Sunday on the Road with Jane

Sunday, September 15:

It was a beautiful day for a drive and we hit the road early, headed for Vermont and brunch at the restaurant at Simon Pearce. Brunch is not usually a favorite meal, but being seated at a corner window perched over the Quechee River, bloody Mary within reach, might make me rethink my prejudice. The Sunday menu is more lunch than breakfast anyway, enough so that I could pretend it was lunch with a cocktail. Such a treat after an arduous week. Or any time, really.

After eating, we took a stroll around the glass and pottery galleries, and then down into the open glassblowing studio. Once back outdoors, there was time to explore the area around the glassworks that had been severely damaged by Hurricane Irene in August of 2011. Much of the Simon Pearce building has been repaired, a nearby historic covered bridge has been replaced, but work on shoring up foundations is ongoing.

We headed south shortly after, detouring about twelve miles down the highway for the annual pilgrimage to King Arthur Flour store and baking education center to stock up on some provisions. I didn’t buy as much flour as I usually do, but the little that I did bring home is already being used, with more experiments on the way. Here are some snapshots from the day.

The bread you see in the last brunch photo, a yeasted batter bread baked into dense loaves, is served at Simon Pearce both with the smoked salmon appetizer we sampled and on its own as part of an assortment of bread for the table.  Our server told us Simon’s mother makes the restaurant’s brown bread according to Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School recipe using imported Irish wholemeal flour. I brought home a bag of King Arthur’s Irish-style wholemeal to make my own loaf of the addictive bread, slightly sweet and smoky from molasses, as soon as I possibly can. Here is the Ballymaloe recipe that I, with a nod to Mrs. Pearce, will use.