4.03.2006

Pickles on Pancakes?




I was told by my friend Otie to take a drive out to his hometown Shelburne Falls to meet him at a sugarhouse after greatly expressing interested in maple sugaring. Three months later I'm waking up at 6-am to drive two and a half hours to get breakfast. I'm happy as well a clam I guess the saying goes. I arrive at Gould's Sugar House to find a small red barn in the middle of one of the lost towns of route 2 west. To my surprise the place is packed with locals, tourists and the curious traveler alike waiting in line for the first meal of the day. I put my name in to reserve a table, busy morning on this day there's a one hour wait. That's fine it give's me time to look around.
Gould's Farm is set up in basically three sections
1. Dining room
2. Gift Shop
3. Maple Production
We'll start with the later. In the middle of the barn lies a huge wood burning boiler to reduce the sap into the gooey sweet stuff we love. Unfortunately the sap stopped dripping the day before my arrival. So we didn't get to see any actual production on this particular visit. It did look like old man Gould was bottling up the last of the syrup for the season though, friendly guy introduce yourself.
The gift shop is every grandmothers dream. Every where you look there is something sweet to nibble on. Maple covered peanuts, maple candy and best of all maple soft serve cones for 25 cents litter the gift shop. Not to mention the jugs of pure sweet stuff for sale as well.
Our table is up and we were seated by the kindest country lady ever imaginable. General hospitality apparently increases the further west of Boston you go. "Hey Otie, what's up with that bowl of pickles?" "They're good trust me..." So apparently the local's put some homemade pickles on their pancakes. Who am I to say no? To tell you the truth I knew about it in advance and that's why I made the trip. We order some Corn fritters for the table. By far the best hand's down fritters known to man. Fried to perfection leaving an unimaginably soft center of corn. My short stack arrives a few moments thereafter, three golden brown griddle cakes cooked to perfection stuffed with fresh blueberries and homemade sausage sit upon me for a mere $9.00. People usually say pancakes are pancakes but there was something about these pancakes that was special. Maybe it was knowing the syrup is about an hour old, maybe it was the tangy pickles making for an unusually good combination, maybe it was the rural hospitality. Or maybe it was the picture of Bill Cosby looking right at me. Either way I'm leaving with a happy belly this morning. The food and service was top notch no complaints by anyone in our party. The dining room also has spectacular view overlooking a mountainous valley.
If your looking for a good day trip out side of Boston I suggest Shelburne Falls. Don't forget to stop into town and take a look at the glacial potholes before you head home as well.




2 comments:

Meg said...

you are so new england

Otie said...

Wow, you really are spreading the word...I'm impressed!