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August 2013

August 7, 2013

Local Farmers Converge at UVM to Celebrate "Growing Fields" Photo Exhibit

Summer in and around UVM's Bailey/Howe Library can feel pretty sleepy, except perhaps on Thursday afternoons, when students from the school's Farmer Training Program gather near the entrance to sell kale, peppers, tomatoes and other goodies they've grown. Now, images of those farmers — as well as their historical counterparts — are on display in the library's lobby this summer, and a few local farmers will gather in the lobby on Thursday to celebrate the work.

"Growing Fields" draws together vivid images of UVM's farmers-in-training — as well as the food they grow— with vintage photos of the Vermont hayers, pickers and ploughs of yore. The exhibit runs until August 22, but on Thursday, three women farmers — Amanda Andrews of Burlington's Tamarack Hollow Farm, Nancy Hayden of Jeffersonville's the Farm Between, and UVM farmer-in-training program director Laura Williams — will talk about what drew them to the field during an afternoon reception.

Continue reading "Local Farmers Converge at UVM to Celebrate "Growing Fields" Photo Exhibit" »

August 6, 2013

Alice Eats: Myer's Bagel Bakery

IMG_6065377 Pine Street, Burlington, 863-5013

Since April, much has changed at Myer's Bagel Bakery. That month, Colin Bloch and Adam Jones, who bought the bakery from longtime owner Lloyd Squires, put some delicious plans into action. The expanded bakery quickly became something of a venture center for Burlington-based food businesses.

Emily Conn started making her delicious almond cakes under the name the Bakery at the Farmhouse Kitchen in the wood-fired oven (not to mention scrumptiously fruity blueberry muffins and some irresistible cookies), while her husband Chris makes the café dishes for Myer's. Her varied baked goods sit alongside doughnuts from Barbara Nedd, the Rockville Market Farm baker whose treats were recently named among the best in New York City. Paul Bedrosian makes his Chick Peace Hummus there, too. It's sold from the refrigerator case, but also spread on bagels for sandwiches.

Continue reading "Alice Eats: Myer's Bagel Bakery" »

August 3, 2013

Grazing: Plundering Al Ducci's Italian Pantry


Since I'm forever bemoaning the lack of an Italian deli in Burlington, it's ridiculous that I'd never made it to Al Ducci's Italian Pantry — until this week. It's not as though Al Ducci's is a new spot; this deli has been doling out prosciutto sandwiches and balls of fresh mozzarella on a Manchester side street for ... um, 23 years.

Walking into Al Ducci’s is like stepping off the street of Ozone Park, Queens, and into an old-school Italian deli, albeit one with Vermontiness layered in: Pressed tin ceilings and beat-up wooden floors are offset by broad windows that look out onto a quartet of tables on the front porch.

In the middle of the store are metal shelves full of bucatini and bottles of oil and vinegar and novelty Italian cookies; to the left is a cold case stuffed with eggplant parm, sautéed broccoli rabe, and a kaleidoscope of salads — chicken, farro, pasta. Next to that is a robust cheese display, where local rounds such as Jasper Hill's Bayley Hazen Blue rubs up against Italian taleggio and piave. On top of the case are tubs shimmering with six kinds of olives.

If it's a food that ends in a vowel, you can probably find it here: Puttanesca. Housemade ravioli. Baggies of arugula. All the glorious flesh of Italian cured meats, from guanciale to prosciutto to capicola, the last fatty, sweet, studded with peppercorns and shaved so thin you can almost see through each slice. Al Ducci's stocks a hot version, too.

Continue reading "Grazing: Plundering Al Ducci's Italian Pantry" »

August 2, 2013

Beware When Smelling Hot Sauce at Mad Taco

HotsauceThis is it, I thought. I am going to be blind for the rest of my life. And when people ask me how it happened, I'm going to have to tell them the sad, embarrassing truth: I was just trying to smell the hot sauces.

It was the end of a day that had felt interminable. Early that morning I'd rolled out of my bed in Winooski and into my car, driven to Middlebury for an appointment and then spent hours fielding calls and emails about the Daysies results.

Late in the afternoon, I could feel a sore throat coming on, so I took a 20-minute power nap in the backseat of my car before driving over the mountains to Plainfield. I reviewed Lark Upson's portrait exhibit at Blinking Light Gallery, then dashed to Montpelier to catch Lost Nation Theater's production of My Buddy Bill.

My heart sank when my husband, who had joined me for the play, informed me that there was no time for dinner. The show, which I had thought started at 8, actually began at 7.

I inhaled a cider donut in the City Hall Auditorium lobby and giggled woozily through the one-man show starring Ethan Bowen about Bill Clinton and his chocolate Lab, Buddy. 

By 8:30, the show was over, and Daniel and I dashed to the Mad Taco, which shimmered like a promised land across the street.

Continue reading "Beware When Smelling Hot Sauce at Mad Taco" »

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