Cape Ann Families Auditions For “Cape Ann’s Got Talent”

Cape Ann Families is a community resource and family education center in Gloucester that has served thousands of people of all ages since its inception in 1991.  We’re having our first ever fundraiser, "Cape Ann’s Got Talent", on November 10th at 7:00 p.m. at Cruiseport.  We’re looking for middle and high school students and family acts for the show.  Auditions are by appointment on Saturday, October 23rd from 9 to 1. To sign up, contact Stacy Randell at or call 978-281-7856, ext.1.  Please help us spread the word.  Hope to see you there!  Stacy

CAF Talent Flyer

Ace Hardware in Rockport

Ace Hardware in Rockport has always been known for helpful and friendly service but their new head cashier goes above and beyond the call of duty. Meet Dixie Lee Ludwig behind the register:

Dixie Lee Ludwig

She’ll even come home with you if you have a problem with squirrels or cats. Hardware prices might be dropping soon since she works for dog biscuits.

Me? Bake A Yeast Bread?

I have always been one of those people who thought that baking a yeast bread was very difficult–yeast was some sort of mysterious creature and that terrible things would happen if I didn’t do everything just exactly right.

Well, that really isn’t true and the only way to figure that out is to just start making bread.  So I did.  Last Winter I made endless loaves of olive bread, lots of pizza crust (yes, that counts) and a few others and had fun in the process–and lots of nice bread to go with dinner and toasted for breakfast the next day.  There really is nothing better for dinner than a big salad, nice bread and a piece of grilled fish or some lobster and steamers in my opinion.

But as usual, I am getting off track.  Last week at the Topsfield Fair I entered the Fleishmann’s Yeast Bread contest.  When I say that the competition was fierce, I am not kidding.  There is so much talent there–some of these ladies have been baking bread their whole lives.  I knew that I probably wouldn’t have a chance if I chose something too complicated since I am still a novice but I was inspired by an idea I saw on the King Arthur Flour website for a twisted stuffed bread.  I also had to be realistic–I could not spend all day waiting for dough to rise, punching it for a second rise and then bake it—a girl has to work–so my friend Caroline Craig suggested that I tinker with her overnight dinner roll recipe so I did.  My final bread dough and filling recipe is completely different than the original that I found in the King Arthur email but I followed the procedure for making the figure 8 shape with good results.  So, gathered up my courage and just went for it–and I am so happy I did!

This recipe makes two loaves.  I submitted one to the Fair and made one for home that we enjoyed with soup and salad for dinner.  I added some finely chopped preserved lemon–preserved by yet another talented friend Beth–to the loaf I kept for myself and that little bit of salty citrus really added something to the mix.    Try it–feel free to use whatever filling ingredients you like–and let me know how you made out.  You don’t  have to do this one overnight.. You can do this early in the day and then bake it for dinner but I actually refrigerated it and baked it off in the morning before I went to work.  YUM!

Overnight Fennel & Cheese Brunch Twist

For the dough:

2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon olive oil, divided, plus additional for oiling the bowl
4 1/2 teaspoons Fleishmann’s Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
6 1/2 to 7 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

For the filling:
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel
1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
3/4 cup drained oil packed sun dried tomatoes
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine warm milk, olive oil, Fleishmann’s Yeast, warm water and sugar. Beat once to combine and allow to rest until foamy.

Beat in the eggs and then slowly incorporate 6 cups of the flour on medium speed until dough forms, adding as much of the remaining one cup flour as necessary to form a cohesive dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth.

Oil the mixing bowl and let dough rise overnight covered with plastic wrap.

In the meantime, saute sliced fennel with one tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

When ready assemble twist, punch down dough and divide in half and roll out to about 8” x 22” on a well floured surface. Sprinkle on granulated garlic, half of the herbs, half of the fennel, olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese. Roll the dough the long way to form a log, pinch the seam closed and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.

With kitchen scissors, lengthwise down the center of the log about 1” deep most of the way down the log, leaving about 1” on each end uncut. Twist one end to the right and one end to the left, tucking the ends underneath the log to form and “S” shape. Cover the bread with buttered plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise again for an hour. In the meantime, repeat process with remaining dough and filling and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake twists, one at a time, in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting with foil after 20+ minutes to prevent over browning. Allow to cool before cutting and enjoy!

And how did I do in the competition you ask?  Well, even if you didn’t I am going to tell you–I came in third!  I was thrilled with the win and for me, placing in a bread competition is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to learning the art of bread baking.

And my friend Deb Stewart came in second with an amazing pizza—she is quite an accomplished cook and another one of my “Fair Weather Friends” who has enough ribbons to make a quilt, and perhaps wall paper her living room with them.  I was in very very good company.

Hoodoo Revelator will be in Gloucester, Saturday, October 16th playing at The Rhumb Line



Hoodoo Revelator will be in Gloucester, Saturday, October 16th playing at:
The Rhumbline
Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 9:30
40 Railroad Ave
Gloucester, MA
For other gigs and the latest band news, check out:

It’s AHHT! by deb clarke


light art!

 every once in a while my work catches me off guard with an inner certainty that i am on the right path. the sun hit this painting yesterday. that ‘light patch’ is flattened out in this image. the reality of the reflected light is that it existed in space, sort of like a hologram. damn, if i could paint like that, But, I don’t know how to. Yet.


Quote Of The Week From Greg Bover

October 10, 2010
Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
P. J. O’Rourke, 1947-
Patrick Jake "P. J." O’Rourke (born November 14, 1947) is an American satirist and author. The Mencken Fellow at the Cato Institute, O’Rourke is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on National Public Radio‘s game show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

Greg Bover


A Note From The Boss


I’d just like to thank and congratulate all our contributors.

After looking over yesterday’s posts I feel pretty confident when I say that there is NO OTHER publication that showcases our community as well as we do.   It’s all a testament to the hard work, passion and dedication to the blog that our contributors have put in.

Great work team.

Very proud to be associated with all of you!


Sarah Kelly Talks About The 2010 Rockport Harvest Fest Video

Here’s Sarah-

She’s also been added to the very prestigious GMG Blogroll to the right -The Roving Home

Friday night we’re kicking off the festival with a Community Harvest Picnic.  We’re asking people to bring a dish celebrating the harvest season and come down to T-Wharf starting at 6 o’clock for some music provided by the Polygroove Orchestra and a meal with friends, neighbors and visitors to Rockport.  The picnic will be followed by a screening of the movie Fresh at the Old Firehouse Trust.
The most important thing I should say is this: rain, shine or monsoon, HarvestFest will go on!  We’ll be warm and dry under the big tent, so don’t let the weather (whatever it turns out to be) stop be a deterrent from coming to downtown Rockport Friday for the kickoff and Saturday for the main event.
Thanks again for letting people know about HarvestFest – and we look forward to hearing your words of wisdom on Saturday at the Bloggers’ Summit!
– Sarah