MORE BLOGS: Off Message (News & Politics) | Live Culture (Arts) | Stuck in Vermont (Videos)

Bite Club: Vermont's Food & Drink Blog


November 21, 2012

To Brine or Not to Brine? Molly Stevens Weighs In


On the radio yesterday, a local deejay gushed about the beauty of Butterball turkeys — namely, that the bird's breast has already been injected with liquid that bastes the bird as it roasts, rendering brining unnecessary.

I heard this while I was on my way to Norwich's Hogwash Farm to pick up the lanky, organic 10-pound bird that now rests in my refrigerator. Brining is a messy, laborious task; but after last year's pasture-raised bird (from another farm) emerged from my oven kinda dry, I wondered, is this the year I finally wade into saline waters?

Proponents of brining — or soaking the turkey overnight in a salt bath — swear that it helps achieve penultimate moistness. I decided to ask Molly Stevens, the local cookbook author whose most recent work — All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art — tackles this very question, and won a James Beard award to boot.

Continue reading "To Brine or Not to Brine? Molly Stevens Weighs In" »

October 30, 2012

Eating (and Drinking) Your Way Through A Power Outage

Vienna-sausageHurricane Sandy spared Vermont from the worst of its wrath, but some of us are still without power. So, what do you do when all you have in the refrigerator — cheeses, lettuce, cucumber, radicchio, scallions, chicken thighs — needs to be eaten tout de suite?

My Oklahoma-born, tornado-bred grandfather had a simple solution for times such as this: Vienna Sausage and Schlitz. He once rode out a days-long wildfire this way, shut up tight in his trailer and resisting all efforts to evacuate.

He would probably grimace at my own au courant storm ideas — sear the radicchio, then melt Spring Brook Farm Raclette on top by shoving underneath my propane stove? Marinate the chicken thighs in orange juice, ginger and soy, then grill them? Others of my ilk prepared for Sandy, too. Seven Days multimedia producer Eva Sollberger made an epic-looking mushroom stroganoff, while Kathryn Vanderminden, a chef who runs Village Roots Catering in Pawlet, put together "a really big crockpot of venison stew with lots of veggies and potatoes." She's also blessed with a fully gas stove, she says, so she can roast squash throughout the week.

Continue reading "Eating (and Drinking) Your Way Through A Power Outage" »

October 10, 2012

How to Raise and Roast a Goat (in 10 Quick and Easy Steps!)

DSC_33641. Acquire some goats. (Remember: The cuter the animal, the tastier the meat.)

Meet Winston and Walter, our protagonists today. My husband Colin and I procured these lovely little fellows in May. We live on a small farm in Shoreham, just down the road from Twig Farm in West Cornwall. Cheesemaker Michael Lee makes a mean tomme, and it turns out that one of the biological imperatives of milking goats is ... baby goats. Most cheesemakers face a glut every spring of young male goats, called bucklings. 

We approached the business of raising goats not unlike the way we approached the business of raising cows, and raising a puppy: Acquire the animal, then figure it out. Our delightful friends Lucas Farrell and Louisa Conrad (of Townshend-based Big Picture Farm, purveyors of award-winning goat-milk caramels) convinced us that goats were a piece of cake and no trouble at all and super cute (admittedly, my words, not theirs — although if that blog isn't goat propaganda, I don't know what is). 

So we paid Lee $25 apiece of two mostly weaned wethers (castrated males) and piled Walter and Winston into a large dog crate for the short drive home. 

Continue reading "How to Raise and Roast a Goat (in 10 Quick and Easy Steps!)" »

October 5, 2012

Grazing: Couscous with Spicy Kohlrabi, Chocolate, Cumin Cheese and Vegemite, Splendid Table-Style

VegemiteLast week, The Splendid Table's Lynne Rossetto Kasper visited Brattleboro to take part in Vermont Public Radio's annual Listener Picnic. In between admitting that okra is her no-go and signing dozens of books, Kasper playfully indulged the audience for a few rounds of "Stump the Cook," during which listeners try to stymie her with five usually odd and disparate ingredients in their refrigerator or pantry.

