August 23, 2014

Library Notes

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Library Survey

Please help us evaluate and improve our services by taking our library survey at williston.lib.vt.us. This survey is a follow up to our strategic plan survey last year. It is confidential. The survey will take about 10 minutes.

 

Youth News

Great Job, Summer Readers!

The results are in… 264 children and teens read for a grand total of 251,580 minutes. If you missed the end of summer celebration, you may stop by the library to pick up your reading record and free book. Each participant will receive a $10 gift card donated by Kids City.

Read and Win a Day at the Fair

Children in grades K-8 may stop by the library to pick up a ribbon for free admission to the Champlain Valley Fair on Kids’ Day, Monday, Aug. 25. There will be a special ceremony at noon for all kids who participate.

Music for Preschoolers

Mondays, 11 a.m. with Peter Alsen and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. with Derek Burkins (except Monday, Sept.1). Up to age 5 with a caregiver. No pre-registration.

Dottie the Bookmobile

Dottie will continue to run through Aug. 28. If you miss the last week, remember that you can return bookmobile books to the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library or to the school libraries at Allen Brook and WCS.  Thanks for your help restocking Dottie’s shelves.

Fall Story Time

Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Starts Sept. 16. Explore the world around you and encourage a life-long love of reading. Preschoolers are introduced to a variety of books and authors while gaining early literacy skills. Followed by a simple craft activity. No pre-registration.

 

Adult News

Local Author, Memoir on Alzheimer’s

Aug. 23, 11 a.m. Mary Ann Fuller Young reads excerpts from her book “Plainly and Simply,” a memoir of early-onset Alzheimer’s. She shares and discusses her experiences with the disease. The book also provides valuable information about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Book signing available.

Gentle Yoga with Jill Lang

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Presented by Williston resident Jill Lang. Come and enjoy free classes. Please bring your own mat.

Collaborative Divorces

Wednesday, Sept.10, 6:30 p.m. A multidisciplinary panel with a lawyer, mental health and financial professional who will discuss how to create resolution in a safe and supportive environment outside of court.

Anne Frank’s Neighbors: What Did They Do?

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 6 p.m.  Mary Fillmore examines the choices and decisions Anne Frank’s neighbors faced living alongside the Jewish population as persecution intensified and what we can learn from them as we face humanitarian crises of our own time. A Vermont Humanities Council event.

New in Adult Fiction

“Mean Streak” by Sandra Brown. The New York Times bestselling author is back with a new thriller about a doctor who goes missing in the mountains of North Carolina and the drama surrounding the search for her.

New in Adult Non-Fiction

“The Real Cost of Fracking; how America’s shale gas boom is threatening our families, pets, and food” by Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald. Straight out of the headlines, learn more about this hot-button topic with this new in-depth book.

New in Adult Biography

“Beethoven; Anguish and Triumph” by Jan Swafford. This extensive new book offers insight into the life of the most famous composer of his time, Ludwig van Beethoven.

New in Youth Audiobooks

The Youth Room has recently added more than a half dozen new popular titles on Playaway to their collection, including:

“The Land of Stories; The Wishing Spell” by Chris Colfer

“Infinity Ring, book 8; Eternity” by Matt De La Pena

The Dorothy Alling Memorial Library is located at 21 Library Lane in Williston, and can be reached at 878-4918. www.williston.lib.vt.us

 

Letters to the Editor

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Thank you to fire department

We would to thank the Williston Fire Department for saving our house which caught fire on the evening of Aug. 2. Luckily, no one was harmed. Fire Chief Ken Morton, Ryan Prouty and the crew acted efficiently to extinguish the fire. We are grateful for their professionalism and kindness through that difficult night and in the aftermath of the fire.

Hannah Rabin and Gil Theriault
Williston

 

Vote Cafferty for sheriff

My friend, Ed Cafferty, is a Democratic candidate for sheriff of Chittenden County.

Chittenden County residents want a strong leader for today’s challenges. He will be that leader, speaking out on the serious crime issues facing us. His vision of the job of sheriff is quite different from the incumbent. Ed Cafferty is a leader.

