Allen Brook School kindergarteners visited Sugartree Maple Farm in Williston Monday, learning how to tap trees, collect sap and boil syrup. (Observer photos by Stephanie Choate)
Spring officially arrived in Vermont March 20 on a frosty bed of powder, and now we are scrambling to prepare religious holiday menus in late March. Something doesn’t feel quite right. If the rites of spring have caught you still hibernating, here’s a festive and fun menu to bridge you gently into the spirit of things. Splurge on some lamb chops or lamb kabobs and fire up the grill. Lamb pairs nicely with fresh asparagus and sweet potatoes: two good veggies for bookending this kooky winter-spring season.
Spring Asparagus Salad
Wash and snap off the tough base of desired amount of fresh, thick-stalked asparagus. Coat in olive oil and grill until blistered and lightly charred, about five minutes. Line a serving platter with fresh arugula. Arrange asparagus on arugula. Grate one hard-boiled egg over the stalks. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Scatter a few pinches of sea salt, fresh pepper and some finely grated orange zest over asparagus. Finish with a few chopped pistachio nuts.
Sweet Potato Soufflé
Lightly coat 4 soufflé cups (125 ml/half-cup size) with nonstick spray.
Peel and thinly slice one large sweet potato (1 pound). In a saucepan, combine sweet potato, 3/4 cup of orange juice, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until soft, about 25 minutes. (Add a bit more water if needed, draining extra.)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. To the sweet potato add 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Puree with immersion blender. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. In another bowl, beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold half of the egg whites into the potato mixture with a rubber spatula. Quickly fold in remaining egg whites until mixture is the color of a creamsicle. Spoon batter into prepped cups, place on a baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes.
De-stem two bunches of fresh mint. Gently chop the leaves. Add mint to a mason jar along with two minced garlic cloves, a pinch of sea salt and fresh pepper. Add 3/4 cup best-quality olive oil and 1/4 cup orange juice. Cover and shake well. Drizzle over meat.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters. Archived Everyday Gourmet columns are at kimdannies.com. Kim@kimdannies.com.
The Williston Police Department provided the following tips to guard against identity theft.
- Shred all discarded personal information, including anything with your name, address, Social Security number, financial information, etc.
- Do not reveal identifying information about yourself unless you initiated the telephone call.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up on anything that seems irregular.
- Guard your mail from theft. Deposit outgoing mail directly at the post office or collection boxes. Do not leave your mail in your mailbox overnight..
- Limit the number of credit cards you carry and use. Keep track of your usage and monitor all monthly statements.
- Be cautious with credit card purchases made by phone or online. Do not use debit cards for these purchases.
- Keep an accurate account of all your personal financial information and store it in a safe and secure place.
- Guard your PIN number at all times.
- Obtain a copy of your credit report once a year. Contact EQUIFAX (1-800-685-1111), TranUnion (1-877-322-8228) or Experian (-1-888-397-3742).
Yes, boys still compete in gymnastics.
While boys at high school gymnastics meets are a thing of the past, Green Mountain Gymnastics in Williston has a team of 12-year-olds heading to a regional competition in Springfield, Mass. April 5-7.
The Level 5 boys team will be led by Evan Trombley, who was the all-around winner in a recent Vermont state competition.
A younger Level 4 team also won its state title, with eight-year-old Myles Meehan of Jericho taking the all-around.
Williston’s John Huza-Frederick and Jeff Barbic, both 10, were second and third.
The teams are coached by Bob Abbot and Stefan Hruska.
—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent
Three years ago, Williston resident Tom Prim took over as head coach of the 3-17 Winooski High girls basketball team.
Now the Lady Spartans sit atop Vermont Division 3, following a successful semifinal and championship run at the historic Barre Auditorium for their first title.
Prim led his team to an 18-6 record. Seeded fifth in the playoffs, the Spartans rapped top-seeded Hazen Union 65-44 in the semifinal round, then popped second-seeded Williamstown High 52-48 with a late comeback in a thrilling championship game.
Before taking the helm at Winooski, Prim spent 17 seasons assisting hoop programs at Rice Memorial High and Mount Mansfield Union.
—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent
Coaches honor CVU’s Otley plus players
The Vermont Basketball Coaches Association named Ute Otley, head coach of the Champlain Valley Union High Division 1 girls champions, its Division 1 Coach of the Year.
In addition, two junior members of the team, Emily Kinneston and Kaelyn Kohlasch, were named to the Association’s Dream Dozen, which recognizes outstanding non-senior players.
Otley, despite losing by graduation five of her top seven players from the 2012 runner-up team, coached the Redhawks to a 23-0 record and the 2013 crown.
In addition, CVU’s Brad Bissonette and Alexandra Krupp were named to the senior boys and girls Division 1 and 2 North All-Star teams. The boys North team lost to the South, 87-84. The North girls scored a 72-59 triumph over their southern counterparts.
The annual games were played Saturday at Windsor High School.
CVU players in senior boys all-star contest
Champlain Valley Union High’s Pat Keelan scored one of the goals helping the Austin Conference rap the Harris Conference 6-3 Saturday in the 29th annual Essex Rotary Key Bank All-Star Hockey Classic at the Essex Skating Facility.
Keelan and Redhawk mates Kirk Fontana and Jeremy Lerner were on the winning combine, which had CVU’s Mike Murray as one of the coaches.
Senior players from the recently concluded high school season make up the teams.
Dunphy heading to California
Williston resident and Champlain Valley Union High School hockey player Molly Dunphy, along with fellow Redhawk Rachel Pitcher, is heading to California April 3-7 to play in the national championship with her 24-7-2 Vermont Shamrocks U16 girls hockey team. The team won the New England regional title in Agusta, Me. earlier this month, beating the New Hampshire cyclones 3-0 in the final game.
The listings below are a small sample of more 300 volunteer needs online at www.unitedwaycc.org. For more information, call 860-1677.
ReSOURCE is looking for volunteers to staff 3 stores. Flexible weekday, weekend and evening shifts.
ENGLISH INSTRUCTORS & MORE
The Somali Bantu Community Association is seeking English instructors to teach one-on-one or in classroom settings, two to four hours per week. It also seeks grant writers, researchers, office assistants and program managers.
Winooski Community Justice Center is seeking community members for its reparative board. Volunteers provide an opportunity for offenders of low-level offenses to repair the harm they have caused to the victims and community. Training is provided; serve four hours/month.
JOIN THE EVENT TEAM
The Brain Injury Assoc. of Vermont needs a volunteer to work with a committee to coordinate all aspects of the 2013 Walk for Thought in May.
A number of local groups need volunteers for April events:
Vermont Operation Military Kids is looking for volunteers to help run field-day type activities for military kids on April 20 from 1-4 p.m. at Norwich University.
Camp Common Ground needs volunteers to spend a day marking trails on the edges of its property in Starksboro. April 18, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Rokeby Museum is looking for tour guides and greeters at its new Education Center from May – October. Learn more at a coffee hour April 20, 10 – 11 a.m.
National MS Society, Greater New England Chapter needs help with set up, registering walkers, staff rest areas, etc. at the MS Walk in Burlington. April 27, minimum four hour shifts from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
MAKE IT SPECIAL ALL YEAR
Special Olympics Vermont is seeking volunteers of all ages and abilities for various year-round opportunities. Families and groups large and small are welcome! Flexible scheduling depending on opportunity.