Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help), March 2, 2020
The Valentine Phantom strikes the Grange Hall! A pleasant suprise awaited me when I got to the Grange Hall on Friday, Feb. 14th! Evidently we have a fan…thanks for the love!
Is this the beef?
Or is this the beef?
Could this be it?
What about this?
So many things you can do with ground beef…or something like it!
year, the Grange cooking contest (the one formerly known as the baking
contest) has been morphed by the State Grange Home Ec programmers to
be….“What can you make with a pound of ground beef?”. As usual, our Grange is also willing to consider “What can you make with a pound of plant-based meat?” as an equally valid question.
The pictures above show just a few examples of dishes made with ground meat, or ground “meat”…and they all look tasty to me!
On Saturday, March 7th, at about 5:30 PM, we’ll see what folks from the Grange community can do with these ingredients, and we wait with interest to see how they respond. As with baking contests in the past, we’ll have some “local celebrities” to evaluate the results–and we’ll be happy to share the “leftovers” at the Community Potluck which will follow, so we can all make our own judgements.
This year, our celebrity judges include:
- Justin Turcotte, head chef for the Montpelier Senior Center FEAST meals program
- George Gross, owner of Dog River Farm, just down the road from the Grange
- Corinne Stridsberg, assistant town clerk in Berlin, and one who brings good dishes to many of our potluck dinners
Bring your entry to the Grange before 5:30; bring a card with your name and the recipe, and we’ll put it on a plate or in a bowl, with the card taped to the bottom, so the judges won’t know who made it or what’s in it until their evaluation is complete!
We will come up with some prizes for the top 3 contestants, as determined by the judges–but the real prize is bragging rights! The first place winner will also be asked to repeat their winning dish for the State Grange contest, bringing the chance for real glory!
We are happy to have entries from both Grange members and friends; if a non-member wins, we’ll give that person a membership for this year, and sponsor them at the State Grange judging! Community potluck dinner follows at 6:00! Our monthly open dinner, as mentioned above, will give you the opportunity to second-guess the judges, and pick your own favorite from the meat or plant-based meat entrants, and to share the many other contributions. We are happy to have whatever you want to bring–a jug of cider, some chips & dip, some cookies for dessert–it’s all good! Like all Grange events, these dinners are free and open to everyone; hope you will join us!
Good planning, good contractors, and good volunteers help us close in on the “new” lower level changes!
Carpet changes the floor, and the stairs; volunteers help us move the shelves and furniture
In the last Grange Notes, I was looking forward to the laying of carpet in our cafeteria area, and asking for help moving the shelves full of Kids Trade & Play storage, and the movable tables, and the chairs, out of the alcove. In the photos above, you can see how the carpet changes the look and feel of the basement–along with the new ceiling panels and the new walls!
You can also see the volunteers moving tables, chairs, shelves and bins of kids’ clothes and games, allowing Country Floors to complete the carpet tiles in the alcove next to the kitchen. Many thanks to Fred, Ginger, Oliver, Stephen and Dean, who made it happen in just a couple of hours! Kurt Giavara and I were able to complete the replacement of ceiling tiles in the alcove and the kitchen the next day, too!
All of these volunteer hours count toward our “match” with the grant funding from the VT Arts Council, as do the monetary donations received by the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall–thanks to everyone who is making this possible!
And on to the stairs!
After Stan Carlson finished up the caulking between the FRPs, we got Country Floors back to put the carpet on the stairs. Our goal is both to make more comfortable and attractive stairs, and to help remove the dirt and moisture from the shoes and boots of people coming in. We will need to be keeping up with vacuuming of the stairs, to get that dirt out of the carpet, but it will keep it off the floors in the lower level and also upstairs, thanks to the folks who change their shoes before going back upstairs for dancing!
Next step in our floor-protection strategy is installation of grates in both entry porches; Kurt and I are awaiting some temperatures which are at least temporarily warmer before starting to cut 3′ x 6′ holes, since we can’t quit after that until the grates are in! More finishing touches: sump pump, dehumidifier and new storage! On Friday, Feb. 28, Northern Basements came by to start up and test the sump pump–and reported that there is evidence that water has been captured by the sub-floor drainage channel, and drained into the sump! So we are already getting a return on our investment. While it was not enough to need the sump pump, we are happy to have the channel working.
Also on Friday, I installed the dehumidifier, which will turn on and off automatically when more humid weather arrives–it’s currently only about 26 % relative humidity. The unit will drain any condensate into the sump; the hose is visible in the photo of the sump pump.
I also completed a rebuild of the storage closet in the kitchen, making space for the toilet paper, paper towels and other cleaning/janitorial supplies that used to live in the large white cabinet in the basement “alcove”–the space where we hope to have smaller performances.
See the pictures below for these improvements!
What’s left to do?
We are closing in on the last steps of this big project. We have a few more opportunities if you want to pitch in–and we’d be happy to have you be part of this major improvement!
- Cleaning in the kitchen: a lot of cleanup has already happened in the kitchen, where the dust from changing the ceiling tiles fell on pretty much everything. We got help from Nancy Gore, through the Onion River Exchange time-bank, who cleaned the counters, stoves and some of the cabinets. You can see her on the step-stool in the photo below!
- Cleaning still to be done: pans, lids and mixing bowls stored under the kitchen table, and some of the dishes in the cabinet.
- Painting the bathroom and kitchen walls: we are ready to update the paint on the other walls, to match the attractive yellow paint which is on the new sheetrock on the outer walls.
- Painting the trim: window trim downstairs still needs a coat of the semi-gloss white paint. Many of the edges were pre-painted, so there is not too much “cutting-in” to be done–mostly where the extension-jambs meet the windows.
- Kitchen organizing: Now that storage has been improved, we have the opportunity to do a better job organizing cleaning products, kitchen supplies, pots and pans. We have a lot of useful items, donated over the years by Grange kitchen users, and we can do a better job storing and labeling them.
To join in finishing off any of these last steps, contact me, Tim: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set you up with painting supplies, co-organizers, or whatever else you need!