Pond Mountain Inn

A Vermont Bed and Breakfast Complete with Neighboring Mountain Views

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Split Pea Soup With Mushrooms Recipe

Split Pea Soup With Mushroom Recipe

1 lb. Shiloh Farms Organic Green Split Peas

8 cups water

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

8 ounces Cremini mushroom, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 ham hocks

Salt and pepper to taste


Put ham hock in pot with eight cups of water and one bay leaf.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Take ham hock out and cool. Cut meat off bone and return to soup.

Rinse peas thoroughly and add to soup.

Sauté celery, carrots, mushroom and onions, garlic in olive oil for about 10-12 minutes and add to soup. Simmer, cover and cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours while stirring occasionally.

Discard bay leaf and adjust seasonings to taste.

Puree soup using an immersion blender if you desire a smoother soup.

If soup is too thick, add more water or chicken broth to your desired consistency.

Pond Mountain Inn is delighted to bring you recipes not commonly found anywhere else.


Photo by: ruslanababenko





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Valentine’s Day Molten Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe

We make these every year at Pond Mountain Inn… They’re especially delicious with fresh Vermont  homemade whipped cream from our local dairy!

Valentine Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

Servings: 6

Total Time: 30 Minutes


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering ramekins

6 ounces chopped Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate

2 large Vermont farm fresh eggs

2 large Vermont farm fresh egg yolks

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons King Arthur all-purpose flour


  • Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees. Generously butter 6 heart shaped baking molds or six 6-ounce ramekins (Be generous, and do not substitute non-stick cooking spray). Set the heart shape baking molds or ramekins on a baking sheet.
  • Melt the butter in medium microwave safe mixing bowl. Immediately add the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted. If a few chunks remain, place the bowl back in the microwave for 20 seconds, and then stir again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla and salt at high speed until thickened and pale, using a hand mixer.
  • Add the melted chocolate mixture and flour to the egg mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined (the chocolate may sink to the bottom; be sure to scrape it up into the batter).
  • Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared ramekins and bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cakes are set and puffed over the edges of the ramekins. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1-2 minutes.
  • Carefully invert the cakes onto dessert plates. They should pop right out: you may run a thin-bladed knife around the edges if necessary.
  • Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
  • Note: The batter can be spooned into heart shaped baking molds or ramekins, covered and refrigerated for several hours before baking. Make sure to take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking so they come to room temperature.




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Smoked Salmon Mousse Appetizer Recipe

This amazing appetizer was prepared by friends, Thom and Beth, at Pond Mountain Inn along with a number of other delicacies, which we will share with you in the coming weeks!

Smoked Salmon Mousse

Prep 15 minutes

Ready In 15 minuutes


4 ounces smoked salmon

2 tablespoons Crème fraîche

1 (8 ounce) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened

1/2 lemon, juiced

Salt and white pepper to taste

Capers and fresh dill for garnish


Place smoked salmon in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Mix in Crème fraîche, Philadelphia cream cheese, juice of half of a lemon, salt and white pepper. Blend to desired consistency. Transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with capers and fresh dill.

Recipe By: Thom (Ridgefield, Connecticut)





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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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Pursuing Vermont’s Historic General Stores

Heading south on Vermont Route 30 from Wells to Manchester you’ll discover five general stores – four of which are still operating! What makes them so interesting? First, it’s the simplicity and thoughtfulness of early New England architecture. Then, it’s the incredible variety of goods and services from one general store to the next that make each so fascinating – mostly locally-sourced products you’d never find anywhere else and the ice cream is simply local. But, writing a treatise about their varied product and service offerings is no substitute for discovering them yourself. I always like seeing the hoof cream not far from the deli counter… makes me curious about the extent of vertical integration here in Vermont. Below are two farther afield general store standouts and the five you’ll discover leaving Pond Mountain Inn on your way to Manchester. Pursuing Vermont’s Historic General Stores is a great way to spend a day or an afternoon!

F.H. Gillingham General Store, Woodstock; since 1886 this store is renowned throughout New England. A quintessential Vermont General Store! Step back in time when you visit this 131 year old store and find both traditional and latest products all in one place. See why they have always been the “source” for gift boxes of all shapes and sizes for any occasion throughout Woodstock and New England and don’t miss a visit to the archives of the building that has a vast collection of artifacts and documents about the Gillingham family and Woodstock’s social history. https://www.gillinghams.com/

J.J. Hapgood & Eatery, Peru; is the longest continuously running general store in the state. Over the past 150 years it has been a post office, market, hardware store and a meeting place for friends and neighbors. Well known for their creative lunches (a must have is the authentic wood-fired pizzas) and dinner is enjoyed with their fine wines or beer.  They also have exceptional dry goods and is far more polished than its general store counterparts. The interior is wonderfully decorated with exceptional local artifacts since its renovation in 2013.  A fun fact from their website: “The store—and a local cow—was famously featured in the 1987 film Baby Boom, staring Diane Keaton and Sam Shepard.” http://jjhapgood.com/

From Pond Mountain Inn Heading South on Route 30… 

The Wells Country Store, Wells; people from all over including our guests come for the baked goods! The sandwiches, homemade pizza, soup and ice cream is incredible! But what makes this place so special is Juli & Tim’s love of community. Funny story… Juli & Tim once drove to our inn to return one of our guest’s packages that had been left behind – they met our guests, joined the party and stayed for a glass of wine! https://www.facebook.com/TheWellsCountryStore/

Mach’s General Store, Pawlet; closed last year is said to become a microbrewery and eatery was originally the Franklin Hotel, built in 1808 that gave way to Mach’s Store in 1945 has a brook and waterfall running through its center, which is visible from inside. We look forward to its opening.

Sheldon Market, Pawlet; the only gas station on Route 30 between Wells and Manchester. The store is small, but don’t underestimate its contribution – the parking lot is always full for a reason.

The Dorset Union Store, Dorset; celebrated its 200th anniversary last year, the owners succeed with staying true to its authentic character and is exceptional in every way! Purveyors of Necessities and Frivolities since 1816 they offer a Deli with made-to-order sandwiches, soups and more. A Bakery with breakfast treats such as freshly baked muffins, scones, croissants, and donuts. Their wine room offers a wide selection of wine, champagne, a selection of local, domestic and imported beer. Their Dinner to Go menu offers entrees such as grilled chicken, fresh salmon or veggie lasagna, with sides and salads. If your looking to take home some Vermont treasures then you must visit their grocery store and don’t leave without picking up what Vermont is known for, Vermont maple syrup and maple candies. https://www.dorsetunionstore.com/

H.N. Williams General Store, Dorset; is the quintessential Vermont country store dating back to 1840 is where we always buy our Vermont Darn Tough socks! A simple and unassuming appearance gives way to a rich product offering from animal feed to hunting and fishing supplies! They have it all including a great deli! https://www.hnwilliams.com/

A cursory glimpse at our local Vermont’s general stores is more about harkening back to a time when life was far simpler. Join us in Vermont for one of the many things that make this place so special. We have a complete listing of all Vermont Country and General Stores.






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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!