Friday, March 29, 2013

Student Composer Showcase

On Monday, VPR Classical is kicking off a new feature that celebrates student composers from the region. Each episode of the Student Composer Showcase will air three times during the first week of each month. The first edition will air April 1 at 4:05pm, April 3 at 8:05am and April 5 at 12:05pm. The series will also be archived at

The new series is the result of a collaboration with Music-COMP, a music composition mentoring program that matches aspiring students with accomplished composers and supports live performances of their work. Twice a year, a large number of student compositions are featured in public concerts performed by professional musicians at the Music-COMP Opus events. Other performances include collaborations with Vermont ensembles such as the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Youth Orchestra, Burlington Ensemble and more.

The first student composer is Justin Gates of Franklin, Vt., and a senior at Missisquoi Valley Union High School. His piece, written for string quartet, is called "What I Knew Would Come."  It was written last summer at a program for young composers called the String Quartet Project, run by Music-COMP and Vermont composer Erik Nielsen, Gate’s mentor for the piece, in conjunction with Burlington Ensemble. The piece was first performed in Burlington in September 2012. The recording of that performance will be included in the first edition of the Student Composer Showcase.

Gates is a talented young man who has already been accepted to Ithaca College and Berklee College of Music. He is also in the process of writing a piece for Vermont's professional vocal ensemble Counterpoint, and that piece will likely premiere in late April or May of this year.

The Student Composer Showcase is being launched in conjunction with Public Radio Music Month. During the month of April, VPR and VPR Classical will present special programs, conversations, and more to celebrate public radio's contributions to Vermont’s musical landscape.

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/29/13

5:59am:  Soulive:  "Help!", from the album "Rubber Soulive."

6:20am:  Trombone Shorty:  "Backatown", from the album of the same name.

6:49am:  Grateful Dead:  "Slipknot!>Fire on the Mountain", Live from Boston Garden 9/20/91.

6:58am:  Oz Noy:  "Cosmic Background", from the album "Fuzzy."

7:20am:  Chris Joss:  "Danger Buds", from the album "ESL World Music Sampler."

7:58am:  Led Zeppelin:  "That's the Way", from the album "III"

8:20am:  King Curtis:  "Take Me out to the Ball Game", from the soundtrack to the film "Baseball", by Ken Burns.

8:39am:  Soul Rebels:  "Sweet Dreams Are made of This", from the EP "Nothing But Love."

8:59am:  Kermit Ruffins:  "Sugar", from the album "Happy Talk."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Music For Easter

Listen to VPR Classical throughout Easter weekend for music for the holiday.  A few specific program notes include:

All this week on Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin at 7 p.m., he's exploring Bach's Mass in B minor.

Friday morning, our music will include Poulenc's Stabat Mater and more.

Listen to Sunday Baroque from 8-11 a.m. on Sunday for Easter music.

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/28/13

5:59am  Sun Ra:  "I'll Get By", from the album "Some Blues But Not the Kind That's Blue."

6:20am:  Jeff Coffin:  "A Half Sleep", from the album "Into the Air."

6:49am:  Patrice Rushen:  "Red Clay", from the album "Piano, Bass and Drums."

6:58am:  Snowboy and the Latin Section:  Theme from "The Flintstones", from the album "The Best of Snowboy & the Latin Section."

7:20am:  The Who: "Sparks", from the album "Tommy."

7:58am:  Jesse Cook: "Cafe Mocha", from the album  "Frontiers."

8:20am:  The Disco Biscuits:  "Have a Cigar", Live from Lollapalooza 2006.

8:39am:  Aloe Blacc:  "Find a Way", from the album "Peanut  Butter B-Ball Zombie War."

8:50am:  Buckshot LeFonque:  "James Brown Parts 1 and 2", from the album "Music Evolution."

8:59am:  Rjd2: "All For U", from the album "Magnificent City Instrumentals."

New Brattleboro Studio

VPR now has a direct connection to Brattleboro, with the addition of a studio at the Marlboro College Graduate School. VPR engineers Brian Marhsall, Rich Parker and Mike Seguin assembled a soundproof voice booth within a room at the College. The recording booth will fit two people comfortably and is connected to VPR via VoIP - voice over IP address.

This new studio, made possible by the VPR Journalism Fund, will enable Vermont Edition, VPR reporters, NPR, and other stations to interview guests in Brattleboro. Commentators and VPR Reporter Susan Keese will use the studio, and listeners will be able to record testimonials.

VPR designed the studio to be super easy for guests to use, with a webcam for better communication.

The studio is part of VPR's expanded service to the Brattleboro area. Last summer, VPR added 88.9 FM in Brattleboro to the VPR News network and improved our VPR Classical service through 94.3 FM.

