Summer days in Vermont

At the end of July, Jon, Miren and I spent a few days visiting Nadia in her home in Vermont. Our friend Romina also joined us for some laid back New England summertime. We had no real agenda but to enjoy nature and let the children take part in farm chores.

I wanted some real summer days of berry picking, strolling, and sitting on a field of wildflowers and I knew we would get it in Vermont.

We arrived in Albany on an early afternoon. Jon and Miren could not hold their excitement – bursting with joy to see their Nadia. They sprinted all the way to baggage claim to jump into Nadia’s arms. And they jumped… and jumped and jumped.

It feels me with joy to see they trust her with every pore and she is family to them. There is no substitute for that feeling.

We spent that afternoon on the hill tending to the animals, walking through the tall grass and picking apples straight from the tree. A prelude to days to come.

Every morning, Nadia took Jon and Miren to let the chickens and ducks out, gather eggs, and get ready them ready for the day.

Nadia cooked breakfast for us with the eggs the children collected. “Can you make me another egg sandwich?” Jon asked Nadia. “There is something about Nadia’s eggs…” he said and he meant it.

Windows wide open – we took time to savor breakfast and breath fresh air.

Nadia harvested carrots, tomatoes, peas and beets from her garden that she turned into salads. “I want to pull carrots” repeated Miren as she followed Nadia around. She is a mirror image of me as a child when I loved helping my grandmother in her garden. Carrots were particularly delectable – sweet with a touch of pepper.

On our first day, we visited Hudson, New York. Strolled along main street stopping for lunch and espresso. Unique vintage shops drew us in. We had intended to visit the Saratoga farmers’ market that afternoon, but time escaped us.

Every afternoon Jon asked Romina for one of the madeleines she had brought some with her from her pastry shop in Salt Lake City. Definitely his favorite. We also had a serious macarons testing session with the macarons Romina brought back with her from Montreal. Coquelicot, apricot, yuzu… our little treats.

We drove through the Green Mountains into Brattleboro. I thought about my dad and how he enjoyed it when he visited last autumn. The rolling hills, the forests, the wild apple trees on the side of the road and the still damaged rivers from last year’s hurricane were as beautiful as ever.

There was a severe thunderstorm warning in the area that day. The ominous sky brought out the deep green and blue of the landscape.

We stopped for a quick bite in Brattleboro and then headed to Grafton Cheese Farm for some afternoon fun. There is a petting zoo that the children loved and a storefront where we learned a little bit more about the local cheese-makers.

On our drive, we stopped at a farm stand where I bought some black raspberries, brandy wine raspberries (new to me and so delicious) and red currants. I knew I had to make a tart with these – the berry and yogurt tart that we shared with Nikole.

We stopped at their berry-picking fields but they were closed for the day. The heat of the previous weeks had forced them to close the fields early to water them properly.

The stormy weather continued throughout the duration of our stay, but we welcomed it. A slower pace. Staring out at the beautiful fog is on the top of my favorite things to do.

We did not mind the rain at all.

We photographed the berry and yogurt tart story around Nadia’s property close to her berry bushes. Rain droplets still on the fruit and the dappled light of the clouds opening up. It was perfect.

“Why can’t we stay five more days” asked Jon with a frown on his face. I shared his feelings.

There was still too much for us to do – or even not do.

Just be.

Summer berry and yogurt tart

Makes a 9-inch tart

Pastry dough

2/3 cups (90 g) superfine brown rice flour (or regular brown rice flour but the superfine gives it a nicer and less grainy texture)
1/2 cup (60 g) millet flour
1/4 cup (30 g) cornstarch
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 tablespoons (110 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 to 7 tablespoons ice water

Combine the first five ingredients in the food processor and pulse to aerate. Add the diced butter and pulse ten times until the butter is the size of peas. Add the ice water and pulse until it comes together. It will not form a ball. Transfer the dough to your work surface and knead a couple of times. Wrap it in plastic wrap, flatten it, and form it into a disk. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Dust your preferably cold work surface with superfine brown rice flour. Roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Fill a 9-inch tart mold with the dough. Cut off excess and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Lightly dock the bottom of the tart dough with a fork. Cover it with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove beans and bake for another 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350F (180C).

