A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.
I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:
Americans who have been to France and come home craving a reminder of their magical European experience, love Vermont cheeses.
â€”Allison Hooper, founder, VT Butter & Cheese Creamery
Practice not cleaning your plate: it will help you eat less in short term and develop self-control in the long term.
Sweet taste buds develop before all others, thatâ€™s why small children love sweets.
Donâ€™t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of milk.
My rule of thumb is, when in doubt, cook more than you think you may need.
â€”Marian Cunningham, from Learning to Cook
My Shangri-La: A Weekend at Twin Farms Resort
When Twin Farms, the prestigious Forbes five-star resort in Barnard, Vermont, asked me to share my art expertise for their Celebration of Art Weekend held May 10-12, 2013, one of a series of special events marking the 20thÂ year of the resortâ€™s history, I jumped at the chance. A visit to one of the most sought after and luxurious resorts in the world, and in the heart of our beautiful state, seemed irresistible. I was not disappointed.
My Shangri-La Was Vermont
When I was a child, my Shangri-La was Vermont, specifically a small town called Greensboro in the Northeast Kingdom, or â€śThe Kingdom,â€ť as we call it up there. Attached to my grandparentâ€™s farmhouse was a small, renovated barn, a perfect place to read on rainy days, endless fields where we played tag and hide and seek, and many local farms to visit. I always ended my vacation with apples stolen from the neighboring orchard tucked into my pockets, along with a sunburned nose and protesting feet, as I put on â€śreal shoes,” again for the first time in a month.
Accommodations Beyond Compare
Imagine such a place for grown-ups, with accommodations beyond compare and five-star quality food. There is an art collection that bestows on Twin Farms the title of best contemporary art â€śmuseumâ€ť in the state, along with an ethos that any request is considered an opportunity for the staff to shine, and this is an experience that sets the bar for the finest boutique hotels in the world.
You Leave the World Behind
Twin Farms is an out-of-this world experience. I say this not as hyperbole but as a fact. Without resistance, you leave the world behind and enter into an atmosphere, both timeless and unpretentious, yet gloriously luxurious.Â The staffâ€™s attention to detail and personal service is unparalleled, yet there is nothing stuffy or forced about it.
Tying My Own Fly
On my first morning I saw a fly-casting rod leaning against a wall in the reception area.Â An inquiry led me to an antique table in the Game Room making my own fly. Brian, a recreation staff member, whose sole job was to anticipate my every wish, turned out to be an expert at fly tying. The next morning we were out on Copper Pond practicing fly casting. I felt like that 12-year old child in Greensboro learning the mysteries of fishing for the first time.
The Guests Gathered
Between 7-8 pm, the guests gathered in the Barn Room (a perfect place during the day to curl up with the latest Le Carre). Here, delectable hors dâ€™oeuvres and cocktails were served before dinner as we leisurely viewed the personal art collection of Twin Farms co-owner, Â Thurston Twigg-Smith, Hawaiian art patron and philanthropist.
Art at Twin Farms
Kathleen Kolb, a friend and fine realist painter of rural Vermont, was there as well to represent this wonderful world of creativity that Twigg-Smith admires so much, and to discuss her painting in progressâ€”a view of Mt. Ascutney from the adjoining porch. Â Jasper Johns, Milton Avery and David Bailey, are only a few of the artists represented by the work in the public spaces at Twin Farms. In The Pub and the residential cottages spread out over the grounds of the resort, David Hockney, Deborah Butterfield, Louise Bourgeios, Cy Twombly and Nam June Paik are all part of the resortâ€™s collection of art and American craft.Â
Rivaled Only by the Food
The art collection at Twin Farms is rivaled only by the food. Ted Ask, the young and talented chef, leads a staff that includes sous-chef Peter Heaney and pastry chef Chris Wilson. Another aspect of attention to detail is the guestâ€™s culinary likes, dislikes and concerns, all noted ahead of time and catered to. My inability to eat gluten or sugar was considered at every meal and non-gluten breads, as well as delicious non-sugar desserts, were prepared especially for me.
The Magic of My Childhood Summers
My visit to Twin Farms was made complete with a private massage in my room. The spaciousness of my accommodations meant that there was room in the dressing area for the large massage table and for my excellent masseuse to work around it. It was another special moment and one of the best massages Iâ€™ve ever had.
My living room and bedroom in the Farmhouse, also included two fireplaces with carefully laid fires, ready to light. Â A large tub set in its own windowed alcove and a walk-in shower easily big enough to share. A Louise Bourgeois limited edition print hung near my bed. In spite of all the out-of-this-world opulence, every possible modern electronic convenience is availableâ€”on the chance that necessity forces you to return to the real world.
Sadly, I was inevitably called back to my real world. As I passed through the gates of Twin Farms, like that sunburned child returning home from my Shangri-La summer visits to â€śThe Kingdom,” I felt the sadness of departure. Nothing would satisfy the urge to stay but the promise I made to myselfâ€”I would return to Twin Farms for the extraordinary art, the very special food, but most of all to recapture the essence of Vermont and the magic of my childhood summers.
Posted: 6-1-2013SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG’S FEED
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