Cape Ann Farmers Market to Host the Winter Solstice Market Saturday Morning!


What: A special indoor farmers market for holiday shopping

Where: Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, at the corner of Middle and Church Streets

When: December 21th, 2013

Time: 9 am – 12 Noon

Event: Winter Solstice Market.

  The Cape Ann Farmers Market will hold a special indoor market for holiday shopping. The market will feature local produce, meat and poultry, crafts, baked goods, pickles, preserves, herbal products, candles, smoked fish, Trupiano sausage, honey, soup, guacamole, pasta, dog treats and more. Gifts for giving and food for the feast will be on sale from local vendors.

  The Cape Ann Farmers Market is an independent non-profit, mission-based organization, started by and for the community of Cape Ann, and sustained with one part-time paid employee. It is funded by vendor fees, memberships, donations, and grants. To help underwrite expenses for the Winter Solstice Market, the Cape Ann Farmers Market will sell gently used cookbooks along with Farmer Market merchandise, such as tote bags, t-shirts, and private label organic coffee. Special membership packages will be available, which make great gifts, as do raffle baskets, which will include food and merchandise from Market vendors and area restaurants.

Kudos To David Brooks, Bex Borden The Staff and Kids At The Hive

If you don’t know by now that The Hive is just an incredible gift to our community and positive force than you just aren’t living breathing and opening your eyes enough to realize what positive juju is being pumped out there daily.

It’s a testament to Founder David Brooks, his staff and the teens that make the place hum.

Thank you for this gift.

Beautiful Morning After Snowfall in East Gloucester Square

Beacon marine Basin © Kim Smith 2013Beacon Marine Basin ~ Click photos to view full size

Wednesday morning East Gloucester was especially beautiful although, is anywhere not magically beautiful after a new fallen snow? While photographing around the neighborhood, I nearly ran into Frieda on her way into her shop, Again and Again (with lots of terrific gift items for last minute shoppers). After photographing down by the North Shore Art Association I stopped in to say hello to Frieda and Beth at Again and Again (see yesterday’s post).

Leaving the shop, and while admiring Duckworth’s wreath and lovely holiday decor, I met Ken Duckworth outside his bistro. We had a friendly chat and I was reminded of what a fabulous neighborhood is ours. At that moment I was thinking not of the beauty that surrounds, but of our wonderful neighbors.

Maritime Heritage center ©Kim Smith 2013Maritime Center from Smith’s Cove

Duckworth's ©Kim Smith 2013Duckworth’s in the Snow

Dinner at Duckworth’s Bistrot anytime of the year, but most especially during the holidays, is always a very special treat. Plan to go soon for your Duckworth’s fix because I believe they close for several weeks during. January.

East main Street snow © Kim Smith 2013Snowy Morning East Main Street

Pine cones snow ©Kim Smith 2013 copyGlitter Pine Cones

Duckworth's wreath ©Kim Smith 2013Duckworth’s Wreath

This is the first little batch of photos after Tuesday’s snowfall. I don’t like to post too many full-size photos in the same post because it bumps my fellow contributors too far down the page. I’ll post more from Wednesday morning’s after snowfall tomorrow.

Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies


Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies (3)

I hope you didn’t think I was leaving out our beloved family dogs this seasons. Coconut AKA our family dog, loves a good cookie! A few years ago I searched for a dog cookies recipe that would please Coconuts Palate.  After trying several online recipes, that she turned her nose up to,  I decided to create my own, and included some of  Coconut’s most favorite foods and flavors, Cheese, Chicken, and Italian seasonings. She absolutely loves them and I have to quickly slip them into her airtight cookie jar to stop her from begging for more….I swear she is human…like us one cookie at a time is never enough! If you have a beloved pet in your home or family I highly recommend this recipe.

