Friday, July 30, 2010

Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusetts with Tinky Weisblat

Our good friend Tinky Weisblat from In Our Grandmother's Kitchens is planning a celebration of locally grown produce to raise funds for Mass Farmers Markets. See below:

To my fellow bloggers (and would-be bloggers):
You are cordially invited to a pot-luck feast! Please participate in an upcoming farm-fresh blogathon.
Loving Local: Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusettswill take place from Sunday, August 22, through Saturday, August 28—in other words, during Massachusetts Farmers Market Week.
The blogathon will be hosted by In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens, with a little help from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and Mass Farmers Markets.
We hope non-bloggers will participate as well, of course! If you are interested in food (well, who isn’t?), please consider liking our Facebook page. We’ll keep you abreast of upcoming posts in the blogathon so you can read and comment.
And when it begins you’ll have lots of yummy posts to savor!
Funds raised during the blogathon (bloggers who participate will be encouraged to place a donation link in their posts) will go to Mass Farmers Markets, a non-profit charitable organization that helps farmers markets throughout the Commonwealth.
Please think about writing a post that week if you live or work in Massachusetts. Or if you used to live or work in Massachusetts. Or if you once spent a weekend on Cape Cod. Or if you have a particular fondness for New England clam chowder, Hadley asparagus, or Boston baked beans.
Posts should focus to some extent on locally grown food in Massachusetts. You don’t have to be a food writer to participate, however.
Gardeners can write about herb or vegetable growing. Architects can write about the design of barns or farm stands. Watchers of the statehouse or even the federal Capitol can discuss the politics of agriculture and/or local food. And so forth.
Posts can be recipes, critiques, short stories, reminiscences … whatever you feel like writing. Let the flavors of the Bay State inspire you.
Here’s how you can get involved: Sometime during the week of August 22-28, put your post on the internet.
Please make sure your post mentions the blogathon, includes a link to In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens, and encourages readers to donate to Mass Farmers Markets. The organization’s donation link is
(If you have another local-food cause you’d like to encourage folks to support, that’s fine by us!) 
Of course, we’d love to have bloggers show off our gorgeous logo, designed by the talented Leon Peters. You may also display a PDF poster in 8-1/2-by-11-inch format.
Here’s a more compact version in case you’d like that:
If you’d like to participate, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page to tell us what you’d like to write about. When the big week arrives and you’ve put up your post, you may either leave another comment or email to announce it.
All posts will be identified with a link on this blog as well as on a special site set up just for that purpose, the Loving Local Blog.
And please help spread the word about this event! We hope our table during Farmers Market Week will be bursting with flavorful, colorful surprises.
Yours in good food,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

CBS in Gloucester with Joe!

CBS comes to Gloucester and spends the day with our good buddy Joe Ciaramitaro. They could never find a better guide to experience Gloucester than Joe!

Around The World For Free - Episode 3: Day 4-5 New York to Boston

Guest Blog: Tasting in the Wilds

Another guest blog from my friend Ray in Pennsylvania:

This past Saturday I drove down to Ridgway to attend the 6th Annual Tasting in the Wilds event. This is a function of the Ridgway Heritage Council. I was aware of it in previous years but it wasn't until Abbi, the director at the Elk County Council on the Arts told me some stories about it that I was intrigued enough to visit.
    The premise is simple enough. I paid $20 for an advanced sale ticket. When I got to the gate I gave the ticket to Michelle, the very personable Main Street Manager in Ridgway. She issued me a wrist band that identified me as a "Taster" and a nice little 4 ounce glass for my "tastes." And 12 tickets good for beer tasting. Then I was free to wander around, tasting wine and beer, cheeses and sauces, jerky and more.
     There are a number of art vendors as well and several food booths. And live music. There was a wood carver from Potter County there. He was selling these little gems, all hand carved. They were selling for $20 a piece but when you consider the amount of time to produce each one, it seems like a bargain. (Note from Kathleen: The woodcarver's name is David Costano. He is very talented, I have a woodcarving he did of a mermaid. He lives in Coudersport, PA.)
    If memory is correct, there were four wineries and twelve breweries represented. I spent about 4 hours there and enjoyed every minute of it. So here are my thoughts, impressions, and a few photos of the experience.
    It was a hot sunny day, occasionally cloudy, but mostly just hot and humid. Fortunately there were tents and all people of good sense spent time under them.
    One of the people without good sense was me who managed to get a slightly sunburned face. I blame that on courtesy or perhaps a desperate need for conversation. If I met someone out in the hot sun, I stayed there until the conversation petered out. And all of you knowing how much I can talk can believe I was in the hot sun a lot.
    The lines were longer at the breweries than at the wineries. The picture below shows how full the beer tents were. Dozens of folks in line to get a malt beverage while at the wine booths there were usually threes of folks in line. If I dare say this, the winery people were much prettier than the beer people.

