Tuesday, October 20, 2015

King Arthur Flour Adventure Part 3

Yep. That's me next to the Ben and Jerry's van.

Have I mentioned that I'm living one of my dreams this week? Yes, it's still true. 
Today in my dream, I got up early, spent a little time in the Norwich Inn Fitness Center, got cleaned up, and headed out for Waterbury, Vermont--home of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. It was an hour's drive, and I got to listen to more of the audiobook I'm currently listening to, Ready Player One (I highly recommend it--but be aware of adult language). After perusing the tourist pamphlet display at the Quechee Gorge yesterday (was that only yesterday?) I discovered a cider mill just down the road from Ben and Jerry. Then on the way, I noticed a glass blowing studio, so I stopped there too. The woman at the glass blowing studio told me I needed to go down the road and taste some cheese at the Cabot store (done that) and taste some chocolate at the Lake Champlain Chocolate Outlet. Chocolate? Yes, please. Suffice it to say, the chocolate was really delicious. Pricey, but delicious.
After all of that, I'm sad to report that Ben and Jerry's was a little anticlimactic. It was cool to hear a bit more about their history, their philosophy, and their trailblazing socially conscious way of doing business, but, well, maybe I was just hoping that our tasting experience would have included a chocolate flavor if ice cream. So trivial of me. By the time I had my sample of Cotton Candy Ice Cream (better than it sounds, by the way), I figured it was best not to have a full serving of a chocolate flavor when I had an hour and fifteen minutes to drive back for my 1:00 baking class. It would have been just a little too tempting for fate, I'm afraid. I think my body is starting to resist all of the bread I've been feeding it over the past couple of days.
So then I made my way to Day 2 of my baking class where we made a sweet bread dough that we shaped into three different forms: a six rope braided loaf, a mock braided raspberry loaf, and my favorite all time sweet bread, sticky buns (note the sarcasm). Again, though, it was another fabulous day of baking and learning new techniques, getting to know my classmates better, and just generally having an awesome time geeking out with some new baking buddies. I even got to go out to dinner in neighboring Hanover, NH (my first real meal since being here), with new baking buddy Diane and her husband Tom. Lovely people whose company I enjoyed thoroughly. 
Now I'm back in the hotel room, enjoying a little chocolate for dessert, and thinking I'm ready to hit the hay. 
Tomorrow: whole grains. Woo hoo!

Cold Hollow Cider Mill makes great apple cider donuts and piping hot cider.
Although I didn't see it in action, this contraption presses apple cider out of apple bits.
I've always been fascinated with the art of glass blowing. Awesome to see it in person.
I allowed myself one little caramel nugget and of course several chocolate squares. I have not eaten them all yet.
As promised by my baking instructor, the braided loaf looks much better after rising and baking.
Shaping the raspberry mock braid was a challenge. My excuse is that I was distracted by Julia the photographer taking pics of me for the KAF blog Flourish.
Pretty good looking sticky buns, if I do say so myself. I've only made them a hundred times though, I should be good at it by now.
We tasted the instructor's baked goods. I sent all of mine home with a classmate who lives around here.

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