Tag Archives: Vermont

I’m Daring!

List of cookies

Image via Wikipedia

First of all, I do not enjoy sharing a kitchen with others. My parents might be lovely but last night’s dinner party left the kitchen trashed so I’m baking cookies and scones in the dining room today. And we’re out of sugar.

It’s that last sentence that lead’s up to me being DARING.

Right now I’ve got it stuck in my head that I’m going to bake these “lovely tuille fortune cookies with a splash of fragrant bergamot” from Gesine Prado-Bullock (link here) and then some cream scones because we’ve got extra cream. As I was setting up my improv-baking center in the dining room I noticed that the sugar cannister seemed suspiciously light.

According to my measuring cup I’ve got exactly 1/2-cup of sugar. One 1/2-cup short of what I need.

A slightly peeved phonecall to my mother inquiring as to whether or not we have a bag of sugar hidden away in the cupboards only resulted in a slightly peeved answering machine message left on her work number so I went to Google. I Googled sugar substitutes and ended up on allrecipes.com where they pointed out that I could try a variety of substitutes. Since I’m in Vermont I’m going with maple syrup and I feel like these cookies could be really good with a hint of maple. Now I’m stressing over the conversions between liquid and dry cups so this is just fantastic.

But, because I’m Daring I’m just going to plow ahead. Because when you’re baking for a Christmas party you don’t need to worry about how it tastes right? All the adults will just be buzzed on eggnog so I could bleed into the batter, bake it and they wouldn’t notice a difference.

Now I’m just freaking out.

New Daring plan! Eat a grapefruit to combat low blood sugar and then if my mother isn’t home I’m just going to dump a gallon of maple syrup into the batter.

By the way: Is anyone else listening to today’s Splendid Table? I’m loving it.



Filed under The Pantry

Nice Sweater


These trousers fit, they are not my trousers. Image via Wikipedia

If my grandfather taught me one thing- ok, there’s also the lesson he taught me about working hard, the joys of gardening, the importance of frugality and many other nuggets of life lessons- it’s to always dress your best while travelling. I have distinct memories of my grandfather’s pressed pants and jacket and polished shoes as we stood in airport security for our trip to Italy six or so years ago, he was the best dressed non-European on the flight. Honestly my grandfather never sat me down to tell me: Grandchild, if there’s one thing I’m going to teach you it’s to dress your best while travelling. It’s just one of those things that I absorbed from being with him- I also absorbed that Rumsfeld was a jackass and that cutting pot roast with an electric blade is scary.

The question is why is it so important to dress snappily while driving, boating, planeing or training around the globe? I can think of a few reasons.

The first is the image that you are trying to convey. When you dress sharp you convey to those around you that you are a serious traveler and not some putz who is going to complain that the steward won’t make him a ninth martini. You should (depending on your idea of dressing nicely) convey a certain calmness that is much needed in these current travel times. Now I’m not saying that you’re going to get through customs easier or that you’ll get a free drink at the Amtrack cafe car but you just might get a cute security guard to give you a friendly fondle instead of a painful prod.

My other reason for dressing up is simply the fact that we don’t have enough time to dress up. Maybe it’s simply northern Vermont speaking but shouldn’t we take advantage of every opportunity to break out the pearls and green polyester pants? (Everyone has their own ideas of dressing nicely, alright?)

Which begs the question as to why I was wearing a slightly torn sweater and far too short tweed pants on the southbound Amtrak today.

Yesterday in class I was planning my outfit. Brown slip on shoes. Socks (rather dressy for me). Tweed pants. Belt to keep said pants up. Tight yellow Shakespeare shirt. Purple cardigan. Owl necklace from Belize. Kinda-tartan-or-maybe-plaid scarf. As I started packing last night the first fatal flaw reared its ugly head: Where the Hell was my purple cardigan? I searched high and low, bathroom to sleeping room, it was no where to be found. And while this did remind me that piling my clothes around the room based off of when they were last washed is not the most efficient method of storing clothes I never found that damn cardigan. With a sigh I consigned myself to the soft green knit sweater and no necklace (the colors would be all weird with the green).

This morning the second fatal flaw struck. My tweed pants come down to an inch or two above my ankles. They may be lovely pants but they look like I’m wearing short pants and I feel ridiculous wearing them. What does that leave me with?

Brown suede shoes, kinda matching brownish socks, too short tweed pants, Ben and Jerry’s vintage tee, fuzzy green sweater with faux crest on it,  kinda-not-really-tartan scarf worn loose,  and my adorable face. All in all not my worst outfit. Unless I stand up. If I stand up I look like Urkel.

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Filed under The Closet

You Just Said What?

Hamburger Summit 2010 – Green Mountain Daily w...

Some perfectly friendly Vermonters-Image by origamidon via Flickr

After living in Vermont for close to two decades (my entire life that is) I tend to forget that outside of the Green Mountains politics tend to be… not quite so nice. Actually everything outside of the Green Mountains seems to be less nice but that’s a whole ‘nother post. For an example of this let’s go to our neighbors across the lake. No, not the Canadians, I’m thinking of the neighbors across the lake that’s not Memphramegog. Yup, Champlain which means I’m talking about New York. Now, to be fair to New York it has the Adirondecks, most of my family, fantastic shopping, a scoop shop named Custard’s Last Stand and gay pride events but they also have really mean people.

I’m thinking of this because as I was making a mess of crepes (post regarding my mess of crepes coming soon) I was also listening to NPR. During the 4 p.m. slot they interviewed Andrew Cuomo‘s opponent for the New York governor’s seat. All of you news junkies out there know that I am referring to Carl Paladino. Did anyone else catch Cranky Carl’s interview? [Note: I am instantly regretting using the nickname Cranky Carl due to the fact that I really don’t like it when politics turns to name calling but “catch Cranky Carl” just had the whole alliteration going for it. I mean it out of love Mr. Paladino and promise to be more respectful from now on.]

Mr. Paladino’s interview was… well, let’s just say that I don’t know what his issues are but I do know that he could use a mild rhino tranquilizer in the mornings to calm him down. If I find a link to the interview I’ll post it right away but for right now you’re going to need to take my word on this. The interview started with a mild question regarding certain challenges made by Mr. Cuomo’s campaign about Mr. Paladino’s ethics in business and possible mild hypocrisy. Mr. Paladino flew right off the handle immediately and never got back on it. At one point he even growled at the interviewer something along the lines of, “I defy you to…” [Yes, I know, I really need to get at least the transcript of this interview.] It quickly turned into the interviewer saying one thing and then Mr. Paladino just laying into him about, well, seemingly anything on his mind.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve noticed that New Yorkers tend to be a bit more, er, a bit more less polite than we hill folk are, almost anytime I pick up The New York Daily News or The New York Post I feel like I’m almost a hundred years in the past and Pulitzer is still concocting stories for his paper. Of course, we Vermonters aren’t always quite so polite, I seem to remember that a couple hundred years ago we set fire to a few houses of flat landers, particularly New York flat landers. But at least we simply burn down the house and then move on, we don’t go on National Radio and scream and holler just to prove that we aren’t “politically correct”. [Yes, Mr. Paladino did describe himself as being proud that he wasn’t P-C.]

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Filed under The Soapbox

This is NOT Fall

Great seal of Vermont. Although officially ado...

Image via Wikipedia

The weather up here in Vermont suddenly got pretty-and it kills me to say this-warm, and while I’m not complaining about warm weather… I kind of am. There is something great about bicycling down a leaf-bare driveway while the sun bakes you into sleepy submission. That sleepy submission-warmth-comfort thing really isn’t a Vermont fall though and so I feel completely cheated.

Here’s how a Vermont fall is supposed to go down: It’s windy, really windy and this isn’t a warm windy breeze but snapping cold gusts that whip around you. The wind in Fall is supposed to bring tears to your eyes, not crying exactly but tears that well up in your eyes and start to obscure your vision. This is in conjunction with the burning on your cheeks, of course. Winter might make your cheeks sting but in Fall it catches you completely by surprise making it burn like hell fire. A good Fall day isn’t a good one without red cheeks and teary eyes.

