February 27, 2015

Recipe Corner: Tea and toppings


By Ginger Isham

When my daughter asked for an old recipe for Russian Tea, I searched and found it in my beverage collection and thought why not share it, since we are in a deep freeze these days? The cranberry recipes are new from a family member named Jean. Can’t wait to try them.

Russian Tea

1 1/2 cups Tang (found it near the Country Lemonade)

1 cup instant tea with or without lemon and sugar

1 teaspoon EACH cinnamon, ginger and cloves

Mix all together and pour into an attractive container. Add 1 teaspoon of mix to a cup of boiling water.

Lemon Curd

(to go with scones)

3 eggs

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar (3/4 might do)

Beat eggs until frothy in a small saucepan and stir in lemon juice, sugar and melted butter. Place pan in another pan with boiling water and turn to simmer and cook until slightly thickened; stirring continuously. May use as a filling in cakes, cookies or over pound cake.

Cranberry Apples

Place cut and cored apples with skins in a pan. Cover apples halfway with water. Cook slowly, add cranberries and simmer until all is thickened. Can add brown sugar or dark maple syrup. Use as topping for oatmeal, pancakes or in yogurt.

Rice and Cranberries

Cook rice according to directions using milk for half the liquid. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon. During last 10 minutes of cooking, add 1/2 cup cranberries. Serve with chicken or pork.

Orange Sorbet

2 cups fresh orange juice, strain if desired

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon orange zest, grated

Blend all in blender until smooth. Pour into a metal bowl. Freeze until almost firm. Stir now and then. Spoon into a container, cover and freeze until ready to serve. Garnish with orange slices.

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



David ‘Button’ Isham (3/8/35) 80th birthday card shower celebration

David Isham

David Isham

1935 was the era of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. FDR was president, Elvis Presley was born, Monopoly was first introduced, the Social Security Act became law, the #1 car on the road was a Ford and the cost of a gallon of gas was ten cents. David Isham was born in the family farmhouse, which he still calls home. The Jersey cows were milked that morning and evening; the smells of sugaring scented the air. Baby David was “as cute as a button,” and the name stuck.

The family of David Isham requests that his birthday be celebrated with a card shower. Friends, family and neighbors are encouraged to send birthday wishes to 3517 Oak Hill Rd., Williston, VT 05495.

Vera Bruce

Vera Bruce

Vera Bruce

Vera Bruce of Williston is turning 90 on March 10. Happy Birthday from your children. We love you, Mom!

Library Notes


For Adults and Kids

Makerspace: Circuit Board Clocks

Monday, March 9, 6 p.m. You’ll use power drills and other tools to create wall clocks using old computer parts. See what’s inside and tear it apart to make your own design. Presented by Andy Mosedale of MISmakers. Ages 9 and up. Pre-register.

Count Me In! Preschool Math Night

Wednesday, March 11, 6-7 p.m. Introduction to hands-on activities that families can use in everyday life. Open to any parent or caregiver and their preschool child. Pre-register.

Heliand Consort: A Brick Church Concert Benefitting the Friends of the Library

Friday, March 13, 7 p.m. Tickets $12 in advance. A woodwind trio will perform engaging classical music, from the baroque era through 20th century. Opening music by cellist Ben Kulp and art display by Dan Donnelly.


Saturday, March 14, 12 p.m. Based on a memoir about the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife. Drama and romance. Snacks provided. PG 13

Geek the Library Photo Booth

Mondays after 4 p.m. If you missed our photo booth, additional times are available. Come get your photo taken while sharing with us what you geek. Whatever you geek (to love, to enjoy, to have a passion for), serious or fun, Dorothy Alling Library supports you!

Youth News

Spanish Musical Playgroup

Saturday, Feb. 28, 10:30 a.m. – noon. Non-Spanish speakers welcome. Birth to age 5. Snack included. Sponsored by Building Bright Futures.

Babytime Playgroup

Wednesday, March 4, 6-7:30 p.m. For children birth-2 years and their caregivers. For information call 876-7555. Sponsored by Building Bright Futures.

Food For Thought Teen Library Volunteers

Thursday, March 5, 4-5 p.m. Grades 7-12. Pizza, discussion, and library projects for teens. first Thursday of each month.

Toddler Yoga and Stories

Saturday, March 7, 10:30 a.m. Simple yoga and books for children ages 1-5. Presented by Karen Allen.

