I have the hardest time writing about the places I love the most. Or more accurately, I have a hard time editing myself because I want to talk about everything, which would be both cumbersome and desperately dull. Vermont is a good example of this because I want to write about the really fabulous teenager I met once on a plane, and the Bennington Battle Monument, and the Latchis Hotel in Brattleboro, and about how Wilmington, this odd little enclave between Bennington and Brattleboro looks more like a movie set than a town, and the pure joy of driving through the Green Mountains in summer, not to mention the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour, Green Mountain Coffee, and the cheese we get every year at this place called Hogback Mountain…oh my the cheese!
See what I mean?
I’ve been reading Tracey Medeiros’ Dishing Up Vermont in preparation for writing this post. It’s a beautifully photographed book that celebrates the farms, dairies, and orchards that populate the state. As one of the early adopters of the farm-to-table philosophy, Vermont has much to celebrate and I want to cook everything. Well, everything except the meatloaf. I could do an entire post about how the phrase “I don’t like meatloaf” always leads to “that’s because you haven’t tried mine.” Chances are very, very good that I have tried yours, or at least a version of it because I’ve had literally hundreds of them thrown at..er, served to… me, and I can say unequivocally that I don’t like meatloaf. Meatloaves. Whichever.
I’m digressing again. A classic cheese soup is absolutely on the menu for this trip, but I’m still struggling to choose a second recipe to play with. While maple seems like an obvious, and delicious, choice, I keep wandering back to The Three Stones, a Mayan restaurant in Brattleboro. I grew up on Tex-Mex and thought I had at least an idea of what to expect, but The Three Stones took everything I thought I knew and flipped it onto its head. One of the stand-out surprises was an onzicil (pumpkin-seed) salsa with panucho–a stuffed tortilla similar to an empanada. I think I might need to recreate that, particularly as pumpkin seeds are in season.
In the meantime, I’ve managed to find a few pictures from our travels through the state. It turns out that most of my Vermont photos are either in my head or have people in them. For a minute, I thought I was going be reduced to posting the picture of a cheese sandwich that I picked up in a London train station–I have more pictures of that than I do of Vermont. I’m not sure what this says about me.