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The plots thicken at community gardens with selection of board and gardeners

SNA President Dean Weinberg, right center, presides at the voting to approves the garden board and bylaws.

SNA President Dean Weinberg, right center, presides at the voting to approve the garden board and bylaws.

 

The long-awaited plots in the community garden in the Summit Avenue city park finally have real people dedicated to bringing them to fruition.

At a public meeting Monday, Jan. 10 at Summit Commons, 99 Hillside Ave., bylaws were adopted, a governing board was elected and people who wanted plots received their allocations. There were a total of 25 households that wanted space and there were 25 locations available in the current design of the garden, so a proposed lottery for plots did not have to be held. If more space is deemed available in the future, more gardeners could be recruited.

The next step is for the group to plan the actual construction of the raised beds, so details of that process are being worked out. A meeting of the governing council will probably be held in late January or early February. The slate of officers elected at the initial meeting include Nancy Buron as chair, Read Porter as vice chair with Doug Itkin and Annie Voss-Altman to be secretary and treasurer.

The organization will continue to be a legal subsidiary of the Summit Neighborhood Association until it can stand alone. It is now developing its own web site and is contacting the gardeners so they may sign a gardening contract, get a copy of the newly minted bylaws and pay the membership fee.

The garden development is one phase of the city Parks Department’s proposed refurbishment of the surrounding “tot lot” playground and SNA will also continue to support that plan.

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Traffic signal approved at N. Main, Hillside

Traffic coming down Hillside and turning into North Main is particularly vulnerable.

Vehicles coming down Hillside and turning into North Main are particularly vulnerable.

The State Traffic Commission has approved “the installation of a traffic signal on North Main Street at Hillside Avenue.”

Acting Dec. 7 on a request by Rep. Aaron Regunberg, the commission said in a letter to him that “based on the traffic volumes collected July 19, 2016” plus “crash data for the last three years,” the necessary requirements set out by the Federal Highway Administration were satisfied that “a traffic signal is warranted at this location.”

It stated that there were 15 crashes at the intersection and 10 of these were angle crashes with a majority “pertaining to vehicles attempting to turn out of Hillside Avenue onto North Main Street.”

The letter to Regunberg continued, saying that the improvements “have been added to an ongoing STC design contract, with the intent on being constructed within the next few years, pending available funding.”

It points out that there is already a traffic signal at North Main and Ann Mary Street but which is under the jurisdiction of “the City of Pawtucket.” The letter states that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation will coordinate with the city “to determine the most efficient design between these two intersections.”

sna-signal2

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Caroling For A Cause salutes the season with songs and residents’ gifts

The carolers serenade some residents on Sixth Street.

The carolers serenade some residents on Sixth Street.

Temperatures in the 20s didn’t stop a hardy band from Caroling For A Cause Sunday evening in Summit.

Miriam's cafeteria was the first stop before heading into the neighborhood.

Miriam’s cafeteria was the first stop before heading into the neighborhood.

About 30 people, including one almost newborn in a front pack, assembled at Miriam Hospital about 4 p.m. for cookies and hot chocolate, and sang a few tunes in the cafeteria and the emergency room. Then it was out into the cold in the annual event sponsored by SNA in cooperation with Miriam.

With song leaders Kurt Anderson and Jeff Davis in front, the singers marched up Sixth Street to Bayard to Fifth to Summit to Fourth, laughing all the way.

A mother and child brought cookies to the singers.

A mother and child brought cookies to the singers.

As they proceeded, residents came out on their porches to enjoy the music and donate cash or peanut butter that leaflets a few days before had requested. In all, $165 and more than 25 jars were collected. At two different houses, the singers were rewarded with trays of cookies. The money and food all go to the St. Raymond’s church food pantry.

One family came out onto their lawn to enjoy the songs.

One family came out onto their lawn to enjoy the songs.

However, the cold air took its toll on the carolers, especially the families with small children, so that only about 15 were present for the final “Silent Night” on Fourth Street just short of Hope. With jolly calls of “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas,” they went their separate ways, vowing to meet again next year.

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Holiday caroling to take voice on Sunday

Carolers serenade residents last year.

Carolers serenade residents last year.

Holiday caroling in Summit is set for this Sunday, Dec. 11.

The annual Caroling For A Cause, which is sponsored by SNA in cooperation with The Miriam Hospital, features a band of singers tramping through the neighborhood giving voice to the festive season and soliciting contributions of peanut butter or cash from residents to benefit the St. Raymond’s food pantry.

Everyone, including families with children, is invited to gather at 4 p.m. at the hospital for hot chocolate and cookies. At 4:30, the group will proceed along Sixth Street to Bayard, then to Fifth, then to Summit and on to Fourth, where it will end the evening in the parking lot of Seven Stars bakery on Hope Street about 6:30.

Songbooks will be provided, but participants should bring flashlights to read the words. There will also be singing leaders, so no one should worry about not being able to carry a tune.

Be sure to dress warmly, as the forecast is for chilly weather – but that won’t chill our spirits.

