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On Your Mark, Get Set: #BTV Beef

2011 February 22

By Zack Luby

Hey Relay Readers!

I have been super psyched to participate in the Relay ever since Brianna and Sarah started.  Can’t believe it’s my turn! There is nothing quite like trying to cook a meal using local stuff in Vermont in February!  I knew this going in when I chose late February to be my week, so I had prepared – I was loosely planning on doing something with greens, as I expected that to be a pretty common ingredient this winter in the Relay.

Then, two things happened.  Pete’s Greens, the local supplier of all things green and awesome to Burlington, VT (or, as we refer to it in the twittersphere, #btv), had their barn burn to the ground and lost a ton of equipment, food, and building space.  Tragic stuff.  It’s also had an impact on the availability of local greens.  You can read more here about what happened, what our community is doing to help, and what’s in store for Pete’s. This is a large blow to our local #btv food system.  So secondly, and on a lighter note, I get the recipe I am relaying from, and, voila! it’s a bread pudding – and I am currently not eating bread, nor am I eating dessert!  Every once in a while I change my eating habits to exclude those items, and I am in the middle of doing that right now.  It’s cool though, I am into challenges.  I swear.

So there I am, thinking, okay, I am pretty much sunk!  February.  Vermont.  No greens.  Bread.  Pudding.  Things are not exactly coming up “Zack”.

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I looked over Katherine’s Morocc N’ Roll Bread Pudding recipe (which, by the way, looks totally delicious) and started thinking about what I could do.  I was like, hmmm, I bet I can flip orange into something.  So I decided to highlight LaPlatte Farm beef and do a Spicy Orange Beef and Broccoli!

Clearly the oranges aren’t local.  Neither is the rice, nor the broccoli – all three are from California. I would be killing it right now in the local category if I was in Cali.  But, I am not.  I also didn’t want to stir fry burdock root, rutebega, and turnips (MMM!).  Sarah let me know that no one had used beef yet, so I feel pretty good blazing the trail.

A word about Laplatte Beef – They are a family business located in Burlington’s own Chittenden County.  They lease or just borrow neighboring land to graze their cattle, so they don’t have a ton of overhead, and are constantly rotating their fields.  They are a local mainstay at our markets.  The beef is world-class, grass-fed, delicious, and it’s awesome knowing that it comes from literally just down the road.

City Market, our local co-op, has a pretty great system that allows you to see where your food comes from.  Produce is clearly marked, as you can see in the pics.  Thanks to Allison for letting me take some pics of the produce in the wild!

I can’t wait to share the Spicy Orange Beef!  Tune in Thursday for more.

Zack Luby is the owner of Good Stuff Communications, a digital marketing firm located in Burlington, VT. He is also about to complete (woohoo!) his MBA in Organizational and Environmental Sustainability at Antioch University of New England, which is where he met Sarah and Brianna.  Good stuff!