Overview of my Summer: 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.

Trapp Family Lodge

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.

Young Garden

Before

After

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

White Mountains

White Mountains

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.

Portland

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 Garden Cooking

Summer Garden Cooking

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.

Bread and Puppet Show

Bread and Puppet Show

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.

Jeremy at Moss Glenn Falls

Jeremy at Moss Glenn Falls

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.

Vermont Brewers Festival 2013

Vermont Brewers Festival 2013

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.

Inside of Ocracoke Lighthouse.

Inside of Ocracoke Lighthouse.

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.

Me jumping into the Ausable River Gorge.

Me jumping into the Ausable River Gorge.

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.

Martin Covered Bridge - Marshfield, VT

Martin Covered Bridge – Marshfield, VT

Sterling Pond - hike from Smugglers Notch

Sterling Pond – hike from Smugglers Notch

Hidden New Hampshire Covered Bridge

Hidden New Hampshire Covered Bridge

Hopping the Pond: Revisiting an Unlikely Friend

I’ve woken up, sweaty palmed, in a daze, just a few hours outside of Dublin by plane. That means I’m somewhere over the Atlantic, right around where I always seem to wake up, worried about colliding with the ice cold waters thousands of

Irish Breakfast en route to Brussels

Irish Breakfast en route to Brussels

feet below me. It’s funny how sweaty you can get over the idea of freezing to death.

It’s in that moment, though, that I realize I’m more than halfway there. Soon, breakfast will be served and so will preparations for landing. I’m able to trick myself into calming down, and before I know it, I’ve made my way to my favorite little spot in the Dublin airport where I can enjoy a true Irish breakfast: grilled tomato, vegetarian baked beans, over easy eggs, and of course a Guinness.

We used Dublin for the cheap plane tickets this time around. It’s a great hub for

Ryanair, and an easy stopover when it comes to transportation, language, food, and drink. On our way into Europe we only have time for breakfast here, but on our way out we’ll get to spend the night. We enjoy our breakfast before boarding the plane en route to see an old friend: Brussels.

Heading North: the Eastern Townships

Daytime Fireworks

Fall swept through Central Vermont early this year. We started seeing the first trees changing colors around the second week of September and most of the fun was over by the first week of October. Driving to and from work at that time was like watching a fireworks show during the day. Bursts of auburn, neon yellow, and bright orange illuminated the skyline with rich evergreens glaring from the highest of the mountain tops. Towards the end of September, however, we decided to head more north for the day to the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Though southern by Canadian standards, the Eastern Townships sit just north of Vermont not far from the American/Canadian border. This French Canadian area is dotted by picturesque villages, delicious brewpubs, and more wineries and cideries than all of Vermont.

The most delicious maple beer, from Brouemont – Bromont, Quebec

We made the short day trip up to visit the towns of Dunham and Bromont in order to visit two of the best microbreweries that the area has to offer. We started in Bromont, home of the brewpub, Brouemont. This brewery lies at the base of Mount Brome which is a popular spot for skiing and snowboarding in the winter. Within minutes of sitting down, I was treated to a seasonal favorite, their maple ale. Now, I have had maple inspired beers before, but none have compared to this one. It can be compared to drinking a less viscous maple syrup minus the sticky mouth feel. After spending a year and a half in Vermont, I love the taste of maple, and so I really enjoyed this beer. Brouemont has about ten beers on tap, including their delicious honey/raspberry and the red ale, a Canadian favorite.

Brouemont Micro-Brasserie (microbrewery) – Bromont, Quebec

After my fill of maple beer we set off for Brasserie Dunham. Brasserie Dunham is set in a beautiful part of town with outside seating and a little bar inside. I was lucky enough to have a special beer that they had just brewed which was an IPA infused with guava and tea. They brew a variety of different experimental beers which we could have easily enjoyed if we didn’t have to drive back to the States.

Anthony in front of the Brasserie Dunham truck – Dunham, Quebec

Throughout our short drive through the Eastern Townships, we saw cideries and wineries every few miles. That’s the great thing about the Northeast, there is always something to go back for.

Eastern Townships Wine Route, ‘there’s always tomorrow’.