Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month, and there’s still a few days to act to help hungry Vermonters. It’s going to be a beautiful weekend: why not pick some apples for the Vermont Foodbank?

At participating orchards during September and October, you can pick and purchase apples for donation to the Foodbank. In central Vermont, Burtt’s Apple Orchard in Cabot (917-2614) and Liberty Orchard in Brookfield (276-3161) are participating. Call the orchards for picking times. Whether you pick a bag, a bucket, or a bushel, for a hungry Vermonter, your effort will make a difference.

The Foodbank Kitchen also creates tasty and nutritious meals from excess produce gleaned from generous Vermont farms. Read about it in my recent article in the Times-Argus.


Celebrating with the season at the Black Door

If there’s anything I appreciate in a restaurant it’s consistency. Well, and quality. So consistent quality…is worth returning to. In Montpelier, my go-to eatery for consistent quality is the Black Door, where Matthew Bilodeau nails it every time.

This week, Nina and I celebrated our second anniversary, and the food was up to the occasion. Sating a cooler-weather craving, we shared the farm steak, tender and juicy and drizzled with tarragon butter.

On the side, we enjoyed the day’s “seasonal sides,” two vegetable dishes that typify Matthew’s dedication to great ingredients, simply prepared.

The first was a salad of kolhrabi, radish, and apple, all chopped into matchsticks and tossed with a light vinaigrette. The combination was at once crisp, sweet, and sharp–flavors that characterize this season of changes.

The second was the pièce de résistance of vegetables: yellow chard and caramelized onions, topped with Tarentaise cheese from Springbrook Farm in Reading, Vermont and broiled briefly to melt the cheese. Sweet. Savory. Divine.

I’m headed to the farmers market now…I’ve no doubt we’ll run into Matthew. I can’t wait to thank him for another great meal.