Snowy Christmas Week on Kimball Farm

Our three-horse trailer waiting for spring.

In the spring, we disc the pastures before reseeding.

This is our winter sleigh -- we hitch up our two workhorses and go for a ride in the snow.

We have about 12 cords of wood ready for sugaring that starts in March.

The back porch in Vermont just after another winter snowstorm.

Our son, Charlie, got his first rabbit on New Year's Eve.

We spent all day New Year's Eve rabbit hunting - this farm is full of hedgerows which makes for good rabbit cover.

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm  Comments (59)  

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  1. Just looking at these makes my toes cold, Tiddley-Pom! But I’m sure it’s cozy inside, where I would be baking for five months straight if I lived there!

    • I would warm your toes up!

  2. We are settled in, too, for the short days ahead here in Michigan. Spent new year’s eve day hunting as well, but it’s pheasant for us, and my son Nick bagged his first solo bird (i.e. without a follow-up shot from Dad). Congrats to Charlie on his first rabbit.

    New year’s dinner was roast pheasant with a red currant sauce. I think you could improve on it, but all our guests were politely appreciative anyway.

  3. Love the pictures! I saw Chris Kimball on the Today show and was inspired to pull out the slow cooker. My horses are snug in the barn (it’s actually cold in Houston, first time in 20 years)and scenting the house with one of your wonderful recipes.
    Keep up the great work. Your cookbook is wonderful.

    Houston, TX

    • Would this be Suzette, THS Class of ’79?

  4. Love the pictures! I saw Chris Kimball on the Today show and was inspired to pull out the slow cooker. My horses are snug in the barn (it’s actually cold in Houston, first time in 20 years)and the slow cooker scenting the house with one of your wonderful recipes.
    Keep up the great work. Your cookbook is wonderful.

    Houston, TX



  6. As I look at the picts of the snow and cold it reminds me of Michigan when I was a youngster. I sit here on my patio, looking at my orange trees in Arizona, wearing cut offs and sandals 😉

    • If you are nostogic for snow, just drive up the hill to Flag and get your fill. 60″ in five days!

  7. Not my kind of living, but love the recipes.

  8. When can we put our names on the list for this year’s maple sugar? We miss the maple sugar we used to get from a farm near my in-laws house in Dorset, Vermont. Thanks! Sheila Newton, Winston-Salem, NC

  9. Your property is absolutely beautiful. For me it would be a dream come true. I love the outdoors and hunting too. I have to drive from Milwaukee to Door County to hunt,I envy you. Tedd

    • I live in Marinette and we have all that winter here-I am able to walk out my back door and do all that hunting and wood gathering. I walk out my front door and there is the bay of Green Bay-you must sacrafice in order to have these privileges!

  10. As a former central NY’r, I dearly miss the look and feel of winter. But I don’t miss the chore. That firewood stack is impressive. I purchase 2 cord every winter here in GA, for the fireplace (a cord down here is a face cord up north). I have already recieved my 10yr Cook Book. And I love the descriptions of trial and errors and of course the final recipe.
    Congrat’s Charlie on bagging a Coney.

    Cumming, GA

  11. As I child in England during WWII when the reapers came to cut the wheat (our corn) some of the men would stand around the field and shoot the rabbits as they ran out of the cover. We often had rabbit stew as other meat was severely rationed.
    Now I delight my grandchildren with recipes from Cooks Illustrated that my daughter has given me for several years. I love your shows on my local PBS station.

  12. I guess someone must live in Vermont or else we wouldn’t have your wonderful maple syrup to taste and enjoy; but, I’m sure glad it is you and not me living in that cold and snow. I’ll stay right here in Arizona and enjoy looking at all the beautiful pictures of Vermont that you show in your newsletters. A devoted fan. Tess

  13. I would LOVE to live there..I love the snow! How awesome were your photo’s. Thank you for sharing.
    York, PA

  14. Hunting? How brave you are! It was wonderful and refreshing. Big bunny your son got. I hope the ‘Anti’s’ don’t put out a bounty you. I write looking out my office window at a cow elk hanging from the cottonwood by the back porch that will be butchered this weekend. Keep up the good work.

