Friday, July 25, 2008

Eating Vermont Part 4: Snacks

Each summer I find myself with a few weeks in Vermont while teaching community based youth Shakespeare camps in the towns of Chelsea and Craftsbury. The reason we're able to mount full scale Shakespeare productions in ten days with campers starting at age eleven is... snacks. Many, many, snacks. Powerful, natural, local, sometimes foraged-for snacks. Like these black raspberries.

This time of year there are inevitably a lot of recipes making the rounds for fruit cobblers, tarts, pies, cakes, and so forth. But as much as I love to make (and eat) a berry pie, I've never found myself with more berries on hand than I could handle straight up. Eating berries unadulterated is also part of my new food philosophy of total raw ingredient worship. Plus, when you're snacking on the side of the road, the thought of taking your haul back to the kitchen and baking them with sugar and butter seems, as our campers would say, "kinda sketchy."

Other snacks include homemade granola.

Granola is another one of my summer staples that I rarely think about during the year. I'm not (yet) in the habit of making it myself, but knowing that I could, I'll never buy it. Fortunately my fellow camp directors always keep us well stocked in their own personal blends. This batch was a little on the salty side with coconut flakes and roasted cashews. Why wouldn't I stuff some in my mouth every time I passed the jar?

The other major snacking food group is fresh garden veggies, like sugar snap peas, enormous raw spinach leaves, and of course, carrots.

Shockingly, the kids I work with are just as excited about eating their veggies as I am. On the first day of camp we had each camper say their name and favorite vegetable, and a fight nearly broke out when someone first laid claim to "kale." When I was eleven, I think my favorite vegetable was sugar.

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Carol said...

How sweet! I had black raspberries last week with my fave berry topping, sour cream and brown sugar. I got them at the farmer's market that's closest to us, which is located at the u.s. department of transportation. It's a bit odd. Have fun with the kids!

Debs said...

This post made me nostalgic for the camps I've worked at. I taught theatre at one in Michigan, where, incidentally, we also picked wild black raspberries and (some of) the kids were excited about vegetables. I directed a camp out here in WA too where we tried to get as many local foods as possible onto the menu. Hooray for camp!

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