A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.

amuse bouche

I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
—The Dalai Lama

Rhubarb is a metaphor for finding happiness in your own backyard.
—Garrison Keillor

Buy your snacks from a farmers’ market.
—Michael Pollan

Even when he had a garden in Paris, Thomas Jefferson cultivated Indian corn, “to eat green in our manner, …as quickly after it left the stalk as possible.
—Evan Jones, from American Food

Armchair Traveling – Part II

Savannah – An Eclectic City with Southern Charm

After I read the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in 1994, I became enchanted with Savannah, Georgia. This non-fiction novel, where a prominent antique dealer named Jim Williams murders his male prostitute lover, Danny Hansford, intrigued me, as did characters like Lady Chablis. I went to the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, in 1997, where scenes of Savannah captivated me.  Would I actually meet any of these people if I visited?   During our brief two day stay here, instead, we met one of the local ghosts. 

This historic city, with manicured parks, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved antebellum architecture, does not disappoint.  Behind the stately facades of the southern mansions, you sense the eccentricity and life rascals who live amongst the proper society folk. Students who attend Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have livened this city with energy and creativity, and many say saved it from ruin, by infusing life back in.

Forsyth Park constitutes 30 acres in the middle of the historic district.  It is shaded by Spanish moss-covered oak trees and bustles with activity on a Sunday afternoon. The iconic water fountain in the center is beautiful to enjoy, while sitting on one of the many benches.

Savannah is a walkable city, with 26 distinct squares, each with historic monuments.  Fountains and manicured landscapes comprise the historic district.  Our hosts at the charming Bed and Breakfast, Inn on West Liberty, suggested an open air “on and off” trolley tour, which offered stops at many of these squares, churches, and river street.  Our driver regaled historic facts and tales of the city with humor. 

We shared dinner with our B and B hosts, Patty and Susan, at The Olde Pink House, the most famous restaurant in Savannah.  A beautiful shade of pink stucco, this Georgian mansion was built in 1771 for James Habersham Jr., one of Savannah’s founding family members, and early cotton factors.  With 13 dining rooms served by one kitchen, this place bustles.  The corn bread fried oysters with green goddess sauce were divine.

While we are resigned to our homes and walking six feet apart outside walks, I am keenly aware that many people are finding creative ways to cope.  Many friends have shared photos of past experiences and travels, as they have more time in their days to reminisce and reflect.  We are cooking, de-cluttering, and connecting with each other in different ways these days.  We hope that by sharing our recent travel adventures, we will inspire you to think about your own, and offer hope and gratitude in these challenging times.

There is so much beauty in our world.

Laurie Caswell Burke

Posted: 3-29-2020

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Savannah - An Eclectic City with Southern Charm

After I read the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in 1994, I became enchanted with Savannah, Georgia. This non-fiction novel, where a prominent antique dealer named Jim Williams murders his male prostitute lover, Danny Hansford, intrigued me, as did characters like Lady Chablis. I went to the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, in 1997, where scenes of Savannah captivated me.  Would I actually meet any of these people if I visited?   During our brief two day stay here, instead, we met one of the local ghosts. 

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We shared dinner with our B and B hosts, Patty and Susan, at The Olde Pink House, the most famous restaurant in Savannah.  A beautiful shade of pink stucco, this Georgian mansion was built in 1771 for James Habersham Jr., one of Savannah’s founding family members, and early cotton factors.  With 13 dining rooms served by one kitchen, this place bustles.  The corn bread fried oysters with green goddess sauce were divine.

While we are resigned to our homes and walking six feet apart outside walks, I am keenly aware that many people are finding creative ways to cope.  Many friends have shared photos of past experiences and travels, as they have more time in their days to reminisce and reflect.  We are cooking, de-cluttering, and connecting with each other in different ways these days.  We hope that by sharing our recent travel adventures, we will inspire you to think about your own, and offer hope and gratitude in these challenging times.

There is so much beauty in our world.

-Laurie Caswell Burke

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Sharing a fun southern culinary adventure  

Our lives feel in limbo, with many uncertainties, making our situations unlike anything we have experienced before.   Finding ways to stay connected and maintain some sense of calm, humor and positivity is vital.  If we can’t get out of our current confined reality, let’s try to nurture ourselves and share some of our memorable experiences- a great form of escape!

For ITKWB, we hope to continue to engage you in culinary delights, with hopes that you might reminisce on your own.  To off-set cabin fever, we hope that connecting with each other this way might help.

So, why write about a fun southern road trip sampling authentic and scrumptious southern local food in times like this?  Because our lives now have created more space and time to share special moments.    

I’m hoping that our blog will offer a fun and comforting distraction.  Perhaps it will inspire you to recall your own travel and culinary adventures.   Share them with us.  We promise to share ours in the coming months!

Our two- week adventure began with adopting a “Thelma and Louise”-with-a-happy-ending mantra and a promise to enjoy as much local fare as possible on our travels - Destination Boca Grande, Florida. Many thought Bronwyn and I were completely crazy to drive.  We drove anyway. And had some pretty interesting stops along the way. 

Our trip took us to three beautiful historic cities, Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Alexandria, VA. We sampled the local food and experienced aspects of the culture and people who reside there. Somehow, with a dose of serendipity, we managed to arrive at each place at sunset, enjoying hues of pink, orange and even deep red, offering a good omen.  And dinner soon!

Charleston’s scrumptious southern food scene does not disappoint.  Combined with the warmth, spirit, architecture and fascinating history, it’s a lovely city all around.  We ate at 82 Queen, nestled in Charleston’s historic French Quarter and known for its gracious Southern hospitality and fresh local cuisine.  I tried a specialty - their award winning, She Crab Soup, rich with flavor and well worth the calories.  We shared two plates of succulent fried oysters on a bed of lettuce with a spicy aioli sauce. Our waitress was engaging and fun. Sitting at the bar chatting up the locals added to our experience.

For dessert, we decided to try a new spot, strolling down Meeting Road, a lively street, in search of pecan pie!  We stumbled into Hyman’s Seafood, established in 1890, and voted the best seafood in the Southeast for eight years.  The friendly host at the door convinced us that this was the place to have dessert.  We were led through a sprawl of rooms and seated at a table that had a brass plaque- Pat Conroy ate at this table.  We devoured a huge slice of chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream, and bread pudding too!  Turns out many famous people had dined here, plaques galore!  We could only imagine all the stories shared at these tables for 130 years!

On Sunday, the church bells tolled continuously as we strolled the historic district, graced with charming, well-kept southern homes and gardens.  The Charleston harbor dotted with boats shimmered that day, and from a local park vista, offered a magnificent view of this city.  Our 16-hour stay was far too brief, but the promise of returning someday was clear as a bell.

Next week, we’ll be back with Savannah adventures including an encounter with one of the local ghosts.

And this will be so much more fun if we ALL share our culinary adventures, whether they be close to home or treasured memories.  BE WELL- Keep Cooking!

Laurie Caswell Burke

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Especially me!  If cheese is not on your list of favorite foods, perhaps this cheese-loving blog post will change your mind.   If I were left on a desert island with only one food choice to sustain me - it would be hands down CHEESE.  I could live on cheese, especially if paired with good bread. Fortunate for me, and the cheese connoisseurs out there, Vermont is an acknowledged national cheese leader of the American artisanal cheese renaissance. Thanks to over 50 cheese makers in our state, we have an abundance of cheese to choose from.  Our state crafts some of the world’s finest cheese, producing over 150 varieties and winning scores of awards. For our many readers who don’t live in our green mountain state, a sampling of cheeses that can be found around our state is the perfect reason to visit.

 

Bronwyn’s father, Evan Jones, published The World of Cheese in 1976. Chapter by chapter, he probes the mystery of what cheese actually is, how it is made, and explores various families of different cheeses.  Bronwyn shared with me,   “My childhood experience walking in our Manhattan neighborhood to find really good cheese culminated when I took the photographs for this seminal book of my fathers.” Cheese has delighted Bronwyn ever since. Her artisanal cheese platters, created with love and affection, are always graced with the most interesting cheeses and often the latest style from one of Vermont’s many farms like Jasper Hill, Orb Weaver, or Shelburne Farms.  Local establishments, like Healthy Living Market and Dedalus Wine Shop, offer a wide selection of Vermont and international cheeses, complete with cheese mongers to help you select the best choices for any occasion.

Close friend Catherine Donnelly, the former co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, America’s first Comprehensive academic research center devoted to artisan cheese edited the impressive Oxford Companion to Cheese in 2016.  Last fall,  Ending the War on Artisan Cheese was published and is getting rave reviews.  Cathy knows more about cheese than any one I know, and listening to her speak about cheese is a treat. In fact, this Wednesday, February 19, you can hear her speak at the Davis Auditorium at University of Vermont Medical School at 6pm on her new book.  You can register for tickets (free) by following this link.

Shelburne Farms, a beautiful treasure located on the shores of Lake Champlain, is all about cheese.   At the Welcome Center, almost an entire wall displays all sorts of interesting cheese books that you can browse while sampling their various types of cheddar made from happy cows on the farm.  Cows who have lake views from their pastures are key to the delicious award winning cheddar cheese created here.

If you are looking for an amazing grilled cheese sandwich, I have two suggestions. The Best Grilled Cheese EVER at Chef’s Corner in Williston is worth the trip.  Roasted Portobello mushrooms, Cabot cheddar, Boursin cheese, and scallions, create an amazing sandwich, served with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce.  Another favorite is the grilled cheese at Great Northern in Burlington, using local cheeses, crème fraiche, and basil, on Red Hen Bread served with tomato soup.  And at popular downtown eatery, Honey Road, the baked feta with red pepper ezme served on house-made seed bread is a must order here!

I can’t imagine a world without this immensely flavorful food, CHEESE, that when paired with a good bottle of wine and a crusty baguette offers the perfect meal.  Thanks to Evan Jones legacy and beloved professor Catherine Donnelly, for sharing their wisdom and expertise, bringing the world of cheese to life. They offer us a deeper appreciation for a food I personally cannot live without.

- Laurie Caswell Burke - 

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“Favorite Cookbook Contest” from the last blog post. And the winner is…Kelly Austin!

As I approached the last day of the farm stand that had become a frequent “go to” all summer and autumn I was at a loss. I had been seeing the bright yellow signs on the roadside that said November 24 –LAST DAY, but I was in denial. Common Roots, (www.commonroots.org) a farm stand and CSA, located off Spear Street at the intersection of Allen Road in South Burlington had become part of my weekly ritual. Where would I buy my vegetables, eggs, garlic, fresh local meat…? I also believed strongly in their mission which supports local food systems and provides food security for families and schools by fostering the relationships among farmers, educators, and the wider community.

The Friday before the pending closure for the season, my dear friend, Janet who lives in Boston made a surprise to visit to my house. I shared my disappointment with her. Her response.
“Let’s go together tomorrow and we’ll make it fun!” So off we went to Common Roots- a mile from my home to a place where farmers grow fresh organic produce in surrounding fields and also source eggs, cheese, Kombucha, meats, pickled green beans and more. It was chilly inside the charming little farm shop and there wasn’t much left on the shelves. Brown paper bags filled with Thanksgiving shares for CSA members were crowded together on a center table, waiting to be picked up. We grabbed our canvas bags and managed to fill them to the brim, as I explained to Janet that all summer and fall these shelves had been brimming local food from the fields. As we left, she patted me on the back with a you’ll be fine. Spring will return soon enough. HA! And doesn’t Vermont have Winter Farmers markets?

I imagine that many of you have felt similar feelings putting gardens to bed, bidding farewell to local farm stands and the local Farmers Markets. We have been so use to abundant locally grown food through - out the summer and autumn months, however the transition to late fall and winter isn’t always easy.

Fortunate for Vermonters there are over 18 Farmers Markets scattered around our state that offer abundant opportunities to find food, fun and much more. As December rolled in I suggested to Bronwyn that we visit our local Burlington Farmers market at the UVM Davis Center with anticipation of finding some good produce, and some ideas for holiday shopping. We found so much more. First, the parking was FREE!

And as we descended the stairs to the atrium level of the Davis Center, there was lively music playing and a wonderful array of tables filled to the brim with vegetables, cheese, coffee, hot chocolate, artisan crafts and more. Folks were having convivial conversations. This was clearly a happening place that I immediately knew I would be visiting all winter long.

We did a first blush walk through and on our second go I think we had almost parted with our money at every booth and had some special conversations with the vendors. We left with Orb Weaver Cheese, Specialty mushrooms, squash, the most beautiful eggs, kale, beets, soft cows cheese and an adorable hand carved ornament. It was so much fun. And to top it all off we shared the most delicious hot chocolate on the planet from a talented local chocolate maker.

What I found interesting was the stories these farmers and vendors shared with us. The scrumptious food and beautiful creative artisan goods reflected a sincere passion for their work. Their positive energy was contagious.

The Burlington Farmers market will run every Saturday between now and Christmas from 10am-2pm, and then once a month through April. If you live in Vermont, you can locate a Farmers Market near you by visiting -www.nofavt.org/vtfarmersmarkets or call 802-434-4122. And my sense is that wherever you live – there are options near you!

We can all continue to enjoy seasonal local food thanks to our hard -working farmers!

Last Blog’s Cookbook contest was such fun and our very first entrant, Kelly Austin, was the winner- her favorite cookbook…. Half Baked Harvest by Tieghan Gerard. Sweet little Mabon got in on the fun and picked our winner! Congratulations Kelly and enjoy your prize, Cooking for One, by Judith Jones- a treasure of a cookbook! Thank you to everyone who shared their favorites with us!

