The Seasons of Vermont

Vermont is a state ruled by seasonality; discover what each season brings near the Golden Stage Inn bed and breakfast in Southern VT. From dangerous hurricanes to the first gentle snowfall of winter, there’s often something to talk about!


Vermonters create Dinner Specials: Indian & Farm-to-Table Cuisine!

This June, visit the Golden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast near Ludlow, VT to enjoy two spectacular dinners specially prepared for you by Vermont cooks!  The first will be authentic, homemade Indian cuisine; the second will be a Vermont farm-to-table dinner sourced with fresh, organic ingredients from local farms and fields.  Our specials page will tell you how to book your dinner reservation along with your room or one of our spring specials and packages.  Read on to find out more…but be warned in advance that your mouth may water!

June 7th, 2014: Authentic Indian Food with Lini Mazumdar of Anjali Farm and Lotus Moon Medicinals

lini-at-vermont-farmers-market-indian-cuisineOn June 7th, prepare your taste buds for a trip to India…while spending the evening at our Vermont Inn.  Lini Mazumdar has won the Amateur Chef Competition at the Taste of Vermont’s Stratton Festival in both 2013 and 2014.  She lives and works on Anjali Farm with her husband and is passionate about sourcing organic ingredients and Vermont local foods as the season permits.  Experience her talent firsthand through the Golden Stage Inn’s special Authentic Indian Cuisine Experience.  Arrive around 6:00 pm to enjoy appetizers & beverages, and to meet Lini and watch her cook in the Golden Stage Inn’s open kitchen!  Dinner will be served around 8:00 pm, and recipes will be provided for you to take home with you.

 

 

The evening’s menu will consist of:

  • Daal (Indian stewed lentils)
  • Basmati Rice
  • Spiced vegetables
  • A meat dish
  • Raita (seasoned yogurt dip)

Here are some sample dishes from her website to give you an idea of what you might see at our first Vermont dinner evening:

  • Basmati Rice with peas and onions
  • Red Lentil Daal with carrots and cilantro
  • Braised greens and garlic-y potatoes
  • Carrot and apple Raita
  • Chicken with ginger-cumin tomato sauce
  • Aromatic mixed grain pilaf
  • Green mung bean Daal with ginger & garlic
  • Homemade Paneer with spinach or peas
  • Fresh beet-root Raita
  • Ground lamb with mint, potatoes and peas
Fresh tomatoes from Anjali Farms during Vermont Farm Trail's 2011 Dinner

Fresh tomatoes from Anjali Farms during Vermont Farm Trail’s 2011 Community Harvest Picnic

Lini Mazumdar also specializes in herbs, as she is a certified Herbalist through the Southwestern School of Botanical Medicine.  She is a certified Ayurvedic Nutrition Consultant and caters Indian food for local Vermonters.  She has created organic Vermont herbal products for sixteen years.  Since moving to Vermont, she has cooked her delicious and healthful Indian cuisine using Vermont local foods and fresh, organic ingredients.  Her passion for plants, organic practices, and medicine translates into the health-inspiring and palate-delighting dinners she creates.  Learn more about her business, Lotus Moon Medicinals.  Anjali Farm has hosted Vermont farm-to-table events and dinners, including…

  • Vermont Farm Trail’s “Community Harvest Picnic” with Chefs Amy Chamberlain, Mike Noyes and Jason Tostrup in 2011
  • Mach’s Traveling Pizza Oven Night in 2009
  • “A Chef’s Harvest” with Chef Michael Noyes in 2007
  • and The Vermont Fresh Network’s very first on-site farm dinner in 2005!

June 21st, 2014: Vermont Farm-to-Table Dinner with Chef Nicholas Matush

By late June, farmer’s markets in Vermont will be packed with fresh local produce.  The best way to enjoy the bounty?  Kick back for a delectable five-course meal created by one of Vermont’s very best local cooks.  Nicholas Matush creates stunning dinners using Vermont local foods including meat, dairy, vegetables and more. You may even get a taste of Mad Pickler products, grown and pickled at Nick’s homestead in Springfield, VT!

Nicholas Matush graduated from New England Culinary School’s satellite campus in the British Virgin Islands.  His passion for food extends beyond the kitchen to the farm and soil.  He strives to create meals that please not only the palate, but also the artistic and aesthetic senses.

