October 1, 2014

Recipe Corner: Main dish and dessert


By Ginger Isham

Thursday’s dinner at our house was a new recipe and an old dessert, plus a green salad and buttermilk biscuits. I have been making a new recipe every week for some time now. Ninety percent of the time, a new recipe is OK’d by the men of the house.

Hay and Straw
1 package linguine (16 ounces)
2 cups julienned cooked ham (use low fat, low sodium)
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups frozen peas
1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup half and half (I added 1/2 cup)
1 small can chopped black olives (optional)
Cook linguine according to directions, drain and keep hot. Saute ham strips in butter for 3 minutes or until little crisp. Here, I used part turkey pepperoni as I did not have enough ham. Add peas and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in chopped black olives. Stir ham mixture, cheese and half and half into linguine. Serve. Another time I might add a little chopped onion, garlic and /or grated carrots and sauté with the ham.

Iowa Depression Applesauce Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon each nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder
1 teaspoon powdered, unsweetened cocoa (optional)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup raisins, optional
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
Cream sugar, butter and egg. Mix dry ingredients and alternately add to creamed mixture with applesauce. Stir in raisins and nuts. Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool and ice with Penuche Frosting.

Penuche Frosting
1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend sugar, salt and milk in saucepan. Bring to boil and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Add butter and vanilla and cool. Beat in confectioner’s sugar until creamy. Let set until consistency to spread on cake. (I put in frig a few minutes). Frost cake and decorate with whole nuts. I store cake in frig indefinitely. Wonderful frosting for cakes, cookies and cupcakes. Can spread between graham crackers also.

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

Little Details: Protection and reflection


By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

Al-Qaeda. ISIS. ISIL. Khorasan. Terrorist organizations multiply in a world of political turmoil, ethno-religious strife and gaping wealth disparities. Threats to our sense of security proliferate, at home and abroad.
Al-Qaeda, the global militant Islamist group, became a household word following the 9/11 attacks. Operating across borders, Al-Qaeda introduced Americans to suicidal terror missions and the concept of “sleeper cells” awaiting activation.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni jihadist group claiming religious authority over all Muslims. Levant refers, collectively, to Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and an area within southern Turkey. This is the group which released the “Flames of War” video; it runs like movie trailer, designed to instill fear while also serving as a recruitment tool for those who would join their cause. ISIS is also associated with recent, gruesome beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker.
Khorasan, based in Syria, has historic ties to Al-Qaeda and is deemed to pose particular threats to targets in Europe and the United States.
As someone who follows the news, it sometimes feels like trying to keep up with the “terrorist agency du jour,” tracking the ever-evolving players, tactics and geographies of these groups.
Terrorism is defined as political activity relying on violence—or the threat of violence—to achieve one’s means. Terrorism reflects a certain desperation. It is often a weapon of the weak, used to strike a much more powerful, yet seemingly less nimble, foe.
Who is or is not a terrorist is subject to some interpretation.
Ireland’s protracted war for independence spurred home-grown insurgents to engage in violent acts—sabotage, kidnappings and bombings—against better-equipped British military forces. Were these freedom fighters or brazen terrorists, willing to kill in pursuit of their political objectives?
American foreign policy earned us friends and foes. Brandishing military and economic might made us a key player in the complex chess game of international relations. One move impacts another, which impacts another.
As the Obama administration wrestles with the latest incarnations of terrorism, I find myself wondering about the mindset of those recruited to carry out violent terrorist acts. This is what I learned:
Terrorists tend to be revolutionaries, seeking significant change. They focus almost entirely on planning and carrying out acts of terrorism. They feel cheated by society. Young men with little to lose and an orientation toward risk-taking are common recruits, but women can be found among their ranks. They tend to see issues as black or white, with very little gray in between. To those who would harm us, the United States represents a corrupt existing order, an order which must be overthrown, even at the expense of loss of innocents.
Democracies are more vulnerable to terrorist attacks than totalitarian systems. Freedom of movement, the right to bear arms and the lack of military omnipresence provide positive conditions for terrorist acts. The challenge remains in how to stop and/or slow terrorism without curtailing civil liberties.
As we build coalitions, send military advisors, fly drones and contemplate another series of boots-on-the-ground offensives, I can only hope we step up efforts to evaluate our nation’s image and actions as a parallel step. Understanding why we are hated just might be a positive step in resolving present and future conflicts.

