Food & Drink

Zenbarn co-owner, Ari Fishman, delivers Zero Gravity beer during the restaurant's recent Hemp + Hops Dinner.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

Move over peanut butter and jelly, eggs and bacon, and mac and cheese. There's a new food pairing in Vermont that was recently served at a first-of-its-kind dinner in Waterbury Center. Hemp and hops!

Pentas, also known as Egyptian star flowers, are great for adding a splash of color in window boxes and planters.
aimintang / iStock

I'm always looking out for new flowers. Not necessarily the next color of petunia, but flowers that aren't widely known. This year, pentas have struck my fancy.

Awesome Etiquette: I Love You But, Sorry, That's My Food

Jan 17, 2018
Regardless of your relationship, always ask before taking food from someone else's plate.
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No matter how long you've been with your spouse or partner, there's still a protocol for sharing food.

Food Stamp Program Makes Fresh Produce More Affordable

Jan 16, 2018

Rebeca Gonzalez grew up eating artichokes from her grandmother's farm in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala. But for years after emigrating to the U.S., she did not feed them to her own kids because the spiky, fibrous vegetables were too expensive on this side of the border.

When she prepared meals at her family's home in Garden Grove, Calif., Gonzalez would also omit avocados, a staple of Mexican cuisine that are often costly here.

Oxalis, or the shamrock plant, can be brought indoors in winter as long as certain steps are carefully followed.
Scacciamosche / iStock

Some may say that oxalis, or the shamrock plant, is an invasive weed, a sour-tasting groundcover or a cute houseplant. All three are correct. In warm climates, oxalis can be an attractive groundcover or a weed. In colder climates, yellow sorrel is an oxalis that grows as an understory plant in the forest. Then there's the tender houseplant versions. This is where oxalis becomes more interesting.

A bubbly libation from SILO Distillery is just one of the many food and drink options available at Artisans Park in Windsor, Vermont.
Suzanne Podhaizer / Seven Days

This is definitely not your father's industrial park. Although it may appear like one upon first glance, Artisans Park in Windsor, Vermont, is a collection of mostly food and beverage businesses with both manufacturing and retail space on the banks of the Connecticut River. The greenery surrounding it includes an actual park featuring a maze, open space, life-size chess set and more.

Awesome Etiquette: Offering Assistance To People With Disabilities

Jan 12, 2018
If you're uncertain whether or not a person with a disability needs assistance, just ask. This allows the person to either accept or decline your offer.
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What is the protocol for offering assistance to people with disabilities? That question comes from a listener who noticed a wheelchair user having difficulty navigating onto a sidewalk. Our listener’s first instinct was to provide help but didn’t want to be presumptuous and assume assistance was wanted or needed. At The Emily Post Institute, we've talked about the best approach for this situation with those who have disabilities and the organizations that support them.

Awesome Etiquette: Please Return Your Seat To The Upright Position

Jan 5, 2018
If at all possible, it's best not to recline your airplane seat to avoid encroaching on the space of the passenger behind you.
Away IGI / iStock

We recently fielded a question about something many of us have struggled with when flying. A listener shared that, while traveling recently, he reclined his airplane seat just a bit in order to relieve some back pain. The passenger behind him was not too happy about this and proceeded to bump the chair and extend a leg on the armrest. So what is proper etiquette for reclining on a plane?   

Residents of Johnson gather for the inaugural pizza-bake at the town's community oven in October, 2017.
Jim Deshler / Seven Days

Vermont is all about community and, in one Lamoille County town, that means something special and delicious. The Johnson Community Oven was fired up for its inaugural pizza-bake in October of last year, and locals have been loving it.

Jicama is a crunchy, sweet Central American root vegetable that can also be grown in warmer areas of Vermont.
bhofack2 / iStock

In our culture, potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes and sweet potatoes are favorite roots in gardens and on tables. But there are other unusual roots worth growing.

Whiskey bottle pouring into a glass with ice.
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Prohibition might have been repealed in 1933, but modern-day bootleggers are still sidestepping state liquor laws. Now Vermont officials want heavier penalties for people trafficking booze from neighboring New Hampshire.

One dining highlight of 2017 for food writer, Sally Pollak, was the chile-lime chicken leg plate at Lucky Next Door in Burlington.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

Yes, it's another year-in-review piece, but this one is bound to make your mouth water or cause you to pick up the phone to make a dinner reservation!

A new variety of habanero pepper is called 'Roulette' which offers a citrus flavor rather than heat.
Debbi Smirnoff / iStock

One of my year-end rituals is to start perusing seed catalogs. I love sitting by a roaring fire with tea and cookies while looking for new vegetable varieties. Read on or listen to the podcast to hear what I've found so far.

Awesome Etiquette: When To Stop Saying 'Happy New Year'

Dec 28, 2017
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For how long do you continue to say "Happy New Year!" when greeting someone? After the first week of January? Anytime before March?

Holiday dinners don't always need to be dictated by tradition but, instead, can include other enjoyable customs chosen by the group you're celebrating with.
People Images / iStock

In addition to being with family and friends, the holidays also mean breaking out wonderful recipes and food traditions. Often, these traditions are rooted in religion or nationality, but they can also be established by simply determining what everyone with whom you celebrate likes best.

Awesome Etiquette: Attending The 'Preferred' Party

Dec 22, 2017
Accepting one invitation while declining another is often a difficult choice, especially when feelings might be hurt.
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A listener writes:  Each year, a friend invites me and my husband to his New Year's party. This year, we're expecting his invitation but haven't been contacted yet. Meanwhile, another friend, who also knows my first friend, invited us to her New Year's celebration. I prefer to attend the usual party that I'm assuming we'll be invited to, but don't want to hurt feelings when sending regrets to the one I was, technically, invited to first. How do I decline without explaining where I expect to be going?

Aglaonema, also known as a Chinese evergreen, requires less care than most houseplants and is a good choice for someone who doesn't have a green thumb.
Pichaitun / iStock

This time of year, our houses are filled with poinsettias, Christmas cactus and amaryllis flowers. All of their colorful flowers are quite festive during the holidays. But if you're still looking for a holiday gift for the black thumb in the family, allow me to share three suggestions for shade-tolerant, low maintenance houseplants that even they will find hard to kill.   

Ground cinnamon in a spoon and cinnamon sticks on a table.
Derkien / iStock

Ever wonder where the spices you're using in holiday cooking or baking originated? Before they found their way to your kitchen cabinet? Well, we're going on a bit of a global adventure to find the answers.

With so much extreme weather these days, protecting your garden is more important than ever.
Batuhan Toker / iStock

Wildfires in California, floods in Texas and Florida, drought, sudden bursts of high and low temperatures, you get the idea. We're officially in the world of weather extremes. Even in Vermont, an intense, unusual wind storm this fall destroyed my greenhouse and uprooted 50-year-old trees.  How does a gardener prepare for all this extreme weather? 

Awesome Etiquette: The Rules Of Regifting

Dec 15, 2017
If you must regift, be certain that the person will truly appreciate the item and the original giver won't be offended if this practice is uncovered.
Dmitrii Guzhanin / iStock

Regifting can be very tempting but there are lots of negatives that go along with it. Friends and family spend money and put time into choosing a gift only to get hurt should they find out it's been passed on to someone else. Regifting is not paying forward and we advise against this practice; however, we do have some suggestions if you must regift. 

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