Monday, March 7, 2011


Local Food: A favorite and often requested dish among Claire's newcomers and regulars alike, Steven's falafels give us a taste of the Middle East. Traditionally made with fava beans or chickpeas, Steven instead grinds much anticipated black beans from Butterworks Farm, whose crew has the labor intensive job of cleaning and drying the beans. Preserved red peppers from Pete's Greens and onions from Sandiwood Farm in Wolcott are added along with rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme from Vermont Herb & Salad Company. In keeping with custom, he adds the flavors of coriander and cumin. Dried jalapeno peppers from Steven's garden add a kick of heat. The falafel balls are fried to crispy perfection and served with a duo of sauces, one of mint infused Honey Gardens honey and Butterworks yogurt, and the other a spicy carrot sauce, with carrots from Blackwell Roots. The falafel is vegan, and can be served with only the spicy carrot sauce to keep the dish vegan friendly. Sprouts from Peace of Earth Farm top the dish.

We are fortunate and thankful to live in such a fertile area populated by creative and hardworking people who are eager to demonstrate that Vermont can feed itself. Neighbors knock on our door with baskets full of produce, willing to share their bounty with Steven, Claire's and the community. Olde Barn Farm in East Hardwick grows mesclun and put up roasted tomato preserves, Mary McGrath called with 60 pounds of sunchokes, Sue Holmes sold us three Hubbard squash and Too Little Farm made a dinner reservation and brought with them banana fingerling potatoes. Knowing that Pete's Greens has provided many of the ingredients that comprise the menu at Claire's, people have asked how we are continuing to buy as much local food as Pete's provided before the barn fire. The answer is that our area is teeming with growers and producers who support Claire's mission, and we are eager to support them too.

Around the Galaxy: March means maple and new at Galaxy is Maple Sugar: From Sap to Syrup and Maple Sugarin' in Vermont: A Sweet History. And if it is sugaring season, event season can't be far behind. The schedule is still coming together- get a peek at the calendar so far here.

Music Notes: Blue Fox returns this Thursday, March 10 at 7:30. Don't miss his "deep-lazy-growly-sexy" vocals and his "ultra-strength" guitar playing.

Go Green for Pete's Greens: On St. Patrick's Day, Claire's hosts an open mic celebration to benefit Pete's Farm Fund, to rebuild the barn and help Pete and his crew. Celebrate the day by wearing your finest greens, bring some extra greens in your wallet, and show off your talent in support of Pete's. Pete recently announced that in 2-3 years, when his farm is back on stable financial ground, he will repay the money raised to support Pete's Greens to a special fund to support Vermont agriculture and farms in crisis. We're excited to be part of this effort and hope you will join us on March 17th. Email if you are interested in performing. If you want to make a more immediate financial donation to Pete's Greens, stop by Claire's and drop it in our donation bucket or go directly to the farm website.

Local Events: Next Monday, March 14 from 4-6, Claire's will host an art opening featuring the work of Merill Densmore, who worked with the GRACE program beginning in 1994. He was born in 1943 and was raised in the Northeast Kingdom, inspiring many of his pieces that depict the Vermont landscape.

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.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

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