Our Seven Favorite New Products in 2022

Our grocery buyers do an amazing job of filling our shelves with the best products around. They’re also the first to see and taste these yummy foods when they come in the door. So, as we head into the New Year, we asked them to share a few of their favorite new grocery items from 2022. Here’s what they’re most excited about:

Keogh’s Irish Whiskey Barbecue Potato Chips

We’ve been carrying Keogh’s potato chips for awhile, but Irish Whiskey Barbecue is a new flavor they introduced this year. And we’re loving them! See the guys on the front of the bag? These are the third-generation of Keoghs who have been growing potatoes on the family farm in North County Dublin for over 200 years. In 2011 they started selling their potato crisps commercially, made using three kettle friers imported from Pennsylvania.

Mi Nina Tortilla Chips

If you haven’t tried Mi Nina tortilla chips, this is a must for 2023. These chips are made just to the south of us in Brockton, Mass., using 100% U.S. non-GMO white corn, lime, and water. The chef-owner set out to re-create the tortilla chips that his mother-in-law sent him from his wife’s hometown in Mexico. Trust us, these tortilla chips—incredibly light, crispy, and flavorful, are unlike any chip you’ll find in a bag anywhere.

Cabot Cheddar popcorn

We all know Cabot for their amazing Vermont-made dairy products. But this past year they introduced a new item to their lineup: popcorn! Made with the same award-winning cheeses you’ll find in our dairy case. Not only are Cabot products produced right here in Vermont using milk from local farms, they’re the only snack food brand in the U.S. that has the B Corp certification. And we think that’s pretty cool.

Will Flour Pancake Mix

This family-owned business launched in 2021, right here in Vermont. They produce gluten-free mixes. The first in their product lineup is their Bed-and-Breakfast pancake mix, made with simple, all-natural ingredients. We feel confident recommending it for your table, as the pancakes have already received accolades from our Farmers’ family kids. We’re excited to try their new Gluten-Free Tempura Mix!

Shrubbly

This is, hands-down, our favorite new non-alcoholic drink in 2022. Located in Hinesburg, Vermont, this family-owned company produces a healthy, refreshing cold beverage called Shrubbly. The recipe is based on the old-fashioned “Shrub” mixer—made with perishable fruits and apple cider vinegar in the days before refrigeration. The modern Shrubbly is “Shrub” (organic fruit, herbs and spices, and apple cider vinegar) added to sparkling water. You can drink it straight from the can.

Organic Maple Syrup

Bourdon Maple Farm Maple Syrup (sold in Woodstock)

Owner Don Bourdon has been making maple syrup for over 30 years, but his certified organic maple syrup was new to our shelf in 2022. Their 150-acre sugarbush, located in Woodstock, is certified as a Bird-Friendly Maple Project through Audubon Vermont and conserved for future generations through the Vermont Land Trust. Their website is chockful of beautiful photos and a detailed explanation of the sugar-making process.

Square Deal Farm (sold in Waterbury)

Square Deal Farm is a working family farm, located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and bordered by an 11,000 acre wildlife preserve. Their organic maple syrup is made by boiling sap gathered from their sugarbush. They also raise Pinzgauer cattle, grow apples, and tend bees.

How to Create the Perfect Holiday Cheeseboard

What makes a great cheeseboard? A variety of flavors, textures, and colors.

Build your board around a mix of cheeses: hard, soft, and blue. Then add in a few sweet and savory pairings, and voila! It’s a party!

Courtney and Nick, our resident cheesemongers, put together the following guide to help with your selections.

Please note: It’s hard to predict, especially during the busy holiday season, which cheeses will be in stock at each of our store locations. So if you don’t find any of these options when you stop by, never fear! You can’t go wrong with anything you’ll find in the cheese case in Waterbury or Woodstock. They’re all tried and true!

HARD

  • Shelburne Farms “2 Year Cheddar”
  • Jasper Hill “Whitney”
  • Woodcock Farm “Jersey Girl”
  • Cobb Hill “Ascutney Mountain”

SOFT

  • Blue Ledge Farm “Lake’s Edge”
  • Champlain Valley “Triple Cream” or “Triple Truffle”
  • Jasper Hill “Harbison”
  • Spring Brook Farm “Ashbrook”

BLUE

  • Jasper Hill Farm “Bayley Hazen”
  • Champlain Valley Creamery “Bleu De Champlain”
  • MitiBleu (a sheep’s milk blue)

SOME SUGGESTED CHEESE PAIRINGS:

SWEET

  • Fresh figs
  • Fruit & berries
  • Dried apricots
  • Jams & jellies
  • Quince paste

SAVORY

  • Marona Almonds
  • Paté
  • Salami
  • Olives
  • Peppadews

How to Cook Your Turkey and Make a Killer Gravy

There are countless ways to prepare your turkey. But we like to keep it simple. This guide explains the three basic methods, so you can choose the right approach for you (and your bird):

Roast Turkey—All Methods 

Unwrap the turkey in the sink and give it a good rinse. The giblet bag is in the neck cavity, not the body cavity. Take it out before you cook your bird. Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper.

