Vermont Highlights

We arrived carrying as much garden as we could (this picture doesn’t include any of the huge bags of salad and other greens):

My Uncle gave me an old Canon DSLR body, so I messed around with it (using his lens) a little. I ordered a lens of my own, and it was waiting for me when I got home, so the pictures on this blog should now regularly rise above the “execrable” level. Note the sweat on the beet, for example.

One of the first things I made was a micro-local frisée aux lardons (though technically it would be micro-local here and not there) with our frisée, our neighbor’s duck eggs, and our own miso-cured bacon.

After my Uncle left, I had to go back to using the crap camera, but the food at least stayed high quality. I made a pretty good oxtail stew, which was fitting for the chilly and wet weather that beset the bulk of our time there. We brought the smoked shrimp shells with us, and I used them to make a broth which ended up being used throughout the week. First up I used the broth to make a thick sauce for stir-fried boar loin with broccoli and summer squash on rice noodles:

The next day I mixed more of it with peanut butter and various Asian-type condiments, and warmed the noodles back up in that to revive them. That night we steamed a couple of lobsters with corn, and I saved the shells. The next day I made lobster broth, adding in the rest of the smoked shrimp stock to double down on the crustaceany goodness. I used this elixir to make a risotto with leftover corn and lobster meat.

The leftover risotto in turn became risotto cakes that I browned in butter and served with cucumber salad for a pretty nice lunch. And the rest of it got rolled up into avocado maki when we returned home to a pretty empty fridge.

Towards the end of our time there, I made a bunch of pizzas on the grill for us, my Brother, his friend, and her Son; pictured are potato/rosemary, pesto/goat cheese/aged gouda, and tomato sauce topped with mizuna, our home-cured gravlax (from that line-caught sockeye) and avocado. There were also pepperoni and smoked gouda and bacon with greens and red onion. All the gouda, as well as all the eggs and raw milk we had all week, came from Taylor Farm, where we went one night for an excellent sushi party.

The local fruit was in full effect, so Milo and I made a couple of tarts: peach/blueberry, and peach/plum/raspberry. They were well received.

I shot this on the nice marble counter insert where three generations of my family have rolled out pastry. The next one was made later the following day, so I had to use the lights on the stove. There’s not much better than a fresh fruit tart on a perfect thin crust. They didn’t even need glazing.

Last, because of all the rain, amphibians are thriving. Milo caught a bullfrog at our neighbor’s pond on one of the sunny days, and then he rescued this toad from a basement window well a couple of days later. He named it Frelzy.

Now we’re home, and it’s cold and grey. Feels like fall already, and summer barely even got started.

7 comments to Vermont Highlights

  • lisa

    Those are fine-looking beets. And, I want that smoked salmon and avocado pizza, and the risotto, and the tarts.

  • cook eat FRET

    you needed that camera, boy. bigtime.

    there. i said it.

  • Zoomie

    I hope Frelzy and the frog made it back to the outdoors before you left. Sounds like a lovely family time. Life is good, even when it's rainy.

  • Jen of A2eatwrite

    Camera or no, the food looks amazing. I'm very impressed with Milo's tart-making abilities.

  • The Spiteful Chef

    I'm bleeding with jealousy. And totally still plan on hijacking your Vermont pad sometime in the next few years, if only for a weekend of maple-laced debauchery.

    Tarts are one of life's simple pleasures, and they're so pretty.

  • cookiecrumb

    My word verification is "dinher."

  • peter

    Lisa: All at once, or should I bring them out as they're ready?

    Claudia: I said it too.

    Zoomie: No amphibians were harmed, etc.

    Jen: What about his toad-naming abilities?

    Kristie: I freaking love tarts, and not just because they're one of three desserts I ever make.

    CC: Sounds about right. They've been getting cleverer lately, don't you think?

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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