my hotel suite at the Shangri-La Hotel in Cebu, Philippines – it was 7:00AM local time!

This delightful collage of photographs are from your friends at Pond Mountain Inn.

 

 

 

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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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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


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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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Why does this Hummingbird Stand on John’s Hand – for 15 Minutes!

Sitting comfortably in our Adirondack chairs John and I were enjoying another great Vermont summer evening overlooking Northeast Mountain as the Hummingbirds continued to feed. As one whizzed by our heads it slammed directly into the picture window behind us! We instinctively leapt from our chairs only to find this poor bird on the ground with no visible signs of life. John, one of our frequent guests and a wonderful photographer picked up our tiny new friend and held it in his hand. John was eager to get his camera, but he had the bird, so I grabbed my phone and began taking pictures. As I continued photographing, our friend gradually regained his composure, righted himself and kept us company for fifteen minutes. He was clearly enjoying himself and was in no hurry to leave us, but it was time to delicately return him to the feeder. He stepped from John’s hand and perched himself comfortably and within a few moments he was quickly tormented by his buddies – they are very territorial and seek control of the feeder. He grabbed a quick drink and returned home…. This goes on from dawn to dusk and is always fascinating to watch. We look forward to their return to Pond Mountain Inn early next month!