Nicholas Matush has worked at several fine dining and farm-to-table restaurants across the country, including Little Palm Island in the Florida Keys and Joseph’s Table in Taos, New Mexico.  Internationally, he was Sous Chef at Brandywine Bay Restaurant in the British Virgin Islands.  He was honored to be Chef Davide Pugliese’s sous-chef at the James Beard House in 2010.  Recently, he has started getting back in touch with the land, creating a pickling business called The Mad Pickler.  See below to admire some of Nick’s recent homemade meals!

vermont-local-foods-gourmet-meal

Picante gazpacho with pesto crostini

vermont-farm-to-table-dinner

Ramps ravioli with brown butter, fiddlehead ferns, and Mad Pickler’s herbal beets

Gypsy Mussels with kalamata olives, Mad Pickler's hot peppers, tomato, garlic and grilled Orchard Hill Country Loaf

Gypsy Mussels with kalamata olives, Mad Pickler’s hot peppers, tomato, garlic and grilled Orchard Hill Country Loaf

 

BYOB cocktail hour for both events starts at 6pm.  Tickets are $50 each, and are limited in supply.  Please order in advance to assure your spot!  We hope to do more dinners like this in the future to support local agriculture and the Vermont farm-to-table movement.  Don’t forget to look into our Road Trip Package or Foodies Getaway to make the most of your spring vacation in Vermont!

Vermont Maple Sugar Weekend

Lucky for those with a sweet tooth and love for all things maple, Golden Stage Inn is one of the few bed and breakfasts in VT offering a special for Vermont Maple Sugar Open House Weekend.

Our Gone Sugarin’ Weekend will be filled with maple-bedecked breakfasts and afternoon treats as the smell of this delicate sugar made from the power of photosynthesis wafts through the kitchen doors to the rest of the inn. Mention the special when you make a reservation at our bed and breakfast for the weekend of March 22nd and 23rd and receive a complimentary bottle of local maple syrup from the innkeepers upon your arrival. If your mouth is already watering, try one of these recipes from Vermont Maple Sugar Maker’s Association.

Fun facts:

  • Vermont produces more than 40% of the nation’s maple syrup.
  • It takes 40 gallons of sap to create just a single gallon of maple syrup!
  • Hannah Teter, Olympic gold medal winner, credited VT maple syrup as her key to success.
  • A grove of maple trees is called a ‘Sugarbush’  and are tapped in January and February.
  • The Golden Stage Inn’s ‘Gone Sugarin’ Special is featured in BnB Finder’s blog.

 

Interested in touring local sugar shacks that produce Vermont maple syrup?

Let us know and we’ll connect you with several great maple syrup producers within driving distance of the inn. You’ll be astonished with how much hard work – on the part of both the people and the maple trees! – goes into a single ounce of syrup, or a single piece of maple candy. I recently came across a unique Vermont product that uses exclusively Vermont-produced maple sugar, and is mainly sold in Vermont and a few surrounding states… Yolo (a made up word standing for ‘you only live once’) produces popcorn snacks, including those lightly popped with maple syrup. Yummy! Restaurants in the area are hopping on board with the maple theme as well and including delicious syrup in various supper recipes. We’d be happy to recommend a maple-themed dinner reservation for you. There are also several maple-themed libations produced in Vermont, including Boyden Valley Winery’s Maple Reserve and Maple Creme Liqueur, Vermont Gold Ultra Premium Vodka, and several beers from Vermont breweries including Rock Art, Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Long Trail Brewery.

Processing maple syrup is still a career that many in Vermont depend upon for their livelihood. Maple products are a source of pride for Vermont residents, and provide an edible connection to an integral part of Vermont’s history and economic development.

Watch the video below to learn about how processing Vermont maple sugar is both a career and a lifestyle, as well as a family tradition and Vermont emblem.

This March, sugarin’ season sure will be sweet!

-Sophi Veltrop, The Golden Stage Inn

March Events in Ludlow, Chester, Springfield and Londonderry

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! In the spirit of having fun while you can, we want to connect guests staying at our bed and breakfast with Southern Vermont events in nearby towns including Ludlow, Chester, Springfield and Londonderry! Mardi Gras was celebrated in our own town of Proctorsville VT with a celebratory party at the Crow’s Cafe Bakery pictured below.

