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Memories of Vermont

A conversation with Marie reminded me of a food-related Vermont experience from many years ago. One fall back in the 20th century, I went with several people for a fall foliage tour of southern Vermont and New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the weather decided to challenge us by dumping an early, very wet snow all over the landscape. The result was beautiful but also weighed down all the trees, still laden with their leaves, which in turn took down the power lines. The roads were impassable as well, so we had to spend an unexpected night in Brattleboro.

The first challenge was to find a hotel room. We were luckier than some and found a hotel with space. There weren't enough beds for all of us, nor was the heat working. But at least it had a roof and four walls.

The next challenge was to find something to eat. Most places were closed, but the local Chinese restaurant was open. The owner pulled his truck up to the front window, turned on his headlights, and kept the motor running to light the room. He then cooked what he could, which turned out to be a pu-pu platter. He brought it out complete with a Sterno flame in the middle of the appetizers. I have never been happier to see a pu-pu platter.

The next morning, things were slowly returning to normal. A local diner offered a good breakfast. Many of the visitors to town were there, including a New Yorker using the phone (this was pre-cell phone) to bark commands to someone back in the Big Apple. He loudly proclaimed that he didn't care how bad the roads were, he was going to drive back. He left in his car a few minutes later. And some people question the veracity of Natural Selection...


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