Monthly Archives: January 2014

My First Article is Up for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism!

View of Downtown Cultural District from Smith's Cove ©Kim Smith 2013 copyMy first article for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism  was posted today. The article is part one (highlighting fall and winter) of a two part series about our Harbortown Cultural District. Part two showcases events that take place during the spring and summer, for example, the Feast of St. Joseph, St. Peter’s Fiesta, and the Schooner Festival, and will appear early this spring.

MOTT Article
Gloucester HarborTown Cultural District
Part One
By Kim Smith

I stand on a rooftop facing east toward Gloucester Harbor. Brisk autumn breezes and fresh salty scents lend color to the air of the moment. I can see far out to the Dog Bar Breakwater and Eastern Point Lighthouse, and still further beyond to the white diamond-studded sparkling sea. I see a single seagull arcing through the sky followed by hungry bevies chasing vessels. But it is the view of the harbor’s inner beauty that causes me to standstill and absorb all that I see. The beauty is in the mix of large fishing ships and smaller lobster boats powering through the water—coming and going—in and out to sea; the beauty is in the mix of flat-topped boxy ice buildings, the old Paint Factory, hipped-roof homes, and fish shed peaks; the beauty is in the mix of ships’ masts and riggings, hulls painted shiny red, ochre, and marine blue, new wooden docks and weathered wharf pilings, and everything playing to a soundtrack of gull cries and ships’ engines.

Surrounding the harbor is a blanket of golden hills, made rugged from granite outcroppings formed of earth’s crusty movement long ago, glowing golden from the angled sun’s light and brilliant fall foliage. Saffron tree ribbon circling the harbor runs into silhouettes of neighborhoods with bright sandy beaches that meet ultramarine water. I turn to the west, and looking north and south are the densely packed rooftops of nineteenth- and twentieth-century gables, pitched in shapes and sizes manifold, their architecture mirroring the many cultures and centuries that have shaped this city’s skyline.

This is my adopted city, Gloucester. Like many New England cities and towns Gloucester has riches thought unique to their community, but unlike many hometowns Gloucester’s richly varied and thriving cultural community is grounded from the inside by a framework created from families long associated with her working waterfront. Abounding in maritime heritage, Gloucester is the oldest seaport in America; Gloucester is home, too, to Rocky Neck, the nation’s oldest art colony. For over four hundred years her beauty and bounty have attracted fishermen and artists alike. Along with Rocky Neck, Gloucester’s Harbortown Downtown district is a designated Massachusetts Cultural District; Gloucester is the only city in Massachusetts to boast two such cultural districts! Throughout the four seasons visitors from near and far travel to Gloucester to enjoy her beautiful shores, take part in her fiestas and festivals, dine on fresh seafood, meet her friendly people, and explore her arts, architecture, and entertainment.

Read More HereGloucester Harbor Olive Kitteriedge Film Trucks ©Kim Smith 2013 copy

Savour Wine and Cheese Shares Their Fabulous Tuscan Vegetable Soup!

Kathleen Erickson Shares Her Out-of-this-World Delicious Tuscan Vegetable Soup! Thank you Kathleen.  I know what I am making for dinner tonight!

Ribollita. Italian Vegetable Soup

Photo Courtesy Kathleen Erickson, via Sally Cameron, from the blog “A Food Centric Life”

Vegetarian or vegan, only 150 calories per serving.

Ingredients

4 T. olive oil

1 1/4 cup eggplant, peeled and cubed (small Italian or Japanese)

1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained (14 1/2-ounce) (I like Muir Glen organic)

2 T. concentrated sun-dried tomato paste (in the tube)

1 cup fresh baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

1 c. onions, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small summer (yellow) squash, coarsely chopped

1 small zucchini squash, coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, dried

1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt (or to taste)

1/8 tsp pepper

2 cups vegetable stock (homemade or Emeril’s)

1 cup dry red wine

1 14 oz. can Cannelli beans

2 T. fresh basil chiffonade

8 tbsp Raw Pecorino Toscano Senesi cheese, freshly grated

Cooking Directions

I like to do this in two pans.  In one pan, drizzle 2 T. olive oil, sauté mushrooms and remove.  Add chopped eggplant and drizzle a little more oil if needed.  Sauté until cooked through.  In the other pan, drizzle 2 T. olive oil and sauté onions, garlic, summer squash, and zucchini until partially cooked.  Add the cup of wine and cooked eggplant.  Simmer until most of the wine is evaporated.  Add vegetable stock, diced tomatoes with liquid, all the seasonings and the beans.  Simmer on stove top for 20 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and the fresh basil.  Ladle into soup bowls and top with Pecorino cheese and crostini if desired.

