ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

A locavore moves from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and rediscovers what "local" means.

This Week in Breakfast: Mountain Creamery

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Downtown Woodstock Vermont. Not a good pic, sorry.

Downtown Woodstock Vermont. Not a good pic, sorry.

Sam and I drove out to Woodstock, VT on Sunday to eat at Mountain Creamery. It was a bit of a drive, about 35 minutes, thus in the category of “too far away” to be a regular breakfast joint. Woodstock, VT is an adorable little town propped up by rich tourists visiting the Rockafeller mansion and people with “second” homes.  Mountain Creamery is doing a good job of providing the authentic Vermont breakfast experience, but with enough consciousness-raising menu items to meet expectations from affluent New Yorkers. For example, the menu included maple sausage made from free-pastured Berkshire hogs and organic eggs from the owner’s Sister’s farm. Of course there was real Vermont maple syrup.

So I rag on the vacation spots of the elite, but they do have really good breakfast. Really good.

Blueberry Pancakes Sent from God Itself to Grace the Earth with Wonderment and Joy

Blueberry Pancakes Sent from God Itself to Grace the Earth with Wonderment and Joy. Served with sausage and 2 eggs, scrambled.

Blueberry Pancakes Sent from God Itself to Grace the Earth with Wonderment and Joy. Served with sausage and 2 eggs, scrambled. Note the real maple syrup, and that I had already smeared the salted whipped butter onto the pancakes before taking the picture. 

Never in my memory have I eaten such good blueberry pancakes. My breakfast came with two, along with some eggs and sausage. I could have eaten four more. That good. Platonic Ideal pancakes. Fluffy and syrup-absorbing, slightly tart, with little crispy bits around the edges from direct contact with butter in the hot pan. The blueberries were tiny, full of flavor, and the chef rolled them first in flour, so they didn’t explode blue goo all in the pancake. Each and every bite was full of blueberry flavor and maple-y syrup goodness.

Whatever Sam had for Breakfast

Sam had an omelet with roast potatoes and toast. Three things were remarkable, but not as remarkable as the Blueberry Pancakes Sent from God Itself. First, the omelet had apples and cheese. This is a local flavor, methinks, because who would have thought to put apple in an omelet except for people who also serve apple pie with cheddar cheese. Second, the potatoes were very good due to a generous tossing with a mixture of herbs and garlic. Third, the ingredients in the strawberry jam (jars were available for sale) were, “Strawberries, sugar.”

Sam's breakfast. Omelet with sausage, apples and cheese. Roast potatoes. Toast. Quite Good Strawberry Jam.

Sam’s breakfast. Omelet with sausage, apples and cheese. Roast potatoes. Toast. Quite Good Strawberry Jam.

Back to Discussing the Blueberry Pancakes Sent from God Itself to Grace the Earth with Wonderment and Joy

If I were to close my eyes in envision my ideal blueberry pancake, it would be just about exactly what I had at Mountain Creamery. The only difference would be that I would still be a kid and my Mom would have served the pancakes to me. Mind you, my mother made pancakes infrequently when we were kids, and I only remember a handful of occasions that she made Blueberry pancakes. My point is that the only way these could have been made better was by adding Mother’s Love. Even the whipped butter was salted – adding the mix of salty, fat, sweet, fruity, tender, crispy… All of the ideal flavors and textures.

I think my ideal Upper Valley Breakfast is forming. The biscuits and gravy at Quechee Diner were fantastic. I think I have effectively lauded the greatness of Mountain Creamery’s  Blueberry Pancakes Sent from God Itself to Grace the Earth with Wonderment and Joy. Eggs cooked at 4 Aces Diner were made with real butter and left a little underdone, close (but not exactly) how I like them.

We will likely be back… Almost certainly.

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