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["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(22) "love-food-love-farmers" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-12-15 17:46:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-15 21:46:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/?p=5278" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#1210 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5229) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-11-18 18:58:50" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-11-18 22:58:50" ["post_content"]=> string(6990) " Who doesn’t own a cookbook?  In the age of social media,  one click can find you countless recipes from a wide range of sites including popular FOOD52, Epicurious, Allrecipes, Food Network, and Vermont based Eating Well.  I’ve also discovered clever named sites  like, Yummly,  Chowhound, and Spoonful.  Locating the perfect recipe from any one of these websites and others can be extremely helpful when you don’t have time to peruse your cookbook collection. These days people are on the go, and search on-line for finding almost everything.   However, despite the ease of on-line perfectly suitable recipes, which have a place in today’s world, I believe that there is always room for cookbooks. As we begin gearing up for the holidays, I thought a little seasonal COOKBOOK fun was in order.   It’s simple too!   Post the name of your favorite cookbook or two in the comment section on this blog and you will be entered into a drawing to win a cookbook- The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones.  It’s a delightful read complete with helpful cooking tips and the recipes can be easily modified for more than one person. And if you want to add the name of your favorite recipe from that cookbook to your entry- even better! I love cookbooks!  They are constant companions in my kitchen. Over the past few decades, I have compiled three simple, spiral bound collections of recipes have been enjoyed by countless friends.  In 2004, I collaborated with two of my friends and created the third book, Atlantic, Pacific and Green Mountain Recipes. From Soup to Salmon Friends Share Favorites with Friends and Family.  My favorite of the three, complied with two  dear friends,  Anne from Boston’s south shore, and Andrea, from Seattle  shared some of our treasured recipes, from coast to coast.   Our collective friends and family have enjoyed our cookbooks - a regular “go to” for many. You can tell a lot about a person when your browse their cookbook collection.  Perhaps the largest and most diverse collection I have seen belonged to  Judith Jones’ collection  and graced the walls of every room in her NYC apartment where she had upwards of 1000 cookbooks.  In her beloved Vermont retreat Bryn Teg, shelves brim with almost as many.  After her death, a substantial portion of her collection was donated to Sterling College, located in Craftsbury Vermont-  and now able to be enjoyed by students, faculty and friends!  What a bountiful and beautiful legacy, made possible by Bronwyn Jones Dunne. As I browsed my personal cookbook collection, I discovered a 1943 edition of the Joy of Cooking tucked in a corner which hadn’t been touched in decades.  Old, worn and tattered, it is the most popular cookbook in America, but honestly compared to the current cookbooks, I find it somewhat plain and boring.  One of the United States most published cookbooks, it has been in print continuously since it was originally self published in 1936. Almost 20 million copies are in print today.  Well known books by Alice Waters, Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, Madhur Jaffrey, and Lidia Bastianich,  and an all time favorite,  Julia Childs, Mastering the Art of French Cooking…. among many more are front and center on my kitchen shelf. Recently I saw a very interesting film called Nothing Fancy, a documentary on Diana Kennedy, who is iconic for her numerous Mexican food cookbooks and influence on Mexican Cooking.  Bronwyn was the photographer for her author photo for her cookbook, The Tortilla Book in the 1980’s.  A charming and engaging film brought to Burlington by the Vermont International Film Festival, I highly recommend.   Kennedy put Mexican cooking on the map and at age 96,  is quite a character.  Vermont draws well known cookbook authors – during the past few years, Alice Waters and Jane Nathan are just a few that have visited here. Julia Child drew such a large crowd in St. Johnsbury 25 years ago that the event had to be relocated to the school gymnasium. Cookbooks today have evolved significantly over the decades.  They are often iconic and designed to be owned offering colorful and enticing photos, and text that engage you.  This new brand of cookbooks invite you to read them cover to cover, and not simply for following a recipe. Legendary Judith Jones put many of our current well known and famed cook book authors on the map because she believed in them.  We can be grateful for her ability to recognize talent and worked diligently to publish countless now well -known authors.  She penned several of her own including, Love ME Feed ME,   dedicated to her dog Mabon, and an autobiography,The Tenth Muse, as well as the aforementioned The Pleasures of Cooking for One. Earlier this fall, I traveled to Rochester Vermont for a wedding and visited one of my favorite haunts-Sandy’s Books and Bakery, an eclectic café /bookstore.  Next door they have a smaller space, The Bookery and Annex, that is brimming with an extensive used cookbook collection.  It’s worth a road trip to this sweet small Vermont town, located 50 miles south of Stowe. Peruse your cookbook collection and share with us your favorite cookbook. We will draw a name from all submissions on Monday, December 2nd, and share the list of favorites in our next Blog post. Feel free to name a favorite recipe as well. The Lost Kitchen by Erin French in on my holiday wish list.  You can never own too many cookbooks! Laurie Caswell Burke" ["post_title"]=> string(23) "Our Treasured Cookbooks" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(23) "our-treasured-cookbooks" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-11-29 08:35:57" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-11-29 12:35:57" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/?p=5229" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(2) "18" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(5) ["current_post"]=> int(0) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(true) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#1126 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5340) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-03-29 15:36:15" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-29 19:36:15" ["post_content"]=> string(4635) "

Savannah - An Eclectic City with Southern Charm

After I read the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in 1994, I became enchanted with Savannah, Georgia. This non-fiction novel, where a prominent antique dealer named Jim Williams murders his male prostitute lover, Danny Hansford, intrigued me, as did characters like Lady Chablis. I went to the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, in 1997, where scenes of Savannah captivated me.  Would I actually meet any of these people if I visited?   During our brief two day stay here, instead, we met one of the local ghosts. 

This historic city, with manicured parks, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved antebellum architecture, does not disappoint.  Behind the stately facades of the southern mansions, you sense the eccentricity and life rascals who live amongst the proper society folk. Students who attend Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have livened this city with energy and creativity, and many say saved it from ruin, by infusing life back in.

Forsyth Park constitutes 30 acres in the middle of the historic district.  It is shaded by Spanish moss-covered oak trees and bustles with activity on a Sunday afternoon. The iconic water fountain in the center is beautiful to enjoy, while sitting on one of the many benches.

Savannah is a walkable city, with 26 distinct squares, each with historic monuments.  Fountains and manicured landscapes comprise the historic district.  Our hosts at the charming Bed and Breakfast, Inn on West Liberty, suggested an open air “on and off” trolley tour, which offered stops at many of these squares, churches, and river street.  Our driver regaled historic facts and tales of the city with humor. 

We shared dinner with our B and B hosts, Patty and Susan, at The Olde Pink House, the most famous restaurant in Savannah.  A beautiful shade of pink stucco, this Georgian mansion was built in 1771 for James Habersham Jr., one of Savannah’s founding family members, and early cotton factors.  With 13 dining rooms served by one kitchen, this place bustles.  The corn bread fried oysters with green goddess sauce were divine.

While we are resigned to our homes and walking six feet apart outside walks, I am keenly aware that many people are finding creative ways to cope.  Many friends have shared photos of past experiences and travels, as they have more time in their days to reminisce and reflect.  We are cooking, de-cluttering, and connecting with each other in different ways these days.  We hope that by sharing our recent travel adventures, we will inspire you to think about your own, and offer hope and gratitude in these challenging times.

There is so much beauty in our world.

-Laurie Caswell Burke

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ARMCHAIR TRAVELING

Sharing a fun southern culinary adventure  

Our lives feel in limbo, with many uncertainties, making our situations unlike anything we have experienced before.   Finding ways to stay connected and maintain some sense of calm, humor and positivity is vital.  If we can’t get out of our current confined reality, let’s try to nurture ourselves and share some of our memorable experiences- a great form of escape!

For ITKWB, we hope to continue to engage you in culinary delights, with hopes that you might reminisce on your own.  To off-set cabin fever, we hope that connecting with each other this way might help.

So, why write about a fun southern road trip sampling authentic and scrumptious southern local food in times like this?  Because our lives now have created more space and time to share special moments.    

I’m hoping that our blog will offer a fun and comforting distraction.  Perhaps it will inspire you to recall your own travel and culinary adventures.   Share them with us.  We promise to share ours in the coming months!

Our two- week adventure began with adopting a “Thelma and Louise”-with-a-happy-ending mantra and a promise to enjoy as much local fare as possible on our travels – Destination Boca Grande, Florida. Many thought Bronwyn and I were completely crazy to drive.  We drove anyway. And had some pretty interesting stops along the way. 

Our trip took us to three beautiful historic cities, Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Alexandria, VA. We sampled the local food and experienced aspects of the culture and people who reside there. Somehow, with a dose of serendipity, we managed to arrive at each place at sunset, enjoying hues of pink, orange and even deep red, offering a good omen.  And dinner soon!

Charleston’s scrumptious southern food scene does not disappoint.  Combined with the warmth, spirit, architecture and fascinating history, it’s a lovely city all around.  We ate at 82 Queen, nestled in Charleston’s historic French Quarter and known for its gracious Southern hospitality and fresh local cuisine.  I tried a specialty – their award winning, She Crab Soup, rich with flavor and well worth the calories.  We shared two plates of succulent fried oysters on a bed of lettuce with a spicy aioli sauce. Our waitress was engaging and fun. Sitting at the bar chatting up the locals added to our experience.

For dessert, we decided to try a new spot, strolling down Meeting Road, a lively street, in search of pecan pie!  We stumbled into Hyman’s Seafood, established in 1890, and voted the best seafood in the Southeast for eight years.  The friendly host at the door convinced us that this was the place to have dessert.  We were led through a sprawl of rooms and seated at a table that had a brass plaque– Pat Conroy ate at this table.  We devoured a huge slice of chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream, and bread pudding too!  Turns out many famous people had dined here, plaques galore!  We could only imagine all the stories shared at these tables for 130 years!

On Sunday, the church bells tolled continuously as we strolled the historic district, graced with charming, well-kept southern homes and gardens.  The Charleston harbor dotted with boats shimmered that day, and from a local park vista, offered a magnificent view of this city.  Our 16-hour stay was far too brief, but the promise of returning someday was clear as a bell.

Next week, we’ll be back with Savannah adventures including an encounter with one of the local ghosts.

And this will be so much more fun if we ALL share our culinary adventures, whether they be close to home or treasured memories.  BE WELL- Keep Cooking!

Laurie Caswell Burke

Posted: 3-21-2020

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Savannah - An Eclectic City with Southern Charm

After I read the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in 1994, I became enchanted with Savannah, Georgia. This non-fiction novel, where a prominent antique dealer named Jim Williams murders his male prostitute lover, Danny Hansford, intrigued me, as did characters like Lady Chablis. I went to the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, in 1997, where scenes of Savannah captivated me.  Would I actually meet any of these people if I visited?   During our brief two day stay here, instead, we met one of the local ghosts. 

This historic city, with manicured parks, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved antebellum architecture, does not disappoint.  Behind the stately facades of the southern mansions, you sense the eccentricity and life rascals who live amongst the proper society folk. Students who attend Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have livened this city with energy and creativity, and many say saved it from ruin, by infusing life back in.

Forsyth Park constitutes 30 acres in the middle of the historic district.  It is shaded by Spanish moss-covered oak trees and bustles with activity on a Sunday afternoon. The iconic water fountain in the center is beautiful to enjoy, while sitting on one of the many benches.

Savannah is a walkable city, with 26 distinct squares, each with historic monuments.  Fountains and manicured landscapes comprise the historic district.  Our hosts at the charming Bed and Breakfast, Inn on West Liberty, suggested an open air “on and off” trolley tour, which offered stops at many of these squares, churches, and river street.  Our driver regaled historic facts and tales of the city with humor. 

We shared dinner with our B and B hosts, Patty and Susan, at The Olde Pink House, the most famous restaurant in Savannah.  A beautiful shade of pink stucco, this Georgian mansion was built in 1771 for James Habersham Jr., one of Savannah’s founding family members, and early cotton factors.  With 13 dining rooms served by one kitchen, this place bustles.  The corn bread fried oysters with green goddess sauce were divine.

While we are resigned to our homes and walking six feet apart outside walks, I am keenly aware that many people are finding creative ways to cope.  Many friends have shared photos of past experiences and travels, as they have more time in their days to reminisce and reflect.  We are cooking, de-cluttering, and connecting with each other in different ways these days.  We hope that by sharing our recent travel adventures, we will inspire you to think about your own, and offer hope and gratitude in these challenging times.

There is so much beauty in our world.

-Laurie Caswell Burke

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Sharing a fun southern culinary adventure  

Our lives feel in limbo, with many uncertainties, making our situations unlike anything we have experienced before.   Finding ways to stay connected and maintain some sense of calm, humor and positivity is vital.  If we can’t get out of our current confined reality, let’s try to nurture ourselves and share some of our memorable experiences- a great form of escape!

For ITKWB, we hope to continue to engage you in culinary delights, with hopes that you might reminisce on your own.  To off-set cabin fever, we hope that connecting with each other this way might help.

So, why write about a fun southern road trip sampling authentic and scrumptious southern local food in times like this?  Because our lives now have created more space and time to share special moments.    

I’m hoping that our blog will offer a fun and comforting distraction.  Perhaps it will inspire you to recall your own travel and culinary adventures.   Share them with us.  We promise to share ours in the coming months!

Our two- week adventure began with adopting a “Thelma and Louise”-with-a-happy-ending mantra and a promise to enjoy as much local fare as possible on our travels - Destination Boca Grande, Florida. Many thought Bronwyn and I were completely crazy to drive.  We drove anyway. And had some pretty interesting stops along the way. 

Our trip took us to three beautiful historic cities, Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Alexandria, VA. We sampled the local food and experienced aspects of the culture and people who reside there. Somehow, with a dose of serendipity, we managed to arrive at each place at sunset, enjoying hues of pink, orange and even deep red, offering a good omen.  And dinner soon!

Charleston’s scrumptious southern food scene does not disappoint.  Combined with the warmth, spirit, architecture and fascinating history, it’s a lovely city all around.  We ate at 82 Queen, nestled in Charleston’s historic French Quarter and known for its gracious Southern hospitality and fresh local cuisine.  I tried a specialty - their award winning, She Crab Soup, rich with flavor and well worth the calories.  We shared two plates of succulent fried oysters on a bed of lettuce with a spicy aioli sauce. Our waitress was engaging and fun. Sitting at the bar chatting up the locals added to our experience.

For dessert, we decided to try a new spot, strolling down Meeting Road, a lively street, in search of pecan pie!  We stumbled into Hyman’s Seafood, established in 1890, and voted the best seafood in the Southeast for eight years.  The friendly host at the door convinced us that this was the place to have dessert.  We were led through a sprawl of rooms and seated at a table that had a brass plaque- Pat Conroy ate at this table.  We devoured a huge slice of chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream, and bread pudding too!  Turns out many famous people had dined here, plaques galore!  We could only imagine all the stories shared at these tables for 130 years!

On Sunday, the church bells tolled continuously as we strolled the historic district, graced with charming, well-kept southern homes and gardens.  The Charleston harbor dotted with boats shimmered that day, and from a local park vista, offered a magnificent view of this city.  Our 16-hour stay was far too brief, but the promise of returning someday was clear as a bell.

Next week, we’ll be back with Savannah adventures including an encounter with one of the local ghosts.

And this will be so much more fun if we ALL share our culinary adventures, whether they be close to home or treasured memories.  BE WELL- Keep Cooking!

Laurie Caswell Burke

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Especially me!  If cheese is not on your list of favorite foods, perhaps this cheese-loving blog post will change your mind.   If I were left on a desert island with only one food choice to sustain me - it would be hands down CHEESE.  I could live on cheese, especially if paired with good bread. Fortunate for me, and the cheese connoisseurs out there, Vermont is an acknowledged national cheese leader of the American artisanal cheese renaissance. Thanks to over 50 cheese makers in our state, we have an abundance of cheese to choose from.  Our state crafts some of the world’s finest cheese, producing over 150 varieties and winning scores of awards. For our many readers who don’t live in our green mountain state, a sampling of cheeses that can be found around our state is the perfect reason to visit.

 

Bronwyn’s father, Evan Jones, published The World of Cheese in 1976. Chapter by chapter, he probes the mystery of what cheese actually is, how it is made, and explores various families of different cheeses.  Bronwyn shared with me,   “My childhood experience walking in our Manhattan neighborhood to find really good cheese culminated when I took the photographs for this seminal book of my fathers.” Cheese has delighted Bronwyn ever since. Her artisanal cheese platters, created with love and affection, are always graced with the most interesting cheeses and often the latest style from one of Vermont’s many farms like Jasper Hill, Orb Weaver, or Shelburne Farms.  Local establishments, like Healthy Living Market and Dedalus Wine Shop, offer a wide selection of Vermont and international cheeses, complete with cheese mongers to help you select the best choices for any occasion.

Close friend Catherine Donnelly, the former co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, America’s first Comprehensive academic research center devoted to artisan cheese edited the impressive Oxford Companion to Cheese in 2016.  Last fall,  Ending the War on Artisan Cheese was published and is getting rave reviews.  Cathy knows more about cheese than any one I know, and listening to her speak about cheese is a treat. In fact, this Wednesday, February 19, you can hear her speak at the Davis Auditorium at University of Vermont Medical School at 6pm on her new book.  You can register for tickets (free) by following this link.

