Monday, December 26, 2011

Wishing You Good Fortune in the New Year

Local Food: Celebrate the New Year all weekend, with a combination of good fortune and good local food.  To mark the arrival of 2012, Steven is starting his menu with foods traditionally considered harbingers of good luck for the new year, like pork, beans, and sauerkraut.  But of course he will make unique variations, like the Jacob's Cattle Beans and pork shoulder that comprise a popular plate of good luck also known as pork butt, or a succulent and crispy pork belly melting along with the beans.  And nothing says "good fortune" more than Hardwick's The Butterbeans, whose performance crafts a festive atmosphere from 7-9. Make your dinner reservation before noon on Friday, December 30 and you can enjoy two free desserts as a gift from us, and be entered to win the grand prize, dinner for two on Valentine's Day.   Our special New Year's cocktail this year is the Caledonia Royale, made with Caledonia Spirits Sparkling Mead and Elderberry Cordial, offered for $8.

We're also open for Blunch and Dinner on New Year's Day.  There's no better way to greet the first day of the year (and fortify yourself after the previous nights festivities) than with a good morning or midday meal, which we serve from 11 am until 2 pm.  Call ahead to reserve a table!

At the Bar:
If you need a bit of the hair, remember our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, January 1st we offer a $2.50 pint of Trout River, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Riverbend Red
. Claire's Cosmo, with Green Mountain Organic Vodka and Vermont Cranberry Company juice, is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy:
The Galaxy will be open during regular hours this week, and begin the move to Main Street after the New Year. If you were lucky enough to get a gift certificate during the holidays, this is a great week to redeem it. David Budbill's Happy Life, featuring a gorgeous cover by Lois Eby, is an excellent book to keep close by as the New Year approaches. Keep up to date with the move here.

Music Notes:
Cosa Buena join us this Thursday, December 29 at 7:30 for acoustic music with a gentle Latin-Jazz feel.  Their sound is romantic while at the same time infused with exciting energy to warm the soul.

Local Events:
Celebrate the Grand Opening of the Vermont Food Venture Center on Friday, January 6 from 12:00- 5:00.  The opening is hosted by the Center for an Agricultural Economy and Northern Enterprises, with guided tours, invited guest speakers and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:00 with Senator Patrick Leahy.

Reminders:
 We are open daily after 2:30 for coffee, bar service, and baked goods, and free WiFi, with dinner reservations available from 5-9, Sundays from 5-8. We serve our special Blunch menu Sundays from 11-2. Claire's is closed every Wednesday.

We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have significantly reduced those fees this year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Toast to Family and Friends

We will be closed December 24 and 25 so our staff can celebrate the holidays with family and friends.  We'll be back on Monday with more holiday season cocktail specials.

Claire's gift certificates will be available for purchase at The Galaxy Bookshop on Saturday, December 24, from 10-5.  Cash or check only please.

Next weekend, spend New Year's Eve with us and The Butterbeans, who will perform from 7-9 pm on December 31. Every reservation of two or more made by Friday, December 30, at noon, will enjoy two desserts as a gift from us, and all our New Year's Eve guests can enter to win the Grand Prize Drawing, a Valentine's Day dinner for two.

On New Year's Day, come in for our signature Blunch from 11 am until 2 pm, or for dinner after 5 pm.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays


Local Food: Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Boxing Day! Heri za Kwanzaa! Happy Solstice! Bonne Année!

However you celebrate the season, take some time to unwind at Claire's. The cold is finally upon us, and what better way to warm us up than a Cranberry Hot Buttered Rum, made with a spiced cranberry butter created by Steven. Or enjoy a Frothy Nogtini with Strafford Organic Creamery Eggnog and Dunc's Mill Maple Rum to get you in the holiday spirit. Kids can enjoy Eggnog or hot spiced cider. Beef Brisket from Snug Valley Farm arrives just in time to inspire the perfect Shabbat supper on the fourth night of Hanukkah. Celebrate the Solstice or take a break from Christmas shopping and gift wrapping on December 22, and enjoy the sounds of Hazen Union students singing some holiday carols. Stop by on Friday as your family arrives for Christmas weekend.

Spend New Year's Eve with us and The Butterbeans, who will be joining us from 7-9 on December 31. Every reservation of two or more made by Friday, December 30, at noon, will enjoy two desserts as a gift from us, and all our New Year's Eve guests can enter to win the Grand Prize Drawing, a Valentine's Day dinner for two.

We will be closed December 24 and 25 so our staff can celebrate the holiday with their families and friends.

At the Bar: Remember our Sunday and Monday drink specials. We will be closed this Sunday, December 25, and will reopen on Monday, the 26th with drink specials including $2.50 Switchback pints, $4 wine and $5 cocktail.

Around the Galaxy: It is the season for eating and giving, and Galaxy has books for both. The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat will prepare you to make the best of All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art. Or if you want to sit by the stove and plan for next year's batch of jams, pick up The Fruit Gardener's Bible to make the most of your berry patch. The book is an updated, revised and expanded edition of Lewis Hill's classic Fruits and Berries for the Home Garden, by UVM Extension professor Leonard Perry.

Music Notes: Talented Hazen Union students will be joining us this Thursday, December 22 at 7:00 to get us in the spirit with holiday tunes and more!

Local Events: Get a head start on your garden with High Mowing Seeds. Join their Community Supported Seeds program and receive 10% off seeds for next season! Put your seed dollars towards supporting an independently-owned company committed to meeting your farming needs with high-quality organic seeds. This discount is offered only through December 31, 2011.

Getting Ready for the Holidays: Buy a gift certificate now until New Year's Eve and we will donate 10% of sales to NOFA-VT's Farm Share Program. When you pay with cash or check, get 5% off!

Reminders: We are open daily after 2:30 for coffee, bar service, and baked goods, and free WiFi, with dinner reservations available from 5-9, Sundays from 5-8. We serve our special Blunch menu Sundays from 11-2. Claire's is closed every Wednesday.

We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have significantly reduced those fees this year.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just Off the Grill

Local Food: While Spanish goats first arrived on America's shores far to our south in the 16th century, they are prized for their ability to adapt to a variety of brush, scrub and brambles, so they require less care than cattle or sheep who need grass. In the Green Mountains, we might be more familiar with "The Lonely Goatherd" than the luxurious soft cashmere and lean meat - particularly succulent when grilled - of Spanish goats. Vermont Chevon Meats in Danville helps us with our first foray into the world of goat meat, and their meat is particularly suited to the deep spices available from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean. For his opening salvo, Steven rubs the goat leg with Vadouvan, a French spice derived from Indian sources. Like goatherders the world over, Steven turns the leg over fire on the grill, and then he braises it overnight in Caledonia Spirits Black Currant Mead, with garlic from Sandiwood Farm and Cipollini onions from Leslie White. The tender meat is served off the bone with a sweet turnip raita, a South Asian sauce made with yogurt from Butterworks Farm , cilantro and honey.

