Over the years, I’ve cooked through the cannon of Sabataso family recipes. I’ve made holiday dishes like Spaghetti Olio and baccalà, which traditionally only appear on Christmas or when important Italians like Sinatra the Pope show up.
Pizza is in my blood. Of all my family’s culinary traditions, it is easily our oldest and, through The Palms, our most widely shared. In Vermont, we practically invented pizza.
No joke. The Palms was the first restaurant to sell pizza in the state — or so the legend goes. This was back in the late 1940s, when, if a Vermonter wanted pizza, they apparently had to call it in to New York State and wait for delivery at the border. (I’m guessing the “30 minutes or it’s free” policy was never honored.)
In a recent edition of Kris Smith’s “Market Watch” column (appearing every Tuesday i n the Rutland Herald), Kris explained the accidental localvore phenomenon. That is, when your buying habits have become such that a given meal is locally sourced by circumstance rather than intent.
I’ve been there: reaching into the fridge, pulling out and preparing some veggies, meat or whatever and suddenly realizing halfway through the meal that it’s entirely local. It’s good feeling — not like a pat-yourself-on-the-back sort of thing, but more like, “Hey, isn’t it cool that I was able to buy all this stuff locally, from people I know and from farms I have been to?”
Recently, Herald editor and occasional food critic Randal Smathers penned a none-too-flattering piece about the zucchini — a Dylanesque jeremiad that nearly reached “Positively 4th Street” levels of contempt.
In his opinion, the veggie is overabundant, flavorless and ultimately unwanted — a scourge of summer gardens that growers are only too eager to pawn off to friends and enemies alike.
While the piece gave me a chuckle, I had to take exception to his assertion that only “one-in-10,000” people actually like zucchini. I personally know many zucchini lovers out there who openly celebrate their love for the great, green gourd. (Some town even go as far as to hold festivals for it.)