Teen Tech Week

March 8-14. “Libraries are for Making.” See what’s available for teens at the library. Playaways, Wi-Fi, computers, magazines, graphic novels, manga, movies, Food for Thought Teen Group, teen blog, travel and job hunting resources. Teens in grades 7-12 may enter to win prizes.

Preschool Story Time

Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Includes a simple craft activity. For children ages 3-5. March 3: Get Messy; March 10: Feelings; March 17: Pirates; March 24: Science Story Time with Kristen Littlefield— “Beautiful Beetles” (Sponsored by Friends of DAML); March 31: Spring Stories.

Read to a Dog

Tuesdays, 3:30-4:30 p.m. All dogs registered with Therapy Dogs of Vermont. All ages. Call 878-4918 to pre-register for one-on-one sessions.

Adult News

Gentle Yoga

Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. Presented by Williston resident Jill Lang. Please bring your own mat.

Quit Tobacco

Fridays, March 6-April 3, 12 p.m. Support group with local specialist. Free NRT available to participants. Open to all. Preregistration.

The Tech Tutor

Wednesday, March 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Stop by anytime during tech hours for one-on-one technology help from a teen. Guarantee a time by making a 15 to 30 minute appointment 878-4918.

Shape & Share Life Stories

Monday, March 16, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Learn to craft engaging stories from life experiences. Led byRecille Hamrell.

Brown Bag Book Club

Friday, March 20, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Looking to meet others who love to discuss books? This month we will discuss “Orange is the New Black” by Piper Kerman. Books available for loan. Dessert provided.

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

Little Details: Southern diversion


By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

High Tea it was for my 50th birthday. We reserved a table at The Gryphon where a Savannah College of Art (SCAD) student sated us with pots of Earl Grey and English Breakfast. We sampled tasty tea sandwiches with cukes and creamed cheese. We treated ourselves to the prettiest little petit fours—eye candy first, food second.

I’d had a week to ponder the setting for my birthday meal. Savannah, renowned for its Southern cooking, offered many choices. My vegetarian palate narrowed the field considerably. I’d forgo crab cakes, fried corn dogs and the Queen of Southern Cuisine—Paula Deen—whose Lady and Sons restaurant resided nearby.

The Gryphon Tea Room drew me in with its architecture. The imposing, triangular structure’s exterior boasts Roman columns, arched windows and ornate trim in blue and gold filigree.

The café, run by SCAD, occupies the first floor of a former pharmacy. High ceilings embellished with stained-glass depictions of mortars and pestles encircled the dining room. An enormous chandelier, suspended from the ceiling, radiated warm light through amber glass. A corner booth, cheerful service and beautifully displayed edibles made for a memorable meal.

We learned that the pharmacy was once owned by the Solomons family, members of Savannah’s longstanding Jewish community, which reaches back to the 18th century. We came upon the family’s burial plot at Laurel Grove Cemetery just days before. So moved was I by an inscription on one of the graves, I noted it on a piece of paper: “Our brother Washington Emmanuel (Solomons) died August 29th 1864 in the 20th year of his age from wounds received in battle in front of Atlanta…” I imagined this young man, a Jew whose ancestors came to the American South seeking freedom, who died a son of the Confederacy. I learned on this trip not to judge harshly Confederate soldiers, many of whom felt their cause was just.

Months earlier, my husband and daughter asked me to compile a list of possible places to spend my dead-of-winter, 50th birthday. I’ve explored Tokyo on foot, studied in Krakow, wandered beaches in Rio and lived in Wellington. I realized—as my first half-century loomed—there are places in America I should visit and experience. As a child of immigrants, my travel compass so often directs me to the Old World. It was time to explore my country—the New World—more deeply.

This is the list I came up with: Birmingham, Alabama; Portland, Oregon; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Seattle, Washington; St. Augustine, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Savannah, Georgia. I threw Chicago on the list since a visit years ago was far too brief. History, natural beauty, vibrant culture and walkability were qualifying factors for places making my wish list.

I presented the list to my family and left them with their task: plan a week-long trip and let me know how to pack prior to departure. Cities were researched. Airfares were compared. Websites were scoured for just the right rental. Savannah won.

We rented a sweet apartment in an 18th century brick building in Old Savannah, within walking distance of the museums, restaurants, parks and shopping. We loaded up on groceries at Kroger’s for relaxed breakfasts and dinners in the apartment. We ate lunch out where serving sizes were smaller and costs were lower.

