Great food deserves great music, and I am the luckiest cook of all because I am married Richard Ruane, a terrific musician who plays with the band Bread and Bones. Yes, there is something edible about the title. When I met Richard, he was in a band called Feast or Famine. It has been mostly feasting since then.
Another music link, this time to a monthly coffeehouse series, which Richard and I (among others) founded and keep running. Not surprisingly, my job revolves around the kitchen, organizing (and baking) the refreshments and providing dinner and hospitality to our guest musicians. Many of my recipes have been field-tasted by concert goers and musicians. Among the folk musicians, there are a surprising number who would rather talk about food than music (at least with me).
I am a regular shopper at the Middlebury Farmers’ Market. If you’ve never been to a farmers’ market, you should find one near you and go! Farmers’ markets are more than just a shopping opportunity. They are about community, often with music, crafts, and petting zoos. This website will direct you to one near you.
A fellow Vermonter, Molly Stevens is an award-winning food writer, editor and cooking teacher. Her cookbook All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking (WW Norton) won a 2005 James Beard Foundation award and an International Association of Culinary Professionals award. Food & Wine magazine listed the book as one of the top 10 cookbooks of 2004. Molly’s articles and recipes appear regularly in Fine Cooking, where she is a contributing editor.
Whenever I have a question about food writing or Vermont foods, Marialisa Calta is the first person I think to call. Over the years, we have shared our mutual love of Vermont and its wackier aspects, as well as our strong feelings about family, family meals, and family life. Her recipes are simple and down-to-earth, and her book Barbarians at the Plate contains darn good parenting advice, plus recipes.
Another Vermonter, Linda Furiya is a terrific cooking teacher, and she has helped me conquer the Chinese dumpling. She has written two highly interesting food memoirs, Bento Box in the heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America and How to Cook a Dragon: Living, Loving and Eating in China. She is currently focusing on developing a frozen dumpling business.
I start my mornings with a cup of coffee in one of Sandra Lance’s beautiful fruit mugs. Her pottery is simply gorgeous and very food-friendly. It is both sophisticated and whimsical. Words cannot describe her work adequately—you’ll just have to see for yourself!
Storey Publishing has published a number of my cookbooks. They specialize in how-to books and country living skills. From gardening to beer-making, I have gained a lot of my knowledge from books published by Storey.