Thomas A Philbrook Summer Solstice Card

GREETINGS! Summer begins here in the Northern Hemisphere on Wednesday, June 20th at 7:09 pm (EDT). The Sun is directly overhead at its most northern point at "high-noon" on the Summer Solstice, creating more sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere on this day than any other. Wishing you and yours the sunniest Solstice ever!

Thomas A Philbrook


Did You Know? (Hedgepiggywigs)


That Hedgepiggywigs are very special creatures, part hedgehog and part piggywig, that only live on Bong Tree Island?

“These three hedgepiggywig friends are named Paul, Joey and Ed, and are known to be the smartest, most helpful and knowledgeable about the goings on around Bong Tree Island.  

Hedgepiggywig Paul is a scientist and considered by many to be something of a genius.  He studies the stars and planets, weather and minute changes in the atmosphere.  Hedgepiggywig Paul does not agree with the Mr. Pomfry Storm theory, and calls it a crock of wiggypicklepoo.  You always see Hedgepiggywig Paul with a rubber duck that he found washed up on the shore at Crescent Moon Beach in 1993, which he carries with him everywhere he goes. 

Hedgepiggywig Joey is the friendliest and most outgoing, and the leader of the group.  His larger ears allow him to hear everything that is going on around Bong Tree Island and report whatever might be of interest to anyone, sort of like the town crier.  He thinks Hedgepiggywig Paul’s rubber duck is silly. 

Hedgepiggywig Ed is the most helpful and community minded of all the inhabitants of Bong Tree Island, and will stop whatever he is doing to help anyone in need of assistance with anything.  

Most mornings you can find these three at the field of multi-colored flowers where they meet for breakfast.”

Please back Tales of Bong Tree Island so the world can know about the hedgepiggywigs

E.J. Lefavour



Alicia Jello Shots with Cherries

This was the beginning of the end for my diet which ended with Mamie’s pastries and in the middle was one lobster tail too many.

Check out the mirror.

Fun Fact: there is more than one GMG contributor who could tie a cherry stem into a knot with their tongue.

Allen Estes’ New Song Written for J.B. Amero

Check out this new song  by Allen Estes that premiered on Local Music Seen on June 6.  Allen wrote the song with J. B. Amero in mind, thinking J. B. would do a great job with it — especially the end where he could scat and whail.  What do you think?  Tell us by leaving a comment.

Allen will likely stop by Jalapenos tonight and might even sit in and sing this new song and, if JB’s there, perhaps he’ll chime in too.

Don’t you love living in a town where stuff like this (and lots more — see full live music lineup here) happens on a Tuesday night?  And it’s all FREE!

One of the many reasons I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else on earth.

Boston Globe Garden Reporter Carol Stocker

Boston Globe garden writer Carol Stocker stopped by to visit my garden today. I made lobster salad,  purchased fresh from Captain Joe’s earlier in the morning. What else would one serve for a VIP menu? She thought the lobsters so delicious she wanted to bring some home to her family.

Carol Stocker and Joey 

Check out Carol’s outstanding gardening blog where she posts several times weekly information and updates about all things gardening for our region–horticultural advice, garden tour and plant sale schedules, design tips, and with links to her weekly live gardening chat.

Castle Manor Inn to host ~ Dave Sag’s Atomic Cocktail ~ This Friday night 7:00 to10:00

What a love place to have live music. Check out the website, it all looks so inviting.

Dave says,

Friday nite June 22 I’ll be opening up the Summer season at a new venue in town. The Castle Manor Inn on Essex Ave. is opening under new management and I’ll be there with an all-star lineup (with Jon Ross, fabulous guitarist and vocalist, John Cameron, once again on keys, and Jeff Casper, the friendly drummer, sitting on his own stool) to crank out some serious dancing music  Let’s keep it alive! Hours are 7 to 10, so you have no excuse not to show up! Come cheer us and them on! We need this!

The Cave, “Cheese Chocolate and Wine” – grand opening this week!

Remember The Cave,  “Purveyors of Cheese, Chocolate, and Wine”, soon to open at 44 Main Street in Gloucester, covered in this post last month?  They will be having their grand opening on the evening Thursday, June 21, from 5 to 7PM.

I met the proprietor, Laura Cramer at Bodin’s Historic Photo and Fine Art last week at the Dad’s Night Out event. I got a nice photo of Fred and Laura together – but I didn’t notice that I didn’t have a memory card in my camera…  So, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

She had brought along a platter of delicious cheese, crackers and olives:

Since people were a bit slow to come into the store, she took the platter outside to tempt passers-by:

(photo by Fred Bodin)

The cheese was really delicious, and Laura really knows her business; she explained the origin and characteristics of each cheese, which she had obviously chosen with care.  Check out the store’s grand opening this Thursday! And don’t miss those evening events at Bodin’s Historic Photo. You’re bound to find interesting people and good food, not to mention Fred’s fascinating photos, paintings by local artists, and more.

Orange Mulch Is A Fail

Someone needs to clue me in on how you could go to the landscape supply joint and make the conscious decision to buy orange mulch over the nice dark brown (almost black) compost mulch.

I’ll go dark brown mulch all day long over toxic waste neon orange mulch.

It’s just way more aesthetically pleasing.

I don’t know a whole lot about landscape supply costs.   Maybe they pay people who opt for the neon orange mulch to take it away from their landscape supply yard.  I can’t think of a single other reason someone would choose it over the classy dark brown.

