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Swedish Smorgasbord Festivities

Seasons’ greetings and a happy new year to all from the Golden Stage Inn!

 

Our Christmas Eve of 2013 was as packed with merriment as the Inn’s dining rooms were packed with people for our traditional Swedish Smorgasbord.  Guests, family and friends all came together to celebrate the night with good food and good company.  Julie-Lynn’s  parents are each half Swedish, so it has become a family tradition to celebrate this joyful time of year with a Christmas Eve Swedish Smorgasbord featuring all varieties of Swedish food, drink and decor.  The Anderson-Wood family members spent the day preparing a multi-course meal – including appetizers, main dishes, and sweets for dessert.  Their efforts certainly paid off!  Supper attendees were welcomed into the living room glowing with a crackling fire and sparkling Christmas tree.  Conversations filled the rooms while we helped ourselves to hot drinks and appetizers.  Guests brought their own beverages as well; a sure hit was the mulled wine, which the Swedes call Glogg (pronounced ‘glug’).  The decor went far past traditional New England Christmastime to include Swedish-printed tablecloths and painted horses. Paper napkins wished us “God Jul,” or “Good Yule” in Swedish, and a few Santa Lucia dolls holding Advent wreaths adorned the tables along with the miniature Christmas trees. Nana Rosemary Anderson, who took the pictures below, was even wearing her favorite blue Swedish sweater for the occasion.

Delicious almond cake and apple cake

At a little past seven, the main dishes came to the table piping hot and we served ourselves buffet style.  Everyone left with stomachs stuffed after enjoying homemade Swedish meatballs, pickled herring (or sil), beet salad, and potatoes and peppers in cream. A few American favorites such as macaroni ‘n’ cheese and baked ham made an appearance as well, and were a hit with the teenagers that were present! My personal favorite Swedish Smorgasbord dish was the red cabbage, which is simmered with apples and molasses. Papa Bert Anderson is a staunch advocate of sil and was encouraging everyone to add it to their plate, and several were brave enough to rise to the challenge. My father and a one of my brothers loved it – but reviews from other diners indicated this northern snack may be more of an acquired taste.  When the desserts came around, however, every single mouth was watering in anticipation! There was almond kaka  and apple kaka (cake), perfect for dipping in an after dinner coffee. Spice cookies and dark chocolate covered clementines finished off the array of sweets.  My family headed out once our plates had been cleared and our bellies were ready to undertake the walk back to the car.  We were invited to participate in the event not only because I recently began working for Michael and Julie, but also because we are new to the Okemo Valley area and slowly getting to know the area and its community.  The hospitality and friendship that the Golden Stage Inn family continually extends our way has been perhaps the warmest welcome we’ve received so far – and we aren’t even the guests!  Check out some photos of us and the other dinner guests enjoying this seasonal family-style Swedish Smorgasbord meal at the Golden Stage Inn’s Facebook profile.

 

Until next time; God Jul to all and may your 2014 begin with warmth and joy!

 

Swedish Smorgasboard with decor at the Golden Stage Inn

Featured Artist: Robert Sydorowich

We are blessed this winter to be displaying several watercolors and oils by talented Vermont impressionist Robert Sydorowich. His landscapes depict Andover, VT, where he has resided for over 40 years, as well as surrounding towns such as Weathersfield, Windsor, Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Wallingford, Plymouth, Weston, Quechee, Waitsfield, and Salem. In his own words, his creations strive to be “simple, focused, capturing the truth of the moment.” His work is featured in galleries across the state, in New York City, and even in London, as well as his own gallery in Andover. While his gallery, a converted 1000-square-foot barn, is in hibernation for the snowy months to come, a few of his paintings have found a temporary home in the Golden Stage’s living room and dining room, and the Inn’s walls are practically shivering with delight to be so beautifully adorned!

These gorgeous landscapes that our guests can now enjoy from the comfort of the indoors are reminiscent of the scenic country roads wandering to and from the Inn. Cows graze peacefully, ice-covered creeks wind between evergreen trees, snow-covered hills shelter silos and barns, and shadowy mountains undulate before lavender winter skies. Even the rusty, smoky colors of Stick Season become idyllic when interpreted by Robert Sydorowich’s paintbrush. [Stick Season, for those who may be hearing the term for the first time, is that period after the fall colors but before the winter snow, when deciduous trees are bare to the bones. Though this may sound bleak at first glance, many rejoice in November’s comforts: cider-pressing, root-crop and winter squash harvests, wool sweaters, pre-Christmas shopping, and the first wood-stove fires of the year!]

 

At this Bed & Breakfast, we do our best to support and advocate the abundance of local artistic talent available year-round. Robert Sydorowich will especially appeal to those of you who take an interest in art that reflects the natural world while giving you a full sense of what it means to call Vermont home. You can see two of the pieces featured at the Golden Stage Inn at Robert Sydorowich’s website, entitled Winter Reflections and Nancy Brook. The remaining paintings housed here cannot be viewed online, but there are several images on his website that depict scenes you’d be certain to see during a winter stay in the Okemo Valley region! These include maple syrup taps; a covered bridge; views of Okemo; and – most importantly – a cozy stove warming a sleepy cat and a pot of tea.

