August 3, 2015

What’s cooking? Tribute to zucchini

By Lucy McCullough

The zucchini is such a prolific green squash that man/woman has created numerous ways to eat it. Cookbooks probably exist that feature this vegetable alone. It can be eaten raw in a salad, spiralized and eaten as a pasta substitute, sauteed in garlic (delicious with lamb), steamed with onions and topped with butter, batter fried, grilled, baked in a casserole with cream cheese and bread crumbs, made into relish or fritters, baked in many variations of zucchini bread and, of course, the Chocolate Zucchini Cake.
The zucchini cake was introduced to us by our neighbor, Mike Davis, when he was working with us at the Catamount Tavern in the log cabin in the early ‘80s. He asked if it would be okay for him to bake his mother’s (Bev Thomas) cake recipe. It was a huge success and it has since been served at many of our family member’s birthdays and one son-in-law baked several for his wedding cake. It is very chocolaty and moist. The kids probably won’t even guess there is zucchini in it.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Cream together:
1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup oil, 1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour milk* or buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 eggs
Beat well.
2 1/2 cups flour, 8 tablespoons special dark unsweetened baking cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture. Beat well. Stir in 2 cups of grated zucchini. Pour into greased and floured 8×12-inch pan. Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool cake thoroughly before frosting.

Combine 3 ounce package of cream cheese, 1 stick of softened butter, 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla
* For sour milk, add 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar to milk to equal 1/2 cup
Let’s eat!
Lucy McCullough and her husband, Jim, started Catamount Outdoor Family Center on the family farm in 1978 and have been operating Catamount’s B&B since 1996.


Albert Kupiec

Albert Kupiec

Albert John Kupiec, Jr., Williston, 84 passed away on Wednesday July 22, 2015 at Starr Farm Nursing Home in Burlington. Albert was born in Ludlow Vermont on September 7, 1930, the son of Albert John Kupiec, Sr. and Stephanie Wass. He had 8 siblings and was predeceased by Anthony, Mary, Theresa, Lynn, Stephanie and Caroline. He is survived by siblings; Cele Letourneau of Santa Maria California and Joan Garrow of Plattsburg NY.
Albert served as a Corporal in the Army during the Korean War July 10, 1952 to June 30, 1954. He was honorably discharged and went on to attend St. Michaels College.
He married Elizabeth Murray on July 24, 1954. They met at a bonfire on North Beach while she was attending Trinity College. Together they raised 4 children while living in Long Island New York and later moving to Williston, Vermont in 1966. He was predeceased by Elizabeth (Betty) on July 6, 1993.
Albert loved sports. In his early years he played basketball. He was a huge baseball fan and followed the Red Sox through thick and thin. Albert was instrumental in the early development of the Williston Little League and Champlain Valley Babe Ruth League, serving as a coach and league president from the late 1960’s through the mid 1970’s. He was well known in the community for these contributions.
Albert worked in accounting and business most of his life. In his later years he enjoyed his status as a Real Estate Broker and owning his own tax business in Essex Junction. Albert had a great sense of humor and loved to have a good time.
Albert is also survived by all of his children and grandchildren; his daughter Patricia Bouffard, her husband Paul and their children Lesley and Amanda. A daughter Mary Beth Giroux, her husband Bob and their children Derek (wife Stephanie), Aaron and Taylor. A son Timothy, his wife Pamela and their children Joshua and Evan. A daughter Stephanie Chicoine, her husband Marty and her children Justin, Morgan and Devon Ricker.
There will be no visiting hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday July 29, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Holy Family Church, Essex Jct., with Reverend Charles Ranges, S.S.E. Immediately following the mass there will be a reception for Albert at the VFW on Pearl Street, all are invited to attend. The family invites you to share your memories and condolences by visiting

Elizabeth “Liz” (Allen) Swim passed with peace and grace on July 21, 2015, at the age of 77. Family and friends are comforted in knowing she is happily playing golf and sipping scotch in heaven. Liz was born on Oct. 17, 1937, in Manchester, N.H., to Christopher and Margaret Allen. Liz donated countless hours to local charities and organizations. Her career as salesperson led her to many wonderful clients that she considered friends. Although she had many golf victories, she always motivated others to play their best. She is survived by daughter, Heather Burfeind (Dave) of Ellensburg, Wash.; son, Michael Swim (Karmen) of Saint Albans; her four grandchildren, Christopher and Megan Burfeind and Nicholas and Amanda Swim; sister, Katherine Pfaff; along with four nieces and two nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, Richard. The family would like to thank the radiation staff at Vermont Medical Center, especially Dr. Chris Ankers, Karen and Pasty. We would also like to extend our appreciation for the care and compassion given by the staff at Pillsbury North Senior Living Communities and Griswold Homecare. And, we are truly blessed to have had the skilled care and loving support of the Vermont Respite House staff and volunteers during Liz’s final days. Services will be held on Wednesday, July 29, 2015, at 11 a.m. at the Federation Church of Williston in Williston. Liz was an enthusiastic supporter and long-time board member of the Sara Holbrook Community Center. Her passion for the youth and the center’s services brought her much joy and satisfaction as she watched this organization achieve their goals to enhance the lives of youth. It is the wish of the family, that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Sara Holbrook Community Center, 66 North Ave., Burlington, VT 05401; or the Champlain Junior Golf Foundation, 581 St. Albans Rd., Swanton, VT 05488.

