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.
Police seek suspect
On March 24, police received a report of a man causing a disturbance at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart employees said he was attempting to return an item to the store, and when a Wal-Mart assistant manager told the man he would only exchange the product, the man became upset and started yelling profanities at store employees, according to police reports. When the man was asked to leave, he became confrontational and started to threaten the assistant manager, according to the report. When police were called, the man left the store. Police are looking for help in identifying the man. Anyone with information is asked to call Williston Police at 878-6611.
- Anthony M. Whitcomb, 23, of Ryegate, was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license on March 18, according to police reports. He was also cited to appear in court on a “warrant,” the report notes. No other information was released.
- Melinda J. Morgan, 31, transient, was cited to appear in court on May 6 on charges of unlawful trespass and violation of conditions of release, according to police reports.
- Jackson T. Hathaway, 19, of Brookfield, Conn. was cited on charges of speeding and possession of marijuana on March 23, according to police reports. He was also issued a civil violation complaint for going 40 mph over the speed limit on Interstate 89, the report notes. He was cited to appear in court.
- An iPod and medication were taken from an unlocked car parked in the Friendly’s parking lot on March 18, according to police reports. The case is under investigation.
- A catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle parked at Berlin City auto center on March 20, according to police reports. The case is under investigation.
Jerry Romero, 57, of Williston was transported to Chittenden County Correctional Center on a warrant on March 18, according to police reports. No other information was released.
Driving with suspended license
Samantha Houghton, 21, of Jericho was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license on March 21, according to police reports. She was cited to appear in court.
Police transported a woman to Chittenden County Correctional Center on March 22 after she was reportedly “staggering in the middle of the roadway,” and found lying in the middle of the intersection of St. George Rd. and Williston Rd. on March 22, according to police reports.
Driving under the influence
Joseph G. Corner, 34, of Richmond was cited on a charge of driving under the influence on March 24, according to police reports. His blood alcohol concentration was .142, the report notes. The legal limit for driving in Vermont is .08. He was also cited on a charge of careless and negligent operation of a vehicle, according to the report.
Police cruiser damaged
A Williston police cruiser sustained “extensive front end and undercarriage damage” as well as damage to a rear bumper cover on March 20 after a car crash involving another vehicle on Butternut Road, according to police reports. An investigation showed that police had responded to the area to remove a vehicle which slid off the road the previous night on a very steep section of the road. While the officers were out of their police cruiser assessing the situation, the cruiser began to slide down and subsequently went off the road into a snow bank, causing it to become stuck.
A few moments later, the unoccupied Central Service truck that has responded to the scene also began to slide down the road, striking and causing heavy damage to the police car before sliding off the opposite side of the road and into the ditch, according to the report. The road was subsequently closed so a town highway truck could sand the road and tow trucks could remove the vehicles, the report notes.
Police notes are written based on information provided by the Williston Police Department and the Vermont State Police. Please note that all parties are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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.