wine wednesdays.

another new tradition here at lovevermont - wine wednesdays.
why, you ask? well, why not?
ok, so then why now? no reason really, except i just wanted an excuse to introduce you all to my current favorite varietal*

vermont meet plungerhead. plungerhead meet vermont.

please, don't hold a grudge just because plungerhead is not a local. he is trying hard to win our affections by becoming the official sponsor of vermont restaurant week - so really, it is in our best interest to embrace him. plus, he is just really yummy, quite cute, and comes from a really good family. i think we are all going to become great friends.

*as of now i know very little about wine other than i like the taste and i really appreciate a clever label. (please note that i use the word varietal but have no idea what it actually means) but this will all change after my first ever wine tasting next week at shelburne vineyard! i'll be sommelier certified in no time (-:


top ten tuesdays - to do...

without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. - gloria steinem
it's a good day to dream and in my mind, it's always a good day to plan. plus, gloria is right - life is all about possibilities - both those planned and those that surprise you. and being the planner that i am, the idea that dreaming fits into the planning category, is just amazing to me.

so with gloria's words of wisdom in mind, i am going to create a dream to do list each month - events i want to go to, places i want to visit, food i want to eat - so that there is plan to the madness and the moments and the possibilities. it's more fun that way and it's always good to have things to look forward to. plus - I want all your feedback! i need your suggestions and inside scoop as i dream about the possibilities of what the coming months here in vermont have to offer.

top ten april to dos...
  1. run the middlebury maple run (aka the sweetest half) - april 25th. 2nd annual 1/2 marathon in middlebury. complete with a post race party at two brothers tavern.
  2. explore pine street, burlington, vt - my new favorite part of the city. it's off the beaten path, but full of wonderful treasures - yummy food, great coffee, and plenty of art galleries and vintage shops. thanks to design sponge for the inspiration road map.
  3. stop by st albans maple sugar weekend - april 30th. st albans. silly me, i thought all the sugaring celebrations were behind us!
  4. blunch (yes, blunch) at claire's restaurant, hardwick, vt.
  5. hike camel's hump - after the snow melts, before the crowds.
  6. enjoy a sunset picnic at charlotte beach with some tasty take out from pizza on earth (reminder - order 2 pies, 1 not enough)
  7. spend the day in stowe just exploring this quintessential vermont town. lots there to discover thanks to all the great trips recommended at trazzler.
  8. sunshine day dream festival - april 17th. killington. a tribute to the grateful dead. spring skiing + tiedye + live music + pond skimming = amazing. jerry would be proud.
  9. mud season variety show. april 16th & 17th. randolph . this annual rite of spring features local talent and local humor. hurry! the whole town goes which means the 575-seat chandler music hall sells out!
  10. wine taste at boyden valley winery. c'mon, its wine - no explanation necessary.

so, what do you think? what am i missing? what is on your to do list this month? c'mon, try it, it's fun!


thank you, tom.

without a doubt, you* are my favorite weatherman.
i always love you, but the love has grown infinitely stronger today thanks to your sunny easter weekend forecast.

*for those of you unfamiliar with the vermont weather scene, tom messner is the beloved go-to weather guy in town (and across the state!) which, given the severity of the seasons and our emotional dependency on the forecast - is a pretty tough gig. but we love him, regardless of the daily doppler.


VTuesday Shoesday

one of the things i love most about the blog world is all the brilliant, fabulous and stylish folks there are out there, and that in this cyber world, it's all about sharing that brilliance!

so with the sharing (copying) spirit in mind, some of my vt blog friends (the best kind) have created our own edition of the trend known as tuesday shoesday. for weeks we have been drooling over the lovely designs posted by our stylish cyber friends and just decided it was time to take matters into our own hands and create a slightly - very slightly - more practical version of our favorite blog trend.

and it seems only appropriate that the inaugural post gives a little love to the ever classic, ever practical and ever vermont friendly - hunter boot. there is no better cure for a rainy day than a pair of happy galoshes (and maybe a polka dot umbrella) i think with april showers upon us, i might need a pair in every color...luckily they can all be found at the shoe shop on church street, right here in burlington.

and be sure to check out the original and super fabulous #tuesdayshoesday tag on twitter!


the ultimate multitasker.

one of my favorite traits about vermonters is our (yes, our) ability to reuse and recycle things. we are like one big DIY project where everything and everyone multitasks.
and multitasking is precisely the reason i love these clothespins/chip clips/smarty pegs designed by vermont's own dippylulu. think about it - it's a food saver, diet aide and supercute pantry accessory all in one! what's not to love about that?


sweet memorabilia & memories.

with march almost behind us, the days where i can muse about the joy of sugaring here in vermont and overuse awkward puns about life being sappy & sweet are quickly fading. however, i am hoping some online searching for these antique sugaring tins to start my collection will help me ease into the next season. ebay, here i come!
i am also hoping that looking at this picture (taken this weekend at the magical bread loaf view farm in cornwall, vt) will help me hang on to my weekend glow and remind me that the sun will shine again - even though today it feels like the rain will go on forever...

hope you are having the sweetest of mondays!


oh, sweet weekend...

it's here! it's here! maple sugar weekend is here.
really, it's better than christmas for any vermonter with a sweet tooth and a soft spot for sap buckets and rubber boots
(hmm..who could that be!?)
with so many great options, where will you be enjoying sugar on snow this weekend!?
for more foodie events across the state, check out the recent post from slow food vermont - looks like it will be a weekend full of pancakes & wine for this girl. yum.


comfort food thursday - roast chicken.

no lie, i have had this exact conversation several million times over:

  • friend: i want to roast a chicken. a full chicken.
  • me: me too.
  • friend: how do you go about doing that?
  • me: i have no idea.

well, thanks to the folks at farmplate kitchen, this is a conversation that we will no longer have to have. they have enlightened me on how exactly to make the perfect roast chicken - in all its simplistic glory. plus, if you visit their website there are several other variations of this classic meal. my mouth is watering already...

simple roast chicken
what you need:
  • 1 4-pound whole chicken (misty knoll if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, chives and/or tarragon)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil for brushing
  • 1 cup water or hard cider such as woodchuck draft cider

what you do: preheat the oven to 375ºF. pat the chicken dry with paper towels. mix together the butter, herbs, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a generous grinding of pepper. gently work the herb butter under the skin on both sides of the chicken breastbone. brush a V-rack with oil and set in a roasting pan. set the chicken on the rack and brush with olive oil. pour the water or cider into the roasting pan. roast the chicken for 40 minutes.

increase the oven temperature to 425ºF and continue to roast until the skin is crispy and well browned, about 30 minutes longer. an instant-read thermometer should read 170ºF. tilt the chicken so the juices from the cavity run into the roasting pan. transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. Strain the juices to serve over the chicken.


pantry envy.

in theory, i am the most organized person on the planet. in reality, i'm far from it. however, that doesn't stop me from daydreaming about being stylishly and effortlessly organized. this obviously includes a vivid fantasy about my dream pantry.

right now, said pantry it is in the infancy stage - i have the glass spice jars and ikea jars with lids, and my trusty label maker of course.

but someday, i am dreaming it will look like this...
or this...
or even like this...
or even just a few shelves like this...
or just one like this...
ok, that's enough pantry fantasizing for now (or all that i am going to share with you all - for fear of total embarassment)


the green life.

please don't judge me, but i have to admit that there was awhile where i hated the green movement - it felt too forced and trendy and it drove me crazy seeing people driving gas guzzling SUVs but carrying their groceries in cute little eco-tote bags and wearing tshirts that said "i live green" and "earth day rocks".

however, that was then (2007) and this is now. and now, i have fully embraced the green movement (you should have seen our recycling bin this morning!) but it's easy up here in the woods, because, as the bumber sticker says, "vermont - we were green before it was cool."

so, my new favorite addition to this green lifestyle is a burlington, vt store aptly called the green life. it is full of wonderfully environmentally friendly items for you and your home - linens, furniture, bath products and cozy cozy blankets. definitely worth a visit. odds are, it will make you go a little bit greener.


holy vegetables!

i have a new favorite thing about vermont: CSA shares.

perhaps i am on the real slow boat in discovering such a phenomenon, but i am beyond excited to sign up this spring. (admittedly, my excitement levels could have something to do with my recent crankiness over the cost of good vegetables and last night's spirited debate on health care reform and the wellbeing of our country) regardless, this is the best thing ever.
so, what the heck is a csa? well, community supported agriculture (CSA) is the name of a relationship between farmers and subscription consumers. this direct sale opportunity invites consumers to directly support a farm or group of farms by enrolling in a seasonal share in the farms’ operations. while details differ from farm to farm, csa shares are usually purchased for a set price early in the season in exchange for weekly boxes of mixed produce (which can be picked up at the farm or at a selected drop off location) the partnership allows regular people like us to share in the seasonal produce that these farms work so hard for. so, it's local, it's fresh, it's healthy - and with the selection of products changing weekly, you are forced to go outside your foodie comfort zone. so fennel and radiccio and cauliflower, here i come!

click here for a list of vermont csa's. decisions, decisions...


may day studio.

thank you, may day studio for curing my monday blues.
i love stationary and these letterpress cards are just so cheery and colorful - how can they not brighten even the dreariest of mondays? plus, they are all handmade in their montpelier, vt studio. (they have classes too!!!)
i think i will wait and puruse their collection of handbound vintage journals until tomorrow...just to have something to look forward to on a rainy tuesday.


my best friend lesley.

it's a dreary march monday - but i am working hard to hang on to my weekend glow, and these springtime cookies from lesley hall's sweetie pies are certainly helping.

i want them all.
i hope the easter bunny is listening.


it's love.

you know that feeling when the perfect song comes on at the perfect moment? well, on my afternoon run today, the sugarland song it's love came on my ipod, just as i was rounding the corner with the most beautiful view of lake champlain. i love sugarland and i love love the lyrics of this song. and i love love love this weekend. it's love.

it's love - sugarland
is it the face of a child, is it the thrill of danger
is it the kindness we see in the eyes of a stranger
is it more than faith, is it more than hope
is it waiting for us at the end of our rope
i say, it's love. i say, it's love.
is it the one you call home, is it the holy land
is is standing right here holding your hand
is it just like the movies, is it rice and white lace
is it the feeling I get when I wake to your face
is it the first summer storm, is it the colors of fall
is it having so little and yet having it all
is it one in a million, is it a change to belong
is it standing right here singing this song
i say, it's love. i say, it's love. i say, it's love. i say, it's love.
is it a veil or a cross, is it the poet's gift
is it the face that has launched over thousands of ships
is it making you laugh, is it letting you cry
is it where we believe that we go when we die
is it how you were made, is it your mother's ghost
is it the wish that i'm wishing for you life, for your life, for your life
i say, it's love. i say, it's love.
i also love that sugarland is touring again this summer with several stops in new england. love.


road trip.

today is one of those days where the world feels full of limitless possibilites. this feeling comes from the fact that it's friday, it's spring and we have NO plans until monday morning.
that is basically heaven.
so, i think to celebrate this perfect trifecta of a weekend, i am going to kidnap my favorite person on the planet and just see where the dirt roads takes us...
packing list: sunglasses, sneakers, camera and maybe a few 40 oz beers...
happy weekend! xoxo


yellowbird designs

oh! i'm just loving this little apron. oh so betty draper. and oh so vermont...
(well, i suppose it's only "vermont" because the lovely designer calls it home, but hey, that counts!)
thank you, yellowbirddesign for inspiring me on this comfort food thursday.


love & luck.

today was all about a few of my favorite things - love, luck & irish smiles. so as this luckiest of wednesday's ends - a little blessing for you all.
* * * * *
wishing you a rainbow,
for sunlight after showers.
miles and miles of irish smiles,
for golden happy hours.
shamrocks at your doorway,
for luck and laughter too,
and a host of friends that never ends
each day your whole life through.
* * * * *
happy st patty's day!


keep me posted.

another sign of mudseason here in northern new england-
weight limit road postings.
plus - you have to love official road signs that use spray paint and sharpies.


top ten tuesdays - thank you, simon....

...once again, you delivered.