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Food truck fire interrupts enlistment effort for SNA’s snow-shoveling project

Santa helps Kerry Kohring, SNA vice president, publicize the snow brigade at the Hope Street holiday festival Sunday. Note the food truck banner behind them.

Santa helps Kerry Kohring, SNA vice president, publicize the snow brigade at the Hope Street holiday festival Sunday. Note the food truck banner behind them.

The same banner flies above the smoke after the food truck caught fire and onlookers feared the propane tanks inside would explode. They didn't and the fire department got everything under control.

The same banner flies above the smoke after the food truck caught fire and onlookers feared the propane tanks inside would explode. They didn’t and the fire department got everything under control.

SNA’s attempt to get people to sign up for its neighborhood snow-shoveling brigade at the Hope Street holiday festival Sunday came to an early end when a nearby food truck caught fire and threatened to explode.

Fortunately, Providence firefighters were able to control the blaze in the Citizens Bank parking lot and the propane tanks in the vehicle didn’t blow up, but not before SNA folded its information table and quickly evacuated.

The Sunday event marked the beginning of the Hope Street merchants’ holiday festivities, which were scheduled to continue each weekend until Christmas and Hanukkah. On Dec.11, SNA was to contribute to the neighborhood celebrations by having its annual Caroling For A Cause, in which residents contribute cash or peanut butter to singers working the streets – all to benefit St. Raymond’s food pantry.

But on the Hope Street opening Sunday, SNA was able to sign up one volunteer for the shoveling program before fire intervened. The snow effort pairs people willing to dig with people needing help digging out from snow storms. The volunteers work in teams, trading off two-week shifts so no one has to commit for the entire winter.

If you would like to volunteer, would like assistance or know someone who needs help, please email snasnow@gmail.com. In addition, SNA frequently gets requests for information from neighbors who want to hire shovelers and is putting together a list of available people. If you would like to appear on such a list, email the address above. The results will be forwarded to those inquiring or posted on the SNA web site or Facebook. Your business name, contact name, phone number and email address are needed.

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Come join the fun

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Newsletter volunteers needed

newsletter

The SNA newsletter is published three times a year and is distributed free to all the households in the Summit neighborhood. But this system depends on volunteers to take about an hour each cycle to put copies in their neighbors’ doors. That’s a total of about three hours per year to spread the word about what’s happening in your community. Routes are clearly designated on an instruction sheet that is delivered to the volunteer’s door along with the necessary number of newsletters. We are now in need of a few more people so we can maintain the coverage of the entire community. To join the effort, please contact SNA Vice President Kerry Kohring at 401-272-6323 or kerrykohring@gmail.com. Come on along – it’s fun.

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Lives resurrected in North Burial Ground

Sarah Wiliams, a poet and romance of Edgar Allen Poe, recounts her life to visitors.

Sarah Helen Power Whitman, a poet and romance of Edgar Allen Poe, recounts her life.

Ghosts walked amid the gravestones along North Main Street two days before Halloween as re-enactors talked about their characters’ lives – and deaths.

It was part of a continuing project by the Friends of the North Burial Ground and Randall Park, in collaboration with Rhode Island College to raise awareness of the historical and recreational aspects of the area.

RIC students and professors led nearly 100 people around the grounds to meet with, among others, Sarah Helen Power Whitman, a poet and girlfriend of Edgar Allan Poe, and Samuel Whipple, who may have been murdered so his land could be taken and ultimately become the cemetery.

Providence Journal reporter Tom Mooney wrote that Francis Leazes, a professor of political science and public policy at RIC, said “The people who are interred here can tell the story of the state since its founding. But like all historic cemeteries, it needs the care and attention before the stories disappear, literally.”

Mooney continued that Leazes and some of his colleagues such as Erik Christiansen (an SNA board member), Michelle Valletta and Cathy Hurst, started the Friends group that sponsored its first round of tours in June, featuring a Civil War enactment with stops at some of the historic graves that include early governors, leaders of the Revolutionary and Civil wars, barons from the Industrial Revolution and men such as John Brown, a rich merchant, slave trader and co-founder of Brown University.

For more information, go to /www.facebook.com/northburialground/.

Adult and children in costumes contributed to the festivities.

Adults and children in costumes contributed to the festivities.

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Miriam invites neighbors to meeting

The Miriam Hospital invites all its neighbors to its annual community meeting to hear about what good things they are doing now and what they are planning for the future. It is to be held at 6:30 p.m., Nov.10 in the Hurvitz Board Room. Don’t miss this opportunity to interact with one of the major stakeholders in the area. For more information, contact Monica Anderson at TMHneighbors@lifespan.org.

 

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Cook-off lifts spirits, delights palates

sna-cookoff-main

In a Halloween near-emulation of the three witches of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” the SNA’s sixth annual cook-off met again in rain, although without the lightning and thunder.

