A Trip To The King Arthur Flour Company Facilities In Norwich, Vermont

Bright and early on Saturday morning, a small group of Boston bloggers -- Alicia, Elina, Kerstin, Kristen (Daisy), Meghan, Michelle, and I -- gathered at Starbucks in Central Square. We were fueling up on pumpkin spice lattes and getting ready for a road trip to Vermont.

For our sendoff, I convinced Jeff to walk down with Gunner so my dog-loving blogger friends could finally meet him (and they got to meet Jeff too, of course). With coffees in hand and after getting our fill of chocolate lab love, we piled into my and Alicia's cars and hit the road.

The car ride was filled with stories and giggles, talk of blogs, and excitement for the day ahead... not to mention chocolate chip cookies and banana mini muffins baked by Kristen and Michelle. We were at the King Arthur Flour facilities before we even knew it.

We arrived a few minutes early for our scheduled lunch and unanimously decided to check out the Baker's Store.

In it I found every kind of flour imaginable; gadgets and gizmos of every sort; extracts, oils, and powders galore; and an extensive collection of baking pans and dishes.

Letting a baker loose in this store is exactly like letting a kid loose in a candy store!

Somehow we all refrained from making immediate purchases, knowing we would have a bit of shopping time later, and we went outside to take in the fresh Vermont air and sunshine.

A few additional bloggers (Hi Jen, Katie, and Bridget!), who left from other locations in the Boston area caught up with us outside.

At noon, we met Allison Furbish, Web media coordinator and my contact at King Arthur Flour. She welcomed us all to the King Arthur facilities and led us upstairs for lunch. The folks at King Arthur had prepared quite a spread for us. We were all overjoyed to see sandwiches made with freshly baked King Arthur breads. (Have you ever noticed how the bread can make or break a sandwich?)

I selected a tomato mozzarella sandwich on a fresh roll and a tuna sandwich and piled a little fruit salad on my plate as well. Just having a sandwich on fresh bread is enough to inspire me to stick with my goal of making lots of fresh bread and soups this fall and winter.

While we ate lunch, Alison gave us all sorts of information about King Arthur -- the history, the offerings, the flour quality -- some of which I already knew and some of which was new to me.

We ended lunch with hunks of birthday cake that the folks at King Arthur had baked specially for me! (...after a little birdie named Alicia let them know it was my birthday weekend. Thanks, Alicia!)

Everyone commented on how moist the cake was and how good the frosting was. It was a true buttercream, just slightly sweet, not sickeningly so.

After lunch, we went over to the Baking Education Center to start our classes.

In my next post I'll share with you what we learned from Allison about King Arthur and a little background, and eventually I'll let you in on what we learned in our classes and tell you about the rest of our stay in Vermont too!

Have you been to the King Arthur facilities in Norwich, Vermont before?

What did you do this weekend?