• Editor's Note Summer 2011

    Editor's Note Summer 2011

    It’s practically a requirement for any journalistic publication (such as this one) to keep tabs on what’s new and exciting in the field it covers. Not only is it the publication’s responsibility to keep readers up to date, it also makes for good copy. Journalists find it hard to write about “what hasn’t changed since yesterday,” even though the fact that something hasn’t changed is often, in its own quiet way, newsworthy. Journalists and editors get a frisson of excitement when something new(s) crosses their path.

    Continue Reading

  • Set the Table with Hot Sauce

    Set the Table with Hot Sauce

    Vermont is known for many things, but spicy food is not one of them. Fortunately for the spice lovers among us, many local farmers have bucked the trend and have been cultivating delicious, spicy chilis for us to enjoy. Hot peppers need heat to grow, but with a good dose of sunlight and perhaps some black plastic over the soil, peppers can thrive in Vermont’s warm summers.

    Continue Reading

  • Growing Backyard Mushrooms

    Growing Backyard Mushrooms

    Even for the most adventurous gardeners and avid wild mushroom foragers, the idea of growing one’s own gourmet mushrooms may seem mysterious. But there are a number of methods that gardeners and farmers use to incorporate gourmet mushrooms into their landscapes, and these methods are fairly easy for anyone to try at home.

    Continue Reading

  • A 10-Year Stroll

    A 10-Year Stroll

    With hundreds of spectators lining Main Street in Brattleboro, the groomed and bedazzled heifers are led down the center of the street to the cheers of onlookers. Hundreds of cows preen for the delighted crowd, followed by more farm animals (bulls, goats, and horses), tractors (also decorated for the parade) floats, clowns, marching bands, street performers, and all manner of groups touting their various farm affiliations.

    Continue Reading

  • After the Fire

    After the Fire

    Barn’s burnt down…now I can see the moon. –Chinese proverb

    Yet the converse is also true: Yes, we can see the moon, but it won’t shelter tractors, nor can vegetables be washed, packed, and stored inside its lovely glow. Oh, the moon is beautiful, but what can it do for food and a business after the fire is put out?

    Continue Reading

  • Micro Milk

    Micro Milk

    Local food and slow food frequently mean small food: small farms, small producers, small quantities. The English language happens to provide a nice term for very small: micro. So it follows that the antidote to a huge, consolidated milk production system might be a micro dairy.

    Continue Reading

  • Farm Stays

    Farm Stays

    A number of farms in Vermont double as B&B’s. The next time your relatives come to town, they can have a bucolic, back-to-the-land experience—or you can take a weekend and have one yourself! 

    Continue Reading

  • A Charcuterie Cure

    A Charcuterie Cure

    Here in the kitchen of Pete Colman’s barn-apartment in Plainfield, a small banner on the wall bears the magnanimous face of the Italian priest and saint Padre Pio, with the words “Don’t worry, soon you will be cured.” In the context of this home—just steps away from a sparkling new meat-curing shop that shares the same barn—it’s hard to know just who the saint is addressing: the cook who lives there or…the pig.

    Continue Reading

  • Farming in a Changing Climate

    Farming in a Changing Climate

    Seems like the weather’s been extreme in recent years: heat waves, ice storms, and floods. How is this related to climate change? The answer is, indirectly. Weather events are not a good tool for assessing the climate, since climate is made up of weather patterns over many decades. There are ups and downs within seasons, but the trends over time are what counts. They include both temperature and precipitation patterns, and these affect environmental conditions, which in turn affect plants, animals, and ecosystems.

    Continue Reading

  • Farmers' Kitchen—Bella Basil

    Farmers' Kitchen—Bella Basil

    Pesto is summer. It is the bright flavor of fresh basil, the bite of raw garlic, and the smoothness of olive oil. Tasting pesto can bring the visceral sensations of warmth and sunlight to us, even in the darkest days of winter. At Bella Farm, my small crew and I grow eight varieties of basil, as well as seven varieties of garlic and many culinary herbs. We process the basil and garlic into our signature dairy-and nut-free pesto, called Bella Farm Organic Pesto.

