Monday, September 13, 2010

Eating Local in Springfield, Vermont

Produce from the orchard
This weekend we took a very quick trip up to my hometown to visit my parents. Friday we headed to the store to find dinner groceries, and then the town farm stand for some green beans and peaches. I cooked both real and fake chicken Piccata (along with the green beans) for my husband and parents on Friday night, and then went on the hunt for local products on Saturday.

We visited the tiny local farmer's market - a new development - and i was surprised to find a classmate and his mother (my high school psych teacher) selling their farm products. I picked up some Shaker Dilly Beans from their tent, which I was told was how the old Shakers preserved their green bean crop. Green beans + garlic + mustard seeds + spices + dill? I'm sold  - for $5. My high school buddy tells me they sell for $10 at the famous Vt. Country Store.

We also picked up a jar of raspberry red currant preserves, and some corn. After the market we headed to the orchard, which was bustling. Instead of picking our own apples this year, we just bought a bag in their store. We're really not home much to cook with them this month, since I'm off to Montreal for work for this week, and then next week my husband and I leave for London and Munich for vacation. Last year we carried back a huge bag of apples, squash and cheese - but this year only one small sugar pumpkin, which I hope to curry next week. We also managed to get some fresh donuts.
"S" is for sugared donuts at the orchard
mmm... sugared cider donuts
The parking lot at the orchard was full, but clearly those buying up the $7 gallons of cider don't know where to get the real deal. By law, the orchard can't sell unpasteurized cider. But locals like my parents know the difference between the sterilized, watery tasting juice and the real deal. A short drive down a few dirt roads and a turn up someone's driveway lead us to a wooden shed selling fresh home-made cider on the "honor system".

House where the real cider comes from
  As if word of mouth was not enough, there was a stack of paper cups inviting DIY tastings of the ciders. I haven't tasted cider that good since I was a kid. It was actually sweet and somewhat thick. It's too bad that we have all these rules to sterilize everything in society, just because a few people didn't realize they'd get the runs from drinking too many apples.

Cider, in here!
Yes, for real, this way!

Heirloom cider, just made, going fast!
Honor system station. Taste, pay, enjoy.

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