• Publishers' Note Summer 2013

    Publishers' Note Summer 2013

    According to a 2009 report prepared by the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative, the earliest published account of fish in Lake Champlain was by Zadock Thompson in his Natural History of Vermont (1853). In his report, Thompson described 48 different species of fish, and historically, the commercial fisheries on the lake targeted whitefish, walleye, yellow perch, lake sturgeon, eel, and lake trout.

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  • Set the Table with Garlic Scapes

    Set the Table with Garlic Scapes

    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.

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  • A Fly in the Ointment

    A Fly in the Ointment

    There’s a small insect causing big damage to soft fruits that ripen late in the season. It’s new to our area, and spreading fast. Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has been buzzing across the country for the past few years. First, it was found in California in 2008; then in 2009 it moved to Florida, Oregon, and Washington. From Florida, it moved up the East Coast to arrive in New England in 2011, and last year it was found across much of Vermont.

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  • How to Love a Lease—Vermont landowners

    How to Love a Lease—Vermont landowners

    Sustainability, simply stated, is the capacity to endure. But the high cost of land in Vermont, combined with the financial challenges of owning land, are threatening the sustainability of local agriculture. According to Vermont’s Farm to Plate report, “Affordable access to farmland was described [by stakeholders] as a serious barrier for new farmers or those seeking to grow and expand.”

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  • How to Love a Lease—Young farmers

    How to Love a Lease—Young farmers

    At the end of a mostly impassable class 4 road in Calais lies the brick farmhouse of Fair Food Farm. In some ways it seems remote, but as Emily Curtis-Murphy sees it, “It’s a great place to farm.” Before she delves into her experience of farming on leased land, Emily takes me on a brief tour. She and her family rent their house from one landlord and, two miles away, rent land owned by a different landlord for the rest of Fair Food’s operation.

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  • In the Tank

    In the Tank

    On a sunny spring day earlier this year, steam was pouring out of sugarhouses, calves and lambs and kids were being born, and greenhouses were teeming with plant starts. And on Curtis Sjolander’s Mountain Foot Farm in Wheelock, in the barn just behind his house, hundreds of brown trout were swimming in their large tanks, slowly growing in cold waters.

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  • Hooked on Aquaponics

    Hooked on Aquaponics

    Aquaponics is gaining traction on a larger scale as an alternative to traditional methods of produce and fish farming. In developing countries with a limited water supply, people like aquaponics guru Travis Hughey are introducing the concept as a way for individuals to grow their own food while making the most of their limited resources.

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  • Ocean to Mountains

    Ocean to Mountains

    Ethan Wood cannot wait to show you how his scallops twitch. “You see that move?” he asks, breathless. “You see that? These things are alive!” We’re standing in the back of a refrigerated truck in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The scallops, sitting in a plastic box atop a bed of ice, do in fact wriggle when Ethan gives them a little prod. Less than 10 hours ago, the mollusks were still in the waters of Nantucket Bay.

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  • Students Harvest the Future  at Local Colleges

    Students Harvest the Future at Local Colleges

    The agriculture renaissance is upon us. With the growing demand for agriculture graduates, Vermont colleges are leading the way with a variety of agriculture and food-related degrees aimed at preparing students for one of the fastest growing green job fields in the United States. Organic farming, sustainable food systems, nutrition, and animal health are taking center stage during this unique era when environmental and sustainable issues span the globe.

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  • Farmers Kitchen—Les poulets, s’il vous plaît

    Farmers Kitchen—Les poulets, s’il vous plaît

    When we’re selling at a local farmers’ market or get a call ordering a CSA share, we’re often asked, “What is a French chicken?” I, or my wife Rocio, will often say, “Well, it’s a chicken that speaks French and has a little pointy, black mustache,” but actually we’re referring to our certified organic Red Bro chickens. These delicious birds originated from France, where they are referred to as poulet rouge (red chicken) and are found under the label “Rouge” (Red Label).

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  • Last Morsel—The Family Car as Solar Dehydrator

    Last Morsel—The Family Car as Solar Dehydrator

    All summer long, I feast like a queen from the garden, but never lose sight that fall is coming, and we’ll still want to eat. My husband and I therefore freeze, ferment, can, and dehydrate food for winter, and since one of our goals is to avoid the use of fossil fuels to prepare or store our food, we often favor dehydrating.

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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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