At the Bar: Remember our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, December 18th we offer a $2.50 pint of Rock Art, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Riverbend Red. The Apple Cider car, with Green Mountain Organic Vodka, apple cider and Vermont apple brandy, is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: Galaxy recently announced an upcoming swap with the Center for an Agricultural Economy. In January the bookstore will move to locate between Claire's and the Buffalo Mountain Co-op. Look forward to more events in collaboration with Claire's and evening hours to bring two great things - books and food - closer together. Keep apprised here.

Music Notes: Spider Roulette joins us this Thursday, December 15 at 7:30 for their first visit. Check out the trio playing acoustic blues, roots and Americana.

Local Events: This Saturday, December 17 is the Open House at the Hardwick Inn building in downtown Hardwick. Visit local businesses, including S & J Fitness, who are celebrating their 6th anniversary. From 9-5, celebrate with Julie and Steve with door prizes, food and discounts.

Also stop by Vermont Glass Workshop in Hardwick for their 28th Annual Open Studio on Saturday, December 17 from 10-5. You can find ornaments, firsts, seconds, experiments and even a demo by Harry Besett.

Getting Ready for the Holidays: Buy a gift certificate now until New Year's Eve and we will donate 10% of sales to NOFA-VT's Farm Share Program. When you pay with cash or check, get 5% off!

Spend New Year's Eve with us and The Butterbeans, who will be joining us from 7-9 on December 31. Every reservation of two or more made by Friday, December 30, at noon, will enjoy two desserts as a gift from us, and all our New Year's Eve guests can enter to win the Grand Prize Drawing, a Valentine's Day dinner for two.

We will be closed December 24 and 25 so our staff can celebrate the holiday with their families and friends.

Reminders: We are open daily after 2:30 for coffee, bar service, and baked goods, and free WiFi, with dinner reservations available from 5-9, Sundays from 5-8. We serve our special Blunch menu Sundays from 11-2. Claire's is closed every Wednesday.

We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have significantly reduced those fees this year.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Crab Baked

Local Food: When the holiday pace is a little too much - instead of getting crabby, try the new crab gratin Steven is preparing. For a gentle pick-me-up, the tender Maine crab meat is mixed with vegetables including sweet potatoes, earthy celery root, spicy red onion from Hazendale, and preserved sweet corn from Pete's, all sautéed in Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc. Steven mixes in a crème fraîche he makes from Butterworks Farm cream, and this adds a slight nutty flavor. A topping of breadcrumbs is mixed with parsley from Hatchbrook Farm and lemon thyme from Steven's own garden. The gratin is baked until crispy, brown and warm. The final touch is a salad of peppery golden frills mustard greens tossed with herb vinaigrette and bacon (which can be omitted).

At the Bar: Remember our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, December 11th we offer a $2.50 pint of Trout River, a $4 glass of Shelburne Vineyard New World Red or Lincoln Peak Starlight Rosé. The Elderberry Fizz with Caledonia Spirits Elderberry Cordial, Barr Hill Gin and ginger beer, is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: This is a delicious season for cookbooks and books about food. Come in to browse through Essential Pepin or Molly Stevens' new book All About Roasting to whet your appetite. You may have recently heard the interview with Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil - get a taste in the Google preview and come in to Galaxy for the whole book.

Music Notes: Laslo Cameo join us Thursday, December 8th at 7:30, playing their unique blend of world cultures. Our neighbors Leslie Campos and Randy Bulpin, with their shared desire to play groove-oriented and roots based material will put on a must see show!

Local Events: Our "Glitter Ball" dance party is this Friday, December 9 from 10-2! DJ Lesson One will be spinning your favorites so bring your dancing shoes and your ID- 18 and over. Creative attire encouraged. $5 suggested donation at the door for music.

Vermont Vaudeville's next show is this Saturday, December 10 at 8:00 at the Orleans Municipal Building. They bring community-centered, live entertainment to the theater spaces in Vermont. Their all ages shows provide opportunities for performers and audiences near and far. Help support their mission to revive the spirit of Vaudeville in the Green Mountain State by producing and performing funny, amazing, broadly accessible shows.

Getting Ready for the Holidays: Buy a gift certificate now through the new year and we will donate 10% of sales to NOFA-VT's Farm Share Program.

Spend New Year's Eve with us and The Butterbeans, who will be joining us from 7-9 on December 31. Every reservation of two or more made by Friday, December 30, at noon, will enjoy two desserts as a gift from us, and all our New Year's Eve guests can enter to win the Grand Prize Drawing, a Valentine's Day dinner for two.

We will be closed December 24 and 25 so our staff can celebrate the holidays with their families and friends.

Reminders: We are open daily after 2:30 for coffee, bar service, and baked goods, and free WiFi, with dinner reservations available from 5-9, Sundays from 5-8. We serve our special Blunch menu Sundays from 11-2. Claire's is closed every Wednesday.

We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have significantly reduced those fees this year.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cocktail Class is Back!

Cocktail Class is back at Claire's on Saturday, December 3, featuring vodka and gin with special guests Duncan Holaday and Todd Hardie of Hardwick's Caledonia Spirits. Duncan started Vermont Spirits 16 years ago to make vodka from his maple syrup and from milk. Recently, he turned his expertise to rum, making the Dunc's Mill Maple and Elderflower Rums featured in our last class. He also is the Head Distiller at Caledonia Spirits, where he makes Barr Hill Gin and Vodka, along with Caledonia Spirits Elderberry Cordial. On Saturday, December 3 from 4-5 pm, learn from the master distiller and owner Todd Hardie about the spirits, and how to mix cocktails to bring out the unique flavor of each spirit. Free admission and specials on cocktails and flights are available if you are so inspired.

$8 Flight and Cocktail Special
Flight- 1 ounce each of Barr Hill Gin and Vodka and Caledonia Spirits Elderberry Cordial
Caledonia Royale
Elderberry Fizz
Barr Hill Bite
Barr Hill Vodka Martini

Attend four classes to earn your degree - a gift card at Claire's or The Galaxy Bookshop!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Earn Your Degree in Cocktails!