i had friends visit vermont this weekend and we had the most perfect leisurely lunch on saturday at an alltime favorite of mine - simon pearce. admittedly, i could sit at a table with friends and wine and conversation for hours - whether it be a picnic bench, a kitchen counter or a table covered in white linens. there is just something so special and unique about the moments that happen around a table. but if you are someone that needs the table to bring a little something extra, the tables at simon pearce come VERY highly recommended.
the sp experience (yup, i just named it) is one of a kind, and one that keeps me coming back and serves as a fantastic place to bring guests from afar. so, for this week's edition of top ten tuesday, i bring you the top ten reasons to LOVE simon pearce.
  1. the bread & butter - according to gourmet magazine "the coarse ballymaloe bread that arrives at your table with a crock of sweet butter is, almost alone, worth the trip" agreed.
  2. the table setting - crisp white table cloths, handblown water and wine glasses and the most beautiful salt & pepper shakers ever. makes it perfect even before the food comes.
  3. the cheddar ale soup - worthy of all the hype.
  4. the waitstaff - so friendly and so knowledgeable. i learned more from our waiter while he was uncorking our wine bottle than i usually learn in a day (or 2 or 3...)
  5. the view - the dining room, which is open air in the summer, and circled in glass in the winter months, has jawdropping views of the ottaquechee river, complete with a waterfall and covered bridge. doesn't get much better than that.
  6. the history - simon opened his first glassblowing studio in kilkenny, ireland in 1971, came to vermont in 1981 and today has grown the company into one that is known worldwide for their simple & timeless craftsmanship while still calling vermont its home.
  7. the glass - it's simply beautiful. each piece handcrafted from the onsite glass blowing studio. pretty darn special and pretty darn local.
  8. the shopping - while you are waiting for a table you get to wander around the showroom full of their exquisite glass, pottery, woodware and woolens. all lust worthy. but make sure to head upstairs to their seconds room where you are sure to find some more affordable treats!
  9. the book - simon and pia pearce wrote a book about their way of living which they describe as "a family centered on beliefs in living simply, cooking great food, and enjoying beautiful, functional objects every day" how can you argue with that?
  10. the memories - growing up, going out to dinner was a special treat that we saved for special occasions like birthdays, graduations, and holidays. everytime we went to simon pearce it marked a very special occasion and a reason for us to be together as a family and to be celebrating the moment. so to me, the sp experience is one of a lifetime of memories. oh, just imagine the memories still to be created for us all...


wanna buy an island? yes, please.

thanks to the recent issue of seven days i am dreaming in real estate today, and i am dreaming big.

garden island, the lake champlain hideaway and the former summer retreat of president william taft is...FOR SALE.

the compound has a main house along with five cottages, all named after trees - willow, maple, oak, etc. PLUS, there is a victorian lookout tower and a gazebo (and oh boy, do i love gazebos) all set on 30 acres nestled in a protected waterfront off the "coast" of charlotte.

and it could be mine (or yours) for just a few million bucks...
...oh the parties we could have! *sigh*


can you quintessential-ize stowe?

well, that's exactly what wants to know.

and who is trazzler, you ask? well, it's a super cool travel website that, rather than trying to tell a story about an entire city or place, focuses on a particular moment, action, experience, observation, insight, or sensation that defines the location. and, trust me, it works. because in reading the wonderful and insightful entries, it will make you long to experience and recreate these exact same moments.

plus, the even cooler thing about trazzler is that they want to hear from you! every few month they have a writing contest that invites YOU to be the local (our tourist) expert and to write about an experience that you have had in one of their selected locations.

the three locations selected for this month's contest are louisville, kentucky and san fransisco, california and stowe, vermont! so, to all you writers/bloggers/vermonters out there, i challenge you to a contest. submit to trazzler your thoughts on what makes stowe, vt so fantastic. if nothing else, it gives us all some new ideas and places to explore (and a chance to win some really cool prizes!)

so take some time to think about those moments in life when you really stop and pay attention to the here and now. because, really, what is more quintessentially vermont than living in the moment?


comfort food thursday - the sweet spot.

can comfort food thursday be a dessert?
well, this week anyway, the answer is yes. because what is more comforting than bread pudding - warm sweet bread, cinnamon, syrup...i mean, really, it doesn't get any better than that. plus, this recipe is so seasonally appropriate and one that i think a certain member of my family would just melt for. thanks to the wonderful folks at farmplate kitchen for this decadent treat. happy thursday!

maple bread pudding
what you need:

  • 6 cups 1-inch bread cubes (about 1 pound) — red hen’s pain au levain is perfect here
  • 1 cup dark raisins or frozen sour cherries (on sale this week at middlebury natural foods co-op!)
  • 2½ cups half-and-half from your favorite vermont dairy
  • 6 cage-free eggs
  • ¾ cup vermont dark amber maple syrup (look for a grade A dark amber or even a grade B maple syrup. The darker color indicates a stronger maple flavor, which only adds to the richness of the recipe.)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or almonds (optional)
  • vermont creamery mascarpone or wilcox dairy vanilla ice cream, to serve (or my new favorite ben & jerrys limited edition flavor - ginger snap!)
what you do:
generously butter a 2-quart baking dish. combine the bread and raisins or cherries and place in the buttered dish.
whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended. pour the mixture over the bread cubes and set aside for 15 minutes to let the bread soak up the liquid.

