Blurt: Seven Days Staff Blog

NOTE: Blurt has been retired and is no longer updated regularly. For new content, follow these links:

OFF MESSAGE: Vermont News and Politics
BITE CLUB: Food and Drink Blog

September 17, 2012

Blurt Is No More. Here's Where to Find New Seven Days Content

You may have seen the new blogs that we've been launching here in Seven Days-land in recent weeks. Now that those are up, it's official: We're retiring the Blurt blog. R.I.P., Blurt.

Our dear friend Blurt, in all its green-tentacled, drooling glory, has served us well since early 2008. But it's changed a lot through the years — from odd photos and video clips from all over the internet in the early days to its recent life as a place primarily for longer stories that popped up outside of the usual weekly publishing cycle of our dead-tree edition. There's nothing wrong with that, but, being an internet-friendly, 21st-century news organization, we want our blogs to feel like, well, blogs. 

So that's why we started two separate blogs dedicated to two of our most popular areas of coverage: the news-and-politics blog Off Message, and the food-and-drink blog Bite Club. On both blogs, expect a more frequent publishing schedule, more photos and video, and more links to stuff our staffers are reading around the web.

Content that used to be on Blurt that doesn't fit in with those two blogs, such as arts news and the Movies You Missed DVD reviews, will be posted on our main website at There's now a big widget for web-exclusive stories outside the usual weekly publishing schedule on the website. And the best way to make sure you don't miss any Seven Days content is to subscribe to our email newsletters and follows us on Twitter and Facebook.

It's important to note: no content is going away! Old links will continue to work here, and future posts in longtime Blurt staples will have a new home — Grazing and Alice Eats are both now on Bite Club, for example. We're just doing some reshuffling to make our web structure more sensible and, we hope, better.

We'll miss the little green monster, though. Sleep well, little guy.

September 11, 2012

Alice Eats: The Mill Market & Deli

IMG_45981580 Dorset Street, South Burlington, 862-4602

It's apple season. While those with an interest in being outdoors go apple picking, I found a more passive way to enjoy the season's quarry. Right in South Burlington, the Mill Market & Deli has plenty of dishes that showcase the same local fruit the cider mill uses in its Chittenden's Sweet Apple Cider.

In early September, the Mill straddles the seasons. On my recent visit, locals were still hitting the creemee window, though the chocolate and (fresh berry) black raspberry machine was broken, leaving just vanilla and maple.

Continue reading "Alice Eats: The Mill Market & Deli" »

September 10, 2012

Grazing at King Arthur Flour's Airy New Digs

Ace_outsideIf you're the kind of person who loses all sense of time and self control whenever you visit King Arthur Flour, you might want to carefully plan your next visit. As in, set both a monetary and caloric budget and tell a friend where you're going, lest you get lost.

A few weeks ago, the baking giant unveiled the fruits of its yearlong, $10-million expansion. Though the building sprawls along the same hillside it's occupied for years, it feels like an entirely different place. And the complex looks like a wood-and-steel mothership. Which it is, of course, for thousands of bakers all over the world.

Continue reading "Grazing at King Arthur Flour's Airy New Digs" »

September 07, 2012

Movies You Missed 55: Making Plans for Léna

Making-plans-for-lenaThis week in movies you missed: The French make movies about screwed-up families better than anyone.

What You Missed

Léna (Chiara Mastroianni, pictured) has at least 99 problems, and she herself is the biggest one. The moment we see this dark, glamorous woman in the middle of a busy Paris train station, towing one small child and yelling for another, we know she's in over her head.

Léna quit her job to stay home with her kids after she decided to divorce her cheating husband, Nigel (Jean-Marc Barr). (Yes, that is the connection to the XTC song, which is played in the film, though the movie's French title is completely different.) But her parents and sister worry that Léna isn't stable enough to be the custodial parent, so they arrange for Nigel to show up at the family's summer retreat in Brittany, hoping for a reconciliation. Things do not go as planned.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 55: Making Plans for Léna" »

September 06, 2012

Quiz: Ben & Jerry's Flavor or Porn Flick?


