Vermont is blessed with a surplus of good writers and great food, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also home to many fine cookbooks. As the holiday cooking & baking season swings into top gear, here’s a selection to help you put on your seasonal feast … whatever form it takes.
Vermont Farm Table Cookbook
By Tracey Medeiros
I could do a column just on books by Medeiros. She does a fine job of rooting her recipes in the landscape. This one includes contact information to farms, chefs and providers of local foods, along with recipes using their products. I confess that I shuddered when I got to the recipes using WhistlePig whiskey for glazes. I’m more likely to drink the good (and pricey) stuff and use more modest rye for cooking. Like most modern cookbooks, it includes sumptuous photographs that look better than your finished product will.
The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion
No season is more connected to baking than Christmas in our house. And given how temperamental pastry recipes can be, bakers can take advantage of recipes designed using King Arthur flour, milled right here in Vermont. And yes, for the diehards, there is a fruitcake recipe.
Celebrations from our Kitchen
St. Peter’s Parish
The library has, over the years, collected several cookbooks by Rutland County authors. This collection, in honor of St. Peter’s centennial in 1998, has the name of the contributor with each recipe. The recipes can be a bit of a time machine (i.e. “Mexican Casserole” features one can each of cream of chicken soup, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, and chili), but it’s a fun read and the recipes are for the most part simple and quick.
Blueberry Hill Cookbook
By Elsie Masterton
This is a re-release of a 1959 classic by the then-proprietor of Blueberry Hill Inn in Goshen. It combines folksy stories and recipes. My favorite is the section on leftovers (Roast beef hash, Curry of leftover lamb, etc.).
The Vermont Country Store Cookbook
By Ellen Ecker Ogden & Andrea Diehl, with The Orton Family
Part cookbook, part celebration of Vermont, part advertising for the Vermont Country Store — the Ortons appear frequently in the photos and text — this is a good choice for gifting and is, naturally, available through the store’s website (vermontcountrystore.com). Lots of great photos and a wide range of dishes. I’ve used Ogden’s “Vermont Cheese Book” for years, and her recipes work well.