Asian Pear Apple Pie

Asian Pear ©Kim Smith 2013 copyFor our mini-Thanksgiving dinner while daughter Liv was home, we added Asian pears to the mix of apples for our apple pies and it was a huge hit. A stop at a farm in Westport last week, where they were practically giving away the Asian pears, prompted me to make apple crisp, replacing apples with the Asian pears, and it was really, really good. I was a little afraid to add the Asian pears to the apple pies because my family loves their apple pie, but have no fear! Next time when making a batch of pies, and if Asian pears are as readily available (and not too pricey), I think I’ll add even more. For two pies, the ratio was 12 Granny Smiths, 12 Fuji apples, and 6 Asian pears.

Pie-making is time consuming; if and when you do have time, what is your favorite apple, or combination thereof, for pie-making?

Apples ©Kim Smith 2013.

Their are many varieties of Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia); the one most commonly sold in the United States is the color of a bosc pear, is crisp like an apple, but is also a little grainy like a pear. They are wonderfully delicious eaten out of hand, and as I am learning, for baking, too!800px-Pyrus_pyrifolia_var_culta2

Pyrus pyrifolia is native to Japan, China, and Korea and its many common names include Chinese pear, Korean pear, Japanese pear, Taiwan pear, sand pear, and apple pear. Asian pears are hardy through zone 5 and are easily grown in our climate.

Pyrus_pyrifolia_800flw1Asian pear flower and tree images courtesy Google image search

Magnolia Historical Society Presents Art in the Schoolhouse

magnolia historical society art show poster3

The Magnolia Historical Society, 46 Magnolia Ave. in Magnolia is presenting Art in the Schoolhouse a holiday art show and sale in the lovely old Blynman Schoolhouse, with proceeds to benefit the Magnolia Historical Society’s restoration of the Blynman School into the Magnolia Historical Museum and Cultural Center.   It will take place Saturday and Sunday, December 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm daily.  There will be a Preview Opening Reception Party on Friday, December 6 from 5-8:00 pm with Refreshments and Live Music.  Free admission.  The show will feature works by Donna Ardizzoni, Lauren Asaro, Charlie Carroll, Joey Ciaramitaro, Terry DelPercio, Thom Falzarano, Marion Hall, Audi Lane, EJ Lefavour, Laureen Maher, Carol McKenna, John Nesta, Sinikka Nogelo, David Piedmonte and Deb Schradieck.

E.J. Lefavour

Meditation and Music at the Meetinghouse Sunday November 24 at 7:30

This just in from Karen Rembert

SUNDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 24, 2013 at 7:30pm

Meditation and Music in a candle‐lit setting in the Meetinghouse,
home of the Gloucester Unitarian Unitarian Church
Corner of Middle and Church Streets, on the green
Free‐Will Offering and Everyone is Welcome
Social Gathering Afterwards with Light Refreshments

MMM Flyer 24 NovemberINFORMATION:

The Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church is pleased to announce the fourth in a monthly series called Music & Meditation in the Meetinghouse (MMM) that offers Cape Ann residents and visitors a unique spiritual, but non-religious, experience of beautiful music and relaxing meditation.  It is held in the candle-lit sanctuary of the historic 1806 Meetinghouse, Gloucester’s oldest standing church building.

The November event features meditation leader Dr. Neil Williams and pianist Nancy Grace.  There will be a collation with light regreshments afterwards in the church’s Entrance House, giving participants the opportunity to meet the leaders and each other in a convivial atmosphere.  The Sanctuary is accessible for persons with disabilities via the side entrance at 10 Church Street.   A free-will offering is requested and everyone is welcome.


Dr. Neil Williams believes that meditation is a tool like prayer, music, beauty, silence and loving-kindness and that these tools are freely available.  It is in the love of music and beauty that we are connected to one another.  Silence and loving-kindness ground us in difficult times and promote healing.  As a recent immigrant to Gloucester, Dr. Williams is finding everything new and fascinating, especially the rhythms of the sea and the sky.  He observes that meditation allows us to slow down to the speed of life, like the movements in Nature; a gateway to connect with our internal rhythms, our music, and our inner voice.  He believes that this voice within is a reflection of the divine spark we share with all beings.