Ed has pointed out in editorials and speeches that the most serious crime challenge facing us is the increased illegal drug problem invading Chittenden County. The governor in his State of the State Address described heroin as a $2 million a week business in Vermont. The governor has proposed more intervention and treatment programs. Ed fully supports these programs. He has also been a spokesperson for more police to combat the surge in drugs coming into Vermont. Ed wants to do more to keep our children, neighbors, businesses and friends safe.

Ed will:

Focus the sheriff’s resources on the heroin crisis.

Establish a Home Safety Program that will offer homeowners a risk assessment of their home to burglaries.

Develop a Safe Business Program that will give suggestions to businesses on how to combat criminal activity.

Support universal background checks for gun purchases.

Create the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Office Community Advisory Committee made up of people from the community to provide oversight and program development.

The present sheriff has no female deputies working for him. Ed will make it a priority to hire women deputy sheriffs!

Ed will bring his many years of work experience with the Vermont State Police, state government administration and Champlain College teaching criminal justice courses to the job of sheriff.

For all of these reasons and more, I am voting Ed Cafferty for sheriff of Chittenden County in the Aug. 26 primary!

Ted Kenney
Williston

 

Vote Corren

On Aug. 26 (or before, if I decide to vote early), I’ll be writing in Dean Corren for lieutenant governor. Dean is a Progressive, but can be written in on any primary ballot. In his four terms in the Vermont legislature, Dean was a leader on single payer health care, marriage equality and energy efficiency/renewable energy. He had a 100 percent pro-labor voting record. Currently, Dean is an entrepreneur and the inventor of a hydrokinetic wave turbine sustainable energy project. I’m excited to be able to support him. The primaries are important and the office of lieutenant governor is too. Don’t forget to vote!

Elizabeth Skarie
Williston

 

Preserve the harvest for winter meals and holiday gifts

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By Melinda Myers

The cucumbers have filled the vegetable drawer, you’ve run out of cabbage recipes and your family is refusing to eat one more BLT. Or maybe you just couldn’t resist that special deal on a bushel of tomatoes, potatoes or apples at the farmer’s market. So what is a gardener or shopper to do with all that produce?

Since properly stored vegetables will hold their flavor and nutritional value longer than those left in a plastic bag or set on the sunny kitchen counter, consider preserving some for the long winter ahead using one of several methods.

Storage orchard racks and slatted crates placed in a cool dark location have long been used to store squash, onions and potatoes. The stackable nature or drawers provide ample storage space, so fruits and vegetables do not touch. Keeping stored fruit separated prevents rot from spreading from one fruit to the next. Plus, the slatted sides allow airflow to extend storage longevity.

Those in colder climates can store their carrots and parsnips right in the garden. Once the soil gets a bit crunchy, cover them with straw or evergreen boughs for easier digging in winter. Then, dig as needed or harvest during the first winter thaw. If this isn’t possible or not your style, try out a root vegetable storage bin. The root crops are layered in sand or sawdust and placed in a cool dark location. Just remove and use as needed. No snow shoveling needed.

Drying is one of the oldest food preservation techniques. Most of us have grabbed a few bundles of herbs to hang and dry. Expand your drying endeavors to include fruits and vegetables. The goal is to quickly remove moisture without cooking the food. You can make your own dehydrator or purchase one. Research has shown that blanching vegetables and fruit before drying helps destroy harmful bacteria. Blanching involves a steam or boiling water bath followed by a coldwater bath. Timing varies with the fruit or vegetable you are preparing.

Another ancient food preservation technique, fermentation, is experiencing a comeback. Cultures around the world have fermented fruits and vegetables for thousands of years. Unique flavors, storage options and health benefits have many gardeners revisiting this tradition. Fermenting cucumbers into pickles, cabbage into sauerkraut and berries into preserves are just a few options. The ingredients can be as simple as water, salt and spices. All you need is a vessel, vegetables and fermenting culture. You can jump-start your efforts with a fermentation crock kit, which includes the crock, cover and weights to make sure your veggies stay safely submerged in water.

Or quickly lock in the flavor and nutrition of your fruits and vegetables with freezing. You’ll need airtight containers or bags that are durable, don’t leak and won’t become brittle in cold temperatures. Some produce does not freeze well and others may need to be blanched before they are packed in the freezer bag or container. But frozen items can easily be retrieved from the freezer and included in your winter meals.

Canning is a bit more involved, but can be lots of fun. This process preserves the food and keeps it safe by preventing the growth of undesirable bacteria, yeast and mold. The sealed jars keep the flavor in and bad microorganisms out. So gather your produce, jars, pressure cooker, canner and friends to create tomato sauce, salsa, jams and jellies to enjoy or give as gifts.

Whatever method you choose, do a bit of research before you start. You’ll have greater success and a lot more fun. The National Center for Home Food Preservation website, http://nchfp.uga.edu, provides all the basic information for storage and food preservation.

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more than 20 gardening books.

 

Around Town

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Town hires two

The town of Williston recently hired two new employees.

Katrina Ducharme was hired as a full time patrol officer, a position that was created with assistance from a grant and approved in the current town budget. Ducharme will begin Sept. 8, when she starts a two-week course at the police academy. The course will allow her to earn a provisional certificate so she can begin field training in advance of her six-month full time officer training, according to Police Chief Todd Shepard.

The town also recently hired Penny Barber as a highway maintainer. Barber replaces Leon Stokes, who recently retired.

 

Chowder Challenge scheduled

The 2014 Williston Chowder Challenge is set for Sunday, Sept. 21 from 12-3 p.m. at the Williston Fire Station.

The Williston Chowder Challenge will benefit the Williston Community Food Shelf and the Williston Police Officers’ Association.

So far, 15 area restaurants and culinary enthusiasts have signed up to compete in the annual tradition, and several more are expected to join, according to organizer Officer Travis Trybulski. To see the list of competitors, list of raffle prizes and other information, visit www.willistonchowderchallenge.org.

 

Birth Tree Project deadline extended

The registration deadline for Sustainable Williston’s Birth Tree Project has been extended to Aug. 28. Sustainable Williston wants to celebrate the arrival of each newborn and newly adopted child in Williston by giving a tree to parents for planting on their property.

Find out more about the project at www.sustainablewilliston.org.

The online registration form allows parents to see illustrations of the six tree and shrub choices available.

Everyday Gourmet: Dinner with friends

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By Kim Dannies

In the waning days of a blissful summer, I try to enjoy as many meals as possible on our lovely vine-covered porch. The market is bursting with delectable veggies and fruits and the grill is on stand-by, so the only question is what to combine for a party.

Tonight’s menu looks elaborate, but is actually pretty easy. Grilled lamb chops with mint, Componata (a variation of ratatouille), fresh greens with feta and tomato and grilled Red Hen Waitsfield Common bread smeared with goat cheese, thyme and olives. A big berry Zinfandel pairs nicely with this meal. For dessert, Blueberry Bread Pudding will seal another day of summer bliss.

 

Basil Lover’s Componata

Slice four stalks of celery into 1/4-inch pieces; slice 3 medium sweet onions into thin rings. Heat a large pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the vegetables for 10 minutes. Add 3 finely chopped garlic cloves and sauté 1 minute more. Add 6 chopped tomatoes, with seeds and juices, plus one 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. Stir together ½ cup red wine vinegar and ¼ cup sugar. Slice 2 cups pitted black olives; add olives, along with 4 T of capers and the vinegar. Stir; cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

 

Cut 2 medium eggplants into ½-inch cubes (skin remains on). Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan. Sauté eggplant, in batches, until golden on all sides. Drizzle in more olive oil as needed, up to ½ cup. The eggplant will scarf up the oil, so use sparingly. Fold eggplant into veg mixture; serve hot or cold and top with lots of fresh basil. Serves 12.

 

Blueberry Bread Pudding & Lemon Curd

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large prep bowl, blend together 3 eggs; 4 cups heavy cream; 2 cups sugar; 2 T vanilla. Stir in 3 cups of fresh blueberries and 1 pound of challah bread cubes; rest 15 minutes. Pour into a greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 55 minutes. Top with Lemon Curd; serves 12.

 

Lemon Curd: in a saucepan whisk together 3 whole eggs; 3 egg yolks; 1 cup sugar; ¾ cup fresh lemon juice; 2 tablepoons lemon zest; a pinch of salt; 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until filling thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

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 who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.