  15. Wonderful pictures! Thanks. Do you eat the rabbits? We used to eat rabbits instead of chicken during WW11. Not sure I could survive all that snow..we don’t get that much in PA anymore. Maybe once or twice. But one thing is sure, Vermont is a beautiful state, one of my favorites.

  16. We are looking for our first major snow storm tomorrow here in Virginia.. We are excited…No hunting for us; but lots of cooking; baking and eating by the fireplace…We don’t get a lot of snow anymore here and I miss it. Fondest memories are of playing in the snow as a child — loved it.

    Stony Creek, Virginia

  17. I can identify with Charlie and his first rabbit. We would have a game dinner in late winter. My rabbit was part of a pot pie. I made sure everyone there knew I was responsible for the rabbit in that pie. I was 11. Charlie, congratulations. You’ll remember that rabbit forever.

  18. Beautiful pictures of your farm and I am sure you and son were so proud of that rabbit! My son doesn’t hunt persae but he likes to try for the ground hog that lives in our fallen barn. The ground hog seems to be winning! The wood for making maple sugar is huge! My husband would be so envious of you at that time. He tried it here at our farm once and I can say the results were less than mapley. ha ha but he loves the syrup and would love to get in on the real thing. Need some help? :>

  19. Thanks for the pictures. We had 12 inches of snow over Christmas. Hadn’t seen that for a long time. I had four Christmas’s. Not everyone one could get in at the same time. I so love your receipes. I saw you on the Today show. Enjoyed it.
    Mary Alice

  20. Beautiful pictures!
    Congrats to Charlie! I bet that was one delicious rabbit! No snow here in the central valley of CA.

  21. Excellent rabbit hunting!! I, too, spent the Christmas holiday rabbit hunting in the snow. We had a wonderfully snowy and cold holiday week here in northeast Oklahoma. Shooting limits (for two weekends) left PLENTY of cleaned cottontails in the freezer. PLEASE SHARE some of your favorite rabbit recipies!!! I’ve got more rabbits than recipies. Pressure cookers ones, even better!!

    • I used to hunt with my father and Mom would cook Rabbit, Squirrel, Woodchuck, and deer for our family. I especially enjoyed rabbit prepared by first soaking it overnight in salt water, making sure that you remove the “kernels” under the legs. She would then pat it dry and dredge it in flour w/ salt and pepper. It was first fried and then put in a casserole dish with some water, onions, carrots and potatoes and baked at 325 degrees for about an hour. You can also fry it and then bake it with spaghetti sauce over it. A trick I learned from an older hunter was to soak any game meat such as rabbit, deer or squirrel in cold strong coffee overnight and then rinse it and then fry and bake it. I love deer steaks fried with mushrooms and served with pancakes. Hope this helps you.

  22. Your pictures also remind me of my winters in Vermont as a child. I now live in Oregon and when I tell people about the snow and 30 below winters no one believs me. I now live in a valley in Oregon where it snows very rarely, I do miss the beauty of it but not the cold. I do love your stories about your life in Vermont and I get to reminisce about my uncle’s farm in Higate Springs, of digging forts in the snow and having snowball fights with all my cousins. Keep the stories coming.

  23. love your farm,you are very lucky to have such a nice place for hunting.

  24. Thank you for sharing your beautiful farm. Once had the pleasure of skiing in Vermont, hoping to do so again. Love to cook rabbit but have to travel to Philadelphia to purchase it. Congratulations Charlie!

  25. Love your newsletter and pictures. Makes me feel like I’m right there in your little town experiencing it all. Also love the ATK cookbook and get rave reviews when I make your dishes for my friends and family.

  26. great pictures. now deer hunting is over, we a month left for rabbits here in virginia. hope to get a few for a sunday breakfast. rabbit smotherd in gravy and onions, fried potoatoes, and homemades biscuts. YUMMY!