Italian Dog Cookies


2 cups flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup brewers yeast or natural yeast ( can be purchased at Common Crow in Gloucester)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3  tablespoons canola oil

1  tablespoon garlic finely minced (****optional, can be omitted from recipe)

1 cup store-bought chicken broth plus 1/4 cup for basting


1 combine oil, chicken broth and garlic in mixing bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix on low speed 30 seconds

Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies (17)

2 sift flour into large mixing bowl; add wheat germ brewers yeast, kosher salt, Italian seasoning and freshly grated Parmesan cheese; mix my hand

Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies (21)

3 working in small batches add dry ingredients to oil mixture; mix on medium/low speed until dough ball forms

Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies (18)

4 cut dough ball in half; roll one half  ¼ inch thick on lightly floured work surface

Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies (19)

Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies (14)

5 using dog bone shaped cookie cutters cut several cookies; transfer cut treats onto parchment lined cookie sheet; repeat with remaining dough

Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies (12)

6 bake 10 minutes in preheated 400 degree oven; brush each cookie with chicken broth


7 return cookie sheet to oven;  bake 10 additional minutes until golden; cool 1 hour before serving


Stack and wrap 3-4 cookies using decorative ribbon

To make Dog Cookie Ornaments~ make a small opening at one end of cookie before baking ( I use a metal pastry tip)

Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies (4)

Coconut and I made a special Boxwood Tree adorned with her favorite Italian Dog Cookies for her Groomer Julie at K-9Cuts.

Coconuts Favorite Italian Dog Cookies (23)

Coconut Woof’s You all A very Happy Holiday!

Only a few hours left to get discounted tickets to Cape Ann Solstice

Advanced tickets are $20 General Admission ($15 under 12 or over 65).  Pews are still available (online only) $195 side pew seats 10 adults, $225 center pew seats 12 adults.

You can get advanced tickets online here, or the Winter Solstice Farmers Market at the UU Church (10 Church Street) from 9AM – Noon, or at Liquor Locker 287 Main St.

After the Farmers Market closes tomorrow at noon, all tickets are $25 for all ages.  We’ll open up the box office at 4pm at the UU Church (cash only please).  Doors open at 7pm.


The best radio Christmas shows you’ll hear this year ~ SUN 12/22 @9AM & 7PM on 104.9

Curtain Up host Aurelia Nelson

We’ve pointed out before that North Shore 104.9 host Aurelia Nelson frequently features local talent on her show, “Curtain Up” (see examples here).  This Sunday 12/22 she pulls out all the stops with her hyper-local Christmas show featuring some of Cape Ann’s top talent performing a Christmas repertoire that rivals what you’d hear on a big city radio show!

You’ll hear Dan King’s wonderful new Christmas song “Handmade With Love (Present)” featuring Charlee Bianchini, “I wish I Could Fly” written by Allen Estes & Fly Amero, new songs by Bryan Alex, John Stevens and Angie Miller (Beverly’s own Idol finalist) and selections by the Beantown Swing Orchestra.

We know you’ll be at Gloucester’s UU Church on Saturday night, where you can see many of these stars LIVE — and we promise the show will be over in plenty of time for you to get a good night’s sleep and get up by 9am for Curtain Up on North Shore 104.9.

Then on Sunday night at 7pm, you can hear a real radio play, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  This is a rare experience you simply can’t get any other way.  Build a fire, sit together as a family in the living room, tune the radio to 104.9, chill in a comfy chair, close your eyes and lose yourself in this classic story.  When’s the last time you heard a radio play?

Men’s Night 2013

We had a very successful Men's Night in the gallery. Lots of customers, and a good amount of sales. I had a surprise visit from my sister, "Painter Barb." Joey C. came by twice. Always good to see him. Also from GMG was Lowell Peabody, Craig Kimberly, and Anna and James Eves of Cape Ann Glicee. Big shout-out to Donna Ardizonni, who helped me clean up and get ready for this event.
We had a very successful Men’s Night in the gallery. Lots of customers, and a good amount of sales. I had a surprise visit from my sister, “Painter Barb.” Joey C. came by twice. Always good to see him. Also from GMG was Lowell Peabody, Craig Kimberly, and Anna and James Eves of Cape Ann Glicee. Big shout-out to Donna Ardizonni, who helped me clean up and get ready for this event.

