Monthly Archives: March 2009

Michael Wall’s American Marine Model Gallery

Are you one of those people like me that have walked past the portholes at the American Ship Model Gallery at 20 Pleasant St and wondered what it was like in there?

Well wonder no more my friends because once again your good pal Joey gets inside to bring you behind the scenes and informs you what the heck is going on like no one else.

Look for the first of a four part video series of interviews with Michael Wall starting Monday.

GMG Q&A- Melissa Smith Abbott Part VI

Who has the best Chowder in town?

I really don’t like anyone’s Chowder all that much. I don’t think people know how to make it anymore. They don’t put in the fish broth or clam broth which is what makes it really tasty. Here is my grandmother, Melissa C. Smith’s recipe for Fish Chowder from the Blacksmith Shop Cookbook 1947.

Blacksmith Shop Restaurant Fish Chowder 1947

4 lbs. haddock or cod
4 potatoes peeled cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 sliced onion
1 1/2 inch fat salt pork
1 T. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 T. butter
4 c. scalded milk


A New Englander orders her fish from the market with the fish skinned, but the head and tail left on. Remove fish from backbone and cut off head and tail. Cut fish into 2 inch pieces and set aside. Put head, tail, and backbone pieces into a stew pan, add 2 cups of cold water and bring slowly to boiling point; cook 5 minutes. Cut salt pork into small pieces and fry out, add onion and fry 5 minutes. Strain fat into a large pan, add potatoes to fat, then add 2 cups boiling water and cook 5 minutes. Add liquor drained from the bones, add fish, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add milk, salt, pepper, and butter. Melissa C Smithʼs comment: Although it is not traditional, I find most people prefer fish chowder which is slightly thickened. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and add 4 tablespoons flour, blending well. Gradually add 4 cups scalded milk. A little cream is good too. Serve with pilot crackers.

Note: source: Blacksmith Shop Specialties – How to Prepare and Serve Our Famous Dishes – Melissa C. Smith 1947

Now, I am  not sure if you are aware then you can not get Crown Pilot Crackers anymore. Nabisco decided not to make them. I did a bit of research on them. Crown Pilot was actually Nabisco’s oldest recipe, purchased when they bought out a small baker in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where the cracker was made as early as 1792 for seafarers.

I have a Pilot Cracker Recipe which I will share with you. It’s easy and they come out pretty good. So if you like things authentic, you really can’t get them in too many places commercially and chowder just isn’t chowder without Pilot Crackers.

Pilot Crackers

1 1/2 Cups milk
4 Cups flour
4 Tablespoons butter
3 Teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons salt

Mix the ingredients into a dough and roll out to a thickness of
about 1/2 inch. Cut into rectancles. Prick the squares with a fork
or knife. Place them on a lightly greased baking pan and bake
at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Yield: 24 2 x 2-inch bars.

I prefer a Haddock Chowder but if I dug the clams myself, then I like Clam Chowder too.

Good morning, Niles Pond

Very busy place this morning. A feeding frenzy among the mergansers, mallards, gulls, Canada geese, and the swans. Peaceful, but busy. Time to connect with Nature!niles-3-22

Niles Pond is a designated Great Pond located on Eastern Point, accessible by Eastern Point Boulevard which is a private road. It is a freshwater pond (I thought it was an estuary) that is valuable to migratory birds, but the causeway that protects it along its eastern edge adjacent to Brace Cove is in danger of being washed out. From this causeway, is a view of Brace Rock, which was painted by Fitz H. Lane.

Connie Rotten and Floral Derangement Of The Wicked Pissahs

As the regular readers of GMG can attest, I’ve become a huge fan of Roller Derby.  The shit is C R A Z Y!!!!!!!  How I found out about it was through East Gloucester residents and Local Blogger Jon Conant. Jon is married to the lovely Krush Puppy, a jammer for the Boston Massacre.  Her interview will be coming up.  You can check out his site by clicking this text

Here’s Krush Puppy from East Gloucester and Shelby Shattered From Essex spending some quality time in the penalty box-
Here’s Pinchy McMasshole the Boston Massacre mascot looking dejected while The Charm City Roller Girls mascots (hotdogs) prance around.