Friday, January 3, 2014


 After a few decades of working as a Registered Dietitian in health care settings, I changed my membership from being a part of a clinical practice group, to being a member of a culinary practice group.  That gave me the opportunity to make professional visits to various culinary schools around the USA and Canada.  This is a photo of a poster displayed at one such culinary school, when I visited there a while back.
 At the time of my visit, the New England Culinary Institute ( ) had a branch in Essex, Vermont.
 The NECI was located on the grounds of The Inn at Essex ( ).  As you would expect, the Inn at Essex made use of their on-site experts to provide a variety of culinary resources, including making cakes considered a work of art---not to mention---delicious to eat! 
 Also, as is often the case at culinary schools, the kitchen is designed in such a way that spectators can easily look through the large plate glass window to observe the food preparation in progress.  Class size is kept small in the three teaching kitchens, to give all participants the opportunity for a "hands on" experience.
 I was intrigued by this big hunk of salt, along with its silver spoon and salt server, because it is not something I ever saw in the big hospital/nursing home kitchens where I used to "hang out"!
 Throughout the property, the interior decorators have made use of the "butcher block"  decor style, which included this large bulletin board in the hotel lobby, telling the days activities.
 Likewise, their outdoor signs use the butcher block motif in their design.
 My favorite use of the butcher block motif, however, was that each guest room door was marked with a small butcher block, and whisk!
 The exterior of the resort also has paid attention to detail, by having that common New England building style of light-colored exterior, gabled roof line, shutters, and window boxes.
 These geraniums seemed to be enjoying their location in this cheerful-looking window box!  Considering that the resort is located near Burlington, Vermont, you can imagine that in the wintertime, this window box may be full of snow, rather than fresh flowers!
 The 18 acres that make up the grounds of The Inn at Essex have several different areas, designed to accommodate the needs of almost any kind of group activity.  This fire circle area would no doubt be a great place to gather for fireside activities in the evenings.
 The property also boasts a meticulously groomed herb garden---probably the prettiest one I have seen in all my travels.  This is especially remarkable since the chefs of The Inn at Essex  actually harvest and use these herbs in their daily cooking duties!
 Perhaps it is this angry looking "chef" scarecrow---complete with chef hat,  a spoon in their hand and bowl at their elbow, that keeps the vermin out of the herb garden!
 Yet another example of picturesque settings located on the property is this gazebo.  It is a location that can be used for weddings and other outdoor celebrations.
 Likewise, summertime events can include outdoor pool parties/receptions. They also have a rock climbing wall, indoor pool, and full-service spa.
 The A-frame glass wall enables guests inside to enjoy the beautiful grounds, even if they do not choose to go out to stroll on them.
 The big A-frame glass wall is the backdrop for a large dining area that can be used for culinary demonstrations.  This photo shows that the teaching chef was allowing me to try my hand at making crepes---something which I had never done before!
 Seeing this chef start from scratch with just eggs, flour, sugar, etc.---to create something delicious, reminded me of a cooking show I watch on Christian television, where the chef asks for a blessing over all the ingredients he has gathered in front of  him, that will be used in preparing the dish for that particular television program.  It was a reminder to me to give thanks for the ingredients I use, not just the end product.
 The chef I mentioned that prayed over his recipe ingredients came into my mind, when I was trying to find a visual image to help me learn one of my First Place 4 Health ( ) memory verses that says: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17 .  This photo shows God not only answered my prayers that my crepe-making efforts would be successful, the placement of the crepes is to remind me of the cross, where Jesus sacrificed HIS blood, to save me from the penalty of MY sins.  Now THAT is something to give thanks about!   If you would like to find out more about the The Inn at Essex and their Cooking Academy, just phone 1-800-727-4295 or email  .  Spending some time at this location will give you "Miles of lick-your-lips smiles" !  Tricia
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