I am trying a new thing, a shocking new thing

I’m trying a new thing. That’s unusual. But let me back up. I don’t know anything about this. But let me back up further. Maybe two Christmases ago, I got a gift package from the Butterfly Bakery of Vermont. It was the Guster tie-in, you see. I had received the Gustard the year before, and it was good. I didn’t think I would like it, but it’s great on burgers. The complete gift package includes a hot chocolate, the Gustard, the Fa Fa Fire hot sauce (maple rum chipotle) which I’m working up to trying and Gusternola.

Let’s learn about Gusternola.

We made this warm hug of a granola in collaboration with Ryan Miller, Guster’s lead singer and fellow high functioning weirdo. A portion of all proceeds benefit Zeno Mountain Farm, one of the greatest places on Earth.

Organic gluten free oats*, pure Vermont maple syrup, organic coconut, organic coconut oil, organic pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, organic quinoa, vanilla, organic brown rice flour, sea salt, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, organic cloves, organic cardamom, organic fennel, organic fenugreek, organic nutmeg. Contains nuts.

A few weeks ago I finally got around to trying it. First off, it’s a 9.6 ounce bag, and the service size is ridiculously small. I got a couple of breakfasts and an odd late dinner out of it.

But the granola was quite tasty.

I was about to order some more from the bakery in Vermont — and I will — but I decided to try some other granola varieties, because Gusternola was my first ever granola.

So, yesterday, I went to the grocery store and stood in the breakfast cereal aisle and studied the offerings. There was a whole section. I got several different kinds. Today, I tried one, which is the first one I picked up.

I tried it first because I picked it up first, and firsties mean something. Also, I figured, it would be most like the Gusternola. And it’s pretty close.

It’s not as good, but pretty close. It’s mass produced, and cheaper. And the ingredients list is close, but there are a few things missing that is in the now high water mark of Gusternola. Plus, it is made somewhere in Oregon. I’m sure Oregon has great granola, but what if Vermont’s granola is just better?

If anything, the syrup here might be a bit too sweet. (This is a big note coming from me.) It is almost acrid. But I have an experiment to try to counteract that for tomorrow.

Anyway, I picked up four different types of granola. This should give us something to dissect for a week or two.

Unrelated, we sure do get some strange looking icicles around here.

We heard one of those fall, during a particularly intense part of a television show — the new and overwrought True Detective — and that didn’t set every human sense to “hyperalert” or anything.

But wait’ll you seem them melt!

This is the 22nd installment of We Learn Wednesdays, where I ride my bike across the county to find the local historical markers. This is the 41st one we’ve seen in this series.

And this place is named after John Fenwick who opened the first English settlement established in this region. He came from money, got married, had three kids, lost his wife, got remarried. He landed here in late 1675. Three days later, on October 8, 1675 Fenwick, a Quaker, recorded a land deed with the local Lenape Indian tribe. He gave his new home the name of New Salem, meaning peace.

It wasn’t always named after him. This place was built as Ford’s Hotel in 1891. In 1919, it was converted to Salem County Memorial Hospital to memorialize WWI soldiers and sailors. The hospital was opened with 30 beds and 12 physicians and surgeons worked there. They treated 1,093 patients in their first year. The hospital was moved in 1951.

In 1989 the building was renovated as the “Fenwick Building.” It’s used now as county government offices. Thirty-five years is a long time after a renovation for local government office space. But it has the all important plaque.

In the next installment of We Learn Wednesday’s, we’ll visit the location of an old jail and market house. If you’ve missed any markers so far, you can find them all right here.

Before that, though, let’s go back underwater. Here, you’ll find a ray, a puffer, a butterfly fish, a black triggerfish, a beautiful scrawled filefish and much more!

If that isn’t enough, we’ll have more photos from the waters off Cozumel tomorrow.

I haven’t mentioned it, but I have been able to spend a fair amount of time on the bike recently. On the bike, which is on the trainer. Anyway, 80 easy miles in the last three days, which isn’t that much.

Twenty of them were in London yesterday, 43 of them were in a fake world, today, but I did a very real 20 mph pace over the route which, for me, is substantial. Tomorrow, then, is a rest day. After which, I’ll try to achieve another long streak of consecutive days in a row — a humble number I set last November. You will, no doubt, be riveted.

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