Many thanks to Marlboro College's graduate and professional studies program for providing this space!
Brian Marshal. (left) and Rich Parker (right) start putting the pieces together.
Brian Marshall adjusts the 'egg crate' sound-proofing
Our webcam is above and to the right of the microphone

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/27/13

5:59am  Paul Simon: "Amulet", from the album "So Beautiful or So What."

6:20am  Bryan Ferry Orchestra: "Don't Stop the Dance", from the album "The Jazz Age."

6:49am:  Scott Witte:  "Bounce", from the album "Sound Shadows."

6:58am:  Grateful Dead:  "Smokestack Lightning", Live from Boston Music Hall, 12/2/71.

7:20am:  Stephane Wrembel: "Swing de Bellevue", from the album "Gypsy Rumble."

7:58am:  Jerry Douglas:  "American Tune", from the album "Traveler."

8:20am   Keller Williams:  "Blatant Ripoff", from the album "Breathe."

8:39am:  James Brown:  "Blind Man Can See It", from the soundtrack to the film "Black Caesar."

8:50am:  Louis Armstrong:  "Wild Man Blues", from the album "Greatest Hits."

8:59am:  Brian Bromberg:  "Love Shack", from the album "It Is What It Is."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/26/13

5:59am  Will Patton Ensemble:  "6th Street Runaround", from the album of the same name.

6:20am:  Frank Zappa:  "Sleep Dirt", from the album of the same name.

6:49am:  String Cheese Incident:  "Little Hands", from the album "A String Cheese Incident."

6:58am:  Soulive: "Taxman", from the album "Rubber Soulive."

7:20am:  Bill Frisell: "Keep on the Sunnyside", from the album "Beautiful Dreamers."

7:58am:  Fleetwood Mac: "Albatross", from the album of the same name.

8:20am:  Jazz Is Dead: "Let It Grow", from the album "Laughing Water."

8:39am:  Quincy Jones: "Sanford and Son" Theme, from the album "The Best of Quincy Jones."

8:50am:  Michael Brooks: "Carthage Grain Sale", from the soundtrack to the film "Into the Wild."

8:59am:  All India Radio:  "Lo Fi Groovy", from the album "Permanent Evolutions." 

Monday, March 25, 2013

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/25/13

5:59am:  Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia: "Georgia on my Mind", from the album "Keepers."

6:20am:  Dr. Rubberfunk:  "Sunset Breakup", from the EP "Sunset Breakup."

6:49am:  Bill Frisell:  "Good Dog, Happy Man", from the album of the same name.*

6:58am:  Brad Mehldau:  "Got Me Wrong", from the album "Where Do You Start."

7:20am  Yellow Dubmarine:  "Sun King", from the album "Abbey Dub."

7:59am:  Maxim Solniker:  "Yiddish Waltz", from the album "Enjoy Klezmer."

8:20am:  New York Ska Jazz Ensemble:  "Lullaby of Skaland", from the album "Minor Moods."

8:39am:  Steely Dan:  "Your Gold Teeth II", from the album "Katy Lied."

8:50am:  Stevie Ray Vaughan:  "Riviera Paradise", from the album "In Step."

8:59am:  David Holmes:  "Fender Rhodes", from the Soundtrack to the film "Ocean's 13."

*In loving memory of Gordie, a Good Dog indeed.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The TED Radio Hour Saturday At Noon

The TED Radio Hour comes to VPR this coming Saturday at noon.

Hosted by Guy Raz, each week is an audio journey through the big ideas of our time. TEDTalks brings innovators and thinkers from around the world together to explore Technology, Entertainment, and Design and present ideas worth spreading.  TEDTalks videos have been viewed by millions all over the world.

The TED Radio Hour enriches the TED experience as Raz weaves together themes and interviews the presenters.  VPR gave the program a test drive last summer and the response from our listeners was an enthusiastic ‘thumbs up!’  Listen every Saturday at noon for The TED Radio Hour

The Splendid Table moves to Sunday at 2, followed by This American Life.

Why the changes?  Because VPR is always scoping out new programs, checking in with listeners, and seeking to bring a variety of programming to suit our listeners’ many tastes and needs.  Take a listen and let us know what you think.

Saturday afternoon sounds like this:
12pm    The TED Radio Hour
1pm      Spark
2pm      Radiolab
3pm      Marketplace Money
4pm      The Moth Radio Hour
5pm      Weekend All Things Considered

And on Sunday….
1pm      Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
2pm      The Splendid Table
3pm      This American Life
4pm      On The Media
5pm      Weekend All Things Considered

Here's our complete VPR Program Schedule.

Friday, March 22, 2013

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/22/13

5:59am:  Bill Frisell, Dave Holland and Elvin Jones: "Smilin' Jones", from the album "Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones."

6:20am:  James Newton Howard: "Duplicita a due", from the soundtrack to the film "Duplicity."

