In just a couple of months, this same picture will be covered in snow. Taken August 2013.
Summer has come and gone, with little to no blogging accomplished. I have no excuses. I had every intention of displaying my favorite summer recipes that used all of the veggies out of my new garden, but instead gobbled most of these up before I had time to snap a couple of photos. No worries, though, I will be writing some more about the summer in the upcoming days. Then, maybe once I am all caught up, I can get back into current blogging.
Anyways, I really had another amazing summer. It was so great, that I feel fine with letting it go and welcoming Fall with open arms.
Anth and I kicked Summer off with a visit from my parents. We were able to show them around some of Vermont including Burlington and Stowe and made sure they ate and drank the best of Vermont (maybe too much!). Trapp Family Lodge, pictured above, offers amazing views, delicious beer made on the premises, and a variety of luscious baked goods.
We also started our first real garden this year. We have been wanting a garden for the longest time, but have been moving in and out of new places with little to no land over the past two and half years during summer. This year, we moved to our new place, that had some room for a small garden in May, and were quick to start planting. Considering the hard ships many gardeners and farmers had this year with too much rain, we had a bountiful year. Here, you can see our baby kale turning into more adult kale. It was convenient and fun having kale, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and parsley whenever we needed it. In addition, we had beets, zucchini, mint, hot peppers, and chives at other times.
We didn’t end up camping as much as I had hoped but did get a trip in at the beginning of summer. Our favorite place to camp in New England is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This time we ended up at a cute little campground set right behind a covered bridge.
Shortly after camping, we made our way into Portland, Maine for the “Festival“, an amazing international beer event. There, we got to chat with some of our favorite brewers from across the world, while also sampling their beer. We love Portland, so we also enjoyed the weekend eating, drinking, and basking in the sunshine around the city.
As I briefly mentioned above, cooking this summer was fantastic. I had so much to cook with from the garden, plenty from the farmer’s markets, and it seemed like everywhere we went, we were ending up with more vegetables and meal ideas. Although soup is usually thought of as a savory winter meal, whenever the garden would get too overwhelming, I would end up throwing everything together for some of the best summer vegetable soups I have ever had. One of my favorite memories of this summer, is having the door wide open, Pup laying outside in the sun, while I cook up a hearty vegetable soup.
Summer in Vermont is not complete without a trip to see Bread and Puppet. I have other posts on here just about Bread and Puppet, so if you have never heard of it, take a look here.
I continued my mentorship with Jeremy this summer and we ended up having all kinds of fun, finally getting to enjoy swimming holes and hiking. One of his favorite places ended up being Moss Glenn Falls which is located in Stowe, Vermont.
The Festival wasn’t the only beer festival of the year. Of course, we also enjoyed the Vermont Brewers Festival that takes place right on Lake Champlain. This year the underdog breweries were the highlight, and I will be adding an article about it shortly.
Surprisingly, Anth, Pup, and I also took a trip outside of New England this Summer. We usually try to save those types of trips for the other seasons, but when my Mom invited us down to the Outer Banks for a few days, we just couldn’t pass it up this year. I was able to show Pup and Anth all of my favorite childhood spots, including my favorite Southern Lighthouses.
This year, I finally jumped the Ausable River Gorge, right outside of Lake Placid. We had toyed with this idea late last Summer, but were never able to figure out the logistics of it at the time. This year, though, I took the leap.
Most of our Summer was spent enjoying hikes, covered bridges, and brewpubs right in our backyard of Vermont and New Hampshire. As usual, the Vermont Summer activities did not disappoint.
Almost 200 years ago, during an embargo on English goods, Vermont’s Long Trail was used as a smuggling route for British goods and supplies. Then, 100 years later, the trail was used once again to smuggle alcohol from Canada during the Prohibition. Smugglers used Smuggler’s Notch, made up of dense woods, dark caves, and steep cliffs, to aid in their operation. These days, modern day smugglers make their way through the Notch to get their hands on delicious, and completely legal, beer and food from Vermont’s new brewpubs: the Crop Bistro and Brewster River Pub.
The easiest way to begin your smuggling adventure is at the Crop Bistro and Brewery off route 108 in Stowe, Vermont. The Crop Bistro and Brewery has been open since January of 2012 and brewing beer since January of 2013. They have a pub type area perfect for snacks and beer, in addition to bistro style dining, both indoor and outdoor. The brewmaster is Will Gilson, a 20 year veteran of the industry, who was previously Moat Mountain Smoke House and Brewing’s brewmaster. Although Crop seems to specialize in German lagers, Gilson also produces deliciously hoppy IPA’s and even tart cherry milk stouts. In addition to a solid selection of house-made beer, Crop sustains a magnificent bottle and draught list, including beers handpicked from Vermont and around the world. I prefer to spend my time in the pub where I can sit at the bar with their hoppiest house beer, their house-made pickle of the day, and a big soft pretzel.
The real smuggling adventure begins as you continue on route 108 towards Mount Mansfield and Brewster River Pub. You’ll continue along 108 as it slowly begins the ascent up Mount Mansfield ultimately zig-zagging around large boulders towards the top. When you finally make it to the top, you could park your car for some hiking around amazing views, waterfalls, and caves, however, your mission requires you to begin the descent into Jeffersonville and, ultimately, the Brewster River Pub and Brewery.
Positioned right down the road from the locals’ favorite skiing resort, Smuggler’s Notch, the pub has a classic ski lodge feel to it. Yet, it is equipped with an outdoor volleyball and horse shoes, perfect for spending time outside during those beautiful summer sunsets behind Mount Mansfield. Brewster River Pub is also the most indoor fun available on Jeffersonville’s side of the mountain with free pool on Sundays, pub quiz night on Mondays, and open mic night on Wednesdays. Most importantly, though, co-owner, Bill Mossinghoff, started brewing Brewster River’s own beer this year in their brand-new brewing system. Brewster River consistently has at least a couple taps devoted to their house beer with recent offerings of a rye IPA and a barleywine. Visitors can look forward to a multitude of styles including an Irish red ale and a honey orange blonde beer. In addition to the tasty beer, Brewster River offers food that utilizes local ingredients to create delectable bar food such as duck wings and Andouille corn dogs in addition to different sandwiches and burgers. I couldn’t pass up an order of Chili Rellenos washed down by their house-brewed barley wine.
You won’t go thirsty when visiting the Stowe-Smuggler’s Notch region, but if you do find yourself looking for more, check out nearby drinking attractions Smuggler’s Notch distillery in Jeffersonville, Rock Art Brewery in Morrisville, and Lost Nation Brewery also in Morrisville.