what says 'Vermont' to you?
Planning a dinner party for ten next Saturday, and planning to do a Vermont theme (my hometown!) I want to showcase Vermont foods - items grown/raised/produced there - AND would like to stay 'season appropriate' (i.e what's available NOW in Vermont, not necessarily in the middle of August). I'll be in Middlebury/Burlington this coming weekend and want to use the time to pick up supplies.
So, what tastes or specific products just scream 'Vermont' to you??
My thoughts so far:
braised lamb shanks - maple syrup/rosemary glaze
root veggies - def. potatoes - what else?
cheese course - ideally the ones people won't really know - willow hill, vt shephard, lazy lady, etc
apple tart/pie, ice cream
One word... "diners." There are a number of classic deco era diners here, the one near the Burlington airport has a nice mid east twist.
Vermont makes passable cheese, if you're going through Burlington stop by Market Fresh (or Fresh Market, I can never remember the exact name) on Pine St near Howard, they have a wide selection of VT cheeses and other VT products, the perfect place to provision a picinic basket Boo Boo. A baguette, a bottle of micro brew (avoid Magic Hat,) some aged chedder, and some McKensie Ham would do the trick.
It is the wrong season for cider, all you will find might as well be from concentrate, but when in season it is a fine thing. Damn Ottawalla for dooming us all to pasturized juices.
If it wasn't such a poor ice fishing season I would add lake perch to to the list as well, but unless you're willing to risk thin ice forget that one.
I think your menu sounds awesome and very reflective of some of VT's culinary strengths. I'd recommend a little VT cheddar on top of the apple pie...
Root vegie recommendations would be rutabagas or turnips. I'm sure you can find some recipes for those, even in combination with potatoes.
p.s. I complete disagree that VT has "passable cheese." Some of the cheese makers mentioned by the OP that I'm familiar with are truly artisanal. Specifically, the woman who makes the Lazy Lady cheeses trained in France and her goat cheeses are some of my favorite cheeses of all time.
How about a tuna wiggle appetizer--served on saltines of course. (a specialty of the Miss Newport Diner--now sadly defunct.)
Here are my thoughts:
1. A stop a Shelburne Farms will yield some tasty treats, especially world class cheese
2. Vermont wine is not worth drinking, but, some Wooodchuck Cider makes a nice pairing with cheese/fruit plate
3. There are a few Vermont Farms that butcher meat. Misty Knoll chicken is excellent and Laplatte beef is also excellent. Shelburne Supermarket (Shelburne Village), City Market (downtown), and Healthy Living (Dorset St.) are good sources for many of these items.
I'm not sure how readily available produce will be but the aforementioned root vegetables and a nice homemade apple crisp/pie with B&J Ice Cream would be nice. I would round out the night with a glass of Porto and some Lake Champlain Chocolates.
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