Shelburne Farms, a beautiful treasure located on the shores of Lake Champlain, is all about cheese.   At the Welcome Center, almost an entire wall displays all sorts of interesting cheese books that you can browse while sampling their various types of cheddar made from happy cows on the farm.  Cows who have lake views from their pastures are key to the delicious award winning cheddar cheese created here.

If you are looking for an amazing grilled cheese sandwich, I have two suggestions. The Best Grilled Cheese EVER at Chef’s Corner in Williston is worth the trip.  Roasted Portobello mushrooms, Cabot cheddar, Boursin cheese, and scallions, create an amazing sandwich, served with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce.  Another favorite is the grilled cheese at Great Northern in Burlington, using local cheeses, crème fraiche, and basil, on Red Hen Bread served with tomato soup.  And at popular downtown eatery, Honey Road, the baked feta with red pepper ezme served on house-made seed bread is a must order here!

I can’t imagine a world without this immensely flavorful food, CHEESE, that when paired with a good bottle of wine and a crusty baguette offers the perfect meal.  Thanks to Evan Jones legacy and beloved professor Catherine Donnelly, for sharing their wisdom and expertise, bringing the world of cheese to life. They offer us a deeper appreciation for a food I personally cannot live without.

- Laurie Caswell Burke - 

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“Favorite Cookbook Contest” from the last blog post. And the winner is…Kelly Austin!

As I approached the last day of the farm stand that had become a frequent “go to” all summer and autumn I was at a loss. I had been seeing the bright yellow signs on the roadside that said November 24 –LAST DAY, but I was in denial. Common Roots, (www.commonroots.org) a farm stand and CSA, located off Spear Street at the intersection of Allen Road in South Burlington had become part of my weekly ritual. Where would I buy my vegetables, eggs, garlic, fresh local meat…? I also believed strongly in their mission which supports local food systems and provides food security for families and schools by fostering the relationships among farmers, educators, and the wider community.

The Friday before the pending closure for the season, my dear friend, Janet who lives in Boston made a surprise to visit to my house. I shared my disappointment with her. Her response.
“Let’s go together tomorrow and we’ll make it fun!” So off we went to Common Roots- a mile from my home to a place where farmers grow fresh organic produce in surrounding fields and also source eggs, cheese, Kombucha, meats, pickled green beans and more. It was chilly inside the charming little farm shop and there wasn’t much left on the shelves. Brown paper bags filled with Thanksgiving shares for CSA members were crowded together on a center table, waiting to be picked up. We grabbed our canvas bags and managed to fill them to the brim, as I explained to Janet that all summer and fall these shelves had been brimming local food from the fields. As we left, she patted me on the back with a you’ll be fine. Spring will return soon enough. HA! And doesn’t Vermont have Winter Farmers markets?

I imagine that many of you have felt similar feelings putting gardens to bed, bidding farewell to local farm stands and the local Farmers Markets. We have been so use to abundant locally grown food through - out the summer and autumn months, however the transition to late fall and winter isn’t always easy.

Fortunate for Vermonters there are over 18 Farmers Markets scattered around our state that offer abundant opportunities to find food, fun and much more. As December rolled in I suggested to Bronwyn that we visit our local Burlington Farmers market at the UVM Davis Center with anticipation of finding some good produce, and some ideas for holiday shopping. We found so much more. First, the parking was FREE!

And as we descended the stairs to the atrium level of the Davis Center, there was lively music playing and a wonderful array of tables filled to the brim with vegetables, cheese, coffee, hot chocolate, artisan crafts and more. Folks were having convivial conversations. This was clearly a happening place that I immediately knew I would be visiting all winter long.

We did a first blush walk through and on our second go I think we had almost parted with our money at every booth and had some special conversations with the vendors. We left with Orb Weaver Cheese, Specialty mushrooms, squash, the most beautiful eggs, kale, beets, soft cows cheese and an adorable hand carved ornament. It was so much fun. And to top it all off we shared the most delicious hot chocolate on the planet from a talented local chocolate maker.

What I found interesting was the stories these farmers and vendors shared with us. The scrumptious food and beautiful creative artisan goods reflected a sincere passion for their work. Their positive energy was contagious.

The Burlington Farmers market will run every Saturday between now and Christmas from 10am-2pm, and then once a month through April. If you live in Vermont, you can locate a Farmers Market near you by visiting -www.nofavt.org/vtfarmersmarkets or call 802-434-4122. And my sense is that wherever you live – there are options near you!

We can all continue to enjoy seasonal local food thanks to our hard -working farmers!

Last Blog’s Cookbook contest was such fun and our very first entrant, Kelly Austin, was the winner- her favorite cookbook…. Half Baked Harvest by Tieghan Gerard. Sweet little Mabon got in on the fun and picked our winner! Congratulations Kelly and enjoy your prize, Cooking for One, by Judith Jones- a treasure of a cookbook! Thank you to everyone who shared their favorites with us!

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As we begin gearing up for the holidays, I thought a little seasonal COOKBOOK fun was in order.   It’s simple too!   Post the name of your favorite cookbook or two in the comment section on this blog and you will be entered into a drawing to win a cookbook- The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones.  It’s a delightful read complete with helpful cooking tips and the recipes can be easily modified for more than one person. And if you want to add the name of your favorite recipe from that cookbook to your entry- even better! I love cookbooks!  They are constant companions in my kitchen. Over the past few decades, I have compiled three simple, spiral bound collections of recipes have been enjoyed by countless friends.  In 2004, I collaborated with two of my friends and created the third book, Atlantic, Pacific and Green Mountain Recipes. From Soup to Salmon Friends Share Favorites with Friends and Family.  My favorite of the three, complied with two  dear friends,  Anne from Boston’s south shore, and Andrea, from Seattle  shared some of our treasured recipes, from coast to coast.   Our collective friends and family have enjoyed our cookbooks - a regular “go to” for many. You can tell a lot about a person when your browse their cookbook collection.  Perhaps the largest and most diverse collection I have seen belonged to  Judith Jones’ collection  and graced the walls of every room in her NYC apartment where she had upwards of 1000 cookbooks.  In her beloved Vermont retreat Bryn Teg, shelves brim with almost as many.  After her death, a substantial portion of her collection was donated to Sterling College, located in Craftsbury Vermont-  and now able to be enjoyed by students, faculty and friends!  What a bountiful and beautiful legacy, made possible by Bronwyn Jones Dunne. As I browsed my personal cookbook collection, I discovered a 1943 edition of the Joy of Cooking tucked in a corner which hadn’t been touched in decades.  Old, worn and tattered, it is the most popular cookbook in America, but honestly compared to the current cookbooks, I find it somewhat plain and boring.  One of the United States most published cookbooks, it has been in print continuously since it was originally self published in 1936. Almost 20 million copies are in print today.  Well known books by Alice Waters, Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, Madhur Jaffrey, and Lidia Bastianich,  and an all time favorite,  Julia Childs, Mastering the Art of French Cooking…. among many more are front and center on my kitchen shelf. Recently I saw a very interesting film called Nothing Fancy, a documentary on Diana Kennedy, who is iconic for her numerous Mexican food cookbooks and influence on Mexican Cooking.  Bronwyn was the photographer for her author photo for her cookbook, The Tortilla Book in the 1980’s.  A charming and engaging film brought to Burlington by the Vermont International Film Festival, I highly recommend.   Kennedy put Mexican cooking on the map and at age 96,  is quite a character.  Vermont draws well known cookbook authors – during the past few years, Alice Waters and Jane Nathan are just a few that have visited here. Julia Child drew such a large crowd in St. Johnsbury 25 years ago that the event had to be relocated to the school gymnasium. Cookbooks today have evolved significantly over the decades.  They are often iconic and designed to be owned offering colorful and enticing photos, and text that engage you.  This new brand of cookbooks invite you to read them cover to cover, and not simply for following a recipe. Legendary Judith Jones put many of our current well known and famed cook book authors on the map because she believed in them.  We can be grateful for her ability to recognize talent and worked diligently to publish countless now well -known authors.  She penned several of her own including, Love ME Feed ME,   dedicated to her dog Mabon, and an autobiography,The Tenth Muse, as well as the aforementioned The Pleasures of Cooking for One. Earlier this fall, I traveled to Rochester Vermont for a wedding and visited one of my favorite haunts-Sandy’s Books and Bakery, an eclectic café /bookstore.  Next door they have a smaller space, The Bookery and Annex, that is brimming with an extensive used cookbook collection.  It’s worth a road trip to this sweet small Vermont town, located 50 miles south of Stowe. Peruse your cookbook collection and share with us your favorite cookbook. We will draw a name from all submissions on Monday, December 2nd, and share the list of favorites in our next Blog post. Feel free to name a favorite recipe as well. The Lost Kitchen by Erin French in on my holiday wish list.  You can never own too many cookbooks! 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Sharing a fun southern culinary adventure  

Our lives feel in limbo, with many uncertainties, making our situations unlike anything we have experienced before.   Finding ways to stay connected and maintain some sense of calm, humor and positivity is vital.  If we can’t get out of our current confined reality, let’s try to nurture ourselves and share some of our memorable experiences- a great form of escape!

For ITKWB, we hope to continue to engage you in culinary delights, with hopes that you might reminisce on your own.  To off-set cabin fever, we hope that connecting with each other this way might help.

So, why write about a fun southern road trip sampling authentic and scrumptious southern local food in times like this?  Because our lives now have created more space and time to share special moments.    

I’m hoping that our blog will offer a fun and comforting distraction.  Perhaps it will inspire you to recall your own travel and culinary adventures.   Share them with us.  We promise to share ours in the coming months!

Our two- week adventure began with adopting a “Thelma and Louise”-with-a-happy-ending mantra and a promise to enjoy as much local fare as possible on our travels - Destination Boca Grande, Florida. Many thought Bronwyn and I were completely crazy to drive.  We drove anyway. And had some pretty interesting stops along the way. 

Our trip took us to three beautiful historic cities, Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Alexandria, VA. We sampled the local food and experienced aspects of the culture and people who reside there. Somehow, with a dose of serendipity, we managed to arrive at each place at sunset, enjoying hues of pink, orange and even deep red, offering a good omen.  And dinner soon!

Charleston’s scrumptious southern food scene does not disappoint.  Combined with the warmth, spirit, architecture and fascinating history, it’s a lovely city all around.  We ate at 82 Queen, nestled in Charleston’s historic French Quarter and known for its gracious Southern hospitality and fresh local cuisine.  I tried a specialty - their award winning, She Crab Soup, rich with flavor and well worth the calories.  We shared two plates of succulent fried oysters on a bed of lettuce with a spicy aioli sauce. Our waitress was engaging and fun. Sitting at the bar chatting up the locals added to our experience.

For dessert, we decided to try a new spot, strolling down Meeting Road, a lively street, in search of pecan pie!  We stumbled into Hyman’s Seafood, established in 1890, and voted the best seafood in the Southeast for eight years.  The friendly host at the door convinced us that this was the place to have dessert.  We were led through a sprawl of rooms and seated at a table that had a brass plaque- Pat Conroy ate at this table.  We devoured a huge slice of chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream, and bread pudding too!  Turns out many famous people had dined here, plaques galore!  We could only imagine all the stories shared at these tables for 130 years!

On Sunday, the church bells tolled continuously as we strolled the historic district, graced with charming, well-kept southern homes and gardens.  The Charleston harbor dotted with boats shimmered that day, and from a local park vista, offered a magnificent view of this city.  Our 16-hour stay was far too brief, but the promise of returning someday was clear as a bell.

Next week, we’ll be back with Savannah adventures including an encounter with one of the local ghosts.

And this will be so much more fun if we ALL share our culinary adventures, whether they be close to home or treasured memories.  BE WELL- Keep Cooking!

Laurie Caswell Burke

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One response to “ARMCHAIR TRAVELING”

  1. Angela says:

    Delightfully full from reading about your travels south—Thank you for sharing your culinary adventures Thelma and Louise!!

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Everybody Loves Cheese

Especially me!  If cheese is not on your list of favorite foods, perhaps this cheese-loving blog post will change your mind.   If I were left on a desert island with only one food choice to sustain me – it would be hands down CHEESE.  I could live on cheese, especially if paired with good bread. Fortunate for me, and the cheese connoisseurs out there, Vermont is an acknowledged national cheese leader of the American artisanal cheese renaissance. Thanks to over 50 cheese makers in our state, we have an abundance of cheese to choose from.  Our state crafts some of the world’s finest cheese, producing over 150 varieties and winning scores of awards. For our many readers who don’t live in our green mountain state, a sampling of cheeses that can be found around our state is the perfect reason to visit.

 

Bronwyn’s father, Evan Jones, published The World of Cheese in 1976. Chapter by chapter, he probes the mystery of what cheese actually is, how it is made, and explores various families of different cheeses.  Bronwyn shared with me,   “My childhood experience walking in our Manhattan neighborhood to find really good cheese culminated when I took the photographs for this seminal book of my fathers.” Cheese has delighted Bronwyn ever since. Her artisanal cheese platters, created with love and affection, are always graced with the most interesting cheeses and often the latest style from one of Vermont’s many farms like Jasper Hill, Orb Weaver, or Shelburne Farms.  Local establishments, like Healthy Living Market and Dedalus Wine Shop, offer a wide selection of Vermont and international cheeses, complete with cheese mongers to help you select the best choices for any occasion.

Close friend Catherine Donnelly, the former co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, America’s first Comprehensive academic research center devoted to artisan cheese edited the impressive Oxford Companion to Cheese in 2016.  Last fall,  Ending the War on Artisan Cheese was published and is getting rave reviews.  Cathy knows more about cheese than any one I know, and listening to her speak about cheese is a treat. In fact, this Wednesday, February 19, you can hear her speak at the Davis Auditorium at University of Vermont Medical School at 6pm on her new book.  You can register for tickets (free) by following this link.

Shelburne Farms, a beautiful treasure located on the shores of Lake Champlain, is all about cheese.   At the Welcome Center, almost an entire wall displays all sorts of interesting cheese books that you can browse while sampling their various types of cheddar made from happy cows on the farm.  Cows who have lake views from their pastures are key to the delicious award winning cheddar cheese created here.

If you are looking for an amazing grilled cheese sandwich, I have two suggestions. The Best Grilled Cheese EVER at Chef’s Corner in Williston is worth the trip.  Roasted Portobello mushrooms, Cabot cheddar, Boursin cheese, and scallions, create an amazing sandwich, served with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce.  Another favorite is the grilled cheese at Great Northern in Burlington, using local cheeses, crème fraiche, and basil, on Red Hen Bread served with tomato soup.  And at popular downtown eatery, Honey Road, the baked feta with red pepper ezme served on house-made seed bread is a must order here!

I can’t imagine a world without this immensely flavorful food, CHEESE, that when paired with a good bottle of wine and a crusty baguette offers the perfect meal.  Thanks to Evan Jones legacy and beloved professor Catherine Donnelly, for sharing their wisdom and expertise, bringing the world of cheese to life. They offer us a deeper appreciation for a food I personally cannot live without.

– Laurie Caswell Burke – 

Posted: 2-16-2020

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Savannah - An Eclectic City with Southern Charm

After I read the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in 1994, I became enchanted with Savannah, Georgia. This non-fiction novel, where a prominent antique dealer named Jim Williams murders his male prostitute lover, Danny Hansford, intrigued me, as did characters like Lady Chablis. I went to the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, in 1997, where scenes of Savannah captivated me.  Would I actually meet any of these people if I visited?   During our brief two day stay here, instead, we met one of the local ghosts. 

This historic city, with manicured parks, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved antebellum architecture, does not disappoint.  Behind the stately facades of the southern mansions, you sense the eccentricity and life rascals who live amongst the proper society folk. Students who attend Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have livened this city with energy and creativity, and many say saved it from ruin, by infusing life back in.

Forsyth Park constitutes 30 acres in the middle of the historic district.  It is shaded by Spanish moss-covered oak trees and bustles with activity on a Sunday afternoon. The iconic water fountain in the center is beautiful to enjoy, while sitting on one of the many benches.

Savannah is a walkable city, with 26 distinct squares, each with historic monuments.  Fountains and manicured landscapes comprise the historic district.  Our hosts at the charming Bed and Breakfast, Inn on West Liberty, suggested an open air “on and off” trolley tour, which offered stops at many of these squares, churches, and river street.  Our driver regaled historic facts and tales of the city with humor. 

We shared dinner with our B and B hosts, Patty and Susan, at The Olde Pink House, the most famous restaurant in Savannah.  A beautiful shade of pink stucco, this Georgian mansion was built in 1771 for James Habersham Jr., one of Savannah’s founding family members, and early cotton factors.  With 13 dining rooms served by one kitchen, this place bustles.  The corn bread fried oysters with green goddess sauce were divine.

While we are resigned to our homes and walking six feet apart outside walks, I am keenly aware that many people are finding creative ways to cope.  Many friends have shared photos of past experiences and travels, as they have more time in their days to reminisce and reflect.  We are cooking, de-cluttering, and connecting with each other in different ways these days.  We hope that by sharing our recent travel adventures, we will inspire you to think about your own, and offer hope and gratitude in these challenging times.

There is so much beauty in our world.

-Laurie Caswell Burke

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Sharing a fun southern culinary adventure  

Our lives feel in limbo, with many uncertainties, making our situations unlike anything we have experienced before.   Finding ways to stay connected and maintain some sense of calm, humor and positivity is vital.  If we can’t get out of our current confined reality, let’s try to nurture ourselves and share some of our memorable experiences- a great form of escape!

For ITKWB, we hope to continue to engage you in culinary delights, with hopes that you might reminisce on your own.  To off-set cabin fever, we hope that connecting with each other this way might help.

So, why write about a fun southern road trip sampling authentic and scrumptious southern local food in times like this?  Because our lives now have created more space and time to share special moments.    

I’m hoping that our blog will offer a fun and comforting distraction.  Perhaps it will inspire you to recall your own travel and culinary adventures.   Share them with us.  We promise to share ours in the coming months!

Our two- week adventure began with adopting a “Thelma and Louise”-with-a-happy-ending mantra and a promise to enjoy as much local fare as possible on our travels - Destination Boca Grande, Florida. Many thought Bronwyn and I were completely crazy to drive.  We drove anyway. And had some pretty interesting stops along the way. 

Our trip took us to three beautiful historic cities, Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Alexandria, VA. We sampled the local food and experienced aspects of the culture and people who reside there. Somehow, with a dose of serendipity, we managed to arrive at each place at sunset, enjoying hues of pink, orange and even deep red, offering a good omen.  And dinner soon!

Charleston’s scrumptious southern food scene does not disappoint.  Combined with the warmth, spirit, architecture and fascinating history, it’s a lovely city all around.  We ate at 82 Queen, nestled in Charleston’s historic French Quarter and known for its gracious Southern hospitality and fresh local cuisine.  I tried a specialty - their award winning, She Crab Soup, rich with flavor and well worth the calories.  We shared two plates of succulent fried oysters on a bed of lettuce with a spicy aioli sauce. Our waitress was engaging and fun. Sitting at the bar chatting up the locals added to our experience.

For dessert, we decided to try a new spot, strolling down Meeting Road, a lively street, in search of pecan pie!  We stumbled into Hyman’s Seafood, established in 1890, and voted the best seafood in the Southeast for eight years.  The friendly host at the door convinced us that this was the place to have dessert.  We were led through a sprawl of rooms and seated at a table that had a brass plaque- Pat Conroy ate at this table.  We devoured a huge slice of chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream, and bread pudding too!  Turns out many famous people had dined here, plaques galore!  We could only imagine all the stories shared at these tables for 130 years!

On Sunday, the church bells tolled continuously as we strolled the historic district, graced with charming, well-kept southern homes and gardens.  The Charleston harbor dotted with boats shimmered that day, and from a local park vista, offered a magnificent view of this city.  Our 16-hour stay was far too brief, but the promise of returning someday was clear as a bell.

Next week, we’ll be back with Savannah adventures including an encounter with one of the local ghosts.

And this will be so much more fun if we ALL share our culinary adventures, whether they be close to home or treasured memories.  BE WELL- Keep Cooking!

Laurie Caswell Burke

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Especially me!  If cheese is not on your list of favorite foods, perhaps this cheese-loving blog post will change your mind.   If I were left on a desert island with only one food choice to sustain me - it would be hands down CHEESE.  I could live on cheese, especially if paired with good bread. Fortunate for me, and the cheese connoisseurs out there, Vermont is an acknowledged national cheese leader of the American artisanal cheese renaissance. Thanks to over 50 cheese makers in our state, we have an abundance of cheese to choose from.  Our state crafts some of the world’s finest cheese, producing over 150 varieties and winning scores of awards. For our many readers who don’t live in our green mountain state, a sampling of cheeses that can be found around our state is the perfect reason to visit.

 

Bronwyn’s father, Evan Jones, published The World of Cheese in 1976. Chapter by chapter, he probes the mystery of what cheese actually is, how it is made, and explores various families of different cheeses.  Bronwyn shared with me,   “My childhood experience walking in our Manhattan neighborhood to find really good cheese culminated when I took the photographs for this seminal book of my fathers.” Cheese has delighted Bronwyn ever since. Her artisanal cheese platters, created with love and affection, are always graced with the most interesting cheeses and often the latest style from one of Vermont’s many farms like Jasper Hill, Orb Weaver, or Shelburne Farms.  Local establishments, like Healthy Living Market and Dedalus Wine Shop, offer a wide selection of Vermont and international cheeses, complete with cheese mongers to help you select the best choices for any occasion.

Close friend Catherine Donnelly, the former co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, America’s first Comprehensive academic research center devoted to artisan cheese edited the impressive Oxford Companion to Cheese in 2016.  Last fall,  Ending the War on Artisan Cheese was published and is getting rave reviews.  Cathy knows more about cheese than any one I know, and listening to her speak about cheese is a treat. In fact, this Wednesday, February 19, you can hear her speak at the Davis Auditorium at University of Vermont Medical School at 6pm on her new book.  You can register for tickets (free) by following this link.

Shelburne Farms, a beautiful treasure located on the shores of Lake Champlain, is all about cheese.   At the Welcome Center, almost an entire wall displays all sorts of interesting cheese books that you can browse while sampling their various types of cheddar made from happy cows on the farm.  Cows who have lake views from their pastures are key to the delicious award winning cheddar cheese created here.

If you are looking for an amazing grilled cheese sandwich, I have two suggestions. The Best Grilled Cheese EVER at Chef’s Corner in Williston is worth the trip.  Roasted Portobello mushrooms, Cabot cheddar, Boursin cheese, and scallions, create an amazing sandwich, served with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce.  Another favorite is the grilled cheese at Great Northern in Burlington, using local cheeses, crème fraiche, and basil, on Red Hen Bread served with tomato soup.  And at popular downtown eatery, Honey Road, the baked feta with red pepper ezme served on house-made seed bread is a must order here!

I can’t imagine a world without this immensely flavorful food, CHEESE, that when paired with a good bottle of wine and a crusty baguette offers the perfect meal.  Thanks to Evan Jones legacy and beloved professor Catherine Donnelly, for sharing their wisdom and expertise, bringing the world of cheese to life. They offer us a deeper appreciation for a food I personally cannot live without.

- Laurie Caswell Burke - 

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“Favorite Cookbook Contest” from the last blog post. And the winner is…Kelly Austin!

As I approached the last day of the farm stand that had become a frequent “go to” all summer and autumn I was at a loss. I had been seeing the bright yellow signs on the roadside that said November 24 –LAST DAY, but I was in denial. Common Roots, (www.commonroots.org) a farm stand and CSA, located off Spear Street at the intersection of Allen Road in South Burlington had become part of my weekly ritual. Where would I buy my vegetables, eggs, garlic, fresh local meat…? I also believed strongly in their mission which supports local food systems and provides food security for families and schools by fostering the relationships among farmers, educators, and the wider community.

The Friday before the pending closure for the season, my dear friend, Janet who lives in Boston made a surprise to visit to my house. I shared my disappointment with her. Her response.
“Let’s go together tomorrow and we’ll make it fun!” So off we went to Common Roots- a mile from my home to a place where farmers grow fresh organic produce in surrounding fields and also source eggs, cheese, Kombucha, meats, pickled green beans and more. It was chilly inside the charming little farm shop and there wasn’t much left on the shelves. Brown paper bags filled with Thanksgiving shares for CSA members were crowded together on a center table, waiting to be picked up. We grabbed our canvas bags and managed to fill them to the brim, as I explained to Janet that all summer and fall these shelves had been brimming local food from the fields. As we left, she patted me on the back with a you’ll be fine. Spring will return soon enough. HA! And doesn’t Vermont have Winter Farmers markets?

I imagine that many of you have felt similar feelings putting gardens to bed, bidding farewell to local farm stands and the local Farmers Markets. We have been so use to abundant locally grown food through - out the summer and autumn months, however the transition to late fall and winter isn’t always easy.

Fortunate for Vermonters there are over 18 Farmers Markets scattered around our state that offer abundant opportunities to find food, fun and much more. As December rolled in I suggested to Bronwyn that we visit our local Burlington Farmers market at the UVM Davis Center with anticipation of finding some good produce, and some ideas for holiday shopping. We found so much more. First, the parking was FREE!

And as we descended the stairs to the atrium level of the Davis Center, there was lively music playing and a wonderful array of tables filled to the brim with vegetables, cheese, coffee, hot chocolate, artisan crafts and more. Folks were having convivial conversations. This was clearly a happening place that I immediately knew I would be visiting all winter long.

We did a first blush walk through and on our second go I think we had almost parted with our money at every booth and had some special conversations with the vendors. We left with Orb Weaver Cheese, Specialty mushrooms, squash, the most beautiful eggs, kale, beets, soft cows cheese and an adorable hand carved ornament. It was so much fun. And to top it all off we shared the most delicious hot chocolate on the planet from a talented local chocolate maker.

What I found interesting was the stories these farmers and vendors shared with us. The scrumptious food and beautiful creative artisan goods reflected a sincere passion for their work. Their positive energy was contagious.

The Burlington Farmers market will run every Saturday between now and Christmas from 10am-2pm, and then once a month through April. If you live in Vermont, you can locate a Farmers Market near you by visiting -www.nofavt.org/vtfarmersmarkets or call 802-434-4122. And my sense is that wherever you live – there are options near you!

We can all continue to enjoy seasonal local food thanks to our hard -working farmers!

Last Blog’s Cookbook contest was such fun and our very first entrant, Kelly Austin, was the winner- her favorite cookbook…. Half Baked Harvest by Tieghan Gerard. Sweet little Mabon got in on the fun and picked our winner! Congratulations Kelly and enjoy your prize, Cooking for One, by Judith Jones- a treasure of a cookbook! Thank you to everyone who shared their favorites with us!

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As we begin gearing up for the holidays, I thought a little seasonal COOKBOOK fun was in order.   It’s simple too!   Post the name of your favorite cookbook or two in the comment section on this blog and you will be entered into a drawing to win a cookbook- The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones.  It’s a delightful read complete with helpful cooking tips and the recipes can be easily modified for more than one person. And if you want to add the name of your favorite recipe from that cookbook to your entry- even better! I love cookbooks!  They are constant companions in my kitchen. Over the past few decades, I have compiled three simple, spiral bound collections of recipes have been enjoyed by countless friends.  In 2004, I collaborated with two of my friends and created the third book, Atlantic, Pacific and Green Mountain Recipes. From Soup to Salmon Friends Share Favorites with Friends and Family.  My favorite of the three, complied with two  dear friends,  Anne from Boston’s south shore, and Andrea, from Seattle  shared some of our treasured recipes, from coast to coast.   Our collective friends and family have enjoyed our cookbooks - a regular “go to” for many. You can tell a lot about a person when your browse their cookbook collection.  Perhaps the largest and most diverse collection I have seen belonged to  Judith Jones’ collection  and graced the walls of every room in her NYC apartment where she had upwards of 1000 cookbooks.  In her beloved Vermont retreat Bryn Teg, shelves brim with almost as many.  After her death, a substantial portion of her collection was donated to Sterling College, located in Craftsbury Vermont-  and now able to be enjoyed by students, faculty and friends!  What a bountiful and beautiful legacy, made possible by Bronwyn Jones Dunne. As I browsed my personal cookbook collection, I discovered a 1943 edition of the Joy of Cooking tucked in a corner which hadn’t been touched in decades.  Old, worn and tattered, it is the most popular cookbook in America, but honestly compared to the current cookbooks, I find it somewhat plain and boring.  One of the United States most published cookbooks, it has been in print continuously since it was originally self published in 1936. Almost 20 million copies are in print today.  Well known books by Alice Waters, Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, Madhur Jaffrey, and Lidia Bastianich,  and an all time favorite,  Julia Childs, Mastering the Art of French Cooking…. among many more are front and center on my kitchen shelf. Recently I saw a very interesting film called Nothing Fancy, a documentary on Diana Kennedy, who is iconic for her numerous Mexican food cookbooks and influence on Mexican Cooking.  Bronwyn was the photographer for her author photo for her cookbook, The Tortilla Book in the 1980’s.  A charming and engaging film brought to Burlington by the Vermont International Film Festival, I highly recommend.   Kennedy put Mexican cooking on the map and at age 96,  is quite a character.  Vermont draws well known cookbook authors – during the past few years, Alice Waters and Jane Nathan are just a few that have visited here. Julia Child drew such a large crowd in St. Johnsbury 25 years ago that the event had to be relocated to the school gymnasium. Cookbooks today have evolved significantly over the decades.  They are often iconic and designed to be owned offering colorful and enticing photos, and text that engage you.  This new brand of cookbooks invite you to read them cover to cover, and not simply for following a recipe. Legendary Judith Jones put many of our current well known and famed cook book authors on the map because she believed in them.  We can be grateful for her ability to recognize talent and worked diligently to publish countless now well -known authors.  She penned several of her own including, Love ME Feed ME,   dedicated to her dog Mabon, and an autobiography,The Tenth Muse, as well as the aforementioned The Pleasures of Cooking for One. Earlier this fall, I traveled to Rochester Vermont for a wedding and visited one of my favorite haunts-Sandy’s Books and Bakery, an eclectic café /bookstore.  Next door they have a smaller space, The Bookery and Annex, that is brimming with an extensive used cookbook collection.  It’s worth a road trip to this sweet small Vermont town, located 50 miles south of Stowe. Peruse your cookbook collection and share with us your favorite cookbook. We will draw a name from all submissions on Monday, December 2nd, and share the list of favorites in our next Blog post. Feel free to name a favorite recipe as well. The Lost Kitchen by Erin French in on my holiday wish list.  You can never own too many cookbooks! 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Especially me!  If cheese is not on your list of favorite foods, perhaps this cheese-loving blog post will change your mind.   If I were left on a desert island with only one food choice to sustain me - it would be hands down CHEESE.  I could live on cheese, especially if paired with good bread. Fortunate for me, and the cheese connoisseurs out there, Vermont is an acknowledged national cheese leader of the American artisanal cheese renaissance. Thanks to over 50 cheese makers in our state, we have an abundance of cheese to choose from.  Our state crafts some of the world’s finest cheese, producing over 150 varieties and winning scores of awards. For our many readers who don’t live in our green mountain state, a sampling of cheeses that can be found around our state is the perfect reason to visit.

