Green Mountain cookbooks

Quiet, small-scale food revolutions are happening all the time, all over the country.  You might not think it to be the case in Vermont, with its tiny geographic footprint and forbidding New England winters, but it is.  And they've got the cookbooks to prove it.  

You may have heard of the Cabot Creamery Cooperative, whose dairy products penetrate markets throughout the Northeast.  What you might not know is that its named after the small town of Cabot, Vermont, where in the early 20th century a group of dairy farmers agreed to collectively churn their excess milk into butter. Mostly the new  cookbook revolves around cheddar, the signature product of Cabot, though there's a lesser focus on yogurt and butter and cream as well.

I learned about Hector Kent and his new book, Dry Curing Pork, in the most serendipitous way.  There was a Vermont wedding in our family, and our household ended up enjoying the hospitality of Kent's parents during our weekend stay there.  There we feasted on homemade yogurt, hand-picked berries, the morning's eggs, and some truly remarkable bacon.  Afterward, Kent's mother brought us downstairs to show us "something we have in our basement which most people don't" : a handmade, climate-controlled chamber full of works of art: prosciutto, coppa, salami, and, of course, bacon.  This was the work of all the Kents, but instigated by Hector, who explains how in his remarkably fleet yet thorough book.

It's easy for me to imagine popping over to the store for some Cabot products.  It's hard for me to imagine building a climate-controlled chamber in my basement, or cultivating a sustainable curing practice of my own.  On the other hand, it's very easy indeed for me to imagine eating some more home-made dry-cured pork.  And every day it's getting easier for me to imagine inviting myself back up to Vermont, with arrival scheduled right about mealtime.

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