Mother’s Day Brunch at the Homestead

Jenn and Me sharing a moment

When I visit Vermont to see the family, one thing I can always count on is great tasting and healthy food. Since I have chosen to be more proactive in seeking local and organic foods, I have a challenge in dining at many restaurants because I can’t control the ingredients used.

But when I am in Vermont, we patronize dining spots that utilize local, fresh, and seasonal food. Over the next several posts, we will look at some of the restaurants in the Burlington-Stowe area where we ate. I did a lot of eating up there. Interestingly though, with all the good, healthy foods, I didn’t gain any weight which delighted and surprised me to no end!!

The first though that I do have to mention is the wonderful Mother’s Day Brunch lovingly prepared by my daughter Jenn, aka The Leftover Queen at their home Thistlemoon Meadows.  ( To see more pictures and get her recipes, then click on the link.)  She and Roberto made ME feel like the queen.

Roberto doing the honors

Jenn setting out the goodies

We started the meal with a Proseco and pear juice cocktail. So good. Then we had home grown organic eggs from their own chickens combined with mushroom, chives, and feta cheese with a drizzle of truffle oil. YUM. Along with that we had organic sausage patties, roasted fingerling potatoes and the most wonderful and surprising coffee cake made with white beans. Who knew you could do that!! And to top it off, was much coffee with cream and a dish of her homemade yogurt and berries.

I was ready for a nap by then, but they whisked me of to a craft show. I hadn’t done one of those in years. It was a big one, the Champlain Valley Expo.  We just went to the craft side but there were antiques there as well in a different area for those who wished to see it.

We ended our day taking a drive and walk through the New North End in Burlington. Could be a place to move to one day?? Big thing to think about going from the deep South in Florida to well Vermont. Not a big fan of cold and snow but the healthy lifestyle of Vermonters is a big draw.

More good eating to come. See you next post.

Bay Lake Blueberry Farm


Today I felt like taking a little adventure. What could be better than a morning drive in the country and then stopping to pick some blueberries!

When I went to the Organic Food and Film Festival last month, I hooked up with one of the local certified organic farms near Ocala where I learned that I could buy or pick my own berries. I am a fan of blueberries and like them by the handfuls, in smoothies, or baked into cobblers, muffins and breads. I have an especially yummy blueberry grunt recipe that I am talking myself into making for this evening. This morning, I had a cup of blueberries warmed in the microwave, then stirred into a quarter cup of organic granola and a cup of Total 0 Greek yogurt for breakfast. Okay, so it has been established that I like blueberries.

That in my mind, then, justifies my driving 40 miles each way to get organic. There are dozens of local places, but not organic. If I am making the effort to learn and talk about organic, then I need to eat organic as well.

Anyway, I had a bottle of my homemade green tea that I steeped with fresh slices of ginger and a cinnamon stick on ice and my radio tuned in to my favorite oldies station and off I went. For those local to Ocala, it was a straight shot down 40E and then a left on N-315 for 16 miles to the Bay Lake Blueberry Farm in Ft. McCoy.

When I got there, I was given a bucket and a bungee cord that wrapped around my waist to hook onto the bucket so I could pick hands free. I merrily went from bush to bush and picked my way to a bucket full of these plump, indigo gems.

At checkout, the berries were weighed and placed in a flat to keep them from crushing on the drive home. There were several other local farmers there with little tents up selling plants, honey and herbs. Blueberry bushes were also on sale. But for this trip I stuck with just the berries. By the time I checked out it was about 11:30 and already steamy hot in the Florida sun. I couldn’t help but reward myself with a cup of their homemade organic blueberry ice cream.

Since I picked more than I could eat right away, I went with the idea to freeze some for later. The instructions I got were to place them unwashed on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze for 45 minutes, then bag. This will keep them from getting stuck together when I am ready to use some of them.

Blueberry Grunt

I like a generous amount of berries. At least 3 cups or what will cover the bottom of your skillet several layers deep. To this I add enough water to cover and then some. Zest a lemon, add a shake or 2 of cinnamon and just a few tablespoons of organic sugar ( more if you like it sweet) and set to a boil over a medium heat.

Meanwhile, mix up a batch of dumplings. The easiest is to use a biscuit mix and just follow the directions. It is about 2 and a half cups mix.  I like to add a bit of lemon zest and the juice of the lemon to this too along with 2/3 cup of milk to make a nice dough.  Then drop by spoonfuls over the berries, put the lid on the skillet and simmer about another 15 minutes till the dough is cooked. It will have soaked up a lot of the juice ( that is why I like to add a fair but of water to the berries). Eat warm with milk, whipped or ice cream.

It is equally yummy for breakfast or dessert. I don’t actually have exact measurements for this. But this is just one of those that is hard to mess up.

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