Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Autumn in New England: Part 5

Cranberry and pumpkin French toast (without the hot maple syrup)
  As I'm going to take the day in chronological order, I'll start off with breakfast. Not that I'm obsessed with food you understand, I just feel it's my duty to dwell on all aspects of our trip - and food is turning out to be a major feature of our days. 

Our breakfast menu began with a two flavour yoghurt and granola palate teaser before we got down to a hard core plate of cranberry and pumpkin French toast with crispy smoked bacon served, for those with a stronger constitution than I, hot maple syrup. Hey, we are in Vermont - everything comes with maple syrup. Do I hear you ask what cranberry and pumpkin French toast is? Delicious is the short answer. The long answer is: think British bread and butter pudding but substitute the raisins and sugar with cranberry, pumpkin, cottage cheese and cinnamon. My daily bowl of Scots' porridge oats will seem like peasant food when I get back home.

After recovering from breakfast and after discussing how we'd spend the day with our guide, we decided that a morning doing 'touristy' things followed by a walk in the afternoon was what we'd do. In order:

1. Vermont was/is a large scale producer of marble so we visited the Marble Museum in Procter (definately not the same as the House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey which, for some unfathomable reason, seems to be a tourist attraction in Devon. Sensible people avoid it like the bubonic plague). An interesting interlude - the Procter Marble Museum, that is, not the House of Marbles, which isn't.
2. Then we went covered bridge hunting. Not quite the step into the unknown as the word 'hunting' might imply. We actually followed our guide who knew where they could be found. Four of them in all. I didn't know that they were covered to prevent the wood of the actual bridge structure from rotting too quickly. I also didn't know that, during the winter months when the roads were covered in snow and sleighs were the common mode of transport, snow was actually shovelled into the covered bridges so that sleighs could use them.
3. A picnic lunch was followed by a quick trip around the Vermont Museum of Maple Syrup. As someone who has no knowledge of how maple syrup is produced, I came away educated - and also replete from the free tasting samples available. Me? I'm definately a Grade B syrup person.
4. And then on to the Split Rock Loop trail for a short walk in a Vermont wood. Lots of leaves and some rolling countryside - very nice. We came across some efts crawling across our route in several places. What are efts? No, not refugees from one of Tolkien's novels but the terrestial form of the red-spotted newt or salamander. They looked like browny newts (surprise, surprise!) and live on land until they become fully adult and head for the water to breed. Not something we see in the UK.

After all that, it was back to the B & B for our evening meal - another delicious affair but I won't detail the menu as I've mentioned food far too much recently (but if you were interested it was proscuitto ham and pear with a minty dressing to start, wasabi topped salmon as a main and hot pineapple, pistachio nuts and creme fraiche as a dessert). And on that culinary note, I'll end.

A covered bridge - can't remember which one!

An eft minding its own business

I like the colours of the leaves on the ground

I liked the pattern of these ferns as well

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The bridge is called Hammond bridge which was the 4th one visited before the hunger pangs set in and we rushed off for lunch. One wonders how we managed to view so many bridges plus a marble museum inbetween eating!Jan