Friday Night!

It’s Friday night, and I have an intense desire to just chill, write a blog post, watch a movie, and have a little comfort food.

That means pizza–cobbled together with what dishes and ingredients I haven’t yet moved to the new house: a little cooked-down home-canned tomato sauce with garlic and spices, some grated Two Rivers goat cheese, and (of course) a homemade crust.

I got home from Vermont last evening with good news–my mother’s breast cancer surgery went very well, and she heard for sure from the doctor yesterday that her lymph nodes were clear, and that chemo and radiation will not be necessary.  While we’d gotten that initial diagnosis after the surgery, we were holding our breath for the definitive report.

Two days before I left, mom and I went to do a little more local foods “research” at the Middlebury Natural Foods Coop in Middlebury, Vermont.  I took quite a few images there, so I’ll share them in a slideshow rather than trying to cram them all in this post separately.

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A few comments on these: there are two images of the coop’s produce section–and those images are of a small section of that produce area.  There is a lot more there–including non-refrigerated sections which include things like tomatoes, onions, garlic, etc.  And there are plenty of local items there, even in winter.

Also in the produce section–the MNFC “wall of fame”–framed images of the producers who supply them.  How cool is that?

When you first walk into the coop, the specials on display include two locally-produced products: King Arthur Flour and honey from Champlain Valley Apiaries.  I know I can get local honey here (and I do), but I had to pick up a container of their clover honey to bring back–it’s the taste of my childhood.

By the way, I do not buy King Arthur Flour when I find it in the Midwest. Although it is a very high-quality flour, it’s just not as fresh by the time it gets to the “end of the line.”  I started using Wheat Montana flour (also excellent) when I was in South Dakota, and now I get the fantastic Freeport, Minnesota-based Swany White Flour Mills flour from the Granary Coop in Ortonville.

I liked the addition to the wine display (not sure if this will be visible in the final post) that points out if you’re eating locally, the grapes travel less than a tenth of a mile to the winery, and only a few miles to the store.  I’ve also included a shelf-shot of Vermont Tea Company and Honey Badger Chai locally-blended teas.

My favorite image?  Well, it has to be the cheese.  Again, this is a very small portion of the local cheeses they have for sale there.  You might think Wisconsin is the dairy land, but Vermont makes a plethora of kick-ass cheeses–and not just Cabot.

I also like that Long Trail teamed up with Vermont Coffee Company to produce an über-local, über-artisan stout beer.  That shows what can happen when two small companies with great products collaborate.  Sláinte!

But instead of toasting Friday night with a good dark beer (and I do have a little Schell’s in the fridge), I’m going for a glass of Fieldstone Vineyards Minnesota Marquette.

It’s good to be home.

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