6:49am:  Arlen Roth: "Layla", from the album "Drive It Home."

6:58am:  Stephane Wrembel with David Grisman and Brandi Shearer on vocals: "Bellevue Rendezvous", from the album "Gypsy Rumble."

7:20am:  Galactic: "Everybody Wants Some, Part 1", from the album "Coolin' Off."

7:59am   Jefferson Airplane:  "Embryonic Journey", from the album "Surrealistic Pillow."

8:20am:  DJ Madlib:  "Mystic Bounce", from the album "Shades of Blue."

8:39am:  Grateful Dead: "The Women Are Smarter", Live from the Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah, 8/12/81

8:50am  Shawn Lee Ping Pong Orchestra:  "A Gentle Dissolve", from the album "ESL Remixed."

8:59am  The Soul Rebels: "Rock With You", from the album (EP) "Nothing But Love."

Gripe of the day: Those smarty-pants at Harvard and upstart California Bears have already destroyed my NCAA bracket.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/21/13

5:59am  Richard Thompson: "Glencoe", from the Soundtrack to the film "Grizzly Man."

6:20am  Beastie Boys: "Groove Holmes", from the album "Check Your Head."

6:49am  Marco Benevento: "Atari", from the album "Invisible Baby."

6:58am  Grateful Dead: "China Cat Sunflower>MLB Jam", Live from Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY 3/16/73

7:20am  The Meters: "Here Comes the Meter Man", from the album "The Meters."

7:59am  John Scofield:  "I'll Fly Away", from the album "Piety Street."

8:20am:  Skeewiff: "Cheeky Chicken", from the album "It's All Gone."

8:39am  Donald Fagen: "New Frontier", from the album "The Nightfly."

8:50am  Doug Perkins:  "Garlic Patch Rag", from the album "Music for Flat-Top Guitar."

8:59am  Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate: "Ruby", from the album "Ali and Toumani."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/20/13

5:59am  Branford Marsalis: "Aunt Hagar's Blues", from the album "Metamorphesen."

6:20am  Ledward Ka'apana: "Opihi Moe Moe", from the album "Waltz of the Wind."

6:49am:  Aaron Parks: "Roadside Distraction", from the album "Invisible Cinema."

6:58am:  Club Des Belugas:  "Kissez in Gallop", from the album "Cocktail Grooves, Vol. 1"

7:20am   Shawn Lee and Clutchy Hopkins:  "Ancient Chinese Secret", from the album "Fascinating Fingers."

7:58am:  Allman Brothers:  "Little Martha", from the album "Eat A Peach."

8:20am   Al Cohn:  "Suddenly It's Spring", from the album "Broadway."

8:39am:  Tom Waits: "You Can Never Hold Back Spring", from the album "Orphans."

8:50am  Matthew Garrison:  "I Told Ya So", from the album "Shape Shifter."

8:59am:  David Holmes: "Snake Eyes", from the soundtrack to the film "Ocean's 13."

Happy Vernal Equinox everyone! Celebrate by building a snowman.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/19/13

5:59am: Oscar Peterson: "Winter Wonderland", from the album "An Oscar Peterson Christmas."

6:20am  Big Sam's Funky Nation: "The Way It Is", from the album "Peace, Love and understanding."

6:49am  Chris Joss: "Little Nature", from the album "Sticks."

6:58am: Grateful Dead: "Weather Report Suite Prelude", Live from Springfield Civic Center, MA., 3/28/73

7:20am  Charles Mingus: "Summertime", from the album "Summertime"

7:58am  Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia: "She's Got Charisma", from the album "Keepers".

8:20am Billy Martin's Wicked Knee: "Muffaletta", from the album "Heels Over Head."

8:39am  David Holmes: "Lifting the Building", from the "Ocean's 12" Soundtrack.

8:50am:  The Funkateers: "Funkafied", from the album "Inner City Sounds"

8:59am   Wes Montgomery: "Tequila", from the album "Tequila."

Notes: Apologies for the all-too-obvious theme of some weather-related tunes, but I couldn't resist with Spring so tantalizing close and up to 18 inches of snow on the way in some parts.

Monday, March 18, 2013

VPR Morning Edition Music Beds for 3/18/13

5:59am  Stanley Clarke: "Walkin' the Dog", from the album "Friends."

6:20am  DJ Vadim, featuring Jill Green on vocals: "Sufferin' Blues", from the album "Sound Catcher."

6:49am  Medeski, Martin & Wood: "Acht O'clock Rock", from the album "Red Hot and Indigo."

6:58am  Alex Wurman: "Too Much Money", from the soundtrack to the film "Criminal."

7:20am  Charlie Hunter: "One Foundation", from the album "Nature Sounds."

7:58am  Stephane Wrembel: "Swing de Bellevue", from the album "Gypsy Rumble."

8:20am  Jimi Hendrix: "Villanova Junction Blues", from the album "People, Hell and Angels."

8:39am  Steve Blanco Trio: "Black Dog", from the album "Piano Warrior."

8:50am   Jupiter Coyote: "Fade", from the album "The Hilary Step."

8:59am   Sim Redmond Band: "Good Thoughts", from the album "The Sim Redmond Band."

Tip of the day: If you want to win your NCAA basketball tournament office pool, simply ask me about the picks I made, and then fill out your bracket with the exact opposite picks.

A Tribute To VPR Volunteer Howard Klein

Howard "Howie" Klein, a volunteer for nearly 30 years at Vermont Public Radio, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 6th.  His friend, Victoria St. John, was at his side. He was 85.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Howie settled in the Burlington, Vermont area in the 1980s. In retirement, he found a community of friends as a volunteer at VPR, where he came in daily to process membership donations, do the crossword puzzle, and to harass the staff in the most endearing way imaginable. His friends at VPR shared these remembrances:

“I can't think of a more dedicated volunteer than Howard Klein. Every day for 29 years, he opened our mail, processed checks, stuffed envelopes, and gave us a hard time. We were family to him, and he was definitely a member of the VPR family. He worked along side early VPR visionaries such as Ray Dilley and Ray Phillips, he saw decades of staff members come and go, and he witnessed VPR's public service expansion first hand.  Over the years he insisted that we double his salary every year or so, which was easy to do since he was volunteering his time.  He will be dearly missed.” -Robin Turnau

Howie was the only person at VPR
with his own parking space.
“I fell in love with Howard when I discovered he is a dog person and he gave me his daily dog calendar from the previous year so I could decorate my workspace with dog photos.  I remember how much he hated for me to hug or kiss him - but he warmed up to it very quickly and would even stand still for it and smile. Thanks Howard, for your cute hairy ears. I will miss you.” -Franny Bastian

“He was a uniquely charming curmudgeon. Something about his crankiness was endearing. Perhaps because he was so willing to freely speak what the rest of us sometimes think and feel - and censor.” -Cody Fiala

“Soon after I began working at VPR in 2002, I discovered that I very likely had some Jewish heritage. This pleased Howie, who called me one of the Chosen People, although he took that back whenever he felt like it and called me a "shiksa," or "meshuggina." To prove myself I made him a kugel for Hanukkah one year, and I will never forget the joy on his face. He hugged me, and he HATED hugging. I made him one every Hanukkah from there on out.” -Michelle Jeffery

“Howard Klein was like a father to me, and I loved him unconditionally because god knows he could be a royal P.I.T.A.! But I was still glad to see him come through the front door at VPR every day. Who will I share my love of Yiddish and old NYC stories with now? There’s a hole in my heart named “Howard, you need a haircut”, “Yes Howard, life IS a bowl of cherries”, “Howard, you’re a nice man” to which he would reply, “I know”. There can never be another you.” -Ty Robertson

“Howard set a refreshingly high standard as Station Curmudgeon, which I will do my best to emulate. His interest in crossword puzzles reflected a bright and curious thirst for knowledge, and we would often commiserate when unable to decipher the Sunday NY Times puzzle theme. Doing the puzzle will now be a lonelier experience.” -Neal Charnoff

Howard Klein promised his handsome remains to UVM’s medical school therefore no services will be held. Instead, please join a celebration of Howard’s life and favorite foods on Saturday, April 13, 2013, 12:00 p.m. at VPR, 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT. Please RSVP to Ty Robertson at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Howard’s honor to the Chittenden County Humane Society. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Robin Turnau Elected As A Fairbanks Museum Fellow

Among the most valued and enduring partnerships in Vermont non-profit history has been the 31-year relationship between the Fairbanks Museum and Vermont Public Radio. As far as I know, there is no other weather forecast quite like the Eye on the Sky broadcast anywhere! When colleagues at other stations hear that VPR airs a three-minute weather forecast, they look at me like I'm crazy.  However, the Eye On The Sky has become a Vermont tradition of telling the story behind the weather, not just the temperature and whether it's going to rain today.
With Charlie Brown at the Fairbanks Museum

During my 24 years at VPR, I've enjoyed working with Fairbanks Museum director Charlie Browne and meteorologists Mark Breen and Steve Maleski as they work to bring daily comprehensive weather forecasts to our listeners. I've seen our partnership grow over the last decade as we added Eye On The Night Sky and the Eye On The Sky Facebook page to serve our audience in different ways. 

I'm very proud of this partnership, and I was quite surprised and honored to find that the Museum Board had selected me along with six others as Fairbanks Museum Fellows, a community of scientists, scholars, educators, community leaders, and volunteers who have made a “profound impact on the vitality of the Museum”. Charlie Browne and Museum Board Chair Tracy Zschau welcomed us at a celebration on Saturday night in Saint Johnsbury.  

I want to thank the Fairbanks Museum for the honor, and I look forward to many more years of partnership!

-Robin Turnau

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Read VPR's 2012 Annual Report

We recently published our 2012 Annual Report, which has financial information, photos, and a summary of what Vermont Public Radio accomplished last year with the help of loyal members and listeners like you. 
You can download VPR’s 2012 Annual Report online here. Thanks so much for listening to and supporting VPR!

Friday, March 8, 2013

VPR's Charlotte Albright Wins A 2013 Gracie Award

We're thrilled to announce that VPR has won a 2013 Gracie Award®. Upper Valley and Northeast Kingdom Reporter Charlotte Albright was recognized in the outstanding hard news feature category for her story, "Female Veterans Share Experiences at New Women’s Center at VA Hospital."

The Gracies are presented by the Alliance For Women In Media and honor outstanding national and local work "created for women, by women and about women, as well as individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the industry."

The Comprehensive Care Center for Women at the VA Hospital in White River Junction was fairly new last fall when Albright decided to profile the center. In doing so, she discovered there were some compelling stories to tell about the women who were using the new center.

The Gracies strive to encourage the realistic and faceted portrayal of women in entertainment, commercials, news, features and other programs. You can browse a full list of 2013 Gracie Award winners here.

Congratulations, Charlotte!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Our Favorite Town Meeting Potluck Recipes

Maple Pulled Pork (recipe below).
Photo courtesy Don Lockhart.
In honor of the ubiquitous Town Meeting Day potluck, we've collected some of our favorite potluck recipes from listeners and VPR staff. Have one to add? Post it in the comments below or email it to us here. Bon appetit!

Resnik's Rainbow Edamame
Robert Resnik hosts All The Traditions on VPR.

Vegetable oil
1  big Spanish onion sliced in long thin wedges
1  large red bell pepper sliced to the same dimensions as the onion
3  big cloves garlic chopped
2 cups raw or roasted unsalted cashews or blanched almonds
about 1/2 lb. sliced portobello or sliced fresh shitake mushrooms
2 1/2 - 3 lbs frozen shelled edamame
good soy sauce
toasted sesame oil

In a big wok (or in a heavy 8 qt. skillet or stewpot) heat about 1/2 C vegetable oil on high heat until hazy.  Throw in the onion, the pepper, and the nuts and stir it around until you see that some of the ingredients are getting a little black around the edges.  Throw in the mushrooms and the garlic and stir it around until the mushrooms look fairly cooked (2 minutes on high heat). Splash on some soy sauce and mix it all up again. Add the edamame one bag at a time and mix well after each bag. When all of the edamame are mixed in, splash on some more soy sauce to taste and keep stirring once in awhile on high heat until the beans are all heated up. Watch the color of the beans - they should still be bright green when ready.
When everything is hot and delicious, turn off the heat, drizzle on a few
tablespoons of the toasted sesame oil, and mix well.  Serves 10 as a side dish, or 4 dangerous edamame lovers as a main course!

Robin Turnau's Butternut Squash Chili
Robin Turnau is VPR’s president and CEO.

I've been looking for different ways to serve butternut squash and came upon this recipe from Sheila Lukins' All Around the World Cookbook by Workman Publishing. The grated orange adds a wonderful flavor, and it's great served by itself or over rice.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 red peppers, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch red pepper flakes
2 cans (28 ounce each) plum tomatoes, chopped with their juices
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 large or 2 small butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
finely grated zest of one orange
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) dark red kidney beans, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and peppers. Cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, allspice, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring to coat vegetables well with the spices. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, the red wine, butternut squash, orange zest, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until the squash is tender, abut 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Fold in kidney beans and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro and parsley. Serves 8.

Listener Recipe: Paella
From David Herren, Shoreham

6 small pieces of chicken (Spaniards cut their chicken differently than the
norm here. Our traditional breast gets cut in half and our traditional thigh
does as well, right through the bones)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper (or partial large one), chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can whole tomatoes
Parsley, chopped (also known as “poo”)
2 cups short grain rice (short grain is important--use risotto if you can. Long grain will turn to mush)
4 cups chicken stock, pre-heated in the microwave
½ cup white wine
Salt and pepper
Large pinch saffron
Olive oil (don’t be shy - use more than would think and then add about half
again that much on top. The oil is part of the flavor)

Handful of frozen peas
Handful of frozen lima beans
6-8 shrimp
1/3 pound of calamari
6-8 small clams

Heat the oil in a shallow, thin pan. Honestly you could cook this in almost
anything, but paella gets its name from the pan just as casserole gets its name
from the container in this country.

Salt and pepper and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove to a plate. Leave the
fat and oil in the pan.

For the “sofrito”:

Saute the onion, pepper and garlic until they are beginning to be soft. Add the can of tomatoes including the liquid. Add white wine. Chop tomato into smaller pieces and mix well with the onions and peppers.  Add the calamari if you’re using it.

Cook the sofrito until the liquid is reduced and it’s getting pretty thick so you can clean away large areas of the pan without liquid running back. I always add more olive oil so it’s kind of shiny.

Return chicken (and if you’re using the peas and beans ) to pan, all but a teaspoon of parsley, and turn to coat well in the sofrito.

Add the dry rice and stir to coat well, but be careful not to burn since it should be fairly dry. If it’s too dry, add more olive oil and maybe a little more wine, but it’s supposed to oily dry, not liquidy at this point. Add half the chicken stock and stir to get even distribution of the ingredients. Crush and add the saffron.

When it reaches a simmer, slowly add the rest of the chicken stock. Make sure everything is evenly distributed. If you don’t get even heat over the whole surface, you can do this from here on in the oven at 400 degrees, but it’s best on the stove top. You SHOULD NOT stir it again after this point.

Taste for salt and pepper. If your chicken stock is salted, it probably won’t need it, but if it’s low sodium, it will. I almost always add more olive oil here too. Add clams if you’re using them, pushing them down into the rice. Simmer Uncovered until the liquid is absorbed.

If you’re using shrimp, press them into the top of the rice 5-6 minutes before
the liquid is fully absorbed. The rice should still have some tooth. You absolutely must use risotto or short grain rice or you’ll have a starchy, messy goop by now.

Increase the heat right at the end to brown a little bit of crust on the bottom (called “costra”), but be careful to brown, not burn. Remove from heat and cover with a wet towel, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining poo.

Serves 6 using a 14-inch pan.

Listener Recipe: Easy Does It Vermont Maple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
From Betty Ann Lockhart, Charlotte

1 large onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (maple pepper might also be a choice)
3 – 4 pounds of lean pork, boneless butt, shoulder or tenderloins
¾ cup cider vinegar (or maple vinegar if you are lucky enough to have some!)
¾ cup darker grade Vermont maple syrup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 or 3 garlic cloves chopped, to equal about 3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (more or less depending on preference for spiciness)
1 cup barbecue sauce (your own, store brand, or better still a specialty barbecue sauce)
Buns, rolls or English muffins for up to 8 servings.
½ to ¾ cup water

Rinse pork under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange onions in bottom of crockpot.  Place pork on top of the onions.

In a medium bowl combine all remaining ingredients, and pour over the pork.

Cover crockpot, cook on low for 10 to 12 hours, or on high for 6 – 8 hours.  Toward the end of the cooking time, turn the meat to coat the opposite side, and depending on your crockpot, if the sauce seems too thick, add ½ cup of water.  If you are going to be away as the cooking time ends, it would be safest to add the water in the beginning.

Shred meat and onions using two forks. Stir the meat into the sauce, mixing
and coating well.

Serve the meat with sauce over buns, English muffins or rolls that have been sliced horizontally.  A green salad with maple vinaigrette dressing is the perfect accompaniment!

Note: Leftovers of the pulled pork keep well refrigerated or frozen. I haven’t tried this recipe with boneless chicken, but I bet it will work well!

Michelle Jeffery’s Pasta With Ricotta And Spinach
Michelle Jeffery manages VPR’s marketing and communications.

My “Mama J” made this for us all the time when we were kids. It’s not fancy by any means but it’s inexpensive, easy, and delicious – perfect for feeding a crowd! And, it’s tasty hot or cold!

1 pound pasta (I use shells)
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well.
2 Tbs. butter
1 clove garlic (minced), or garlic powder
1 1/2 c. ricotta (low-fat is fine)
1/3 cup. grated parmesan (or romano) cheese
3 Tbs. plain yogurt (or milk, or Greek yogurt)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)

Melt butter in saucepan and sauté garlic (if using) until a little softened then add spinach and cook over med. heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and most of moisture has evaporated, about 5 min.  Turn heat to low and stir in cheeses and seasonings.  Cook stirring and adding milk as necessary for consistency.  Cook 3 to 5 min. until mixture is warm. Do not boil.  Add to cooked pasta.

Listener Recipe: Quinoa Salad
From Jacqueline Lumbra, Cabot

Prepare toasted quinoa in tomato juice, sliced almonds, frozen peas and onions
that have been sautéed in garlic, mango juice and olive oil. Mix with Italian

Listener Recipe: David & Linda’s Macaroni &Cheese
From Marin Melchior, Bristol

This recipe is from my aunt & uncle. I 'loathe' the idea of using American cheese, but this is the best killer Mac n' Cheese I have ever eaten...whenever I make it, it is a HUGE hit.

