Jardiniere, essentially a garden in a jar

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A jar of jardinière is beautiful as well as tasty.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

A jar of jardinière is beautiful as well as tasty. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle September 30, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

As my esteemed colleague Richard Creaser noted in this space last week, garden abundance, although welcome, can impose a burden on the chef. While much of the produce mentioned by Richard has a long harvest period, the garden also can inundate its unwary keeper with sudden and overwhelming bounty.

Some brassicas have a brief interval between ripeness and becoming inedible. I recall one year when my broccoli plants went into overdrive, and I was buried under bushels of the stuff. There is no point trying to wait the plants out, you’ll just end up with bouquets of yellow flowers.

The next year I tried to compensate by cutting back on the number of plants I set… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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A new spin on take-out

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Crispy catfish and freekeh with corn-cherry tomato sauté and marjoram. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph.

Crispy catfish and freekeh with corn-cherry tomato sauté and marjoram. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph.

copyright the Chronicle September 16, 2015

By Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

I recently discovered that the New York Times won’t deliver the newspaper to West Glover, where I live. A co-worker told me last week that Internet isn’t available where she lives.

When I first moved here I had to come to grips with the fact that I would have to pick up my pizza rather than having it delivered to my doorstep.

Rural areas are often overlooked when it comes to services, either because the demand isn’t high enough or logistics are too complicated. But Blue Apron isn’t one of those services. At least, not for West Glover.

My roommate signed up for it a while ago. Every week, he receives a cardboard… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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New eatery comes to Barton

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WEB eddie truck outsidecopyright the Chronicle June 24, 2015

by Natalie Hormilla

BARTON — Eddie Seadale’s newest food venture is operated out of a truck. Mr. Seadale, former owner of The Parson’s Corner restaurant, has set up the truck at the business he owns with his wife, Lori, River’s Edge Farmstand.

Mr. Seadale cooks and serves up a menu that’s made up on the fly — but he doesn’t seem even remotely worried about that.

“When Mom will say, Edward, I’m thinking of making this, I say, Great, because I know it’ll be good,” he said, zipping about his teeny kitchen Monday afternoon. “That’s how we roll.”

Mr. Seadale and his mother, Anne Seadale, are the duo behind the Copper Plate, which opened earlier this month. Mr. Seadale’s mother turns 83 in July, and the two have worked together before.

“We worked together in Southie at my first place.….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Buy fresh produce this fall through SNAP

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Photo by Joseph Gresser

Photo by Joseph Gresser

Vermont Harvest, a new program piloted by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), will allow families receiving federal SNAP benefits, known in Vermont as 3SquaresVT, to purchase $75 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables at local Northeast Kingdom grocery stores.

The primary goal of the program is to increase the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the following retail locations: C&C Supermarket in Barton, Ray’s Market in Irasburg, Craftsbury General Store in Craftsbury, and Vista Foods in Newport.

Beginning in August, SNAP participant households in Orleans and Essex counties will receive information about the program and instructions for redeeming their coupons, which will arrive beginning in September and remain valid through February 2016.

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Ruminations: On the historic rise of the birthday cake

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Photo by Lara Starr

Photo by Lara Starr

copyright the Chronicle March 4, 2015

by Tena Starr

My family isn’t overly fond of cake, which got me to wondering about the history of the ritual. How is it that cake and candles are such an entrenched tradition that people who don’t even really like cake still have it at a birthday celebration?

(To be honest here, Chris at Parker Pie made this year’s birthday cake, and most of us confessed that we did, indeed, like it. So maybe it’s just the cakes we make ourselves that we’re not so fond of.)

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Navigating the complexities of the simple life

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WEB Hewitt bookcopyright the Chronicle December 3, 2014

The Nourishing Homestead: One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit, by Ben Hewitt with Penny Hewitt. Published by Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, 2015; Paperbound, 352 pages; $29.95.

Reviewed by Joseph Gresser

Some books need to be written again as each new generation comes of age. Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, may have set the template for one of these books, the exhortation to the reader to give up conventional expectations and live a radically simplified life.

Living the Good Life, by Helen and Scott Nearing, set forth a version of that message adapted for a very different world. To give them full credit, the Nearings lived according to their principles far longer than the year or two Mr. Thoreau spent in the woods.

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Ruminations on apples: the good, the bad, the useless

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The cover of Apples of Uncommon Character.

The cover of Apples of Uncommon Character.

copyright the Chronicle October 8, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

Apples of Uncommon Character: 123 Heirlooms, Modern Classics & Little-Known Wonders, by Rowan Jacobsen. Published by Bloomsbury, New York City, 2014. 311 pages. Hardbound. $35.

At this time of year, even a short walk along any back road will reveal the remains of a long-passed way of life. At intervals, forlorn apple trees, still bearing after years of neglect, will offer their meager , or occasionally abundant, fall harvest.

With the advent of grocery stores and the availability of any fruit or vegetable we might desire regardless of the season, we have moved away from the world where apple trees were a necessary luxury.

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In Charleston: Sixty years of oysters

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Stewmaster Darald Moulton followed a tried and true recipe Saturday at the Charleston Fire Department’s sixtieth annual oyster stew supper.  Photo by Paul Lefebvre

Stewmaster Darald Moulton followed a tried and true recipe Saturday at the Charleston Fire Department’s sixtieth annual oyster stew supper. Photo by Paul Lefebvre

copyright the Chronicle October 8, 2014

by Paul Lefebvre

Sixty years ago a photograph was published of Marilyn Monroe standing over a New York City sidewalk register whose hot air lifted her skirt higher up her legs than anyone expected to see.

Sixty years ago Elvis the Pelvis recorded his first hit, “That’s all Right,” a song sung in such a seductive voice that it went beyond ballistic as soon as people saw him perform it.

And 60 years ago, the volunteer firemen of Charleston held their first fund-raiser, an oyster stew supper that has gone on to become an annual event in a region known for its chicken pie suppers and strawberry shortcake.

How to explain the popularity of oyster stew in landlocked country nearly half a day’s drive from the ocean?

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Ruminations: on dumpster diving, or clearing out the garden

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WEB rumination curious harvestcopyright the Chronicle September 10, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything, by Maximus Thaler and Dayna Safferstein; published by Quarry Books, Beverly, Massachusetts, 2014; 160 pages, softbound, $24.99.

There is hardly any point in searching for a topic for this column. Like a cow grazing in the field, the writer is best off using what he finds before him.

In this case it is A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything. Elka Schumann handed a copy of the book to me a week or so ago while we stood talking in the kitchen at the Bread and Puppet Theater in Glover.

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Ruminations: On seasonal cooking in northern Vermont

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web ruminations cookbookcopyright the Chronicle August 6, 2014

by Tena Starr

Marcie Kaufman is a professionally trained chef who lives in Jay. She graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier in 1992, but began her career earlier, in 1987, as an apprentice boulanger and patissier.

To translate broadly, that means she is a very good baker and pastry maker.

Ms. Kaufman has now written a cookbook called Seasonal Appetite, a Chef’s Celebration of Vermont’s Seasons. She says the solitude of her own kitchen has replaced the restaurant’s “animated discourse.”

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