Category Archives: Eats

GMG FOB Mary Tucker

Mary Tucker ©kim Smith 2014GMG regular readers, and especially our contributors, know Mary through her always kind and engaged comments. Well, she’s just as nice and kind-hearted in person, and has a wicked sense of humor, too!

Mary’s ancestors are McLouds and Wonsons and she spent her childhood summers on Rocky Neck and East Gloucester. Although she presently lives far off-island, she keeps in touch with Gloucester all thoughout the year by reading GMG and comes “home” as often as time allows. So wonderful to meet you Mary!

Fabulous French Toast The Market Restaurant ©kim Smith2014Fab French Toast at the Annisquam Market

Succulent container garden ©Kim Smith 2014Annisquam Market Mini Container Garden Planted with Succulents and Fresh Herbs

Food For Thought

Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers

By Bren Smith New York
Times August 9, 2014

Bren Smith is a shellfish and seaweed farmer on Long Island Sound.

NEW HAVEN — AT a farm-to-table dinner recently, I sat huddled in a corner with some other farmers, out of earshot of the foodies happily eating kale and freshly shucked oysters. We were comparing business models and profit margins, and it quickly became clear that all of us were working in the red.
The dirty secret of the food movement is that the much-celebrated small-scale farmer isn’t making a living. After the tools are put away, we head out to second and third jobs to keep our farms afloat. Ninety-one percent of all farm households rely on multiple sources of income. Health care, paying for our kids’ college, preparing for retirement? Not happening. With the overwhelming majority of American farmers operating at a loss — the median farm income was negative $1,453 in 2012 — farmers can barely keep the chickens fed and the lights on.

Others of us rely almost entirely on Department of Agriculture or foundation grants, not retail sales, to generate farm income. And young farmers, unable to afford land, are increasingly forced into neo-feudal relationships, working the fields of wealthy landowners. Little wonder the median age for farmers and ranchers is now 56.

My experience proves the trend. To make ends meet as a farmer over the last decade, I’ve hustled wooden crafts to tourists on the streets of New York, driven lumber trucks, and worked part time for any nonprofit that could stomach the stink of mud on my boots. Laden with college debt and only intermittently able to afford health care, my partner and I have acquired a favorite pastime in our house: dreaming about having kids.

It’s cheaper than the real thing. But what about the thousands of high-priced community-supported agriculture programs and farmers’ markets that have sprouted up around the country? Nope. These new venues were promising when they proliferated over a decade ago, but now, with so many programs to choose from, there is increasing pressure for farmers to reduce prices in cities like my hometown, New Haven. And while weekend farmers’ markets remain precious community spaces, sales volumes are often too low to translate into living wages for your much-loved small-scale farmer.

Especially in urban areas, supporting your local farmer may actually mean buying produce from former hedge fund managers or tax lawyers who have quit the rat race to get some dirt under their fingernails. We call it hobby farming, where recreational “farms” are allowed to sell their products at the same farmers’ markets as commercial farms. It’s all about property taxes, not food production. As Forbes magazine suggested to its readers in its 2012 Investment Guide, now is the time to “farm like a billionaire,” because even a small amount of retail sales — as low as $500 a year in New Jersey — allows landowners to harvest more tax breaks than tomatoes.

On top of that, we’re now competing with nonprofit farms. Released from the yoke of profit, farms like Growing Power in Milwaukee and Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., are doing some of the most innovative work in the farming sector, but neither is subject to the iron heel of the free market. Growing Power alone received over $6.8 million in grants over the last five years, and its produce is now available in Walgreens stores. Stone Barns was started with a $30 million grant from David Rockefeller. How’s a young farmer to compete with that?

As one grower told me, “When these nonprofit farms want a new tractor, they ask the board of directors, but we have to go begging to the bank.”

READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE

More Snapshots from Thursday’s Farmer’s Market and Seafood Throwdown

Nutty Redhead Lisa ©Kim Smith 2014Lisa, The Nutty Redhead ~ Exciting News from the Nutty Redhead ~ STAY TUNED!

