Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Worthy Kitchen OPENS in Woodstock VT!

The eagerly anticipated GRAND OPENING for The Worthy Kitchen restaurant on Rte 4 in Woodstock will happen Tuesday August 27 at 3 PM. Brunch will start September 14 at 9:30 AM.
Not quite a year after opening a burger-and-craft-beer joint in an 1800s former railroad freight house in South Royalton (SoRo), the partners behind the Worthy Burger will open a second spot in Woodstock.

The Worthy Kitchen inhabits the old East Ender Restaurant at 442 Woodstock Road. Owner Jason Merrill describes the new restaurant as a “craft-beer diner” and a test kitchen for a constellation of spin-off businesses.
Merrill, who is again partnering with Dave Brodrick and Kurt Lessard, says that the Worthy Burger’s cozy atmosphere has outgrown the physical space of the freight house in SoRo.  The former, East Ender, twice the size of the Worthy Burger, closed in 2011 and provides a new airy, sunset filled place for folks to gather and enjoy local foods. 

Merrill thinks the Worthy Kitchen’s formula — casual, farm-to-table dishes and unique craft beers — will prove a good match for the town. “We know that Woodstock needs this kind of restaurant,” he says.
Brodrick is the current owner of a craft beer bar and restaurant called The Blind Tiger in Greenwich Village in New York City. Lessard is the owner and operator of Lessard Property Management. He also does accounting for several businesses in Woodstock, including restaurants. Merrill has been chef at the Jackson House in Woodstock, the Hanover Inn in Hanover, N.H., and various restaurants in Arizona.

Like that of Worthy Burger in SoRo, the menu will be limited to “five or six items,” mostly rotating specials. Among them might be the Worthy ’Wich, a sandwich of the day on house-baked bread; Worthy Noodles, creative variations on ramen; and fresh fish specials. (Merrill works with Wood Mountain Fish.)

The Worthy Kitchen plans to “highlight an animal or farm each week,” such as ducks from Kiss the Cow Farm. Those, Merrill suggests, “might end up in smoked-duck carbonara.”
Chef Scott serves with a smile
The centerpiece of the kitchen will be a wood-fired oven, which the staff will use in novel ways, for instance, to prepare the building blocks of a clam chowder. Merrill explains: “We’ll roast the clams and the mirepoix, give the bacon a crispy edge and toast the herbs for smoky flavor.”

Two things that oven won’t be used for are pizza “There’s way too many pizza places around,” Merrill says and burgers, which will remain a SoRo staple.

Desserts that will make your mouth water will also rotate on the chalkboard.

Commercial catering is offered under the name Worthy Catering and will begin operations immediately in a state-of-the-art kitchen with a large, mobile, wood-fired grill in a Worthy Truck and Trailer that will also appear at various outdoor events around the state.

The restaurant will seat 99 and has a separate function room for special events.

On the beverage side, the new restaurant will offer 20 artisanal beers on draught, six wines, hard cider, and kombucha, an effervescent fermentation of sweetened tea.

“We’ll also make our own sodas, lemonades and teas,” said Merrill. “On Saturdays and Sundays, our brunch will include house-made Bloody Marys.”

For my first dinner at The Worthy Kitchen I chose the Wood Roasted Fish-Line caught Halibut with Caper Ailoi. In fact my whole table ordered this dish and we all cleaned our plates. The fish was exceptionally flaky and fresh and the ailoi really complemented the wood roasting. Our table tried the Vanilla Pot de Creme and Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert. The bowls were all but licked clean. My dark beer loving husband opted for no dessert but continued to enjoy Smuttynose Porter on draught for the evening.
The building also has a lovely porch area to enjoy cocktails or a meal at sunset.
The wait is over The Worthy Kitchen is now open for business.

More Images from the 'Soft Opening' August 23: Photos by Nanci
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Solar in Vermont, Just Makes Cents!

Interest in Solar Power is as varied as the people who are interested in it.
  • It is a good financial investment
  • It is good for the environment
  • It is like pre-buying electricity
  • It reduces your carbon footprint
Installing a photovoltaic system is like pre-buying electricity. You pay up front to have the system installed then enjoy the benefits of not purchasing the energy, similar to pre-buying heating oil, wood pellets, or propane. The big difference is you are pre-buying for 20 or 30 years not just one heating season.

The savings you can see in a Solar PV system depend on many things, like the slope of your roof, shade created by trees etc. For our system, a roof mount wasn't possible because of our proximity to our neighbor's land on the south side and also the number of trees on that property line. We therefore, installed a yard mounted system.

Can you really save money?
Some saving scenarios were created by The Green Energy Times and are printed in their August 15, 2013 Issue 21. The Green Energy Times is a FREE newspaper available at various locations in and around the Upper Valley.

One of their scenarios:
If utility rates continue to increase as the same rate as they have over the last 20 years, the average rate for electricity in Vermont over the next 30 years will be 25.4 cents/kWh.

For 4.8 kW PV system on a 45ยบ roof facing true south with no shade assuming  a 30-year system life:
Paid entirely out of pocket
  • Without taking advantage of any incentives-9.9 cents/kWh
  • With Vermont incentive but no federal tax credit-8.4 cents/kWh
  • With both Vermont incentive and Federal tax credit-5.5 cents/kWH
The incentives in New Hampshire are even better than Vermont so knock off another 1 or 2 cents for each scenario.

For us the savings may not be as great because our system is a yard not roof mount (the initial investment was more because of site prep-work), but I'm sure it will be substantial.

Good Investment-YES
A 4.8 kW system in Vermont (roof mounted) after state and federal incentives costs about $8340. The value of the electricity generated over the system's 30 year life could amount to as much as $36,000, or a net gain close to $28,000. If you took $8340 and invested in a bond to see a return of up to $28,000 the interest rate would need to be 11.13%, good luck finding that kind of rate.

Energize Vermont-a great place to get your questions answered.
From their website: The mission of ENERGIZE VERMONT is to educate and advocate for establishing renewable energy solutions that are in harmony with the irreplaceable character of Vermont, and that contribute to the well-being of all her people.
We achieve our mission by researching, collecting, and analyzing information from all sources; and disseminating it to the public, media, community leaders, legislators, and regulators for the purpose of ensuring informed decisions for long term stewardship of our communities.- See more at: http://energizevermont.org/about/#sthash.o6EWps1m.dpuf

Our PV and Solar Hot Water Systems
Dave Bonta at USA Solar Store arranged for our solar installations.
From start to Power Up...
 The holes are dug for the mounts.

Net Zero did the the PV installation
 The mounts are cemented in.

 The trench to the house is dug and the tubes are laid.

The solar hot water tank is installed.
The hot water collector array frame is built and mounted

Lee adjusts the solar PV panel.

Even on a cloudy day the PV is generating electricity.
The Solar Hot Water is ready to go.

We are now generating electricity and have pretty much stopped heating our hot water with oil.

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Fall Race Supports Young Skiers!

Cochran's Ski Area is hosting a 
100K Road Ride or 
30 mi Mountain Bike Ride.
Saturday October 12, 2013
Registration 7:30-9AM
Rides start at 7:30 AM
Timed Rides start at 9 AM

Registration fee $75, includes T-shirt, aid station treats, finish line BBQ
For more event info contact:
Laura Farrell 802.291.1348 jlfarrell0@gmail.com

Laura Farrell is the Founder of Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports and is also the Founder of both The Vermont 100 Endurance Run and The Vermont 50 Mountain Bike or Ultra Run annual local races.

Vermont 50 Mtn Bike or Ultra Run FREE Kids Race and Volunteers are Needed!

Happy 20th Vermont 50 Mountain Bike or Ultra-Run
The race is Hosted at Ascutney Mountain Resort in Brownsville VT September 28-29.
Children's Fun Races: REGISTRATION OPEN NOW!!

These FREE fun races give the kids a chance to feel like they're part of the Vermont 50 and are held during registration, starting Saturday, 3 p.m.

1/2 Mile - a single loop, starting at 3 p.m.
1 Mile - two loops, starting at 3:30 p.m. 