Nancy Grace, will play improvisational piano pieces with a meditative focus. Nancy has recently moved to Gloucester, and in years past played weekly musical meditations in both the Marblehead and the Framingham Unitarian Universalist churches. She has attended Berklee College of Music, and has a master’s degree in Transformative Arts, focused on the power of music and art to create individual as well as social transformation. She is currently doing doctoral work in ecopsychology, researching ways in which music can help people connect with place, particularly with the natural world. Nancy is also a visual artist, and has developed a unique style of colorful, abstract designs for prints, greeting cards,silk and stained glass.

Church Administrator
Hours Available:  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday (9 am – noon)
Call (978) 283-3410

Breaking News ~ Sunday Matinee Added for Henri Smith Christmas Show

FOBs Get the News First!

By Poplar demand a Sunday Matinee at 2pm has been added for the Henri Smith New Orleans Christmas.  Henri Smith and his all-star band will bring the sounds and soul of New Orleans to New England once again for a special Matinee Christmas concert of traditional New Orleans jazz and blues with a touch of gospel, topped off with traditional Christmas favorites.   Henri’s special guest include Grammy-Award winner Amadee Castenell, Lynne & Mike Cabaret, Carmen Spada and Diane DiSanto.  See more about Henri’s special guest here.

Still some seats available for Saturday 

We are proud to sponsor an instrument drive for The Musary at this Henri Smith New Orleans Christmas concert. Everyone who brings an instrument to donate will be entered to win a door prize at intermission. The Musary serves as a free lending library of musical instruments.

The Musary is a 501(c)3 on-profit organization that that works to motivate, cultivate and inspire people, especially young people, in our community to get involved in music. It is the Musary’s goal to lend musical instruments to anyone in need, “No Strings Attached.” To learn more about The Musary, borrow an instrument or donate, visit their website.

Brad Byrd’s New Single

This just in from Brad Byrd.

Brad Byrd New Single
“It Just Goes On”
Now available on iTunes
(and at all digital retailers)


Hey Friends,As we approach year end, we wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday season with the debut of Brad’s new single”It Just Goes On”

Preview the full song via SoundCloud here

Brad had the pleasure of collaborating with Grammy Award winning production team Warren Huart (Aerosmith, The Fray) and Phil Allen (Adele) earlier this fall in Los Angeles and mastered at the legendary Gateway Studios in Portland, Maine.

This new single marks the first official release since Brad’s second full length LP,

Mental PhotographClick Here to Purchase
Also, as a special holiday treat, download the free unreleased track/demo…The Stars Are Out Tonight, Boy
Stay tuned for info on upcoming 2014 Spring/Summer appearances…TBA
Lastly, check out the brand new sounds of teen/rock/pop sensation James & JakeBrad had the unique opportunity to work with the boys on their debut EP “Blue” with the above mentioned production team.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving


Yesterday a package was waiting by my doorstep when I arrived home from Boston. I knew exactly what inside! Columbian candy and a case of Cinnamon Ceylon Sticks from our friends in Columbia. Several years ago we hosted a young girl from Armenia Colombia, who had come to America to train for tennis at the Manchester Athletic Club, with our daughter Amanda. During her stay with us, she made several trips to Boston’s North End with our family to buy specialty Italian cooking and baking supplies. Over the months she realized how much cinnamon I used, and was surprised at how difficult it was to purchase in America. In her town back in Columbia, cinnamon was sold on nearly every street corner and store. Without me knowing she called home to her family and requested to have some sent as a surprise before she departed. Some cinnamon turned into a case of cinnamon, that now arrives each year just before the holiday season begins. Mucho Gratias Zamira and Melvia Vasquez. I think of them every time I smell the aromas of that yummy cinnamon.

Last year, with my cookbook in the works and knowing what recipes were going to be included, I went to see Kate at Common Crow here in Gloucester. I asked if she could find this particular variety of cinnamon, and be willing to carry it in the store, and shared  that people would have difficulty finding it this ingredient locally once my Cookbook was released. After sharing the nearest place to purchase it currently was Boston Kate agreed to look into it for me. I stopped by to see Kate this morning and I’m thrilled to report that she came through!

The Common Crow  Natural Market is located at 6 Elm Street Gloucester, Massachusetts.





Get to Common Crow and stock up for the holidays…Once you taste the difference in flavor from this verity verse the already store bought ground cinnamon found pre packaged on the shelves of the grocery store you will only want to use this verity when cooking and baking. It’s delicious!

cinnimon 1

Freshly Ground Ceylon Cinnamon


1 Break cinnamon sticks in small pieces; place into a clean coffee bean grinder


2  grind into fine powder


cinnimon 3

3 Store in airtight container; will last several months


A Special Note From Sista Felicia~I always store my ground cinnamon in my baking cabinet in a Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmalade Jar, just as my Grandmother Felicia did!

Community Stuff 11/20/13

15th. Annual Ladies Day. (Men are Welcome too!!)

Pauline Breshnahan submits-

Please save the Date!!
We love to invite all of our Old and New Customers to stop by so we can say thank you!
Thank you for your Support, your Business and especially your friendship. We are truly blessed to be in a community where small businesses are treasured and supported..
Looking forward to sharing a memory, having a laugh or finding that little gift you were looking for.
Please print and save and Share with friends.

Lad.Day 2013 email blast

Discover Gloucester Banner

Seaport Gloucester Destination Marketing Organization



The LOCAL COLORS ARTISTS’ COOPERATIVE, 121 Main Street, is the place to be from 6 to 7PM next Wednesday, 11/20/13, for a Mug Up Meeting to review upcoming marketing opportunities, especially for those in Gloucester’s Downtown and in any of Cape Ann’s Cultural Districts. The Agenda includes: 

  • Overview of the CDC’s Downtown Study meetings that were held this summer.    
  • The new Cultural Districts cooperative Phone App opportunity.
  • Co-op coupon/flier opportunity for the Drive, Group & Cruise markets.
  • Consumer Show co-op opportunities.
  • Advertising in the 2014 (6th edition) Discover Gloucester Visitor Guide.  

RSVP asap to NOTE: BYO chair if you need to sit.



DECEMBER 4 , 2013



Wondering how to get more Group Tour business? Not sure how big or small “groups” are? What Group Tour Planners are looking for or if you have what they require?  This workshop & round table discussion is for you.

Experienced Group Tour professionals will cover the nuts & bolts of the Group Tour market. You’ll leave prepared to pursue Group travelers in a variety of ways. The agenda:

  • What is a “group” and why you may or may not want them.
  • What Group Tour Operators are looking for.
  • Ways to get in front of the Group Market.
  • How to produce an effective Profile Sheet.
  • Following up on Leads.

                                             RSVP now to


                                         YOU’RE INVITED!                                                           TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2013, NOON-2:30PM


                 $20 per person, inclusive, for Italian Buffet Luncheon.                                       Pay at the Door. Cash Bar.                        

Reservations necessary via

Join the festivities while we celebrate the Holidays and a successful year. We’ll also be congratulating three people or organizations from our local tourism community who will win Discover Gloucester Awards:

  • The Golden Sou’Wester Award recognizes a person, business or organization having recently jumped into tourism to add a new dimension to our diverse Destination.
  • The Discover Gloucester Heritage Award recognizes a person, business or organization for ensuring that our maritime & cultural heritage remains current and relevant.
  • The Good On Ya! Award recognizes a person or organization for helping create a Destination that is a wonderful place to visit and in which to live.

Let us know asap if you have a nominee in mind, and do plan on attending the Holiday Awards Party to find out the Winners of these special Awards!

                                                  RSVP to