Edie’s Vermont roots run deep

You really can’t appreciate Vermont without spending a fair amount of time wandering around on the extensive network of back roads.  These hard packed dirt tracks will lead you through woods and meadow past isolated farmhouses and estates to spectacular mountain and valley views. You will invariably pass an old cemetery, the occasional cellar hole, and always an array of old stone walls that seem to be in the middle of nowhere.  These are remnants of a Vermont of old.

Although it’s hard to imagine now, the Vermont of old was almost totally cleared of trees by early settlers.  There were many small communities scattered through the countryside that no longer exist.  All that exists, are the remnants–cemeteries, cellar holes, and stone walls.

Reading Center is one such town that no longer exists.  All that remains of Reading Center is a marker alongside Town Hill Road, what remains of an old schoolhouse alongside Brown Schoolhouse Road, old apple orchards clustered around old stone walls and cellar holes, and a collection of old cemeteries.

One of those cemeteries, the Swain Cemetery, lies hidden behind a couple of hunting camps, past the old schoolhouse,  alongside Brown Schoolhouse Road.  Edie’s people are buried here.

Edie’s full name is Edith Swain Janisse.  Her middle name, Swain, is her family name, and that family has deep roots in New England and Vermont.

Nathaniel Swain came to Vermont from Reading, MA in 1785, settled upon and cleared a 250 acre farm.  Nathaniel had three sons.  One of them, Nathaniel Jr., married Charlotte Sherwin and the two of them farmed that original homestead until Nathaniel’s death in 1850.  Nathaniel Jr. donated the land that is now the Swain Cemetary.  Edie is the great, great, great granddaughter of Nathaniel and Charlotte Swain.  Although Edie was born in California, she has come back to her roots.

 

Ginger glazed carrots always accompany OCI’s French country dinner.

Ginger glazed carrots are a colorful as well as delicious addition to October Country Inn’s popular French country dinner.  Besides being delicious, this dish is also very easy to prepare.  For every four diners, assemble the following ingredients.  If there are more than four diners, simply multiply ingredient by units of four.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of carrots
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 3/4 ounce of butter

Carrots peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces.

The carrots can be prepared ahead of time, and refrigerated until you are ready to glaze them just before serving.  Prepare the carrots by first peeling them and then slicing them diagonally into bite sized pieces.  Place the sliced carrots into boiling water for about two minutes.  Drain, and blanch by immediately immersing the drained carrots into an ice water bath.  Allow to cool, cover and refrigerate if you’re going to serve them later.

About 25 minutes before serving this dish, melt the butter over medium heat in an appropriately sized skillet or pan.  When butter is melted, add sliced carrotts, sugar, and ginger.  Stir to combine the ingredients while the carrot mixture comes to a gentle boil.  Continue to stir often until liquid becomes very thick and carrots are glazed, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Plate and serve while hot.