Thistle Hill Tarentaise

In the hills of North Pomfret, a few miles from the market, John and Janine Putnam organically farm and produce their incredible Tarentaise at Thistle Hill Farm. After having other professional careers, they both got into cheese making, trained in Europe ,and pattern their cheese after the French cheese Abondance. Tarentaise is called a “Farmstead Cheese” because it’s produced on a single farm where the farmers raise the feed, tend the animals, and make the cheese.  The taste is complex, with the culmination of a season’s vegetation compressed into a month’s worth of cheese making.

All Thistle Hill Farm Tarentaise is 20% off for the month of May!

To learn more about Thistle Hill Farm, check out the video we produced about them:

 

Mother’s Day Weekend

Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday!

We think it’s important to let our moms know that we love them every day, but once a year they have an extra special day for us to show them some love. (…maybe Mother’s Day should be a weekly event.) Whether you’re planning on surprising her with breakfast in bed or finding the perfect bouquet of flowers, let us help you spoil your mom with the perfect gift. Check out what’s happening this weekend:

  • Rose wine 10% through Sunday
  • Hanging baskets 10% off Saturday & Sunday
  • Bakery specials
  • Hot case specials

Can't Be Beet

 

Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing

toms and cilantroIt’s getting hot outside and even hotter in our kitchen here at the market. It’s Farmer’s Fiesta lots of Mexican inspired foods all around our store. I’m not sure about you but all I want is a few fish tacos with cabbage and pickled veggies and A LOT of guacamole. Don’t forget about a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa to snack on while you are making your fish tacos with a tasty margarita to wash it all down. Who’s ready for summer?!

One of my favorite recipes I want to share is a Southwestern Chopped Salad with a Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing. This salad is just as good as those fish tacos! Even better together. If you are like me, my love for avocados just keeps growing every year. The creaminess of this dressing comes from the avocado. YUM! Combine it with lime and cilantro and you’ve got a party. Every time I make this salad and bring it to share (and that’s a lot in the summer) I always come home with an empty bowl. Now maybe it’s the Mexican beer or margaritas but hey – they do go hand in hand.

We have all the ingredients you need to make this salad – even fresh corn already which is sooooo good. It’s easy to make and even easier to eat! Grab some fresh corn tortillas, fresh fish, cabbage, and all the ingredients for this salad and get your own fiesta started! Here you go…Saludos!

 

 

 

Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients:

  • Large head of romaine
  • 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large orange bell pepper (or red)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn (frozen or fresh)
  • 5 green onions
  • Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Directions:
Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes and green onions. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Toss with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing.

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro,stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado (or1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. honey

Directions:
Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

 

Farmers’ Fiesta & More!

Check out what’s happening over the next few weeks at Farmers’!

Color April Specials

Passover

vermontah.2The Passover Seder meal commemorates the Jewish exodus from Egypt, where they were enslaved, and involves the retelling of the story with various symbolic food “props” that enable participants to experience the tale on multiple levels. A Seder plate sits on the dining table with the symbolic foods arranged around it, and at key points in the story there is a pause for attendees to taste them, drink wine, and so on.

Matzo is critical, of course; it illustrates the speed with which people had to leave their homes, with no time to let bread rise before baking. Horseradish, representing “bitter herbs”, evokes the bitterness of slavery. Karpas—a vegetable dipped in salt water—stands in for the tears and pain the slaves endured. Charoset, a blend of chopped fruit and nuts, is the mortar the slaves used in building stone storehouses. There is also a symbolic roasted egg, a reminder of mourning for the destroyed temple, and a roasted bone, for the spring sacrifice of a lamb. Together, these foods tie present-day celebrants with ancestors hundreds of generations removed.

There’s more to the Passover meal, of course—delicious chicken soup or gefilte fish to start, followed by roast chicken or lamb or brisket, and a flourless cake for dessert are the norm. At the Market you can round out your Seder (or any meal!) with Aunt Millie’s Chopped Chicken Liver, our own tasty Charoset, and Tzimmes—a sweet, delicious side dish of carrots, sweet potatoes, dried fruit and honey.

 

We also have Vermatzah from Naga Bakehouse, a hand-made wood-fire oven-baked matzo that is not Kosher for Passover, but is true to the spirit of the holiday, and a great way to celebrate with local food if you are not concerned with keeping Kosher.

Vermatzah!!

  BUNNYPassover and Easter are quickly approaching and we are more than excited to see several great products rolling in for the spring season! This week: fresh flowers, Easter lilies, tons and tons of jelly beans, STUMP THE BUNNY!,our own HOT CROSS BUNS (whoa!!). Check out our CATERING MENU FOR EASTER!!

