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VPR Cafe: Thansksgiving On The Farm

Candace Page
A rich pumpkin soup topped with sour cream will be on the Thanksgiving table at the home of Dawn and Dan Boucher, dairy farmers in Highgate

Thanksgiving is an exceptionally busy time of year for farmers: harvesting the root vegetables we all serve on the holiday; bringing turkeys to slaughter; making deliveries to farmers' markets - and all the while keeping up with the demanding day to day schedule of running a farm.

Candace Page, who writes for the Savorvore Section of The Burlington Free Press, talked to a number of farmers around the state to find out what their holiday is like and what graces their Thanksgiving tables.

Below are the recipes Candace mentioned for the Boucher Family Farm Nutty Squmpkin Soup and Liberty Hill Farm Shaker Cheese Bread Pudding.

The VPR Cafe is produced in collaboration with The Burlington Free Press and is made possible on VPR by City Market in Burlington.

The audio for this program will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, 2014.

Broadcast Sunday, Nov. 23 at 10:50 a.m.

Boucher Family Farm Nutty Squmpkin Soup
This recipe makes use of a special Vermont-made peanut butter with a hint of maple. Farmwife and cheesemaker Dawn Boucher adds, “This is “squmpkin” because you can use squash or pumpkin.”

4 cups chicken broth
½ cup roasted pumpkin or squash
2 tablespoons Nutty Vermonter Maple Chipotle Nut Butter *
½ cup half-and-half
Salt to taste
Sour cream

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan and cook until it reduces to 1 cup. Reduce heat to low and add the pumpkin or squash. Bring to a simmer. Beat in the nut butter. Cover pan, remove from the heat and let cool 20 to 30 minutes.
In batches, pour into a blender and process until smooth. Return to pan and bring to a simmer. Add half and half and remove from heat once more. Taste and add salt if necessary. To serve, top with a dollop of sour cream.
Serves 4 to 8 as an appetizer.

*For a different flavor, substitute peanut butter and a dash of Sriracha – or Nutty Vermonter Ginger Nut Butter -- for the maple-chipotle butter.

Liberty Hill Farm Shaker Cheese Bread Pudding
Farmwife and innkeeper Beth Kennett says this dish is known also as Shapleigh Pudding, after Shapleigh, Maine, where her ancestors settled. For the cheese in the recipe, Beth recommends Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, or Cabot’s new Legacy Collection Alpine white cheddar.

8 slices firm white bread or brioche (or leftover homemade dinner rolls!)
½ pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated, about two cups
2½ cups of milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Butter each slice of bread on one side and assemble the slices into four sandwiches, butter side in. Cut into quarters.
Spread two of the quartered sandwiches across the bottom of the casserole and top with half the grated cheese. Add the remaining sandwich quarters topped by the rest of the cheese.
In a bowl, beat together the milk, eggs, mustard, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the mixture into the casserole. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees. Serve immediately.
Serves 8.

Franny was VPR's Director of Programming & Production.
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