Cocktail Class is back at Claire's on Saturday, December 3, featuring vodka and gin with special guests Duncan Holaday and Todd Hardie of Hardwick's Caledonia Spirits. Duncan started Vermont Spirits 16 years ago to make vodka from his maple syrup and from milk. Recently, he turned his expertise to rum, making the Dunc's Mill Maple and Elderflower Rums featured in our last class. He also is the Head Distiller at Caledonia Spirits, where he makes Barr Hill Gin and Vodka, along with Caledonia Spirits Elderberry Cordial. On Saturday, December 3 from 4-5 pm, learn from the master distiller and owner Todd Hardie about the spirits, and how to mix cocktails to bring out the unique flavor of each spirit. Free admission and specials on cocktails and flights are available if you are so inspired.


Attend four classes to earn your degree - a gift card at Claire's or The Galaxy Bookshop!

At the Bar: Remember our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, December 4th we offer a $2.50 pint of Rock Art, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Big Barn Red. Claire's Cranberry Cocktail with Bourbon and Vermont Cranberry Company cranberries and juice, is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: Come to Galaxy on Saturday for the Sirius Reader Party and sale. On December 3, Galaxy celebrates 23 years in Hardwick with a sale on staff picks and other select items all day. Neil and Kristin Urie will be here from 3-5 with cheese, calendars, and other great products from Bonnieview Farm. Galaxy will also be celebrating The Joy of Cheesemaking. The book features Bonnieview and the Galaxy gals will be cooking some great recipes from the book for everyone to sample. Lots of new items from Melissa and Doug, Planet Shari and books galore all day long.

Music Notes: Jay Ekis joins us this Thursday, December 1 at 7:30. Support local music and be sure to catch what Anais Mitchell calls his "infectious" songs that "get in your blood and make their way to the heart before you notice what's happening."

Local Events: Ben Hewitt, Pete Johnson, Bethany Dunbar, Annie Meyers and Julia Shipley will be reading on Friday, December 2nd to benefit the Hardwick Food Pantry in an event called "A Harvest of Words." The reading begins at 6:30PM at the Episcopal Church in Hardwick and is cosponsored by The Center for an Agricultural Economy and Galaxy Bookshop. For more information contact Elena at the Center for an Agricultural Economy, 472-5840.

Support Hardwick businesses this Saturday, December 3rd during the Holiday Happenings Event. Stop by Claire's from 11-3 for free hot apple cider. Gift certificates will be available, with a 5% discount if you pay with cash or check. Also check out the open house at Agape Hill Farm Fiber Shop on the 3rd from 10-3 and get a jump on your holiday shopping. Stop by GRACE, Hardwick Inn Clothing Co., The Flower Basket and many more local businesses.

Mark your calendars for our next "Glitter Ball" dance party, on Friday, December 9 from 10-2! DJ Lesson One will be spinning your favorites so bring your dancing shoes and your ID- 18 and over. $5 suggested donation at the door for the music.

Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have significantly reduced those fees this year.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gobble Gobble


Local Thanks: As many of us sit down this week to give thanks for living in Vermont, we'll enjoy turkey (Agape Hill Farm), cranberries (Vermont Cranberry Company), stuffing (Patchwork Farm and Bakery), pumpkins (Ben's Pumpkins), beer (Hill Farmstead Brewery), wine (Boyden Valley), and cocktails (Caledonia Spirits). As everyone at Claire's celebrates, we give thanks for the many farmers and producers in and around Hardwick, the Northeast Kingdom, and throughout Vermont - even a few from just across our border. We couldn't do what we do without you, and we thank you for working so hard to help our community nourish itself around a convivial table. We also send out our thanks to this wonderful community for the support of our friends and neighbors. We will be closed this Thursday so our staff can spend the day with friends and families, and we wish you a healthy and happy day with your family and loved ones. We are open as usual on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and throughout the coming week.

At the Bar: Cocktail Class is back at Claire's Saturday, December 3, with special guest Duncan Holaday of Caledonia Spirits. Duncan started Vermont Spirits 16 years ago and made vodka for years from his maple syrup and also from milk. Now he is the Head Distiller and makes Barr Hill Gin and Barr Hill Vodka. On Saturday, December 3 from 4-5 pm, learn from the master which cocktails bring out the complex flavor of each spirit, and how to mix the vodka and gin with the flavorful produce of Vermont. Free Admission and specials on cocktails and flights if you are so inspired.

Remember our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, November 27th we offer a $2.50 pint of Trout River, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Big Barn Red. The Barr Hill Bluetini with Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Gin and Jasper Hill blue cheese stuffed olive, is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Galaxy is gearing up for the Sirius Reader Customer Appreciation and 23rd Anniversary Sale on December 3rd. More details to come; for now mark the date and come by. Many other businesses in the Hardwick area will also be kicking off the holidays on that day so you can have an extra fun day of shopping locally.

Music Notes: We will be closed this Thursday, November 24, but join us on Thursday, December 1 for Jay Ekis at 7:30.

Local Events: Registration for Sterling College's Vermont Table summer program is now open. Vermont's Table is an intensive academic program in sustainable food systems that includes practical culinary experience, frequent field trips, lessons in sustainable agriculture and seminars in food writing and food entrepreneurism. The program is open to current Sterling College students, students from other colleges and universities and adult learners.

Mark your calendars for our next "Glitter Ball" dance party, on Friday, December 9 from 10-2! DJ Lesson One will be spinning your favorites so bring your dancing shoes and your ID- 18 and over. $5 suggested donation at the door for the music.

Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have significantly reduced those fees this year.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Pork by any Name

Local Food: Actually the shoulder of the animal, the deliciously tender but seemingly misnamed pork butt originates in the butchery practices of the days before the American Revolution, when the cut was stored in casks or barrels, called butts. Steven takes pork butt from Pete and braises it overnight in Rock Art Brewery Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout, spiced with cumin and paprika, and an dollop of maple syrup from Caledonia Farm. To this deliciously tender mouthful, Steven adds sautéed onions, garlic, cayenne peppers and house-preserved tomatoes that enhance the Jacob's Cattle beans. A light salad of tossed yellow beans, cilantro and a splash more maple syrup accompany the pork butt, along with flavorful beer bratwursts from Applecheek Farm. Topped with aged cheddar from Grafton and crunchy bread crumbs, the dish is baked until crisp and served to you piping hot.

At the Bar:
Come in to enjoy our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, November 20th we offer a $2.50 pint of Trout River Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Riverbend Red. The Maple Manhattan, with bourbon, Green Mountain Organic Maple Liqueur and maple syrup is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: Come wish Rusty DeWees happy birthday at The Galaxy Bookshop on Tuesday at 7PM. Don't miss the cake and the chance to hear The Logger introduce his new book, Scrawlins Too. If you want a hint about what kind of cake to expect, you might want to read the chapter called "Box Cake." Then on December 3rd Galaxy will celebrate a birthday - stay tuned for details and plan to stop by.

