Thursday, March 4, 2010

Vermont - March 4, 1791

Q: What is a Minuteman's least favorite day of the year
A: March 4th (forth)!

I had lunch today with my delightful Vermonter friend Lori. We did not eat any Vermont food, but we did talk about Vermont. I think my first trip to Vermont was to go to the Vermont Country Store in Rutland, probably in 1998. We had been getting their catalog, and ordering from in for several years, but once we moved to New England a trip there seemed like fun. We also visited King Arthur flour, where I had k-cup coffee for the first time. We've been to the Vermont Country Store several times since then. If you look at my profile picture you will see me looking especially groovy in a dress I bought there almost 10 years ago, that I still love to wear. I bought it on sale for $7.00! Our friends Julie and Mike have 2 off-the-grid cabins in Vermont and we have been up to stay there a few times. It is peaceful, and I really don't miss the television. Their cabin is also the only place on earth in which you can play "Rock Toad" - a game invented by Mike & Julie's daughter when she was quite young. The great thing about this game is there are no winners or losers, you just keep changing which rock you stand on when "rock toad" is yelled out. The game continues until you get tired of it. Once when my daughter was assigned to write an essay about her favorite place, she chose Julie and Mike's cabin in Vermont. Julie is a beekeeper and informs me that Vermont's official state insect is the honeybee. I will be sure to serve some honey with our Vermont meal!

The movie Shout It Out: Voices of Vermont Teens is a low-budget muscial based on interviews with over 1,000 Vermont Teens. In a movie just over 90 minutes long the themes of domestic violence, teen pregnancy, racism, interracial dating, homelessness, suicide, bullying and homosexuality were all explored with sensitivity. Of course there is only so much one can do in 90 minutes, but I would have been interested to have gotten a more in-depth look at those who bullied. There was only one-short scene in which we got to get some perspective on them. The overarching theme of this movie though was that teens want to be listened to. As an adult, I take the point. I just wish my almost-teen would listen to me, too. This is worth watching. It has to be taken for what it is though. Much of this was created by teens, including all the songwriting.

I do a lot of research about banned books. One book that appears often on the list of banned or challenged books is Buster's Sugartime by Marc Brown, part of the "Postcards From Buster" series. Most recently it was in the news in Union,Oklahoma "because it alluded to a same-sex relationship". The book is about maple-tapping season in Vermont (which is happening right now). In July 2000 Vermont was the first state to allow civil unions for same-sex couples, before any of them allowed marriage (Vermont now allows same sex couples to marry). Brown's book, published in 2006 refers to two same-sex couples, parents to some of Buster's new friends. The references to same-sex couples are made in passing, on two of the pages. Brown clearly wanted to create a story in which having two moms was normalized, and he did so.
To read more about this controvery see:

See the television episode at: (part I) (part II) (part III)

This episode was also banned from some stations

We are deferring our Vermont food fest until Saturday when our friends who summer in Vermont will able to join us. The "breakfast for dinner" menu will include pancakes with maple syrup, scrambled eggs with Cabot cheese, and Green Mountain Coffee.

1 comment:

  1. Those pancakes will be made according to some variation of this recipe: