Eating Through the Green Mountains of Vermont
Samuel de Champlain, the Governor of New France, claimed the area around what is now Lake Champlain (yes, he discovered the five great lakes) as part of the Kingdom of France's colony of New France giving the area the name Verd Mont (“Green Mountain” named for the Green Mountains which run north-south in the middle of the state). When the English began to settle the area, it morphed to “Vermont.” Both New Hampshire and New York tried to claim the Vermont territory as their own, so in 1770 Ethan Allen and others recruited an informal militia known as the Green Mountain Boys to protect the territory’s interests— especially against those newcomers from New York. Now, if only they were like the My Girlfriendships® crew, there would have been peace a lot sooner—right, girls?
Vermont is well known for several edible items:
- Cheddar cheese. In the ratio of dairy cows:people, Vermont has the highest in the country
- Maple syrup. It’s the leading producer
- Breweries per capita. It’s #1
- Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream®. It’s home to their headquarters (Did you know that they give their ice cream waste to the local Vermont farmers who use it to feed their hogs? The hogs seem to like all of the flavors except Mint Oreo. Guess what else? Ben and Jerry graduated high school with the husband of one of us at My Girlfriendships®).
Remember when we visited Washington State and talked apples? Well, the East Coast, specifically Vermont, has its share of apples as well. In fact, the apple is the official state fruit. Vermont’s long, warm summer days, abundant rainfall, rich soil, and crisp fall nights produce apples with character, flavor, and crunch. Whether we’re looking for apples for eating, baking a pie, or cooking, Vermont has a variety to suit all needs. They are always ready to welcome visitors to their orchards for an apple picking adventure, a cold glass of apple cider, and some cider donuts.
The perfect use for apples is this easy, fresh, and delicious Apple Salad with Pecans and Raisins.
Ingredients for 6 | Multiply by degree of hunger, divide by number of girlfriends!
- 5 medium Red Delicious apples
- 1 medium lemon, juiced, about 3 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Lettuce leaves, for serving
Wash the apples, but do not peel them. Core the apples and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes.
Sprinkle cubes with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
In a large bowl, combine apples with celery, pecans, raisins, and 1/3 cup mayonnaise. Gently mix. Add more mayonnaise if desired.
Serve scoops of apple salad on lettuce leaves. Enjoy.
Fresh pecans work nicely in this dish, but to bring out their flavor even more, toast them first. Place the nuts on a baking sheet coated lightly with cooking spray, and bake at 350º F for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully, as the pecans can burn easily.
Are you in Stowe and looking for a place to gather with girlfriends for a dinner night out? Here is a great option!
- Harrison’s Restaurant, Stowe | Kathy Kneale and her son Andrew opened Harrison's Restaurant with the goal of creating a place that was a reflection of their lives growing up and working in Stowe. They wanted a place where locals and visitors could enjoy comfortable, creative, and affordable food in an environment that was casual yet upscale and unique to Stowe. A place to meet old friends and new, have a romantic date night out, or just to unwind with a nice glass of wine (hello My Girlfriendships crew!)
The menu is filled with delicious dishes made from fresh, local fare, including the appetizer Burrata. It’s fresh burrata cheese, winter citrus, fig jam, butter lettuce, and poppy seed dressing. We’ll be following that with the Heirloom Mushroom Pasta. It’s locally produced pasta, house mascarpone, herb puree, and local egg. Can you get any more delectable?
Are you in Burlington and looking for a place to gather with girlfriends for a dinner night out? Here is a great option!
- The Farmhouse Tap and Grill, Burlington | This is a farm-to-table gastropub serving local burgers, charcuterie, cheeses, and innovative specials. The tap room offers highly prized beers from Vermont's backyard and beyond. Their full menu is available in the downstairs Parlor bar and their outdoor beer garden for everyone’s enjoyment. Continuing with an unintended vegetarian theme while visiting Vermont, the Crispy Quinoa Cakes, roasted zucchini & corn, shaved fennel, arugula, cherry tomatoes, and harissa yogurt sounds perfect to us.