 

Bronwyn’s father, Evan Jones, published The World of Cheese in 1976. Chapter by chapter, he probes the mystery of what cheese actually is, how it is made, and explores various families of different cheeses.  Bronwyn shared with me,   “My childhood experience walking in our Manhattan neighborhood to find really good cheese culminated when I took the photographs for this seminal book of my fathers.” Cheese has delighted Bronwyn ever since. Her artisanal cheese platters, created with love and affection, are always graced with the most interesting cheeses and often the latest style from one of Vermont’s many farms like Jasper Hill, Orb Weaver, or Shelburne Farms.  Local establishments, like Healthy Living Market and Dedalus Wine Shop, offer a wide selection of Vermont and international cheeses, complete with cheese mongers to help you select the best choices for any occasion.

Close friend Catherine Donnelly, the former co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, America’s first Comprehensive academic research center devoted to artisan cheese edited the impressive Oxford Companion to Cheese in 2016.  Last fall,  Ending the War on Artisan Cheese was published and is getting rave reviews.  Cathy knows more about cheese than any one I know, and listening to her speak about cheese is a treat. In fact, this Wednesday, February 19, you can hear her speak at the Davis Auditorium at University of Vermont Medical School at 6pm on her new book.  You can register for tickets (free) by following this link.

Shelburne Farms, a beautiful treasure located on the shores of Lake Champlain, is all about cheese.   At the Welcome Center, almost an entire wall displays all sorts of interesting cheese books that you can browse while sampling their various types of cheddar made from happy cows on the farm.  Cows who have lake views from their pastures are key to the delicious award winning cheddar cheese created here.

If you are looking for an amazing grilled cheese sandwich, I have two suggestions. The Best Grilled Cheese EVER at Chef’s Corner in Williston is worth the trip.  Roasted Portobello mushrooms, Cabot cheddar, Boursin cheese, and scallions, create an amazing sandwich, served with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce.  Another favorite is the grilled cheese at Great Northern in Burlington, using local cheeses, crème fraiche, and basil, on Red Hen Bread served with tomato soup.  And at popular downtown eatery, Honey Road, the baked feta with red pepper ezme served on house-made seed bread is a must order here!

I can’t imagine a world without this immensely flavorful food, CHEESE, that when paired with a good bottle of wine and a crusty baguette offers the perfect meal.  Thanks to Evan Jones legacy and beloved professor Catherine Donnelly, for sharing their wisdom and expertise, bringing the world of cheese to life. They offer us a deeper appreciation for a food I personally cannot live without.

- Laurie Caswell Burke - 

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4 responses to “Everybody Loves Cheese”

  1. Laurie, You did it, you celelbrated artisan cheese as it should be celebrated! Thank goodness for France, the country that formed and honed my father’s love of cheese. He grew up in Minnesota where the only soft-ripened cheese was Leiderkranz, a cheese I used to call “smelly cheese” as a child.
    After falling in love with French cuisine, meals at my father’s table always included a cheese course. Moving to Vermont just as artisan cheese was beginning to be made as a value-added product, it was natural for me to enjoy and encourage my friends to try the special cheeses being made in our beloved state. None of this would have happened if Cathy Donnelly hadn’t started the Artisan Cheese Institute at UVM, so don’t miss her talk at the Davis Center on Weds, Feb. 19th
    .

  2. Laurie says:

    Bronwyn- It was my pleasure and thank you for adding more lovely memories of your father and you and your early connection to cheese. My father loved that too and I HATED the smell and called it “smelly cheese too! Stay tuned folks as next month we will be exploring the wonderful world of BREAD! And Cathy’s talk will be well worth it but you need to register- see link on the blog post!

  3. Wonderful article Laurie — my tastebuds are craving more aged extra sharp cheddar cheese from Vermont/Shelburne Farms — and a walk! Cheese — such a social and at the same time — comfort food! So many memories of gatherings arise..fondue at Melinda’s, Raclette at Bea’s …and your inspiring article brought back memories of cheese tours … Parmigiana Reggiano in Italy and Gruyere in Switzerland. Thank you!

    • Laurie says:

      Anne, thank you for this lovely sentimental post and for sharing the countless memories cheese evokes. It IS a social food. We have shared countless cheese, cracker/bread and wine adventures together and look forward to many more. I was just at Shelburne Farms sampling their amazing cheese after a lovely walk by the lake!

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Love food? Love Farmers!

“Favorite Cookbook Contest” from the last blog post. And the winner is…Kelly Austin!

As I approached the last day of the farm stand that had become a frequent “go to” all summer and autumn I was at a loss. I had been seeing the bright yellow signs on the roadside that said November 24 –LAST DAY, but I was in denial. Common Roots, (www.commonroots.org) a farm stand and CSA, located off Spear Street at the intersection of Allen Road in South Burlington had become part of my weekly ritual. Where would I buy my vegetables, eggs, garlic, fresh local meat…? I also believed strongly in their mission which supports local food systems and provides food security for families and schools by fostering the relationships among farmers, educators, and the wider community.

The Friday before the pending closure for the season, my dear friend, Janet who lives in Boston made a surprise to visit to my house. I shared my disappointment with her. Her response.
“Let’s go together tomorrow and we’ll make it fun!” So off we went to Common Roots- a mile from my home to a place where farmers grow fresh organic produce in surrounding fields and also source eggs, cheese, Kombucha, meats, pickled green beans and more. It was chilly inside the charming little farm shop and there wasn’t much left on the shelves. Brown paper bags filled with Thanksgiving shares for CSA members were crowded together on a center table, waiting to be picked up. We grabbed our canvas bags and managed to fill them to the brim, as I explained to Janet that all summer and fall these shelves had been brimming local food from the fields. As we left, she patted me on the back with a you’ll be fine. Spring will return soon enough. HA! And doesn’t Vermont have Winter Farmers markets?

I imagine that many of you have felt similar feelings putting gardens to bed, bidding farewell to local farm stands and the local Farmers Markets. We have been so use to abundant locally grown food through – out the summer and autumn months, however the transition to late fall and winter isn’t always easy.

Fortunate for Vermonters there are over 18 Farmers Markets scattered around our state that offer abundant opportunities to find food, fun and much more. As December rolled in I suggested to Bronwyn that we visit our local Burlington Farmers market at the UVM Davis Center with anticipation of finding some good produce, and some ideas for holiday shopping. We found so much more. First, the parking was FREE!

And as we descended the stairs to the atrium level of the Davis Center, there was lively music playing and a wonderful array of tables filled to the brim with vegetables, cheese, coffee, hot chocolate, artisan crafts and more. Folks were having convivial conversations. This was clearly a happening place that I immediately knew I would be visiting all winter long.

We did a first blush walk through and on our second go I think we had almost parted with our money at every booth and had some special conversations with the vendors. We left with Orb Weaver Cheese, Specialty mushrooms, squash, the most beautiful eggs, kale, beets, soft cows cheese and an adorable hand carved ornament. It was so much fun. And to top it all off we shared the most delicious hot chocolate on the planet from a talented local chocolate maker.

What I found interesting was the stories these farmers and vendors shared with us. The scrumptious food and beautiful creative artisan goods reflected a sincere passion for their work. Their positive energy was contagious.

The Burlington Farmers market will run every Saturday between now and Christmas from 10am-2pm, and then once a month through April. If you live in Vermont, you can locate a Farmers Market near you by visiting -www.nofavt.org/vtfarmersmarkets or call 802-434-4122. And my sense is that wherever you live – there are options near you!

We can all continue to enjoy seasonal local food thanks to our hard -working farmers!

Last Blog’s Cookbook contest was such fun and our very first entrant, Kelly Austin, was the winner- her favorite cookbook…. Half Baked Harvest by Tieghan Gerard. Sweet little Mabon got in on the fun and picked our winner! Congratulations Kelly and enjoy your prize, Cooking for One, by Judith Jones- a treasure of a cookbook! Thank you to everyone who shared their favorites with us!

Posted: 12-15-2019

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Savannah - An Eclectic City with Southern Charm

After I read the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in 1994, I became enchanted with Savannah, Georgia. This non-fiction novel, where a prominent antique dealer named Jim Williams murders his male prostitute lover, Danny Hansford, intrigued me, as did characters like Lady Chablis. I went to the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, in 1997, where scenes of Savannah captivated me.  Would I actually meet any of these people if I visited?   During our brief two day stay here, instead, we met one of the local ghosts. 

This historic city, with manicured parks, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved antebellum architecture, does not disappoint.  Behind the stately facades of the southern mansions, you sense the eccentricity and life rascals who live amongst the proper society folk. Students who attend Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have livened this city with energy and creativity, and many say saved it from ruin, by infusing life back in.

Forsyth Park constitutes 30 acres in the middle of the historic district.  It is shaded by Spanish moss-covered oak trees and bustles with activity on a Sunday afternoon. The iconic water fountain in the center is beautiful to enjoy, while sitting on one of the many benches.

Savannah is a walkable city, with 26 distinct squares, each with historic monuments.  Fountains and manicured landscapes comprise the historic district.  Our hosts at the charming Bed and Breakfast, Inn on West Liberty, suggested an open air “on and off” trolley tour, which offered stops at many of these squares, churches, and river street.  Our driver regaled historic facts and tales of the city with humor. 

We shared dinner with our B and B hosts, Patty and Susan, at The Olde Pink House, the most famous restaurant in Savannah.  A beautiful shade of pink stucco, this Georgian mansion was built in 1771 for James Habersham Jr., one of Savannah’s founding family members, and early cotton factors.  With 13 dining rooms served by one kitchen, this place bustles.  The corn bread fried oysters with green goddess sauce were divine.

While we are resigned to our homes and walking six feet apart outside walks, I am keenly aware that many people are finding creative ways to cope.  Many friends have shared photos of past experiences and travels, as they have more time in their days to reminisce and reflect.  We are cooking, de-cluttering, and connecting with each other in different ways these days.  We hope that by sharing our recent travel adventures, we will inspire you to think about your own, and offer hope and gratitude in these challenging times.

There is so much beauty in our world.

-Laurie Caswell Burke

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Sharing a fun southern culinary adventure  

Our lives feel in limbo, with many uncertainties, making our situations unlike anything we have experienced before.   Finding ways to stay connected and maintain some sense of calm, humor and positivity is vital.  If we can’t get out of our current confined reality, let’s try to nurture ourselves and share some of our memorable experiences- a great form of escape!

For ITKWB, we hope to continue to engage you in culinary delights, with hopes that you might reminisce on your own.  To off-set cabin fever, we hope that connecting with each other this way might help.

So, why write about a fun southern road trip sampling authentic and scrumptious southern local food in times like this?  Because our lives now have created more space and time to share special moments.    

I’m hoping that our blog will offer a fun and comforting distraction.  Perhaps it will inspire you to recall your own travel and culinary adventures.   Share them with us.  We promise to share ours in the coming months!

Our two- week adventure began with adopting a “Thelma and Louise”-with-a-happy-ending mantra and a promise to enjoy as much local fare as possible on our travels - Destination Boca Grande, Florida. Many thought Bronwyn and I were completely crazy to drive.  We drove anyway. And had some pretty interesting stops along the way. 

Our trip took us to three beautiful historic cities, Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Alexandria, VA. We sampled the local food and experienced aspects of the culture and people who reside there. Somehow, with a dose of serendipity, we managed to arrive at each place at sunset, enjoying hues of pink, orange and even deep red, offering a good omen.  And dinner soon!

Charleston’s scrumptious southern food scene does not disappoint.  Combined with the warmth, spirit, architecture and fascinating history, it’s a lovely city all around.  We ate at 82 Queen, nestled in Charleston’s historic French Quarter and known for its gracious Southern hospitality and fresh local cuisine.  I tried a specialty - their award winning, She Crab Soup, rich with flavor and well worth the calories.  We shared two plates of succulent fried oysters on a bed of lettuce with a spicy aioli sauce. Our waitress was engaging and fun. Sitting at the bar chatting up the locals added to our experience.

For dessert, we decided to try a new spot, strolling down Meeting Road, a lively street, in search of pecan pie!  We stumbled into Hyman’s Seafood, established in 1890, and voted the best seafood in the Southeast for eight years.  The friendly host at the door convinced us that this was the place to have dessert.  We were led through a sprawl of rooms and seated at a table that had a brass plaque- Pat Conroy ate at this table.  We devoured a huge slice of chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream, and bread pudding too!  Turns out many famous people had dined here, plaques galore!  We could only imagine all the stories shared at these tables for 130 years!

On Sunday, the church bells tolled continuously as we strolled the historic district, graced with charming, well-kept southern homes and gardens.  The Charleston harbor dotted with boats shimmered that day, and from a local park vista, offered a magnificent view of this city.  Our 16-hour stay was far too brief, but the promise of returning someday was clear as a bell.

Next week, we’ll be back with Savannah adventures including an encounter with one of the local ghosts.

And this will be so much more fun if we ALL share our culinary adventures, whether they be close to home or treasured memories.  BE WELL- Keep Cooking!

Laurie Caswell Burke

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Especially me!  If cheese is not on your list of favorite foods, perhaps this cheese-loving blog post will change your mind.   If I were left on a desert island with only one food choice to sustain me - it would be hands down CHEESE.  I could live on cheese, especially if paired with good bread. Fortunate for me, and the cheese connoisseurs out there, Vermont is an acknowledged national cheese leader of the American artisanal cheese renaissance. Thanks to over 50 cheese makers in our state, we have an abundance of cheese to choose from.  Our state crafts some of the world’s finest cheese, producing over 150 varieties and winning scores of awards. For our many readers who don’t live in our green mountain state, a sampling of cheeses that can be found around our state is the perfect reason to visit.

 

Bronwyn’s father, Evan Jones, published The World of Cheese in 1976. Chapter by chapter, he probes the mystery of what cheese actually is, how it is made, and explores various families of different cheeses.  Bronwyn shared with me,   “My childhood experience walking in our Manhattan neighborhood to find really good cheese culminated when I took the photographs for this seminal book of my fathers.” Cheese has delighted Bronwyn ever since. Her artisanal cheese platters, created with love and affection, are always graced with the most interesting cheeses and often the latest style from one of Vermont’s many farms like Jasper Hill, Orb Weaver, or Shelburne Farms.  Local establishments, like Healthy Living Market and Dedalus Wine Shop, offer a wide selection of Vermont and international cheeses, complete with cheese mongers to help you select the best choices for any occasion.

Close friend Catherine Donnelly, the former co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, America’s first Comprehensive academic research center devoted to artisan cheese edited the impressive Oxford Companion to Cheese in 2016.  Last fall,  Ending the War on Artisan Cheese was published and is getting rave reviews.  Cathy knows more about cheese than any one I know, and listening to her speak about cheese is a treat. In fact, this Wednesday, February 19, you can hear her speak at the Davis Auditorium at University of Vermont Medical School at 6pm on her new book.  You can register for tickets (free) by following this link.

Shelburne Farms, a beautiful treasure located on the shores of Lake Champlain, is all about cheese.   At the Welcome Center, almost an entire wall displays all sorts of interesting cheese books that you can browse while sampling their various types of cheddar made from happy cows on the farm.  Cows who have lake views from their pastures are key to the delicious award winning cheddar cheese created here.

If you are looking for an amazing grilled cheese sandwich, I have two suggestions. The Best Grilled Cheese EVER at Chef’s Corner in Williston is worth the trip.  Roasted Portobello mushrooms, Cabot cheddar, Boursin cheese, and scallions, create an amazing sandwich, served with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce.  Another favorite is the grilled cheese at Great Northern in Burlington, using local cheeses, crème fraiche, and basil, on Red Hen Bread served with tomato soup.  And at popular downtown eatery, Honey Road, the baked feta with red pepper ezme served on house-made seed bread is a must order here!

I can’t imagine a world without this immensely flavorful food, CHEESE, that when paired with a good bottle of wine and a crusty baguette offers the perfect meal.  Thanks to Evan Jones legacy and beloved professor Catherine Donnelly, for sharing their wisdom and expertise, bringing the world of cheese to life. They offer us a deeper appreciation for a food I personally cannot live without.

- Laurie Caswell Burke - 

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“Favorite Cookbook Contest” from the last blog post. And the winner is…Kelly Austin!

As I approached the last day of the farm stand that had become a frequent “go to” all summer and autumn I was at a loss. I had been seeing the bright yellow signs on the roadside that said November 24 –LAST DAY, but I was in denial. Common Roots, (www.commonroots.org) a farm stand and CSA, located off Spear Street at the intersection of Allen Road in South Burlington had become part of my weekly ritual. Where would I buy my vegetables, eggs, garlic, fresh local meat…? I also believed strongly in their mission which supports local food systems and provides food security for families and schools by fostering the relationships among farmers, educators, and the wider community.

The Friday before the pending closure for the season, my dear friend, Janet who lives in Boston made a surprise to visit to my house. I shared my disappointment with her. Her response.
“Let’s go together tomorrow and we’ll make it fun!” So off we went to Common Roots- a mile from my home to a place where farmers grow fresh organic produce in surrounding fields and also source eggs, cheese, Kombucha, meats, pickled green beans and more. It was chilly inside the charming little farm shop and there wasn’t much left on the shelves. Brown paper bags filled with Thanksgiving shares for CSA members were crowded together on a center table, waiting to be picked up. We grabbed our canvas bags and managed to fill them to the brim, as I explained to Janet that all summer and fall these shelves had been brimming local food from the fields. As we left, she patted me on the back with a you’ll be fine. Spring will return soon enough. HA! And doesn’t Vermont have Winter Farmers markets?

I imagine that many of you have felt similar feelings putting gardens to bed, bidding farewell to local farm stands and the local Farmers Markets. We have been so use to abundant locally grown food through - out the summer and autumn months, however the transition to late fall and winter isn’t always easy.

Fortunate for Vermonters there are over 18 Farmers Markets scattered around our state that offer abundant opportunities to find food, fun and much more. As December rolled in I suggested to Bronwyn that we visit our local Burlington Farmers market at the UVM Davis Center with anticipation of finding some good produce, and some ideas for holiday shopping. We found so much more. First, the parking was FREE!

And as we descended the stairs to the atrium level of the Davis Center, there was lively music playing and a wonderful array of tables filled to the brim with vegetables, cheese, coffee, hot chocolate, artisan crafts and more. Folks were having convivial conversations. This was clearly a happening place that I immediately knew I would be visiting all winter long.

We did a first blush walk through and on our second go I think we had almost parted with our money at every booth and had some special conversations with the vendors. We left with Orb Weaver Cheese, Specialty mushrooms, squash, the most beautiful eggs, kale, beets, soft cows cheese and an adorable hand carved ornament. It was so much fun. And to top it all off we shared the most delicious hot chocolate on the planet from a talented local chocolate maker.

What I found interesting was the stories these farmers and vendors shared with us. The scrumptious food and beautiful creative artisan goods reflected a sincere passion for their work. Their positive energy was contagious.

The Burlington Farmers market will run every Saturday between now and Christmas from 10am-2pm, and then once a month through April. If you live in Vermont, you can locate a Farmers Market near you by visiting -www.nofavt.org/vtfarmersmarkets or call 802-434-4122. And my sense is that wherever you live – there are options near you!

We can all continue to enjoy seasonal local food thanks to our hard -working farmers!

Last Blog’s Cookbook contest was such fun and our very first entrant, Kelly Austin, was the winner- her favorite cookbook…. Half Baked Harvest by Tieghan Gerard. Sweet little Mabon got in on the fun and picked our winner! Congratulations Kelly and enjoy your prize, Cooking for One, by Judith Jones- a treasure of a cookbook! Thank you to everyone who shared their favorites with us!

" ["post_title"]=> string(24) "Love food? Love Farmers!" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(22) "love-food-love-farmers" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-12-15 17:46:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-15 21:46:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/?p=5278" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#1210 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5229) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-11-18 18:58:50" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-11-18 22:58:50" ["post_content"]=> string(6990) " Who doesn’t own a cookbook?  In the age of social media,  one click can find you countless recipes from a wide range of sites including popular FOOD52, Epicurious, Allrecipes, Food Network, and Vermont based Eating Well.  I’ve also discovered clever named sites  like, Yummly,  Chowhound, and Spoonful.  Locating the perfect recipe from any one of these websites and others can be extremely helpful when you don’t have time to peruse your cookbook collection. These days people are on the go, and search on-line for finding almost everything.   However, despite the ease of on-line perfectly suitable recipes, which have a place in today’s world, I believe that there is always room for cookbooks. As we begin gearing up for the holidays, I thought a little seasonal COOKBOOK fun was in order.   It’s simple too!   Post the name of your favorite cookbook or two in the comment section on this blog and you will be entered into a drawing to win a cookbook- The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones.  It’s a delightful read complete with helpful cooking tips and the recipes can be easily modified for more than one person. And if you want to add the name of your favorite recipe from that cookbook to your entry- even better! I love cookbooks!  They are constant companions in my kitchen. Over the past few decades, I have compiled three simple, spiral bound collections of recipes have been enjoyed by countless friends.  In 2004, I collaborated with two of my friends and created the third book, Atlantic, Pacific and Green Mountain Recipes. From Soup to Salmon Friends Share Favorites with Friends and Family.  My favorite of the three, complied with two  dear friends,  Anne from Boston’s south shore, and Andrea, from Seattle  shared some of our treasured recipes, from coast to coast.   Our collective friends and family have enjoyed our cookbooks - a regular “go to” for many. You can tell a lot about a person when your browse their cookbook collection.  Perhaps the largest and most diverse collection I have seen belonged to  Judith Jones’ collection  and graced the walls of every room in her NYC apartment where she had upwards of 1000 cookbooks.  In her beloved Vermont retreat Bryn Teg, shelves brim with almost as many.  After her death, a substantial portion of her collection was donated to Sterling College, located in Craftsbury Vermont-  and now able to be enjoyed by students, faculty and friends!  What a bountiful and beautiful legacy, made possible by Bronwyn Jones Dunne. As I browsed my personal cookbook collection, I discovered a 1943 edition of the Joy of Cooking tucked in a corner which hadn’t been touched in decades.  Old, worn and tattered, it is the most popular cookbook in America, but honestly compared to the current cookbooks, I find it somewhat plain and boring.  One of the United States most published cookbooks, it has been in print continuously since it was originally self published in 1936. Almost 20 million copies are in print today.  Well known books by Alice Waters, Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, Madhur Jaffrey, and Lidia Bastianich,  and an all time favorite,  Julia Childs, Mastering the Art of French Cooking…. among many more are front and center on my kitchen shelf. Recently I saw a very interesting film called Nothing Fancy, a documentary on Diana Kennedy, who is iconic for her numerous Mexican food cookbooks and influence on Mexican Cooking.  Bronwyn was the photographer for her author photo for her cookbook, The Tortilla Book in the 1980’s.  A charming and engaging film brought to Burlington by the Vermont International Film Festival, I highly recommend.   Kennedy put Mexican cooking on the map and at age 96,  is quite a character.  Vermont draws well known cookbook authors – during the past few years, Alice Waters and Jane Nathan are just a few that have visited here. Julia Child drew such a large crowd in St. Johnsbury 25 years ago that the event had to be relocated to the school gymnasium. Cookbooks today have evolved significantly over the decades.  They are often iconic and designed to be owned offering colorful and enticing photos, and text that engage you.  This new brand of cookbooks invite you to read them cover to cover, and not simply for following a recipe. Legendary Judith Jones put many of our current well known and famed cook book authors on the map because she believed in them.  We can be grateful for her ability to recognize talent and worked diligently to publish countless now well -known authors.  She penned several of her own including, Love ME Feed ME,   dedicated to her dog Mabon, and an autobiography,The Tenth Muse, as well as the aforementioned The Pleasures of Cooking for One. Earlier this fall, I traveled to Rochester Vermont for a wedding and visited one of my favorite haunts-Sandy’s Books and Bakery, an eclectic café /bookstore.  Next door they have a smaller space, The Bookery and Annex, that is brimming with an extensive used cookbook collection.  It’s worth a road trip to this sweet small Vermont town, located 50 miles south of Stowe. Peruse your cookbook collection and share with us your favorite cookbook. We will draw a name from all submissions on Monday, December 2nd, and share the list of favorites in our next Blog post. Feel free to name a favorite recipe as well. The Lost Kitchen by Erin French in on my holiday wish list.  You can never own too many cookbooks! Laurie Caswell Burke" ["post_title"]=> string(23) "Our Treasured Cookbooks" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(23) "our-treasured-cookbooks" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-11-29 08:35:57" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-11-29 12:35:57" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/?p=5229" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(2) "18" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(5) ["current_post"]=> int(3) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(true) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#1129 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5278) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "9" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-12-15 13:53:50" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-15 17:53:50" ["post_content"]=> string(6669) "

“Favorite Cookbook Contest” from the last blog post. And the winner is…Kelly Austin!

As I approached the last day of the farm stand that had become a frequent “go to” all summer and autumn I was at a loss. I had been seeing the bright yellow signs on the roadside that said November 24 –LAST DAY, but I was in denial. Common Roots, (www.commonroots.org) a farm stand and CSA, located off Spear Street at the intersection of Allen Road in South Burlington had become part of my weekly ritual. Where would I buy my vegetables, eggs, garlic, fresh local meat…? I also believed strongly in their mission which supports local food systems and provides food security for families and schools by fostering the relationships among farmers, educators, and the wider community.

The Friday before the pending closure for the season, my dear friend, Janet who lives in Boston made a surprise to visit to my house. I shared my disappointment with her. Her response.
“Let’s go together tomorrow and we’ll make it fun!” So off we went to Common Roots- a mile from my home to a place where farmers grow fresh organic produce in surrounding fields and also source eggs, cheese, Kombucha, meats, pickled green beans and more. It was chilly inside the charming little farm shop and there wasn’t much left on the shelves. Brown paper bags filled with Thanksgiving shares for CSA members were crowded together on a center table, waiting to be picked up. We grabbed our canvas bags and managed to fill them to the brim, as I explained to Janet that all summer and fall these shelves had been brimming local food from the fields. As we left, she patted me on the back with a you’ll be fine. Spring will return soon enough. HA! And doesn’t Vermont have Winter Farmers markets?

I imagine that many of you have felt similar feelings putting gardens to bed, bidding farewell to local farm stands and the local Farmers Markets. We have been so use to abundant locally grown food through - out the summer and autumn months, however the transition to late fall and winter isn’t always easy.

Fortunate for Vermonters there are over 18 Farmers Markets scattered around our state that offer abundant opportunities to find food, fun and much more. As December rolled in I suggested to Bronwyn that we visit our local Burlington Farmers market at the UVM Davis Center with anticipation of finding some good produce, and some ideas for holiday shopping. We found so much more. First, the parking was FREE!

And as we descended the stairs to the atrium level of the Davis Center, there was lively music playing and a wonderful array of tables filled to the brim with vegetables, cheese, coffee, hot chocolate, artisan crafts and more. Folks were having convivial conversations. This was clearly a happening place that I immediately knew I would be visiting all winter long.

We did a first blush walk through and on our second go I think we had almost parted with our money at every booth and had some special conversations with the vendors. We left with Orb Weaver Cheese, Specialty mushrooms, squash, the most beautiful eggs, kale, beets, soft cows cheese and an adorable hand carved ornament. It was so much fun. And to top it all off we shared the most delicious hot chocolate on the planet from a talented local chocolate maker.

What I found interesting was the stories these farmers and vendors shared with us. The scrumptious food and beautiful creative artisan goods reflected a sincere passion for their work. Their positive energy was contagious.

The Burlington Farmers market will run every Saturday between now and Christmas from 10am-2pm, and then once a month through April. If you live in Vermont, you can locate a Farmers Market near you by visiting -www.nofavt.org/vtfarmersmarkets or call 802-434-4122. And my sense is that wherever you live – there are options near you!

We can all continue to enjoy seasonal local food thanks to our hard -working farmers!

Last Blog’s Cookbook contest was such fun and our very first entrant, Kelly Austin, was the winner- her favorite cookbook…. Half Baked Harvest by Tieghan Gerard. Sweet little Mabon got in on the fun and picked our winner! Congratulations Kelly and enjoy your prize, Cooking for One, by Judith Jones- a treasure of a cookbook! Thank you to everyone who shared their favorites with us!

