Saturday, July 30, 2016

Water, Water Everywhere: A Summer Day at Smuggs

Posted By on Sat, Jul 30, 2016 at 3:54 PM

The view of the Mountainside Water Playground, from the top of a slide - JANET FRANZ
  • Janet Franz
  • The view of the Mountainside Water Playground, from the top of a slide

How many bodies of water can you explore in one day? About a dozen, if you head to Smugglers’ Notch. In the summer, the ski resort transforms into a water-park village, with three wet "playgrounds” and two reservoirs spread across the resort’s three interconnected mountains. A Daycation ticket and free, on-call shuttle give all-day access to every location.

My family of four visited Smuggs in July on a mission to plunge into every pool, descend every slide and play in every spray zone. We parked in the Village Center near Mountainside Water Playground, where four separate spaces cater to all ages. In the ankle-deep Little Smugglers’ Lagoon, tiny tots sloshed under a gentle waterfall, explored a faux cave decorated with happy bears and floated on colorful rafts. Nearby, kids up to 48 inches tall rode the Turtle Mini-Waterslide into a shallow pool.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Salaries: Tales from the Land of Retail

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM

Drew Coel folding clothes at Old Navy - ANDIE PINGA
  • Andie Pinga
  • Drew Coel folding clothes at Old Navy
17-year-old Drew Coel takes pride in her job. As a sales associate at Old Navy in Williston, the South Burlington native enjoys immersing herself in the retail environment – sometimes even literally. With a laugh, Coel recounts the time she fell over a big pile of clothes, losing a piece of her jewelry in the process. After she graduates from high school next year, Coel plans to take a gap year before college and work to earn extra spending money. Continue reading to learn more about the teen's summer job. 

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Home Cookin': Quick Dill Pickles

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 11:23 AM

Quick pickles - BRETT STANCIU
  • Brett Stanciu
  • Quick pickles
Summer vacation brings a steady stream of kids through my kitchen, frequently in search of snacks. Quick pickles are a simple, crowd-pleasing solution, with ingredients that come right from my garden. This recipe satisfies two requirements: they're simple to prepare and super healthy. While I would caution to carefully follow any recipe that calls for preserving or canning fruits or vegetables, these pickles are made (and eaten) fresh, so this is a fairly relaxed process with ample opportunity to experiment. To mix things up a little, I sometimes add fresh green beans or thinly sliced beets to the mix. For my next batch, I’m tossing in cauliflower.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Bountiful Berries!

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 10:07 AM

This time of year, fresh berries abound in Vermont. Whether you’re looking to bake a pie or fill your freezer for winter smoothies, berry picking is a fun activity the whole family can get behind. To help sweeten the deal, we’ve compiled a list of pick-your-own blueberry and raspberry farms perfect for little pickers. Before heading out into the fields, here are a few suggestions to make your expedition run smoothly:

  • Always call or check the farm's website before you go. Often, farms close for a few days if ripe berries are picked out, or for weather-related reasons. Many farms list up-to-date info on their answering machines or websites.

  • Full sun is needed to ripen fruit, so expect little shade. Slather on sunscreen, wear hats and pack plenty of water. 

  • Not all farms accept debit or credit cards; carry cash or checks.

  • A small fee may be charged for boxes, so bringing your own containers is a smart, and eco-friendly, choice. Remember, you’ll be leaving with berries, too, so make some space in your car for your juicy treasures. Toss in a towel to cover your haul on the way home.

  • Above all, berry patches are farmers’ homes and livelihoods. Remind your small ones to behave respectfully around berries and bushes — while having fun, of course.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Home Cookin': Miso-Ginger-Sesame Dressing

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 11:56 AM

The perfect summer salad - ROBIN BERGER
  • Robin Berger
  • The perfect summer salad
When my family eats at American Flatbread in Burlington, we get the family-sized Evolution Salad. According to the menu, it serves approximately eight people. Each time my brood of four orders it, we end up assuring the waitstaff that we really know how big it is, and we really want that much salad. Upon its arrival we descend like vultures, squabbling over the last leaves. The best part is the salad dressing — a perfect balance of salty, sweet, sharp and savory.

Recently, I decided to try to recreate that dressing at home. The finished product turned out a bit different than the original but, according to my family, I nailed it. We happily consumed giant bowls of mesclun mix from our farm share dressed with it. Since then, I've used it on heads of butter lettuce, baby greens and romaine. The ginger’s warmth, the sesame oil’s deep toasty flavors, the sweetness of the honey and the umami (or fifth sense) of the miso makes a wonderful bowl of salad, one that's worth fighting over.

Miso-Ginger-Sesame Dressing  
(Makes enough dressing for 4-5 large bowls of salad)


1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons miso (I used white miso, but any variety works.)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Combine all the ingredients and whisk vigorously or blend with an immersion blender, mini food processor or blender.

Lightly dress salad greens before adding extra ingredients. To approximate American Flatbread's version, top with grated or julienned raw carrots or beets, thinly sliced celery, toasted sesame seeds, and crumbled blue cheese or feta. 

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Summer Salaries: Arcade Crew Member

Posted By on Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 7:57 AM

Lauren Donovan - ANDIE PINGA
  • Andie Pinga
  • Lauren Donovan
Last year, 15-year-old Lauren Donovan began working at Zachary's Pizza in her hometown of South Burlington to start saving money for college. Donovan is part of the Arcade Crew, serving customers and fixing arcade games in Zachary’s Family Fun Center. Her favorite part of the job? Being around coworkers, most of whom are around her age. Learn more about the ins and outs of this teen's summer job below.

Kids VT: Why did you choose this job?
Lauren Donovan: It's close to where I live, and it's a nice, quiet little place. The people that worked here seemed nice when I came in, and its family-friendly.

KVT: What was the application process like?
LD: I just filled out an application [at the end of last summer] since they were busy and they were short some people… [Before I started], they taught me how to fix the arcade games, so that's a perk. They taught me how to take peoples' orders, like use the little screen thing. Most of it was pretty simple.

KVT: How much do you make?
LD: I get $9.60 an hour. Then [at the Family Fun Center], you get tips, so that adds up. Sometimes you can go with getting [no tips], but sometimes you can go and get $20. One time I got $60 because a lady came into the party and she knew the other person I was working with. She left $120, and we split that. She was a very nice lady.

KVT: How often do you work?
LD: I work an average of five days a week. Some days I work 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or some days it’s just 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. [During the school year,] it’s more like 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and only three or four days a week.

KVT: What do you do with the money you earn?
LD: I save all the checks I get, and then I spend the tips on whatever I feel like that week.

KVT: What's the best part of your job?
LD: The people that work here are really cool. Sometimes we'll go out on little parties, like when we went to Get Air, a trampoline park. We went as a giant group and we actually ran into more coworkers there. 

KVT: Any job advice for other teens?

LD: If you're 15, I definitely recommend a summer job, not a school job. That’s what was really hard with this — having to deal with this job, and then going home and doing homework. I think that definitely 16 is a better time to have a school job because you're out of freshman year and you can handle high school. 

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YMCA Camp Koda

YMCA Camp Koda

Vermont, VT

A co-ed day camp for kids who have completed kindergarten up to 12 years old, Camp Koda is located in several area communities with a focus on achievement, belonging and relationships. Koda locations are Burlington (St. Marks on North Ave), Fletcher, Georgia, Underhill, & Waterbury. A typical day at Camp…(more)

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