April 4th, 2014
Welcoming you, and welcoming spring to Ormsby Hill
April is a pivotal month in Northern New England. We are so ready for a new season, we catalog all the changes just to make sure it’s true: snow is melting, robins are back, days are longer, the sun IS warmer, check, check, check. Optimism is on the rise. Weather related small talk is happy; no one grumbles about warmer days.
It’s a good thing we are energized because there is a lot of work setting things straight after this damaging winter. Fence posts are tilting crazily, if still standing; gravel from the driveway is now part of the lawn, and our plants are frozen in the earth. We need to get ready in April so we can burst into outdoor living in May, and the glory months of summer and fall.
That’s what’s happening at Ormsby Hill this month. Wishing you all the joy and anticipation I am feeling right now.
March 23rd, 2014
Raspberry Goat Cheese Bread Pudding
Serves: 8 Preparation time: 30 mins, plus overnight in fridge. Cooking time: 50 mins Difficulty: Easy – for beginners
1 loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
5 large eggs (use 1 for topping)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp sugar, divided
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 oz goat cheese softened
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 jars Santa Cruz organic seedless red raspberry fruit spread (approx 14 oz)
For Raspberry Sauce
1 pint fresh raspberries
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 cup granulated sugar
Spread bread cubes evenly in a greased 9×13 baking dish.
In a blender, combine 4 eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour this evenly over the bread cubes.
Push bread into milk and egg mixture with a spatula for several minutes to help absorb liquid and make a firm base for the toppings.
In a medium bowl, place goat cheese, mascarpone, 1 remaining egg, and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until the cheese is the consistency of cake frosting.
Spread the cheese, like frosting, evenly over the bread.
Spread the jam over the cheese.
Cover with plastic wrap. Use toothpicks to keep the plastic from clinging to the jam.
To make the raspberry sauce, combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat until the raspberries are broken down, approx 6-7 minutes. Cool slightly. Pour into a blender and puree until sauce has thickened. Pour through a fine sieve to remove all the seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use. This may be frozen for several months.
Take bread pudding out of fridge and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 50 minutes, until cheese around the edges is lightly browned. Let sit at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Serve with a drizzle of raspberry sauce
March 20th, 2014
The snow in southern Vermont has been around long enough. Today is the first day of SPRING! It’s time to measure for my new garden and and mentally place plants here and there (fun stuff). It’s time to order additional seed for the wildflower labyrinth (more fun). It’s time to call Jimmy to remind him he promised to help me remove sod, and prepare the new planting beds (not fun, but necessary). It’s time to call Craig at Equinox Valley Nursery to schedule the installation of irrigation for the new garden (not fun, worthy of procrastination). So why am I not doing any of that? The field is still buried under a foot of snow, and a glacier blocks my entry.
Parking lot glacier obstructs new garden site
March 18th, 2014
Manchester and the Mountains Regional Chamber of Commerce is getting creative and serious about endorsing the diverse activities in our area. The first annual Women’s Outdoor Weekend, May 15-17, is a shout out to women of all ages. You don’t have to be an athlete, or an outdoors woman to participate. Just come with your sense of adventure, and be prepared for luxurious lodging, fine dining, and Land Rover shuttle service to your chosen activities.
Activities include fly fishing, clay target shooting, Land Rover driving training, and hiking. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights you will stay at our inn, The Barrows House, or the Reluctant Panther. You will dine at the finest restaurants in town.
Honestly, if we weren’t lodging hosts, I would sign up for this weekend as an opportunity to try things I would never attempt on my own, or with Yoshio. I can’t remember the last time I did fun, challenging stuff with a bunch of women, and I’ve never had a weekend where all the logistics were taken care of and I just had to show up. That, to me, is a real luxury.
To reserve your spot call 802-362-6313 or go to wowvermontweekend.com.
March 14th, 2014
Vegan breakfast everyone can enjoy
This is a nice breakfast option if our guests are vegan, or can’t eat eggs and/or dairy.
Ormsby Hill Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Cake
½ cup canola oil
½ cup applesauce
1 cup evaporated cane juice
4 ripe, bananas, pureed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 can coconut milk
1 cup almond (or soy) milk
6 cups rolled oats (not quick cook)
1 pint blueberries
1 cup sliced almonds
More sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)
Combine all the ingredients except the oats, blueberries, almonds in a blender and pulse until mixture is smooth. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the wet ingredients with the oats. Gently mix in the almonds and blueberries
Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with evaporated cane juice if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove oatmeal from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
February 14th, 2014
It stopped snowing at twilight
Hooray for our guests! Braving blizzard conditions, guests are arriving for their Valentine getaway in Vermont. May you be rewarded with more love, joy, and romance than you could possibly imagine.
February 13th, 2014
Romantic snack from New England Hot Fudge Company
I am not a sucker for chocolate, but I can’t stop thinking about the rich, luscious, silky goodness in a jar of New England Hot Fudge (www.newenglandhotfudge.com). Especially when it is paired with small pretzel logs, that are just the right size for dipping and double dipping.
Look for the special Valentine treat in your room this weekend only!
November 12th, 2013
Back yard after snowfall on November 12
Manchester Merriment is just around the corner, and the weather is cooperating with our first snow accumulation. Join us in Manchester from November 30 through January 1 for ongoing activities to support 7 community food cupboards. A highlight of these festivities is the Holiday Inn Tours, held on Saturdays, December 7 and 14 from noon until 4pm. Fourteen area inns are participating this year, including Ormsby Hill. Each inn will be decorated for Christmas in their unique style. Tickets are available for purchase ($15 per person or $25 for two people)here, or at businesses in town. See visitmanchestervt.com for more details.
November 5th, 2013
A guest leaving an Etch A Sketch drawing is still a random act at Ormsby Hill, but it is one of the most exciting events. Every room at the inn has an Etch A Sketch, and mostly it is ignored or erased before the guests leave. Occasionally, though, a masterpiece is propped up on the mantle, or casually left on the coffee table. We reverentially admire the drawing, applaud the artist, and reminisce about our artful attempts in the olden days. We take a picture with our iphone, and then someone has to shake the drawing away because the next check-in is expected soon. All that work gone in a few flicks of the wrist…so sad.
Here for your enjoyment (get ready to be amazed) is a photo collection of Etch A Sketch art made by our guests since July 11, 2012.