Serving Up Vermont
Last week, City Market hosted a class where the cooking lesson featured raw vegan tacos. I was as intrigued as I was excited for this class—as were many of our participants! The instructor, Krissy Ruddy, is a holistic health coach, and is well versed in variations of the raw food and vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
If you take a walk through our bread aisle, you may see some impressively dark loaves marked as a product of Bee Sting Bakery. As owner and lead baker, Heike Meyer would say “Don’t fear the dark crust!” This week, Heike led a tour of her bakery and a class on the wonders of sourdough baking. She and her husband, Jens, who she affectionately introduces as Chief Oven Manager, together run this picturesque and self-sustaining bakery out of their home in Fairfax, VT.
A couple of us from the Co-op had the opportunity to visit Ploughgate Creamery at Bragg Hill Farm in Fayston, VT the other week.
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.
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