    I have to rant a little bit here about what some places are doing with beer. It's a simple beverage, water, grain, and hops. It tastes good, quenches thirst, goes well with many different foods. It's been around for thousands of years. So why are the brewers messing with it? I submit as evidence the photo above. This is lemon flavored beer. It does not taste good. It does not look good. I am glad the tasting glass held a mere four ounces. There was a cherry flavored beer that was okay if you thought you were drinking some strange wine but if you thought of it as beer, your tastes buds revolted for beer should not be this sweet. I encountered some women I know who had samples of some of the other strange brews. The twisted look on their faces said it all. One sidled over to me and asked, "where can I dump this?" Of course, the local brew was there and quite popular. When I got a Peter Straub Special Dark my mouth said "At last, we're home."
    I was open-minded and tasted at least a dozen beers.  Wine tasting was unlimited provided you had a wrist band so I probably tasted two dozen of those. Of course, you got less than half an ounce of wine each time but 4 ounces of beer. The beer tender was supposed to take a ticket when you got a beer. Sometimes they forgot. The winery people were more talkative about their products as they were selling on the grounds. For summertime drinking I was looking for a sweet Niagara that would go well with light cheeses and fruit. I found a winner at one of the booths. They have a nice system if you don't want to be walking around with bottles. They give you a tag that matches the number on your bag and when you leave, you go to the wine check booth, show your tag, and you get your bottle(s). I can only think of one change I would suggest to the committee. The signs at the beer tents were not all that helpful so I was never really sure what I was drinking or who made it. Of course, if I was a real reporter getting paid to write about such things, I would take notes.

    This being Elk County in the heart of Elk country, there were of course elk products for sale. It's good stuff. Other vendors were set up to gives tastes of their stuff. I checked out the Bonfatto's barbecue sauce place. That's their booth above. You will notice a red dragon in the photo. Very appropriate symbol for some of their stuff. I checked out the milder varieties and found them delicious. The lady in the picture was in for a big surprise as she was about to taste the variety that comes with its own fire engine to put out the ensuing blaze in your mouth.
    There was live entertainment all through the afternoon. This is Bekki, a long time friend, whose rendition of "Daddy take me back to Muhlenberg County....Mr. Peabody's coal train just hauled it away" just gets to you such that you want find a coal baron and slap him silly. Or some other such thing that I won't describe here.
    I don't know how the committee arranged it but in the middle of the event, we had a flyover by a Bald Eagle (above). Lots of people noticed. I wasn't packing the right lens for bird photography but I took this anyway. You can see that it is white fore and aft and thus no question what we were looking at. I interpreted as a sign of favor on the event.

    Despite much drinking, it was a very well behaved crowd and the young policeman had nothing to do but hang around and talk to his buds. The youth of today's policemen gives me pause. Somehow I have this notion that I don't have to listen to an officer who was born after the Reagan administration. Until he puts his hand on the gun, that is. I have to say this, except for some comments about strange brews (see above) I did not hear a discouraging word in all the conversation I had. It was great to be in a place where everyone was happy, if only for the afternoon.

