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VPR Cafe: Town Meeting Day Potlucks

From left to right, students Noell Koslowsky, Meredith Young, Nathan Neubauer, and Christopher Roy bake bread with help from school chef Paul Pellegrino in the cafeteria at Newbury Elementary School in Newbury, Vermont.
From left to right, students Noell Koslowsky, Meredith Young, Nathan Neubauer, and Christopher Roy bake bread with help from school chef Paul Pellegrino in the cafeteria at Newbury Elementary School in Newbury, Vermont.

On the first Tuesday of March in Vermont, people gather to make decisions on their hometown issues. Town meeting day is a more than 200-year old tradition and along with the voting comes the tradition of  town meeting potluck lunches.

"It's a way, just a town meeting is, of reinforcing community," said Candace Page, a contributor to the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press.  "But the lunch is much more informal and sociable. Youget to see people you maybe don't see most of the year."

The food at these potlucks ranges from popular dishes of the 1950s and 1960s, like American Chop Suey made with canned spaghetti sauce to present day trendy foods like kale salad.  

"I have yet to go to a town meeting lunch that didn't have at least four or five pots of different baked beans," Page said. "Baked beans came with the first Vermont settlers and you can have the genuine article at a town meeting lunch."

Learn more about town meeting day lunches in Page's piece, "Democracy In Action, With a Side of Mac And Cheese."

The VPR Café is made possible by Otter Creek Kitchenware in downtown Middlebury, offering over 70 lines of kitchenware.    

Copyright 2016 Vermont Public Radio

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