Opens at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Big White Tent at Cunningham Parking Lot. Or you can sign up online ahead of time, see link below.

Race Pre-Registration: 
Please email vt50funrun@gmail.com to pre-register your child/children. This will help speed up the process on Saturday so we can focus on the races!

Please fill out one Waiver Form per Child and bring it along with you to race registration on Saturday September 28! 
Race Waiver Form

Follow our page: http://vermont50.blogspot.com/p/kids-fun-race.html for all the FREE Fun Race Updates!  

Volunteers are needed 
Saturday September 28 for Race Registration 
All Day Sunday for Race Day September 29 
If you know anyone who would like to help out at the race please have them click on the VOLUNTEER link above and fill out the sign up form. Volunteers receive a FREE Commemorative T-shirt and FREE BBQ on Sunday!! Questions about volunteering, contact Volunteer Coordinator Molly Housman.

More information about the race can be found at:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Naked Table Project 2013

Last Sunday August 18, about 110 people attended the 5th Annual Naked Table Project Lunch. The event was hosted by Sustainable Woodstock and catered by the Woodstock Farmer's Market
Charles Shackleton welcome the hungry diners
The lunch caps off a weekend of woodworking where folks get to make a "naked table" of their own to bring home, one table is even being shipped to California
Shaun (far right) and Beverly Matthews (far left) will
shipping their table back home to San Luis Obispo California
According to Charles Shackleton "It is the 5th annual and the 16th that we have done, with 183 tables having been made, 18 of them yesterday (on September 17) at the Shackleton Thomas workshop." In addition, Shackleton adds "All the sugar maple wood was harvested at the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Park." The trees harvested were all between 80-100 years old.

Michael Snyder, the Vermont Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation spoke about the importance of forests in Vermont. He got a laugh from the crowd when he said "Wood is just one letter away from Food!"
Sally Miller, Director of Sustainable Woodstock explains about the lunch. This year it was a fundraiser for Sustainable Woodstock.

Patrick Crowl, Woodstock Farmer's Market tells the diners about the local food they will be enjoying.
Some of the many Sustainable Woodstock volunteers that made the event happen.
More images from the event: Photos By Nanci

5th Annual The Naked Table Project
Special Guest: Michael Snyder, Vermont Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation
Sustainable Woodstock Community Lunch Catered by Woodstock Farmer's Market
Middle Bridge Woodstock VT August 18, 2013
Copyright ©2013 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
For The Vermont Standard: http://www.thevermontstandard.com/
Image Galleries: http://thevermontstandard.smugmug.com/

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Zucchini Parmesan...use those baseball bat sized zucchinis!

So if you are like us, you always find a zucchini that has cleverly hidden from view until BAM, it's HUGE!
What to do...compost? feed it to chickens? pigs?
Hey why not people...

Garden Sauce:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove garlic (we grew our own this year and it's great!!) chopped.
Saute in large saucepan until soft
12 garden ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow squash, sliced
2-3 green peppers, sliced
Salt/Pepper to taste

Add the above to the garlic/oil. Simmer for about 1 hour.
Add a handful of chopped basil, a few leaves of oregano (all from the garden if possible)
1 cup red wine

Simmer while preparing the Zucchini

Fried Zucchini
Baseball Bat Zucchini
Olive oil
Garden Sauce from above
2 eggs, a little water, whisked in medium bowl (I used a little almond milk-it was fine!)

Slice your Baseball Bat, I mean Zucchini in 1/4" slices.
On a plate mix  a handful of flour and 1 C breadcrumbs

Heat a large fry pan and add some olive oil to coat the bottom.

Dip the Zucchini slice into the egg wash then toss in the flour/breadcrumbs then into the fry pan. Cook until the oil is creeping over the top edge of the zucchini slice and flip!

Grease a baking pan lightly with PAM or drizzle with olive oil.
Lay down the fried zucchini slices, add some garden sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan, then repeat until you run out of fried zucchini. Cover with a sprinkle of Mozzarella.

Bake about 30 minutes at 300 F.

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