Justine Vitale an FamilyJustine Vitale with Family and Brand New Rescue Pooch

Amanda Copok ©Kim Smith 2014Amanda Cook Spinning Her Multi-blue-hued Hand Dyed Yarn

Rosalie harrington Gloucester Seafood Throwdown ©Kim Smith 2014Rosalie Harrington, Thursday’s Seafood Throwdown Winner

Rosalie Harrington's dogfish stew ©Kim Smith 2014Rosalie’s Dogfish and Fresh Vegetable Stew ~ Would you call this a cioppino, even though only made with one fish? Read more

LAST MINUTE BLOCK PARTY UPDATE

What will they think of next?  Circus performers, Dancers, Hula Hoops, Mary Poppins, Reptiles and more invade Main Street tomorrow night for this summer’s second block party — and what an extravaganza it will be (more info here).

Here’s a list of entertainment by stage.

And here’s a list of all the music by time.

Here’s a list of participating restaurants & merchants.  Remember to make reservations if you want to get a table.

And a big map with parking info right here.

Everything you need to enjoy a night on the town in beautiful Gloucester!

#1 Chef Rosalie Harrington! ~ Seafood Throwdown Snapshots

Rosalie Harrington Seafood Throwdown Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014The competition was close; I think Rosalie won by only one point and ALL was wonderfully delicious! The mystery fish was dogfish. Both Rosalie and Paolo Laboa did a superb job in their 45 minute window of time to cook.

Peter Van Ness Paolo Laboa Seafood Throwdown Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014

Peter VanNess and Paolo Laboa

Rosalie Harrington Seafood Throwdown Gloucester Ma ©Kim Smith 2014

Rosalie Harrington

 

Seafood Throwdown Judges Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014Esteemed Judges

_DSF0415Esteemed Tasters

 

Rosalie Harrington Paolo Laboa Seafood Throwdown Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014And the Winner Is!

Ethan Seafood Throwdown Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014Rosalie’s grandson Ethan made this sign for his grandmother, with plans to give it to her whether she won or not. I guess he must love his Nonni’s cooking!

More snapshots from the Farmer’s Market tomorrow.

Great Showdown in the Works for the Seafood Throwdown Event Highlights Why Local Seafood Matters This Thursday’s farmer’s Market!

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Now in its sixth year, the Seafood Throwdown is coming back to Cape Ann Farmers Market Thursday from 4 – 6 p.m. at Stage Fort Park. This unique cooking competition brings local chefs, fisheries advocacy organizations, local food vendors, and food advocates together to talk about why local seafood should matter to us.

The two teams going knife-to-knife at this year’s Seafood Throwdown are Chef Paolo Laboa and his sous chef Mercedes Flaving vs. Chef Rosalie Harrington. This year the audience will make up a couple of seats at the judge’s table, so you want to be there! Peter Van Ness of gimmesound.com will be the emcee.

“Community based, family owned fishing businesses are facing the same challenges as family farmers: consolidation of their industry, loss of access of working waterfronts and farms, lack of a fair price, and inability to compete in the political landscape with their industrial counterparts,” said Niaz Dorry, coordinating Director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. “For six years, Seafood Throwdowns have given us the opportunity to bring these issues to the public who already cares about who grows their lettuce, makes their butter, and raises their beef. We believe they need to care as much about who catches their fish, and how it ends up on their plates.”

Chef Laboa and Flavin will be representing the restaurant formerly known as Alchemy and the site of their new venture, which is opening this fall on Duncan Street in Gloucester. The restaurant will feature Northern Italian cuisine, including Paolo’s own signature pesto, which won the 2008 Pesto Championship in Italy. Mercedes Flavin, his wife, comes from a long dynasty of Flavin’s who have operated multiple restaurants on Cape Ann.

Rosalie Harrington operated her restaurant, “Rosalie’s” in Marblehead, for nearly twenty-five years. Rosalie was one of the original hosts on the Food Network after hosting cooking shows on Boston TV. And, it was no mystery to writers like Robert Parker with his “Looking for Rachel Wallace” and “Spenser For Hire” series where the best Italian food in Boston could be found: Marblehead. Rosalie now concentrates on her catering business.
The Seafood Throwdown is a collaboration between Cape Ann Farmer’s Market, the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) and the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association and their Community Supported Fishery project Cape Ann Fresh Catch. Seafood Throwdowns started here in 2008 and now spread up to Canada, down the east coast and up the west coast. NAMA partners with local communities to host Seafood Throwdowns in order to promote the ecological and social benefits of locally caught seafood, the impact of local fishing fleet on the local economy, and role of seafood in our food systems.

“We’re glad to see Cape Ann Fresh Catch Community Supported Fishery back at the market this year,” said Niki Bogin, Cape Ann Farmers Market manager. “Featuring seafood at the farmers market has been our priority from the beginning as it’s such a big part of Gloucester’s history, culture and economic well being.”

