Crystalized Ginger

This is a “three-for-one recipe” using only two ingredients – ginger and sugar! You can always have crystalized or candied ginger in the pantry if you make it yourself! If you have a local source for ginger, even better! Our Vermont farmers have started growing fresh ginger during our long daylight hours of summer. They grow…

Mulled Apple Cider

Cider mulling in the kitchen is the aroma of Vermont in Autumn. Add a crackling fire in the hearth, and you’ve no reason to venture out. I’m not sure if the wood smoke of the fireplace makes the cider taste better, or if the cider makes the fire dance more slowly. Either way, it’s a perfect…

Haymaker’s Switchel

The original energy drink from Colonial times, haymaker’s switchel has kept New England farmers, and others, well hydrated in the humid summer months. (Rum optional). When I was a child, once in a while someone in the family made haymakers switchel. I didn’t care for it much as a kid, but a few years ago,…

From the Treasure Box

Vintage cookbooks are a window on another time, and a record of how we lived and fed each other My late mother-in-law Pat was the second wife of my husband’s father and an amazing addition to the family she was. Cooking was the biggest part of Pat’s life; she was an accomplished chef and restauranteur…

Fairy Punch

This rhubarb punch makes its appearance in the spring, just about the time the fairies wake up from their winter’s rest and start to explore the spring garden. When the kids were very young, we started searching for fairies in the garden. We actually got a photo of one once, in the early spring after…

Homemade Limoncello

Just three ingredients, and a flavorful lemony liquor is yours––well, in just a month or so! But it’s worth the wait! Picture this. Warm summer afternoon. You are sitting under a lush lemon tree in Tuscany, chatting with your friends, birds are singing, there’s a gentle breeze floating through the green countryside, and you are…

Sylvia’s Floating Islands with Hot Buttered Rum Sauce

And a few simpler techniques for a festive holiday dessert in no time For a treat on cold winter days, our mother would often make us floating islands of luscious meringue in soft, spiced custard; we all thought it was good, and the little islands were fun to play with. My own children loved this…

A Really Good Cup of Hot Chocolate!

       First snow today! There will be a need for a good cup of hot chocolate, and I’m ready. After making snowmen and forts with my brothers on cold, blustery days, Mom would have steaming hot chocolate waiting for us! Nothing tasted better, and nothing warmed us more. As an adult, I often…

Conjuring Clarified Consommé

It’s Kitchen Magic at its Best! It really seems like magic when you take a pan of murky stock and in just minutes transform it into crystal clear broth! There is no nutritional reason to clarify stock, it is all about the appearance and nothing more. But if you have never done this, it is…

A Perfect Cup of Tea!

A perfect cup of tea is whatever you want it to be! The weather turned, and the iced tea stepped aside, replaced by the steaming pot. One of the most enjoyable parts of running our small Vermont inn was the ritual of afternoon tea – that little stop at 4 p.m. to nibble a snack and savor…