New Spring Beginnings at our B&B

Southern Vermont is welcoming bluer skies, warmer days and greener scenery in the days to come! We all know the famous rhyme about March…”In like a lion, out like a lamb.” While there were no lions to be seen, Golden Stage Inn recently welcomed a new lamb (pictured below) to our Vermont B&B!

Annabel the sheep
In January, we sadly lost Athena, the bolder one of our two young sheep. Athena was a part of the Golden Stage family for just two years, and it was hard to lose her. Our other sheep, Shadow, was truly distraught. Sheep are accustomed to companionship, as they are usually part of a flock. From the moment Athena passed, Shadow made it clear she did not care to be alone with loud, constant bleats.

We set out immediately to find Shadow her new roommate (or, barnmate!). We lucked out. We called our ‘sheep guy’ (doesn’t everyone have one of those?) and learned that he was bringing all of his ‘extra’ sheep to market the very next morning and the inn just happens to be on his route. So before lunch the next day, he pulled in with his trailer full of lambs, and we were able to select which one we wanted to keep. We were delighted to have found Shadow a new companion so quickly. She was pretty happy too — her loud bleating stopped instantly — and she immediately began showing our newest addition how things are done. With the stomp of a foot, she’d correct her new sister when her immature behavior was too reckless for Shadow’s liking.  Til this moment, Shadow had always been the shy one, but with a younger sheep around, it was amazing to see how much bolder she became.

So now, we’d like to introduce you to Annabel! She is the cutest little sheep ever! We still can’t get her to eat from our hands, but we invite you to take the challenge and try to win her over. (It was a young guest who was the first to feed Shadow!)

Annabel headshot

 

 

…And we think the chickens like her too!

 

Golden Stage Inn Free Range Chickens

Spring Events in the Okemo Valley

The Okemo Valley of Southern Vermont has a few noteworthy events coming up this spring! There’s fun for families at the Grafton Nature Museum or at Billings Farm in Woodstock. Foodies will delight in the spring offerings at Hidden Kitchen at the Inn at Weathersfield. A variety of events will please art and nature lovers, too. Our favorites are listed below; you can also peruse the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Calendar of Events to see even more spring events.

At Six Loose Ladies, join Beginning Knitting class any Thursday through the end of May…

Six Loose Ladies, a wonderful crafts and fiber arts store just a stroll from our bed and breakfast, is offering free beginners knitting lessons. Bring your knitting needles the next time you visit Southern Vermont and you’ll walk away with new skills. No registration required; simply show up at 6 ready to learn to knit!

For adventurous kids who love getting outdoors in Vermont, discover a nature camp through the Grafton Nature Museum…

On April 21 from 10 am to 3 pm, kids ages 10-14 can join Wild Walkers. Pre-registration is required for this wilderness awareness day camp. Kids will engage their minds and bodies while foraging, fire-making, shelter-building, and more. $30-35 covers the day.

On April 22, kids ages 6-9 get their turn to explore Vermont’s woods with the Grafton Nature Museum. At “Brave Bears: Free Spirits Vacation Camp” kids will learn about how Native Americans lived in the days before European settlement. Games, activities, and exploration of a pond, a stream, and woods will make the day a true adventure…culminating in story-telling and marshmallow roasting around the fire! $25-30 for the day (also 10 am-3 pm).

The second iteration of Grafton Nature Museum’s Brave Bears Day camp is on April 23, from 10-3. Your young one will learn to “Be an Eco-Hero”! They’ll learn about the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), play green games and create eco-art. $25-30 for the day.

Foodies, consider yourselves forewarned…things could get delicious!

In addition to Golden Stage Inn’s Foodies Package (available soon!) there are some amazing offerings at Hidden Kitchen, a culinary workshop venue at the Inn at Weathersfield.

On April 24-25, they are offering a Kitchen Garden Design and Garden Cooking Adventure with special guest author Ellen Ecker Ogden (The Complete Kitchen Garden). $230 per person includes a 2.5 hour garden design class, a 2.5 hour cooking class, a 1 hour lecture, lunch and dinner.

On May 16, Hidden Kitchen is offering a workshop called “Wild Flavors: Celebrating Greens Cultivated and Wild”. Special guests are Chef/Cookbook Author Didi Emmons and David Craft PhD, author of “Urban Foraging”. You’ll learn about growing, foraging and cooking wild and cultivated greens. Dine on your culinary creations for dinner, supplemented with dishes from the Inn at Weathersfield. $195 per person includes 5.5 hour class and dinner.

Billings Farm Opens on May 1 with fun activities all weekend…

Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides and free ice cream on the opening weekend of Billings Farm in Woodstock, Vermont. On May 2 and 3, watch sheep herding with Border Collies and sheep-shearing. A children’s art show will also be on display.

On May 23 and 24, head to Billings Farm for a cheese and dairy celebration. Sample cheeses and dairy products and meet Vermont cheesemakers. Learn about how to make ice cream, butter and cheese. Discover the rich history of Vermont dairy.

We look forward to welcoming you at our Southern Vermont bed and breakfast this spring! Please give us a call with any questions you may have: (802) 226-7744

Discounted Lodging for Fletcher Farm Students!

