• Publishers' Note Spring 2013

    Publishers' Note Spring 2013

    Maybe you’ve noticed that the “spirits” of Vermont are on the move and showing up at liquor outlets, farmers’ markets, restaurants—even your friends’ homes—throughout the state. Are they friendly spirits, you ask? You bet! As with local food, Vermont is quickly becoming a state with a flourishing locally distilled spirits industry.

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  • A Passion for Artisan Soap

    A Passion for Artisan Soap

    My soap-making journey started a decade or so ago, when I was becoming more and more sensitized (allergic) to mainstream, detergent-type soaps. Eventually I just couldn’t use them anymore. As I researched the subject, I became alarmed at what was being used in cosmetic products on the market, not to mention all the harmful chemicals leaching into our waterways as a result of those products. I decided to start making my own soap, and the enthusiasm I had back then for soap making has now turned into a passion and a business for me. My only regret is that I didn’t start making them sooner!

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  • The Story of Bread

    The Story of Bread

    Green Mountain Flour, a new artisan bakery in Windsor owned and operated by Zachary Stremlau and Daniella Malin, takes a unique approach to its craft: it uses local wheat, local milling, and local fuel to create its flours, breads, and pizzas. Here, woodcuts that comprise the bakery’s logo tell “the story of bread,” echoing a time in early New England when, according to Zachary and Daniella, “the farmers knew the miller, the miller milled with stone, and the baker baked with fire.”

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  • Classy Wheat

    Classy Wheat

    Last year, I arrived at The Putney School as their new gardener and was tasked with getting the high school students at this Putney boarding and day school excited about gardening. Early on, the farm manager told me he had planted some wheat on the edge of one of the farm’s hayfields. I was intrigued.

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  • Set the Table with Maple Mixed Drinks

    Set the Table with Maple Mixed Drinks

    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.

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  • Down Home Distilling

    Down Home Distilling

    Here’s the first thing you should know about making specialty liquors: cupcake vodka is not made by fermenting cupcakes. Likewise for the cotton candy, cookie dough, whipped cream, and caramel vodkas all lining store shelves today. These trendy varieties are made by adding flavoring after the vodka is distilled; it’s why we can have cocktails that resemble a dessert buffet. For many consumers today, this is the most familiar way to make a vodka stand out from the rest. But it isn’t the only way.

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  • Winemaking in Barre

    Winemaking in Barre

    I was drinking a glass of wine with a colleague when she told me that she and her husband make wine. In a garage. With friends. I was intrigued. I know plenty of people who brew beer in their bathtub (so to speak) but I’d never met anyone who makes wine at home. When I expressed interest, she invited me to join their next winemaking season. So I put a reminder in my Google calendar and eight months later, voila: “Call Marianne about winemaking” popped up.

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  • Vermont Distillers Map

    Vermont Distillers Map

    Vermont is home to a thriving spirits industry. Our in-state distillers are producing a wide variety of products from vodka and maple liqueurs to gin and rye whiskey. Many of them are winning national acclaim and international awards for their fine quality and appealing flavor. A number of the distilleries have their own tasting rooms where the products they make can be sampled and purchased. You may also find local distillers at farmers’ markets, special events, or festivals around the state.

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  • Hopeful on Hemp

    Hopeful on Hemp

    “Hemp For Victory!” the poster reads.

    Hanging in the House Agriculture Committee’s hearing room in the Vermont Statehouse, and put there by who knows who, it’s a poster that to some would be more appropriate in a college dorm room 30 years ago. In reality, it’s from 1942 and was produced by the United States Department of Agriculture to promote a film encouraging U.S. farmers to grow hemp to support the war effort.

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  • Farmers' Kitchen—No Kid Left Behind

    Farmers' Kitchen—No Kid Left Behind

    Tannery Farm Cashmeres is a small goat farm located in the Northeast Kingdom. My husband and I breed and raise Spanish goats that produce high-quality cashmere fiber and have healthy, robust bodies. Our focus is breeding for quality cashmere on quality meat goats, with the farm’s primary products being cashmere-producing breeding stock and chevon (goat meat), which is handled through my other company, Vermont Chevon.

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  • Seventy-Two Is Not Thirty-Five

    Seventy-Two Is Not Thirty-Five

    I spent seven hours yesterday at my daughter’s house
    helping her expand their garden by at least ten times.
    We dug up sod by the shovelful, shook off the dirt as
    best we could; sod into the wheelbarrow and off to the
    pile at the edge of the yard. Then all that over and over
    again. Five hours total work-time, with time out for lunch
    and supper. By the time I got home I knew all too well
    that seventy-two is not thirty-five; I could barely move.

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Claire Fitts Georges

Claire Fitts Georges

Claire Fitts Georges is a recipe developer for corporations and publications, as well as the owner of Butterfly Bakery of Vermont.

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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