Summer camps highlights

By Todd Goodwin

Summer camps are wrapping up for the 2015 season, but there are a couple of camps the week of Aug. 3-7—Harry Potter Camp and Garden Camp. The day camps still have spaces available and registration is accepted up to the Friday prior. Weeks left for the day camps are Aug. 3 and Aug. 10. Visit the Recreation and Parks website,, to check out the camps and to register.

Saratoga Racetrack
Thursday, Aug. 13, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. $77 per person. Ages 50-plus. Join us and other area Recreation Departments for an exciting day at the racetrack. We will board a Premier Coach Bus for the journey to New York, stopping for lunch at Maestro’s in the heart of Saratoga Springs before making our way to the historic racetrack with reserved seating and program at the track. Come meet new people and enjoy a day at the track.

Fall/Winter Program Guide
The Recreation Department’s Fall/Winter Program Guide is coming. It will be an insert in the Aug. 6 edition of the Observer. It will contain programs for all ages for September through January. Registration will begin for all programs in the guide on Friday, Aug. 7. All registrations now require a household account and registration through You have the option to pay online with a credit card or offline with a check or cash.

Fall Rec Soccer
You haven’t missed it! The Fall Recreational Soccer registration will open Friday, Aug. 7 on the recreation department website. There will be programs for 3-5 year olds, Kindergarten and Grades 1-8. The season will begin in early September. Parents and volunteers are needed for coaching. If you will have a child in the program this fall and you are interested in coaching, please sign up when you register your child. If not, please contact us at the Rec office about volunteering your time as a coach this fall

Great Escape Tickets
Discount amusement park tickets and parking passes are available for the Great Escape at the Clerk’s Office in the Williston Town Hall. Park tickets are $37 each, a 30 percent savings. Parking passes are $16 each, $20 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased Monday- Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Six Flags New England and Bromley discounts tickets are also available online for purchase. Visit the website for discount information.
To learn more about the Williston Recreation and Parks Department, visit or email [email protected]

Moving Vermont forward

By Jim Douglas
Moving Vermont’s economy forward requires investments in both innovation and infrastructure.
There’s no shortage of innovation in Vermont—we’re fortunate to have legacy industries and cutting edge entrepreneurs eager to contribute to our economy and provide good jobs. It’s not easy for them, however. Costs are higher here than in many other places. And too many areas of our state lack critical energy and telecommunications infrastructure necessary to compete in the 21st century economy.
Many of the challenges our employers face also exacerbate the trials of working families. As the cost of living in Vermont continues to rise, Vermonters in the middle struggle to keep pace.
It’s a policy-driven economic cycle—not a temporary trend—that we must break. You can see its impacts in anemic state tax revenue, employment and income data, the decline in our student population and the growing number of working age Vermonters leaving our beautiful, peaceful state to pursue opportunities elsewhere.
Thankfully, though the hurdles are high, the solutions are well within our reach. As I’ve frequently noted, there is no challenge we cannot meet if we work together.
We should start by focusing on the fundamentals of economic growth like infrastructure. And we must insist that the voice of the majority is heard, not drowned out by a small faction willing to yell louder, or behave poorly, just to make their point.
The proposed expansion of natural gas service is a good example. This project will bring new infrastructure to communities in Addison County along with the benefits of natural gas, which is substantially cleaner than heating oil or propane.
Reducing emissions from heating homes and businesses will make our air cleaner. It also moves us closer to realizing our carbon reduction goals set when, during my administration, Vermont became the first state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and subsequently enhanced in the state’s comprehensive energy plan.
Speaking of green, natural gas is more affordable than alternatives. Bringing natural gas to more communities will allow them to save money. For families, those savings can be as much as $2,000 per year or more depending on the type of fuel they are using today. Businesses, municipalities, hospitals and colleges all save, too. The farmers of Agrimark, for example, expect to save more than $1 million a year when they have access to the pipeline.
And these are only some of the benefits. Testimony from one of Vermont’s most respected economists indicates that extending the choice of natural gas to communities between Chittenden County’s existing system and Middlebury will generate more than $70 million in economic benefit over the next 20 years. This is millions of dollars in energy savings, property taxes and construction employment. The same analysis shows the benefits growing to $191 million over 35 years.
It’s a smart investment. The appeal of a cleaner, more affordable heating source for businesses looking to grow and relocate and the appeal to families looking for a place to live, work and raise their children are important considerations.
Put another way, the range of energy choices in Chittenden and Franklin Counties—where they’ve been expanding the natural gas system for nearly 50 years—is one reason that area enjoys more economic stability and growth than other parts of Vermont. Expanding proven economic infrastructure to other areas of Vermont helps to equalize economic opportunity. The Northwest part of our state enjoys a substantial competitive advantage—and it shows.
Vermont Gas has reset its approach to the management of this important project. Let’s not forget this is a Vermont-run company that employs many hardworking Vermonters in good-paying jobs and has provided decades of great service to dozens of communities. Though the company made mistakes, they’ve owned up to them and made changes to ensure they don’t happen again.
Vermont needs to make a similar change. As a state we should focus more on the merits of a project than its politics. While every proposal requires rigorous review, we need to get serious about improving our economy.
Economic infrastructure is essential to a thriving, innovative economy that moves Vermont forward. And moving forward is the only alternative to continuing to fall behind.

Jim Douglas is a former four-term governor of Vermont and currently an executive in residence at Middlebury College.