Well hello there beautiful people, long time no chat!
It is no secret that I am a born and raised Vermonter and proud of it. I love being from this little state where everyone knows everyone and local goods are supported far more than anything mass produced elsewhere. While it certainly has it’s drawbacks (I’m still looking at you, Target) I am truly grateful to have moved back to my home state for the last few years. Living along the waterfront of downtown Burlington in particular for the last couple of years has been great because it means a 5-10 minute walk brings me to fantastic restaurants, shops and activities. I’ve always wanted this blog to in part showcase some of the fun things that the area has to offer so I thought I’d start a series called “Vermonting” to grow that outlet.
My schedule typically gives me Sunday & Mondays off- Sundays to be lazy, Monday to prep for the week while everyone else is at work. This Sunday in particular was one of those days I could have easily hung around the house all day so I was very happy when a friend of mine invited me to go watch the SEC Championship game at a local sports bar. (I never thought I’d actually want Kentucky to win over another team but as I am strictly against shifting conferences, Texas A&M didn’t stand a chance in my book). After the game I decided to walk along Church Street half to people watch, half to pop in and out of some of my favorite shops.
First up, Saratoga Olive Oil Co. Let me preface this part by saying- I don’t cook. I try to cook, I don’t normally suck at it but on the whole I am terrified of it. I’ve started gathering the general idea of how to use oils and balsamic vinegars but knowing what flavors go with what gives me some solid anxiety. I love going into Saratoga Olive Oil because not only can you taste literally everything, they will also be very polite when you ask dumb questions like “what could I possibly do with this?” I feel like every product in the shop is the perfect addition to gift baskets so I’m constantly buying them but I can’t say that I’ve ever purchased my own bottle until Sunday. I ended up with the Cilantro & Roasted Onion Olive Oil that according to the nice girl behind the counter “makes an excellent roasting oil and even better in guac if you like oil based guac.” Uh, sure I do? I’ll let you guys know how I fare. Also, if you get the chance I’d highly recommend checking out their website for helpful recipes!
My next stop was a local kitchen supply store called Kiss the Cook to grab a maple leaf cookie cutter and get real, real Vermonty on this shit. As I mentioned previously I’m not a big cook (though I do hope to be one day) however I do love to bake and I’ve wanted to try out a new cookie recipe so why not get a badass cookie cutter in the process.
I floated into Zinnia Jewelry Store in search of a fun statement necklace. I love the selection at Zinnia and the majority of their jewelry is moderately priced which makes my frugal soul happy. According to their website they have a few locations along the east coast. On this particular occasion I walked out with this beauty for $9.
Towards the end of Church Street is an adorable little locally owned bookshop called Crow Bookshop. They offer everything from new and used books, graphic novels and more. One of my goals for 26 is to read more than I have in the last few years- sadly I’ll admit in the first month of this goal I’ve probably already succeeded in this goal, younger Kari wasn’t exactly an eager reader. I found a book that intrigued me instantly called The Boston Girl which I plan to start reading soon now that I’ve finished Brooklyn.
I finished my Church Street trip with a “day cap” at the new to me Vermont Distillers Tasting Room. The family owned company produces a couple of liqueurs that I’ve tried at various festivals around the area, their Vermont Maple Cream Liqueur is an excellent choice similar to a Bailey’s. I debated doing a tasting but as i’m not the biggest fan of liquor straight up I decided to just grab one of their cocktail specials. I ended up with a “Moscow Blue” which included a blueberry liqueur, ginger beer and their own Catamount Vodka. The gentleman behind the bar was so lovely, the drink itself was delicious and the records playing in the background was the perfect way to end my Sunday.
Can we also talk about these shelves? I posted this picture on my Instagram and a friend was very quick to point out how awesome they were and I couldn’t have agreed more.
So there you have it, the first official Vermonting post. You can certainly expect more Church Street adventures to come but these shops in particular are some of my favorites to begin with.
Have a wonderful week folks!