Berry and yogurt filling

1/4 cup (50 g) natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 eggs
3 tablespoons almond flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole-milk yogurt (I love sheep’s milk yogurt)
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole milk
2 cups (280 g) summer berries (blueberries, currants, red and black raspberries, blackberries, strawberries… or even stone fruit)

Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and rub them between your fingers until very fragrant. Add the eggs and whisk. Add the almond flour and whisk until lump free. Whisk in the yogurt and milk until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the prebaked tart. Top with the berries.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the custard is set. Let the tart cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

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103 Responses to “Summer days in Vermont”

  1. I love Vermont. And I love this post Aran!

  2. I love the light in your pics! I say this to myself every time I look at your photos but especially in your posts in Vermont: it’s maybe Nadia’s house or the light there but it has something… magical, calm, serene…

  3. Heavenly. This is such a precious friendship you all share – so rare and to be treasured! Looks and sounds like a truly gorgeous visit – restorative and energizing. Loved hearing about it! xox

  4. Linda says:

    I love this so much Aran! Just wow. Amazing!

  5. A fabulous place! Perfect for relaxing.

    Thanks for sharing your gorgeous pictures with us.

    This tart must be mighty delicious.



  6. So gorgeous, so dreamy, makes one want to go to Vermont right away! Also reminds me of European style vacation where you savor the time and enjoy the company rather than try to pack every minute with activity. Love love this, your work always an inspiration. Thank you.

  7. Wow, so much goodness. The yellow chairs on the wood porch look a perfect place to sit, gorgeous food, beautiful animals, and those sweet curls and boots on small feet–adorable.

  8. This is so lovely, Aran. You paint such a lovely picture of Vermont and Nadia’s dreamy, majestic world! It is so great the kids get to have these adventures that they will remember the rest of their lives! Thanks for sharing your trip– I now really, really want to go to Vermont!

  9. Beautiful post. Everything seems so delicate and simply in a way that reflects elegance. The shots compositions are really amazing… :)

  10. Natalie says:

    Dear Aran,
    There is such an abundance of love, beauty, youth, nature, simplicity, and so many wonderful things represented here. I so wish I had been able to meet you in Brattleboro–I must admit, those darling kids of yours have created quite a soft spot in my heart even though we only met once and I’d love to see them again! That photo of Miren on the hammock with Jon happy in the background…and Miren with the rainbow…Jon on Nadia’s back…so many treasures! Much love from Vermont!

    ~Natalie at Tasha Tudor and Family

  11. Nisrine says:

    Summer is beautiful through your lens, Aran. Love the tart!

  12. tinajo says:

    Gorgeous summer pics! :-)

  13. Giulia says:

    Looks like a beautiful trip – so peaceful and the colours are the opposite of Florida.

  14. Juliana says:

    Aran, this post is too beautiful for words. It brings tears to my eyes.

  15. Brought me to tears… I don’t think life gets sweeter than this.

  16. i waited for this post a confirmation of what i felt during your visit here, that somehow as time passes you guys feel more and more like family, part of me. how wonderful it is to be able to share the hill and to have you guys feel at home. love how romina was part of it as well. i love the children, a pure love as if they are blood.

    beautiful aran these are precious times, i treasure always.

  17. I’m obsessed with blackberries and your gorgeous ones are making me jealous. Your photographs are so beautiful! You have also gotten me hooked on currants. Can you eat blackcurrants raw, or only cooked?

  18. oh how i wait for these post as if a confirmation for what i already know and feel, that it was a wonderful time. each visit i feel as if you guys are family and always have been. the children enrich my life, make me smile from ear to ear whether it is playing exploring or working situations out i feel a sense of fullfilment in their company.

    i loved having romina there to, it was truly a magical time.

    i will treasure these precious visits, and keep them close to heart always.

    aran, thank you for capturing the hill so beautifully, for sharing your time with me.

    see you soon.

  19. Helen R. says:

    Your photographs are always incredibly beautiful!!!! I wish I was as talented as you are…

  20. I ♥♥♥ your pictures! And I have to got to Vermont one day…

  21. Thank you everyone for your kind words, but most importantly to Nadia who opened her home once again to us. Eternally grateful.

    Thank you!

  22. I am rarely envious…but your trips to Nadia in Vermont actually do it, they fill me with a tinge of envy!
    Such amazing photographs of a magical piece of this earth.
    Thank you for sharing!
    xo Dawn

  23. Oh my! What a lovely time y’all had! The pictures are so gorgeous! They make me feel all warm and cozy inside.

    By the way, is that a bottle of Southern Comfort on the table there? ;-)

  24. Rachel says:

    Wow! I just love your photos! Sure makes me wish I could have been there too!

