June 20, 2018

Recipe corner

Healthy and hearty cookies

Jan. 19, 2012

By Ginger Isham


Oatmeal cookies have been around for years, and are a favorite of most children and adults. You can add any combination of chocolate chips, Craisins, raisins and/or nuts. I like to press one-half a nut on top of the cookie in case someone doesn’t like nuts. These are healthy, hearty and — when hot from the oven — make you want more than one. They are made without flour.



2/3 cup melted butter (I use 1/3 cup olive or canola oil, and 1/3 cup butter or any combination)

1 1/4 cup brown sugar  (I use 1 cup)

3/4 cup white sugar (I use 1/2 cup)

3 eggs (can use 2 eggs and 1 egg white)

1 1/2 cup peanut butter  (room temperature, may use chunky style)

6 cups oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned oats)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 cups raisins (I use 3/4 cup Craisins)

1 package chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips)

Beat butter, sugars, eggs and peanut butter together until well blended and smooth. Mix in oatmeal gradually with rest of ingredients. Using a generous tablespoon of dough, form gently with hands into about a 3-inch ball and gently press down a little. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 -15 minutes. Makes about 36 big cookies.



3 1/2 cups flour

2 1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

1 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Pinch of salt

3 1/2 sticks of butter (I use 2 sticks of butter and 1/2 cup canola or olive oil)

1 3/4 cups white sugar  (I use scant 1 1/2 cups)

1 3/4 cups brown sugar  (I use scant 1 1/2 cups)

1 can pumpkin (15-ounce size)

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/3 cups chopped nuts

1 1/3 cup raisins

Beat butter, sugars, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla together until batter is smooth. Add flour, baking soda, salt and mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins. With large tablespoon, drop batter onto lightly greased cookie sheet and spread to about a 3-inch circle. Bake at 350 degrees for 12- 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack. May decorate with icing. Enjoy cookies with hot tea on a cold day.


Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.


Little Details

Food for the journey

Jan. 19, 2012

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper


The bus from Haverfordwest deposited us on the side of the road, beside a potato patch.

“I don’t normally drop people off here,” our driver cautioned in a thick Welsh accent. He obliged our request nonetheless, guiding our way, saying, “Slate Mill is about two miles down, on the right.”

Pelted by intermittent raindrops, my husband, daughter and I trudged along a muddy connector — more like a rutted driveway — to reach the two-lane road that would bring us to our night’s lodging. Cows in an open-air barn eyed us curiously as we passed, backpacks strapped to our bodies. Wagons overflowing with freshly harvested potatoes, caked in earth, beckoned. They were not ours to take.

We departed civilization to spend six days traversing Wales’ Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk. The path is 186 miles long; we aimed to cover 70. With a map, compass and weather-wary wardrobes, we planned to hike 12 -18 miles per day, sleeping at pre-arranged hostels and guesthouses.

Slate Mill Lodge offered lovely, ramped up accommodations. We stayed here because the more affordable hostel was booked.

David, the innkeeper, restored the 13th century mill, transforming it into traveler accommodations. The stone and stucco exterior was surrounded by slate pathways and gardens.

Born in London in 1944, David’s father was a sculptor and his mother was a physician. This Welshman was raised by French-speaking nannies and governesses.

David was a man of business, whose politics differed from mine. His choice of newspapers — conservative tabloids — made me wish I’d packed a Guardian in my pack. He spent 20 years in Bayeux in Normandy, France — a town I visited — as proprietor of an inn. His return to Wales was precipitated by a seemingly unpleasant divorce.

“Will you be having dinner?” David asked.

Reviewing the survivalist rations in our packs — peanut butter, apples, bread, cheese and Welsh cookies — we answered, “Yes, please. We should tell you we’re vegetarians.”

“It’s no problem,” David assured. “I’m quite comfortable cooking vegetarian. How about you come around for dinner at 6:30?”

We settled into our suite. Our daughter stayed in the main guesthouse, connecting on Facebook with friends in Vermont. British television provided a bit of a treat. We didn’t always “get” the humor, but became slightly hooked on “Britain’s Got Talent!”

There’s always a risk ordering a meal when there is no menu. We learned this while seeking dinner on a two-tabled, front porch restaurant run out of a woman’s home in a tiny town in Greece. The fasolada (bean soup) was tasty; the bill rivaled an upscale Athenian taverna.

David knocked on our door at about 5:45 and explained that dinner would be ready at 6, not 6:30. We obliged and arrived at the prescribed time. I wore one of the two dresses I packed for the trip.

Let me tell you about the meal. We experienced an amazing French-inspired feast that tantalized our American taste buds. Glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon greeted us upon arrival. Our appetites were wetted with freshly baked rosemary bread and a vegetarian pate of chickpeas, mushrooms and corn, served with spiced apple jam. This was the first act in what would be a gustatory parade of intriguing edibles.

David sat beside us at the sprawling dining room table, sipping Scotch (I think). He departed only to re-appear with each subsequent course. We discussed travel, politics and theater. David mentioned how he’d befriended Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh while attending a party in London years ago, ultimately forming a friendship with Olivier’s son, Tarquin. I wondered how much was true and how much was, perhaps, enhanced-storytelling.

The main course arrived: red and green peppers stuffed with beans and herbs, resting in a sherry mushroom sauce. A cheese plate followed, with appearances by aromatic Camembert, Brie and Boursin sharing the porcelain stage with stout Welsh cheddar. Romaine salad speckled with Spanish onions and green olives followed as our meal stretched past two hours of consuming and conversing.

My husband excused himself from the table to retreat to our room, passing on dessert. My daughter and I indulged in crepes with raspberries, strawberries and mint surrounded by a thin layer of what David called “sexy cream” — sweetened cream flavored with a hint of lemon vodka.

The meal was extraordinary, the conversation tantalizing. The bill, presented to us upon checkout the next morning, was expensive but worth every British pence. We walked 18 miles that day, fueled by wonderful French food, savored in the heart of Wales.


Katherine Bielawa Stamper lives in Williston. Reader comments are welcome at Editor@willistonobserver.com or LittleDetailsCol@yahoo.com.

PHOTOS: CVU wrestling

Observer photos by Jennifer Olson

Clark Poston claimed the championship in the 182-pound weight class, leading the Champlain Valley Union wrestling team to a second-place finish at the 17-squad Otter Valley Tournament on Jan. 7. Grant Poston finished second in the 160-pound division. Alex Craige and Connor Brown placed third in their respective classes.

PHOTOS: 50 Hour Film Contest

Observer photos by Stephen Mease (www.stevemease.com)

Max Erickson, a senior at Champlain Valley Union High School, directed the film, ‘Gap Year,’ which won for Best Cinematography in the 50 Hour Film Contest. Several CVU students were involved in the film’s production. A screening took place at Essex Cinemas on Dec. 15.

PHOTOS: Celebrate the Arts

Observer photos by Stephen Mease (www.stevemease.com)

The third annual Celebrate the Arts Night was held at Champlain Valley Union High School on Jan. 5. The event featured 450 pieces of visual art created by CVU students currently enrolled in arts courses. Also on view were practical artwork from Technology Education and Fashion Design students.


This Week’s Popcorn

‘A Dangerous Method’


Jan. 12, 2012

3 & ½ popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer


Esoteric, a bit obscure and yet nonetheless absorbing, director David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” chronicles what very well may be one of the earliest psychological dramas (or more correctly, the first one occurring just after the terminology, now so common, came into use). Dr. Jung meets Dr. Freud and our libidos will never be the same.

It’s Zurich, 1904, and Sabina Spielrein, a horribly hysterical, young Russian woman is brought, completely fettered, to Dr. Carl Jung’s clinic in a last ditch hope that he might cure her. To the backdrop of his own, antithetically subtle uneasiness, the physician speculates aloud to his wife that this patient may be a candidate for the “talking cure.”

Let the analysis begin. We’ve seen such morbid memories and causes unearthed before, but perhaps never with such historical import. Oh…I don’t remember if good wife Emma (Sarah Gadon), pregnant with their first child, asks the pioneering physician if Sabina (Keira Knightley) is pretty, but you get the gist. See! Freud is right. It’s all about sex.

Well, in this case it is, kind of, maybe. But just to be sure, let’s put a call in to the illustrious Dr. Sigmund Freud, pontificating ad nauseam in his dark, Vienna office and smoking more cigars in a day than General Grant did in a week. Portrayed effectively by Viggo Mortensen, he becomes a pen pal and then a friend of the admiring adherent.

Still, though crouched right alongside Herr Doktor at the embattlements declaring their medical revolution, Dr. Jung, convincingly played by Michael Fassbender, has an opinion or two of his own. While it ultimately seems that Freud would rather he didn’t, in time it leads to a lively and edifying discussion. Voila! The footings for psychoanalysis are laid.

Making it a triangle, though not quite in the conventional sense, Sabina, as both a case history and one who also aspires to a career in the emerging psychiatry, becomes an integral catalyst to the doings. And yep, for all the noble talk of science and objectivity, before long “A Dangerous Method” adds a steamy love story to its highfalutin discourse.

While it is hardly as impossible as Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams,” viewers educated by Mr. Cronenberg’s film, adapted from John Kerr’s book by Christopher Hampton, might feel they deserve three credits toward a master’s degree in psychology. However, truth is the filmmaker probably had to dumb it down to make it accessible.

