Susie Crowther

In Vermont, it’s all about the apples

The Macoun appears like clockwork, right around my son%u2019s birthday. Both events are so conjoined in my psyche that I am unable to imagine one without the other.

Our son, Lucas, turns 21 on Sept. 21. For those of you who made it through fourth grade, this means he will experience his “golden birthday”- when you are the same age as your birth date.

According to fourth-grade philosophy, the golden birthday is supposed to be one of the best years of your life. I mean, duh. One doesn't need an elementary-school diploma to grasp that kind of logic.

While discussing the implications of finally reaching our nation's legal drinking age, Lucas staunchly defended his right to party hearty. In response to my pleas for pacing and moderation, he responded adamantly, “There is no way I am not going to throw up on my 21st birthday.”

Not a maternal moment for pride and joy perhaps, but at least he correctly pulled off the double negative.

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Enjoy the sweet summer food of August

Some ways to savor the season as summer inches closer to fall

In August, produce overwhelms the senses. We are kids in a candy shop, only we're filling our bellies with berries, laughing at baseball-bat zucchinis, and getting high whiffing heirloom tomatoes. Right around the first of the month, summer changes. You can feel that shift if you persistently observe. August...

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Delicious — and medicinal

What exactly is garlic, anyway? An herb? A spice? The truth is, it’s neither.

A virus, a bacteria, a fungus, and a microbe walk into a bar... and garlic kills them all. Garlic is one of the most important of the medicinal plants and is certainly the most delicious, too. But, no one really knows what it is. Food nerds may challenge garlic...

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Why these chocolate-covered strawberries merit a drive to Massachusetts

Emily turned 16 last week. There are many things a 16-year-old might want for her birthday, including an iPad, an iPod, or a smartphone. One thing you wouldn't expect a teenager to request: a strawberry. No, “strawberry” is not the new BlackBerry. We're talking about a strawberry, and not just any strawberry. If you'll notice, I used the singular form to describe her request. We'll get to that. For now, please consider a 16-year-old girl requesting a strawberry as her...

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The morel of the story

Spring is interesting. Most people think about it as the beginning of life and renewal, but it comes with a shadow side. Spring is also the death of dying. Transitioning from death to life is quite the endeavor. Winter-to-spring takes more energy than any other seasonal conversion. It is a tumultuous, transformative time, akin to the phoenix rising. Mountains of snow melt, the ground heaves and buckles, animals reanimate, and flora awakens. Then, it rains. The rain I don't mind.

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Maple syrup: a fancy feast

Maple syrup is in the air - literally. As we pass sugarhouses on our way to work, we see maple steam fill the sky with sweet smoke. It's been a late start to the sugaring season this year and, I hope, just the beginning. As I write this column, icy rain gathers on our slushy muddy driveway. The end of winter in Vermont reminds me of a child visiting a candy store and being told it's time to go: the...

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What do you get a chef with high standards?

I recently had the opportunity of traveling to New York City and interviewing Chefs Thomas Keller and Roland Henin. The article will run in Mise en Place, the Culinary Institute of America's seasonal magazine. For those of you who remain in the woodwork (I include myself in this category), Chef Keller has earned his place among the ranks of a new strain of culinary expert: the Celebrity Chef. He is the owner of the French Laundry and Per Se -

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Keeping the (body’s) home fires burning

Growing up in Vermont, I never understood the myth of Groundhog Day. According to Bill Anderson, who wrote a book on the subject (and as quoted by the Punxsutawney [Penn.] Groundhog Club), the Feb. 2 tradition is “a popular tradition in the United States. It is also a legend that traverses centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates.” Groundhog Day, as the tradition goes, is “the day that the...

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