2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (roughly one pound box)
4 tablespoons butter
¼ C Flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
8 ounces American cheese (sliced or cubed)
1 1/3 cups small curd cottage cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

Cook macaroni and place in greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish. In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and salt until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cottage cheese, American cheese, and sour cream. Pour over macaroni. Sprinkle top with cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 MIN. until golden brown.

Notes: I used 3 x 12 ounce boxes (36 ounces) of ‘vegetable’ rotini and doubled this recipe. Used one squat small container of cottage cheese (about 3” high by 4” wide) and one container of sour cream (about 4.5” high and 3”wide); just used the entire container. Bought the American cheese at the deli and had them slice it thick - it just needs to melt. Bought the Cabot Sharp in pre-shredded bags…all making for a quick prep time! I did not grease pan,  there has GOT to be enough FAT in the pan already! While boiling pasta - cooked a bit ‘al dente’ - I made the sauce. Drained pasta, dumped into baking dish, covered with sauce and mixed. Since I was carting it to work- Let cool and then sprinkled on shredded cheddar. And heated/ browned at last minute. Heated for a bit longer and got that great color.

Madelyn Cataford’s Gingery Cilantro Dip With Shrimp
Madelyn Cataford is VPR’s Controller.

2  small bunches of cilantro, thick stems discarded
1/2  cup  peeled and sliced ginger
1/2  cup  canola oil
3  tablespoons  rice vinegar
2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
2  teaspoons  sesame oil

In a blender, puree cilantro, ginger, canola oil, rice vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, and sesame oil. Serve with cooked shrimp. (From Real Simple Magazine)

Franny Bastian’s Vegetarian Chili
Franny Bastian is VPR’s director of programming and production.

4 Tablespoons  olive oil
12 Oz package tempeh - crumbled
2 Medium onions sliced thin
3 Medium carrots chopped
1 Red bell pepper chopped
3 - 5 cloves garlic minced
3 - 4 Tablespoons chili powder
3 Teaspoons ground cumin
2 - 5 Chipotle Chiles chopped fine with some of the adobe sauce
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans black beans
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 - 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and Pepper

Brown the crumbled tempeh in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Stir frequently till it browns a bit.  Remove it to a bowl and set aside. Saute onions till they start to get soft.  Add the chili powder and  cumin and cook another couple of minutes. Add carrots, red pepper and garlic and cook another 4 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, chipotle chilies, vinegar, brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.

Bring to simmer and cook for 15 or 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chili rest so the flavors meld. Taste when reasonably cool and adjust seasoning. I've found that if I've been too generous with the hot stuff that a little more brown sugar or maple syrup will cool it off. Put it in a slow cooker to keep it warm and have your partner, friend or child hold it steady in the car! Serve with crusty farm bread or corn bread.

Peter Biello’s Chili
Peter Biello is a producer/announcer.
My chili has received pretty good reviews. The recipe is very flexible - ingredients can be taken out or replaced with other things--but here's the general formula.

1 large onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 green peppers, or 1 green and 1 red pepper
1 pound ground beef (or equivalent veggie crumbles for the vegetarians)
1 jalepeno
1 can black beans
1 can kidney or pinto beans
1 cubed sweet potato, sauteed until it's soft (optional)
1 cup salsa
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup taco sauce
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
onion powder
at least 3 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
if you're daring: 1 or 2 drops of Blair's Mega Death Hot Sauce or Dave's Insanity Sauce(this stuff MUST be diluted or you'll burn your lips off)
if you're not so daring: 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
It's also nice if you add a little bit of Teeny Tiny Spice Company's Chocolate Chili Powder (it's strong, so add to taste)

Chop onion and peppers and the sweet potato simmer in olive oil until soft. Set aside in a bowl. Brown the ground beef in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. When the beef is cooked, add it, along with everything else, into a pot and simmer on medium heat, stirring often, for 45-1 hour, or until everything is tender. For best results, cook it, put it in the fridge over night, then reheat it the next day. If you're headed to a potluck and you don't have bowls, it works as a dip with tortilla or pita chips.

Asa Sourdiffe’s Flourless Chocolate Torte
Asa Sourdiffe is VPR’s IT director.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 1/2 tablespoon
1 pound semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup amaretto
8 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder, for garnish
Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Using 1/2 tablespoon butter grease a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with a parchment round. Cover pan underneath and along sides with foil and set in a roasting pan. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil.

Combine the chocolate, butter, and amaretto in a metal bowl set over simmering water or in the top of a double boiler. Melt the mixture, stirring constantly, until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes; reserve.

Meanwhile combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy and almost doubled in volume, about 5 to 10 minutes. Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula. Repeat this process 2 more times - until all of egg mixture has been folded into chocolate mixture.

Pour batter into prepared springform pan and place in the roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides. Bake until cake has risen slightly and edges are just beginning to set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove cake from roasting pan and cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove foil, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove cake from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. Remove springform pan sides, invert cake onto a large plate, and peel away the parchment paper from bottom. Reinvert cake on another large plate or serving platter and garnish with confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder immediately before serving. (from Food Network)

Brian Tagliaferro’s Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
Brian is VPR’s manager of special giving.

2 c. crushed pretzel sticks
3/4 c. melted butter
3 tbsp. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip
1 (6 oz.) pkg. strawberry banana Jello
2 c. boiling water
2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen strawberries, partially thawed

Mix first three ingredients and press in bottom of a 9"x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees (metal pan) or 325 degrees (glass pan) 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Beat 1 cup sugar and cream cheese. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over pretzels. Mix Jello and water until dissolved. Add strawberries. Stir into Jello, then set aside for 10 minutes. Pour over cheese mixture. Chill. (From

Listener Recipe: Vermont Garden Japchae
From Deirdre Holmes, Charlotte

1 bag sweet potato vermicelli noodles (available in Asian markets)
1 package of tofu, ideally drained and pressed for several hours before cooking
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 yellow onion, cut into inch long pieces
1 red onion, cut into inch long pieces
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup red, yellow, orange and/or green bell pepper slices
1 bunch bok choy, chopped
good handful of green beans
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, shredded
small handful of fresh basil leaves, finely cut
1/3 cup tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili sauce (such as Sriracha) or to taste
sesame seeds
additional soy sauce, hot sauce, sesame seeds, lime wedges (optional, for

If your package of sweet potato vermicelli comes with preparation instructions
you understand, please follow them. Mine did not, so I guessed: I soaked the
noodles for about 20 minutes and when they weren't soft enough yet, I cooked
them in boiling water for another 5-10. Drain softened noodles and set aside.
Cut tofu into small 1/2 inch pieces and fry them in 2 tablespoons coconut oil
until they develop a light brown crust. Slide them onto a plate and set aside.

Warm the remaining coconut oil in a skillet, and sauté onions until just
starting to brown.  Add ginger, garlic and other vegetables and sauté for
another few minutes.  I added the carrot and basil at the very end to keep them
raw, bright and crunchy. Meanwhile, whisk together the sauce ingredients.
In a large pot, combine softened noodles, vegetables, tofu and sauce. Sprinkle
with sesame seeds and serve (tongs make for easiest serving).

Serve with additional soy sauce, hot sauce, lime wedges, and sesame seeds; and
either chop sticks, a fork, or maybe a pair of scissors (those are some long noodles).

Listener Recipe: Sweet Potato & Kale Stir Fry
From Lini Mazumdar, South Londonderry

Dry roast 1 T. cumin seeds in a heavy bottomed pan until you can smell their
fragrance (about 2 min.). Pour 1/4 c. olive oil in the pan, add 2 cloves of
crushed garlic,  and toss in 1 peeled and cubed sweet potato.  Add 1 t. salt,
and 1/2 t. cumin powder.  Keep tossing on med to med/high heat until they are
almost cooked to softness (before they overcook to mush!). Add 1 bunch of
washed, chopped kale. Toss for 3-4 more minutes, until wilted.  Before serving
sprinkle a squeeze of lemon over it. Great with rice, or noodles, or pasta. Variation:  you can substitute 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger for the garlic. From Lini's Indian Tiffin’s recipe.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sunday Mornings Just Got More Interesting

This Sunday, you’ll hear some new voices during Weekend Edition as VPR brings you more local programming and fresh insights on food, design, and the world around us.

Listen beginning at 10:40 for three new feature programs:

99% Invisible is about design, architecture, and the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world.  Producer Roman Mars starts from one small concept – like the white lines on the highway – and turns it into an education about visual perspective and highway design.  It’s a fun program that always has an unexpected twist!

The VPR Café is new from VPR.  It’s no secret that one of your favorite subjects is food – where it’s grown, how it’s produced, new flavors, and the many ways that food brings us together.  We hope you’ll enjoy visiting the VPR Café every Sunday to discover something new. 

We’re also introducing our Sunday Essay with food for thought on current social and cultural issues. 

Give Sunday morning a listen and let us know what you think!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Solar Outages May Affect VPR Reception

Courtesy NASA Goddard Photo And Video
You may hear occasional outages on VPR over the next several days. That's due to the 2013 spring solar outage season.

A solar or sun transit outage is an electromagnetic phenomenon wherein a station is temporarily unable to receive a satellite signal due to interference from the sun as it passes behind the satellite.

Solar outages occur on a predictable schedule and affect stations in the U.S. for about five consecutive days, for as much as six minutes a day, twice each year. In Vermont, they are expected to effect us March 2-5 around 2 p.m. each day.

Thanks for your patience!