" ["post_title"]=> string(24) "Love food? Love Farmers!" 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Thank goodness for France, the country that formed and honed my father's love of cheese. He grew up in Minnesota where the only soft-ripened cheese was Leiderkranz, a cheese I used to call "smelly cheese" as a child. After falling in love with French cuisine, meals at my father's table always included a cheese course. Moving to Vermont just as artisan cheese was beginning to be made as a value-added product, it was natural for me to enjoy and encourage my friends to try the special cheeses being made in our beloved state. None of this would have happened if Cathy Donnelly hadn't started the Artisan Cheese Institute at UVM, so don't miss her talk at the Davis Center on Weds, Feb. 19th ." 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My father loved that too and I HATED the smell and called it "smelly cheese too! Stay tuned folks as next month we will be exploring the wonderful world of BREAD! And Cathy's talk will be well worth it but you need to register- see link on the blog post!" 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Cheese — such a social and at the same time — comfort food! So many memories of gatherings arise..fondue at Melinda’s, Raclette at Bea’s ...and your inspiring article brought back memories of cheese tours ... Parmigiana Reggiano in Italy and Gruyere in Switzerland. Thank you!" 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We have shared countless cheese, cracker/bread and wine adventures together and look forward to many more. I was just at Shelburne Farms sampling their amazing cheese after a lovely walk by the lake!" 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It IS a social food. We have shared countless cheese, cracker/bread and wine adventures together and look forward to many more. I was just at Shelburne Farms sampling their amazing cheese after a lovely walk by the lake!" 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Thank goodness for France, the country that formed and honed my father's love of cheese. He grew up in Minnesota where the only soft-ripened cheese was Leiderkranz, a cheese I used to call "smelly cheese" as a child. After falling in love with French cuisine, meals at my father's table always included a cheese course. Moving to Vermont just as artisan cheese was beginning to be made as a value-added product, it was natural for me to enjoy and encourage my friends to try the special cheeses being made in our beloved state. None of this would have happened if Cathy Donnelly hadn't started the Artisan Cheese Institute at UVM, so don't miss her talk at the Davis Center on Weds, Feb. 19th ." 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My father loved that too and I HATED the smell and called it "smelly cheese too! Stay tuned folks as next month we will be exploring the wonderful world of BREAD! And Cathy's talk will be well worth it but you need to register- see link on the blog post!" 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Cheese — such a social and at the same time — comfort food! So many memories of gatherings arise..fondue at Melinda’s, Raclette at Bea’s ...and your inspiring article brought back memories of cheese tours ... Parmigiana Reggiano in Italy and Gruyere in Switzerland. Thank you!" 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We have shared countless cheese, cracker/bread and wine adventures together and look forward to many more. I was just at Shelburne Farms sampling their amazing cheese after a lovely walk by the lake!" 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It IS a social food. We have shared countless cheese, cracker/bread and wine adventures together and look forward to many more. I was just at Shelburne Farms sampling their amazing cheese after a lovely walk by the lake!" 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Our Treasured Cookbooks

Who doesn’t own a cookbook?  In the age of social media,  one click can find you countless recipes from a wide range of sites including popular FOOD52, Epicurious, Allrecipes, Food Network, and Vermont based Eating Well.  I’ve also discovered clever named sites  like, Yummly,  Chowhound, and Spoonful.  Locating the perfect recipe from any one of these websites and others can be extremely helpful when you don’t have time to peruse your cookbook collection. These days people are on the go, and search on-line for finding almost everything.   However, despite the ease of on-line perfectly suitable recipes, which have a place in today’s world, I believe that there is always room for cookbooks.

As we begin gearing up for the holidays, I thought a little seasonal COOKBOOK fun was in order.   It’s simple too!   Post the name of your favorite cookbook or two in the comment section on this blog and you will be entered into a drawing to win a cookbook- The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones.  It’s a delightful read complete with helpful cooking tips and the recipes can be easily modified for more than one person. And if you want to add the name of your favorite recipe from that cookbook to your entry- even better!

I love cookbooks!  They are constant companions in my kitchen. Over the past few decades, I have compiled three simple, spiral bound collections of recipes have been enjoyed by countless friends.  In 2004, I collaborated with two of my friends and created the third book, Atlantic, Pacific and Green Mountain Recipes. From Soup to Salmon Friends Share Favorites with Friends and Family.  My favorite of the three, complied with two  dear friends,  Anne from Boston’s south shore, and Andrea, from Seattle  shared some of our treasured recipes, from coast to coast.   Our collective friends and family have enjoyed our cookbooks – a regular “go to” for many.

You can tell a lot about a person when your browse their cookbook collection.  Perhaps the largest and most diverse collection I have seen belonged to  Judith Jones’ collection  and graced the walls of every room in her NYC apartment where she had upwards of 1000 cookbooks.  In her beloved Vermont retreat Bryn Teg, shelves brim with almost as many.  After her death, a substantial portion of her collection was donated to Sterling College, located in Craftsbury Vermont-  and now able to be enjoyed by students, faculty and friends!  What a bountiful and beautiful legacy, made possible by Bronwyn Jones Dunne.

As I browsed my personal cookbook collection, I discovered a 1943 edition of the Joy of Cooking tucked in a corner which hadn’t been touched in decades.  Old, worn and tattered, it is the most popular cookbook in America, but honestly compared to the current cookbooks, I find it somewhat plain and boring.  One of the United States most published cookbooks, it has been in print continuously since it was originally self published in 1936. Almost 20 million copies are in print today.  Well known books by Alice Waters, Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, Madhur Jaffrey, and Lidia Bastianich,  and an all time favorite,  Julia Childs, Mastering the Art of French Cooking…. among many more are front and center on my kitchen shelf.

Recently I saw a very interesting film called Nothing Fancy, a documentary on Diana Kennedy, who is iconic for her numerous Mexican food cookbooks and influence on Mexican Cooking.  Bronwyn was the photographer for her author photo for her cookbook, The Tortilla Book in the 1980’s.  A charming and engaging film brought to Burlington by the Vermont International Film Festival, I highly recommend.   Kennedy put Mexican cooking on the map and at age 96,  is quite a character.  Vermont draws well known cookbook authors – during the past few years, Alice Waters and Jane Nathan are just a few that have visited here. Julia Child drew such a large crowd in St. Johnsbury 25 years ago that the event had to be relocated to the school gymnasium.

Cookbooks today have evolved significantly over the decades.  They are often iconic and designed to be owned offering colorful and enticing photos, and text that engage you.  This new brand of cookbooks invite you to read them cover to cover, and not simply for following a recipe.

Legendary Judith Jones put many of our current well known and famed cook book authors on the map because she believed in them.  We can be grateful for her ability to recognize talent and worked diligently to publish countless now well -known authors.  She penned several of her own including, Love ME Feed ME,   dedicated to her dog Mabon, and an autobiography,The Tenth Muse, as well as the aforementioned The Pleasures of Cooking for One.

Earlier this fall, I traveled to Rochester Vermont for a wedding and visited one of my favorite haunts-Sandy’s Books and Bakery, an eclectic café /bookstore.  Next door they have a smaller space, The Bookery and Annex, that is brimming with an extensive used cookbook collection.  It’s worth a road trip to this sweet small Vermont town, located 50 miles south of Stowe.

Peruse your cookbook collection and share with us your favorite cookbook. We will draw a name from all submissions on Monday, December 2nd, and share the list of favorites in our next Blog post. Feel free to name a favorite recipe as well.

The Lost Kitchen by Erin French in on my holiday wish list.  You can never own too many cookbooks!

Laurie Caswell Burke

Posted: 11-18-2019

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Savannah - An Eclectic City with Southern Charm

After I read the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in 1994, I became enchanted with Savannah, Georgia. This non-fiction novel, where a prominent antique dealer named Jim Williams murders his male prostitute lover, Danny Hansford, intrigued me, as did characters like Lady Chablis. I went to the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, in 1997, where scenes of Savannah captivated me.  Would I actually meet any of these people if I visited?   During our brief two day stay here, instead, we met one of the local ghosts. 

This historic city, with manicured parks, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved antebellum architecture, does not disappoint.  Behind the stately facades of the southern mansions, you sense the eccentricity and life rascals who live amongst the proper society folk. Students who attend Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have livened this city with energy and creativity, and many say saved it from ruin, by infusing life back in.

Forsyth Park constitutes 30 acres in the middle of the historic district.  It is shaded by Spanish moss-covered oak trees and bustles with activity on a Sunday afternoon. The iconic water fountain in the center is beautiful to enjoy, while sitting on one of the many benches.

Savannah is a walkable city, with 26 distinct squares, each with historic monuments.  Fountains and manicured landscapes comprise the historic district.  Our hosts at the charming Bed and Breakfast, Inn on West Liberty, suggested an open air “on and off” trolley tour, which offered stops at many of these squares, churches, and river street.  Our driver regaled historic facts and tales of the city with humor. 

We shared dinner with our B and B hosts, Patty and Susan, at The Olde Pink House, the most famous restaurant in Savannah.  A beautiful shade of pink stucco, this Georgian mansion was built in 1771 for James Habersham Jr., one of Savannah’s founding family members, and early cotton factors.  With 13 dining rooms served by one kitchen, this place bustles.  The corn bread fried oysters with green goddess sauce were divine.

While we are resigned to our homes and walking six feet apart outside walks, I am keenly aware that many people are finding creative ways to cope.  Many friends have shared photos of past experiences and travels, as they have more time in their days to reminisce and reflect.  We are cooking, de-cluttering, and connecting with each other in different ways these days.  We hope that by sharing our recent travel adventures, we will inspire you to think about your own, and offer hope and gratitude in these challenging times.

There is so much beauty in our world.

-Laurie Caswell Burke

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Sharing a fun southern culinary adventure  

Our lives feel in limbo, with many uncertainties, making our situations unlike anything we have experienced before.   Finding ways to stay connected and maintain some sense of calm, humor and positivity is vital.  If we can’t get out of our current confined reality, let’s try to nurture ourselves and share some of our memorable experiences- a great form of escape!

For ITKWB, we hope to continue to engage you in culinary delights, with hopes that you might reminisce on your own.  To off-set cabin fever, we hope that connecting with each other this way might help.

So, why write about a fun southern road trip sampling authentic and scrumptious southern local food in times like this?  Because our lives now have created more space and time to share special moments.    

I’m hoping that our blog will offer a fun and comforting distraction.  Perhaps it will inspire you to recall your own travel and culinary adventures.   Share them with us.  We promise to share ours in the coming months!

Our two- week adventure began with adopting a “Thelma and Louise”-with-a-happy-ending mantra and a promise to enjoy as much local fare as possible on our travels - Destination Boca Grande, Florida. Many thought Bronwyn and I were completely crazy to drive.  We drove anyway. And had some pretty interesting stops along the way. 

Our trip took us to three beautiful historic cities, Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Alexandria, VA. We sampled the local food and experienced aspects of the culture and people who reside there. Somehow, with a dose of serendipity, we managed to arrive at each place at sunset, enjoying hues of pink, orange and even deep red, offering a good omen.  And dinner soon!

Charleston’s scrumptious southern food scene does not disappoint.  Combined with the warmth, spirit, architecture and fascinating history, it’s a lovely city all around.  We ate at 82 Queen, nestled in Charleston’s historic French Quarter and known for its gracious Southern hospitality and fresh local cuisine.  I tried a specialty - their award winning, She Crab Soup, rich with flavor and well worth the calories.  We shared two plates of succulent fried oysters on a bed of lettuce with a spicy aioli sauce. Our waitress was engaging and fun. Sitting at the bar chatting up the locals added to our experience.

For dessert, we decided to try a new spot, strolling down Meeting Road, a lively street, in search of pecan pie!  We stumbled into Hyman’s Seafood, established in 1890, and voted the best seafood in the Southeast for eight years.  The friendly host at the door convinced us that this was the place to have dessert.  We were led through a sprawl of rooms and seated at a table that had a brass plaque- Pat Conroy ate at this table.  We devoured a huge slice of chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream, and bread pudding too!  Turns out many famous people had dined here, plaques galore!  We could only imagine all the stories shared at these tables for 130 years!

On Sunday, the church bells tolled continuously as we strolled the historic district, graced with charming, well-kept southern homes and gardens.  The Charleston harbor dotted with boats shimmered that day, and from a local park vista, offered a magnificent view of this city.  Our 16-hour stay was far too brief, but the promise of returning someday was clear as a bell.

Next week, we’ll be back with Savannah adventures including an encounter with one of the local ghosts.

And this will be so much more fun if we ALL share our culinary adventures, whether they be close to home or treasured memories.  BE WELL- Keep Cooking!

Laurie Caswell Burke

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Especially me!  If cheese is not on your list of favorite foods, perhaps this cheese-loving blog post will change your mind.   If I were left on a desert island with only one food choice to sustain me - it would be hands down CHEESE.  I could live on cheese, especially if paired with good bread. Fortunate for me, and the cheese connoisseurs out there, Vermont is an acknowledged national cheese leader of the American artisanal cheese renaissance. Thanks to over 50 cheese makers in our state, we have an abundance of cheese to choose from.  Our state crafts some of the world’s finest cheese, producing over 150 varieties and winning scores of awards. For our many readers who don’t live in our green mountain state, a sampling of cheeses that can be found around our state is the perfect reason to visit.

 

Bronwyn’s father, Evan Jones, published The World of Cheese in 1976. Chapter by chapter, he probes the mystery of what cheese actually is, how it is made, and explores various families of different cheeses.  Bronwyn shared with me,   “My childhood experience walking in our Manhattan neighborhood to find really good cheese culminated when I took the photographs for this seminal book of my fathers.” Cheese has delighted Bronwyn ever since. Her artisanal cheese platters, created with love and affection, are always graced with the most interesting cheeses and often the latest style from one of Vermont’s many farms like Jasper Hill, Orb Weaver, or Shelburne Farms.  Local establishments, like Healthy Living Market and Dedalus Wine Shop, offer a wide selection of Vermont and international cheeses, complete with cheese mongers to help you select the best choices for any occasion.

Close friend Catherine Donnelly, the former co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, America’s first Comprehensive academic research center devoted to artisan cheese edited the impressive Oxford Companion to Cheese in 2016.  Last fall,  Ending the War on Artisan Cheese was published and is getting rave reviews.  Cathy knows more about cheese than any one I know, and listening to her speak about cheese is a treat. In fact, this Wednesday, February 19, you can hear her speak at the Davis Auditorium at University of Vermont Medical School at 6pm on her new book.  You can register for tickets (free) by following this link.

Shelburne Farms, a beautiful treasure located on the shores of Lake Champlain, is all about cheese.   At the Welcome Center, almost an entire wall displays all sorts of interesting cheese books that you can browse while sampling their various types of cheddar made from happy cows on the farm.  Cows who have lake views from their pastures are key to the delicious award winning cheddar cheese created here.

If you are looking for an amazing grilled cheese sandwich, I have two suggestions. The Best Grilled Cheese EVER at Chef’s Corner in Williston is worth the trip.  Roasted Portobello mushrooms, Cabot cheddar, Boursin cheese, and scallions, create an amazing sandwich, served with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce.  Another favorite is the grilled cheese at Great Northern in Burlington, using local cheeses, crème fraiche, and basil, on Red Hen Bread served with tomato soup.  And at popular downtown eatery, Honey Road, the baked feta with red pepper ezme served on house-made seed bread is a must order here!

I can’t imagine a world without this immensely flavorful food, CHEESE, that when paired with a good bottle of wine and a crusty baguette offers the perfect meal.  Thanks to Evan Jones legacy and beloved professor Catherine Donnelly, for sharing their wisdom and expertise, bringing the world of cheese to life. They offer us a deeper appreciation for a food I personally cannot live without.

- Laurie Caswell Burke - 

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“Favorite Cookbook Contest” from the last blog post. And the winner is…Kelly Austin!

As I approached the last day of the farm stand that had become a frequent “go to” all summer and autumn I was at a loss. I had been seeing the bright yellow signs on the roadside that said November 24 –LAST DAY, but I was in denial. Common Roots, (www.commonroots.org) a farm stand and CSA, located off Spear Street at the intersection of Allen Road in South Burlington had become part of my weekly ritual. Where would I buy my vegetables, eggs, garlic, fresh local meat…? I also believed strongly in their mission which supports local food systems and provides food security for families and schools by fostering the relationships among farmers, educators, and the wider community.