    Thanks for sharing your trip :)

  25. Brian- I am laughing so hard… I never even noticed before. I can assure you it is not the real deal but a vessel to hold some amazing vt maple syrup :)

    Thank you everyone!

  26. Rebecca says:

    Gorgeous photos of Nadia’s beautiful animals. What a wonderful place to enjoy the summer! I, too, love nothing more than to immerse myself in a dense blanket of fog. Unfortunately we don’t get enough of it here. The tart is amazing. One of my very favourite summer memories is eating raspberries straight from my mother’s bushes. They just taste like summer!

  27. Your pictures are always so lovely! Makes me want to be in Vermont surrounded endless green and flowers.

  28. Radka says:

    What a beautiful portrait of Vermont you painted, Aran! Vermont is special. I hope you will visit soon again.

  29. Radka says:

    What a beautiful portrait of Vermont you painted, Aran! Vermont is special and I am happy you get to enjoy it. Hope you can visit soon again.

  30. a. maren says:

    so beautiful! thank you for taking us with you.

  31. Dominika says:

    Hello. I am just stunned. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful pictures.

  32. Evitaa says:

    I just love these photos, what more can I say?
    Looks like paradise… :)

  33. Sini says:

    Beautiful pictures! I’m sure it was wonderful to slow down the pace and escape the heat. I’m totally going to make this pie – it’s simply irresistible. Hopefully next week.

  34. Beautiful! Snaps and Yammy food I must say.

  35. Better than a magazine.Lovely every single photo.

  36. The photograph of your daughter in the field with the rainbow is absolutely stunning. Amazing work!

  37. Seeing a photo story like that makes me so happy :)

  38. Everything in this post is adorable.
    Love it!

  39. domonique says:

    you are so truly gifted. your photography transports me.

  40. The summer in Vermont is beautiful. It’s funny how it looks a bit like the Italian nature I used to live in, lots of fruit, animals and nature everywhere.


  41. Simply amazing on all levels! Angelic light!

  42. Oh Aran that sounds like you had such a lovely trip. I can’t believe how big Miren is getting.

  43. Love your pictures … they’re gorgeous and they just draw me in :-)

  44. The window with your daughter looking out and her in the field with the rainbow are both award winning quality

  45. Rose says:

    Love your pictures so much !
    A fan from France !

  46. holly says:

    I would love to pop one of those tomatoes in my mouth!

  47. Becca says:

    Wow, your photos are so amazing every time i look at your blog. The sun shines through and makes everything look so idyllic! Thank you

  48. Beth says:

    This is absolutely inspiring, breathtaking, heart-warming and simply lovely!

  49. El says:

    I don’t even know where to begin. Your images in this post have such depth and richness. You truly create a sense of being there. I can feel the grass on my feet and taste the pie. And that shot of M with the rainbow… talk about timing. Cheers to you on this post. You knocked it out of the park!

  50. Ola says:

    a m a z i n g shots! showing the essence of a peaceful summer atmosphere!

    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

  51. Je suis dans le ravissement… Que ces photos sont belles, touchantes, elles me laissent rêveuses!
    Ta petite fille est vraiment très jolie…
    Un immense bravo pour ce fabuleux travail!

  52. Beautiful, beautiful! Thanks for the mini-journey to Vermont you gave all of us who got to read this post. The colos and the light are enchanting.

  53. Oh this post is just beautiful, your photos are amazing! It has me longing for summer.

  54. Anna says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine what a lovely trip this must have been. These photos are incredible! (I recently followed Nadia and her surroundings are righto out of a fairytale)

  55. wow, already apples in Vermont!
    Speaking about Vermont… I can’t see the time to watch your booktrailer! When will you post it?

  56. Dulcistella- the trailer is going through final edits as we speak so I think I will be able to share it soon.

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I see many of you want to visit Vermont as you should :)

  57. I’m not sure if I have commented on your blog, but I have been following you for over a year and am absolutely in love with your blog. Your photos are stunning and some of my favorite. I just moved from Vermont last month and I cannot tell you how much these pictures mean to me. Vermont is such a special place and you captured the state quite nicely in the photos. I love to hear about the time that you and your family spend there. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  58. Danielle- how lucky that you moved to VT. I love it there so much. So peaceful and rich with natural beauty. Enjoy it.

