To New Beginnings
I wanted to introduce myself as City Market’s new Assistant Outreach & Education Manager. I drove up from my home in Delaware shortly after Thanksgiving, spending eight and a half hours on the road with podcasts, rock music, and some leftover pumpkin pie. When that first bit of snowy Vermont mountaintop came into view just as the sun was setting, something in my heart said, “Welcome home!"
I received my Master of Science in Food Systems from UVM in 2018 and am excited to return to the area. While I was here, I was a City Market Member, Member Worker, and frequent class attendee. I came to as many classes I possibly could, helping out as a Member Worker, hungry for the knowledge that the Co-op’s programs offered. After moving back to my home state of Delaware after graduating, I told myself I would return to Vermont someday. Somehow, getting this job felt like fate, and like I never left in the first place!
Winter is a great season in Vermont for many reasons, and one of them is the amazing number of cooking classes in City Market’s Teaching Kitchen. Since arriving at the Co-op, I’ve already been involved in workshops involving cheese plates, fire cider, pierogis, winter forest ecology, as well as our Taste of Eritrea and Mosaic of Flavor series. Even though I love to cook, and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen already, I learned so much from each of our instructors and am excited to learn more through future classes. I learned how cheese pairings are all about deciding what you and your guests like and going for it—there are no hard and fast rules to follow. If it looks good and tastes good to you, go for it!
I learned that the precedent-setting court case over removing the trademark from fire cider only just wrapped up this October, finally making “fire cider” a generic term and protecting the communities who utilize it. I learned what pierogis look like when they’ve had enough time in boiling water to cook properly, and to let them cool down completely after boiling if you want to fry them in butter, or you won’t get that browned, crunchy outside. I visited Ethan Allen Park for the first time ever and learned how to identify common trees by their bark and not their leaves, crunching my way across the freshly-fallen snow on the winding paths with our instructor. I’ve learned to enjoy spicier and spicier foods with our Taste of Eritrea series, though I definitely need to keep training my taste buds! I guess I’ll just have to try more of Mulu’s delicious recipes! I’ve seen how to shape and steam manti, traditional meat dumplings from Tajikistan, with their beautiful flower petal shape and delicious dill yogurt sauce.
Through all these cooking class experiences, I’ve been so pleased to see how many people sign up and are excited to learn more when they arrive—information about new techniques, new cultures, new recipes, and their community. Fostering community is one of the most important things that co-ops stand for, and the community at City Market is a wonderful one indeed.
I’m excited to continue to expand my horizons and connect with our co-op community and hope I’ll get to meet many of you in the coming months! To join us for an upcoming class, take a look at our listing here.