Farmers To You Year Round

or How to get Farm Fresh Food even in the middle of Winter in New England.

I love everything about our local Farmers Market, from the farm fresh produce to seeing friends, getting to know the farmers, and bringing my recyclable bags, which for some reason I don’t remember to bring anywhere else but the farmers market – go figure. And right about now, in the midst of all the holiday cooking and baking, I miss it the most.  As luck would have it, I was introduced to Farmers To You and invited to try it out by ordering so I could write about it – perfect timing – just before Thanksgiving.

This is a terrific find – it links New England farmers and producers to Boston-area families bringing the best local, sustainable and artisanal foods to your family year-round. Farm to Table – yes! Farmers To You delivers to several cities and towns – and now in Newton! You can check your zip code here to see where the closest delivery spot is to you.

What did we get? To start – great produce – romaine lettuce, mixed organic shoots from Pete’s Greens of Vermont, then some organic sweet potatoes and carrots, some awesome flour from The Nitty Gritty Grain Company, and an unbelievably gorgeous and delicious double crust apple pie from Champlain Orchards. All wonderful and fresh, and since I was responsible for roasted vegetables and salad, it was easy.

Oh, and cheese – gorgeous Moses Sleeper cheese from Jasper Hill Farm, organic tofu from Vermont Soy, Vegan eggrolls from Rhapsody Natural Foods – the non-vegans loved these, too. And salmon from Starbird Fish Company, which came in super handy with the vegan egg rolls when someone was too sick to go to Thanksgiving dinner and we had all the gorgeous vegetables and salad but no turkey (don’t worry – we had a do-over the next day).

My next order will include this yummy ice cream…I tried it at a friend’s house and it definitely needs to be parked in our freezer…for a few days anyway. Check out their Facebook Page here.


Along with this pizza crust from Red Hen Baking CompanySo excited to be able to get farm fresh produce and artisanal products year round! I can’t wait for my next order – Newton pick up is super easy – just off Lincoln Street in Newton Highlands.

 Disclaimer – I did not receive any compensation for this post just a credit so I could sample the service to aid in the review.

An Open Love Letter to My CSA

Why do I love it so? Because it treats me like a princess and I’m all about that.

Seriously. First, this CSA delivers, as in to your door. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not that princess-y that I can’t pick up my own farm share – I have done so for years now and I liked doing it, but I love this. Every Sunday delivered to my door is a sturdy waxed produce box. It is pretty and delicious all the way through (except the box, I give that back so they can fill it up for next week). Second, I am all about the food and my no-cook summer – this has been a huge help – and I haven’t even ordered from the pre-made dinners from Graze which would really be no-cook (or at least no prep).

graze CSA delivers strawberries, too capability mom blog





What comes in my CSA?


The strawberries were so delicious and ripe that we finished them in an afternoon. Tremendous.

My CSA is all about surprises, too. One week we got a dozen farm fresh eggs that I didn’t know were coming and a copy of the magazine La Cucina Italiana – I’m sure the Dazzling Strawberry Desserts featured are wonderful recipes. Maybe we can save some next time…

Garlic ramps (I forget what to do with these each year – had to Google it), gorgeous red leaf lettuce and two perfect bags of baby greens and arugula (love these), cucumbers, beets (all for me and roasting right now in foil in the toaster oven – that almost counts as not cooking), the greens (kale, chard) which I also need ideas on how to make, a quart of strawberries, a dozen eggs, and a beautifully wrapped bunch of basil with roots in tact so I can put it in water. Done.


Turnips, more beets, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce and today a cantaloupe that may not make it to dinner. I love to make Smitten Kitchens’ Ratatouille’s Ratatouille with some of this bounty. The rest gets tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled. Easy side dish and minimal cleanup.

If you have any ideas for no-cook or almost no cook, chime in! I could use the help. Meanwhile my husband is grilling (no cooking for me, anyway) …ribs, corn and asparagus for dinner served with a gorgeous salad. Yum.

capability mom loves her CSA from Graze vermont Rockville Market Farm
Rockville Market Farm Keen’s Greens from Graze Vermont CSA

Farm Share by Graze Vermont

Graze Delivers…Do They Ever!

