• Editor's Note Fall 2013

    Editor's Note Fall 2013

    It’s a fulsome time to be an eater of local meat in Vermont—or simply a booster of its production. Compared with three years ago, when our last special issue on meat came out, you can now access more products from more farmers growing a wider variety of animals in more varying ways.

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  • Putting the Garden to Bed

    Putting the Garden to Bed

    There are many distractions at this time of year, whether school or watching football or catching up on work and e-mail after an August vacation. But one thing’s for sure: autumn—and winter—are coming, and we need to put our gardens to bed. A little extra work now will help us garden even better next year.

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  • How to Get Grounded

    How to Get Grounded

    On a road in Cabot, not far from the land that Laura Dale and Cyrus Pond bought this past March, you can look out to the west at a horizon dominated by the undulating spine of the Green Mountains. For many young farmers in Vermont, the cost of land can seem as daunting and insurmountable as the largest of those mountains in the dead of winter.

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  • Set the Table with Local Meat for a Crowd

    Set the Table with Local Meat for a Crowd

    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.

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  • Meet the Meat Hubs

    Meet the Meat Hubs

    A year ago, Bryce and Debbie Gonyea were operating a small hog farm in Danville, selling their pigs to Vermont Salumi and private customers, in addition to selling young piglets for families to raise for their own consumption. Bryce had recently retired from three-and-a-half decades in the agricultural insurance business and was creating a stream of retirement income through farming.

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  • Pastured Poultry in Aisle 9

    Pastured Poultry in Aisle 9

    Whiz by it on Route 2 between Richmond and Bolton and you might think it was an abandoned rail car, a housing unit for migrant farm workers, or a storage shed. Bland and inconspicuous, the boxy structure doesn’t look like it has the potential to re-shape Vermont’s local food scene (or at least make it easier to purchase and cook pastured chicken).

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  • Über-Pastured Pork

    Über-Pastured Pork

    There are 70 acres in West Topsham where about 400 pigs harvest their own kale (and garlic, when they’re feeling under the weather), go for rides in mini-vans, and bathe in mountain wallows. They’re about to stop that mini-van habit, but more on that later.

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  • Randall Cattle

    Randall Cattle

    At the beginning of the 20th century, as Halley’s Comet graced Vermont skies, Samuel Randall could be found tending a herd of lineback cattle on his farm in Sunderland, Vermont. The type of cattle he kept had fallen out of favor as farmers began selectively breeding for specific traits and standardization. But over decades—until the 1980s—and in virtual isolation, Samuel and his son Everett unknowingly preserved this “landrace” herd.

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  • Cannibalizing our Compatriots

    Cannibalizing our Compatriots

    Vermont has big farms and little farms, organic and conventional growers, pasture-based and feedlot operations, old farmers and young farmers, entrepreneurs and large agribusinesses. In these Green Mountains and across this country we have a complex food production system, with each agricultural business doing what it can to stay viable and profitable.

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  • Farmers' Kitchen—Grass=Solar Energy=Good Meat

    Farmers' Kitchen—Grass=Solar Energy=Good Meat

    My husband, Bruce Hennessey, and I moved to an end-of-the-road, hilltop farm in Huntington in 1999 for a “close-to-the-mountains” farming opportunity. The hilltop nature of our 136 acres made it challenging for growing crops or making hay (steep, too many rocks, some wet areas), so grazing livestock seemed like the answer to keeping the pastures open, fertilized, and healthy.

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  • Last Morsel—A Boost for On-Farm Slaughter

    Last Morsel—A Boost for On-Farm Slaughter

    Traditionally, farm animals in Vermont were slaughtered and butchered outside, in the open air. Today, all animals that are sold as meat must be slaughtered and processed in inspected facilities. But some Vermonters who raise animals for their own personal consumption prefer on-farm slaughter to taking their critters to an unfamiliar slaughterhouse.

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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.

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