    This was the 6th annual but my first time attending. I could tell that some people came well prepared. I had a problem with what to do with my sampling glass while talking or taking pictures. The young lady above had that all figured out. My friend Brad makes nice trivets from wine bottle corks. I can see an even better use for them now.
    Like always happens at beer ticketed events, there is a brisk trade in giving away unused tickets. Ladies who don't drink beer give them away. Guys who are leaving early give them away. Friends perform the First Corporal Work of Mercy (to give drink to the thirsty) by giving tickets away. As mentioned above, I tasted twelve or more beers and yet when I emptied my pockets at home that night, I still had 12 tickets. Here's Troy, my up the street neighbor handing me five more. He was the designated driver for his group so he was imbibing lightly. He was with me on that notion that says the basic recipe for beer should not be messed with. He also advised me that Stroh's was still making beer and we both agreed that it had a distinctive taste. Not a good taste.
    Of course, I ran into many friends, acquaintances, and customers there. A recent bride told me how wonderful she thought the wedding pictures I made of her turned out and I blushed at the praise, not that anyone could tell because of the sunburn. The bald guy in the picture at left below accosted me and insisted on being photographed. I always indulge such things on the outside chance that one of them will turn out to be someone notorious and I can sell the image to the tabloids. At right is an aunt and niece combination who swore me to secrecy about their attendance at the Tasting. They told their husbands that they went to a flea market. And like any other event in Elk County, you can't take a picture without one of my cousins in the background. The guy in the purple shirt is Kevin, a fine drummer who has played with every band in the area in the last 30 years.
    As always at any kind of informal gathering, people were wearing the 21st century version of the medieval heralds. I of course mean T shirts with messages. I found this one to be photo worthy. I really don't know if there is such a product but the concept was interesting and the artwork of higher standard.
    About halfway into my time there I was getting hungry. I asked some people what they recommended. The pulled pork barbecue from the Ridgway BiLo was spoken of favorably. This being one of my favorite sandwiches I went to their booth. I was not disappointed. The portion was large, served in a steak roll instead of a bun. I have had such sandwiches in a dozen or more places and all I can say is that this one ranked way up there. The server boasted of a homemade barbecue sauce that well deserved the bragging.
    It was a fine event and I am very happy that I went to it. It was very well organized, the crowd was well behaved and friendly, and to use that old cliché, a good time was had by all. I highly recommend it to anyone who lives anywhere close by.
    I think I might be out of stories for a while unless something unexpected comes up. It's be a pleasant summer for me and I hope the same is true for all of you.    Ray

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red Room Blog Entry: My Earliest Memory

"God gave us memories so we might have roses in December." - James Matthew Barrie is a web site for writers and bloggers and they often issue challenges to bloggers to blog on a certain subject. Usually I have too many blog ideas lined up to participate but today's challenge, to write about your earliest memory, came at a good time. While writing Fry Bacon. Add Onions., I did a lot of delving into my store of memories and ever since the book was published I've gotten dozens of phone calls and emails from people telling me how much they love the memories in the book and how it has sparked memories of their own. (Photo above: Me with Mom and Dad in Gram Werner's backyard. I love this picture because you can see her old garage with her clothes poles in the rack. There was a big galvanized aluminum washtub hanging next to them and I spent many hours on hot summer days, playing in that tub in that yard.)
One of my sisters told me that her two children argue over whose turn it is to take her copy of Fry Bacon. Add Onions. to bed with them so they can read a story or two about their mother as a child, their aunts and uncles, their grandparents and great-grandparents. Memories are beautiful things and they lend cohesion and connection to the people who share the subjects of memories. My aunt, who is in her eighties and married for the second time after the death of my uncle, told me her new husband loves reading the stories in Fry Bacon. Add Onions. because he said it helps him connect with her life. I think that is beautiful. He especially loves the chapter on the ghost stories her mother used to tell, she said he reads that over and over.
So this is my earliest memory: I remember being at my Gram Werner's house in her backyard with Mom and Gram and looking up to see my Dad up on her roof fixing her chimney. My recollection of it is very clear, it was a cool, cloudy day and Dad was wearing the red and black checked Woolrich jacket he always wore. My mother told me I couldn't have been much more than a year old when that happened. I don't think I knew then want Dad was doing I just knew that my Daddy was way up high on Grammy's roof.

It's sort of a silly memory but when you are not much more than a year old you don't have much context with which to process such things. Throughout my childhood I spent an awful lot of time in the backyards of both of my grandmother's houses. Those yards were fairylands to me filled with flowers and fruit trees and bushes and wonderful places to hide. I have distinct early memories of peeking under plants in search of the tiny, fragrant lilies-of-the-valley that grew along the fences that lined both of their yards. Gram Werner's driveway always seemed like a magic place to me because it was made of brick and big trees hung over it so it was almost always shady and dark. There was an elevated strip of garden between the driveway and the house and there were wonderfully strange flowers there, my favorites being the Chines lanterns, plump, papery, bright orange little flowers dangling from graceful stems.
(Photo above: Grandma Valentine's house in winter. I have lots of memories of playing on that porch and in the back yard there, too.)
Years later, when I was grown and moved away I sometimes went back to see those yards and was surprised by how small they seemed compared to my memories. Of course that is to be expected. I was much bigger then and knew more of the world. But in my memories I still think of those yards as they were over fifty-five years ago. I think of the pleasures of plucking sun-warmed currants from bushes and popping them in my mouth or the fat bunches of Concord grapes growing over the white lattice arbor and laying in the grass to eat them.
Memories, like all of life, come in infinite variety. It is important to cultivate and refine the beautiful memories and find ways to share them in blogs or stories or memoirs or conversation. Memories add depth and context and help us connect. I love it when I write about a memory and one of my cousins who lives halfway across the country now emails me and says, “I remember that pear tree. My sister and I used to play with our dolls there and pretend it was a tree house.”
Share those memories, they bear sweet fruit.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Reviews: Salem Witches & has posted two more of my book reviews. Under their Classic Fiction category is my review of Ron Hansen's beautiful Mariette in Ecstasy and under New Fiction they posted my review of James Carroll's Prince of Peace which was originally posted on this blog and which wins my prize for The Best Book That Annoyed The Heck Out of Me.

