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J suitcases

We fly to Rome tonight.

Tomorrow, we’ll have to eat, and there will be markets nearby.  I’ll try to overcome my jet lag enough to snap some pictures and write a short post.

Until then….


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Goodbye, Vermont

After one last wonderful local meal last night, we’re saying goodbye to Vermont until next summer.  Goodbye, friends, new and old!

Today, The Roving Locavore has a guest post on Tribeca Yummy Mummy‘s blog.  Feel like making tomato tart?

Also today, we head to Cape Cod for a visit with family before we leave for Rome.  Hopefully, I’ll do some clamming….

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After kneading the dough, I’m having my first relaxed moment of the day.  (A glass of Lillet helps.)  This morning, Jack slept late, which meant we all did.  The day, then, started off with high adrenaline and an extra coffee.  (I really like the long espresso they pull at Allechante.)  I dropped Jack at the Montshire Museum of Science pre-school camp, where, today, they learned about animal tracks.

farm view

Then, I drove to the Dartmouth Organic Farm for an hour and a half of sustainability chit chat and book-title trading with Scott, the manager.  He has great visions for the place: a conference and meeting space in the old farmhouse, a teaching area and soil sciences lab in the big kitchen, an interdisciplinary course on the history of Chinese agriculture, so much more…. I told him about everything Auburn is doing, and about the Rome Sustainable Food Project, which I’ll be enjoying in one short month!

We had a fun morning.

Then, picnic with Papa, Storrs pool with the boys, Hanover Food Co-op for dinner supplies, back home, clean up, send emails, this, that, knead the dough…. (I know, it doesn’t sound very taxing.)

At last I can sit and watch the hummingbirds zip in for their sugary snack.  And contemplate the comfort food I’ll serve up later.

It will be a semi-local meal.  The lettuce for a salad will come from the garden, and the mozzarella comes from Maplebrook Farm in Bennington, Vermont, and the flour comes from the 200+-year-old local institution, King Arthur Flour. (I like the way they have a “Flour Philosophy” on their website.  And I like their unbleached flour.)

serves 4, or more with small eaters

1 c. warm water
1. tsp. yeast
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
about 3 c. flour

a few big handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 c. organic ricotta (fresh if you’ve got it!)
1 ball mozzarella, pulled into strands
1/2 c. grated parmagiano-reggiano
1 egg
12 thin slices Genoa salame

Make the dough, and let rise for 1 hour. Then shape it into 4 8-inch discs, and let them rise. Pre-heat oven to 425.

Mix the filling, and when the dough is ready, plop large spoonfuls of it onto one side of the discs. Top with slices of salame. Fold and close the dough, brush with olive oil, bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with warm marinara for dipping.

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The morning started out cool and foggy.  I went for a run on the hilly dirt road here, and the air was so chilly and moist in the shade of the tree canopy, that my glasses fogged up.  Turnpike Road follows the course of the Blood Brook, which winds this way and that through culverts under the road (and is named for an old area family, not for early-American battles with Indians).  Normally, in the summer, the brook is just a trickle between dry stones, but lately, because of the uncharacteristically (well, insanely) wet summer, it’s been raging.  The rain has made it hard for all of the farmers around here.  Haying has to happen in the spots of sun between storms.  Vegetables are coming in later than usual.  Sweet corn only just arrived.

By the time we got to the Norwich Farmers’ Market, the fog had burned off, and the sun was getting hot.  We bought an array of goodies from the warm end of the spectrum, from dark new Peruvian Purple potatoes, to pork sausage and rainbow carrots, two kinds of beets, and pale yellow Fingerlings.


The potatoes all came from Hurricane Flats Farm, on the Connecticut River in South Royalton, Vermont, as did the beets.  I bought two bunches: the concentric-striped Chioggias and mango-colored Goldens.  I’m roasting them now, and will quarter them and toss them in some kind of salad later—probably with local goat cheese, again.

As we strolled from their stand, we stopped at Hogwash Farm’s to sample their beer bratwurst. (They raise beef cattle, pigs, and laying hens, and are located here in Norwich.)  It was so tasty, that Jack and his cousin continued to sample while I looked through the freezer and picked out grass fed ground beef and chorizo.  We decided to get a package of the bratwurst too, before the boys cleaned them out.

Hogwash T

From there, we made our way to Your Farm’s stand, and spotted the dazzling rainbow carrots!  We each tried a color.  I’m partial to the purple-skinned-orange-centered kind.

rainbow carrots

After the Farmers’ Market, we stopped at Norwich Square, where all the shops were having a little outdoor fair.    There were musicians, made-to-order crepes, book-signing, and Silkie chickens pecking the grass.


Jack went into one of his favorite places in Norwich: the little house.  Sometimes, while I drink a coffee and eat an almond croissant from Allechante, Jack brings his snack in there, sits in the rocker, munches, and hums a little hum to himself.

J in little house
I left the boys with my mom in the bookstore, and ducked into Zuzu, where I found the snazziest dress!  Here’s a shot of the fabric:


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oh, great.

Frito Lay and Pepsi Co. are attaching the adjectives “local” and “sustainable” to their products and practices:

Here‘s the NYT article.

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