Set the Table

Set the Table with Switchel

Written by Jesse Natha North | March 01, 2010

Cart with hay

Long a staple in Northeast hayfields as a thirst quencher and restorative, switchel—alternatively called “haymaker’s punch” —was a colonial era proto-Gatorade, a source of both hydration and electrolyte replenishment. Recipes vary, but the most common ingredients were molasses, cider vinegar, and ginger, mixed to taste in a jug of very cold well water. While the concoction could have provided benefit to all manner of laborers and sporting folks, its use was particularly common among the workers of the hayfield and the children who carried the switchel jug to them.

Set the Table with Poutine

Written by Claire Fitts Georges | November 15, 2016

Cheese curds

I grew up in California, in a world of dayboat salmon, tofu, and spinach salad. I only became vaguely aware of the odd sounding “poutine” when I moved to Vermont. French fries with gravy and cheese curds? I mean, that all sounds weird enough without including the word “curds” at the end.

Set the Table with Bone Stock

Written by Leda Scheintaub | November 24, 2015

Set the Table with Bone Stock

When Rebecca Wood and I were writing The Whole Bowl a couple of years ago, we had no idea that bone-based broths were just about to become the next biggest thing in food.

Set the Table with Cultured Foods

Written by Leda Scheintaub | February 11, 2015

Pickled turnips

Introducing bold-flavored ferments—from the spicy kick of kimchi to the sour tang of kefir and the refreshing effervescence of kombucha and beyond—into your culinary repertoire opens a new world of taste sensations. Fermentation becomes a happy compulsion.

Set the Table with Homemade Local Baby Food

Written by Sarah Galbraith | November 16, 2014

Baby Food Pureed Squash

Many of us spend the fall preserving the local flavors of the harvest season. Squash, apples, beets, carrots, and the year’s final greens are cellared, canned, and frozen. But the anticipated addition to our family of a new little one has me preserving these foods in a new way: as homemade baby food.

Set the Table with Mutton

Written by Katie Sullivan | August 21, 2014

Sheep in pasture

I once had a “wild” sheep named Janet. When I would walk down to the field where she was kept with the other sheep, she would observe me with calm confidence. Then, when I would open the gate from one enclosure to the next, she’d jump the fence and run away up the hill.

Set the Table with Seaberries

Written by Vera Chang | May 23, 2014

seaberries

I’d never actually seen a sea buckthorn plant or eaten any of its berries until I moved to Vermont. Already familiar with sea buckthorn in my skincare products, I was inspired to learn more. And when I did: zing, zest, tang! I was struck by sea buckthorn berries’ complex, passionfruit, citrus-like flavor. It was like nothing I’ve tasted.

Set the Table with Dandelion Greens

Written by Helen Labun Jordan Helen Labun | February 19, 2014

Dandelion harvesting at Zack Woods

I’ve spent years walking past any dandelion greens I see for sale, on the grounds that I will not pay for something that’s growing everywhere I look all spring and summer. Granted, I never stop to pick those free dandelion leaves, so inevitably, a vegetable that I won’t buy because it’s too common ends up not being at all common on my plate. It’s the Dandelion Paradox. This past winter, I wanted to unravel it.

Set the Table with Quince

Written by Lindsay Arbuckle | November 24, 2013

Quince

The first time I met a quince, I was immediately smitten. There were plenty of beautiful apples around, but that box of quince enticed me with its sweet, exotic aroma. Could I possibly describe the complex fragrance? Why hadn’t I seen or tasted one before?

Set the Table with Garlic Scapes

Written by Claire Fitts Georges | July 03, 2013

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.

Set the Table with…Figs

Written by Alix O’Meara | August 17, 2016

Figs

Figs may not seem like a Vermont kind of crop—the fruits are more associated with warmer climates. However, one local Vermonter has dug into his Italian roots and has been successfully growing figs for five years.

Set the Table with…Crickets

Written by Pamela Hunt | May 25, 2016

Table with baked goods

Like many new fathers, Stephen Swanson wanted to do something to make his children’s world a better place. After reading a 2013 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization about the health and environmental benefits of eating insects, he told his wife, Jen, that he wanted to start a cricket farm in their Williston garage.

Set the Table with Local Oils

Written by Cheryl Herrick | February 09, 2016

Sunflowers in field

Netaka White remembers going to some of the first local food challenges in Vermont—potluck meals to which attendees would bring food that was entirely grown or raised within Vermont, or a 50-mile radius.

Set the Table with Garlic

Written by Laura Sorkin | August 24, 2015

Basket of Garlic

If you search the word garlic online, you may end up believing it is the panacea for all that ails us. Garlic was given to soldiers and athletes in ancient Greece to promote vigor.

Set the Table with Rabbit

Written by Katie Spring Katie Sullivan | May 26, 2015

Sarah Ouellette of Silver Ridge Rabbitry

I circulated the room with a tray of hors d’oeuvres, weaving through bridesmaids, groomsmen, and guests. The social hour was winding down, and by my fifth or sixth pass through the crowd, I knew who the vegetarians were—who to offer the stuffed mushrooms to, who to pass by with the pulled pork.

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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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