Three Cheese Macaroni

Comfort Food: Lasagna

BBQ Grilled Cheese

Pork Sandwiches

Final Northern VT Tour

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yes. You read correctly. I will no longer be living in New England. My husband has accepted a new job in Wisconsin, so we will be moving back to the Midwest. Of course I'll miss the area and the cheese around here, but I am totally psyched to be back. {Sidebar} If you know of any cheese companies near Madison that are hiring... {End Sidebar}  Being one of our last few weekends out East, we decided to hit up a few hot spots that we had yet to see. I'm filling up my Vermont Brewery Passport (only one brewery left, mind you) and we needed to visit Rock Art Brewery

4 samples for $3.50 plus a free glass.
Rock Art has a nice shop that's conveniently located next to a snowmobile trail. We got to take a tour of the plant and sample some of their excellent beers. My husband was a big fan of some of their darker beers, though I prefer the lighter ones. I'll catch on eventually. Some neighborly men graced their presence at the tasting bar and talked about their basement brewery back home.  Apparently they have at least two beers on tap at all times - my kind of basement. Anyways, Rock Art is moving! They bought a new building closer to the main drag and will be moving there shortly, if they haven't started already. {I apologize for the lack of beer-knowledge in this post. If my husband feels like commenting with more details, you can learn more from him.}

Next was Mt. Mansfield Creamery. Stan is a riot. He was more than happy to show us around and explain his cheeses to us. He brings his milk over, from a nearby farm, in six milk cans. By the end of the day, his cheeses are put in the aging room, rotated on a daily or weekly basis and develop rich, creamy goodness.  He makes havarti and some French style washed-rind cheeses.

The farm Stan gets his milk from is into registered cattle as well, so we enjoyed learning about their experiences in the industry and marveled at the kids' ribbons from showing at 4-H dairy shows. Those were the days...
Our next stop was to Hardwick, VT. My husband and I went to a book signing in Brattleboro for the book The Town That Food Saved a while back.  I actually went for work, but the subject matter was personally interesting. The book is all about the local food movement and how Ben Hewitt, the author perceived this movement in saving a town's economy.

In the book, Hewitt talks about a restaurant called 'Claires'.  The restaurant bases its menu on food that's locally available and what's in season.  The restaurant is community supported and strives to be fully involved in local businesses and events.

Blueberry Mascarpone Cheesecake
We enjoyed our dinner at Claires, but couldn't help but be slightly disappointed in the helpings vs. the price. We tried to keep their mission in perspective, but our cheese fondue came in a small ramekin with to-hard-to-bite pieces of bread.  We were impressed with the blueberry mascarpone cheesecake, though. Served in a mason jar, the cheesecake was a perfect helping for two and inspired me to make something similar in the future.

Our last stop for the evening was at another micro-brewery called Vermont Beer Company in Bradford, VT. They don't sell any of their beers outside of their establishment.  Only four beers were on tap when we arrived - and they were all fairly dark beers, so my husband was in heaven. I, on the other hand, couldn't handle it. Some day I will build up the tolerance, but I'm not there yet.  We did have some deep-fried pickles as a late night snack, so I was satisfied.

Our day-trip was very enjoyable and educational. There were a few horrifying moments as our car slowly started to slide backwards down a snowy hill (we were able to back up and get turned around), but it was a true Vermont trip - and I'm glad we were able to finish it off with such a great experience.


Andrea Warren said...

Wow, when are you moving?

February 21, 2011 at 4:38 AM
Alise said...

We've moved! I was only there for a week before I came back to VT for cheesemaking classes though... so hopefully I feel settled in in the next two weeks or so. :) When's the baby coming!?

February 27, 2011 at 3:38 PM

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