by Alice Levitt
Maybe you're a member of the Vermont congressional delegation. Maybe you have tickets for the Obama swearing-in ceremony and an extra $100 to throw around on top of your round-trip ticket to D.C.
Either way, on Sunday you might find yourself at the Vermont State Society's 2013 Inaugural Reception in our nation's capital and enjoying a menu prepared by members of the Vermont Specialty Food Association.
And if you're staying home, consider this a recipe for a congressional-worthy meal all your own.
Start with a cheese plate. In D.C., Shummy and co. (shown above at the ribbon cutting for the Mad River Food Hub, where a number of the featured foods are prepared) will be slicing into blocks of 2-year-old maple-smoked cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese, as well as selections from CabotCreamery and Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery.
Those playing the home game will want to get out their fondue pots. The Washington delegation will be dipping into melted versions of the above cheeses with roasted potato cubes, Empire apple wedges from Champlain Orchards and vegetable crudités.
If that's too fancy for you, apps will also include bags of chips from Gringo Jack's with the Manchester company's own salsa. Be sure to keep your fingers clean by using a fork when digging into pickles from Lyman's Specialties.
The main course includes a pasta bar with vodka and pesto sauces from Bove's and Vermont Fresh Pasta (right) as well as spicy satay sauce from Vermont Harvest Specialty Foods in Stowe. A carving station features Misty Knoll Farms turkey, sausage from Vermont Smoke & Cure and pork from Vermont Salumi. Those wishing to go vegan and gluten-free can grab a bowl of Thai curry squash soup from Joe's Soups at Screamin' Ridge Farm. A range of Vermont dressings will top salads, including the aforementioned satay. Clearly, the lesson is that the Thai peanut sauce goes on everything.
Vermont-made (though no longer Vermont-owned) Ben & Jerry's tops the list of desserts, along with apple pies from Ma Bean's Vermont Pie Company, a variety of slices from Vermont Cheesecake Company and Liz Lovely cookies.
But, of course, what really matters is the liquid courage. Whether you're getting up the nerve to talk to one of our representatives or just steeling yourself for the work week, local liquors will be in full force.
The hard stuff comes from from Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey and Vermont Spirits Distilling Co. A wide selection of beers includes sips from Long Trail Brewing Company, Otter Creek Brewing, Magic Hat Brewery and Trapp Family Lodge Brewery. Cider from Essex's Citizen Cider (right) joins wine from Snow Farm Vineyard and Honora Winery.
But when it comes to free-flowing nectar, perhaps it's best to party at home, near a couch and far from lawmakers.