preheat the oven to 350ºF. set the baking dish in a roasting pan. add water to the pan to come 1½ inches up the side of the dish. bake for 1 hour. sprinkle the top of the pudding with the chopped nuts, if desired, and bake until the nuts have browned, about 30 minutes longer. serve warm with a spoonful of mascarpone or vanilla ice cream.
Serves 6 to 8.


she is correct.

my fabulous friend in the superburbs & i seem to always be on the same page in life. we have been known to dress the same, finish each others sentences and we always seem to click at the exact same moment. we also use phrases like "that is correct" and "you are dead on" a little too often. although, i have to admit, there is something so magical and comforting about having people in the world who are always on your page, no matter how many dirt roads may lie between you. and that, my friends, is the beauty of the blog world - you can stay connected and in sync from miles away.
and today, from the woods of vermont to the superburbs of rhode island, we are both in the midst of a love affair with barns and the rustic simplicity that they bring to the table. she is correct, the inspiration board above is just a little piece of heaven.

(inspiration courtesy of style me pretty)


barn love.

i love barns.
why? it's simple. they are full of history and character and details.
all things i love.
but this one just might be my current favorite....
...i mean, what is not to love about a barn with a whole lot of heart?


top ten tuesdays - staycation.

it's tuesday. and here in vermont, we are feeling a bit under the weather. the sun was shining today, but the nights are still chilly and perfect for cozying up with some hot tea (no wine, we're sick) and dreaming about a little local spring, er, mudseason getaway. a romantic staycation to celebrate the fact that we made it though the long winter and the brief lull before the summer kicks into full gear.

i think i will be selecting one of these from the top 10 romantic getaways for our little imaginary getaway. all include several key ingredients - porches with rocking chairs, homemade jam for breakfast, innkeepers with wonderfully classic names, fireplaces, wine cellars and beds that make you want to sleep for days(that's probably just they nyquil talking) plus some of them are so quaint and romantic, they don't even have websites. bliss.

  1. the inn at weathersfield
  2. the arlington inn
  3. white house of wilmington
  4. four columns inn, newfane
  5. windham hill inn
  6. mountain top inn & resort
  7. white rocks inn
  8. rabbit hill inn
  9. the inn at the round barn farm
  10. beaver pond bed & breakfast

recommendations welcomed and appreciated. thank you, thank you.


mudseason tablescape.

there is no such thing as spring in northern new england. the seasons are fall, winter, mudseason, and summer. needless to say, this unique season comes with its own set of challenges - specifically when it comes to getting dressed, nesting, and throwing fantastic imaginary dinner parties. but this morning, i discovered the perfect mudseason tablescape.
rustic simplicity with just a hint of winter and a glimpse of things to come.
pinecones + tulips + numbered apothecary jars = perfection all i need is the perfect party barn to host this wonderful dinner. well, that and someone to tell me what to wear today...


holy panthers!

congratulations to the panthers of middlebury for winning the 2010 nescac title!!

tonight, like so many other nights, i am a very proud den mother.
bring it on, plattsburgh. sat, 3/13 7pm.


stack of heaven.

i am heading out for my morning run and i think today i will spend the next 10 miles dreaming about a little stack of heaven known as penny cluse cafe's gingerbread pancakes.

now, to make them at home or to treat myself to a breakfast out? that is the question.

gingerbread pancakes
what you need:

  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup butter (melted)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

what you do: combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. combine all wet ingredients in a medium bowl. add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined—do not overmix. warm a greased griddle on medium heat. cook the pancakes until golden brown and cooked through in the middle. serve with plenty of vermont maple syrup ('tis the season!)


nesting, a verb.

i am nesting. or that's what my mom told me when last week i admitted to cleaning the inside of my microwave (high point? low point? not so sure.)

so, rather than ignore it, i am going to embrace this so-called nesting phase. which means that this weekend will consist of the following nesting activities...