He must have, if I think I understand it. Expect intense conversations that begin with, “Yes, but if that’s so, it follows that…” To which the first claimant inevitably removes yet another layer of the onion skin that is our psyche. It can get pretty brutal, though no one in the theater I saw it in ran out screaming, “I don’t feel that way about my mother at all!”

The fascinating thing is, for all the upper crust ruminations and deep thoughts divulged, director Cronenberg, who made his bones in the shock-and-awe horror genre, manages a rather fluid, rarely staid scenario. Supported by some swell, mood-evoking sets with just the right, period-identifying appurtenances, the story achieves its deserved significance.

Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that society thought nothing of tossing its psychologically challenged population into dungeon-like institutions, never to be heard from again. In fact, we’re fairly assured that a fate not too much better might have befallen Sabina were it not for her upper middle class background and Dr. Jung’s interest.

As it is, a good deal of the treatments and theories, both then and still now, are pretty nightmarish. Such conditions are bound to prevail when almost half of your citizenry isn’t really sure if it wants to help its less fortunate numbers. Happily, there are moments in time when compassion clicks in folks and they realize the true meaning of civilization.

Such is the medical renaissance we are made privy to as Jung sets about not only to cure Sabina of her deep, dark demons, but also to virtually change her emotional makeup. But aha, detracts Freud, this is where we good doctors separate. Nope, he says, cure yes, change, no…we are hardwired, for all intents and purposes, to the serial number we were issued.

Beats me, though I have no doubt that professional and amateur shrinks alike will have a field day disagreeing to their hearts content. As for the rest of us, I remind of the apocrypha attributed to Freud, whereas “Sometimes a cigar is just a good smoke.”

Meaning it’s a safe bet, I have no subconscious motive for recommending “A Dangerous Method.”

“A Dangerous Method,” rated R, is a Sony Pictures Classics release directed by David Cronenberg and stars Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen. Running time: 99 minutes 

CVU sports schedule

Jan. 12, 2012



Friday: RICE MEMORIAL, 7:15 p.m.



Thursday: BFA-ST. ALBANS, 7:15 p.m.



No meets scheduled



Saturday: RUTLAND, 6 p.m.



Saturday: at Spaulding, 3:45 p.m.



No scheduled events



Saturday: site and time to be announced



Thursday: at Spaulding, 6 p.m.


Schedules subject to change

Sports Shorts

Jan. 12, 2012



It was the fifth scheduled event of the season and the site was changed, but the Champlain Valley Union Nordic ski team at long last raced in an interscholastic event Saturday (Jan. 7).

Redhawk boys and girls teams each came in second in the six-school event, held at Craftsbury after being switched from U-32 High School in East Montpelier.

CVU is slated to try again Saturday against South Burlington and Burlington at a site to be determined (one with adequate snow cover).

The girls took second Saturday with 24 points, just nudged from the top by Middlebury’s 23.

CVU’s Sienna Searles captured second place, Taylor Spillane took sixth and Emma Hamilton was 10th.

The boys, led by Emmett Peterson (sixth) and Sean Delaney (eighth) were the runner-up with 38 points to U-32’s 26.



The Champlain Valley Union girls hockey team will try to snap a seven-game losing streak to start the season Saturday afternoon in Barre with a 3:45 p.m. face off against 4-3 Spaulding.

On Jan. 7, the Redhawks got a pair of goals from Molly Dunphy, her fifth and sixth of the campaign, but bowed 6-2 to Colchester. The Lakers unloaded 40 shots on CVU net minder Nicole Sisk.

On Jan. 4, Missisquoi Valley Union bopped the ‘Hawks in Highgate, 11-3. Dunphy, Rowan Hayes and Kristina Ushakova had CVU’s tallies.

CVU grapplers take second at otter valley tourney

Clark Poston claimed the championship in the 182-pound weight class, leading the Champlain Valley Union wrestling team to a second-place finish at the 17-squad Otter Valley Tournament on Jan. 7.

“To my knowledge, this is our best finish in a varsity tournament in at least a decade, possibly longer,” CVU wrestling coach Rahn Fleming wrote to the Observer.

Grant Poston finished second in the 160-pound division. Alex Craige and Connor Brown placed third in their respective classes.

The Redhawks brought 12 wrestlers to the event.

—Mal Boright and Steven Frank


Stowe stops CVU boys hockey

Defending Division I champion ‘Hawks dip below .500

Jan. 12, 2012

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent


The Champlain Valley Union High boys hockey team returns to home ice at Cairns Arena Saturday (6 p.m.) to meet the Rutland Red Raiders, an aggregation the Redhawks bopped 4-1 in Rutland three weeks ago.

CVU had business at Stowe Tuesday, where the ‘Hawks bowed to the Raiders 5-2. Stowe fired 38 shots on CVU’s net. Griffin Brady and Patrick Keelan notched goals for 4-5 CVU, which took 28 shots.