If you are stuffing your turkey, do not do so ahead of time! Stuff it right before it goes into the oven, to minimize the risk of bacterial growth in the stuffing. You can put herbs, spices, chunks of onion, celery, cut up lemons or oranges in the cavity if you don’t want to stuff the bird with edible stuffing. These “aromatics” flavor the bird as it cooks, and the gravy afterward.

Truss the turkey with kitchen string (tie it up in a neat package), and put it in a pan that’s big enough to accommodate it (you don’t want its feet and wings hanging over the side). If you are using a disposable foil pan, put it on a rigid cookie sheet and lift it by holding that, not the pan—the pan can’t be trusted with the weight of the turkey.

Method 1Plain and Simple

Pre-heat oven to 425, and put the rack in the lowest position. Prepare turkey for roasting, above. Pat the breast dry, then rub with softened butter, salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 350 and roast according to the size of your turkey, basting with pan juices every half hour until done. If the skin gets too brown, cover with a double layer of foil.

Method 2Herbed, Self-Basting

Pre-heat oven to 425, and put the rack in the lowest position. Chop a combination of rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley, for a total of about a quarter cup, and add to a cup of softened butter, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper.

With your hand, carefully separate the skin of the breast from the meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Wiggle your hand around under there, working the skin loose over the legs as well if you can. Scoop the herb butter up in your hand and smear it around under the skin. Then smear the rest on outside of the bird. Follow roasting directions above, basting only if you feel like it.

Method 3 – Dry-Rubbed

Pre-heat oven to 425, and put the rack in the lowest position. Brush turkey with oil, then sprinkle on generous amounts of your rub of choice, patting it onto the oiled skin with your hand. Sprinkle in the cavity for good measure. Follow roasting directions above.

Or want to get a little exotic? Try Lisa’s Bacon-Wrapped Turkey & Gravy or Kyle’s Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing.

Gravy 

Put the giblets and neck in a pot, cover with 6 cups of water, some chopped carrots, onion, celery and a bay leaf, and simmer for 1-2 hours to make stock. When turkey is done, remove it from the roasting pan onto a platter or cutting board to rest (rubber dishwashing gloves work very well for this purpose! You get a good grip on the bird, and they’re insulated enough that your hands won’t burn).

Pour all the pan juices into a glass measuring cup and skim off and discard most of the fat. Put a couple of spoonfuls of fat back into the roasting pan and add an equal amount of white flour. Whisk into a paste. If using a disposable pan, transfer paste and as much of the crusty stuff as you can into a medium size pot. If using a roasting pan, set directly over a low flame on the stovetop. Whisk in your hot giblet stock and stir until thickened. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Lisa’s Bacon-Wrapped Turkey and Gravy

Lisa, who was an integral part of our Farmers’ family for many years,  shared this recipe with us many Thanksgivings ago. She adopted it from her Nova Scotian mother-in-law. We thought it was time to bring this time-tested recipe out of the WFM archives to share with you.

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1-2 pounds of great bacon, depending on the size of your turkey
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 turkey

What to Do

If you don’t own a turkey rack, you can create one out of vegetables—the bonus is better tasting drippings! Remove the bag with giblets and liver and the neck from the bird, use these to make stock, preferably the day before. If you don’t want to mess with that, come in and buy our WFM turkey stock from the freezer; if you don’t want to make gravy, stop reading and come on in and buy our house-made gravy.

Rest the turkey on rough-chopped carrots; an onion with the top and end cut off, quartered, not peeled; and two stalks of celery. Drape bacon strips over the entire turkey, wrap the bacon around the legs and place in the oven. The bacon will cook and some pieces will fall off and some will stick to the skin. When the turkey is done, remove all the remaining bacon and set aside. By now the kitchen will be full of hungry folks waiting for a glimpse of the cooked bird. Place the bacon strips on a plate and shoo everyone out with the plate. It’s time to make gravy!

Great Gravy

Relax, great gravy starts with a little technique and great drippings and great stock.

  • Place turkey stock in a two quart saucepan and keep warm.
  • Remove turkey from the roasting pan and place on your serving platter, tent with foil, roast turkey needs to rest for 20 – 30 minutes after it comes out of the oven.
  • Pour and scrape all the schmoo from the roasting pan into a strainer placed over a clean bowl, preferably glass so you see the drippings on the bottom and the fat which will float on top.
  • Into the roasting pan, add two cups of hot water and scrape up all the browned bits in the pan. Pour this mix into the stock.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of drippings
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups of turkey stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to Do

Put a 8 to 10 inch wide-inch deep saucepan over medium low heat; add 3 ounces of turkey drippings. When drippings are warm, add flour and mix to a thick paste with a wisk. Allow this to cook for approximately 4 minutes. It should smell a little like piecrust cooking. The goal here is to the raw flour taste out of the paste. Gradually, 1 cup at a time, add your warm stock to the flour mixture. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat to medium and whisk gravy until it is thickened.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Cranberry-Pear Relish Recipe

While there are lots of recipes for cranberry relish out there, many are for purists. You know the ones: cranberries , sugar, and maybe a little orange. We prefer a relish that includes a variety of fruits representing the autumnal bounty!

Whichever you prefer, starting with fresh cranberries is a must, and Vermont Cranberry Company produces some fine berries on their pristine farmland in northern Vermont.

What You Need:

  • 1 pound of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • Orange zest from 1 orange
  • 1 whole orange, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 cup apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup pear, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup of golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • In a medium-size heavy saucepan, combine cranberries and water. Cook over medium heat until cranberries burst, about 15 minutes.
  • Add all other ingredients, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 30 minutes.
  • Pour finished cranberry mixture into a bowl and stir in the nuts.

Cranberry Relish may be made up to two weeks before Thanksgiving—refrigerate covered. You may also freeze for up to 6 months. While the relish is great with roast turkey and chicken, it is also wonderful as a spread for sandwiches, mixed with softened cream cheese for a quick holiday dip, or spooned over yogurt.

How to Make a Turkey Gravy

Turkey gravy is the unsung hero of the Thanksgiving meal. If you’re roasting your own turkey, you have everything you need to make a delicious homemade gravy. Here’s how:

Step 1: Place your discarded turkey giblets and neck in a pot; cover with 6 cups of water, some chopped carrots, onion, celery and a bay leaf; and simmer for 1-2 hours to make your stock.

Step 2: When the turkey is done, remove it from the roasting pan onto a platter or cutting board to rest (rubber dishwashing gloves work very well for this purpose. You get a good grip on the bird, plus they’re insulated enough that your hands won’t burn).

Step 3: Pour all the pan juices into a glass measuring cup, then skim off and discard most of the fat. Put a couple spoonfuls of fat back into the roasting pan and add an equal amount of white flour. Whisk into a paste. If using a disposable pan, transfer paste and as much of the crusty stuff as you can into a medium-size pot. If using a roasting pan, set directly over a low flame on the stovetop.

Step 4: Whisk in your hot giblet stock and stir until thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Related: Three Ways to Roast a Turkey

Kyle’s Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing

We all have one thing in common here at the Market: We love food! So the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are particularly exciting, as we start thinking and talking about what we’ve got planned for the big day. If you’re looking for ideas, we’re happy to share!

Here’s a recipe created by Kyle, our meat and seafood buyer. He’s been making it for years, and a few of us are planning on giving it a try this season.

Serves 12
Prep time: 45 minutes (or according to Kyle, a beer and a half)
Oven time: Until dish reaches 165 degrees

What You’ll Need

  • 1 lbs Green Mountain Smokehouse sage bulk sausage
  • 1 package Green Mountain Smokehouse maple breakfast links
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 quart chicken stock (or turkey stock)
  • 1 loaf Klinger’s bread (white, wheat, or anything but rye)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3 eggs

What to Do

  1. Brown sage sausage in a deep sauce pan. Don’t drain the fat.
  2. Once close to fully cooked, add onion and celery to the cooked sausage and cook until tender.
  3. Add the 2 sticks of butter and half the chicken stock.
  4. Add bread (cut into 1-inch pieces) and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add stock until thoroughly moist. Season thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove from heat and let cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Mix in 3 eggs and place in greased casserole pan.
  8. Brown maple breakfast links, but don’t cook completely.
  9. Place links on top of casserole dish.
  10. Cover with foil.
  11. Place in oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes (or until the dish reaches 165 degrees;) remove foil for 15 minutes.