For sheer strangeness, those from Charlotte's Jacob Edgar were unmatched: A bag of cacao nibs from his father-in-law; a block of cumin cheese, a favorite during the year Edgar and his family lived in Amsterdam; a mysterious, unlabeled spice mix picked up during a recent trip to Turkey; kohlrabi from their CSA share at Charlotte's Stoneyloam Farm; and a jar of Vegemite brought back from Australia several years ago. ("It doesn't appear to go bad," wrote Deirdre Holmes, Edgar's wife, in an email).

As is her way, Kasper plunged in with imagination and verve. She advised Edgar to rub the kohlrabi with the spice paste and then roast it to get “a lovely crustiness." Then, she instructed, make a broth for the cous cous with the Vegemite ("but just a teaspoon, thank you very much"). Into this, Kasper suggested, he could load cacao nibs, raisins, cubed cumin cheese, some cinnamon and paprika, fresh coriander, olive oil, salt and “a ton of black pepper.”

Continue reading "Grazing: Couscous with Spicy Kohlrabi, Chocolate, Cumin Cheese and Vegemite, Splendid Table-Style" »

September 17, 2012

Sweet Talk With Joy the Baker

Joy the baker[This article was written by Seven Days calendar editor Carolyn Fox.]

If you don’t know who Joy the Baker is, we can only assume your life is sorely lacking in butter, sugar and flour.

One of the internet’s top food bloggers — as named by Forbes and Saveur, among others — Joy Wilson (aka “Joy the Baker”) is the thirtysomething California mastermind behind such unusual sweets as Avocado Pound Cake, Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Pretzel Brownies and Toasted-Marshmallow Milkshakes. She’s no slouch at savory recipes, either; Seven Days associate arts editor Megan James swears by her Kale-and-Sweet-Potato Soup.

But visitors to her site tend to drop in as much for her warm personality and self-effacing humor as for the food. A “self-taught/family-taught/taste-buds-taught baker,” Wilson exudes girl-next-door-charm and an affinity for words such as “bonkers” and “amazeballs.” She frequently interrupts her regularly scheduled recipes with posts about her life as a cat lady.

Wilson visits King Arthur Flour this Saturday, September 22, as part of its grand-opening celebration. We caught up with the blogger by phone to talk about her new cookbook, her brief time as a Vermonter and, of course, Ben & Jerry’s.

SEVEN DAYS: You’re no stranger to Vermont — you moved from California to Burlington right after high school. What brought you here?

Continue reading "Sweet Talk With Joy the Baker" »

September 13, 2012

How to (Seamlessly) Separate An Egg

When I separate eggs, I sometimes end up with bits of yolk in the white, and messy fingers, too. So I'm grateful to this Chinese woman for showing me this clever way to do the deed — and reuse a soda bottle at the same time. (And I'm also grateful to writer Meg Maker for posting this to Facebook!)


September 12, 2012

Bite Into Our New Blog!

CevicheThe Seven Days food writers live to eat, not the other way around. That means that at any given moment, we're probably tasting something we want to recommend — or warn you about. And it's our job to know about new restaurants, dishes, chefs. Through Bite Club, you can get that info as soon as we track it down. In other words, you can get it while it's hot. 

Alice and I are excited to collect all of our food content here on the brand-new Bite Club blog. Our staff blog, Blurt, came to be a rather serious place for pithy posts about food news we've stumbled across, a photo of something amazing we've eaten, a lament for some axed menu item, or a trailer for a new food film. 

On the Bite Club blog, we can roam free. Check in each weekday not only for Alice Eats and Grazing but for Vermont restaurant, foodie entrepreneur and ag news, recipes, and links to the sometimes-strange, sometimes-vital food and drink content we find both locally and on the interwebs. Come and get it!

September 10, 2012

Grazing at King Arthur Flour's Airy New Digs

Ace_outsideIf you're the kind of person who loses all sense of time and self control whenever you visit King Arthur Flour, you might want to carefully plan your next visit. As in, set both a monetary and caloric budget and tell a friend where you're going, lest you get lost.

A few weeks ago, the baking giant unveiled the fruits of its yearlong, $10-million expansion. Though the building sprawls along the same hillside it's occupied for years, it feels like an entirely different place. And the complex looks like a wood-and-steel mothership. Which it is, of course, for thousands of bakers all over the world.

Continue reading "Grazing at King Arthur Flour's Airy New Digs" »

Email Newsletter

Fill out my online form.
All Rights Reserved © Da Capo Publishing Inc. 1995-2012 | PO Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164 | 802-864-5684