If you live in the area, we encourage you to seek out Robert Sydorowich’s fantastic impressionism in person, whether at a gallery near you or at our own first-floor-turned-art-gallery. This past fall, Sydorowich was featured in the Vermont Open Studio Weekend in conjunction with 130 other artisans and craftspeople. Hopefully he will be a part of the Spring 2014 Open Studio Tour as well, since it will be the Vermont Craft Council’s 20th year putting on this incredible promotion for VT crafts and art!

 

Okemo Valley Shuttle connects our Vermont Bed and Breakfast with Ludlow Restaurants (2013-01-23)

Okemo Mountain Resort has long offered a free daytime shuttle service, transporting skiers to and from the mountain and valley lodging for fantastic Vermont skiing.  However, come evening time, Valley travelers have had little option other than driving their own cars when heading into Ludlow nightlife.  Not only was this inconvenient for many, but with high drunk driving rates, it was also unsafe.  The Okemo Valley  Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Ludlow Police Department helped initiate a service to correct this deficit in our Vermont Ski Resort community.  As members of the Chamber of Commerce and as a directly-paying Vermont lodging property, we are proud to introduce the Okemo Valley Shuttle as a complimentary service to our guests.

The Okemo Valley Shuttle will drive an hourly loop through the valley, picking up and dropping off passengers at Ludlow hotels, condos, bars and restaurants along the way.  The route begins at Jackson Gore on the north and travels through Ludlow, ending at The Pointe Hotel, continuing onto Golden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast and Glimmerstone Mansion on a “on demand” basis.

Shuttle Service in Okemo Valley is complimentary to our Vermont Bed and Breakfast guests

The 24 passenger vehicle is available to travelers on winter Fridays, Saturdays, and holiday periods from 6pm through 2am, through the e­­­nd of March 2013.  A second vehicle, a 15 passenger van, is used for fare-taxi service in Ludlow and its surrounding communities. For taxi service, call (802) 438-8089.

The buses are owned and operated by The Good Bus, a local business offering taxi service and private charters for all occasions including weddings, bachelor or bachelorette parties, brewery tours, corporate outings and family reunions. Tesha Buss, owner of The Good Bus, says The Good Bus  “is excited to fill the transportation need for the Okemo Valley and contribute to the safety and vitality of our night life.”  For more information on The Good Bus and its services, you can call (802) 776-8333.

Unexpected Reunion results in Great Art Workshop

Facebook may be most known for absorbing colossal amounts of our time, but maybe it is best known for reuniting people who would have otherwise fallen out of touch forevermore.  When a facebook friend tagged me in an old high school photo, I smiled with nostalgia as I thought, “Hey, I remember that sweater!”   (I’m so deep, eh?!) But the true delight of the photo was being ‘friended’ by a few people who didn’t yet know I was on facebook.  One of those people was Arnie Casavant, the art teacher at my Alma mater (Oliver Ames High School in North Easton, Massachusetts).  I never took art, I don’t think, but he was also our class advisor. After a few “Nice to hear from you” volleys, consistent with common facebook protocol, our dialogue politely concluded.  Yet when he posted a picture of one of his own pieces of art,  our dialogue re-opened and we found ourselves discussing the possibility of his coming to teach a landscape painting art class at the inn.  (The first one is scheduled for July 13-15, 2012.  Details on the website.)  He and his wife drove to Okemo Valley, scoping out the potential painting sites in this art-rich area, and Michael and I visited with them in our living room for a couple of hours. What fun to talk through details of the painting seminar, but also to share some experiences we’ve all had in the 20 year space since last seeing one another (24 years really, in case anyone is counting!).  I’m not a huge facebook fan but am grateful for this chance to re-encounter a person from my past — and now of my present too!

Greven Field's "Green Monster" slain by Hurricane Irene
Flood Damage to Greven Field Green Monster

Solzhenitsyn Benefit Concert for Cavendish Ballpark (2012-4-3)

On April 6, 2012, Ignat Solzhenitsyn will be performing an evening of Beethoven, Schubert, and Prokofiev on the piano as a fundraiser to rebuild Greven Field in Cavendish, VT.  The field was absolutely demolished in August 2011 when Hurricane Irene flooded the area. Greven’s “Green Monster” (pictured above) was knocked down, chain link fences were lifted and mangled, bleachers and baseball gear literally floated downstream. (See some pictures below this post.)

 

Ignat Solzhenitsyn has generously volunteered to perform a benefit concert, with 100% of the ticket sales going to the Cavendish Proctorsville Baseball League.  This benefit concert was generously underwritten by the Cavendish Community Fund and Newsbank, Inc.  From Solzhenitsyn’s professional website…  Recognized as one of today’s most gifted artists, and enjoying an active career as both conductor and pianist, Ignat Solzhenitsyn’s lyrical and poignant interpretations have won him critical acclaim throughout the world. 

 

The benefit concert is on Friday April 6 at 7pm at the Green Mountain Union High School in Chester.  Tickets are $25 each or $20 for students.  Stay at Golden Stage Inn on Friday, present your ticket stub upon ‘check-out’ and we’ll deduct your ticket price from your room rate.

Flood Waters recede one day after Hurricane Irene

Greven Field, the day after Hurricane Irene

Greven Field, Hurricane Irene

dugout at Greven Field, the day after Hurricane Irene

Greven Snack Shack, Hurricane Irene Flood

Greven Snack Shack, the Day After Hurricane Irene

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