For coach Mike Murray’s skaters, last week featured a 4-2 victory at Spaulding in Barre on Jan. 4, followed by a 5-1 loss to a speedy 8-1 South Burlington team Saturday (Jan. 7) at Cairns.

Against the Rebels, it was a case of too much blitz too soon. The Rebels came out flying, scoring twice in the first four minutes and never looking back.

Apparently put back on their heels by the swift, aggressive Rebels, the Redhawks did not get much going on the offensive side of the ice until the final period — when they fired eight of their 12 shots at South Burlington net minder Nate Young. Patrick Pattison scored on a wicked 10-footer from the left side with just more than nine minutes remaining. An assist went to Will Bernicke.

The score came on one of four power play opportunities the Redhawks had in the period. The Rebels’ effective penalty killing kept CVU pretty much bottled up on the three extra-skater situations that followed the goal. South Burlington made it 5-1 with a shorthanded tally by Tommy Royer with 3:24 left.

Sam Finkelstein and Matt Baechle had the first period goals for the victors, while Chris Weinhiemer scored in the second period and Charles Hall got a goal early in the third period in a crash with CVU goalie Jason O’Brien that pulled the net from its mooring. O’Brien had 23 stops.

Outshot 8-1 in the first reel, CVU slowly got some flow going by the third period for some positive take-away.

It was CVU youth day at Spaulding, where freshmen Kaleb Godbout and Cam Rivard, along with sophomore Pattison, popped home goals. Senior Chris Bulla also scored. O’Brien saved 19 shots.

‘Hawks girls hoopsters keep rolling

CVU 6-0, meets strong BFA squad Thursday

Jan. 12, 2012

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent


After a rollicking solid season-opening six straight victories, head coach Ute Otley and her Champlain Valley Union girls basketball quintet face a strong challenge Thursday when the 5-1 (at week’s start) BFA-St. Albans Comets roll into Bremner Gymnasium (7:15 p.m.).

BFA went south Saturday and whacked Brattleboro 75-39.

The Redhawks’ most recent triumph was Monday, a 61-18 shelling of Mount Mansfield Union in Jericho Center to capture both ends of the two-game season series. CVU center Remi Donnelly canned 16 points and Elana Bayer-Pacht flipped in eight.

It was the second straight series sweep for the ‘Hawks, which sacked South Burlington 47-28 last Thursday (Jan. 5) on the Rebels’ floor. CVU bumped off the Rebs 33-21 in the season-opener on Dec.15 in Hinesburg.

The formula for bagging the blue and white Rebs was once again an aggressive, trapping defense that drove South Burlington to distraction — limiting it to just 21 shots at the hoop over the first three periods. CVU, meanwhile, got off 41 and sank 18, a 31 percent clip.

The Redhawks’ offense-busting big D could well be called “Memphis Music Time.” After a couple of minutes of its turnover-producing traps and other furious antics, opponents are singing the blues.

South Burlington suffered 23 turnovers in those first three periods, qualifying the gym as a “Heartbreak Hotel.”

CVU theft masters were sophomores Emily Kinneston (six) and Kaelyn Kohlasch (four), and senior veteran Bayer-Pacht (four).

While the Rebels shot 5 of 12 in the first half and stay within six points of CVU (23-17) by halftime, the ‘Hawks charged to a 37-23 advantage by the end of the third reel as six players scored — led by Payer-Pacht’s two string ticklers.

Donnelly and Bayer-Pacht each scored 10 points to lead the point parade, with Donnelly adding 10 rebounds. Kinneston had eight points and nine rebounds to go with her half-dozen steals.

Senior frontcourt vet Lazrin Scheneck saw her first action of the season, and sank 3 of 4 shots for six points.



CVU 47, South Burlington 28 (Jan. 5)


CVU  (5-0)

Lozon, 2 0-0 4; Bayer-Pacht, 3 4-6 10; Donnelly, 4 2-7 10; Kohlasch, 1 3-4 5; Kinneston, 4 0-0 8; Whiteside, 0 0-0 0; Schenck, 3 0-0 6; Krupp, 2 0-0 4; Leach, 0 0-0 0; Lougee, 0 0-0 0.

Totals: 19 9-17 47


South Burlington

Simoneau, 0 4-6 4; Moody, 2 0-0 5; Barton, 0 2-2 2; Messer, 0 0-0 0; A. Flaherty, 2 0-2 4; S. Flaherty, 3 0-0 6; Manazir, 1 1-2 4; Flynn, 0 0-0 0; Chappell,1 0-0 3; Gloyd, 0 0-0 0; Shiman, 0 0-1 0.

Totals: 9 7-13 28


CVU          6  17  14  10  – 47

SBHS        6  11   6    5  – 28