But the traditional foul weather (one year there was a hurricane, one year snow) did not deter about 45 people from gathering Oct. 27 in Seven Stars bakery on Hope Street to sample 15 dishes made by neighborhood residents using pumpkin as a common ingredient.

And in keeping with the holiday spirit, there was also a parade of children in costumes ranging from a hotdog to a suffragette, although some of the smaller participants seemed more interested in chasing the balloons provided by Hope Street merchant Kim Clark of Rhody Craft than marching.

sna-cookoff-kids

After being welcomed by SNA President Dean Weinberg and tasting the various pumpkin offerings plus a sampling of fine oils from Olive del Mondo, another Hope Street merchant, participants voted for their favorite dishes. The results were counted by SNA board member Emily Spitzman and organization member Sandy Kohring, who collaborated in organizing the event. The winners were:

1st prize, a $30 gift certificate to Seven Stars, went to Jasper Summers for pumpkin tiramisu;

2nd prize, a $20 gift certificate to Rhody Craft, went to Sri Mitta for pumpkin curry;

3rd prize was a tie, with $15 gift certificates to Olive del Mondo going to Ethan Itkin for cinnamon pumpkin rolls with cream cheese frosting and Gailia Rutan for pumpkin cake roll.

The recipes for the winning dishes will be posted here as they become available. Some of the chefs experimented and are trying to remember what they did.

However, their example of inventiveness bodes well for the delicacies expected in next year’s competition.

Jasper Summers

Jasper Summers

Sri Mitta

Sri Mitta

Ethan Itkin and Gailia Rutan

Ethan Itkin and Gailia Rutan

Cinnamon Pumpkin Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

Dough:

2 teaspoons dry active yeast

1 tablespoon warm water

1 cup warm whole milk

4½ cups all-purpose or bread flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

All-purpose flour for the work surface

 

Pumpkin cubes:

4 cups pumpkin, cleaned, seeded and diced

2 teaspoons salt

1 ¼ cup butter, melted

6 sprigs fresh thyme

 

Roasted seeds:

1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon melted butter

 

Cinnamon sugar goo:

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground

1 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Cream cheese frosting:

3 ounces (¼ cup + 2 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened

¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

1½ cup confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

 

Directions 

  1. Whisk the yeast with the warm water and milk in a small bowl. Let it sit until foamy, 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add the flour, salt and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, combine then add the eggs, butter and yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together as a thick, sticky mass. This should take about 6 minutes.
  3. With a rubber spatula, remove the dough and, by hand, form it into a smooth ball. Transfer it, seam side down, to a greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a draft-free spot (a turned-off microwave will do). Let it rise for an hour until it’s doubled in size.
  4. Prepare the pumpkin elements. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place diced pumpkin on a baking sheet, toss with melted butter, salt and thyme. Par bake for 10 minutes. Cool at room temperature and set aside. Place seeds on a separate baking sheet, toss with melted butter followed by salt. Roast at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool at room temperature and set aside.
  5. Make the cinnamon goo. While the dough is rising, mix together the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl and set it aside.
  6. Punch it down the dough and put it onto a well-floured work surface. Using a rolling pin (or wine bottle), roll it into a 16-inch-by-16-inch square. Spread the cinnamon goo evenly over the surface, leaving a quarter-inch perimeter bare. Sprinkle the roasted pumpkin cubes on top. Roll the dough up into a big, tight tube, making sure to keep all the filling inside.
  7. Using a sharp knife, slice the tube into 12 rounds, each about a 1⅓ inches thick. Arrange the rounds in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish or two 10-inch pie pans, leaving 1-inch between each. Let them rise for another one to two hours, until they have doubled in size. (Alternately, you can make these buns the night before and let them rise, loosely covered, in the fridge overnight. Take them out in the morning, let them come to room temp for about half an hour and pop them in the oven.)
  8. Make the cream-cheese frosting. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on high one minute, add remaining ingredients and paddle on low to combine, then whip up on high for two minutes, until the mixture is a pale white and fluffy. Put to the side.
  9. Bake the buns for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, until they are just starting to brown on the edges. Remove from oven. While they are still warm, spread the frosting generously over them. Sprinkle tops with roasted pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

 

Pumpkin Cake Roll

Oven: 375 degrees

Need pan size 13”x 9 ½”

Grease pan, place foil on pan and grease foil.

Mix together: 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup pumpkin, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¾ cup flour.

Pour batter onto greased foil; bake 12-15 minutes.

Sift confectioner’s sugar onto a smooth dishtowel (not terrycloth) and when the cake is baked, put it onto the sugared towel while HOT. Roll up from long end, carefully! Let set for 2-2½ hours.

Meanwhile, unwrap 8 ounces cream cheese and soften 2 tablespoons butter. Mix softened cream cheese, butter, 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar and 1½ teaspoon vanilla.

Gently unroll the cake; but don’t try to flatten it. Spread the filling on the cake, being sure to get it into the rolled part. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, slice with a serrated knife and sift a little more confectioner’s sugar to make it look pretty.

 

 

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