  • labeling my new spice jars - nutmeg, cumin, oregano, oh my!
  • some quality time with mrs. meyers
  • purchasing the perfect spring doormat for my nest (thank you, pottery barn)
  • searching for a treat or two at my new favorite home consignment store, anjou and the little pear - maybe they will have my dream chicken wine pitcher (my new obsession thanks to last night's chianti infused dinner at three tomatoes)
  • cursing the fact that there is nearly 200 miles between me and the closest target. what is a girl to do!?!?
  • cleaning my microwave. obviously.


sunshine and smiles.

i'm not sure what makes me happiest (yes, it's a word) about this photo. the sunny and warm-ish weather forecast or tom messner's smiley face. regardless, it's a great way to start the weekend.
(please excuse the cheesy blog post title. it's been a long week)


comfort food thursday.

this week's addition of comfort food thursday comes to us all the way from the california kitchen of my inspiringly creative cousin (much more on her and her blog to come) this recipe includes so many of my favorite things - sweet potatoes, thyme, edamame (it's just fun word to say!) and a good ol' slow cooker.

now if only i had thrown all of this together this morning, my vermont kitchen would smell simply delicious tonight. sigh. maybe risotto for breakfast tomorrow?

sweet potato and barley risotto
what you need:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups of sweet onions chopped (about 3)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 med-sized sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 2 med-sized carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (recommends “better than bouillon” stock bases – they are concentrated – as opposed to buying the boxes – and have no artificial stuff. we like that.)
  • 1 cup of frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2 T fresh parmesan cheese
what you do: in skillet, heat olive oil. add onion. saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. add garlic. cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is softened. spray slow cooker with cooking spray. add sweet potatoes, carrots, barley, thyme, salt and three cups of broth. stir. add in the cooked garlic and onion mixture. stir again. cover and cook on low 4-5 hours. thaw edamame in remaining one cup of broth. stir into the barley risotto mixture. increase setting to high, cover and cook another 25-30 minutes until edamame are tender. serve in bowls and sprinkle with parmesan.


top ten tuesdays - tap, tap, tap...

it is maple sugaring season here in vermont - the 6 week event that starts now, just as winter is losing its grip and lasts until mid april when (we hope) that the weather ceases to drop below freezing every night.

lots more to come on this topic in the coming weeks, but for now, i thought we would start with a top ten tuesday (one day late) featuring the top ten reasons to LOVE sugaring season here in vermont…

  1. the romance and ritual - “sugaring is a tradition founded on romance and ritual. the gathering of sap excites native vermonters as they court the maples, determining the precise time to tap and capture the crystalline liquid traveling through its veins. the syrup processing ritual is eagerly anticipated regardless of the hard work and long hours spent laboring over the sugar pots. why? because the maple syrup gathering season is short-lived and often unpredictable due to new england's variable weather conditions."
  2. the woodpiles being put to good use - it's like they wait all winter for this…
  3. the containers - there are soo many to choose from! glass maple leaves, tin jars, gallon jugs, mason jars - all with different logos and designations. oh the decisions!
  4. sugar.on.snow.
  5. the history - maple sugaring has been an early spring tradition ever since the eastern woodland indians discovered that maple sap cooked over an open fire produces a sweet sugar. legend has it that an iroquois hunter returned to his dwelling and found an enticing sweetness in the air around the kettle in which his mate was boiling meat. the fluid in the kettle was sap and had been collected beneath a broken maple limb. to make their sugar, they would cut a slash in the maple tree and collect the sap as it dripped out. logs were then hollowed out, and filled with the fresh sap. white-hot field stones were added to cause the sap to boil. when the first european settlers arrived, the indians traded maple sugar with them and eventually taught the settlers the secrets of the maple sugaring process. how smart were they!?
  6. the smells of the sugary smoke billowing out of the sugar shacks
  7. the treats - pancakes, pancakes and more pancakes. fresh maple syrup is the perfect excuse to indulge in this heavenly breakfast treat (recipes to come this weekend)
  8. the big weekend - The 9th annual vermont maple open house is held at sugarhouses throughout the state march 26-28. this is your chance to visit one or more sugarhouses and celebrate this uniquely vermont tradition. activities include the opportunity to watch maple syrup being made and sampling maple products. (yes, please)
  9. the cooking show - vermont public television’s seasonal cooking special: simply maple. executive chef sean buchanan of the stowe mountain lodge and his guests as they demonstrate recipes featuring vermont’s sweetest ingredient, maple! local chefs and old time sugar makers will prepare their tried and true family favorites. So set your dvr for this saturday, march 6th at 2pm. (repeats several times throughout the month)
  10. the products – there is maple sugar everything! maple sugar candy, maple taffy, maple cream, maple butter and my favorite…the maple cremee.

    tap, tap, tap…sugaring season here we come.

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