Mardi Gras Party at Crows Bakery Cafe in Proctorsville Vermont

Events for this weekend, March 8th-9th

On March 8th, demo all types of skis and snowboards at Jackson Gore base of Okemo Mountain Resort, just a 7-minute drive away from Golden Stage Inn bed and breakfast. Get your energy up with some delicious maple syrup at the Vermont Country Store’s ‘Sugar on Snow’ tastings during every weekend in March! Yummmm. Two of their locations are not far from our bed and breakfast; one is in Rockingham and the other in Weston. If your sweet tooth is satisfied, keep in mind that our bed and breakfast has a new special for maple lovers during the weekend of March 22nd-23rd, which is Vermont’s Annual Open House Weekend for sugarers across the state. March 8th is also Okemo’s Light the Night Rail Jam with tons of prizes. If you’re looking for fun with the family, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ is playing in Ludlow Town Hall at 7pm as part of the town’s free film festival.

On Sunday, March 9th, you can learn to ski or snowboard for free at Bromley! They have a new Terrain-Based Learning slope…from the perspective of a snowboard instructor, it sounds like a great way to learn and I might even check it out myself just to see how it works. For foodies or those who want to do some shopping on their way back south, the Taste of Winter Market is happening in Springfield at the plaza from 2-4 pm. There’s no produce like Vermont produce.

Next weekend’s events, March 13th-17th

On March 13th, The Downtown Grocery, a new farm to table restaurant in Ludlow Vermont, is hosting a benefit event. Each ticket is $75, a steep price but a good cause for constructing a bike path through Ludlow to make our town more sustainable and accessible. The menu includes a five-course meal paired with beer, wine and cocktails. March 14th brings another merry evening of food and drink with Fullerton Inn offering a wine tasting paired with dinner. Looking for music to enjoy? Okemo’s Sugar Daze concert series continues March 14th and 15th with Kip Winger at the Sitting Bull  on Friday and Matisyahu at Jackson Gore Base on Saturday. Local band Gypsy Reel will be opening; they are a fantastic blend of Celtic tunes, French Canadian folk and New England roots music…I would go just to see them! They are also playing at the Sitting Bull at 2:30 on Sunday, and at Killarney’s St. Patrick’s Apres Ski Party on Monday the 17th…St. Patty’s Day!

If you visit Vermont in March, we hope to see you soon at Golden Stage Inn Bed & Breakfast in Proctorsville VT!

-Sophi Veltrop, Golden Stage Inn

 

Your February Guide to Winter Fun in Vermont

With two feet of snow in the past week and another 1-3 inches expected today, winter fun in Vermont is going strong, and we want to be sure our inn guests have all the details on local happenings.  Looking forward through the end of February and into March, visitors to Central Vermont are staying busy with plenty of activities and events happening nearby our VT bed and breakfast.  This week, Okemo Mountain Resort’s events include a nature program on Vermont birds of prey, a nighttime ice skating party, and a sell-out comedy night.  A new exhibit featuring local artists is opening in Windsor, and a film screening of The Vermont Movie is happening right down the street during the Cavendish Historical Society’s annual meeting.

This week’s winter fun in Vermont…

February 20th  (That’s tomorrow!) 

Vermont Institute of Natural Science in QuecheeVINS, or Vermont Institute of Natural Science, is hosting a Live Raptor Encounter at The Roundhouse at Jackson Gore in Ludlow, VT.  Show up at 7 pm to see the falcons, hawks and owls that call Vermont home.  VINS is located 45 minutes away in Quechee, Vermont, and is a great place for lovers of wildlife and nature to visit if bad weather gets in the way of time spent outdoors. They are also hosting a Winter Wine & Dine on Sunday, February 23rd.  Meet at 5 pm to snowshoe through the woods, followed by a three course meal at Marshland Farm.

February 21st

Okemo Mountain Resort hosts Shakin’ Skate for a second time this winter.  This party includes a live DJ and tons of games for the family to enjoy.  From 6-9 pm at the Ice House at Jackson Gore in Ludlow VT; admission is $10 and skate rentals are $5.

February 22nd

Nuance Gallery in Windsor VT is opening their new exhibit, ‘Making Visible,’ from 4-6 pm. Featured artists include Valery Woodbury of Springfield VT, who will show her pastels, oils and watercolors, Michelle Woodbury who will display nature photography, and Nance Silliman, owner of Nuance Gallery. The Making Visible show runs alongside the Luminaries Exhibition, featuring fine arts and crafts from more than ten artists from Vermont, New Hampshire and beyond.

Popular comedian Bob Marley appears at Okemo Mountain Resort for the mountain’s 12th annual Comedy Night.  Marley has appeared on The David Letterman Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Comedy Central – he was also in the film The Boondock Saints!  Doors at 7, show at 8, with a cash bar for 21+.  You can book tickets in advance, as this show has sold out in the past.