    Continue Reading

  • Summer Cartoon—Post Peak Oil

    Summer Cartoon—Post Peak Oil

    Scenes we'd like to see: Post Peak Oil

    Continue Reading

  • One Wild Potluck

    One Wild Potluck

    The Peterson Field Guide Edible Wild Plants has a recipe for clovers that says clovers are not very digestible but can be soaked for hours in salty water to make them so. Christopher Nyerges book Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants tells you that the seeds of the plantain, a common weed around these parts, can be soaked in water until soft and then cooked up like rice. It goes on to say that the result is slightly “mucilaginous and bland.”

    Continue Reading

Claire Fitts Georges

Claire Fitts Georges

Claire Fitts Georges is the owner of Butterfly Bakery of Vermont, a mom of two wee ones, and a recipe developer in Montpelier.

Check out her recipe blog at Goodgrub.ButterflyBakeryVT.com.

Set the Table with Local Meat for a Crowd

Written by Claire Fitts Georges | August 19, 2013

Chicken

When you’re committed to eating humanely raised, local meat and you’re getting some friends together for some good eats, chances are you’re not going to throw 15 $20 steaks on your backyard barbecue. We all might like to pretend that we just won the lottery, but it’s no easy feat to blow a whole paycheck serving humane, sustainable food to our nearest and dearest.

Set the Table with Garlic Scapes

Written by Claire Fitts Georges | July 03, 2013

Garlic

Garlic scapes are one of those totally edible and delicious things that most people don’t even know exist. Every spring, hardneck varieties of garlic (having overwintered but not ready to harvest until July) send up a curlycue stem with a bulbil up top. The bulbil is sort of a mini bulb that can grow new garlic in a couple years or just be eaten like garlic right now.

  • Time: 20 minutes prep; 20 bake minutes
  • Complexity: medium

Garlic Scape Meatballs

Garlic

I have made many variations on the meatball theme, of which this is one of my favorites. Original recipe by Claire Fitts.

  • Time: 20 minutes prep
  • Complexity: easy

Mustard Butter

Mustard

Use this butter as a bread spread, in potato dishes, on fish, or in any savory butter place. Original recipe by Claire Fitts.

  • Time: 20 minutes prep; 2 hours rise
  • Complexity: medium

Garlic Scape English Muffins

Garlic

When toasted these muffins fill the kitchen with a lovely mellow garlic scent. Original recipe by Claire Fitts.

  • Time: 10 minutes prep
  • Complexity: very easy

Scape Sauce

Scape

My favorite use for large quantities of scapes is scape sauce. This is just like hot sauce, but with all of the flavor and none of the heat. The vinegar means that this keeps for ages, so you can mason jar this goodness and use it all winter. I love to put it on my eggs, in my potato salad, in salad dressing, or just anywhere I would put hot sauce. Original recipe by Claire Fitts.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 25 minutes to bake
  • Complexity: medium

Blue Cheese Jalapeño Cornmeal Scone

Blue

The first recipe I wanted to work on was a cornmeal scone. The scone I make at Butterfly Bakery is made with rough-cut rolled oats and I always thought that cornmeal would work well in its stead.

The Development of a Recipe

and a Recipe Developer

Written by Claire Fitts Georges | April 10, 2013

Claire

When I entered college I planned on being a computer programmer, but by the time graduation rolled around, plans had changed. My baking hobby was fast becoming a professional interest, and while it might not seem like a clear path from computer science and applied math major to choosing a career in baking and recipe development, both interests make good use of my logical brain that likes to play. I spent a couple of years working in other kitchens before I got the nerve to start Butterfly Bakery of Vermont, and I love the repetitive day in, day out of the wholesale baking gig. But my recipe development gives me some room to play without having to create and maintain whole new product lines for stores.

Set the Table with Maple Mixed Drinks

Written by Claire Fitts Georges | April 03, 2013

Artesheady

While Vermonters know that maple flows well beyond the breakfast table, we don’t regularly take it behind the bar. So when, at the request of Local Banquet, I started on the quest of tippling the tree, I had some good starting points, but mostly got to invent. Some of the creations were immediately delicious, while others needed to stick to their day jobs.

  • Time: 5 minutes prep
  • Complexity: easy

Fennel Frond Miso Salad Dressing

Fennel

Here's a delightfull recipe for salad dressing. Have fun and experiment and you’ll surely create something delicious.

Set the Table with Fennel

Written by Claire Fitts Georges | June 01, 2012

fennel

One of my favorite things about fennel is how there are so many different edible parts of the plant and how tasty they all seem to be. The bulb is what most folks think of when they think of cooking with fennel, but the seeds (which, interestingly, aren’t actually seeds, but dried up little fruits) are used around the world. Europeans, who first cultivated the fennel plant, include the seeds in Italian sausage. Middle Easterners use it in dukkah (a spice blend seasoning). Indians will often use it in chai. And Chinese five-spice powder is used across the nation (theirs and ours).

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 60 minutes to bake
  • Complexity: medium

Maple, Ginger, and Peach Cake

Maple,

For those astute vegan observers who noticed that the cake is vegan and the frosting is not, I would recommend a sweet potato frosting.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 60 minutes to bake
  • Complexity: medium

Fennel Bread

Fennel

Fennel is a “go crazy” kind of ingredient.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 30 minutes to cook
  • Complexity: medium

Fennel Onion Soup

Fennel

Truth is, there are few savory dishes that wouldn’t improve with the right part of the fennel plant added at the right stage.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep
  • Complexity: medium

Hot Fennel Potato Salad

Fennel

This is a creamy, delicious potato salad, inhanced by the addition of fennel.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 30 minutes to cook
  • Complexity: medium

Pork Tenderloin with a Cassis & Soy Sauce Reduction

Pork

Recipe by Claire Fitts.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 30 minutes to cook
  • Complexity: medium

Maple Lime Cranberry Wine Jelly

Maple

Recipe by Claire Fitts.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 20 minutes to cook
  • Complexity: very easy

Tomatillo Serrano Salsa

Serrano

Serranos look like slender jalapenos and can be used in many of the same ways. They have an extra little flavor punch that pairs them well with flavors like lime and tomatillo.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 30 minutes to cook
  • Complexity: very easy

Jalapeno Lime Hot Sauce

Jalapeno

Jalapenos are the most popular hot pepper grown in the U.S. Like a bell pepper, the green variety of a jalapeno is the unripe variety. Red jalapenos are hard to find, but they are sweet, spicy, and delicious.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 30 minutes to cook
  • Complexity: very easy

Habanero Mustard Hot Sauce

Habanero

The hottest pepper commonly grown in the U.S. (and long thought to be the hottest pepper in the world until it was surpassed by the Indian ghost pepper), the tiny habanero packs a punch. If you can taste beyond the heat, it has a wonderfully sweet and tropical flavor. They can be red, orange, or yellow.

  • Time: 30 minutes prep; 30 minutes to cook
  • Complexity: very easy

Vermont Sriracha

Cayennes

Cayennes are long, red peppers that are strikingly beautiful and often used for decorative purposes. Besides the heat, their flavor is mild, so they go well in places where pure heat is needed to let other flavors shine.

Set the Table with Hot Sauce

Written by Claire Fitts Georges | June 01, 2011

Hot

Vermont is known for many things, but spicy food is not one of them. Fortunately for the spice lovers among us, many local farmers have bucked the trend and have been cultivating delicious, spicy chilis for us to enjoy. Hot peppers need heat to grow, but with a good dose of sunlight and perhaps some black plastic over the soil, peppers can thrive in Vermont’s warm summers.

What we do

A quarterly magazine devoted to covering local food, sustainable farming, and the many people building the Vermont food system.

Vermont's Local Banquet Magazine illuminates the connections between local food and Vermont communities. Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape is changing as the localvore movement shapes what is grown and raised here.

Connect

Sign up for quarterly notifications and issue highlights.
Please wait