This past weekend was Yom Kippur. Considering I don’t have a great track record of keeping fasts (flashback to freshman year, when I went straight from Hillel services to the New England Dessert Showcase…), I didn’t even attempt this year. In fact, I pretty much did the complete opposite. Instead of laying in bed thinking about food for the majority of the day, I drove 2 hours north to VT on a touristy food adventure with two of the other interns #worstjewever (…Except maybe not? Stereotypically I was just doing what Jews do best?).
Being the OCD planner I am, I mapped out a plan so we could be as efficient as possible with our time. Though the drive was rainy, it was absolutely gorgeous driving there as the leaves are changing. There is nothing like fall foliage in New England.
Our first stop was brunch at King Arthur Flour’s bakery/store/cafe, which broke up our trip because it was an hour away. From the cafe area, I bought a ham and cheese croissant, cappuccino, and two flourless chocolate walnut cookies to go.
That’s right. I bought FLOUR-LESS chocolate cookies at King Arthur FLOUR. Oops.
We then walked around the store a bit. I obviously wanted to buy everything in site, but I resisted. The store has a full demo kitchen with employees making food nonstop for shoppers to enjoy; the garlic rosemary foccacia was delicious, fresh out of the oven. I ended up settling with a not-too-expensive purchase: a pumpkin cookie cutter (I figured with Pumpkinfest coming up soon, I’d probably want to make pumpkin-shaped cookies at some point) and a King Arthur Flour popover kit. I’ve never made popovers myself so I’m excited to try it soon.
From King Arthur, we continued north to Waterbury, the home of Ben and Jerry’s. As it was a rainy Saturday in a touristy area, it was packed. The tour wait was an hour, so we bought our tickets and wandered around a bit, paying a visit to the ‘Flavor Graveyard.’ This was such a creative touristy gimic I loved everything about this morbid ice cream personification.
We still had a half hour to kill and it was too crowded to just hang out and wait inside, so we got back in the car and drove a mile up the road to our next destination, the Cabot cheese annex store. We spent the next 20 minutes waiting in line to try about 20 different cheese cubes, and then had about 4 minutes to stuff our faces with tiny cubes before racing back to the car (literally, running in the rain) to get back to Ben and Jerry’s in time for our tour. Our timing was perfect and we began our tour of the ice cream factory.
Unfortunately, they don’t actually make ice cream on Saturdays, so after watching a 10ish minute video about the company’s history, we learned about the ice cream making process from our tour guide while overlooking the silent, motionless factory. After this educational part, we went into a tasting area (the best part obviously) for some Q&A and samples. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to choose the sample flavor (it changes every day so you get what you get), but it was strawberry cheesecake which I liked and is a flavor I would never actually buy myself at the store, so it was good to try something new and different (as in, not my usual B&J Half Baked froyo). I didn’t complain. There were leftover samples after everyone had gotten their’s, so I took one for the team and got a second sample cup #noshame.
We got back in the car and, once again, drove to Cabot because the first time was too rushed to thoroughly enjoy the store and actually shop around. I bought a block of cheese (one of the flavors I had tried from the sample area) because I couldn’t not. It was hard to just pick one. Of course, their cheese is sold at all the grocery stores around Keene, but I wanted to buy Cabot cheese actually from Cabot. The store also sells cheese ‘accessories,’ if you will, such as wine, beer, crackers, cheese plates, etc.
Next to Cabot is Lake Champlain Chocolates (they even share a parking lot). I hadn’t heard of this company before, but I am not one to turn down a chocolate shop. The chocolates were pricey so I limited myself to a tiny 2-truffle box and settled on a pumpkin-filled truffle and a white chocolate raspberry truffle. They lasted less than 24 hours and were delicious. If and when I see their chocolates in stores around here, I would definitely buy their products in the future.
Our next stop was Cold Hollow Cider Mill, yet another short mile down the road. Again, it was packed with the same tourists we had seen at Ben and Jerry’s and Cabot, but enjoyable nonetheless. We were definitely disappointed by the cider donuts; we had been very much looking forward to them (you can smell the delicious cinnamon-sugar fried goodness from the parking lot) and they just weren’t as good as it smelled (the cider donuts from Alyson’s 3 weeks ago were way better). I did, however, enjoy a free sample of cider, watched the cider being pressed, and bought a half gallon of cider to take home with me. And, bonus–it’s pasteurized!
Our last stop was the Green Mountain Coffee Visitor Center. The building looks like an old train station that was converted into a coffee shop–very cool. We walked around a bit, listened to a short tour video (that we definitely didn’t pay for…whoops), got some samples, and headed back to the car for our 2 hour drive back to Keene.
No shame–I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hungry by the time I got home…