But this weak weather isn’t just taking away from the physical enjoyment of Fall but also the sight linked pleasure. In crisp weather you see leaves that capture green, gold, orange and red all in one little wisp of a leaf, you see the leaves being flung into the air. These colors, when taken in with the tear blurred vision, begin to blend together with the dying greens of the field, the solid greens of the evergreens, the amazingly lively blue skies, and just the faintest hints of white clouds.

As the wind whips around you can see animals like never before. Unlike Winter’s wearied attempts for survival, Summer’s relaxed comfort and Spring’s cautious joy Fall brings out this ferocity in nature. Not ferocity that results in maulings but a fierce attempt to live. Deer run and eat, pileated woodpeckers really get into their work and humans begin to can food, stack wood, anything to make sure they make it through the winter.

In this frenzy I find a great sense of bliss. This is life boiled down to the essence, like when you use dash alcohol onto a hot pan and get it down to just its most potent taste. I end up dancing in the our neighbor’s meadow, running through the woods with the dog like two puppies, reciting Dickenson to the trees and loving where I live.

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Filed under The Diary

Really Well Played, Dubie…

”]Front view of the Vermont State House (taken S...

Lately every Vermont television station has been carrying ads from Dubie’s campaign for Governor that attack Shumlin’s sensible plan to keep the prison population at manageable levels. I’ve been fairly angry with the Dubie campaign for their attack ads and have long suspected that these ads are not giving the full picture. Here’s a link to a rather interesting article on Vt. Digger that discusses the stretching and twisting of facts that the Dubie campaign put into that ad. http://vtdigger.org/2010/09/28/dubie%e2%80%99s-%e2%80%9clist%e2%80%9d-of-offenders-doesn%e2%80%99t-exist/

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Filed under The Soapbox

Shumlin For Governor!

Alright, they just reported 100% of the precincts! And Shumlin has won with 18,239 votes (which is 25% of the total).

So, Democrats, are you ready to meet your slate?

Here it is:

Governor: Shumlin

Lt. Gov.: Steve Howard

Secretary of State: Jim Condos

U.S. Senate: Patrick Leahy (Big shocker right?)

Auditor: Doug Hoffer

And the Progressive candidates are:

Lt. Gov.: Marjorie Powers (and I think I’ll just support her on that one.)

Alright, Liberals, we have our candidates. Let’s go out and win this one!

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Filed under The Soapbox

99% Reporting…

Alright, we’re down to 259/260 precincts reporting in and (according to VPR.Net) Shumlin is leading with 18,228 votes over Raccine with 18,053 and Markowitz with 17,569. Who is that one remaining precinct? I don’t know but I’m going with Wolcott. Why Wolcott? I just have a habit of blaming Wolcott for anything bad that happens in my life. (Before the horde of Wolcott comes after me: I know many lovely people out there but it’s a knee-jerk reaction.)

It’s been pretty tense in this house. I’ve been pacing and bashing politicians and swearing off politics and not going to work and just generally having heart palpitations.

A few minutes ago Raccine was in the lead and I was blown over with surprise. Raccine? Maybe I just live in the North East Kingdom but I did not see that one coming. I mean, I’ve seen more ads for Dunne than Raccine and he just seems like such a lackluster candidate.

I don’t want to call the primary but it looks like Shumlin is going to win. What does that mean for us? I don’t know. Shumlin is a strong campaigner who gets out there and he seems to have a strong gathering inside the party faithful but he has a huge mouth and a reputation for something of a wheeler and dealer and smooth talker.  Frankly I just can’t see him being able to beat Dubie and that frightens me.

It is my sincere hope that the Democrats pull together and through their whole weight behind Shumlin or Raccine. If we do a poor job this year than we’re going to fuck the poodle again. I have plenty of friends who are Republicans but I just don’t like the idea of them keeping the Governor’s office.

And Bartlett? Well, um, she got 5% of the vote and that’s all I’ll say.

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Filed under The Soapbox