Savannah, a planned city, is a grid with highly walkable streets and gorgeous pocket parks that appear every few blocks. White oak, cypress, magnolia, dogwood and green-leaved oak trees festooned with Spanish moss provided a festive canopy in late December. Holly bloomed, dotted with winter red berries.

We toured art museums and historic homes, marveling at the diverse architectural styles. From Colonial, to Federal, to Georgian, to Gothic, to Greek Revival, to Italianate to Second Empire and oodles in between, it’s all there. SCAD’s historic preservation program is credited with saving many a crumbling edifice from the wrecking ball.

Savannah played significant roles in the American Revolution, the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement with historic sites galore. It’s also considered a highly haunted town with kid-friendly and adult-oriented ghost tours offered in the evenings.

The coffeehouse scene was vibrant, with ample cafés to catch a caffeinated cup while lingering with the newspaper. Our favorite spot, The Sentient Bean, hosted locals and tourists alike. It was a great place to eavesdrop on Southern etiquette as regulars chatted—sometimes loudly and casually—across tables.

My daughter quickly associated commencing a new decade with a trip. She promptly asked: “When I turn 20, can we do a trip?”

The apple doesn’t fall far.

Whatever your age, may you take time to ponder what it is YOU wish to see and experience. May you then find a way to do it, even if it requires some sacrifice. What we see, live and experience cannot be taken away. That’s worth a ponder on a cold Vermont day.

Katherine Bielawa Stamper, a Williston resident, is a former finalist for the Coolidge Prize for Journalism for writings on civility. Reader comments are welcome at [email protected] or [email protected]

Working together to clean up Vermont’s waters


By Deb Markowitz 

This past month, Gov. Peter Shumlin opened the legislative session with an unprecedented focus on the environment. Understanding that global climate change threatens our way of life, the governor announced new initiatives aimed at continuing to expand our renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors—creating jobs, saving Vermonters money and doing our part to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. He also talked at length about our Clean Water Initiative and Lake Champlain restoration plan.

 While it is true that the EPA has told Vermont that we need to take significant steps to clean up Lake Champlain, a water body that is plagued by nutrient pollution, it is also the right thing to do. Lake Champlain alone brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity each year. Protection of this lake is critical to protecting our economy, and it is also the right thing to do for our children and grandchildren. Future generations of Vermonters deserve the same opportunity we have had to swim, fish, boat and drink the waters of Lake Champlain.

Our plan to clean up Lake Champlain focuses first on areas of greatest pollution where we can make the most impact with our finite resources. It focuses on polluted stormwater runoff from farms, developed land (ex. parking lots and rooftops), roads and from streambank erosion. The cleanup plan also contemplates improving pollution controls on wastewater treatment facilities as a secondary priority since only a small portion (3 percent) of the pollution comes from these sources.

Tools for addressing this pollution will vary by region depending on the nature of land uses and pollution sources in that region, but will include education and outreach, technical assistance, planning, regulation and financial support. For example, there will be new and expanded stormwater management permits required in our built areas to minimize pollution from state and local roads, new construction and from existing built areas. Updated accepted agricultural practices will apply to all farms and a new focus on addressing pollution from small farms will be put in place, along with a focused enforcement program. We will expand investments in protecting and restoring critical natural resources like wetlands, forests, river corridors and floodplains in order to prevent erosion, reduce pollution and reduce flood damage.

Of course, all of this costs money. Over the past few months, significant new federal support has been announced through existing federal programs such as the Lake Champlain Basin Program, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But we also have to do our part. That is why the governor announced new revenue in his budget to support expanding existing state programs that provide resources and technical services to farmers, watershed groups and municipalities, including the Ecosystem Restoration Program, the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, the Better Backroads Program, and Agriculture Best Management Practices.

The Clean Water Initiative will be supported by a variety of water related permit fees, mitigation payments, a new fee on fertilizers and a small assessment on commercial, industrial and possibly other non-residential properties as well as philanthropic contributions such as the $5 million donation announced by Keurig Green Mountain. As the governor noted in his address, Vermonters have, “lost patience with finger pointing about who is to blame for poor water quality. We are now working together across the divides that can exist among advocates, businesses, farmers, neighbors and government to get the job done.”

Deb Markowitz is secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.