*   *   *

Don’t forget about our VB6 presentation and taco night with Dr. Marcus Marlow who is flying here from Chicago just to meet with us and help us understand the power of a whole foods, plant-based diet in achieving optimum health.  For those who expressed interest, I sent out all the main details of Savour and beach gourmet’s VB6 program.  Here is a link to the document, in case you want to pass it along or are simply interested in what we are doing this winter.

We meet on Thursday, January 9 at 7 p.m. for a discussion of the program and a sample of the food – tacos with homemade tortillas and all the “good-for-you” fillings.  Be sure to confirm with me if you want to come Thursday night.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Erickson Morgan
Savour Wine and Cheese

Sun Puked! Hits Fan in the Morning!

The sun has been carrying a blotch of sunspots for the past week and she finally tossed her cookies. A Coronal Mass Ejection shot out on January 7 and it will slam into the earth tomorrow, 4 AM Cape Ann time.

Who cares? Well, you likely will not notice it unless you pull on the woolens and get out there between 4 and 5 AM in the morning tomorrow and look north from as dark a place as possible. It is possible that as the CME slams into the Van Allen Belt we will get some northern lights all the way down to our latitude. (Lat43, like the bar.)

News of the X-flare here.

auradora

It might look like this except that cabin is the fish shack at Lanes Cove.

[edit 01/09/2014] Aurora show was a dud last night. The Kp value never rose above 3. At Lat 43 We need a Kp of at least 7 to get a decent aurora. If you saw something last night I’ll have what you’re smoking.

BREAKING NEWS: Sun Puke was slow in getting here!

Today (Thursday), additional material associated with that explosion on the sun is expected to hit Earth. Its arrival is actually a little bit later than what was anticipated. A strong geomagnetic storm is now expected to continue tonight into Friday morning. This will give us another and perhaps better opportunity to see the Northern Lights.

Sista Felicia’s Recipe For Feeding Your Backyard Birds

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There always seems to be a plentiful assortment of birds feeding and playing in our backyard. For years, I have been drawing our little friends to visit with my used cooking oil, day old loafs of bread, stale cereal and crackers.  After hearing this weeks predicted weather forecast, I  decided to do a little research on homemade bird suet, and learned that with a little creativity and time, I could treat our backyard birds to an ample supply of nourishing goodness! With in 5 minutes of hanging, 3 Red Cardinal, 3 Blue Jay, 2 Yellow Finch, 1 Sparrow, and a woodpecker appeared. My brother Joey ran to grab his camera and we both I sat on the bench in my my breakfast nook peering out the window… As we watched this saying came to mind…”If you build it they will come!”  

A fun project to do with the kids …take some photos and send them to me…I will post them with our growing list of GMG Cooks!

Ingredients

1  3.5 lbs. bag Classic Wild Bird Feed

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup peanuts

2 cups cornmeal

1 3/4 cups  leftover cooked meat fat, cut in small pieces

2 cups lard, Cut into pieces

1 3/4 cups  leftover/used La Spagnola vegetable olive oil blend cooking oil

Supplies

30 inch plastic tube fish netting(can be found at fishing supply stores, an onion bag can also be used)

4 12 inch lengths twine

1 plastic saucer shaped container(I like to use the bottom section of my cherry tomato container)

waxed paper

6-8  red berry branch pieces

2 zip tie

Step-by-Step

1 combine first six ingredients in large mixing bowl; mix well

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2 add fat pieces; mix well

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3 add lard pieces and oil; mix well using hands

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4 line cookie sheet with aluminum foil; spread mixture evenly into prepared pan; chill overnight in refrigerator

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5 spread 3 cups birdseed on cookie sheet

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6 remove mixture from refrigerator; shape mixture into one 18×12 inch log shaped piece

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7 transfer log to cookie sheet with birdseed; roll cover outer surface of log with seeds; transfer to wax paper; wrap

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8 Tie and secure knot at one of fish netting; open netting pouch using your hands; slide waxed paper wrapped log into tube of netting; Remove wax paper; Secure tight knot; fix one zip tie to the top end of fishing net bird feeder

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9 fix 4 holes evenly spaced on sides of plastic saucer shaped container; knot and secure one twine length to each hole; Gather four lengths together and knot; Secure to bottom knot of bird feeder

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10 position red berry branches into holes of fishing net feeder

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11 secure feeder to tree branch or hook to section cup window hook  holder; fill saucer with birdseed; sit back and watch the birds feed!

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Andrew Clark joins The Thursday night blues party @ The Rhumb Line this week 8-11…1.9.2014

dave bw Dave says,

This week we have returning that Tootin’ Torquemada of the Tenor, Mr. Andrew Clark. A.C., as he is often referred to, has just returned from a whirlwind tour of the Caucasus, sailing back by way of Varna with several huge boxes of his native soil aboard, finally settling down  at his Carfax® Abbey in Haverhill, Ma. The entire crew disappeared en route. The police may come.

andy clark

http://www.andrewclark.us/

  But, seriously, folks, A.C. is a  master of musical chicanery, often twisting tuneful chestnuts into pretzels for your musical deportation. Quite a brain there, and always a surprise lurking in the corner pocket. He’ll be backed up by that jackhammer of a drummer, Mr. Roger Brocklebank, teacher and effusive retainer of lyrics to  songs you never thought you’d ever have to play. Even for money. Billy Loosigian, wearing chaps and spurs, will be twirling his guitar-like lasso hoping for top prize, and spitting thru his two front teeth. Lessons available. I’ll be off to the side, playing Renfield and  nibbling the wings off eighth notes and begging for mercy. It’s still 8 to 11, with time off for good behavior.
Also, for you of the underemployed persuasion, The good Old Salty Jazz Band is at bat next Monday  from 1 to 3.at the Rose Baker Senior Center next to Drunken Donuts downtown. Come on down and enjoy a bowl of Jello with the smart sounds of the Roaring Twenties. EMTs on duty. Don’t laugh: you’re closer than you think. 
  And as usual , Thank you all for your continued support. Just looked at my cobwebbed storage shelf, and it’s my eighth year at the Rhumb Line! I’ve been up all night and I’ve got proof! Where did the time (and my mind) go? What am I talking about?

THE RHUMB LINE BAR & RESTAURANT
40 Railroad Ave.

Gloucester, MA 01930

phone: 978-283-9732

Think it’s Cold?

This photo of Gloucester Harbor with ice flows was taken in 1918. The harbor has been frozen solid in the past.

This photo of Gloucester Harbor with ice flows was taken in 1918. The harbor has been frozen solid in the past.

It could be worse, like the plight of the Russian Akademik Shokalskiy research ship, which has been frozen in the ice in Antarctica. One of the rescue ships, a Chinese icebreaker, also got stuck. Thankfully, the wind changed and they're all free of the ice, with no lives lost.

It could be worse, like the plight of the Russian Akademik Shokalskiy research ship, which has been frozen in the ice in Antarctica. One of the rescue ships, a Chinese icebreaker, also got stuck. Thankfully, the wind changed and they’re all free of the ice, with no lives lost.

The USCG Polat Star, the most powerful heavy icebreaker in the world, has been en route to the frozen ships, but will continue on it's resupply mission to our base in Antarctica.

The USCG Polar Star, the most powerful heavy icebreaker in the world, has been en route to the frozen ships, but will continue on it’s resupply mission to our base in Antarctica.

Pet of the Week- Oreo

oreo

Hello!  My name is Oreo, I am a six-month-old retriever/Basset Hound mix with a handsome black coat.

I am residing at the Cape Ann Animal Aid (CAAA), located at the Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter, Four Paws Lane, Gloucester.  I am receiving excellent attention from the kind staff and volunteers.

The Winter Bash to celebrate the CAAA’s 50th Anniversary will be held on Saturday, February 8 from 7 p.m. -11 p.m. at Cruiseport Gloucester, Six Row Square, Gloucester.  Those wishing to donate an item to the silent or live auction are asked to contact Rebecca Baylies at 978-283-6055, ext. 23.  For further details or ticket information, please visit: CapeAnnAnimalAid.com

 

Now back to me!  I weigh about 19-pounds and will be medium size when I am fully grown.  I am so excited about being adopted.   Please stop by and visit me soon, you will see that I am a great dog and can bring a lot of joy to your life!

 

Community Photos 1/8/14

Hi Joey,

Friday afternoon, once the storm ended, I decided to head north and check out Plum Island.  Here are a few of my favorite shots.

A tractor that looks like it’ll be stuck for a while.  A dog retrieving a ball in the snow covered dunes.  The Plum Island Light.  The surf was definitely still up.  The houses and fields were covered with 2 feet of snow and ice. A snowy owl was perched on the roof of a deserted home.  And in Rowley along the river, I encountered a very interesting midair snow drift that almost resembled a ghost floating along in front of me.  The temperature was balmy 14, and it was gorgeous!

Mary Barker

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From Chief Smith: Help the Fire Department Protect You

Help the Fire Department Protect You: Shovel Fire Hydrants

“In a fire seconds count,” said Gloucester Fire Chief Eric Smith, “so help your fire department protect you and your neighbors but removing snow from nearby fire hydrants.” Fire officials are urging those who are able to do so, to shovel snow away from fire hydrants in case access to them is needed quickly.

Clear Snow from Furnace and Dryer Vents
Keep outside furnace, hot water and dryer vents clear of drifting snow, to prevent flue gases from backing up into the home and creating a carbon monoxide hazard.

Clear Snow from Vehicle Tailpipes
Last winter, two children from Boston died from carbon monoxide while sitting inside arunning vehicles where the tailpipe was clogged with snow. Doctors from the Boston Public Health Commission have created an educational video on CO poisoning that addresses this particular risk.