Katherine Bielawa Stamper, a Williston resident, was a 2013 finalist for the Coolidge Prize for Journalism. Reader comments are welcome at [email protected] or [email protected]

Letters to the Editor


Time for Bernie
We can trust Bernie Sanders to defend the government programs hard working people have spent years establishing. Bernie shows disapproval, even at times anger, against the agenda of the super wealthy attempting to turn the country over. Senator Sanders is a fine senator, he connects closely with the people he represents, he stands firm in his ideas and he approves of President Obama’s moderation in military matters. And Bernie saying “Thank God!” (for Obama) is in perfect accordance with the founding fathers design of separation of church and state, meant to protect the holy church from the power of kings. I am for the first time in years eager about a coming election and to see what fine candidates emerge to help us keep our homeland secure, our cities safe and well- zoned and our counties lush and green. We will see who God sets over us in the next presidential election.
Samuel Teasdale

Bernie not right for America
In January 1972, I went to Montpelier to a public service board hearing. There were representatives from all the utilities in the state at the hearing. There was also a rather disheveled man there with a whole busload of welfare recipients (who paid for the bus I don’t know). This unkempt man with no tie and uncombed hair was pushing for basically free utilities for all. He looked like a bum. He still is a bum, but now he wears a tie and does comb his hair. He is a United States senator, thinking of running for president. We have a community organizer now as president—how is that working out for you? Is our great country gone or can we save it?
Ralph M. McGregor

Open Internet rules matter most outside the Beltway


By Senator Patrick Leahy and Congresswoman Doris Matsui

Open Internet principles are the Bill of Rights for the online world. The Internet provides for free expression and a free and open marketplace where competition drives innovation. This should not change.
Right now, the Federal Communications Commission is considering a proposal that would create a two-tiered system and significantly alter the public’s unfettered ability to access content online. This should not happen. A record number of Americans—more than 1 million—have already spoken out and urged the FCC not to approve this misguided plan. This outpouring of comments reflects what has always been clear: Americans care deeply about the future of the Internet and the unparalleled opportunity it provides for free expression and an open marketplace of ideas.
Rather than keep this important dialogue limited to Washington, we urge the FCC to hold a series of public roundtable discussions outside the Beltway to hear personally from those Americans who rely on an open Internet to function in a modern world. We applaud FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler for announcing a schedule of roundtable discussions in Washington, but as the volume of comments from citizens across the country plainly demonstrates, the decisions made by the FCC on this issue will have a deep impact outside of the nation’s capital. The peoples’ voices should be heard.
Americans are concerned the FCC’s proposal could pave the way for Internet “fast lanes,” or paid prioritization agreements. We join the American people in urging the FCC not to allow this to happen. Paid prioritization would dramatically reshuffle the digital deck by altering the public’s unfettered ability to access content online. It could allow an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or a broadband provider the ability to offer preferential treatment to one content provider over another. If the FCC allows this to become reality, consumer choice would be at the mercy of the highest bidder.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Allowing paid prioritization agreements would stifle investment, innovation and creativity throughout the economy. A small business in Vermont or a start-up in California would face a choice between spending money to develop and improve their products or diverting those funds to pay for priority access to potential customers. With the uncertainty created by these agreements, investors will no doubt be hesitant to bet on the next technology, content or social platform that is still being dreamed up in a dorm room, basement or garage. “Pay-for-play” proposals could essentially squeeze out the next innovative company poised to become a household name.
Americans want a level playing field where they can make their own choices. Consumers do not want a two-tiered Internet and they have overwhelmingly weighed in against paid prioritization. We agree, which is why we introduced legislation, the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, that would require the FCC to exercise its legal authority to ban paid prioritization agreements between ISPs and content providers on the last-mile Internet connection. In addition, our bill would prohibit an ISP from prioritizing or otherwise giving preferential treatment to its own last-mile Internet traffic or the traffic of its affiliates.
In Congress, we will continue to highlight this important consumer issue that will be the focus of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing tomorrow. We are hopeful that the FCC will propose a set of rules that support net neutrality, preserving an Internet that spurs innovation and protects consumers.
In order to make sure they get this right, the FCC should leave Washington and go on the road to hear firsthand from consumers, small-business owners, entrepreneurs, educators and other citizens who will be directly impacted by the policies put in place for the Internet. Their voices deserve be heard as loudly as any industry lobbyist or member of Congress. That is why we have worked to hold congressional hearings in Vermont and California so we can hear directly from our constituents who would be affected by Wheeler’s current net neutrality proposal and to bring that important input back to Washington.
With the overwhelming interest in the future of the Internet, now is the time to show the American people that their government is listening.

Leahy is Vermont’s senior senator, serving since 1975. He is chairman of the Judiciary Committee and sits on the Agriculture; Nutrition and Forestry; and Appropriations committees. Matsui has represented California’s 6th Congressional District since 2005. She sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee.