Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I'm working in Vermont this week, and... maybe I'm slow on the uptick... but did any of the rest of you know that Vermont has a BUNCH of COWS?!?!? Yeah, it had plumb evaded me, this bit of knowledge. I know I had to know this in the back of my mind somewhere, because I've had Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and I'm a compulsive reader, and I know they buy their milk from a local co-op of dairy farmers who don't squirt rBGH into the cows. And I've had Vermont Cheddar cheese, I'm sure. Still, nobody was more stunned than I was to walk into my suite at the Comfort Inn and find a bucolic landscape photo featuring COWS on the wall of my room. I associate that sort of stuff with home, and well, Vermont is about as far from "just like home" as I can imagine, at least east of San Francisco.

So while I'm in Vermont, I took the factory tour at Ben & Jerry's up in Stowe and drove up the mountain to Smuggler's Notch for some scenery. I ate ice cream for supper and enjoyed the gnarly road immensely. It is debatable whether I'd have enjoyed the road up the mountain more on my bike. I think I would have, except that tonight the fog had fallen on the valleys and the air itself was wet in a singularly rain foresty way. That meant the asphalt was wet, and with the foliage turning and dropping here, that would have made for a slick and scary road to ride in the dark on a motorcycle. I'd just concluded that even with all the negative factors I'd still rather be riding when the road got so narrow there was no center stripe and the turns got so tight that cars from opposite directions couldn't navigate them at the same time. That made me very glad for the rented cage I was driving, even in light of a glorious near-full moon.

Yeah. Fall foliage, fog in the valley, full moon, view from the mountain, belly full of (free) ice cream. Travel sucks, don't it?

In conclusion, I leave you with a picture from the Ben & Jerry's flavor graveyard. Something I did NOT know is that Ben & Jerry debut about 10 new flavors a year, meaning that 10 old flavors get the boot. Flavors that were really dismal sellers and have no hope of resurrection get a bad epitaph and go in the flavor graveyard. Others are simply put in the deep freeze. People can vote on the website to resurrect them, but so far none of the resurrected flavors have passed the test of the open market and they've all been re-retired. Here was my favorite "gravestone"

i also bought my new little niece a tie-dyed onesie, because i'm a hippie freak and i think every kid needs tie-dye in their closet. it has "ben and jerry's" printed across the chest which is a whopping big irony, because the kid is so lactose intolerant that her sisters can't touch her until they wash all milk/cheese residue from their hands and faces with hot, soapy water. still, this has introduced her mother (my sister) to the goodness that is sorbet. poor thing. fruit ice cream was never her thing. we used to go to the ice cream shop down the way when we were wee kids, and she ALWAYS got some uber-creamy chocolate-enhanced flavor. me? the sherbet. so tonight, in her honor, i ate TWO SCOOPS of Half-Baked, which is itself a blend of Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough and Brownie Batter Ice Cream. because she's back home eating my piece of the world's sorbet allotment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, you went to Vermont during the fall foliage season and the only photo you took was of the tombstone for an ice cream flavor that should probably never have been green-lighted in the first place? You're so very wrong, I must go cry now.