Sunday, June 30, 2013


Last night my computer was giving me major troubles, well come to find out minor troubles, so I just stepped away from the key board and went to bed.  So my blog was incomplete and I will start from whence I stopped and continue. Either the blogger or blog was not working.  LOL

Right next door to Mark Twain's home in Hartford, Connecticut  is Harriet Beecher Stowe's home.

 Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), author, humanitarian, and abolitionist, lived in this house from 1850 to 1852 during which time she wrote her famous novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Born in Litchfield, Connecticut, to a notable Congregational minister and his wife, Harriet Beecher Stowe moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1832, where she taught at the Western Female Institute. While living in Cincinnati, she met numerous fugitive slaves and traveled to Kentucky where she experienced slavery first-hand. It was also in Cincinnati that Harriet Beecher met her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe, a teacher at the Western Female Institute. In 1850, Calvin Stowe accepted a teaching position at Bowdoin College and the couple moved to Brunswick. Harriet Beecher Stowe was encouraged to write by her husband and was a published author before moving to Maine. Based upon her experiences while visiting Kentucky and her interviews with fugitive slaves, Stowe started writing Uncle Tom's Cabin upon her arrival in Brunswick. Many of the characters in her book mirrored real-life individuals such as Josiah Henson, a fugitive slave who escaped from Kentucky to Canada along the Underground Railroad with his wife and two children.

 The impact that Uncle Tom's Cabin had on the American public was so great that President Lincoln, upon meeting Stowe, is reported to have said, "You're the little lady who started this great war." Though not directly linked to the activities of the Underground Railroad, the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, a National Historic Landmark, is the place where this influential writer penned her monumental novel, forever changing America's attitude toward slavery.

  After visiting Hartford and a lot of its history and sights we headed for lunch.  We ate lunch at Ted's Restaurant in Cromwell, Connecticut.  Ted’s is a tiny place – four booths and a counter – with a big secret. The burgers at Ted’s aren’t fried, nor grilled, nor broiled, nor even baked; the burgers are steamed.

 Ted’s Restaurant is an award winning steamed cheeseburger restaurant located in Meriden, CT since 1959. In addition to a strong local following in Meriden, Ted’s has attracted more widespread attention with its appearance in the documentary Hamburger America, as well as national publications including US News and World Report, Yankee Magazine and Connecticut Magazine. It has also been featured on “Hamburger Paradise”, a part of Travel Channel’s newest Food Paradise series along with a feature on Man vs. Food. Ted’s has also claimed a number of awards including; “Best Burger in CT” from The Food Network Magazine and “Best Burger” from Connecticut Magazine.

The restaurant has been family owned and operated since its inception. When Ted passed away, the restaurant was passed down to his son Paul. Over the years, Paul made very subtle changes to the cheeseburger. He began using twice ground meat so the burger held its size through the cooking process and a type of cheddar that held together when steamed. Paul also helped to develop the steam box and trays still used today. He then passed the restaurant on to his nephew Bill Foreman in March of 2008. Since Bill took the restaurant over, it has been his desire to open additional locations.

With all this said our little group were glad to experience the steamed burger, but would not need to eat another.  

To end our day of fun we headed for a local brewery for a tour and samples.   Our choice was Thomas Hooker Brewery. 

Hooker Name

Thomas Hooker Brewery gets its name from the great colonial leader of the 1600's and founder of Hartford, Rev. Thomas Hooker (1586-1657). This is not the same Civil War General Hooker I wrote about in Boston.  Born in rural Marefield, Leicestershire, England, the son of a farm manager, Thomas Hooker won a good scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge, where in time he became the equivalent of a professor of theology.
But this status as a leader in the Puritan movement would cause him to emigrate first to Holland and then to New England in 1633, on the ship Griffin, to escape the persecution of Archbishop William Laud for non-conformity.
He is attributed as being the first minister of the First Parish in Cambridge, a church that still exists in the present day. His home was on a plot of land which today is part of the yard at Harvard College.
In 1636, Thomas Hooker led 100 of his congregation west to found the new English settlement at Hartford, Connecticut. Hartford gets its name from Hertford, England, the birthplace of one of Hooker's assistants, Rev. Samuel Stone.  Interesting that he should also be known for a great brewskie. LOL

The company produces about 12,000 barrels of beer a year, which equals about 170,000 cases. In contrast, Bud Light alone produces 30 million barrels a year.  They have some room to grow, that is if they want.
When you enter the brewery you are given a bracelet with 10 tear off tickets.The small 3 oz. cups they give you get filled to the top with each return to the line, so you actually end up drinking a fair amount. There is also a store to buy very reasonably priced Hooker gear.    For $5 you get a bracelet that allows you 10 tastings.  At first you think it's not going to be enough, but trust me it is.  They have a great selection of different beers.  I was very impressed!  You also get a tour with your $5.  The tour is short and we got to drink straight from one of the tanks.  Nice!
This was our tour guide and he is standing behind the apparatus they use for filling bottles and kegs with beer.  Yes, it is all on a shopping cart.  He said don't laugh it works great.  They connect to tanks and load the beer into the apporperate containers.

These kegs are ready to leave for the party.

We had a great full day.

Today we stayed home got the laundry done and other house keeping stuff done.  And most important lounged around the homestead.  

Rog is taking the RV back to the doctors.  Laura has decided sitting around outside with all the animals in the rain is not fun so is cutting her stay short and heading back home in the morning.  The dogs and I are going to stay at camp in our screened in room and wait until Rog returns with a fixed RV this time(hope hope)  It is suppose to rain tomorrow, but I hope is in the afternoon after Rog returns with the fixed RV. 

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