    • Your farm is beautiful. I love your show and every one of your recipes. I’ve watched and enjoyed both shows for years. My grandparents and parents are from Vermont and we have so many lovely, happy memories of our time spent together in Vermont. I miss everything so much and still get maple syrup shipped to me a few tmes a year. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Very Nice. Reminds me of working on my great uncle’s farm in Pennsylvania Amish county: Breaking ice for the animals, Horses to pasture, cold walks in the snow, hot wood stove rail to lean against and well awaited (and earned) good, hot meals and laughter when you got in from the chores!

    Love your program. Thought I knew cooking from my Grandmother, but I have learned a lot of good technique, and that there is an easier way to do things.

  28. Looks cold but lovely. We’re tough here in Wisconsin. Right now it is below zero and going to -15 tonight. We have cords of wood that husband Tom cut this fall and we use it in our Vermont Castings wood stove in our family room dining room. The dogs (3) sprawl on the floor and just soak up the warmth. Sure hope the cold will take care of some of the summer bugs.

    My favorite cooking show, some days I’m lucky enough to get two episodes on our local PBS station. Sensible, practical and easy to understand and love the food tasting and the appliance tests.

  29. Nice rabbit! I’ll bet you have a great Hasenpeffer(probably butchered the spelling)recipe. Well enjoy and happy huntin!

  30. Just made your French Onion Soup receipe last weekend. It was just perfect for a cold winter’s night. Thank you!

  31. Wonderful pictures. It reminds me of our Minnesota winters. There’s an abundance of rabbits here this year and my grandaughter’s cats have been kept busy. I enjoy your newsletter and the TV show on our local PBS station. Have learned much from and tried many of your thoroughly tested recipies. Would love to purchase some of your maple syrup.

  32. I love the pictures in Vermont. What a wonderful life Chris Kimball leads with his family. A beautiful snow covered paridise to live in, a great business and a beautiful family, what could be better. I love winter and the snow. And what a find too a man who hunts and cooks. Kudos Chris and thanks for all the great recipes I have gotten off your shows.

  33. Oooo,brrr, cold looking at those pictures. We don’t get snow in my part of California. Would love to move nearer to snow though.
    Thanks for sharing the pix.
    Julie in San Jose, California

  34. Love the pictures. Love your writing. Love love love your recipes and TV shows. If I could clone myself, I’d be at your door, begging for an apprenticeship. Maybe in another life…

  35. Looking at all that snow and that folksy, country environment you call home makes me want to head east. Living now in California I miss the eastern forest, seasons and atmosphere.

    Your cooking show is a welcome treat in our home.

  36. Thank you for the Letters From Vermont. I relish the stories and tidbits. Vermont is truly a lovely place. On a different note, we had a hunger for spice so the carnitas recipe (May/June 08) came out, when the savory meat was brought from the oven, my son stole a “test piece” then hugged me and said this was the best meat he’s ever eaten. So a hug to you from Utah from a grateful little boy.

  37. I too loved the pictures. My father took me out for the first time hunting rabbits in a field near my Great Uncle’s farm. I got two that day and Grandma fried them up with bisquits and freshly churned real yellow butter and homemade jam. We had that with her gravy and also sweet cornbread and honey. I was so proud that day over 45 years ago and remember it like it was yesterday back in rural Ohio. Love the show! Props to you Charlie.

  38. BRRRR! I love snow, but I don’t love the cold. You have a beautiful place. I just love your show. I try to never miss an episode, if I think I’m going to I record it so I can watch it later. Thank you for having an informative and also entertaining, quality program.
    Thank you!!!

  39. Thank you for the pictures! Congrats to Charlie ! That is a pretty good sized rabbit! Enjoy the shows & trying out reciepes on my family.

  40. Ohio Maple Syrup ranks up there with Vermonts.

    Just cannot use anything but real Maple Syrup on Pancakes!

    Stay Warm and Thanks for all your great TV programs.

  41. Your farm is beautiful.Its been very cold in Mn. I opened my wonderful Americas Test Kitchen cook book and made homemade pies for 3 days . They turned out perfect.
    Thank You for all your shows and e-mails.

  42. I love that seen and good for you charlie!! Whats more important is how dad cook it .Tell me please by email!

    happy hunting NEW YEAR , REGARDS jon

  43. Love your newsy notes from Vermont. We live 50 mi west of Chicago, and we’ve had lots of snow here. My 90 lb lab, Cade, sends congrats to Charlie on the rabbit. Cade almost had a bird for lunch yesterday! Just missed by a feather. HE was so proud (and disappointed).

