Serving Up Vermont
Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany is similar to Burlington, Vermont in some ways. It’s about the same population, has a lot going on in terms of activities and places to eat, is a very walkable city, has lots of greenery, and feels like a small town. Why even bring up this obscure location? Well our Co-op, along with two other co-ops in different regions, won a trip to visit Weleda’s biodynamic gardens where they grow some of their plants and herbs for their products. Weleda is one of our more popular skin and body care brands in the store. So anyway, no big deal. I got to fly to a really beautiful city in Germany, blah, blah, blah. I joke! I feel so grateful to have gone on this trip! I met some amazing people and gained so much knowledge of and respect for biodynamic farming.
What's new with City Market's cooking classes? One answer: Foreign language cooking classes! Since this spring, we have been offering foreign-language cooking classes in Spanish and French, and we are thrilled with the community response. For years, we have provided a venue for instructors from other countries - Bhutan, Burma, Somalia, the Congo, Bosnia, Vietnam and more - to teach about their native cultures and cuisines.
Father's Day is fast approaching, and here's a great way to show your dad how much you appreciate him: make him homemade body care products! The following recipes come from our Herbal Education Coordinator, Cristi Nunziata, and run the gamut from aftershave to foot powder. Don't have time to make your own DIY gifts? Check out some gift suggestions at the end of this post from Cristi.
Bay Spice Aftershave
Allspice, ground or grated
Ginger, grated or ground
Besides the joy of welcoming a newborn into the world, do you want to know a way to make new parents even happier? Participate in a Meal Train! As I alluded to over the winter when I said my wife and I were “working on expanding our family”, we had a baby! We welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world in March and she’s just awesome. My attention to creative dinner plans right after her birth, on the other hand, left something to be desired.
What’s in a word? There’s the technical definition, yes, but our experiences and our perceptions can create a certain understanding of particular words that are different from what others may accept. Likewise, new terms are being created regularly and sometimes even become mainstream (“selfie,” anyone?). Given this, one of our biggest challenges with the rapidly expanding sustainability movement, is explaining the terms commonly used to describe sustainability (the “lexicon”) and making those terms accessible and commonplace to all people. Without a common language, we can’t expect to m
Spring has finally sprung, and it seems like the perfect time to write about a recent Mosaic of Flavors class where we made a special Bosnian bread stuffed with spinach. Spinach will always be a "sign of spring" for me, because it's one of the first crops we get from local farmers in the springtime. Its fresh, green color and large, squeaky leaves are a welcome change of pace from root vegetables!
Fair wages for all (including farmers), include the next generation, equal representation under the law, humane working conditions, good and respectful communication, a grievance policy/conflict resolution process, access to affordable healthcare, kids on farms (both kids of farmers and farmworkers) should have access to quality education, children should only be allowed to work part-time on the farm, and fair pricing of farm products in the marketplace.
Last week, City Market staff had the privilege of attending a special cheese tasting with Adam Smith, Head Caveman at The Cellars at Jasper Hill. The topic was bloomy-rinded cheeses, those delightfully soft, often white, squiggly-molded cheeses that seem to be so popular these days. Bloomy-rinded cheeses are usually made from pasteurized milk, as they are typically aged less than 2 months (raw milk needs to be aged at least 60 days). For bloomy-rinded cheeses, either the milk is inoculated with a specific mold culture, or the cheese is misted with the mold culture to produce a rind that ripens from the outside in. Most cheesemakers purchase mold cultures to inoculate cheeses, but over time, a layer of microbes coat the walls of cheese caves and eventually become very specific to place. Given this, it makes sense that The Cellars’ tag line is “A Taste of Place,” as very site-specific microbes contribute to the taste of all The Cellars’ cheeses. Much like how the term terrior is used to discuss place-specific tastes of wine, so can the term be used when talking about cheeses.
This time of year, when the ground begins to soften, the buds swell on bushes and trees, and squirrels resume their frisky high-wire acts, is a wonderful time to think about treating our whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds to a long, warm soak before we eat them. More than any other time of year, spring is a time when soaking seeds puts us in touch with the rhythms of nature, because it is happening all around us in the forest, fields, and flower beds.
This week we’re continuing an annual tradition that I’m fond of, our local food recipe competition. Picking one extra special ingredient, we ask the community to submit their favorite recipes based on that theme. It’s like Iron Chef*, but without all the pressure or the video cameras (actually, it’s not really like Iron Chef at all). This year’s special ingredient is… beets!