One of our favorite foods worth celebrating this time of year is Vermatzah—a traditional matzo made by the Naga Bakehouse in Middletown Springs, VT. This outstanding artisan product is one of the coolest foods of the season—it’s wood-fired and a true farm to table product.
Traditionally, matzo is a yeast-less flatbread that hasn’t had time to rise. It was first made by Jews during the exodus from Egypt and their escape from slavery. Matzo continues to be a symbolic food for Passover and the celebration of spring, rebirth, and renewal.

VERMONTZAHThe Naga Bakehouse is a small family run bakery that strives to follow this deep tradition in baking their Vermatzah. It is their mission to reconnect the food we eat with the story of where it comes from by growing many of their own ingredients and sourcing what’s left from local farmers.

Every piece of their wood-fired matzo is made by hand in small batches, and baked by an open air wood oven. Their meticulous process and use of only Vermont grown grain can be followed from field to harvest to baking. Their work to connect modern ecology practices with ancient dietary laws and ethical standards across the board from food production, preparation and eating makes their Vermatzah an Eco-Kosher product. They see their process as a return to the past and a metaphor for getting back to the basics. Every box of Vermatzah also includes a packet of Vermont wheat berries as a further link to reconnect with the land and take part in the spring season of renewal.

Vermatzah offers up a great way to celebrate the Passover holiday with a focus on healthy eating and sustainable agriculture while also being tasty! Its roots spring deeply from tradition and there is a mindfulness incorporated into its process from when it is planted to the moment it arrives to WFM that makes it a must have for all of us here at the market!

Maple Madness and Bracket Busting

I love this time of year: March Madness basketball games take front and center cause it’s usually too muddy to do anything else but watch hoops. But this year suddenly with one big puff, there is plenty of snow AND there is basketball. So this year we favor watching the games and doing all the Maple Madness activities this weekend.

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1. Eat Great Food While your Brackets get Busted: Here at the Market, it’s March Madness Basketball Food 101. We will have our wings, salsas, guacamole, dips and other great TV sports-watching food at the ready.  We have a ton of popcorn, peanuts and pretzels and other epic snack foods too from our Grocery crew.

2. Buck Off!  Our own Maple Syrup, made up the road at Maplecrest Farm, is on sale all month!  Find it online too!Maple syrup

3. DRINK GREEN!  Drink Green is our March tribute to local beer and this week it’s Von Trapp! Take 10% off all weekend on all six packs of Von Trapp! Plus our cheese monger Lisa B will be sampling Von Trapp cheese all weekend to celebrate!Drink Green

4. Sugar on Snow:  The Woodstock Green Saturday March 25, 11-1pm. Free Sugar on Snow with Vermont’s famous slice of pickle AND FREE Maple Popcorn! Our own Amelia Rappaport will be dishing out the goods. Who said there’s nothing for free in life!!

5. 3rd Maple Taste Around, sponsored by the Woodstock Inn and the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce:  It’s Saturday March 25, from 6-8pm, Suicide Six Ski Lodge.   Local chefs prepare maple themed savory and sweet dishes…and a new twist this year—vote for your favorites from different maple categories! Your WFM chefs Gil and Josh are rockin’ maple inspired sushi!! Whoa!! Tickets at the door $25.00, or on the Chamber website, live music and live and silent auction of painted maple sap buckets. Cool event for kids and adults!

5.  Vermont Overland Maple Adventure Ride:  Start time, Sunday March 26th,  10 AM. Start-finish location is  Suicide Six Ski Area, 247 Stage Road, Pomfret. VOMAR is an epic gravel road bicycle ride featuring a different destination working Vermont sugarhouses every year.  One of BICYCLE MAGAZINE’S 7 RAD SPRING CLASSIC RIDES! Check out Vermont Overland for more details!

St. Patrick’s Top Picks

We thought you’d want to know our top picks for your St. Patty’s Day Boiled Dinner!Bangers.corned beef

–Green Mountain Smokehouse Corned Beef: Local smokehouse, locally cured…our top choice for corned beef by far. We use it in our own kitchen for our boiled dinner and St. Patty’s sandwich specials!!St. Pats.2
–Our Own Shredded Cabbage: Effortless and easy, we hand shred organic cabbage for you and put in large plastic bags.  Easy breezy.
–North Country Irish style Bangers: Traditional bangers that rock–from Claremont.

–Local Carrots:  We love Pete’s Green’s local carrots!

–Our hot case Boiled Dinner:  Josh puts a ton of effort into our Boiled Dinner every year.  A la cart, choose from mashed potatoes, to carrots to our wonderful corned beef.

