Vacation Recap, Summer Ideas, New Plans, Notices, the Whole Enchilada

Photo by the author

Pleasant Lake đŸ™‚

Hey everyone! I hope you were inspired by my last post and liked the printables… I thought it would be cool. Even though the recipe in that post was not edible (I mean, you could eat it, technically), I figured it was still food related, so… So, last year I made a post about my summer vacation, with all the best places to eat in Rome (PHOTOS ARE COMING!) so this summer I figured I’d do the same thing with my vacation this year. Here we go!

This summer we went hut to hut hiking in New England. Though this vacation did not have any tiny trattorias hidden on street corners or sweeping vineyards, the constant gorgeous mountain views and the adventure made up for it. Though this vacation was not food centric, that didn’t mean that the food wasn’t good. Just because something isn’t centered around one thing doesn’t necessarily meant that that thing cannot be a part of it. In fact, eating food in New England was an incredible experience. The people there have been cooking the same food for years, so it’s really good, and besides that, we cooked at home a ton, making for a nice culinary experience. đŸ™‚

Normally on long road trips (cough cough, 7 hour drives), the main food sources are 7/11 and Wendy’s with the occasional Cinnabun or perhaps a decaf Starbuck’s latte, but on this trip we stumbled upon a jewel in the heart of a tiny town in Massachusetts called Northborough. It was called Tavern in the Square with 8 locations throughout Massachusetts. The first thing on the menu I saw was risotto fritters, which immediately let me know that this was a step up from a Junior Double Cheeseburger Deluxe with a large Coke and fries. I checked out the specials.

my food

My food (excuse the finger)

I got the ancho spiced shrimp in lettuce wraps. It came with avocado creme fraiche sauce, corn and lettuce. It was amazing! I highly regret to inform you that I did not get the s’mores skillet for dessert. I got no dessert. I love that one of my favorite parts of the trip was stopping for lunch in a tiny town.

We headed to Cardigan Lodge, an AMC Lodge where we explored some of the little ponds.

photo 1

Cardigan Lodge

Cardigan was great, but the adventure started the next day. We hiked to Mizpah Hut and stayed there a night. The huts are run by college kids who cook all day for you. All day, there are baked goods, hot drinks and soup and at dinner there was fresh bread, split pea soup, stuffed shells, broccoli and gingersnaps. Yum, right? They make the best breakfasts, too.

mizpah1

Mizpah Hut

Mizpah Hut dining hall

Mizpah Hut dining hall

Here is a fact: the huts sleep 20-90 depending on the hut. Here is another fact: the next day was incredibly foggy.

We hiked for 6 hours to a 5,000 and something feet altitude and we missed the gorgeous views.

Rocks on the hike to LOTC

Rocks on the hike to LOTC

a flower against the fog

a flower against the fog

We were hiking with our backpacks, carrying our clothes, sleeping bags, food and water and it was a long stretch. By the time we reached the second hut, Lakes of the Clouds, let’s just say we were ready for some hot cocoa. Who wouldn’t be after walking through a cloud for 6 hours?

The fog was so dense that we could barely see the hut from 10 feet away.

The fog was so dense that we could barely see the hut from 10 feet away.

The LOTC hut greeted us with hot cocoa and gingerbread, and hot black bean and rice soup. We played Pictionary until dinner, and then heard about the Thru Hikers experiences on the Appalachian Trail, a trail from Georgia to Maine. They served us Tomato bisque, salad, mashed potatoes, beef and string beans and chocolate cake (It was the 100th anniversary of Lakes).

Out the window...

Out the window…

But (here’s the good part) waking up the next morning was like opening a present. The fog had lifted and we realized we were on the side of a mountain, with sweeping views.

Clouds...

Clouds…

Mountain views

Mountain views

photo 2

A cloud descends on a lake

A cloud descends on a lake

photo 3-3

We hiked down straight down wet rocks, which took about 6 hours, before we stopped on the way to my cousin’s house in Maine.

Our cousins love to cook, so there was a lot of home cooking, especially at the 4th of July party, where Israeli couscous, Coleslaw, Potato Dijon salad, Ribs, Salmon, brownies, Strawberry shortcake and a pecan pie we won in the town pie contest and auction. (Otisfield, ME is an adorable town.)

There was lots of fun cooking on our part, but this was a little distracting.

the lake

the lake

There was a dock outside of our house. That is not to say that food wasn’t a big part of it. I made a delightful crisp.

But that food will be coming soon. The next post is a summer meal straight from our kitchen.

On the way home, we stopped at The Beach Plum, where we ate corn chowder, lobster rolls, fried shrimp and potato chips before heading into the car.

chowder

shrimp2

Here are the top 3 things to do with food this summer:

– Make easy ice pops. If you have molds, great! If not, just pour OJ or lemonade into paper cups with sticks in them and freeze.

– Make trail mix for when you are on the go. Add: cashews, peanuts, dried apples, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, craisins, crispy M n Ms and almonds.

– Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Water seem boring? Steep water in lemon and blackberries in the fridge overnight for a little flavor!

New plans? Brownie of the month! Coming out soon. I have some great ideas :).

AND FINALLY:

I will be heading to camp for 2 weeks next week, so please forgive the long stretch of not posting for those two weeks. I’ll miss you all!

And as always,

KEEP COOKING đŸ˜‰

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2 thoughts on “Vacation Recap, Summer Ideas, New Plans, Notices, the Whole Enchilada

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