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Side Dishes: Leftover Food News

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Want to sample something called “Good Fortune Hen” or “2nd Sister’s Rabbit”? Both appear on A Single Pebble’s special menu in celebration of Chinese New Year, offered from January 23 to 27.

Chef Leu’s House is doing it up for a full 15 days, beginning on the 25th. “We do it every year,” a staffer explained. “We have ‘Lucky Golden Bowl’; it’s vegetarian.” For carnivores, Leu’s menu also boasts “Sweet and Sour Crispy Whole Fish” and “Fried Jumbo Shrimp with Walnut Sauce.”

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It’s been a long time coming, but Claire’s Restaurant & Bar in Hardwick now offers Sunday “blunch” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Don’t look for a “blunch” menu on the community-supported eatery’s spiffy new website, www.clairesvt.com, which extols the virtues of culinary spontaneity. “Our chef plans his menu every day after talking with farmers,” the home- page copy reads. “Steven is looking for local ingredients at their peak . . . nourished on the soil and water of Vermont. From there . . . He considers how the weather has flavored this season’s produce, what local herbs or spices from far away might best bring out that uniqueness, and which cooking techniques are most suitable.”

Sounds tasty. But will he make Huevos Rancheros?

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According to New World Tortilla’s website, construction of its new Pine Street location in Burlington is nearly complete, and the café will be up and running in February.

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The region’s hole-iest business, Dinky Donuts of Middlebury, has expanded its offerings yet again. Now the tiny shop on Route 7 is serving savory fare such as stuffed croissants; both meaty and vegetarian soups complement its sugary rounds.

Follow up your meal with a “recession special,” a pair of cake donuts and a cup of coffee for just $2. Talk about cheap energy . . .

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Last week, trendy Fast Company magazine listed “Ten Best Green Jobs for the Next Decade.” The first suggestion was refreshingly low-tech: Get down and dirty by becoming a farmer.

The editors note that the average American farmer is age 55, putting the industry in need of new blood — and know-how. “Modern farmers are small businesspeople who must be as skilled in heirloom genetics as marketing,” the mag says.

So where do you go to learn the ins and outs of soil? Fast Company’s first suggestion is the Center for Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Vermont.

For those who don’t want to plunge their hands directly into the dirt, the magazine also suggests “related careers”: CSA coordinator and artisanal cheesemaker.

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Looking to visit “one of America’s most romantic travel destinations” this Valentine’s Day? Sheknows.com has some ideas. On its list of 20 hot spots: California’s Napa Valley; Molokai, Hawaii; and, of course, Barnard, Vermont, site of the Barnard Inn.

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