Revered Vermont institution Ben & Jerry's found itself in the news today, and not for its yummy, creamy treats: The company filed a lawsuit against the producer of the "Ben & Cherry's" series of pornographic films. Each title in the X-rated series is, you guessed it, a parody of a B&J's ice cream flavor. The New York Daily News has the scoop, along with some potentially not-safe-for-work photos (although the scandalous bits are blacked out) (not talking about the photo of Ben and Jerry themselves though).

The socially conscious Vermont company is suing a California smut peddler that blatantly ripped off its logo for X-rated DVDs.


An unprintable title drawn from the flavor Banana Split features two bare-chested women on the cover.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court demands the porn be taken off the market and seeks unspecified damages.

Unprintable? What prudes you are, New York Daily News.

Anyway, one wonders if Ben & Jerry's has a leg to stand on, given that some of their real-life flavor names are, well, kinda scandalous. (Yes, that includes Clusterfluff, which could probably be the title to a very fascinating porno but was later changed to What a Cluster.) Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all, and those Häagen-Dazs people can only wish that there was anything sexy about their treats.

And now, a game: We've listed ten names below. It's up to you to decide if each one is a Ben & Jerry's flavor or a porno flick. The answers are listed after the jump. Ready? Go!

  1. Americone Cream
  2. Schweddy Balls
  3. Chubby Hubby
  4. New York Super Fat and Chunky
  5. Late Night Snack
  6. Berried Treasure
  7. Hairy Garcia
  8. Peanut Butter D-Cups
  9. Karamel Sutra
  10. Boston Cream Thigh

Continue reading "Quiz: Ben & Jerry's Flavor or Porn Flick?" »

September 04, 2012

Alice Eats: India Palace

IMG_457969 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, 254-6143

Growing up outside New York City, my favorite flavors came from India. My earliest memory is of tandoori chicken.

When I moved to Vermont in 1998, I was nonplussed as to why something that seemed so effortless as preparing delicious, flavorful Indian food seemed so difficult within the borders of the Green Mountains.

My only hope was India Palace, a family-run restaurant in Brattleboro where I habitually stopped on my trips from Burlington to Connecticut. The food was flavorful, the meat was of good quality and the prices were astonishingly low.

IMG_4584I excitedly returned on Sunday for my first meal there in more than a decade. I found that India Palace wasn't bad, but it was no longer great, either. The food to price ratio, however, was still unbelievable.

I ordered the $21.95 tandoori dinner for one, which proved to be more of a tandoori dinner for three or four.

Immediately after ordering, I was presented with a cup of mulligatawny soup (above right). It smelled delicious, its cumin aroma sensuously filling the air. The lentil soup also had a spirited punch of acid, and as I swallowed it, black pepper lightly burned my throat.

Continue reading "Alice Eats: India Palace" »

September 03, 2012

Romney Heads to Vermont for Debate Prep

When President Obama heads to Charlotte, N.C., next week for the Democratic National Convention, former governor Mitt Romney will journey north to the one place the national press won't find him.

Reading, Vt.

With the nation's attention turning to the Democratic confab, Romney plans to hunker down at the Reading home of his former lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, to prepare for this fall's three presidential debates.

Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden confirmed to CNN, the Washington Post and others Saturday that the Republican nominee will be in Vermont Tuesday through Thursday. But Madden did not rule out the possibility that Romney would leave the Green Mountains occasionally to campaign in more battleground-y states, according to Reuters.

Click here to continue reading on Off Message, our new politics and news blog.

August 31, 2012

Grazing: The Waning Summer of Rosé

RoseIt’s less than 12 hours until August turns a corner. For me, it signals a sad close to a season that begins in early June and wends its way through three glorious, salmon-colored months: the season of sipping rosé, almost to the exclusion of other colors.

When I went to pick up another bottle of the pink stuff this week, the usually teeming display of rosé had disappeared; the remaining bottles had been relegated to a mid-shelf rosé ghetto. With heavy heart, I grabbed a bottle of pale Blaufrankisch and resolved not to let the moment die. So that you might consider joining the crusade, here are some wines you can (and should) keep drinking until the rain starts lashing your window — or until they become stranded behind an autumn display of Syrah or Cabernet Franc.

What makes rosé so ridiculously perfect, besides being the anathema to sticky, hot days, is that it pairs like a glove with almost any kind of food. It's cheap, too, or at least can be found for a song. Sparkling rosé can help you wash down anything from fries to oysters to acorns and seeds (why not indoctrinate squirrels, too?). 'Still' rosé loves on BBQ pork, salads, tarts, burgers, or even any iteration of tomatoes you’ve dreamt up in the last few, red-stained weeks. The wisps of acid in a dry rosé deftly meet those in food, punch for punch; their inevitable fruitiness makes for satisfying patio pounding.

Continue reading "Grazing: The Waning Summer of Rosé" »

Movies You Missed 54: The Moth Diaries

Moth-diariesThis week in movies you missed: teenage lesbian vampires, oh my! Or, perhaps, ho-hum.

What You Missed

When a mysterious new pupil named Ernessa (Lily Cole, pictured) comes to exclusive, girls-only Brangwyn School, she brings trouble for young Rebecca (Sarah Bolger). Traumatized by the suicide of her father, a famous poet, Rebecca has been leaning hard on the support of her wan but nurturing roommate and best friend, Lucie (Sarah Gadon).

But now Lucie and Ernessa are developing a close friendship — some would say too close. Rebecca, who's been taking a class in vampire fiction from the school's hot new teacher (Scott Speedman), is becoming convinced that Ernessa is literally sucking the life from Lucie. Can she convince anyone else?

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 54: The Moth Diaries" »

August 30, 2012

Super PAC Hits Super PAC for Super PAC-ing


Demonstrating an apparent dearth of self-awareness, a Vermont-based "super-PAC" whose creation opened the door for super PACs to operate in Vermont released a statement Thursday decrying the influence of an out-of-state super PAC in Tuesday's primary election — and using the situation to justify its own existence.

Got it? Didn't think so. Let me take you back.

Six weeks ago, a liberal advocacy group called Vermont Priorities announced it was launching Vermont's first home-grown super PAC, allowing it to raise and spend unlimited funds on state elections. Why? Because the folks behind it — Vermont Priorities chairman Bob Stannard (pictured) and the group's consultant, KSE's Todd Bailey — were greatly a-feared that big, bad out-of-state super PACs would get all up in Vermont's otherwise pure elections.

By starting their own, way more awesome super PAC, Stannard and Bailey reasoned, they'd be ready to do battle with Karl Rove and the dreaded Koch brothers when those dudes inevitably came to town. Meanwhile, without all those pesky campaign finance restrictions, Vermont Priorities would able to raise and spend as much as they liked to elect their fellow liberals to office!

Click here to continue reading on Off Message, our new politics blog.

20 Years After Clinton-Gore, a Burlington Artist Reflects On His Iconic T-Shirt Design

Curefortheblues-1While Republicans from around the country gather in Tampa this week, a Burlington designer is looking back on his small but significant contribution to a different presidential campaign.

In the summer of 1992, Doug Dunbebin was a graphic artist living in Beltsville, Md. when he came up with a design and slogan for the Clinton-Gore ticket that would soon catch fire and become one of the iconic images of the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns.

In June 1992, then-candidate Clinton appeared on the "Arsenio Hall Show" and ripped out a bluesy version of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" on his tenor saxophone. It was a seminal moment in Clinton's political career — as Hall remarked afterward, "It's good to see a Democrat blow something other than an election" — and earned him new found respect and support among young and minority voters.

Click here to continue reading on Off Message, our new politics blog.

Burlington City Councilor Ed Adrian to Resign

Ed AdrianBurlington City Councilor Ed Adrian (D-Ward 1) is resigning effective September 30. He informed fellow councilors in an email this morning.

Did he do it to spend more time with his family? Adrian tells Seven Days that he's stepping down for a "combination of reasons."

"There's no great revelation there," he says. "I just think the Senate race actually brought some clarity to me and the path I need to choose right now, and it's not one of volunteer political service. It's just the fact that [council service] is a great consumer of time that puts pressure on everything.

"I know that sounds nebulous," he added.

Click here to continue reading on Off Message, our new politics blog.

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