Cape Ann Farmers Market is held every Thursday from 3 – 6:30 through October 9th. Always plenty of FREE parking right across the street on Market days. Seafood Throwdown is a free event and begins at 4pm.

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Apple Street Farm

Apple Street Farm ©Kim Smith 2014Located in Essex, conveniently only a few scenic miles off Route 128, every Saturday from 10am to 2pm the farmstand at Apple Street Farm is open for business. Stopping for fabulous and fresh organically fed free-range eggs, heirloom veggies, fruits, and herbs has become a favorite Saturday morning ritual. Apple Street Farm tomatoes ©Kim Smith 2014 Frank McClelland is the owner of Apple Street Farm. Not only that, he is also the proprietor and chef of one of Boston’s most beloved and famous restaurants, L’Espalier. Apple Street Farm is the primary source of produce, poultry, pork and eggs for L’Espalier.Apple Street Farm -2 ©Kim Smith 2014 Each month throughout the summer and fall Apple Street Farm celebrates seasonal harvests with special dinners held on the farm’s spacious lawn. The five-course dinner is prepared by the L’Espalier chefs and includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and wine pairings. September 5th and 6th is the Fire Pit Fiesta and October 3rd and 4th is the Essex Harvest Feast. Call L’Espalier to make a reservation at 617-262-3023.

Apple Street Farm Pick Your Own ©Kim Smith 2014Pick You Own Flowers

Apple Street Farm hummingbird ©Kim Smith 2014Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Zinnia Patch

Apple Street Farm Goldfinch and Cosmos ©Kim Smith 2014

American Goldfinch Eating Cosmos Seeds-A Great Reason NOT to Deadhead!

Farm and poultry shares are available from June through September. For more information about Apple Street Farm’s CSA program, visit their website here.

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Photographing the Nubian goats was a delight. The little ones are very playful and affectionate and, when first let out of their pen in the morning, are super rambunctious. Apple Street Farm’s manger Phoebe explains that Nubian goats are great milking goats and wiki informs that Nubians are known for the high butterfat content of their milk.

Apple Street Farm  Nubian Goat Eating apple©Kim Smith 2014Apples for Breakfast

Apple Street Farm  Nubian Goats ©Kim Smith 2014

The Nubians climbed upon each other to reach the fruit and seeds.

Apple Street Farm Eating Catalpa Seeds ©Kim Smith 2014jpg copy

Nubian Goat Eating Catalpa Seedpods

Apple Street Farm Nubian Gots airborn ©Kim Smith 2014JPG SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE Read more

Win James Montgomery concert tickets at the Sidewalk Bazaar

CG_Montgomery_LegalYou’ve probably heard about our Celebrate Gloucester Benefit Concert Series that starts Aug 22 at Cape Ann Marina’s Waterfront Pavilion (the BIG tent).

And unless you’re just visiting, you probably also know that Gloucester’s Sidewalk Bazaar starts tomorrow and features all sorts of artists, artisans and bargains on Main Street through Saturday.

Starting tomorrow, you can enter to win 2 tickets to the James Montgomery Band with special guests, who are coming to Gloucester to help raise money for The Open Door.

Just find The Open Door’s booth at the Sidewalk Bazaar and get a raffle ticket for their 3 minute shopping spree (see Craig Kimberley’s video of last year’s winner here.)

Every raffle ticket purchased at the Sidewalk Bazaar is automatically entered to win 2 free tickets to the concert.

One winner will be announced on the Open Door’s Facebook Page after being drawn at the end of each day.

Your raffle ticket helps support the Open Door AND you just might win tickets to one of this summer’s hottest shows!

For all the Tuna Sushi Eaters ~ How to Make Jasmine Rice

Jasmine plants are one of the easiest house plants to grow. Ours spend the summer on the sunny kitchen patio and the winter in a south-facing window. All winter long our Jasminum sambac  ‘Maid of Orleans’ throws us blossoms enough to flavor tea and rice whenever needed. At this time of year it provides handfuls and they can be used fresh or dried.

A half a dozen fresh jasmine flowers is all that is needed to scent a large pot of rice. Simply toss the flowers in with the rice, along with a pinch of salt, splash of olive oil, and water to boil. You don’t need to remove the flowers when done as they are perfectly edible. And its just that easy with a pot of tea, hot or cold. Add the flowers while the tea is seeping. For maximum jasmine flavor, rub the rim of the glass or cup with a freshly plucked blossom.

