We're in New Hampshire this week, but right next door is Vermont. We've got to make a stop over there! Theresa and I were here back in 2008 for a long weekend to look at Fall Foliage. That was before kids, but we always knew we'd be coming back eventually.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
The Flowers Explore - Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Vermont - 2021/09/07
It's about a 2 hour drive from our RV site, but drives these days aren't as bad as I thought before. Thankfully it was mostly highway driving and traffic was light. And look at that! We're entering a new state! Welcome to Vermont! The Green Mountain State!
Check one more state off the kids' state map. They're doing really well!
It was about time for a rest stop and the Vermont welcome center was just ahead. That's perfect!
The kids enjoyed collecting pamphlets for the different attractions that Vermont has to offer.
There's also a display for some of the product Vermont is famous for. There's a tree bucket for Maple Sap which will get turned into Maple Syrup. Vermont Cheese is well known too.
Attached to the Welcome Center was a real greenhouse. It was hot inside (and a little stinky).
Back outside the Welcome Center there's lots of flowers, trees, and open grass areas. I wonder if this Monarch Butterfly is our butterfly from California?
Across a small section of grass there were four chairs, sitting in the sunshine and facing the mountainside.
Those four seats are perfect for the four of us. Not being on any particular schedule is great. It's not a problem to take a few extra minutes to sit and enjoy the beauty around us.
Theresa says that Vermont reminds her of our time in Switzerland. There's beautiful lush green hillsides, a very tidy look, with crisp clean air.
Theresa was trying to take pictures of the beautiful hillsides in the car, and there was one section that opened up for a split second into a valley with a lake at the bottom. Too quick to even pick up a camera, let alone take a photo. As Theresa expressed her regret, Ian said "That will just have to be one you take a picture with your mind."
When we were here before, this section of Stowe Vermont was known as Enticement Alley. There's lots of tasty places to stop, but we're interested in one place in particular right now.
The Cold Hollow Cider Mill! There's some cute apples.
This working cider mill will have plenty of tasty treats, and hopefully we'll get to see how cider is made.
Theresa and I have actually been here before back in 2008! It was one of our many stop during that Fall Foliage weekend. I remember it being a lot colder when we were here before. We got Cider Donuts and Hot Apple Cider to drink.
As well as a slice of apple pie. Mmm.
Back to 2021.As soon as we entered, oh my goodness, the smell in here is amazing. Cinnamon and apple aroma filled the air.
There's the typical jams, jellies, and sauces that you find at a place like this.
But we're interested in the back area, where the cider is made. Unfortunately it looks like they're done for the day, but we'll still look around.
Vermont Macintosh's claim to be America's favorite apple. The state fruit of Vermont is in fact an apple.
The cider pressing might be done, but there's free cider to sample!
It's nice and cold.
And mmm, it tastes delicious! This is great cider!
Upstairs there is a viewing platform. Alli is reading to us what the difference is between Apple Cider and Apple Juice. Apple Cider is perishable and it's made weekly. It's 100% freshly squeezed apples. Apple Juice is usually concentrated, has added water and sugar, and doesn't need refrigeration.
So how is real cider made? Apples are grown locally, collected in large bins, then trucked to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill.
A forklift dumps the apples onto an elevator and they're carried to a washer and grinder.
The kids took turns back and forth reading the different steps. Those apples get ground to a mash, pumped over to the cider press where they're squeezed under pressure. The cider is pumped to a holding tank, pasteurized, and packaged for consumers. Like us!
Each batch contains 2500 pounds of apples, takes 15 minutes to press, and generates 250 gallons of cider. So it takes 10 pounds of apples to make 1 gallon of cider. No wonder it's expensive!
And the dry apple mash that's left over after squeezing all the juice from them are fed to the pigs. The bacon is supposed to be amazing.
Looking around the rest of the store floor, it was pretty cool to see a working honeybee hive. If you put your ear up to the screens, you can hear the buzz of the bees.
The kids saw these Maple Pops and had to have one. I bet they'll be tasty.
Alli asked if these were real. They do look too perfect to be real, but I bet they are.
Ah, here's what we were looking for. Cider Mill Donuts! And they're making them fresh!
Too often we've ordered donuts and they've been cold. I want something hot and fresh! I think some of the best donuts we've had were from Apple Valley in California where the mini donuts were made fresh, mixed with cinnamon and sugar, and served hot.
I asked for hot donuts when we ordered them and we got some that had just come out of the oil.
They also had a maple soft-serve ice cream that I was considering, but we're going to be having so many tasty treats today I better not.
Might as well eat outside in this beautiful weather!
All told, I thought it was pretty reasonable for the price. A gallon of cider ($7), two apple slushies ($2.50 each), a half dozen donuts ($4), two maple lollipops ($1.50 each), and two maple hard candies ($0.20). Less than $20 for all this!
The sign claims that these donuts are Legendary!
Someone is not impressed.
Ian - These are not legendary.
They are hot and fresh, but I thought cinnamon and sugar was pretty standard for apple cider donuts. These don't have any. They're okay, but not my favorite.
Both kids are loving the maple pop though. My maple hard candy was pretty delicious too. I love that flavor!
Ooh, but those apple cider slushies are too easy to drink quickly. Brain freeze headaches are common.
And we'll be taking home a gallon of that delicious apple cider!
Ian - Cold hollow sider mill - My favorite part was getting sider. We got maple pops. I did not care for the doughnuts. We saw bees making honey. It was a good stop.