October Cookbook Review: The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook
By Sarah Strauss
I think it’s fun to live in a small state where many people know each other. Especially a small state that has such a deep and abiding relationship with agriculture and local food production. Bringing produce home from the farmer’s markets or grocery store can feel like a reunion at your dinner table with old friends, even if you are not actually seeing their faces, and hearing their voices.
“Can we get more of that bacon you bought at the market?” my husband might say to me. I have to stop and think about which bacon he might have been referring to, but only for a second. I can see the farmer’s face, feel the cool wrapper of the bacon pressed into my hand, and remember our conversation. The next day, at breakfast, I recount the interaction with my family and it seems that our farming friend has joined us at the table, in spirit, for a moment.
Tracey Medieros, author of Dishing Up Vermont, the cookbook that featured profiles of Vermont farmers and producers along with their recipes, has done it again. Her new book, The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook, is filled with recipes from local farmers, chefs and food producers.
From the Breakfast section I made the Spring Frittata which was delicious on the table, but equally so afterwards, when we carried cold slices of it out to the porch swing with us to watch the garden grow.
In the Breads chapter, we tried the Organic Milk Biscuits for breakfast one day, slathered with a sausage gravy while warm, easy to make, easy to eat – one after the other. Two loaves of the Zucchini Bread came with us for a school function, so fine-grained and moist, I’m delighted to have met a new way to deal with our summer squash bounty, and to introduce it to the younger set without struggle.
The chapter on Soups brought us the truly luxurious Vermont Cheddar Soup, and a lighter Corn Chowder (that’s where we used the good bacon). On cooler rainy nights, it was good to have warm companions like these for dinner.
We brought the Patriotic Potato Salad to a picnic, where it got a lot of happy attention, especially because of the Simple Mayonnaise that made up the dressing. Pasta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Tomatoes showcased the roasted sweetness of cherry tomatoes beautifully over penne for a playdate.
Green Chicken, a fresh herbal dish, was probably our favorite new friend, but the WhistlePig Whiskey and Molasses-Marinated Salmon Fillets were a close second.
Of course, I couldn’t pass up trying the recipe for Honey Ice Cream with Fresh Strawberries for dessert. Already, my copy of The Vermont Farm Table is looking a little ragged around the edges, but I am happy to have made the acquaintance.