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Side Dishes: Crescent Dragonwagon, Crystal Maderia, Kismet, Bruegger's Bagel Bakery

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Some Vermont-authored food books get all the ink. But a few others deserve note. In November, the prolific and memorably named Crescent Dragonwagon started spreading The Cornbread Gospels from her home in Southern Vermont. Her tome, which includes recipes for a maple-syrup-laced bread as well as the usual Southern specialties, is a big hit on Amazon.

Another unusual offering comes from Crystal Maderia, caterer and co-owner of Montpelier's Kismet. The New Seaweed Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Discovering the Deep Flavors of the Sea, which features around 100 surprisingly wide-ranging recipes, is her first. Offerings run the gamut from a Moroccan spice rub with kelp to vegan marshmallows made with agar flakes.

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You can order egg salad without guilt at Bruegger's Bagel Bakery. As of the first of the year, the Burlington-based bagel chain is using only cage-free eggs in its Queen City, Shelburne and Brattleboro digs, as well as in a couple of Massachusetts locations.

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The Rutland Herald asked a bunch of politicians and other local luminaries to make predictions for 2008. Only Bernie Sanders mentioned anything about food. Reporter Dawson Raspuzzi reports that if Sanders' guesses are accurate, "Vermont's artisan cheese industry will 'sweep the top honors' in the 2008 American Cheese Society Awards and United States Championship Cheese Contest." We always took the senator for an American cheese guy.

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