Monday, April 16, 2012

A Dash of Funky Feet

Local Food: With early spinach and mesclun already greening up the kitchen at Claire's, ramps or wild leeks are the next spring "green."  One of his favorite Vermont flavors, Steven carefully forages each morning in woodlands and along streams for the groups of young ramps, making sure to leave enough plants to return next year.  Food writer Jane Snow famously described ramps as having flavor similar to "fried green onions with a dash of funky feet."  The distinctive subtle sweetness that accentuates the onion and earthy garlic flavor of the ramp makes it a tasty ingredient, and one we look forward to now that the supply of stored garlic and onions runs low.  Steven flavors a number of dishes with the hearty green - including handrolling chopped ramps right into the fettuccine, adding a distinct note.  Smokey, grilled ramps give a punch to the ribeye or sirloin steak, and will be sautéed with the mustard greens and spinach to accompany the crab cake.  Our ever popular Ramptini will be back soon as well, with pickled ramp juice in place of the traditional olive juice.

At the Bar: Our Sunday drink specials this week will mark Earth Day!  As part of the national "Earth Dinner" campaign to promote local food, we're celebrating with the sustainable food advocacy group Chefs Collaborative, and offering our Earth Day Rum Shrub with Dunc's Mill Elderflower Rum, Green Mountain Organic Maple Liqueur, Cynar and Blueberry Shrub for $5.  We'll donate a portion of the sales to Chefs Collaborative.  Sunday will also feature wine and draft beer specials on some local favorites.  And don't forget our bar specials on Monday as well.

Around the Galaxy: Get ready for the Greenhorns! The Center for an Agricultural Economy  and Galaxy welcome Severine von Tscharner Fleming to Hardwick on Thursday, April 26th. Severine directed and produced the film The Greenhorns and is co-editor of the book Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers' Movement. Come see the film beginning at 6:30 at The Hardwick Town House. There is a $5 suggested donation to support The Greenhorns, and the film will be followed by a discussion and book signing with Severine. All the details here.

Music Notes: Big Hat, No Cattle, Vermont's newest old time western swing trio join us this Thursday, April 19 at 7:00. Support local music and don't miss their honky tonk tunes!

Local Events: Author and 2011 American Book Award winner Camille T. Dungy will read from her work at Sterling College on Wednesday, April 18 at 6:30. Professor in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University, Dungy's honors include an NEA fellowship, two NAACP Image Award nominations and two Northern California Book Awards.  For more information, call 586-7711, ext. 110.

You can help fund a USDA inspected on-farm butcher shop at Sugar Mountain Farm! The funds will help purchase materials and equipment and make scarce meat processing slots more available to regional farmers. Find out how you can help here.

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 been able to significantly reduce those fees.
Click on the image above to get a closer look!

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