The Best Christmas Decoration EVER! (Not to Overstate it)

This year I was lucky enough to acquire one of the limited-run wall hangings created in printer Julia Garrison’s studio & shop, The Sarah Elizabeth Shop, in Rockport. The piece hangs near our dinner table and I stare at it during every meal, surprised every time by the beauty and the level of detail in the design.

The wall hanging was printed from a block carved in 1950 by local artist Delores Rapp, who was trained by Virginia Lee Burton, the founding member of the Folly Cove Designers, so it is only fitting that over six decades later, prints are being made from the block using the same Acorn Press that was used by the Folly Cove Design Collective, which Julia uses in printing both archival and her own original designs.

Julia prints this piece in a few different colors. Mine is printed in red ink on a natural linen background.
Julia prints this piece in a few different colors. Mine is printed in red ink on a natural linen background.

This year, the current owner of the vintage block (Delores Rapp passed away a few years ago) came to Julia and they worked out an arrangement that allows Julia to print a limited run of wall hangings from the block. All the wall hangings are hand-printed and sewn locally, using archival ink on linen, which lasts forever, so your descendents will still be enjoying this pieces many Christmas moons from now.

You can purchase the hanging (and see other options for ink/background colors) directly from Julia online HERE. Or better yet, go see her in her studio/shop this weekend at 5 Whistlestop Mall in Rockport to see the wall hangings — and her other wares — in person.

This piece is bound to be an heirloom in our own family — I am already attached to it more than pretty much any other holiday item I have — and will no doubt be equally as meaningful in the homes of every one else who gets their hands on one. It is beautiful both for the amazing design (when you consider that every detail was hand carved!) and for its connection to our local and current artistic heritage.

I’m sorry my photos don’t do it justice. Check it out at Julia’s online shop or in person to get the full effect of these limited-run pieces.

Just some of the detail of the design.
Just some of the detail of the design.


Community Stuff 12/20/13

Dear Chief Smith, FF’s Dean, Josh, Wellington and Nick,

THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!!  You all are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so sorry to have missed the toy delivery on Friday but Mary Z kindly stepped in to take photos of the delivery via the ladder truck!!  The Landmark students help us out each year and there wasn’t a better crew to assist you then these young people!   

As Dean said, all of you see the hardships that many Gloucester families are facing on a daily basis.  With your help this year there will be over 530 smiling children opening gifts on Christmas morning all over Cape Ann. 

Merry Christmas to all of you! 

Mary Hardwick

image003Landmark Class with GFDLandmark Student with GFD



The North Shore United Way has a new resource for residents and an event to promote it. We want to invite you to share this great new site, write about it, link to it…..  While the Open Houses are currently scheduled for Beverly, the site exists to connect people from across the North Shore and Cape Ann with local opportunities, including many in Gloucester.  I am available to provide more information.  See attached and a summarized version is below. 

More than a quarter of all Americans Volunteer. Whether you want to meet new people, bulk up your resume, or simply give back to your community, volunteering is as rewarding as it is important.  Local organizations need your help to mentor youth, stock food pantries, collect books, design websites, and many other kinds of activities. To help more people get involved, the North Shore United Way has launched the North Shore Volunteer Hub, a new website that helps you find and easily connect with local organizations and meaningful volunteer opportunities. 

You can find it at or by attending an Open House for this exciting new resource. 

Resolved to Care!  Open House Series for the North Shore Volunteer Hub

EVERY Friday afternoon in January from 12:00 to 5:00

North Shore United Way office, 248 Cabot Street in Beverly

Short demonstrations of the website will be done on the half hour; guests can meet the people behind the site and get some help connecting with meaningful local opportunities to volunteer.

A Christmas Celebration in Song North Shore Christian Men’s Choir

A Christmas Celebration in Song featuring the North Shore Christian Men’s Choir, a bell choir, trombone, and special guests will take place on Saturday, December 21st at 2:30 p.m.  The free concert will take place at First Baptist Church, (Harvey Park)

Four High Street, Rockport, MA.  A reception and refreshments will follow the concert. All are welcome and invited to attend.