    Thank you!

  59. ChichaJo says:

    I have never been to Vermont but you certainly have painted a beautiful picture of it with your photos! Sounds like my kind of a vacation! Your children are so adorable…I think kids nowadays should be more exposed to, as you put it, farm chores! :)

    Gorgeous tart…I want some!

  60. What a beautiful post with simply stunning pictures,

  61. Miren E. says:

    I loved this post! Since my brother and me are Jon and Miren too, I feel identified in some of your posts, our childhood times in our “baserri”! Beautiful pictures, moving, where the light and colours make you feel that you are there with the family!

    Precioso post! Benetan.
    Eskerrik asko gurekin banatzeagatik!

  62. Itxaso says:

    Chapeau Aran!!! Zoragarriek dire argazkiek!! Zelako koloreak eta momentuek… ke pasada! Itinerarioa prestetan nabil eta Hudson be sartukot, ez naz egon inoz, dnozunegaitik leku polite izingo da. Oin dala gitxi bueltau gara handik ingurutik eta desietan nau bueltetako. Zu Seattlera mudauko zinen moduen ni NY edo VTera. Saratogan be egon ginen, eta usteot egun berean egon ginela Albanyko aireportuen.
    Ondo segidu aran!

  63. Wow what beautiful pictures! Really evocative and gorgeous. I write a blog which draws on my experiences of living in rural France. I am hoping more people will make the move from the city to the country and find out how enriching it makes your life.

  64. Vermont is so beautiful, peaceful and tranquil.

    And that tart is absolutely gorgeous :)

  65. Megan says:

    Are your photos/posts always this gorgeous? I think I may plan a trip to Vermont- it’s so lovely :)

  66. Kristin says:

    Hello! This is my first time here, and I have to say I adore your photography and way telling a story. I’m just so inspired.
    Thanks for the beauty!

    - Kristin

  67. Kristin says:

    This is my first visit to your blog, and I have to say that I adore your photographic style and storytelling. It’s so inspiring for me! Thanks for the beauty!
    - Kristin

  68. Itxaso- ze egunetan egon zinen Albanyn ba? Jo zelako kasualidadea. Urrie laster dator!

  69. Miren- zelako kasualidadea! Bueno Jon eta Miren izen nahiko arruntak dire ez? :) Ze herritan da zuen baserrie ba? Eskerrik asko!

  70. Such a great post,one of my favourites!! I am getting in love with Nadia’s place through your photos and story,more and more!!

  71. Sanda- thank you very much. It’s Nadia’s place that is magical with the colors and the light. You can see it in her images. Miss you.

  72. Miren E. says:

    Ba baserria Zumarragan degu, aitarena. Bai gure izenak nahiko arruntak dira, baina gurasoek argi zeukaten! Ximple eta errazak, ta euskaldunak!
    Egunen baten ea gai naizen horrelako blog-en bat idazteko. Aurten Canadara noa bizitzera, beraz, beharbada izango dut aukera. Hori bai, kostatuko zait lortzen duzun konplizidadea eta sentimentuetara gerturatzea!
    Zorionak benetan!

  73. Carmen Perez Cadena says:

    I’ll be short: THANK YOU! :)

    I enjoyed it from the top to the bottom. Pictures, text, the spirit of your stay in Vermont… I think I’ll be smiling the entire day.

  74. Miren- Zumarragan! Ederra. Eta bai, guk be izenak horrexegaitik aukeratu genduzan. Gorantziek.

  75. What a gorgeous blog post….so full of rich text, photos and recollections… I just made the beautiful Berry Tart…look so forward to seeing how it tastes! Thank you for sharing with us your special moments of summer and lasting friendships..

  76. Anonymous says:

    Buenos días :)
    Me encanta encanta encanta tu blog y hoy cuando he visto estas fotos… Me ha entrado una envidia… Todo tan bonito y yo en Pamplona metida en casa huyendo del calor! Pero en cierto modo me alegra porque me das muchísimas ideas para hacer cositas :) Espero que sigas escribiendo y compartiendo recetas con nosotros mucho tiempo!!

  77. Sini says:

    Made the tart on Wednesday using white and black currants, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. It turned out wonderful. A perfect summer treat.

