Serving Up Vermont
As I write this, my final blog post, I am headed into my last week as City Market’s Outreach and Education Coordinator. After 9 years of coordinating and attending classes, I feel as though school is being let out for summer…or forever. It really is a bittersweet feeling. I am happy to be moving into a part time position at the Co-op, which will allow me to spend more time with my son. And staying at the Co-op allows me to continue to connect with all the awesome folks that I have met along the way. However, I have always enjoyed being a student!
While excited about the arrival of spring produce, I have to admit I feel a little burned out on the same ‘ole recipes. When I think of rhubarb, I think of strawberry rhubarb pie, or compote, or chutney. If you search online, you are likely to find hundreds, or even thousands, of versions of the same recipe. It’s time to switch it up a little and get more adventurous with rhubarb!
I don’t know if you can relate, but I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Growing up, it was guaranteed that I would never turn down ice cream, cookies, fudge, you name it, no matter how full I was. And there wasn’t much motivation for me to limit my sugar intake – I’m not overweight and my teeth are healthy and strong.
But as I aged, I could start to tell that my sugar intake wasn’t doing me any favors. I’d crash in the afternoon and crave more carbs, like bagels, or more straight-up sugar, like candy. In the evenings, dinner wouldn’t feel complete until I had eaten some ice cream or chocolate. I’d be tired, cranky, my skin didn’t look great, and my digestion wasn’t as strong as it could be. Something had to change.
I had never heard of poutine before moving to the Northeast. It’s a dish that originated in Quebec and is simply french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. I’m embarrassed to say that even though we’ve lived here for almost 3 years now, I still have not tried authentic poutine (although it’s on my bucket list!). Unfortunately, my partner can’t try it, unless he pops a few lactaid pills. So, when a Vegan, Gluten-Free Comfort Food cooking class was offered at the Co-op in January, specifically for learning a recipe for vegan, gluten-free poutine, I signed up.
Earlier this week, a few of us from the Co-op had the opportunity to visit our friends out at Boyden Farm in Cambridge, VT to get a tour of their beef operation. It was a gray, late winter day, but we stayed warm as we walked around visiting the cows and learning all about what the Boydens and their staff do.
Valentine’s Day weekend this year, for many City Market staff and Members, was not just about sharing the love with family and friends. Hundreds of farmers, food producers, students, and food enthusiasts descended on UVM for NOFA-VT’s 33rd annual Winter Conference. This year, we were all sharing the love of a local food system and “Growing the Good Food Movement,” the theme of this year’s conference. The conference workshops focused not only on technical aspects of farming and food production, but also aimed to open and continue conversations about farm and food equity, building a fair and just food system, creating access to healthy food for everyone, and creating a system where farmers and farmworkers receive the respect they deserve and a living wage.
Did you ever wonder how pizza came to be? When Anna Mays teaches a cooking class for City Market, no question is left unanswered! She ties culture, nutrition and cooking info into each of her classes, which gives a comprehensive view of the topic at hand. And her Gluten Free Pizza Class was no exception. As someone who followed a gluten free diet for several years and as an avid pizza-lover, I can say that pizza was the one food that I missed the most during that time, despite having tried many restaurant and frozen options. The pizzas made in City Market’s Gluten Free Pizza class, led by Anna Mays, were excellent and the discussion of the history of pizza enriched the experience.
It's midwinter - the season for root vegetables. But you can only eat so many roasted beets, right? But, did you know that you can actually eat beets raw, too? They are best sliced thin or grated and can be used in salads, in baked goods, or as garnishes. And peeling beets doesn't have to be hard. Mary, one of our Produce Buyers, likes using a vegetable peeler to make beet shavings to brighten up salads. She demonstrates her technique in the video below:
Beer and cheese. A perfect pairing in theory, right? (I'm thinking cheddar ale soup, burgers, etc). But how do you know which cheese goes well with which beer? Our friends at Harpoon Brewery and Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company stopped by to offer some suggestions for pairing their respective products. Read on to learn their tips!
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