Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Leaf Peeping Adventure

It really should be called "Leaves Peeping," as the idea is to view many multiple leaves during the fall foliage season. But that doesn't have quite the same ring. Anyway, Jaimi and I went up to Vermont this past weekend to peep a few Vermont leaves, taste a bit of Vermont cheese, and pay tribute to famous Vermonter, Christopher Reeve. (Editor's note: Reeve was born in New York City in 1952, but his name rhymes reasonably well with both "cheese" and "leaves")

But leaves are not the only thing to peep in rural Vermont (which part of Vermont is not rural?). There are also plenty of cows and sheep. This is where the cheese, mentioned in the previous paragraph, comes from. I'm not sure how they do it, but they somehow take byproducts of cow and sheep and transform them into cheesy goodness. My guess is that it's some kind of meat product, because it tastes so darn good. Maybe from the delicious area around the face, hence the name "head cheese". Regular cheese must also come from this part of the animal. Please don't tell Jaimi that this is where cheese comes from. She wouldn't be happy to learn this, as she's not one to eat either cow or sheep meat. But others will tell her that cheese is made from milk, and they'll all say that I'm lying. Even the internet says cheese is made from milk (see here for further perpetuation of this myth) Yeah right. It comes from milk. Fine. How quaint. Then how come it's so savory? Huh?

Presumably harvesting sheep face to make cheese.

Anyway, the cheese in Vermont was great, wherever it comes from. And while we were cheese peeping, we met the owner of a sheep dairy who was nice enough to show us around even though the place was under renovation. This dairy is called Woodcock Farm (here for more info), and they specialize in raw sheep's milk cheese. Each wheel is lovingly prepared by the husband and wife team of Mark and Gari Fischer. Both formerly of New York City (just like Christopher Reeve). They left it all behind to live with sheep, and make cheese out of them. Also, they had two really nice sheep dogs, one of which seemingly wanted to get into my car and come home with us. Alas, I think he's better off where he is. From a 45-acre sheep farm, to a 400 square foot apartment in Manhattan (he'd have to stay in Jaimi's studio, as my landlord forbids any pets) would be too much of a culture shock for him.

Scene from a sheep dairy - I don't know exactly what this woman's doing. But she needs to be arrested. Immediately.

So I think I really learned a lot about Vermont during our brief trip. Their current motto is simply, "Freedom and Unity." Might as well be "Boring and Banal." Come on Vermont! You can do better than that. Here are a few suggestions, based upon the knowledge I gleaned this past weekend:

"Vermont - More sheep than people." (Note: May not be true. Couldn't find latest sheep census.)

"Vermont - More trees than people." (Note: Certainly true. Also, forgot to mention the maple syrup before. That stuff's almost as tasty as the cheese.)

"Vermont - Fewer people than Delaware." (Note: Also true. Fewest people of all states except for Wyoming.)

"Vermont - We'd kill a man if it meant we could have even more craft shows." (Note: We went to one craft show. It was pretty crowded. I imagine they have a lot of craft shows there.)

And what about those leaves anyway? Well, it turns out we missed the leaf peeping peak by about a week. (That sentence rhymed unintentionally.) So the trip was good, but not as good as leaf peeping can get. Thus, the perfect excuse to return to Vermont next fall for another round of cheese, leaves, and Christopher Reeve.

1 comment:

Johann The Dog said...

I'm tellin' my Mum that we must move to Vermont NOW!!! If they have all those sheep, I gotta be there! Thanks for linking to us! Woofs, Johann