This Year’s Obligatory North-Country-Sure-Is-Cold Post

sm-thermometerI have a house thermometer, but it’s a cheap one. It only goes down to zero degrees. I also have a good, Northeast Kingdom thermometer that goes down to minus 60, but that one’s nailed to the outside wall of my milk house, a good hundred yards away across my dooryard and the paved road. Entirely too far from my kitchen door, in other words, to just casually “go check” on an early, arctic morning like this one. Especially before coffee — because in such cold as this, the trip requires dressing up: Continue reading

HLF’s Extremely Good Vermont Squash/Apple Soup

It’s that time of year…


A stick of butter
A sort of large sweet onion
2 pretty-good-size butternut squash
A little olive oil
2 granny smith apples
Some maple syrup (dark amber is best)
A little bottle of cider (a pint is more than enough)
A quart of stock (vegetable or chicken – not beef)
Salt, nutmeg and ginger & fresh sage
1 cup heavy cream (or half n half)
(Some like cloves or cinnamon, but I don’t.)
Duct tape. Continue reading

Hay-days and Summa Thundah!

The grass is slain.
Out the side of my house, the long hayfield that lies between my lawn and the gray house next door lies slain. The first cut of this hay season was Monday. At about five in the evening I cracked open the basement door for the breeze and lay down a moment on the couch to watch a documentary about Mongolian camel drivers Continue reading

Careful, I’m packin’

The tree on the right has Mall Rat's Knee.What a freakin’ gorgeous day Saturday was! A bonus day – it was supposed to be rainy and chilly, and instead it’s been absolutely beautiful outside. The snow is utterly gone at last, the grass is coming up thick and bright, the apple trees are in bloom, and so are the dandelions. Dandelions grow so thickly around here this time of year that it is easy to overlook their distinctive characteristics. But according to World Weeds: Natural Histories & Distribution, by Holm, Doll, Holm, et al., Continue reading