By now many have seen my Facebook photos from beautiful Vermont: covered bridges, numerous aged cheddar cheeses, artisan breads and, yes, peach blueberry pies. Oh, and let's not forget the rolling hills, green mountains, quaint cafes, King Arthur Flour bakery and farmers markets with the sweetest strawberries I've ever tasted.
Weeks like this make me yearn for a longer stay somewhere up north, with a big kitchen in which to bake, grill, preserve and roast and the ability to take long drives and stop for a picnic on a whim. Vermont's babbling brooks, pristine lakes and power walks along wooded paths invite this, almost endlessly. Spreading out a blanket and arranging a lunch of cheese and peach preserves calls to me daily.
Then reality hits. We moved from New England to get away from weeks of rain and the dark, raw winters. The dream of being a snowbird may have been fulfilled these past two weeks..... but when I get that feeling that I want more, a North Carolina trip in August beckons, and then a foliage trip back to Vermont and Dartmouth, New Hampshire late September.
While I crave these respites from the intense heat and humidity and can't travel, there are plenty of local Suncoast shops to help feel the seasonal artisan spirit. Our local farmers markets with their bread stands; fruit crumbles and strawberry cream cakes from Sift and Glenn Family Bakery, real Maine lobster rolls at Lido Beach concession stand, Detwiler's, whole-belly fried clams from Bit of Boston, and a full clam bake, steamers and lobsters at Lotsa Lobsta. And Yoder's produce stand offers Midwest tomatoes, blueberries and corn on the cob.
So thanks, Sarasota, for allowing me to continue to enjoy much of what I miss most from New England.