Tag Archives: Evelyn’s Pantry

Mountains, syrup, sheep … 2015 Highland Maple Festival begins this weekend

By Lynn R. Mitchell

That’s my child bonding with a sheep.

It is known as Virginia’s Switzerland, this rural, mountainous, southern-most location for gathering maple syrup, and it is right here in our back yard. Just 45 miles west of Staunton, picturesque Highland County hosts its 57th annual Maple Festival during the weekends of March 14-15 and March 21-22.

Make plans to meander back roads, stuff yourself on pancakes drenched with locally-harvested maple syrup, or fill up on mouth-watering maple chicken. Be entertained by local cloggers and bluegrass bands while enjoying the wildly-popular fresh maple donuts made by the local Ruritans. Stroll the main street of Monterey, population 150, to check out the many vendors peddling crafts, maple products, and Kettle Korn. Take in the beauty of this rural setting populated with sheep and cattle. Relax. Slow down. Breathe the cold, fresh, mountain air.

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Evelyn’s Pantry is hometown deli on Monterey’s main street

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Autumn was on full display on the patio of Evelyn’s Pantry on Monterey’s main street the last day of September 2014. The warm days of fall are an invitation to visitors and locals to take their lunch outside and enjoy the beauty of Virginia’s “Little Switzerland” that looks more like New England at this time of year. On a cold day, a bowl of owner Donna Hooke’s homemade hot vegetable soup hits the spot sitting at a table in front of the stone fireplace. On a warm day, a deli sandwich and a scoop of frozen yogurt or ice cream is in order. Evelyn’s is our go-to eatery in Monterey year-round so we’ve seen it in all seasons and even when trudging through snow to get to the door … nothing fancy … just an informal gathering place. (See also Finding autumn in Highland County, Va, more than four dozen photos of vivid fall colors 2014).

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Finding autumn in Highland County, Va.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????The word trickled over the mountains from Highland last week that autumn leaves were starting their show. On Tuesday we drove west chasing autumn on the last day of September through Highland County in Virginia, and Pocahontas and Pendleton counties in West Virginia. Our journey was not in vain … we were rewarded with a stunning display of maple trees in all their glory. Even though Highland is known as Virginia’s “Little Switzerland,” the fall views were like stepping into the dazzling autumn displays of New England.

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