Food & Drink

When paired with the right spirits, ingredients like cinnamon, pear, vanilla and rosemary will add an abundance of flavor to fall cocktails.
Suzanne Podhaizer / Seven Days

If you've ever been intimidated by mixing cocktails for guests, don't sweat it. If you prepare ingredients, follow a few simple steps and pay attention to ratios, playing bartender doesn't need to be stressful.

Selecting the right pumpkin and using carving tools will help to create a jack-o'-lantern masterpiece.
Media Photos / iStock

Halloween has become one of our most popular holidays. It's estimated Americans will spend over $8 billion dollars on candy, decorating, making costumes and having parties. At the center of all this activity is the common pumpkin, so read on if you want to step-up your jack-o'-lantern decorating game.

Boxes of food are seen being prepared for distribution in Enosburg Falls, Vt., in this Nov. 18, 2010 file photo. An estimated one-fourth of Vermonters will receive some form of food assistance this year.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/File

Local food shelves across the state have been seeing an increase in demand this fall. John Sayles, CEO of the Vermont Foodbank, joins Vermont Edition to discuss reasons for this increase in demand and explain how local organizations are dealing with it.  

Awesome Etiquette: Supportive Yet Sensitive

Oct 13, 2017
One way of offering support to friends during a difficult time is to simply be there for them and provide normalcy.
vadimguzhva / iStock

Offering support is an essential part of friendship, but it can also be tricky when the situation is personal and sensitive.  For instance, we heard from a couple who were close with another couple that was having difficulty conceiving. Their question: is it okay to ask about fertility progress since these friends shared this information in the first place?

After learning to bake bread as a child in Germany, Bread and Puppet Theater founder, Peter Schumann, is still rising sourdouogh rye today in Glover.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

Glover, Vermont, is a strange and wonderful place. There's the self-serve/self-pay Red Sky Trading Company, Currier's Market and Taxidermy, The Museum of Everyday Life and - the epicenter of strangeness - Bread and Puppet Theater.

After drying properly, hard-shelled gourds have a multitude of uses and will last for years.
Merinka / iStock

What grows in a vegetable garden and is used for everything but eating? Gourds! Hard-shelled gourds can be used for a shower sponge, spoon, dipper, bottle, basket, birdhouse and even a musical instrument.

Awesome Etiquette: An Uncomfortable Link

Oct 6, 2017
An invitation to a website of personal interest should not be included in a business-related e-mail message.
JuSun / iStock

A listener recently asked advice on how to reply to a work-related e-mail from a very nice client. Even though the message was related to business, it also included an invitation to receive a link for religious material. Working in a public sector job where separation exists between church and state, the recipient was unsure how to respond and felt it inappropriate to engage the request.

Just because the recent autumn weather has been mild and dry doesn't mean you should put off cleaning your flower garden.
vadimguoida / iStock

It's been an interesting fall as far as the weather goes. Just when I thought we'd be heading into a cool, wet autumn, it got hot and dry. But that doesn't mean you should shirk your fall cleanup duties. One of the biggest projects is cleaning the flower gardens.

Chef and cookbook author Sandi Earle's turkey chili made with Queen City Brewery's Gregarious Scottish Ale.
Michael Jacobs / Vermont Life

Everyone knows how to drink beer, but what about cooking with it? With the wide variety of craft beer and its many flavor profiles, cooking with it can be just as fun and tasty as using wine.

The leaves of elderberry bushes and other edibles provide additional bright colors during fall.
Forgem / iStock

I'm a native New Englander but still always struck by our fall foliage colors. Many gardeners like to bring these colors into their yards with beautiful trees and shrubs but don't forget about adding edibles.

Douglas Sweets, a shortbread company, is just one of the many food and beverage makers taking up residence at Vermont Artisan Village in Shelburne.
Lee Krohn / Seven Days

If you drive along Route 7 just south of Shelburne Museum, you might have noticed some building activity during the last few years. This group of barn-like structures has grown into something called Vermont Artisan Village and there's an awful lot of food being produced there. 

Awesome Etiquette: Commenting On Social Media

Sep 29, 2017
Social media is all about engagement and participation, so the rules of an in-person conversation don't always apply.
alexsl / iStock

Controlling interruptions is useful and polite when having a conversation. But should that skill be applied to social media? Are you hijacking someone's post if you try to one-up the person with a photo you think is more cute or with a funnier story?

Some sparse shelves are visible at the Montpelier Food Pantry on Tuesday. They saw a spike in demand over the summer months, according to executive director Jaime Bedard.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Officials at organizations providing food assistance to Vermonters say a sluggish state economy might be one of the reasons why demand at many local food shelves has risen in the past few months.

Flag Hill Farm owners, Sabra Ewing and Sebastian Lousada, have been making hard ciders since long before the beverage's recent wave of popularity.
Melissa Pasanen, courtesy

Hard cider has become increasingly popular in Vermont with the advent of many new makers in recent years. But reach back a few decades and you'll find some of the state's earlier producers, including Flag Hill Farm in Vershire.

Popcorn dates back thousands of years, is a nutritious grain and easy to grow.
Juan Monino / iStock

I've always shied away from growing corn. It takes up space and then there's the raccoons. I just wasn't into the electric fence and netting that other gardeners use to protect their sweet corn. Instead, I've started growing popcorn. Raccoons don't seem to care for it and it's a lot easier to grow than you'd think.

Awesome Etiquette: Innocent But Inappropriate

Sep 22, 2017

We all appreciate a compliment on our appearance from time to time. But should it happen each and every day in the workplace? And from the boss?

VPR Cafe: Pestopalooza

Sep 15, 2017
Hannah Palmer Egan's recipe for "Amazing Awesome August Pasta" includes kale, tomatoes, feta and pesto.
Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

Get your food processor out. It's that time of year when you might have an abundance of basil and other greens which are perfect for making pesto.

Many herbs from your garden will survive the cold of winter; however, some herbs like rosemary need to be brought indoors.
zeleno / iStock

This time of year, it's easy to just let the herbs in your garden go. Maybe you've made enough pesto to feed an army or used all the dill you'll need for pickles. But there are good reasons to stay on top of your annual and perennial herbs. Some can be protected from winter, some brought indoors and you can  collect seeds from others.

Taylor LaFleur (left) and Dillon Klepetar are the hard-working farmers and chefs cho created Farmstead Catering in Whallonsburg, NY.
Julia Rebecca / Seven Days

Beyond farm-to-table comes the concept of seed-to-service on Echo Farm in Whallonsburg, NY. Dillon Klepetar and Taylor LaFleur, who run the farm, have created something similar to a CSA (community supported agriculture) but on a much larger scale. Their venture is called Farmstead Catering which produces, prepares and serves food for weddings and other special occasions.

Awesome Etiquette: Stuck In Your Seat At 30,000 Feet

Sep 8, 2017
If you have a window seat while flying and need to get up, plan on doing so when others in your row are out of their seats.
yoh4nn / iStock

You're at crusing altitude on a flight home when, suddenly, nature calls. Not a problem since there's a restroom a few rows away; however, the person in the aisle seat won't get up to let you out!

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