  78. vytran says:

    Aran, what a beautiful post! I was wondering for one of your pictures, is that a berry custard or rice pudding and do you have a recipe for it? I would love to try that!

  79. I LOVE this post!!!!!

    Greetings from Germany!
    ♥ Franka

  80. Love your photos and the photo collages really magical!! Love the rainbow… Thanks so much for sharing, Laura

  81. Vytran- the recipe is actually a clafoutis and it’s a variation of a recipe from my book so cannot share it here yet. Book comes out October 23rd! Thank you!

  82. Oh! So much happiness right here. Thank you. Inspiring.
    Heidi xo

  83. What a nice summer vacation, and such beautiful pictures ! So glad I discovered your blog !

  84. Claire says:

    Your blog is always SO inspiring, thank you for what you do ! And I want to have breakfast once in my life on this wonderful terrace :))

  85. what a chance for the kids to live in such a beautiful countryside; very peaceful. it reminds me my childhood in the French Alpes

  86. Greetings from Finland. :) I just found your blog. Your pictures are so adorable. I love them!

  87. LoloB says:

    Quel magnifique blog!!!!!

  88. Arroztei says:

    Argi zoragarria dute zure argazkiak,lasaitasuna adierazten dute, segi horrela.

  89. sabra says:

    That tart is a work of art!

  90. Itxaso says:

    Aran, ba uztailan 28en egon ginen Albanyko aireportuen. Lehenengo hegazkine atzeratu in jakun eta horregaitik bigarrena galdu gindunez, aireportuetan pasau gindun ia egun osoa, asi ke errepasau noazan blog eta twitter guztiek jajaja eta ikusi noan zeozer idatzi zindule etxerantza joateari buruz edo, asi ke imajinau noan Albanytik ibiliko ziniela. Jo ikusi dot oin BCn egon zarela, zelango lekue izin behadan hori be. Zelango ganea argazkiek ikusteko! mosu bet

  91. Looks delicous ! Love your pictures, how colourful, guess it must have been a perfect birthday dinner!

    shot for slim

  92. steph says:

    Thanks for taking me on a virtual vacation!! I loved every minute of it!!!

  93. Dear Aran,

    I follow your blog with so much joy – you are such an inspiration to me as a photographer. Then, forget about photography… you’re just an inspiration to me! =]

    I come and look through your photos often (not just once) and, just this time, I noticed that BIG FAT hen with her frilly tail in the air! Wait! Actually, I notice a lot of new things every time but that just has me chuckling and chuckling this morning.

    What’s made me comment, today, was that I realized that you were Grafton, this summer. I’m in the next town over!!! It’s fun to see you posting about VT and to hear your stories. I could almost guess which day you were here with the thunderstorm warnings. We haven’t had much of that, this summer. =/

    IIIII think that you need to do a food styling and photography workshop in Vermont!!! =D I’m laughing out loud because the idea is so selfish for me. But what a picturesque and wonderful spot, eh? right? Will you do it? =D (Just kidding…. sort of! ;))

    I do know for sure… thank you for sharing your talents with us!!!


    Katy Noelle xxo

  94. Katy- That’s funny. yes, I love VT and maybe one day I will do a workshop there. Hopefully.

  95. Jokin says:

    Kaixo Arantzazu

    Azkenean heldu gara etxera. Gaur aitagaz egon naz eta orain zure post-a ikusten nago. Bueno, zer esango dot, “alucineta” nago irudi hain politak ikusteagaz. Eskerrik asko egiten dozuzan gauza on guztiegaitik. Mosu handi bat. Jokin.

  96. Jokin- eslerrik asko eta mosu handi bet. Arantzazu

  97. Jokin- eslerrik asko eta mosu handi bet. Arantzazu

  98. This pictures are so beautiful, great blog!

  99. Anonymous says:

    Seu lugar é lindo!! Um sonho! Gosto também de cozinhar e faço essas quiches. Aqui no Brasil, onde moro tem uma música que diz assim:
    Eu quero uma casa no campo,
    Onde eu possa compor os meus rocks
    rurais,e tenha somente a certeza dos amigos do peito e nada mais…
    É essa vida, essa paz tranquilidade
    que faz a vida valer a pena!! Lindas fotos!

  100. […] chocolate cupcake, blackberries in a strainer, berries and cream, muffin and coffee, berry tart, ice-cream sandwiches, blackberry fennel […]

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