Amelia’s Picks: Five Wines for Your Thanksgiving Table

There’s absolutely no reason to stress about what wine to serve—or bring—to your Thanksgiving feast. While certain wines pair better with turkey than others, the truth is that there are so many different flavors on the plate, you’re bound to find a match with something. Besides, how much of the wine drinking happens before dinner while you are snacking on appetizers, or after dinner, when you are leaning back and regretting that second slice of pie? In other words, just choose a bottle that you know you like, and you’ll be happy.

If you want a few more guidelines, then try this—choose lower-tannin, fruitier wines rather than dryer, more structured ones. Pinot Noir rather than Cabernet Sauvignon, for example.

Here are a few classic choices to go along with Thanksgiving:

Red

Beaujolais Nouveau

Made to drink young at the end of harvest season, this “new” wine is a fresh and fruity, easy-to-drink gamay that often has a little bit of spritz to it due to the special fermentation process. The flavors tend toward strawberry and banana, believe it or not, so it goes really well with turkey and cranberry sauce. You can even chill it a little, which makes it a refreshingly light drink.

We are carrying the Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Nouveau, which is made from estate-grown fruit. It doesn’t have the flashy fun label that distinguishes other Nouveaus, but it tastes good!

Valdiguie

A relatively unknown red grape, Valdiguie makes a vividly pink-purple wine bursting with fruit and spice. To me, it tastes like cherries and cranberries and cloves, and like Beaujolais Nouveau can be lightly chilled for serving. Lighter in body, it won’t slow you down when you are contemplating another spoonful of sweet potatoes.

We have the J Lohr California Wildflower Valdiguie this year, which has the added bonus of coming in a pretty, gifty bottle.

White

Chenin Blanc and Viognier

Pine Ridge makes a delicious blend of Chenin Blanc and Viognier. The Chenin grape makes a crisp, yet fruity wine in a variety of styles, from still to sparkling. Viognier tends to be rich and less dry. This particular blend balances a honeyed fruit with a nice acidity that pairs really well with turkey, sweet potatoes, and appetizers.

Rose

Grenache, Cinsaut, and Syrah

Cote Mas Rose Aurore is one of our best-selling roses! There are three reasons for this: 1) It’s organic, 2) It’s a liter of wine for $11, and 3) It’s delicious. Fruity, with a balancing crisp acidity, this wine will easily carry you from appetizers all the way through dinner. It’s pretty and fresh, and a real crowd pleaser.

Sparkling

Champagne

For a nice splurge, consider a bottle of “Grower Champagne” like Collet Brut Art Deco. To truly be called Champagne, a sparkling wine needs to be made from specific grapes (chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier) in the Champagne region of France.

Grower Champagne is made with the fruit of a single estate, so it tends to have a little more character and variety than the big, famous Champagne houses who need their wines to be consistent. Champagne is fantastic with appetizers and dessert, and is tasty throughout the meal as well.

Happy sipping!

~Amelia

How to Create a Local Thanksgiving in Vermont

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We’re such a small state. But everything you need for your Thanksgiving feast can be found right here in Vermont.

That isn’t the case everywhere. During this season of gratitude, we’re thankful that we know exactly where our Thanksgiving meal comes from … and for the farmers and producers who make that possible.

Want to create a Local Thanksgiving? You needn’t look far for these essential components of your holiday spread.

Local Turkeys

There’s a big difference between your standard commercial bird and all-natural turkeys raised on Vermont family farms. No antibiotics and large, open barns = healthier, tastier turkeys. We’ve partnered with three farms in Vermont so that you can feel good about the turkey you put on your table this Thanksgiving. Place your turkey order today! Visit our Thanksgiving page for details.

Here’s what’s available:

  • Misty Knoll Farms (New Haven, VT) – $4.59/lb
    Fresh, uncooked whole turkeys. Antibiotic-free. Raised in large, open “turkey houses.”
  • Stonewood Farm (Orwell, VT)* – $4.59/lb
    Fresh, uncooked whole turkeys. Antibiotic-free. Raised in large, open barns.
  • Hartland Hill Farm (Hartland, VT)* – $6.99/lb
    Organic, uncooked whole turkeys. Limited availability, so order early.
    *Woodstock location only

Vermont Cranberries and Apples

It’s hard to imagine a Thanksgiving meal without cranberries and apples. They show up in sauces, pies, chutneys, and even stuffing recipes. And both are well-suited for our northern clime.