I have a not-so-secret crush on Vermont, yes, the state. Years ago, one of my sisters lived in Stowe and since then we have visited Vermont many times, and aside from one ill-fated North East Kingdom weekend (that is a long and funny story for another day), we have always had a great time. I love everything about Vermont, and even daydream about moving there, so when the offer to review food from Graze Vermont Artisanal Foods came my way, my response was a resounding yes. My experience with food in Vermont has always been good. Sign me up!

So what is Graze? It is a group of Vermont farmers and producers who want to get their wonderful products out to people and have come up with a really creative way to do it. They deliver Vermont fresh food to you once a week (check the website to see if they are delivering in your town). I even heard from a Weston mom friend that everyone in her children’s school is using Graze. So I am in good company…Weston is full of people who know their farms and food (Weston has had the terrific Land’s Sake organic farm operating since 1980).

brownie and perfect chocolate milk from Graze Artisanal Foods VermontSo here is my story. A nice plain gray plastic box arrived on a Sunday (I would have written about them sooner but it took us this long to eat all of the food!) My entire family was excited about the contents and the beauty and volume of food. Yes, we like vast quantities of food.

There was fresh milk (1%) and chocolate milk (listed as perfect and it is), eggs, yogurt (greek style and better than Choibani and Face – both of which we buy), bread, a dozen jumbo eggs (the most beautiful eggs I have ever seen), oatmeal, whole grain bread, prettily packaged kits for quick dinners (pizza and meatloaf), gorgeous chicken breasts, brownies, slice and bake cookies (wonderful), beautiful butter and prepared foods that were perfect for a Sunday dinner. Pretty much almost a week’s worth of meals. My husband was suitably impressed and I was thrilled. Farm fresh food delivered? Prepared meals…even better.

chicken tenders from GrazeWe worked our way through the box joyously. We started as soon as we unpacked the box on Sunday afternoon. There were two types of prepared chicken tenders which were a huge hit (the buffalo chicken tenders were wonderful for the grown-ups, the kids stuck with the milder plain version). Once we had polished these off, the next course was Pulled Chicken with whole wheat rolls. Absolute perfection.

There was also a delicious broccoli salad – I put the bacon on mine (of course I did). broccoli salad from graze The next night I used the pizza kit – a breeze to put together for a quick weekday dinner (flatbread, marinara sauce and cheese in nice pre-measured containers). I served it with a fresh garden salad and some leftover manicotti from Venda Ravioli. Lovely.

On Valentine’s Day we went for the Turkey Meatloaf Kit that I made (in a heart shaped pan because I am fun that way). My family was dubious at first but were quickly converted to fans. We found a new favorite dinner – no small task, that! I served it with Baked Brown Rice (recipe by Alton Brown) and some veggies.

What a complete pleasure from start to finish – farm-fresh healthy and delicious food delivered to your door.

I forgot to add that if you want to try Graze (more…)

Southern Vermont – A Perfect Getaway

capability mom blog visitis southern vermont and 40 putney road inn40 Putney Road Brattleboro Vermont capability Mom Blog Visit

It is true that we don’t travel as much as we did pre-children. (Yes, children, before you were born, your father and I gallivanted around the world, cash flowing through our hands like water. We wanted for nothing and the world was our oyster. That said, we love you very much and don’t mind at all putting that money that we were using to enrich our life experience into clothing and feeding you, to say nothing of providing orthodontia, summer camps, music lessons and sports activities…all as a precursor to the biggest expense of all, college…really, we don’t mind).

Now when we travel it is usually as a family which I love, and very occasionally, my husband and I go away together, alone, in as a couple. It is a bit odd at first, it is also a little window into the time when the kids will have grown up and left home, it is different but nice. We hang out, read, walk, or maybe jump in the car to explore a nearby town and all without explanation or coercion. Really, for those of you with young children, it can happen to you. This trip, was to Southern Vermont (it was on the way to pick up a child at camp), and stayed in at 40 Putney Road Inn (the street address is 172 Putney Road, I’ll let the owners explain that to you), and it is just a short walk into Brattleboro Center from this lovely and a short drive to the perfect (movie set perfect) town of Newfane, and behind the inn there are miles of trails. The rooms are lovely, luxurious and homey without being pretentious. The innkeepers are Amy and Tim, and their dedication to the place really shows. The Sun and Moon room was lovely and luxurious without being pretentious, nice touches included a seriously comfortable bed, a reading nook and things like chilled water (in a charming old fashioned glass bottle), and complimentary basket full of snacks that we snarfed almost immediately40 Putney Road Brattleboro Vermont Capability mom blog visit (although we did save the chips for our camper). We had a pre-dinner beer in the pub and chatted with Amy about running and inn.  She made it sound effortless. What a perfect place to stay: comfortable with nice energy, and a great gourmet breakfast (included in the room rate). Amy will even share – she won a pancake contest with the following recipe. This is a fantastic getaway – definitely on our re-visit list.

Amy’s Perfect Amaretto Almond Pancake
Makes 8 – 4” pancakes

1 C – All purpose bleached flour (softer than unbleached flour)
2 t – Sugar
1⁄2 t – Salt
1⁄2 t – Baking Powder
3⁄4 c – Buttermilk
1⁄4 c – Milk
1 – Large Egg
2 T – Unsalted butter melted
1 t – Vanilla Extract
3⁄4 C – Sliced Almonds
1 T – Amaretto

1⁄4 t – Almond Extract
1⁄2 C – Vermont medium amber grade A maple syrup
1⁄4 C – Sliced almonds

Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle to 375 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, sliced almonds and baking soda in a medium
bowl. Microwave buttermilk and milk in a bowl to get to room temperature. Whisk in egg, butter and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until just barely mixed to the point of no
lumps. Pour batter 1⁄4 cup at a time. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding. When pancakebottoms are golden brown and the tops start to bubble (2-3 minutes) flip the pancake and cook until golden brown on the remaining side. Combine Almond Extract and syrup and microwave for 45 seconds. Serve hot. Garnish pancakes with sliced almonds.

For more information on Forty Putney Road Bed and Breakfast, visit or call (800) 941-2413 or like them on Facebook (special deals show up here)

That night, we went to a fabulous dinner at T.J. Buckley’s in Brattleboro, go now and order the scallops – you will not be sorry.

The dining room hold about 10-12 seats and the kitchen is open to it so you are treated to a show as well as fantastic food. The restaurant is in a converted train dining car and seats about 18 people. It is softly-lit, romantic and the view of the kitchen makes it feel wonderfully engaging and Chef Michael Fuller is a dream to watch. Everything is quiet, understated and fantastic.

T. J. Buckley’s Sample Menu
Country-Style Paté –Duck liver, veal, pork
sliced fruit, whole grain mustard, homemade fruit chutney
Crab Cake — Citrus, cilantro, garlic aioli
Smoked Trout Tartlet — chevre, dollop of crème fraiche, trout roe
Parmesan Cheese Tart –Swiss chard, golden raisins, pine nuts served with membrillo
Beef Tenderloin, Braised oxtail*, Black Trumpet Mushroom — Mashed German Butterball potatoes with roasted garlic, Grilled green beans and gilfeather turnip*
Rabbit Loin* Wrapped in Jamon Serrano —
Rabbit Leg* Stuffed with swiss chard and double-smoked bacon* — Maine heirloom beans, winter vegetables, poached Bosc pear
Diver Scallops & Crispy Pork Belly* Au jus with carrot oil and aged balsamic syrup Coarse grit polenta cakes sautéed winter greens, fennel, savoy cabbage, black trumpet mushroom
Wild King Salmon Seared and Steamed Lobster Stock, Parsley Oil Local Brown Rice & Wild Minnoman Rice RisottoPureed Kabocha Squash, Frizzled Leek, Kale
includes salad and Orchard Hill bread
Local, Seasonal Vegetables from Local Farms
Vegetarian and Vegan Options Always Available
Excellent Wine and Beer Selection

%d bloggers like this: