April 16, 2014

Recipe Corner: Breakfast with maple

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April 10th, 2014

By Ginger Isham

When we had a bed and breakfast, guests loved this recipe—a couple from Germany wanted them for every breakfast.

Baked Pancakes or Dutch Babies
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons melted butter
Whip eggs and milk together and stir in flour and salt. Pour batter into two lightly greased 8 or 9-inch round cake pans. Bake in 450-degree oven for 15 minutes.
Can dust with powdered sugar, and/or sliced strawberries/blueberries and serve with warmed maple syrup.

Oatmeal Pancakes
(from bed and breakfast guests from Canada)
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups buttermilk
Mix and soak overnight.
Next morning add:
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons melted butter
Pour batter on griddle that has been lightly sprayed with oil. These take a little longer to cook than other pancakes. Hearty like oatmeal cookies. Could stir in dark chocolate chips or shaved chocolate.

A favorite fruit cup
Make the night before for guests: cut up grapefruit, oranges and cantaloupe. Drizzle maple syrup over all and serve in morning. Put in small bowl on a luncheon plate with real fall leaves underneath the bowl or with fresh spring flowers on the side or violets to decorate top of fruit.

Volunteer Opportunities

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The listings below are just a small sample of the more than 300 volunteer needs from more than 250 agencies you can find at www.unitedwaycc.org.

APRIL: NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH
On behalf of United Way, thank you to all who volunteer and help make this a better community! If you would like to lend a hand, choose an options below or go to www.unitedwaycc.org/volunteer to check out more than 300 other volunteer options from local nonprofits, schools and public partners or call us at 860-1677.

BE A HERO
Essex CHIPS, School Based Mentoring is recruiting new mentors for students at elementary and middle schools in Essex Junction and Essex Town. The kids are waiting to play games, do arts and crafts, chat, learn, laugh and share. Mentors join kids one hour a week during the school day, and every effort is made to work around the mentor’s schedule. Training provided. References and background check required. Contact Darcy Caryl Evans at 878-6982 or email [email protected]

SPRING CLEANING
Ethan Allen Residence is looking for volunteers to help rake, wash windows and plant flowers. It is also looking for a Master Gardener to help plan its on-site garden and help residents maintain it during the summer. Flexible schedule. Contact Mary Mougey at 658-1573, Ext. 201, or email [email protected]

BE A CHAMP
Champlain Adaptive Mounted Program (CHAMP) is beginning its spring session of horseback riding lessons in South Hero for people of all ages with disabilities. Volunteers are needed to help riders during their 30-minute lessons. Flexible weekday and weekend scheduling, now through May 31. Contact Pauline Gervais at 372-4087 or email [email protected]

EVENT SUPPORT
Vermont Kin as Parents needs volunteers for an event to support kinship families. Tasks include set up, greeting attendees, clean up and bakers to make refreshments. April 26, two-hour shifts. Contact Heather Simmons at 864-7467 or email [email protected]

MUSEUM CLEAN-UP
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes is preparing to welcome school children and other visitors. Organizers are looking for some small groups of volunteers to help clean exhibits and spruce up the grounds (painting, raking weeding, etc.). Groups of up to 10 for five hours per project April 21-May 2. Contact Elisa Nelson at 475-2022 or email [email protected]

A DRIVING NEED
American Cancer Society is in need of volunteers to use their own vehicles to drive patients to treatment. Volunteers must be 18 years or older with a safe driving record and appropriate insurance. Flexible monthly scheduling, approximately one to three hours per trip. Contact Patty Cooper at (603) 471-4111 or email [email protected]

RULES OF THE ROAD
Local Motion is looking for volunteers to hand out treats to people who are following the bike-related rules of the road and to educate people about the rules and collect data on safety compliance. Help make the streets safer for everyone! A great group activity with flexible scheduling. Contact Mary Catherine Graziano at 861-2700, Ext. 106, or email [email protected]

Little Details: Next Stop? College

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April 10th, 2014

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

Envelopes are in. Are they thick? Are they thin? Are you out? Are you in? Are you relegated to the limbo land of a waitlist? Did you learn from a computer screen the fate of your college applications?
High school seniors face big decisions. Many ponder that existential question: What do I want to be when I grow up? Those who applied to college are evaluating their acceptances, basking in the letters, notes, emails and phone calls with messages of “Choose us.”
A guidance counselor recently said, “People talk about how exciting senior year is. Actually, it’s a very stressful time for students.” For now, the stress has dissipated, at least a little.
These young applicants rose early on Saturday mornings for SAT, ACT and Subject Tests—filling in bubbles with No. 2 pencils while clicking away on calculators. They asked very busy teachers to write letters of recommendation. They toured campuses and prepped for interviews. They accumulated stacks (and stacks) of prospectuses from colleges and universities, near and far. They kept up grades—at least until the end of the second marking period.
These students are now the consumers, mulling over acceptances, trying to tease out which school is the best match. Courting colleges issue invitations to accepted student days and Class of 2018 Facebook pages while dangling scholarships, travel vouchers, and promises of financial aid.
As the parent of a senior, my first thought is, “How did we get here?” Aren’t I still waiting in line for my daughter’s slot in preschool? I’m reminded how quickly time flies as we grasp those last scraps of family time before my daughter leaves for college. As a parent and former admissions officer, I offer the following advice for those up and coming:
1. Start saving early for your child’s education. Sparing your child—or yourself—enormous educational debt is a gift that keeps on giving.
2. Strive for lifelong living. Intellectual curiosity fosters academic and professional success. Parents who read tend to have children who read.
3. Embrace a positive work ethic, recognizing the value of a job well-done.
4. Pursue passions. Sports? Music? Community Service? College admissions officers recognize deeply passionate people. It’s about depth, not breadth.
5. Go after, create and seize real-world experiences (volunteerism, internships, part-time jobs, exchange programs) that transcend textbook learning.
6. Build positive relationships with teachers, mentors and employers. Mastering this skill promotes success and, more importantly, happiness.
7. Visit colleges early. A prospective applicant needs to know what the “target” is whether applying to UVM, Yale or Kalamazoo.
8. Cultivate, cultivate, cultivate. Demonstrated interest strengthens an applicant’s prospects at colleges and universities.
9. Say thank you. Did you meet with a professor, attend a class or sit for an interview? Remember to send a thank you note. Don’t underestimate the power of expressed gratitude.
10. And, exclusively for parents, let your child speak. This is about his or her future, aspirations and dreams.
With college acceptances sitting on our kitchen counter, I am proud of my daughter for working hard to open academic doors. The overwhelming emotion I feel is pure and simple gratitude. Teachers offered encouragement and extra help. Caring adults organized music and sports activities. Employers presented internship and paid employment opportunities. The guidance counselor remained steadfast in her support. Mentors shared wisdoms to compliment what we, as parents, had to give.
It really does take a village.
And for those members of the Class of 2018 still pondering whether or not college is for them, remember, it’s never too late to open one’s door to learning.
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

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Thanks for Kids Observer
I really liked the last issue (April 27, 2014) of the Williston Observer and all of the kids’ input. I appreciate the effort you put into doing this. I am sure that the kids appreciated the work that they put into it and it was important that they had ownership with it. I enjoyed reading their thoughts about our great town, whom they admire and why. The last issue was an enjoyable read and was on my kitchen table all weekend.
Mike Isham
Williston
Jump For Heart 2014
The Williston School District annual Jump For Heart was again a huge success! Last Friday morning, the Allen Brook gymnasium was filled with students first to eighth grade, all jumping to upbeat music. The 2 1/2 hours went by quickly. By the end of the morning, it was announced that WSD students and the community had raised more than $22,000 for the American Heart Association.
So many people come together to make this a fun and popular event for the students. From the wonderful parent volunteers that help with all aspects of this event, to the WSD staff, teachers, PE department, bus drivers and cafeteria staff. It definitely takes a village to make it work and the Williston community never fails to support this event year after year!
Thank you to all that helped and especially to the students who worked hard to give back to their community!
Thanks again from the bottom of our grateful hearts.
WSD PE Department: Cathy Kohlasch; Lynn McClintock; Jenn Oakes; Lyn Porter; Pat Bannerman

 

Lawton Jones takes part in Williston Central School’s Jump for Heart event, held at the school last week. By the end of the jump-a-thon, students and the community had raised more than $22,000 for the American Heart Association

Lawton Jones takes part in Williston Central School’s Jump for Heart event, held at the school last week. By the end of the jump-a-thon, students and the community had raised more than $22,000 for the American Heart Association

Keane Webre-Hayes takes part in Williston Central School’s Jump for Heart event, held at the school last week. By the end of the jump-a-thon, students and the community had raised more than $22,000 for the American Heart Association

Keane Webre-Hayes takes part in Williston Central School’s Jump for Heart event, held at the school last week. By the end of the jump-a-thon, students and the community had raised more than $22,000 for the American Heart Association

From local to regional: defining Vermont’s foodshed

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April 10th, 2014

By Erica Campbell

Throughout the planning process developing Vermont’s “Farm to Plate” Strategic Plan, we heard many definitions about what the geographic boundaries of “local food” means to different people. Early localvores often used a 30, 50 or 100-mile radius, while others believe local to be a broader, more regional concept. Labeling food as local is important to consumers as well as producers, processors, distributors and retailers along the value chain.
The Farm to Plate Strategic Plan aligns with the State of Vermont’s definition of local: food that is produced or processed within a 30 mile radius of any given locale. So when you take the perspective of the state as a whole, this means that “local” is “Vermont+30 miles,” which includes any place in New York, southern Quebec, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts that is within 30 miles of Vermont’s border. Some have agreed with this definition and others have found it to be too broad or too narrow. We define “regional” to include the six New England States, plus New York and southern Quebec.
While we have adopted this geographic definition, the Farm to Plate Network continues to wrestle with the concept of exactly WHAT gets counted. Everyone agrees that if it’s grown here, it’s local. But how about specialty foods: the salsa that uses Vermont grown tomatoes only in summer or the bakery that has only one product which uses local wheat? How about coffee and peanut butter products? When it comes to processed foods, it gets complicated. We want to support processing businesses adding value to Vermont grown foods, but we don’t want to ignore the importance of local food manufacturers that may not be using local ingredients yet do create livable wage jobs here in the state.
Legislatively, Farm to Plate is about creating economic development opportunities and jobs in the farm and food sector, and increasing access of healthy, local food for all Vermonters. The Plan’s 25 goals which we hope to reach by 2020, include: increasing farm viability; improving the environment; and reducing food insecurity. In order to reach some of these goals we will need to think broader, and more regionally.
Definitions aside, how do these questions play out in actual purchasing decisions? What do you do when you are standing in the grocery store, trying to make a decision about a particular food?
NOFA-VT (Northeast Organic Farmer’s Association) has championed a simple three-tiered approach to local and regional food sourcing. When possible, buy foods in season as geographically close or “ultra local” to you as possible. When those are not available, source from other parts of the state—otherwise referred to as Vermont+30 miles—what both the State of Vermont and Farm to Plate define as “local.” When it’s not available in Vermont, look to regional producers in other New England states, New York or southern Quebec.
The importance of supporting “regional” after “local” is especially relevant when trying to source food for institutional markets—such as schools, hospitals, universities, senior meal sites and nursing homes. These markets are looking for greater volumes and a consistent supply of high quality food at lower price points. NOFA-VT works closely with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to expand the institutional marketplace and is also engaged with leaders within the Farm to Plate Farm to Institution Task Force.
Being a localvore is very much about paying attention to where our food comes from and how it’s produced. Food—the way it is grown, distributed and consumed—affects our health, environment, and economy. Our food choices make a big impact. So if you can purchase food—whether grown or processed—from your community, Vermont or the larger New England region rather than from California, Mexico or China, please do!
Erica Campbell is the Program Director of Farm to Plate, a core program of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF). Vermont Farm to Plate is the statewide initiative legislatively directed to increase economic development and jobs in Vermont’s food and farm sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters.