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09 July 2006


I had the pleasure of meeting Diane at her farm a few years ago, when I was working with a writer trying to pull together an article on eating locally. The writer and I were doing a whirlwind tour of Vermont, gathering foodstuffs generously donated by their producers. Animal Farm was to be our last stop, and we got held up at every other stop we made that day, so that we called Diane no less than 4 times to say we were running late. The last time, I suggested that maybe we should skip the visit, out of kindness to her – it was closing in on dinnertime on a Friday night, and I felt pretty embarassed. But Diane insisted that we come, and when we arrived, she sat us at the dinner table with her and her husband, offered us beer and wine and even some of the pizza she'd made for their dinner. We accepted the drinks, declined the pizza, and were then dazzled by samples of her butter and her buttermillk (which is the best I've ever tasted, but alas, she's not licensed to sell it...the world's loss). And we talked a lot about local food production issues and then politics and and and. Very bright and engaging people, and gracious beyond belief. We were sent away with a precious pound of her butter.

The project entailed my feeding my family of four for a week using only food grown/produced in Vermont (with a few exceptions). The writer would sit in on meals, then write/sell the article. This was almost three years ago, before the Eat Local movement had gained the momentum it has now. But the writer failed to follow through, and I'm left with a lot of guilt about disappointing all the folks who so generously offered their stuff. At some point, I'd like to make amends to each of them.

Diane, if you're reading this: I owe one (or two).

Which were the six perfect dinners? I'm dying to know!

GG, what a wonderful thing to share...thank you. If I am able to get there this summer, we can visit her together.

Malika, I am reluctant to name the dinners, because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. My opinions are SO subjective—it would be silly for me to say that my list would be more valid than someone else who's attended a lot of the dinners. (But I will send you my secret list. Heh.)

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