And the beer!!  From our Beer Geek:

Murphy’s Irish Stout – we’ve always preferred Murphy’s over Guinness.  I think it has more of the roasted barley, coffee, caramel flavors that I’m looking for in a stout.  A lighter body and smoother finish than Guinness means you can drink more than one while having a hearty meal like corned beef and cabbage.

Going local, I’d recommend Otter Creek’s Couch Surfer, a nice oatmeal stout.  Brewed with oats to give the stout more body and smoothness (plus a touch of sweetness from the oats.)  Lots of roasted grain flavor and a strong coffee aroma this stout is silky smooth and highly drinkable.

14th Star Maple Breakfast Stout:    Using maple syrup in the brew, this local stout has a bit less body but a touch more sweetness with a lingering hint of maple.  More drinkable due to the lighter body, this stout is really sessionable.

Hop n’Moose Maple Porter:   Not a stout but close enough, this porter is lighter in body than the stouts, with a nice dry coffee finish and lingering maple.

And if you are not a fan of stouts or just looking for something lighter, I’d recommend Harpoon Brewing’s Craic.  A hybrid of two classic styles – an IPA and an Irish Red Ale, this beer has the toasted malty flavor of a Red ale that balances out the citrusy, bitterness hop profile of an IPA.

Irish Cheese

In the early 80’s, Ireland’s cheese production was primarly comprised of cheddar cheese. Since farmstead cheesemaking had not been a major part of the country’s argricultural history, there wasn’t a whole lot happening in the small production cheese world. It was during this time that cheese makers began to band together to produce historic, small farmstead cheeses that revolutionzed cheese making in the country. Ever since this new movement, Irish cheese has been delighting chefs, cheese mongers, and our very own customers.

This Saturday from 12-3pm we will be sampling some Irish classics as well as “new” original cheeses from farmstead cheesemakers. We are fortunate to offer these for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations as most lines have a limited production. These cheeses represent the wide range of Irish cheese. From soft runny cow’s milk cheese to a firm Gouda style and a balanced cheddar to a an exceptional blue cheese.

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Check out our lineup for this weekend:

  • Gubben
  • Coolea
  • Cashel Blue
  • Glenair Oie
  • Hummingbird Bark
  • Cahill Porter
  • Kerrygold Cheddar

So break out that cheese board and create a small taste of Ireland to go with with your pint of stout. Cheers!

ZIA…EAT CHILI

Zia Chilies

OK.  So the weather is now turned completely to spring and yes we are in the midst of our latest campaign called EAT CHILI! Great timing!!

But realistically, it’s still cold at night and in the 40’s during the day so eating chili for lunch or dinner is not completely ridiculous. Besides, one of the great things about chili is that you can make it any time, use up a ton of leftover stuff in your refrigerator and have dinner covered for several nights.  What’s not to love about solving the what-to-have-for-dinner nightmare!

That’s where Zia comes in.  We’ve partnered with Nate Cotanch of Zia to offer $1 off his amazing hot, medium and red chilies.  These incredible jarred chilies are some of the best we’ve ever come across.  We discovered them at the Good Foods Mercantile food show last year.  They are now an easy and key component of any chili I make.

Nate whose roots are from a family of 17 children from north of Santa Fe, started Zia Green Chile Company in the Fall of 2014 as one of the companies at Brooklyn’s renowned outdoor food market, Smorgasburg.  He is a 2012 graduate of Syracuse University and was featured in Forbes as “One of 10 Innovators Under 30 Shaking Up The New York Food Scene.”

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What’s really cool about Zia Chile Co is that Nate focuses on the Hatch Green Chile, a crop harvested once per year in the fall,  and is famously only able to be grown in the Hatch Valley of Southern New Mexico due to it’s high altitude, dry climate, and rich soil. Known for its flame roasted and smoke-kissed qualities, the Hatch Green Chile is mainly used for culinary purposes to bring a spicy and addicting flavor to virtually anything. It is deeply rooted in the history, culture, economy, and cuisine of New Mexico, but rarely known (or heard of) outside of the Southwest.

Zia has become one of the most notable brands in introducing the seasonal crop to the East Coast, having their 2016 Harvest featured in the New York Times, working with CHOPT Creative Salad Company on a round of New Mexico Destination Salads, and more.  As Zia quickly gained press in Gothamist, attracted a loyal following of New Mexican / Southwestern transplants and New Yorkers, and even partnered with the State of New Mexico’s Tourism Department.

We love spicy here at Farmers’.  In fact, starting right after Easter we’re launching a major traditional Mexican food campaign where our entire store will be getting in act of celebrating traditional Mexican foods.  But until then, besides throwing several tablespoons into your favorite chili recipe (I use at least half the jar!), use Zia on virtually anything you want to have that southwest zip:  burgers, eggs and Kitchen Sink Burritos!

–Patrick

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