They actually dye it that hideous orange color.  You gotta be a savage to get the orange stuff, no?

What am I missing here?



City Hall Restoration Update From Maggie Rosa

Maggie Rosa writes-

So what’s going on behind the green shrouding at City Hall?

Certainly not just a paint job.

I’m attaching photos that were taken by the project’s architect Doug Manley this morning (06-18-12). There are also many more photos that can be viewed on  Gallery: – these photos were taken by David Stotzer (Cape Ann Photography) who volunteered to be the official photographer of the project (for which we are very grateful).

According to Jeremy Campbell of Campbell Construction Group work on removing the paint from the lower two sections of the main tower is two-thirds done.

The work on the ventilator towers is going well and as of now no major unforeseen issues have arisen.


This shot was taken by me last week showing the green shrouding.


This photo is of one of the small (ventilator) tower 06-18-12.

Note the construction worker at the top of the tower with the spire of Holy Family church in the background and the post office visible through the shrouding.



Ventilator tower 06-18-12.


Main tower 06-18-12

This shows the main tower at the bell level.


Ventilator Tower 06-18-12


Work on Main Tower 06-18-12

Made Fresh With Stuff From Our Appleton Farms Farm Share Making Shrimp, Sausage and Sugar Snap Pea Spring Rolls With Habanero Pepper and Garlic Scape Pesto Video With Sista Felicia

Sista Felicia will be bringing you a weekly recipe with stuff that is in abundance at your local farm.  In our case we have a Farm Share at Appleton Farms.

Click the picture for the video we made at Ma’s house-


60 Won Ton Wrappers
½ cup shredded cabbage
¼ cup shredded carrot
½ cup minced sweet onion
½ lb. sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
½ lb. cleaned shrimp cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley sausage in a bowl
1 package Good seasons dry dressing mix
1 tablespoon fish sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3-4 cups La Spagnola Oil for frying
Egg wash: 1 large egg plus 1 tablespoon water beaten well

Habanero Garlic Scape Dipping Sauce:
2 Habanero pepper seeded
2 garlic scapes coarsely chopped
1 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Dipping Sauce Directions:
Step 1: place all ingredients into a mini chopper and pulse chop 30 seconds
Step 2: carefully transfer into a serving bowl

Spring Roll Directions:
Step 1: heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium size fry pan over high heat
Step 2: add sausage meat and cook thoroughly, scrambling often during the cooking process, using a slotted spoonimage

Step 3: transfer cooked sausage to a colander and drain excess juices
Step 4: return sausage to pan, add Good Seasonings Dry Dressing mix, and parsley, mix well, and cook 1 minute, reserve mixture in a large mixing bowl
Step 5: return frying pan over high heat and add 2 tablespoon olive oil, add carrots, onion, celery  and garlic cook 2 minutes


Step 6: add cabbage, cook one minuteimage

Step 7: add fish sauce, salt and pepper mix well
Step 8: add shrimp and sugar snap peas, cook until shrimp begin to turn pink image

Step 9: fold in reserved sausage meat continue to cook 2-3 minutes over high heat until all shrimp are cooked
Step 10: transfer spring roll filling to a large bowl and allow to cool 5 minutes
·    Filling mixture can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 24 hours

Spring Roll Assembly:
Step 1: place won ton squares on the diagonal on a piece of wax paper
Step 2: brush each square with egg wash

Step 3: fix 1 tablespoon of filling onto the lower middle of each won ton wrapper
Step 4: fold bottom corner of wrapper up and away from oneself, over the filling
Step 5: fold both sides in towards the center
Step 6: tuck and roll remainder of the won ton wrapper sealing in filling image

Step 7: cover prepared spring rolls with a damp paper towel, until all spring rolls are assembled
·    Note: Spring rolls can be frozen for up to one month. Evenly space spring rolls across a large sheet of wax paper and fold them up in rows. Transfer wrapped spring rolls in a large gallon Ziploc freezer bag, and freeze on a flat surface in freezer. Carefully place frozen spring rolls directly into hot oil, using long kitchen tongs, do not defrost.
Step 8: heat La Spagnola oil in a large fry pan over high heat
Step 9: working in batches, carefully place spring rolls in hot oil, cook until golden in color approximately 1 minute, using kitchen tongs turn spring rolls and continue to cook until golden on both sides
Step 10: carefully transfer golden spring rolls to a paper towel lined cookie sheet fitted with wire rack
Step 11: arrange warm spring rolls and habanero pepper dipping sauce on a serving platter, serve warm

Community Stuff June 19, 2012


Hi Joey,

I know this is short notice but any chance you can announce the groundbreaking event at Rockport’s Pigeon Cove Ledges. This was the expiring affordable housing complex for 30 elders in Rockport that Harborlight Community Partners purchased last December. We are breaking ground on renovations to make major safety and modernizing  improvements including a sprinkler system and an elevator. We’ve got Representative Tierney, Bruce Tarr and local officials from Rockport coming.

PCL Groundbreaking Invite

Hi Joey
Oasis Rockport has put together a contest for June and would love it if you could help put the word out there.  I am offering a FREE couples photo shoot to one lucky couple who has been married at least 50 years, to honor those who have stuck together through good times and bad.  I would like people to send their nominations to along with a brief story of their relationship.  I will pick one lucky winner at the end of the month.