Music Notes:
Singer/Songwriter Paul Cataldo joins us this Thursday, November 17 at 7:30. Stop by and enjoy a cocktail and what musesmuse.com calls "good ol' backwoods hippy-esque Country/Folk!"

Local Events:
Join Chris Hilke, Climate Program Coordinator for the National Wildlife Foundation, for a talk on how climate change is affecting us and what we can do about it on Wednesday, November 16 at 6:30 at People's Academy High School in Morrisville. Share your stories and concerns in an open discussion facilitated by Seth Jensen, Senior Planner for the Lamoille County Planning Commission, and Neshga Leonard, Linkage Coordinator for the Staying Connected Initiative.

On Friday, November 18th at 7PM poets Woon-Ping Chin and Merry Gangemi are the featured poets at Jeudevine Library's poetry series. The event will be at the Hardwick Memorial Building and you can find out more here or call the library, 472-5948.

Reminders: We will be closed Thursday, November 24 so our staff can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their friends and families.

We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have significantly reduced those fees this year.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cranberries - the other little red berry

Local Food: Thanks to the first of the harvest of cranberries from Vermont Cranberry Company in East Fairfield, Steven makes a zingy jam with the addition of apples and onions as a counterpoint to a luscious chicken liver mousse. You can also find the ruby red jewels sautéed with the crispy pork belly to add a pop of flavor, and in the vinaigrette on the beet salad, along with horseradish and dill. For dessert, Steven spices up the cranberries to top the ricotta and cream cheese cake. And you can enjoy them at the bar as well. To warm you up on these cold nights, try Steven's spiced cranberry butter in our Hot Buttered Rum. Cranberry Bob's cranberry juice is unsweetened, giving a tart edge to our Cosmo, Cranberry Margarita, and Claire's Cranberry Cocktail. At Blunch, we celebrate cranberries on the spiced pancakes, where they are sautéed with apples and dressed with maple syrup and whipped cream. Or try the classic flavors of our bacon and cheddar sandwich with onions, apples and more cranberries.

At the Bar: Come in to enjoy our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, November 13th we offer a $2.50 pint of Rock Art Brewery Vermont Hop Harvest, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Big Barn Red. The Apple Cider Car, made with Green Mountain Organic Vodka, Flagg Hill Farm Apple Brandy and apple cider, is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: The one, the only Rusty DeWees celebrates his birthday at The Galaxy Bookshop on November 15th at 7PM. Don't miss the cake and the chance to hear The Logger introduce his new book, Scrawlins Too. If you want a hint about what kind of cake to expect, you might want to read the chapter called "Box Cake." Then on December 3rd Galaxy will celebrate a birthday - stay tuned for details and plan to stop by.

Music Notes: Get your helping of Green Mountain soul with The Rustbucket Brothers on Thursday, November 10 at 7:30. Support local music and get down with their rootsy Americana rock and country.

Local Events: Pies for People/Soup for Supper needs your help! Volunteer and make pies, soup and more for our area schools, pantries and community dinners on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 15 and 16. Contact Elena at elena@hardwickagriculture.org or 472-5840 to volunteer or donate.

Reminders: We will be closed Thursday, November 24 so our staff can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their friends and families.

We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have significantly reduced those fees this year.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sweet Potatoes in a Variety of Costumes

Local Food: Despite the early arrival of winter's snow - conveniently melted away - we still have the flavors of Thanksgiving to keep us cozy. Like sweet potatoes. The versatile root vegetable provides a needed Vitamin A fix, good for healthy skin and vision, and its flavor profile is so versatile that it works in both sweet and savory plates. At Claire's, Steven mashes them with caramelized onions and sage, making the perfect accompaniment to the grilled pork loin served along with kale. Mashed sweet potatoes also accompany the vegetable fricassée, adding a subtle creaminess to the sautéed radishes, fennel, edamame and peppers. Steven mixes sweet potato fries in with the poutine to add a bit of toothsomeness. Look for them on the dessert menu too - sweet potato and dark chocolate make a decadent and healthy end to your meal.

At the Bar: Come in to enjoy our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, November 6 we offer a $2.50 pint of Rock Art Brewery Vermont Hop Harvest, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Big Barn Red. Our Spiked Celery Cider, made with Green Mountain Organic Vodka, muddled celery and Champlain Orchards cider, is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: The one, the only Rusty DeWees celebrates his birthday at The Galaxy Bookshop on November 15th at 7PM. Don't miss the cake and the chance to hear The Logger introduce his new book, Scrawlins II.

Music Notes: Audrey Bernstein and the Young Jazzers join us this Thursday, November 3 at 7:30. They present a stylized mixture of vintage and modern sounds, and perform an eclectic mix of jazz standards including ballads, swinging up-tempos and Bossa Nova.

Local Events: Glover artist Ben Barnes paintings of what Darshana Bolt calls "rusty automotive relics, nestled in Vermont landscapes that range from bleak to beautiful, from mountains to Mobil stations" are now on display at Claire's. Meet Ben at the Art Opening on Monday, November 7 from 4-6.

Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have significantly reduced those fees this year.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Maple Pudding Cake, Back by Popular Demand!

Local Food: Thanks to multiple requests from people craving the sticky sweetness, our maple pudding cake is ready early this year, with a few new twists. Steven bakes the pudding cake, creating a sweet syrupy pudding sauce under the crispy, chewy cake topping. Pumpkin from Nancy Kish at Agape Hill Farm is added to balance the sweet maple syrup from Caledonia Farm. A cool scoop of eggnog ice cream from Strafford Organic Creamery is a new addition, as are the maple roasted pears, with pears from Provender Farm in Cabot. The resulting combination of flavors makes a sweet and rich finish to your meal. Enjoy it with a cappuccino or Espresso Martini, made with Vermont White Vodka.

At the Bar: Come in to enjoy our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, October 30 we offer a $2.50 pint of Trout River Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Big Barn Red. Our Cranberry Margarita made with cranberry juice from Vermont Cranberry Company, is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: Archer Mayor returns for his annual visit on Tuesday, October 25th. Don't miss the ever entertaining Archer, and remember signed books make excellent gifts. Archer's 22nd Joe Gunther mystery Tag Man features perhaps his most intriguing criminal to date. Come to Galaxy Tuesday at 7 to get the latest.

Music Notes: The Littlest Birds, a cello-banjo duo touring from Mammoth Lakes, CA will join us Thursday, October 27 at 7:30. Be sure to catch their blend of old-time, bluegrass and folk sounds.

Local Events: A community discussion on Vermont's health care future will be held at the Hardwick Town House on Tuesday, October 25 from 6:30-8:00. Representatives Lucy Leriche, Linda Martin and Sam Young will host the discussion and use your questions, concerns and ideas as a jumping off point to a lively and informative discussion. The event is a chance to consider all viewpoints, share your thoughts and ask questions. Family friendly and light refreshments will be served.

We are saddened to say goodbye to our neighbors at the Highland Lodge, who recently annouced they have closed their doors after 57 years. We'll miss you!

Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sour Grapes? Make a Graple Collins

Local Food: Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard, a local treasure just outside Hardwick, grows hardy and unusual fruit and nut trees and vines, including the Arctic Kiwi, Autumn Olive, Black Walnut and over 10 varieties of grape. We like the plump, purple King of the North grape to infuse Green Mountain Organic Vodka for a tart, fresh sweetness. We add Caledonia Farm maple syrup to balance the flavors and add some depth, and a splash of Green Mountain Organic Maple Liquor. And there you have our Graple Collins, served on the rocks and topped with soda water. This refreshing fall cocktail is a delicious way to toast Vermont's enticing agricultural landscape.

At the Bar: Come in to enjoy our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, October 23 we offer a $2.50 pint of Otter Creek Oktoberfest, a $4 glass of East Shore Vineyard Traminette or Cabernet Franc. Claire's Cosmo, with Green Mountain Organic Vodka and Vermont Cranberry Company Cranberry juice, is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: On Tuesday, the 18th, Galaxy welcomes Willard Sterne Randall reading from Ethan Allen: His Life and Times. And then tag, you're it - on October 25th Archer Mayor introduces his 22nd Gunther mystery at 7PM.

Music Notes: Singer/Songwriter Paul Cataldo joins us this Thursday, October 20 at 7:30. Don't miss him belting out original songs about mountains, rivers and roads.

Local Events: Visit Caledonia Spirits & Winery at their Open House this Saturday, October 22 from 10-6. See where Barr Hill Gin and Vodka, Caledonia Mead and Dunc's Mill Rum are being made, at 46 Buffalo Mt. Commons Drive (through Lamoille Valley Ford) in Hardwick.

This Saturday, October 22 at 6:00 is the Indian Dinner and Live Dance performance to benefit Child Haven International at Hazen Union. Check out the Sari Fashion Show, live music and dance performance. Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for kids 12 and under. Volunteers are needed- call Rachel at 472-5755 to sign up, or stop by the Buffalo Mountain Coop.

Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Is it Chili Yet?

Local Food: With Vermont in the midst of a Mexican food renaissance, Steven puts a Green Mountain spin on a favorite from the city of Puebla, the chile relleno. He stuffs a sweet Carmen chili pepper from Pete's with Maplebrook's mozzarella and ricotta as well as Grafton cheddar cheese, adding a mix of cilantro and red onions from Riverside Farm with garlic from Sandiwood Farm. The stuffed sweet chili is battered and fried, resulting in a crispy chili with a melty cheese inside. In keeping with traditional flavors, Steven makes a slightly sweet and tart salsa verde of tomatillos, also from Sandiwood Farm. A light salad of fennel, Valentine radishes and sunflower sprouts from Peace of Earth Farm balances the richness and adds a bite of spice to the mild relleno.

At the Bar: Come in to enjoy our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, October 16 we offer a $2.50 pint of Trout River Rainbow Red, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Riverbend Red. The Cantaloupe Cocktail with Green Mountain Organic Gin, melon and ginger ale is offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: Willard Sterne Randall will come to Galaxy to discuss his book Ethan Allen: His Life and Times. This event was originally scheduled in August and cancelled in the wake of Irene. Come to Galaxy to welcome Mr. Randall, Distinguished Scholar in History at Champlain College and Pulitzer nominee, Tuesday October 18th at 7PM.

Shake it Like a Leaf: Celebrate the harvest and shake off all the hard work of summer with a dance party at Claire's! Get your groove on with DJ Nukem this Friday, October 14 from 10pm-2am. Bring your ID and dancing shoes! 21 and over only please.

Music Notes:
Bluegrass trio Freddy & The Weeds join us this Thursday, October 13 at 7:30. Their non-traditional jams mixed with old favorites are not to be missed!

Local Events: Enjoy a magical walk through the Hardwick Trails lit by hundreds of pumpkins. Cider, donuts and a very friendly story-telling witch can be found at a bonfire gathering at the half-way point. The Pumpkin Walk begins at 6:00 on Sunday, October 16.

On Saturday, Vermont Vaudeville brings When It Rains It Pours to the Hardwick Town House at 7:30P.M. The show is for all ages and features the world's only Toilet Paper Tightrope! Get the details here.
    Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Get Shorty!

    Local Food: Beef short ribs so tender they melt. Starting from Snug Valley Farm, the ribs are brought to our kitchen where they are rubbed with cinnamon and fennel, then grilled to bring out the smokey rich goodness of the meat. Steven braises the rib with Champlain Orchards apple cider and Otter Creek Oktoberfest. Aromatics like onions from Riverside Farm, garlic from Pete's and celery leaves from Sandiwood Farm add a fresh depth to this fall flavored plate of yummy. The season's start is official with the arrival of root veggies to accompany the short rib, including roasted rutabaga and turnips, as well as fingerling potatoes. Steven's answer to the short rib challenge is perfectly complemented with a glass of Shelburne Vineyard's newest variety, New World Red, made exclusively with Vermont grapes.

    At the Bar:
    Come in to enjoy our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, October 9 we offer a $2.50 pint of Wolaver's Brown Ale, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Riverbend Red. The Cranberry Crush with Vermont Cranberry Company cranberry juice, spiced rum and ginger ale is offered for $5.

    Around the Galaxy: Willard Sterne Randall will come to Galaxy to discuss his book Ethan Allen: His Life and Times. This event was originally scheduled in August and cancelled in the wake of Irene. Come to Galaxy to welcome Mr. Randall, Distinguished Scholar in History at Champlain College and Pulitzer nominee, Tuesday October 18th at 7PM. Also, Galaxy will be at The Lakeview Inn on Sunday, October 9th for the book signing following a panel discussion and dessert with Marialisa Calta, Marian Burros, Judith Jones, Jeff Roberts and Bronwyn Dunne. The topic will be Home Cooking & the Development of America's Culinary Landscape. For reservations contact Bronwyn Dunne at 802-860-5022.

    Music Notes: Art Edelstein and Mike Fullerton are the Borealis Guitar Duo, joining us Thursday, October 6 at 7:30. Don't miss their music from the Celtic Lands with forays into American, Scandinavian and Klezmer music.

    Shake it Like a Leaf: Celebrate the harvest and shake off all the hard work of summer with a dance party at Claire's! Get your groove on with DJ Nukem on Friday, October 14 from 10pm-2am. Bring your ID and dancing shoes! 21 and over only please.

    Local Events: Dine with us this Thursday, October 6 to help support NOFA-VT's Share the Harvest annual event that benefits their Farm Share program. The Farm Share program is a great way that limited-income Vermonters can afford to purchase CSA shares of fresh produce from their local farmers.

    Vermont Vaudeville presents "When it Rains it Pours" on Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 at the Hardwick Town House. Be sure to catch their all-ages show overflowing with comedy and music, and featuring the world's only toilet paper tightrope!

    Reminders: Beginning in October, we will return to our fall schedule and close on Wednesdays.

    We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Local Food: With the autumnal equinox behind us and the weather cooling down, baking and roasting season comes into full swing. Hazendale, Riverside and Mystic Morning Farm grow winter squash, the thicker skinned and cold stored cousin to summer squash like zucchini. When roasted, winter squash like the acorn, butternut, pumpkin, hubbard and delicata (or sweet potato) sweeten and brighten, lending an earthy and bright flavor along with intense color. With just a pinch of salt, the squash speaks for itself when added to the crab cake and scallops. Butternut squash adds creaminess to the baby spinach salad with red onions, Bayley Hazen blue cheese, spiced walnuts and maple balsamic vinegar. Steven halves roasted pumpkins from Riverside Farm, and fills them with crunchy wheatberries and oats from Butterworks Farm and other fall flavors like onions, apples, kale and Constant Bliss cheese and tofu from Vermont Soy.

    At the Bar: Come in to enjoy our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, October 2 we offer a $2.50 pint of Rock Art, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Riverbend Red. The Apple Cider Car, with Champlain Orchards cider, Flag Hill Farm Pomme de Vie apple brandy and vodka is offered for $5.

    Around the Galaxy: This is Banned Books Week and Galaxy is celebrating the freedom to read. Find a great link to challenged books here. Also, start getting some extra sleep now - the 4th Annual Read-a-Thon to benefit Hardwick Head Start begins on September 30th. Stop by Galaxy, look here or call 472-5533 for details.

    Music Notes: Rustbucket Brothers return this Thursday, September 30 at 7:30. Support local music and get down with their rootsy Americana rock and country with a helping of Green Mountain soul.

    Shake it Like a Leaf: Celebrate the harvest and all of your hard work this summer with a dance party at Claire's! Get your groove on with DJ Nukem on Friday, October 14 from 10pm-2am. Bring your ID and dancing shoes! 21 and over only please.

    Local Events: The premiere Fall Open Studio Weekend is October 1 and 2. Support local art and get a view of Vermont's early foliage. Bring us a receipt from a participating open studio, and we'll buy you dessert!

    Saturday, October 1 is Hill Farmstead Brewery's 2011 Harvest Festival, celebrating the season. From 12-5 you can sample amazing beer, local food and live music. $10 covers admission and two tasting tickets.

    The final Center for an Agricultural Economy farm tour of the season is Thursday, October 20. The tour starts promptly at 10 and will visit area farms and agri-businesses. Please register at least seven days before the tour. Contact Elena with questions at 802-472-5840 ext. 2 or elena@hardwickagriculture.org.

    Remember to mark your calendars for October 6, NOFA-VT's upcoming Share the Harvest annual event that benefits their Farm Share program. The Farm Share program is a great way that limited-income Vermonters can afford to purchase CSA shares of fresh produce from their local farmers. Dine with us on the 6th and help us donate a portion of our sales to the program.

    Rosh Hashanah begins Thursday, September 29. Best wishes for a good and sweet new year. L'shanah tovah!

    Reminders: Beginning in October, we will return to our fall schedule and close on Wednesdays.

    We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Steven and the Technicolor Dream Bowl

    Local Food: Despite the ubiquity of its pale cousin, cauliflower in truth is never afraid of color. And neither is Steven. This week, he embraces purple, gold, and a green that dazzles with its spikey, spiral form, along with the more humble white. They are all varieties of cauliflower, including the daring green Romanesco, from Pete's, dished up by Steven in a traditional gratin. The cauliflower soaks up a creamy sauce of Grafton cheddar, Sweet Rowen milk from West Glover, and citrusy Hill Farmstead Brewery Double Citra. Ham adds a smokey taste and a different texture (we can hold the ham if you'd like). The bowl is topped with an herbacious blend of breadcrumbs, and then put under the broiler to crisp up and brown. The end result is a creamy, crunchy, comforting gratin.

    At the Bar: Remember our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, September 25 we offer a $2.50 pint of Otter Creek Oktoberfest, a $4 glass of Shelburne Vineyard Whimsey Meadow Rosé or East Shore Vineyard Traminette. The Watermelon Agua Fresca is offered for $5, made with watermelon from Pete's and tequila.

    Music Notes: Laslo Cameo join us Thursday, September 22 at 7:30, playing their unique blend of world cultures. Our neighbors Leslie Campos and Randy Bulpin, with their shared desire to play groove-oriented and roots based material are sure to put on a show that is not to be missed!

    Around the Galaxy: This Tuesday, September 20th, Beth Kanell will discuss her newest book for teens, The Secret Room. The book is a Vermont adventure set in a fictionalized version of North Danville. Come to the Galaxy to meet Beth and hear her read beginning at 7PM. And start getting some extra sleep now - the 4th Annual Read-a-Thon to benefit Hardwick Head Start begins on September 30th. Stop by Galaxy, look here or call 472-5533 for details.

    Local Events: The Buffalo Mountain Co-op's Fifth Annual Harvest Celebration and Clothing Swap is this Friday, September 23 from 3-6 at the Hardwick Farmer's Market. Your second chance to swap is Saturday morning from 9-11. Clothing can be dropped off at Atkins Field after 1:00 on Friday, or on the porch at 144 W Church St. on Thursday evening or Friday morning.

    On Saturday, September 24, Moving Planet, a coalition of businesses, non-profits, colleges, universities and individuals concerned about global warming will gather on the statehouse lawn in Montpelier for the largest climate action event ever held in Vermont. Buses will depart from Hazen Union School promptly at 1:00.

    Mark your calendars for October 6, NOFA-VT's upcoming Share the Harvest annual event that benefits their Farm Share program. The Farm Share program is a great way that limited-income Vermonters can afford to purchase CSA shares of fresh produce from their local farmers. Dine with us on the 6th and help us donate a portion of our sales to the program.

    The Hangman Frame Shop and Gallery will host an exhibit of watercolors by Greensboro artist Wayne Lind from September 24- October 31. A reception will be held Saturday, September 24 from 2-4. For more information, call 525-4405.

    Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Bar Bite

    Local Food: Embracing the best flavors of Fall, this week's bar bite, offered exclusively at the bar, is a rich and earthy chicken liver and apple wrapped in bacon. Steven slowly cooks spicy red onions from Riverside Farm to bring out all their natural sugars, adds a few drops of Dunc's Mill maple rum, and with a bit of time creates a sweet onion jam. A wedge of crispy Duchess apple from Josh Karp in Greensboro is sautéed along with a chicken liver from Pete in Craftsbury. Crispy bacon from Winding Brook Farm wraps the duo, which is perched on Matzoh from Charlie at Patchwork Farm. The onion jam provides just the right amount of sweetness to round out this one bite wonder.

    At the Bar: Stop by for our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, September 18 we offer a $2.50 pint of Long Trail Harvest Ale, a $4 glass of East Shore Vineyard Traminette or Cabernet Franc. The Berry Melontini is offered for $5, made with melon from Pete's, strawberries from Hazendale and Green Mountain Organic Vodka.

    Around the Galaxy: On Tuesday, September 20th, Beth Kanell will discuss her newest book for teens, The Secret Room. The book is a Vermont adventure set in a fictionalized version of North Danville. Come to the Galaxy to meet Beth and hear her read beginning at 7PM.

    Music Notes: Flat Top Trio joins us this Thursday, September 15 at 7:30. Be sure to catch this Bluegrass/Americana group- you might even end up with a free cd!

    Local Art: Visit with Montpelier artist Maggie Neale and explore her color musings at Claire's on Monday, September 19 from 4-6. Whether with hand painted silk scarves, large silk hangings, hand woven chenille scarves or oil paintings, Maggie allows color to rule, to flow, and to transform.

    Local Events: Bring Vermont history alive with Linda Radtke at the Hardwick Town House on Friday, September 16 at 7:00. Singer and researcher Radtke will be joined by pianist Arthur Zorn to sing the songs that grew up with Vermont from the Vermont Historical Society's collection of sheet music. Call the Jeudevine Library for more information at 472-5948.

    Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Sweet Charentais

    Local Libations: Charentais melons are true cantaloupes, different from the more common muskmelon. The Charentais come from Pete, and are sweeter and smaller. Our melons make their way to the bar this week, where they are puréed and added to silky smooth and crisp Green Mountain Organic Vodka. We add frozen strawberries from Hazendale Farm for another dimension of sweetness and a punch of bright red color. A splash of St. Germain elderflower liqueur and egg whites from Windhorse Farm are the final touch and add a light and fluffy consistency to the cocktail. Served up in an ice cold glass, this sweet and delicate cocktail is the perfect way to send off summer.

    At the Bar: Stop by for our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, September 11 we offer a $2.50 pint of Wolaver's IPA, a $5 glass of Shelburne Riesling or award winning Marquette. The Sazerac, a quintessential New Orleans cocktail from the 1800s made with whiskey and absinthe, is $5.

    Around the Galaxy: On Saturday, September 10th at 3PM Galaxy offers a writing workshop. Midge Raymond and Wendy Call present "Global Perspectives, Local Stories." Raymond is the author of a short story collection, Forgetting English and Call is the author of No Words for Welcome: The Mexican Village Faces the Global Economy. The workshop is free at Galaxy from 3-5 on Saturday.

    Music Notes: Lewis Franco and Dono Schnaber join us Thursday, September 8 at 7:30. Robert Resnik of Vermont Public Radio calls Franco "a brilliant songwriter- one of our very finest." Franco has been a fixture on the Vermont acoustic music scene for many years, entertaining audiences of all ages with clever and occasionally profound lyrics, delightfully tuneful melodies and a fun-loving presence.

    Local Events: Highfields Center for Composting is holding an On-Farm Composting 101 Workshop on Wednesday, September 14. This workshop is designed for farmers, their employees and professional agricultural service providers interested in implementing composting practices at their farms or the farms they advise. Registration begins at 8:30, and the workshop goes from 9:00 to 3:30. For more information, contact Tyler at 472-5238 ext. 202 or info@highfieldscomposting.org.

    After the Flood: The Vermont Farm Fund is accepting donations to help farmers affected by the flood. Please donate if you can. Stop by Claire's with your donations for our friends at Riverside Farm in East Hardwick, who lost $25,000- $35,000 worth of produce, including carrots, radishes and beets.

    For photos of Hardwick during the flood, click here.

    Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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    Monday, August 29, 2011

    Yes We Can

    Local Food: While there's nothing like a tomato pulled right from the vine at the peak of summer, canning draws out the subtle flavors of the fruit with a unique complexity provided in the preparation. Steven starts with Roma tomatoes, which he gets from Pete, because they are an especially good canning tomato due to the small amount of seeds. He roasts them along with canola oil from Maine Natural Oils. The oil is made exclusively from Maine crops, and is added to the tomatoes to keep them moist and provide a bit of flavor. A touch of thyme is also included. Come winter, these tomatoes will provide a welcome burst of flavor in soups and sauces.

    We are thankful we made it through Sunday's storm unscathed, and send good thoughts to our friends working to put things back together.

    At the Bar: Stop by for our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, September 4 we offer a $2.50 pint of Otter Creek Black IPA, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Big Barn Red. The Blackberry Gimlet is $5.

    Around the Galaxy:Willard Sterne Randall, Distinguished Scholar in History at Champlain College and Pulitzer Nominee, presents his new biography of Ethan Allen at 6PM on Tuesday. Please note the earlier time and join us at Galaxy for a new look at the life and times of a Vermont legend.

    Music Notes:Bluegrass/country band Honest Thieves join us Thursday, September 1 at 7:30. Come out and support Vermont music!

    Local Events: Mark your calendar for the Fermentation Festival on Sunday, September 11 at Wheelock Mountain Farm in Greensboro from 10-4. Workshops will focus on the fantastic foods that can be created and preserved through the art of fermentation. Learn how to make pickles, kimchi, yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut and more. For more information call the Swap Sisters at 533-2296 or email swapsisters@gmail.com.

    Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Prickly Summer Visitor

    Local Food: Native to Mediterranean climates, the artichoke has a tough time growing in Vermont. But thanks to farmers like Bill Half at Harvest Hill, we are able to enjoy this elusive and sharp edged summer visitor for a few short weeks. Underneath its defensive exterior is a tender heart, and peeling back the leaves reveals soft fleshy pockets of earthy flavor. Artichokes can be steamed and served with butter or mayonnaise, but Steven prefers a stuffed artichoke, cut in half and filled with smooth and tangy ricotta cheese from Maplebrook Farm, and an herbaceous pistou. Each half is topped with crunchy breadcrumbs, and baked to soften the artichoke and meld the flavors. A sauce of grilled peppers from Pete's and tomatoes from Riverside Farm accompanies the artichoke, making a smokey and earthy complement for your dipping delight.

