The end of June is fast approaching, and the weather here at the October Country Inn is as might be expected, warm and moist. This is the perfect combination for an afternoon’s activity that involves getting wet, or at least has the option for a quick dip in a nearby lake. Usually, canoeing or kayaking is the watercraft of choice for such an adventure, however, there’s a new game in town–paddleboard yoga.
Of course, you might opt to bring your own paddlebord if you have one, or rent a paddleboard from First Stop, a local shop, and just cruise around the local lake of your choice. But if you’re already a yoga enthusiast, or have always wanted to give it a try, yoga classes are offered by Karen Dalruy at nearby Killington yoga studio.
Karen poses with a group of paddleboard yoga students.
The best of both worlds can be combined with a session of paddleboard yoga instruction by Karen at Woodward lake. This would be a good bet for one of those hot, moist Summer days. Loosen up those blockages, improve your muscle tone, and flop in the cool clear water when the mood strikes you. What are you waiting for?
Family-style frivolity at an OCI holiday dinner.
If you sit down to breakfast or dinner at the October Country Inn, it’s a family-style affair. By family-style we mean that everybody sits together, and eats together. Nobody sits alone unless they’re the only one here. We have three large tables that seat at least eight persons each, in two dining rooms, and it isn’t unusual to have them all full. Sitting down to a meal together, especially among strangers, is a fundamental family experience that lifts the spirit, and sets the stage for some fascinating revelations. You just may meet a long-lost cousin. It’s happened.
Six degrees of separation.
There was the morning that two couples from Toronto, who didn’t know one another, sat down to breakfast. After chatting a bit they discovered that they lived three houses apart from one another, on the same street, yet had never before met. Closer to home, while chatting with a guest, Edie discovered that they were distant cousins. This “its-a-small-world” phenomenon happens all the time, and it’s really fun when it does. This phenomenon is sometimes attributed to the 6 degrees of separation theory. This theory, originally from Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthya’s 1929 collection of short stories titled Everything is Different, arises when a character in one of the stories believes that any two individuals could be connected through at most five acquaintances. This theory has been much studied since then with the general result that, where the global population is concerned, any person is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world. When this theory is limited to the population of the U.S., any person is three or fewer steps away from any other person.
Part of our coffee mug collection.
One tradition that has been a part of the October Country Inn experience for many years is to provide guests with a large collection of coffee mugs from which to choose. Mugs are emblazoned with logos representing different cities, states, countries, schools, businesses, and so forth. The choice of a particular mug reveals something. That might be the spark that ignites a conversation which leads to the discovery of a connection to another person that you didn’t know existed. So when you sit down to breakfast or dinner at the October Country Inn, chat up the other guests. You are only three steps away from a common connection. All you have to do is find it.
Here at the October Country Inn, whenever we find ourselves with a bit of extra fruit that needs to be used, or we get an overwhelming desire for something sweet, Joanie’s fruit cobbler is our go-to desert of choice. It’s not complicated, uses the commonly stocked ingredients listed below, and really hits the spot.
- 1/2 a cup of butter
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 3 cups of cut fruit or berries of your choice. A 12 ounce bag of frozen berries is perfect.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. We like to make this cobbler in a #8 cast iron pan, but you can also use a similarly sized pyrex baking dish. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a medium sized mixing bowl. Place the butter in the pan and put in the oven to melt. Have the milk, brown sugar, and fruit at hand in separate containers.
Joanie in the kitchen.
Remove the pan from the oven when the butter is melted. Pour the milk into the mixing bowl with the flour,sugar, and baking powder and stir really slowly barely incorporating it all into a lumpy mass. Pour this batter into the pan on top of the melted butter, distribute the fruit around evenly, and then spread the brown sugar around the edges and over the top with your hand.
Stick the whole thing back in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes or so. Keep checking. The top should be a golden brown when done. Take it out out of the oven and set in on a rack to let cool until it settles into a thick fruity mass before serving. We often add a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s vanilla ice cream to the top. It just seems to make sense. If you like this desert as much as we do, thank Joanie.