The Friday before the pending closure for the season, my dear friend, Janet who lives in Boston made a surprise to visit to my house. I shared my disappointment with her. Her response.
“Let’s go together tomorrow and we’ll make it fun!” So off we went to Common Roots- a mile from my home to a place where farmers grow fresh organic produce in surrounding fields and also source eggs, cheese, Kombucha, meats, pickled green beans and more. It was chilly inside the charming little farm shop and there wasn’t much left on the shelves. Brown paper bags filled with Thanksgiving shares for CSA members were crowded together on a center table, waiting to be picked up. We grabbed our canvas bags and managed to fill them to the brim, as I explained to Janet that all summer and fall these shelves had been brimming local food from the fields. As we left, she patted me on the back with a you’ll be fine. Spring will return soon enough. HA! And doesn’t Vermont have Winter Farmers markets?

I imagine that many of you have felt similar feelings putting gardens to bed, bidding farewell to local farm stands and the local Farmers Markets. We have been so use to abundant locally grown food through - out the summer and autumn months, however the transition to late fall and winter isn’t always easy.

Fortunate for Vermonters there are over 18 Farmers Markets scattered around our state that offer abundant opportunities to find food, fun and much more. As December rolled in I suggested to Bronwyn that we visit our local Burlington Farmers market at the UVM Davis Center with anticipation of finding some good produce, and some ideas for holiday shopping. We found so much more. First, the parking was FREE!

And as we descended the stairs to the atrium level of the Davis Center, there was lively music playing and a wonderful array of tables filled to the brim with vegetables, cheese, coffee, hot chocolate, artisan crafts and more. Folks were having convivial conversations. This was clearly a happening place that I immediately knew I would be visiting all winter long.

We did a first blush walk through and on our second go I think we had almost parted with our money at every booth and had some special conversations with the vendors. We left with Orb Weaver Cheese, Specialty mushrooms, squash, the most beautiful eggs, kale, beets, soft cows cheese and an adorable hand carved ornament. It was so much fun. And to top it all off we shared the most delicious hot chocolate on the planet from a talented local chocolate maker.

What I found interesting was the stories these farmers and vendors shared with us. The scrumptious food and beautiful creative artisan goods reflected a sincere passion for their work. Their positive energy was contagious.

The Burlington Farmers market will run every Saturday between now and Christmas from 10am-2pm, and then once a month through April. If you live in Vermont, you can locate a Farmers Market near you by visiting -www.nofavt.org/vtfarmersmarkets or call 802-434-4122. And my sense is that wherever you live – there are options near you!

We can all continue to enjoy seasonal local food thanks to our hard -working farmers!

Last Blog’s Cookbook contest was such fun and our very first entrant, Kelly Austin, was the winner- her favorite cookbook…. Half Baked Harvest by Tieghan Gerard. Sweet little Mabon got in on the fun and picked our winner! Congratulations Kelly and enjoy your prize, Cooking for One, by Judith Jones- a treasure of a cookbook! Thank you to everyone who shared their favorites with us!

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As we begin gearing up for the holidays, I thought a little seasonal COOKBOOK fun was in order.   It’s simple too!   Post the name of your favorite cookbook or two in the comment section on this blog and you will be entered into a drawing to win a cookbook- The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones.  It’s a delightful read complete with helpful cooking tips and the recipes can be easily modified for more than one person. And if you want to add the name of your favorite recipe from that cookbook to your entry- even better! I love cookbooks!  They are constant companions in my kitchen. Over the past few decades, I have compiled three simple, spiral bound collections of recipes have been enjoyed by countless friends.  In 2004, I collaborated with two of my friends and created the third book, Atlantic, Pacific and Green Mountain Recipes. From Soup to Salmon Friends Share Favorites with Friends and Family.  My favorite of the three, complied with two  dear friends,  Anne from Boston’s south shore, and Andrea, from Seattle  shared some of our treasured recipes, from coast to coast.   Our collective friends and family have enjoyed our cookbooks - a regular “go to” for many. You can tell a lot about a person when your browse their cookbook collection.  Perhaps the largest and most diverse collection I have seen belonged to  Judith Jones’ collection  and graced the walls of every room in her NYC apartment where she had upwards of 1000 cookbooks.  In her beloved Vermont retreat Bryn Teg, shelves brim with almost as many.  After her death, a substantial portion of her collection was donated to Sterling College, located in Craftsbury Vermont-  and now able to be enjoyed by students, faculty and friends!  What a bountiful and beautiful legacy, made possible by Bronwyn Jones Dunne. As I browsed my personal cookbook collection, I discovered a 1943 edition of the Joy of Cooking tucked in a corner which hadn’t been touched in decades.  Old, worn and tattered, it is the most popular cookbook in America, but honestly compared to the current cookbooks, I find it somewhat plain and boring.  One of the United States most published cookbooks, it has been in print continuously since it was originally self published in 1936. Almost 20 million copies are in print today.  Well known books by Alice Waters, Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, Madhur Jaffrey, and Lidia Bastianich,  and an all time favorite,  Julia Childs, Mastering the Art of French Cooking…. among many more are front and center on my kitchen shelf. Recently I saw a very interesting film called Nothing Fancy, a documentary on Diana Kennedy, who is iconic for her numerous Mexican food cookbooks and influence on Mexican Cooking.  Bronwyn was the photographer for her author photo for her cookbook, The Tortilla Book in the 1980’s.  A charming and engaging film brought to Burlington by the Vermont International Film Festival, I highly recommend.   Kennedy put Mexican cooking on the map and at age 96,  is quite a character.  Vermont draws well known cookbook authors – during the past few years, Alice Waters and Jane Nathan are just a few that have visited here. Julia Child drew such a large crowd in St. Johnsbury 25 years ago that the event had to be relocated to the school gymnasium. Cookbooks today have evolved significantly over the decades.  They are often iconic and designed to be owned offering colorful and enticing photos, and text that engage you.  This new brand of cookbooks invite you to read them cover to cover, and not simply for following a recipe. Legendary Judith Jones put many of our current well known and famed cook book authors on the map because she believed in them.  We can be grateful for her ability to recognize talent and worked diligently to publish countless now well -known authors.  She penned several of her own including, Love ME Feed ME,   dedicated to her dog Mabon, and an autobiography,The Tenth Muse, as well as the aforementioned The Pleasures of Cooking for One. Earlier this fall, I traveled to Rochester Vermont for a wedding and visited one of my favorite haunts-Sandy’s Books and Bakery, an eclectic café /bookstore.  Next door they have a smaller space, The Bookery and Annex, that is brimming with an extensive used cookbook collection.  It’s worth a road trip to this sweet small Vermont town, located 50 miles south of Stowe. Peruse your cookbook collection and share with us your favorite cookbook. We will draw a name from all submissions on Monday, December 2nd, and share the list of favorites in our next Blog post. Feel free to name a favorite recipe as well. The Lost Kitchen by Erin French in on my holiday wish list.  You can never own too many cookbooks! 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As we begin gearing up for the holidays, I thought a little seasonal COOKBOOK fun was in order.   It’s simple too!   Post the name of your favorite cookbook or two in the comment section on this blog and you will be entered into a drawing to win a cookbook- The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones.  It’s a delightful read complete with helpful cooking tips and the recipes can be easily modified for more than one person. And if you want to add the name of your favorite recipe from that cookbook to your entry- even better! I love cookbooks!  They are constant companions in my kitchen. Over the past few decades, I have compiled three simple, spiral bound collections of recipes have been enjoyed by countless friends.  In 2004, I collaborated with two of my friends and created the third book, Atlantic, Pacific and Green Mountain Recipes. From Soup to Salmon Friends Share Favorites with Friends and Family.  My favorite of the three, complied with two  dear friends,  Anne from Boston’s south shore, and Andrea, from Seattle  shared some of our treasured recipes, from coast to coast.   Our collective friends and family have enjoyed our cookbooks - a regular “go to” for many. You can tell a lot about a person when your browse their cookbook collection.  Perhaps the largest and most diverse collection I have seen belonged to  Judith Jones’ collection  and graced the walls of every room in her NYC apartment where she had upwards of 1000 cookbooks.  In her beloved Vermont retreat Bryn Teg, shelves brim with almost as many.  After her death, a substantial portion of her collection was donated to Sterling College, located in Craftsbury Vermont-  and now able to be enjoyed by students, faculty and friends!  What a bountiful and beautiful legacy, made possible by Bronwyn Jones Dunne. As I browsed my personal cookbook collection, I discovered a 1943 edition of the Joy of Cooking tucked in a corner which hadn’t been touched in decades.  Old, worn and tattered, it is the most popular cookbook in America, but honestly compared to the current cookbooks, I find it somewhat plain and boring.  One of the United States most published cookbooks, it has been in print continuously since it was originally self published in 1936. Almost 20 million copies are in print today.  Well known books by Alice Waters, Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, Madhur Jaffrey, and Lidia Bastianich,  and an all time favorite,  Julia Childs, Mastering the Art of French Cooking…. among many more are front and center on my kitchen shelf. Recently I saw a very interesting film called Nothing Fancy, a documentary on Diana Kennedy, who is iconic for her numerous Mexican food cookbooks and influence on Mexican Cooking.  Bronwyn was the photographer for her author photo for her cookbook, The Tortilla Book in the 1980’s.  A charming and engaging film brought to Burlington by the Vermont International Film Festival, I highly recommend.   Kennedy put Mexican cooking on the map and at age 96,  is quite a character.  Vermont draws well known cookbook authors – during the past few years, Alice Waters and Jane Nathan are just a few that have visited here. Julia Child drew such a large crowd in St. Johnsbury 25 years ago that the event had to be relocated to the school gymnasium. Cookbooks today have evolved significantly over the decades.  They are often iconic and designed to be owned offering colorful and enticing photos, and text that engage you.  This new brand of cookbooks invite you to read them cover to cover, and not simply for following a recipe. Legendary Judith Jones put many of our current well known and famed cook book authors on the map because she believed in them.  We can be grateful for her ability to recognize talent and worked diligently to publish countless now well -known authors.  She penned several of her own including, Love ME Feed ME,   dedicated to her dog Mabon, and an autobiography,The Tenth Muse, as well as the aforementioned The Pleasures of Cooking for One. Earlier this fall, I traveled to Rochester Vermont for a wedding and visited one of my favorite haunts-Sandy’s Books and Bakery, an eclectic café /bookstore.  Next door they have a smaller space, The Bookery and Annex, that is brimming with an extensive used cookbook collection.  It’s worth a road trip to this sweet small Vermont town, located 50 miles south of Stowe. Peruse your cookbook collection and share with us your favorite cookbook. We will draw a name from all submissions on Monday, December 2nd, and share the list of favorites in our next Blog post. Feel free to name a favorite recipe as well. The Lost Kitchen by Erin French in on my holiday wish list.  You can never own too many cookbooks! 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18 responses to “Our Treasured Cookbooks”

  1. Bronwyn says:

    I already own, The Pleasures of Cooking for One, and it a delightful, fun cookbook. I have enjoyed many of the recipes, and they are even more special having had the great pleasure of knowing Judith Jones in her later years.
    Laurie

  2. Kelly Austin says:

    Half Baked Harvest by Tiegan Gerard
    Given to me by a friend; everything I have made from it has been delicious!

  3. Carole Bugge says:

    My Facebook is Simca’s Cuisine by Simone Beck.

  4. Bronwyn says:

    Thank you, Kelly, for your submission to the drawing. I haven’t heard of the cookbook but that’s what’s fun about sharing. Discovering new cookbooks is always a pleasure for me.

  5. Angela Drexel says:

    I’m not someone who reads cookbooks voraciously. However, one cookbook that has inspires me to cook is “With a Measure of Grace” – The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant. I love the integration of story, locality and food that all come together so beautifully at Hells Backbone Kitchen and in the book. The Mac N Cheese is yum!

  6. Faith R. says:

    While I’m trending toward more online recipe browsing, I still find the Silver Palate to be one of my go-to cookbooks with some favorite and reliable recipes, like their Chili for a Crowd.

  7. Laurie says:

    I have SO many favorite cookbooks that I love to read and cook from. Like many of you have shared I also tend to go on-line and love the New York Times recipes and Food52. My current favorite cookbook is The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. It’s beautifully designed with great cooking tips.

  8. Lisa says:

    I try to choose a cookbook to cook from each month and have found (re-found) many favorites. My current favorite is Six Seasons, we love the flavors and how we’re eating more vegetables.

  9. Kelly peers says:

    This may sound like baloney but it’s not…one of my favorite cookbooks is “The World of Cheese” by Evan Jones. I bought it at the culinary institute’s swap meet in St. Helena at least 20 years ago. It has this cheesecake recipe. Which I have made at least 50 times. Which brought me to your website, hoping to find and pin it in case anything ever happens to this book! Happy thanksgiving…I’m making it again today! Bronwyn=cheesecake celebrity in this Napa house!

  10. Bronwyn says:

    What a lovely Thanksgiving gift! Thank you, Kelly! I still think after all these years that the cheesecake recipe I contributed to my father’s book is the best I’ve ever eaten. The story behind it involves a mother-in-law’s cook and her recipe that didn’t work for numerous tries until finally I got the baking time right. So, I really have to thank the fact that good cooks don’t always “share” everything they know. I was forced to tweak this one until it really worked! I’m glad you enjoy my father’s book on cheese -the first written by an American. He loved cheese!

  11. Corrie Austin says:

    My favorite is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I actually posted my favorite recipe, winter root soup, on this blog already!

  12. Bronwyn says:

    Thank you Corrie. Heading to the winter Farmers Market on Saturday and you have inspired me to purchase many root vegetables to make this soup- the winter solstice is on the horizon! Laurie

  13. Janet says:

    Bakery Lane Soup Bowl Cookbook-was beloved restaurant in Middlebury, VT

    Beer cheese soup and chocolate cheesecake recipes are favorites.

  14. Bronwyn says:

    Janet- you brought back so many memories of this beloved restaurant in Middlebury. I still have my copy but it is literally falling apart and been taped together countless times! Truly a lovely cookbook! Thank you dear friend for the memories….
    Laurie

  15. Lovely article drawing attention to our favorite & cherished cookbook collections…how to choose one! It is so simple to google recipes based on what’s available in the refrigerator, but curling up in a comfy chair with a favorite cookbook or two and perusing recipes before a cooking opportunity is an unmatched delight. I, too, love Judith Jones’ Cooking for One, easy to double and a simple collection of delightful French cooking. I almost must add Julia Child’s The Way to Cook — and especially love the Reine de Saba — I prescribe to Julia’s philosophy — ‘everything in moderation’ and ‘if you’re going to make one, make two and freeze’! Currently, I’m loving Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street print and digital subscription (special $1/yr) for a glimpse at contemporary cooking!

  16. Bronwyn says:

    Laurie Shares: Thank you Anne for this lovely sentiment as I know you adore cooking and I love that you use Judith Jone’s cookbook that I gave you last year as a holiday gift! I think we will all benefit from your lovely post! You make a great point about freezing which can be very efficient which you always are!

  17. Laurie says:

    Laurie shares: Anne I also want to express my gratitude for the lovely Andi’s People design that graced the cover of our cookbook. Adding it to this Blog post brought back so many memories. Andi’s People cards and art are unique and so special. Thank you Anne!

  18. Molly S says:

    I have recently been enjoying the Oh She Glows cookbook! Although I am not a vegan, I do appreciate the author’s creativity and ability to craft together elegant plant filled meals. One recipe I really enjoyed recently was the veggie enchiladas. Incredibly flavorful for not having any meat or dairy!

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