Posts Tagged With: food

Fired Up

To mere puny humans, the weather of late has made no sense. One Sunday morning you’re sitting on a bucket down-cellar, blasting hot air on a block wall to thaw the pipe from the well, which froze because it was twenty-frickin’ below zero outside, and the next there are robins in puddles in the dooryard.

The maple trees, however, seem to be fine with things as they are and the first run of sap in this neck of the woods has dribbled forth.

First Steam, 2016

First Steam, 2016

With the last of more than 2,000 trees tapped just the other day, the collection tank filled and today the arch was fired up for the first boil of the season at Bobo’s Mountain Sugar.

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A February Boil

When cold sap first warms enough to give off steam, the reaction to that smell is primal, like to the call of a loon or peepers on a warm May night. Intimately familiar in a distant, foggy way. Continue reading

Categories: Maple Syrup, Rural Life, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Day to Make Syrup

(This video is hand-held and rudimentary, just like me. It includes free cheesy ambient music, also just like me.)

April 11 was the kind of day we deserve around here after the winter we just went through. Waiting for the ice to go off Fish in a Barrel Pond, I spent it stoking the fire at Bobo’s and attempting some video. The result:

Categories: Maple Syrup, Rural Life, Vermont | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Emerges, Snarling

The curmudgeonly demeanor so essential to my charm nearly veered into the ditch of sociopathic behavior a few times this winter as the Shack Nasties made their annual bid for control. The Shack Nasties are terrible things, related to Cabin Fever but having nothing to do with the need to get outside. Cabin Fever is easily treated but the Shack Nasties are insidious and, once contracted, their cure consists mostly of endurance. Hundreds of blog posts and internet articles appeared this winter, with headlines like “Ten Quick Hacks to Beat the Winter Blahs” and I could almost relate, but my hacking was from working in the cold air and, on a good day, if I tried real hard, I could almost get myself worked up to “blah.”

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When folks who are used to a lot of snow say, “That’s a lot of snow,” you know it’s a lot of snow.

Ya think?

Ya think?

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Categories: Maple Syrup, Rural Life, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Flashback Friday: Food for Thought

Dining Out

Dining Out, 1950s Style

It used to be that a fire, a rock, and maybe a screwdriver, were all the implements an outdoorsy person needed to prepare dinner or a tasty snack. Some minimalists didn’t even bring a screwdriver, using old nails or even more rocks to open containers. Today’s outdoors folk, however, are a different breed with different needs. Some require ovens, pans, zesters, and appropriate stemware. Some prefer their meat refrigerated and their melons balled, and more than a few of them would never dream of sitting outdoors, in the dirt and among the bugs to consume their culinary creations.

These days at Fish in a Barrel Pond, we provide manual can openers and corkscrews and even electric mixers (good luck finding the beaters), but some showoffs well-outfitted anglers arrive with their own spiral slicers, immersion blenders, infusers and ramekins. A few have even learned to bring their own stemware, but that is not to say things were especially primitive back in the old days, as shown by this ad that appeared in the March, 1964, issue of Outdoor Life magazine:

Martini Tester

Martini Tester

Extra dry or regular, the perfect martini was sure to be the perfect complement for everyone’s favorite snack, advertised in bulk, in the pages of Field & Stream, June, 1963:

A Big Panful of Jerky

A Big Panful of Jerky

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Categories: Flashback Fridays, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Foodie Edition

Chef Gordon Ramsay evidently knows what is good for him and stayed away from here during his recent visit to Vermont. All things considered, it’s probably a good thing, but we were still a little disappointed he didn’t show, especially after taunting mentioning him in a post. It was actually a crass and cynical move on my part, to take advantage of an internet search trend like that, but it worked. The post I link to above, and the post I link to from it (Eugene, Purly and Chef Gordon Ramsay), diverted quite a bit of search traffic (gordon ramsay in vermont) my way and the hits just keep coming —two of them today alone!

I know some people are a bit taken aback when their innocent searches direct them to these pages but, unlike some practitioners of tenkara, at least a few foodies displayed a sense of humor upon their arrival. Some of them even became new subscribers to this blog. One in particular stands out, for a couple of reasons, and that is John-Bryan Hopkins, who has created the blog Foodimentary — A Food Lover’s Notebook.

Because of Mr. Hopkins, I know that yesterday was National P B and J Day. I celebrated National Peppermint Patties Day the day before, and National Have a Brownie Day the day before that, thanks to him. As long as he stays away from organ meats, lima beans and beet juice, I think me and John-Bryan Hopkins can have a groovy thing going on. But it is more than his pimping of sweet treats that makes me happy to make his acquaintance; John-Bryan Hopkins not only has a hyphenated first name, he also sports an ascot, making him the third person I know to do so. Before my outdoorsy-type friends chime in with their feelings regarding neckwear, and before my new foodie friends figure out what really goes on around here, I thought it would be nice to spend a little time standing together on common ground, celebrating both food and the great outdoors.

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Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Chef Gordon Ramsay in Vermont?

According to the Woodstock Early Bird, Chef Gordon Ramsay — or, at least his film crew — is in Vermont this weekend. Dear oh dear oh dear.

Considering what I’ve made up learned about him, I am not surprised to hear he and his film crew have become separated. Hey, it happens. I am not surprised he has finally made it to Vermont, but I don’t think it’s because of Vermont’s “foodie” culture or special culinary stand-outs. I just hope he hasn’t brought his lawyers with him.

It’s been nearly two years since his encounter with my friend Eugene and his pal Purly. Frankly, I expected to hear from him much sooner. Better late than never, I guess.

From the archives, dated March 30, 2010: Eugene, Purly and Chef Gordon Ramsay.

Yo, Gordo! If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the guy in the icy water, working a shovel. Come on over.

 

Categories: Humor, Stories About My Good Friend, Eugene, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

An Aside

Last night, as I was fixing a platter of wings (sauce: Frank’s Red Hot and butter), the cat had his face in his bowl, purring loudly as he ate. Later, when I got up from the couch for more wings and another beer (Long Trail Hibernator), he jumped off his chair and followed me to the kitchen, where he ate some more. When I went back out for another beer and a cookie (Pepperidge Farm Double Chunk Dark Chocolate), he followed me again and ate even more. It was the same thing when I got up for some ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla) and a brownie (home made) and later, when I went for another beer (Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter). He even followed me down at 2:00 a.m. when I decided to have the last slice of apple (Esopus Spitzenberg) pie and a hunk of cheese (Cabot Hunter’s Favorite Seriously Sharp Cheddar).

The cat eats all the time. No wonder he’s fat.

Categories: Humor, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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