February 23rd

As mentioned above, the Winter Wine & Dine presented by Vermont Institute of Natural Science is occurring from 5-9 pm.  In addition, the Cavendish Historical Society’s Annual Meeting will be screening “Freedom and Unity – The Vermont Movie Part One” at 6 pm at the Cavendish Elementary School.  If you can’t make it but are interested in the film, explore the Vermont Movie’s website or watch the trailer here.

Vermont has more to offer in March…

March will continue the winter fun in Vermont with Mardi Gras celebrations on the first of the month.  The following weekend offers a day of free ski & snowboard lessons at Bromley Mountain in Peru, VT, as well as the ‘Taste of Winter’ Market in Springfield for all the travelling foodies and farm-ies out there.  And the weekend after that brings the Sugar Daze concert series to Okemo with Matisyahu and other star musicians.  If those stellar acts don’t get your sweet tooth thinking about Vermont Maple Sugar Weekend on March 23rd, maybe our maple-themed breakfast offerings for that weekend will!  Don’t miss out on winter fun in Vermont this year, and keep an eye out for our upcoming March event calendar for the Southern and Central regions.

Maple Sugaring Open House Weekend March 2014

Witnessing A Honeybee Swarm (2013-July)

A swarm in May is worth a load of hay,

A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon,

A swarm in July ain’t worth a fly.

 

Simply put, a swarm is a beehive’s way of reproducing.  In the Spring, if the queen of a hive is strong and the population of bees plentiful, the queen will leave the hive with nearly two-thirds of the hive’s bees to find a new home, leaving the original hive to rear a new queen and continue on.  A honeybee swarm is an amazing sight to witness.  A strong hive may have 60,000 bees, so when the queen leaves with her followers, she’s in the air with nearly 45,000 bees.   An awesome vision, the bees fill the air like snowflakes in a blizzard.

 

So it was this that Michael noticed through our solarium window.  We have three beehives at our Vermont Bed and Breakfast and one of them is just outside our breakfast room.  This is the hive that had released its bees into the yard, completely consuming the front lawn – bees in the grass, bees climbing the hive boxes, bees in the air.   We watched for several minutes, waiting to see where the bees would land – because that’s what the poem up above is all about.  Ideally, the honeybee swarm will land in a place that we can catch them and relocate them to an empty hive box.  If it’s early enough in the season, say May or June, the bees will have plenty of time to draw out their honeycomb and fill it with enough honey to survive the inevitable winter season.  The earlier, the better, because a May swarm will not only make enough for its own stores, but honey for the beekeeper too!  But if it’s late in the season, the bees prospects for survival are just not as strong, so they’re not as valuable to a beekeeper.

 

Our own honeybee swarm was in the first couple days of July so I was feeling pretty optimistic about the bees being able to pull it together and make a go of it.  With this eagerness, we waited for the bees to settle.  A honeybee’s swarm schedule is pretty predictable.  The bees leave the hive in a flurry, then they settle on a nearby branch dispatching several bees to scout the area for a suitable new home.  This can take a few hours or a few days.  The swarm waits patiently in a cluster – well, a “cluster” is sort of an understatement.  The mass of bees crawling over one another and hanging off of one another is the size of a basketball with thousands of bees sprawling along the branch for several inches in every direction.  One of the coolest parts of seeing bees in this state is that the bees are super passive and very unlikely to notice a human’s presence, so we’re able to stand freely and watch the magic.

 

Unfortunately for us, these bees settled on a branch three stories high.   There was no prudent way to catch them, so we were forced to accept this a donation to nature.  The bees would find a new home, move into it and continue the tradition of bee-ness elsewhere. (In the photo — which was taken from 30 feet below –you can see the brown clump.   That’s the mass of 40,000 bees or so.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes a picture just doesn’t do justice.)

 

The bees remained on their branch for two overnights, through the torrential downpours that have so marked this Spring. And then on a sunny afternoon, after returning from errands, we found the branch bare.  The queen and her acolytes found a new space while the hive they left behind awaited the birth of their new queen.  Within days, their new queen would emerge and this ‘daughter hive’ would be complete once again.

 

Our Bed and Breakfast is located in the Okemo Valley of Vermont.  We have two sheep, nearly two dozen chickens (fresh eggs!), and three beehives.  Ask about getting a tour of a beehive.  You can don a beekeepers suit and veil — or watch through the windows from the comfort of our solarium.

-Julie-Lynn Wood, Innkeeper, Golden Stage Inn

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