Throughout the holiday season we’ll have freshly harvested cranberries from the Vermont Cranberry Company in Fletcher, Vermont. The cranberries were dry harvested in late October by owner Bob Lesnikoski, who built the bog and planted the cranberry vines himself. And for your baking pleasure, we have several varieties of Vermont-grown apples from Champlain Orchards and Scott Farm Orchard.

Locally Grown Veggies

Potatoes, winter squash, and beets. We all have family recipes that feature these classic Thanksgiving veggies. And for good reason; they’re part of the late-season harvest in New England, where the first Thanksgiving took place.

Laughing Child Farm (Pawlet, Vt)  keeps us rolling in sweet potatoes all season long. And we have fingerlings, German butterballs, russets, and red potatoes, as well as beets and several varieties of winter squash from a selection of local farms. They include: Fresh Roots Farm (Sharon, Vt), Pete’s Greens (Craftsbury, VT), Jericho Settlers Farm (Jericho, VT), Hurricane Flats (South Royalton, Vt), Edgewater (Plainfield, NH), Four Corners Farm (Newbury, Vt), Bone Mountain Farm (Bolton, Vt) and Pierson Farm (Bradford, Vt).

Vermont Cider, Wine, and Mead

Hard cider was likely the beverage of choice at holiday gatherings in Vermont during the 18th and 19th centuries. Before the days of refrigeration, cider was easy to make using local apples, kept longer than milk (and was safer to drink than water), and was preferred to ale. In this century, our love of cider is more about taste and presentation than practicality. You can find a wide assortment of locally produced hard ciders in elegant bottles and beautifully decorated cans. Come peruse our shelves to find the perfect Vermont cider, mead, or wine for your feast.

Bread

Nothing completes the Thanksgiving meal like a melt-in-your-mouth roll or slice of good bread. But making your own takes time and preparation—both of which are in short supply around the holidays. Thankfully we live in a state chock-full of fantastic bakeries, and a few of them even deliver!

Red Hen Baking and Klinger’s Bread Company are available in both of our store locations, along with La Panciata in Woodstock and Parker House Rolls from La Strada Bakery in Waterbury.  For special orders, please call no later than Nov. 20.

And this just covers the staples. We haven’t even mentioned all of the amazing Vermont artisan products to compliment your feast. Made-in-Vermont butter, chutneys, cheeses, smoked meats, sweets, and more. Come peruse our shelves (and look for the “Local” sticker) for more ideas.

Happy Thanksgiving planning!

An Autumn Guide to Winter Squash

It’s Squashtober—harvest season for a plethora of winter squash varieties. The arrival of these fall beauties makes the good-bye to summer tomatoes and lettuces a tad … bit … easier.

But let’s be honest: Aside from the celebrated butternut squash, most of us don’t know one winter squash variety from the next, let alone what to do with it.

Here’s a simple guide to the local squashes you’ll find in the Market this fall:

Sunshine Squash

Completely stringless, filled with succulent, ultra-sweet flesh with a nutty after bite you’ll love. The creamy-sweet flavor is brought out well when the fruit is baked, steamed, or even microwaved.

Buttercup Squash

Has a sweet and creamy orange flesh and is much sweeter than other winter varieties. Can be baked, mashed, steamed, stuffed or simmered, and can replace sweet potatoes in most recipes.

Delicata Squash

This squash is milder than and not as sweet as other winter squash, so it pairs well with hearty winter dishes. The thinner skin is barely detectable when cooked, so there’s no need to peel it!

Carnival Squash

The yellow meat is reminiscent of sweet potatoes and butternut squash. It can be baked or steamed, combined with butter and fresh herbs. Pierce whole squash in several places, and bake halved squash hollow side up.

Acorn Squash

It has a moist, tender flesh that’s distinctly nut-like, yet mild and sweet. It is traditionally halved, seeded, drizzled with maple syrup and roasted.

Butternut Squash

Has a deep orange flesh that is smooth and very sweet, similar to sweet potato and yam, with hints of butterscotch. This popular squash is amazingly versatile and easy to peel with a vegetable peeler.

Kombucha Squash

A Japanese staple ingredient that is known for its sweetness, velvety texture, and versatility. It looks like a pumpkin but tastes more like a sweet potato. Often used in soups and in recipes that call for acorn squash, butternut squash, or pumpkin.

Spaghetti Squash

The flesh is noodle-like in appearance and is often used as a pasta substitute (perfect for gluten-free diets). Like other squash, it can be halved and roasted; or you can roast it whole, slice it in half, and pull out the long squash “noodles.”