Out for a Stroll

Strolling sign

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. Heifer2


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.

Quil. jpg

At the Expo there were “exhibits” where kids could enter a pen and pick up incredibly calm hens

This hen will lay eggs laced with Zoloft

This hen will lay eggs laced with Zoloft

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

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

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.



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