  44. Love your beautiful pictures … I follow the seasons with your newsletter. Rabbit stew, yum. When I was very little we use to go to the neighbors, purchase a freshly dressed rabbit, take it home to Greatgrandm who did something very German.
    I am in the Padific Northwest, experiencing a very El Nino winter. Happy Mapel syrup harvesting..yummmmm

  45. Hi Chris:
    I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoy your News Letters from “Down Home Vermont”. I was born and lived in Rhode Island for 16 of my almost 75 years. I got “Transplanted” to Spring, Texas ( 25 Miles “NORT” of Houston many years ago and Surely Miss the “Winters Going’s-on’s” that y’all talk about. Do you ever do any “Ice Fishing”?
    I’m not a Cook and Never Have Been because My Wife did a Wonderful Job with your Books & Magazines for so many years. She unfortunately Passed Away almost two years ago.
    I am not a drinking man so I have not been able to “Inspire” myself to try and follow any receipts of yours but I do Like to watch you’re T/V programs I also look at you Books and/or Magazines from time to time. My Daughter DOES, from time to time, come by and fix me something that You & your Gang have cooked-up.
    Just “Keep-up The Good Work”!

    Jim Taylor

  46. It was 2*F this morning here in SE Mass, Burrrrrr…..
    Thanks for the note, pictures were great as always. We are so blessed here with WGBH2+44,& RI.PBS; you all are on the TV almost every day. We are going cook the ATK Short Ribs for tommorrow night’s dinner (this afternoon’s recipe on 36.) Stay warm and well this coming month.

  47. I really like ATK, and all the informative cooking info. But, as a born and raised Chicagoan, I must say that I think I have Vermont in my blood, for some strange reason. Hubby and I did a New England trip in fall 2008, heading to Maine for a wedding, but my most important stop was Vermontiemont (as my daughter calls it). I always thought I would love that state and between your show and my trip, I know this now. Vermont has every thing I love in a beautiful state.
    Vermont is on my wish list for Christmas next year!! Yea, the WHOLE STATE!!

  48. Beautiful area; I lived in the Berkshires (W. MA for those not familiar) in the 80’s and my wife’s family lived in central Maine. Now in MN, seems I can’t get away from cold. I traded the black flies for skeeters. I miss my days growing up in the Ozarks, though. Each area has its own character and native cuisine… Some tastes are difficult to aquire, however. Even the Test Kictchen I believe would have difficulty making lutefisk palatable.

  49. What a fun blog! The reminiscences with parents and grandparents is charming and inspiring to us “of a certain age” The photos of VT and the old kitchen implements brought me back to simpler and saner times. I actually remember some of those gadgets from my Grandmommy Q’s kitchen. Thank you! Love the mag/show since I was introduced to it by my Exec. Chef many years ago

  50. Well here in Fort Lauderdale it is Feb. 2nd and 70 outside and 75 inside… a cosy place to be… no rabbits but a few fish swimming around my lights in the river…. Hope everyone has a good Super Bowl Weekend… (it will be here with me in Broward County this weekend)….. Hope no rain like last time..!!


  52. Dear Chris,
    Hi! I saw the pictures you posted of your Vermont farm in winter. You have a beautiful place. I liked your story about the rabbit. Tell Charlie I said good work on getting his first rabbit. I’m glad your daughter Charlotte had a great time staying at your cabin in such cold weather;I sure wouldn’t want to do that. I hope you and your family continue to have a good and safe winter. Just now here in my area–San Antonio (South Central Texas)we are getting cold and rainy weather, with a short break later today (Thursday Feb.4, 2010),and more rain possible by Sunday and Monday.
    Rebecca Elisa Watson

    • Chris,
      This is a correction to my note. I accidently referred to your daughter Caroline as Charlotte when I said I sure wouldn’t want to spend the night at a cabin in such cold weather. I’m sorry about that.
      Rebecca Elisa Watson

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