I've been reading a lot this summer since I discovered my back porch which has been there all these many years but which I never used to take advantage of. This year it is where I most want to be. One night last week while I was reading a tiny little songbird lighted on one of the tombstones in the cemetery and sang its little heart out for nearly 20 minutes. It was just beautiful. I'm used to hearing lots of bird sounds while I sit reading but I don't ever remember hearing such a delightful little concert before.

And last night, just as it was getting a bit too dark to read, I caught a whiff of my little Perfume Kitty. I've smelled that skunky fragrance many times from inside the house but this was the first time I noticed it outside. I never caught a glimpse of its owner though I certainly looked. I suspect Perfume Kitty may live in one of the vaults built in to the side of the hill at the back of our cemetery but have yet to see for sure.

I recently finished Katherine Howe's The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and, though it has flaws, I genuinely enjoyed it. Having lived in both Salem and Marblehead, where the book is set, I enjoyed her descriptions even if they were a bit fanciful, which I have no problem with. One scene takes place in an old haunt of mine in Marblehead, Maddie's Sail Loft and I kept trying to envision where the house on Milk Street was but I don't think there actually is a Milk Street in Marblehead, which is also fine. The book is a work of fiction and fiction authors can make up stuff.

The story is two-fold, Connie, a Harvard grad student, moves to Marblehead for the summer to sort out and prepare for sale her grandmother's cottage. Once there she becomes enmeshed in some strangely mysterious happenings which harken back to the 17th century when her distant grandmother, Deliverance Dane, was hung as a witch. So the story unfolds in alternating chapters between the 17th century and the 20th. There have been many, many books written about the Salem witch trials and all sorts of theories proposed --- land grabbing, hallucinations brought on by tainted bread, religious intolerance, jealousy, just plain old nastiness --- so I was pleased that Katherine Howe took a rather novel approach to the reason for the witch hunting. What if the women accused of being witches, or at least one of them, was actually a witch? Deliverance Dane was not a witch in the Harry Potter sense but rather a wise woman and healer who understood the ways of herbs and “physicks”, had some knowledge of alchemy, and also knew a thing or two about making stuff happen. Stuff that couldn't quite be explained. This second sense and alchemical skill has carried on through the generations to Connie's grandmother and, even to her own mother Grace, a sort of latter day hippie/New Age practitioner living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

As Connie explores her grandmother's house she uncovers evidence that Deliverance's “physick book”, the notebook in which she recorded her cures and potions, may still be somewhere and the hunt is on. Because I lived in Salem and am well aware of the metaphysical-theme-park environment there I got quite a few chuckles out of Howe's descriptions of the witchy businesses there. It reminded me a little of Brunonia Barry's The Lace-Reader, which also has a field day with Salem's burgeoning metaphysical business. The 17th century story is beautifully written and thought-provoking, the 20th century story is erratic. I loved the exploration of her grandmother's house and the search for the book, I was less enthusiastic about the “love story”. I realize that many contemporary novels include a touch of romance because that's what many readers look for but I never really bought Connie and Sam as lovers. The “love scenes” felt awkward to me and I had the feeling they were added in just because they were expected, not because the author really considered them part of the story. As for the character of the “villain”, well, I won't spoil the story but he did everything but twirl his mustache.

The character of Connie herself made me once again wonder why authors so often feel the need to create female characters who are beautiful and brilliant but dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to men. I liked Connie, I liked the book. I LOVED Deliverance Dane. And I will read Katherine Howe's next book. I just hope she can continue to write with the style and story-telling power of this book while resisting the urge to make her lead character a contemporary romance heroine.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sexy Silk Dupioni Tote Bag

I love the colors magenta and periwinkle, I just didn't realize how good they look together. And I love silk dupioni because of its rich, jewel-like color. So when I had large pieces of magenta and periwinkle silk dupioni left over from 2 shirts I'd made the idea of combining them into a tote bag seemed like an good idea.

The fabrics in the picture below is from my current stash - you can see what colors I tend to stockpile.

This is the front. It is made from a 16 year old Vogue Boutique pattern:

The periwinkle lining has 2 interior pockets:

And there is one huge pocket that goes across the entire back:

I didn't have enough of the periwinkle silk to line the whole thing so I used some leftover hot pink satin for the bottom of the bag.

The handles are stuffed with drapery cord and the button is a lovely vintage Czech Glass button. 

I spent the better part of yesterday working on it and am very pleased with the results. I even have some leftover silk shantung -- one piece in royal blue and another in a gorgeous violet that might look just as special in this design. 
Thanks for reading. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

In 1989 I bought this book because I had read other Follett books and loved them so was excited by a new one. It turned out to be a radical departure from any of his previous books but, oh, what wonderful one. I read the book, all 1,000 pages of it, in a matter of days and was utterly mesmerized by every page. I passed the book on to my Dad who read it in less time than I did and he passed it on to my brother Jack who could not put it down. For a long time after we had all finished it we talked about it. What must it have been like to have lived in those terrible, wonderful times? What must it have been like to build a cathedral?

Some years later when the audio book became available I borrowed it from the library and listened to it again. It was read by one of my favorite actors, Richard E. Grant, who did and amazing job and, as I sat knitting and listening to the story, I lived the whole thing again. It amazes me that even now, 2 decades beyond the time I read it and at least one since I listened to it, I can still remember sections of it with perfect clarity. I can't imagine what could make any writer happier than knowing his story is remembered in such brilliant detail!

Of course to me the story was all about Tom Builder, the carpenter whose dream was to build a cathedral. I was completely in love with Tom and I still recall how bad I felt for him when his wife died --- and how furious I was with him when he boinked the first available woman! But he was a man of consuming passions and I guess they are like that.

Of course there are other memorable characters like the Lady Aliena who starts a business buying and selling wool (I dreamed of living then and doing that) and Tom's amazing step-son Jack who loves her.

Tonight, 21 years after the book was published, The Pillars of the Earth is making its debut as a TV mini-series. I may have to subscribe to Starz just to get to watch it. Rufus Sewell, who made me fall in love with him in the BBC's Cold Comfort Farm, plays Tom Builder and one of my favorite actors, Donald Sutherland is also in the cast though I don't know which part he plays.

The greatest character in the story is, of course, the Cathedral. In writing the book Follett did endless research on cathedral building and it comes alive so fully it is like a living entity. I see that the web site has some trailers and teasers online. I'm going to watch them now and then either plan to watch the series or maybe go get my book. I know exactly where it is.

Thanks for reading. – For Lovers of Books with Catholic Themes

I was born into a Catholic family and attended Catholic schools for 12 years and then later for post-graduate studies. I do not always consider myself to be a very good Catholic but I have always loved the Catholic Faith. There are things about the Catholic Church I'm not happy with but I've always loved the mysteries and beauties of the Faith itself. I love the sacraments and the traditions and lore, the pantheon of saints and angels and the Magnum Mysterium. Those who have read either of novels, Each Angel Burns and The Old Mermaid's Tale, often tell me that my love of the Catholic Faith is an integral part of what makes them so interesting.

Recently I discovered the web site (courtesy of the wonderful, beautiful Catholic writer Ron Hansen) and applied to be a reviewer because I read so very many books with Catholic themes. This week I was accepted as a reviewer and yesterday my first review was published. It is for Anne Rice's daring book Angel Time:

Angel Time by Anne Rice

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • ISBN-10: 1400043530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400043538
reviewed by Kathleen Valentine
Anne Rice has long been known as a writer of gothic tales populated with vampires, witches, devils and other supernatural beings. Her books are lavish in delicious detail, seething atmosphere, and no small amount of steamy sex often laced with homo-eroticism, sadism, and pedophilia. Her books have been phenomenally successful and she has a great fan following. Her choice to change the focus of her fiction writing to novels about Christ and angels required a leap of Faith on her part and with interesting results.
Angel Time is the first in her new series Songs of the Seraphim. As is always the case, Ms Rice writes with plenty of atmosphere, luminous settings, and intriguing characters. Toby O’Dare, the hero, if you will, ofAngel Time follows in the mold of other tantalizing Rice characters, he is young, handsome, intelligent, meticulous, an accomplished musician, a lover of books, an almost too perfect man except for one thing — he’s a trained assassin with a ten year history of doing his job very, very well. To read more....

This is the first review but I've submitted several others including:
A Recent Martyr by Valerie Martin
The Seville Communion by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Prince of Peace by James Carroll
Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen

I am also working on reviews of Anne Rice's Christ the Lord Out of Egypt: The Road to Cana and Memnoch the Devil, as well as, Steve Berry's The Templar Legacy.

Catholic was founded by Debra Murphy as a place to promote books that are of interest ---through subject matter, ambiance, theme, etc. --- to people who seek quality literature with a Catholic flavor. Most of the books reviewed are fiction but there are classic works of fiction by writers such as Graham Greene and J.R.R. Tolkein and some biographies, collections, etc.

This is an exciting project in my opinion and I want to encourage anyone interested in Catholic-themed literature to check them out --- or join their Facebook group.

Thanks for reading and  go to for reviews on great reads.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Six Food Blogs that Every Foodie Should Meet

It's summer and in summer, with its bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, even those of us who do not cook regularly, can't help but search the web for recipes and inspiration. These are six blogs I find myself going back to every day just to see what luscious things they are offering:

1.) Dessert for Dinner (a.k.a. Sweet Freak Meets The Eat From Paris) - This blog is not about recipes but, oh, the inspiration it provides! The author is, as her name implies, an unapologetic sweet freak and she blogs about the best places for indulging her sweet tooth in Paris and New York. The current mad craving for flavorful, colorful macaroons is one of her favorite themes. Her photographs are fabulous.

2.) Food for Thought - Blogger Heather Atwood is the food writer for the Gloucester Daily Times and her blog has not just excellent recipes but lovely photography, poetry, interviews and more. She blogs about the findings from the local Farmer's Market and includes videos of cooking demos.

3.) Paris Breakfasts - Blogger Carol Gillott is an artist who loves good food, loves Paris, and loves painting pictures of the food she loves. Sometimes she shares her paintings, sometimes recipes, always lots of pictures. Right now she is in Maine on a painting excursion and charmed me with the photo above of the General Store in Owl's Head which is much how I had envisioned Darling's General Store in my novel Each Angel Burns. Her blog is always a treat.

4.) Inspired Cooking with Laurie Lufkin - Everybody loves Laurie Lufkin! How can you not? Her recipes are loaded with fresh, creative goodness and her cooking videos are delightful. Laurie loves entering cooking contests and her Facebook friends recently helped her win a competition that will have her going to a cook-off in Chicago in September. Sometimes her young daughter Lily guest blogs and that's the best treat of all.

5.) Food and Fiction - Jane Ward loves two things, writing and cooking, and both are deliciously showcased in her blog. She reports on fresh food findings and her recipes are loaded with summery goodness. In today's blog she has a recipe for couscous with fresh currants, a favorite summertime treat of mine. Her photographs of fresh produce and what she turns it into are lovely and mouth-watering.

6.) Passionate about Baking - This is my favorite surprise blog of recent months. The author, Deeba Rajpal, lives in New Delhi, India, and is a passionate baker with recipes that knock my sox off. Above is a Mango Vanilla Bavarian Cream Cake that makes me want to lick the screen. She is so creative and her photographs are so scrumptious you can't help going back just to feast your eyes. She gives measurements in cups, teaspoons and grams and sometimes uses ingredients unavailable here but she almost always gives an alternative that westerners can find. I love it when she posts pictures of her children, like a little window into another wonderful world.

Hope you find time to visit some of these excellent blogs. You'll enjoy them.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our buddy Joe makes news in Boston!

Three-Clawed Lobster Takes Dealer By Surprise

Veteran Lobster Dealer Has Unusual Find

POSTED: 2:53 pm EDT July 19, 2010
UPDATED: 6:34 pm EDT July 19, 2010

A Gloucester lobster dealer made an unusual discovery during the weekend.
Joey Ciaramitaro found a triple-pincer in a shipment that he received Saturday at the wholesale business he owns with his cousin.
Lobsters usually have a crusher claw and a pincer claw. This lobster has an extra pincer. It's an unusual sight even for a veteran lobster dealer.
"We've seen blue lobsters, we've seen albino lobsters, and we've seen half-white lobsters split right down the middle of the shell, but I had never see one quite like this one," Ciaramitaro said.

  • Good Morning Gloucester Blog