Monthly Archives: January 2014

Keeping Warm and Cozy!

Too much design work to photograph this afternoon, but I hope to tomorrow morning, early, before round two of the double whammy of storms hits Cape Ann. Love snow days and I hope everyone is keeping warm and cozy in their homes!

©Kim Smith 2014 copy

paperwhites ©Kim Smith 2014Note ~ If while forcing paperwhites they become messy and keel over, as they are want to do, cut the stems and place in a vase of fresh water.

Stung!

unnamedStung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean, by Lisa-ann Gershwin (The University of Chicago Press, 2013)

JoeAnn Hart Submits her book review for Stung!, published December 30, 2013.

I read an entire book on jellyfish, and it was worth every gelatinous minute. Here is my review, originally published on ecolitbooks.com.

They’re here, and we’ve not just cleared out the guest room for them, we’re opened up the front parlor, the master bedroom, rumpus room, and kitchen. Soon we’ll be barricaded in the basement with a stinging, gelatinous substance dripping on us through the cracks in the ceiling. I’m talking about jellyfish. Our relationship with them has changed for the worse. As they fill our fishing nets and clog our nuclear plant intake valves around the world, they reflect our relationship with the entire eco-system. And now it’s time to say goodnight. DNA research has recently stripped the title of First Multi-Cellular Animal from the sponge and handed it to the jellyfish, and they might very well turn out to be the Last.

When I wrote jellyfish into the plot of Float, which was released in early 2013, I could not have imagined how dire the situation would get in such a short period of time. I was still thinking that if we could find a use for them — like turning them into a true bio-plastic — there might be hope. After reading Stung! by Lisa-ann Gershwin, I am not so sure about that anymore. No matter how many we harvest, more jellyfish will just bloom in their place, because the problem isn’t just that there are too many of them, it’s that they are the bellwether for a very sick ocean. As oceanographer Sylvia Earle writes in the intro, As seas become stressed, the jellyfish are there, like an eagle to an injured lamb or golden staph to a postoperative patient – more than just a symptom of weakness, more like the angel of death.

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Gershwin puts jellies in the greater perspective of the general ocean health, discussing at length how jellyfish blooms (population explosions) are the result of degraded ecosystems as well as the driver of further decline. So a large part of the book is spent explaining, in layperson’s language but with the fastidiousness of a researcher, how, exactly, jellies are able to take advantage of even the smallest anthropogenic perturbation, the fancy word for manmade disturbances. These include the usual culprits of ocean acidification and warming climates from our carbon waste, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, oil spills, leaching plastics, and radioactive material.

Read the full review here: Stung!

Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods Quilt Project Featured at Inauguration 2014

A Community of Neighborhoods City Hall -3 ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

Juni Van Dyke and her group of fiber artist’s “Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods” quilt project was displayed prominently at Gloucester City Hall for Inauguration 2014. The photos are of just some of the panels on display.

Each fabric panel measures approximately five-foot square and illustrates through iconic imagery characteristics unique to Gloucester neighborhoods. See previous GMG post to read more about “Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods” quilt project:

Simply Stunning Work in Progress

Detail of quilt in progress

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Maggie Rosa’s extraordinary interpretation of the archetypical Beauport window. The window’s mullions frame a collection of antique glass in varying shades of lavender to deep grape.

A Community of Neighborhoods City Hall ©Kim Smith 2014

A Community of Neighborhoods City Hall -2©Kim Smith 2014A Community of Neighborhoods City Hall -4 ©Kim Smith 2014jpg copy

Italian Sausage Pepper and Onion Frittata

Print   The past few days I have been preparing dishes for my family using extra ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator left over from our holiday cooking and baking extravaganza! Thursday evening we decided to have one of our favorite theme dinners we call “Dippy Dippy Night!” AKA… Breakfast/brunch food for dinner night. With a day old loaf of sandwich bread, 4 extra homemade Italian Sausage links, and a few ripe  vegetables a delicious Dippy Dippy Dinner, of Italian Sausage Pepper and Onion Frittata and Baked Brown Sugar French Toast  was quickly prepared and on the table. Dinner was enjoyed by all, served and cleaned up in less then an hour, just in time to have movie night in the living room as the storm moved in on Cape Ann. 

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Italian Sausage Pepper and Onion Frittata

Ingredients

4 large Italian sausage link ( I prefer to use my homemade tomato cheese & parsley sausage)

1/4 cup olive oil; plus 4 tablespoons

8 large eggs

2/3 cups Romano or Parmesan cheese

1 cup Fontina cheese; shredded or cut into thin pieces (Mozzarella cheeses can be substituted and both can be purchased at “The Cave”)

3/4 cups diced red pepper

 1/2 cup sweet onion; diced

3/4 cup green pepper; diced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup vine ripened tomato; diced

Note ~ The Cave on Main Street in Gloucester carries Trupiano Sausage, tomato cheese and parsley sausage is available through special order)

Step-by-Step

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1 place sausage links in medium size frying pan; fill pan with enough water to submerge sausage halfway up the side of likns; bring to rolling boil; cook five minutes; turn links; cook additional five minutes

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2 drain water from frying pan; place 2 tablespoons olive oil in frying pan, fry sausage over high heat until top and bottom sides of sausage links are golden brown; remove from fry pan; slice sausage links into 1/4 inch -1/2 inch thick pieces; reserve

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3 combine eggs and grated cheese in mixing bowl; whisk well; add Fontina cheese; mix well; reserve

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4 in separate oven proof frying pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat; add peppers onions, salt and pepper; sauté three minutes; add ¼ cup olive oil, tomatoes and sliced sausage; mix well

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5 pour egg/cheese mixture into frying pan; using spatula pull cooked eggs from outer edge of pan towards center allowing loose uncooked eggs to fall towards edge of pan (only do this process one time); allow eggs to set 2 to 3 minutes over high heat; remove pan from heat

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6 place oven proof frying pan in preheated 375° oven; bake 7-10 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked evenly throughout Frittata

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7 cut Frittata into wedges

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8 serve with fresh garden salad, warm or chill several hours in refrigerator and serve cold

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Note ~ this is one of many combinations of frittata ingredients I make for my family, this recipe can be easily adjusted to your liking by simply adding your favorite vegetables, meats and cheese. I remember my grandmother Felicia making hot dog Frittata on Saturdays using leftover hot dogs from her Friday night hot dog and beans dinners…. get creative and have some fun!  If you’re an asparagus fan, I encourage you to try making an asparagus frittata it’s one of my all-time favorites!

Note ~Steam Asparagus before adding to fry pan with olive oil

New Year’s Act of Kindness

I haven't been in the gallery since New Year's Eve, and then came the holiday and the snow storm. There is no parking on Main Street until 8am Saturday. I came in today (Friday) to turn the heat up, because of extremely low temperatures tonight. Jaime from Jalapenos came in with a present for Janet and I, which was left in the entryway by Peggy, owner of the POP Gallery. It contains a jar of homemade meat sauce and I don't know what in the other wrapping. She had left a bottle of wine, but thought it might disappear. Her note said: "here is your New Year's Eve Dinner. Such Kindness!

I haven’t been in the gallery since New Year’s Eve, and then came the holiday and the snow storm. There is no parking on Main Street until 8am Saturday. I came in today (Friday) to turn the heat up, because of extremely low temperatures tonight. Jaime from Jalapenos came in with a present for Janet and I, which was left in the entryway by Peggy, owner of the POP Gallery. It contains a jar of homemade meat sauce and I don’t know what in the other wrapping. She had left a bottle of wine, but thought it might disappear. Her note said: “here is your New Year’s Eve Dinner. Such Kindness!