    At the Bar: Stop by for our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, August 28 we offer a $2.50 pint of Wolaver's IPA, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Big Barn Red. The Blackberry Sage Martini is offered for $5, made with blackberries from Provender Farm in Cabot.

    Around the Galaxy: Galaxy welcomes David Budbill on Tuesday at 7PM. David's new book Happy Life is cause for celebration, so come out for a lively evening of poetry. Next week Galaxy hosts Willard Sterne Randall, author of a new biography of Ethan Allen. This event begins an hour earlier than usual, at 6PM.

    Music Notes: Blue Fox returns this Thursday, August 25. Don't miss who the Times Argus Newspaper calls "one of the few authentic blues musicians in Vermont- well worth the listen."

    Local Events: Bruce Buckley, Charles McAteer and Lilah Shreeve star in Greensboro Arts Alliance & Residency's take on the Clifford Odets play Golden Boy at the Lakeview Inn. Make a dinner reservation at Claire's and catch the show at 7:30 on Wednesday and Thursday, August 24 and 25.

    Remember the Hardwick Farmers' Market every Friday through October from 3-6. You'll find baked goods, honey, soy, plants, crafts and much more, including live music every week.

    Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Cornography

    Local Food: Is there anything better than corn on the cob, pulled right from the stalk and cooked just for a moment so the butter will melt? You've probably already taken a few bites of the sweet and succulent kernels. Steven takes this basic goodness and amps up the volume. The corn comes to us from Riverside Farm, and each cob is roasted and then grilled whole to add a touch of the open fire. Garlicky aioli, with garlic from Rebel Pine Farm, adds a zip, along with a sprinkling of cilantro from Riverside and parsley and sage from Provender Farm. Coomersdale cheese from Bonnieview Farm (recent award winners at the American Cheese Society Competition for their Ben Nevis) is shaved on top of the corn cob, giving you the first sharp kick and a hint of nuttiness.

    At the Bar:
    Stop by for our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, August 21 we offer a $2.50 pint of Rock Art Whitetail Ale, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Big Barn Red. The Berry Bellini is offered for $5, made with sparkling wine and blueberries from Agape Hill Farm.

    Around the Galaxy: Galaxy is gearing up for David Budbill who will appear on Tuesday, August 23rd to read poems from his new book Happy Life. The celebration begins at 7PM and is free and open to all.

    Music Notes: Cosa Buena make their long awaited return this Thursday, August 18 at 7:30. Enjoy their acoustic music with a gentle Latin-jazz feel.

    Local Events:
    Kingdom Farm and Food Days, a celebration of Vermont food and agriculture, is this weekend, August 20 and 21. Events include a bike tour of area farms with the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, a pig roast dinner on Saturday at Pete's Greens, a tour of the High Mowing Seeds trials garden, a tasting of some of Vermont's finest produce prepared by the New England Culinary Institute on Sunday, and much more. This community-wide and family-friendly event is free, with suggested donations or small fees to some of the exclusive events.

    Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Rat-tat-touille

    Local Food: Summer's vegetables can shout out their arrival, but Steven coaxes a subtle melody from them with his ratatouille. A dish of sautéed summer vegetables that Juila Child once said "perfumes the kitchen with the essence of Provence," ratatouille is started in our kitchen with squash from Mystic Morning Farm, onions from Harvest Hill, Riverside's garlic scapes, and tomatoes, eggplant and peppers from Pete's. Bright basil and fennel add their pungent aromas. The ratatouille is the perfect companion to a chicken breast, roasted with dill and fennel butter, keeping the meat moist and flavorful. Crispy onion rings and a bit of mashed potatoes round out this flavorful summer dish.

    At the Bar:
    Don't forget our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, August 14 we offer a $2.50 pint of Trout River Rainbow Red, a $4 glass of Fresh Tracks Farm Rosé or East Shore Vineyard Cabernet Franc. The basil lemontini is offered for $5.

    Around the Galaxy: Be sure you have August 23rd on your calendar for an evening of celebration at Galaxy when David Budbill reads from his new book of poems Happy Life. The evening begins at 7PM.

    Music Notes:
    Hillside Rounders join us Thursday, August 11 at 7:30. Support Vermont music and enjoy the mix of bluegrass, country and Americana!

    Local Events:
    The grand opening of the Fiber Shop at The Agape Hill Farm in Hardwick is this weekend, August 12 and 13 from 9-4. See the new store and workshop space and check out fiber products.

    Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Summer, Chilled, in a Bowl

    Local Food: What better companion for a summer day than a bowl of chilled gazpacho? Spanish in origin, gazpacho is the perfect way to enjoy the peak of our summer harvest. This soup is lively and cool because the vegetables aren't cooked. Though a traditional gazpacho holds the red of the tomatoes in its color, Steven's variation ranges from a pale amber to a slightly green hue. He combines Boothby Blond Cucumbers from Provender Farm in Cabot, a sweet and delicate heirloom variety with a creamy yellow color, with massive Beefmaster Tomatoes and spicy jalapenos from Pete's. Onions from Harvest Hill and garlic scapes from Riverside add a bit of bite and complexity to the gazpacho, and cilantro and basil round out the vibrant and tangy flavor of the soup.

    At the Bar:
    Don't forget our Sunday and Monday drink specials. This Sunday, August 7, we offer a $2.50 pint of Wolaver's Wildflower Wheat, a $4 glass of Boyden Valley Seyval Blanc or Big Barn Red. The Berry Caipirinha is offered for $5.

    Around the Galaxy: This week Galaxy features two new books to help you take advantage of summer in Vermont. The Joy of Cheesemaking: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Making, and Eating Fine Cheese is written by Jody Farnham and Marc Druart, both from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese. The book is in paperback for just $14.95 and is packed with great pictures, practical information, and delicious recipes including Mossend Blue Cheese Scalloped Potatoes featuring Bonnieview Cheese. After you've had that, you'll be fueled to enjoy the mountains with the latest edition of the Green Mountain Club's Day Hiker's Guide to Vermont.

    Music Notes:
    The Butterbeans are back! Take a break from the heat and enjoy their old timey and jazz tunes as they play the songs that should always be played.

    Local Events:
    S & J Fitness and AWARE will host Healthy Choices Camp for girls grades 6-8 on Monday, August 8 through Friday, August 12 from 9-noon each day. The girls will play games, eat healthy snacks, exercise, make friends and laugh! Cost is $75- register by calling 472-3242.

    Reminders: We appreciate it when you use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

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