Jasmine flower ice tea Jasminium sambuc ©Kim Smith 2014

Jasmine Flower Ice Tea

Within the pages of my book on garden design, you’ll find a wealth of information about edible flowers, as well as information on growing herbs.

Excerpt from Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! ~ Notes from a Gloucester Garden

“Moonlight of the Groves”

Jasmine is among the loveliest of plants used to cover vertical structures—walls, arbors, porches, pergolas, bowers, and what you will. To my knowledge, and sadly so, none of the fragrant Jasminum are reliably hardy north of zone seven, and therefore must be potted up to spend the winter indoors.
Jasminum sambac, a woody evergreen shrub with vining tendencies, flowers freely throughout the year, covered with small (3⁄8 ̋), white, single or double flowers that fade to pink as they age. The perfume is similar to lilacs and orange blossoms, an exhilarating combination of scents that insinuates itself throughout garden and home.

Jasminum sambac is the flower that the Hindus gave the poetic name of “Moonlight of the Groves.” An ingredient often utilized to make perfume and flavor tea, J. sambac is also called bela when used to make garlands by women to wear in their hair during in Hindu worship ceremonies.

Although originally native to India, J. sambac grows throughout southern China. Confucius wrote that scented flowers were strewn about on all festive occasions. Houseboats and temples alike were hung with fragrant blossoms of peach, magnolia, jonquil, and jasmine. Gardens were devoted solely to the cultivation of jasmine to make fragrant oils and perfumes, to scent wines and teas, and to adorn the wrists and hair for women to wear in the evening. Each morning the unopened buds would be collected before dawn and brought to market for the city flower sellers to string into garlands and bracelets. Enhancing the tea experience by adding aromatics began during the Song Dynasty (a.d.960-1279). A single, newly opened blossom of J. sambac is all that is needed to perfume and flavor a pot of tea.

Read More Here Read more

Daily Discussion- Your Favorite Grilling Method

My boy Erik Lorden loves to cook with charcoal.  He feels that it gives better heat and flavor.  For me it’s a big PITA and when I’m hungry it’s a gas grill for me.

What type of grill do you use?  Which do you wish you used and why?

Not gonna lie those big green egg things seem like the coolest thing ever.

Now that I think of it we need to have a BBQ contest don’t we?

Where in the city can you grill outdoors without some special kind of permit and we could have a BBQ contest?

Where can you get Breakfast Boats? George’s Coffee Shop That’s Where!

I feel like every time I do a post about breakfast in Gloucester I have to attach the “We are so blessed to have so many awesome breakfast joints in Gloucester” disclaimer but there are a couple that are just straight up special and have been executing perfectly for decades.  George’s is one of the elite of the elite in town.  If you haven’t gone there recently you’re really missing out.  nephew BJ is monster fan of the breakfast boats shown here-

2014-07-29 09.17.22

BREAKING (AND SUPER FUN) NEWS: Gloucester House Fabulous New Outdoor Dining Area Opening this Saturday

Direct from Gloucester House owner Lenny Linquata: Their brand  new al fresco dining area will be open this Saturday! The menu is fun and casual New England summer fare and includes sweet lobsters, steamers, fresh picked corn on the cob, oysters, shrimp, chowder, and more.

Lenny Linquata Gloucester House Restaurant ©Kim Smith 2014

The views from Lenny’s new dock are exquisite–with the harbor laid out before you–Cape Pond Ice, the Paint Factory, fishing boats, lobster boats, schooners, and every kind of sailboat and pleasure boat imaginable. I know where we are headed for dinner this weekend!

A Birthday Gift of Cheer

I received this beautiful gift at the rehab today from my Friends at Good Morning Gloucester. Thank you so much, and I extend this thanks to all the kind folks who have wished me well and offered their prayers. I'm working hard to regain the strength I had before my appendix went south, and I estimate I'll return home in the next couple of weeks. The Edible Arrangement is called the "Cheer Me Up" bouquet.

I received this beautiful gift at the rehab today from my Friends at Good Morning Gloucester. Thank you so much, and I extend this thanks to all the kind folks who have wished me well and offered their prayers. I’m working hard to regain the strength I had before my appendix went south, and I estimate I’ll return home in the next couple of weeks. The Edible Arrangement is called the “Cheer Me Up” bouquet.

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