But I wasn’t doing the walking. The annual Stroll of the Heifers is a major early summer event in Brattleboro, VT and it’s a lot of fun. The stars of the show are—surprise—the heifers, (young female cows who have not had a calf), their necks wreathed with garlands with each on a lead.
The sides of Main Street were thronged with kids, many waving black-and-white-spotted balloons and/or wearing cow ear headbands. After the heifers pass by there are bands, goats, llamas, donkeys and civic groups. Little girls dressed as pink fairies pranced; there was a New Orleans style marching band and many salutes to the environment.
After the parade, most people headed up Main Street to the Expo area. En route, I stopped at the quilting exhibition in a church lavished with stained glass windows. The quilts were fabulous, especially this marvel where a woman wearing gloves turned it back to show the flower embroidery that goes all the way through.
At the Expo there were “exhibits” where kids could enter a pen and pick up incredibly calm hens
or pat very young kids penned with the mamma goats or learn about birds. Guys patted tractors. I couldn’t find the Goat Olympics. Local dairies handed out samples of their organic milk; nurseries sold plants in pots made from compost; Birkenstocks were much in evidence—very Vermont. Amazingly, it was warm and sunny after a day of rain that has caused our brook, usually dry by now, to roar.
No trip to Brattleboro would be complete without a visit to the Coop, long renowned for its organic food and cheese sections. What used to be a slightly seedy space has been renovated into a gorgeous temple to food. I bought black bean and corn salsa to accompany tonight’s lamb chops as we christen our new grill (if the next round of rain holds off.)
Corn and Black Bean Salsa – adapted from Rachel Ray
1 14 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or so (if you are anti-spice, omit—if you can’t get it hot enough add this amount, taste and add more)
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley chopped stirred in and as garnish
Let corn defrost. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let it stand at least 15 minutes—an
hour is better–for flavors to combine, then toss and serve. Toss on parsley.
Note: most recipes for this salsa include cilantro, an herb I don’t like. If you do, by all means add it, chopped. You can also add chopped avocado.
Serve with practically anything. Moo.