On Memorial Day, our favorite bike route gets competitive.

Echolake2Of the many great outdoor activities that October Country Inn guests have to choose from, one of our favorites, is an 18 mile bike ride from OCI, past the Longtrail Brewery, up a quiet winding road through a forested valley past the Calvin Coolidge historic homestead and Plymouth Cheese Company, down hysteria hill through Plymouth and up past Woodward lake, and finally back down to the Ottauquechee River where you follow it back to the OCI.

ocitriangle

For detailed route directions see www.vermontbikerides.com

Usually, if it’s a busy weekend, you might encounter a couple of other cyclists along the way.  But usually not.  However, if you should happen to pick the Friday of the Memorial Day weekend, you’ll have plenty of company.  This day marks the start of the annual Killington Stage Race which consists of a circuit race of between two to four laps around the same 18 mile route.

killstageSome years ago, the Killington stage race was a five stage event considered to be one of the most prestigious road cycling events in the Eastern U.S.  After a 10 year hiatus, a reduced 3 stage event came back in 2010.  Besides Friday’s circuit race, there’s a 61 mile road race and a time trial.  It’s really exciting to see these tightly grouped racers quietly whoosh by.  You can feel the energy in the air.  If you’ve ever thought about giving it a try, they have a citizen’s class for the circuit race to give you that opportunity.

Chef Brad is back in town and ready to cook for you.

crazyside(July, 2014 Update!  Sadly, Chef Brad is no longer in town.)

You don’t start you’re day hungry when you’re a guest at the October Country Inn.  Our breakfasts get you out the door satisfied and ready for your day’s activities.  But, you will be hungry later in the day.  You’re in luck.  Chef Brad’s “Crazy Side” is nearby and he is ready to fix you up and make you happy and satisfied once more.

Where else but in Bridgewater Corners would you come around a curve on Route 100A as it snakes though a river valley and not be surprised to find a neon yellow, Caribbean beach-side style food truck parked next to Alice Paglia’s farm stand, feed, and garden supply, surrounded by grazing cattle, and sheep alongside a quiet Vermont country road.  It all somehow fits.

 

Chef Brad will cook for you.

Chef Brad will cook for you.

Chef Brad is a local boy.  Raised nearby, a Woodstock High School class of ’80 alumnus, he had earned a reputation for the outstanding meals he consistently cranked out over the many years he operated the nearby Corners Inn restaurant.  One day, other adventures called, and he packed up his spatula and knives and took to the road.

Last Summer, he came back.  With the independence and creativity one expects from Vermonters, chef Brad, living in his Volkswagen camper van, negotiated the purchase of a used food truck, made a deal with the Paglia’s, and set up shop.  It didn’t take long for word to spread.  Chef Brad is back in town and ready to cook for you.

csmenuWhen you’re out and about in this neck of the woods, and your stomach starts speaking to you, you know where to get that itch scratched.  It’s a short drive from Bridgewater Corners up Route 100A to the “Crazy Side.” Put in your order and Chef Brad will cook for you.   Stock up on poultry feed, or garden mulch while you’re at it.

 

 

Tangy tomato soup–quick, easy, and delicious.

spicytomatosoupGuests here at the October Country Inn always give high praise when we serve this ridiculously easy to make soup.  This uncommon set of ingredients produces a soup that’s tangy without really being spicy.  It will probably require a trip to the grocery store, but, to serve 6, here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1, 8 ounce bottle of clam juice (see below)
  • 1, 12 ounce bottle of chili sauce (see below)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 20 ounces of heavy cream
  • 2 ounces of chilled butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a few sprigs of fresh cilantro

ingredientsCombine the clam juice, chili sauce, soy sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper in the appropriately sized pot over medium heat.  Bring all this to a simmer.  Turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  In a separate pot, scald the heavy cream and butter until the butter is melted.  Add the clam juice/chili sauce mixture to the heavy cream, and turn up the heat until it almost comes to a boil.  Garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro, serve, and wait for the praise.