Last week we announced one of our three spring lodging specials:Vermont Snowdrops, Ludlow VT

For the months of April, May and June, students of the Fletcher Farm School for the Arts & Crafts will receive 50% off their stay of 3 nights or more! Please call or email the Inn to make your reservation. Enjoy a lovely spring vacation getting in touch with your creative side…

Fletcher Farm School for the Arts & Crafts offers classes of varying levels and subjects. Classes are offered for complete beginners as well as those seeking to further develop a long-time skill. Find topics familiar and unexpected, all taught by qualified and helpful instructors.

Below is a list of classes offered during our Inn’s spring lodging discount. Click on the art or craft class to see a full description, read about the instructor, and register.

APRIL FLETCHER FARM CLASSES

Fabulous Fibers

Primitive Stencil Apple Checkerboard

Playful Painting with Alcohol Ink

Painting Spectacular Flowers in Watercolor

The Wonder of Color

Introduction to Silversmithing

MAY FLETCHER FARM CLASSES

Primitive Stencil Floorcloths and Placemats

Painting in Acrylics

Digital Imaging

Pastel Painting Streams and Waterfalls

Intaglio Printmaking Workshop

Introduction to Silversmithing

Living Willow Structure for the Garden

JUNE FLETCHER FARM CLASSES

Fantasy Felting

Creative Art Class for Young Artists

 

Not an art student at Fletcher Farm School, but still seeking a spring discount on your Vermont getaway?

Check out our Specials page to see what other spring discounts we’re offering at the Inn! Specials and packages change seasonally. Available now is our ‘Rent the Inn‘ discount–ideal for a gathering of friends, family or colleagues (without breaking the bank!). Coming soon: Foodie’s Getaway Package available through June. Stay tuned!

Harvest Pumpkin Soup with Garam Masala

IMG_6752Every winter, after Christmas passes, Golden Stage Inn welcomes guests with steaming afternoon soup to warm chilly bones from the cold.  The soup season is coming to a close, so lets send you off with a new recipe from this year.  This Harvest Pumpkin Soup recipe was created by Golden Stage Inn’s Marketing Assistant.  It is a perfect winter soup that brings out the nostalgic flavors of fall: pumpkin, apple and onion.  The spices in the Garam Masala mix lend to a particularly warming effect, enhanced by garlic, ginger and a touch of curry powder for heat.  You can buy Garam Masala spice mix at most grocery stores, or you can make your own with freshly ground spices.  The amount of curry powder used is perfect for those who aren’t “spicy eaters”, so if you like your soup spicy-hot, add more!  Another key ingredient is Wood’s boiled cider — an apple syrup that adds sweetness and acidity to the soup.  If you do not have boiled cider available, you can substitute one tablespoon maple syrup, one tablespoon apple cider, and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.  Wood’s cider mill is not far from Golden Stage Inn and makes a great day trip during the cider-pressing and maple-sugaring seasons.  You can also find the product on King Arthur Flour’s website.

Harvest Pumpkin Soup with Garam Masala

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)

1/2 sugar pumpkin (if you would rather used canned pumpkin, I believe this would equal 2 cans.)

olive oil

1 onion

2 small apples (or one large apple)

2 cloves garlic

fresh ginger (use a thumb-sized amount)

2 teaspoons Garam Masala

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

3 tablespoons boiled cider

1 teaspoon salt

 

1. Prepare pumpkin by cutting it in half and seeding it.  Place the two halves on a baking tray with a bit of water, open sides down.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes, until soft.

2.  Chop onions and apples.  Finely dice ginger and garlic.

3. Warm stock in a medium-sized pot with 2 tablespoons of Woods’ boiled cider.  Scoop out a half of the cooked pumpkin, and add to the stock. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala over the mixture and stir to combine.  Cook on medium high heat until simmering, then turn heat to low and simmer until the other ingredients are ready.

4.  Warm olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent, then add apples and continue to cook.  When both apples and onions are soft, turn heat to low and add ginger, garlic, curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon garam masala.

5.  Add mixed sauteed ingredients to the pumpkin stock and stir.  Add salt.  Simmer on medium low for another 5 minutes.

6.  To puree the soup, I used an immersion blender.  If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a stand-up blender or food processor.  Taste your soup and add extra curry powder, salt or garam masala if desired.

7.  Serve with a drizzle of boiled cider accenting each bowl.

Okemo’s Spring Schedule

Okemo’s ski season will likely continue into April, so get ready for spring skiing in Vermont! But before you plan your spring ski trip, please review this updated schedule for the end of the season:

  • Okemo Mountain will be open every day through April 12th.
  • After April 12th, Okemo will only be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Okemo Mountain services will be limited after Easter (April 5th). Call Resort Services for more details about what is or is not available after this date.
  • We’re not sure exactly when Okemo will close down the slopes for the season, because the conditions are weather dependent. Call Golden Stage Inn or Okemo to find out if the lifts are still running if you’re planning a last minute spring skiing trip.

With all the snowfall in February, the ski season should last a while longer! While we have run out of lift ticket vouchers at the Inn, Okemo is offering fantastic deals for spring skiing. Check out our End-of-Season Vermont Ski Deals blog post for all the details. If you plan a ski trip for the end of the season and the conditions are not ideal, there are also several alternatives to skiing at Okemo and in nearby towns. Read our blog post Okemo’s Other Offerings to learn about other fun activities.

Any other questions? Give us a call at (802) 226-7744.

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