GloucesterCast Taped 12/22/13 With Guests Toby Pett, Nichole Schrafft and Host Joey Ciaramitaro

GloucesterCastSquare1GloucesterCast Taped 12/22/13 With Guests Toby Pett, Nichole Schrafft and Host Joey Ciaramitaro

podcasticonTopics Include:

GMG “Holiday” Party, Kudos To Fred Bodin, Weak Lobsters, Phobia About Eating or Drinking Food At Public Events, Ryan and Wood Knockabout Gin, Paul Morrison’s Gin Regimen, Mamie’s Kitchen Hilltop Special, Men’s Night, The Hive, Pop Gallery, Gretchen At Saltwater Massage, Craig Kimberley’s Proctology Exam, Nubar Alexanian’s Windmill Short Documentary, The Green Lobbying Steamroller, City Councillor Paul McGeary,
Shoutouts, That Nutty Redhead, Joey Fails The Listeners, Chunuka Gifts, Are Gift Cards Impersonal, Kim Smith’s Orange Infused Wine, Ryan and Woods Rye Whiskey, Cape Ann Brewing Rock Porter, New Schooner Lannon Rum Mugs, Skiing vs Lodging, VRBO, Amesbury Sports Park Tubing, Monster Sledding At Fenway, Antonio’s In New Bedford, Rocky Neck Polar Plunge, Open Door Food Pantry

How to find out if you’re in a flood zone in Gloucester MA From Kenny MacCarthy

Step by step instructions, including web addresses, to see the current and future FEMA FIRM maps for Gloucester MA.

Links used in video:

Super Fast Method to a Fresh Baked Home-Made Pie!

I don’t know where my brain is sometimes but this is the first year it occurred to me that pies can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, to be magically available when in a pinch! Over Thanksgiving I knew that this year I would be very pressed for time at Christmas.  I made several extra apple pies and rather than cooking, wrapped them tightly in foil, with a plastic bag around that, and stored them in the freezer. I had never frozen a pie before and wasn’t even sure if it was best to freeze cooked or uncooked.

apple pie © Kim Smith 2013

Last night at dinner I was reminded by husband and kids of pies in the freezer. I pulled out an apple pie and placed it in the frig to defrost overnight. Several hours prior to baking I removed it from the refrigerator, which allowed it to reach room temperature. By the time it went in the oven this afternoon it was completely defrosted. Baked in a 375 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes, the pie cooked perfectly! Happy Husband, Happy Kids!

Everyone Was A Winner

cookie competition copy

at yesterday’s Season’s Best Cookie Competition and Solstice Party coordinated so exquisitely by Gigi Mederos and Stevie Black during the Rocky Neck Holiday Art & Fine Crafts Festival at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck.  Attendees got to taste the incredible and diverse array of cookies entered into the competition, and enjoy the antics of the serious but fun loving panel of judges made up of Mayor Carolyn Kirk, Ed Collard and Sister Felicia.  Many attendees shopped and got to enjoy the wonderful selection of art and craft items available while checking some people off their lists.  The artists got to enjoy selling their creations and knowing that they have made some money this holiday season.  We got to enjoy the beautiful sound of Eva DiLascio’s singing group that unexpectedly appeared for an impromptu round of Christmas carols.  Mayor Kirk had fun on her birthday and went home with a beautiful birthday cake baked by Karen Tibbetts.  There were many new faces at the event, so the Cultural Center wins some new appreciators of the beauty of the space and the great things we have going on there.

The winners of the Season’s Best Cookie Competition (drum roll please) were:

1st place Salted Caramel Cookies by Alison Darnell and Heather Ahearn – winner of the coveted “Got Milk?” hand painted silk cookie scarf by Gigi Mederos
2nd place Savory Cookie by Sydney and Kaleigh Cirafice
3rd place Cranberry Turtle Bars by Diane Stringer
Classic Chocolate Candy Cane Bars by Jessica McGovern
Best presentation  Cranberry Cardamom Shortbread Icycles by Two Time Winner, Jessica McGovern

but all entrants were winners because they get to have a group cookie baking class with Sister Felicia!

The Holiday Festival is open today from noon to 4:00pm with the final weekend of the festival being held Saturday and Sunday, December 28 & 29 from noon to 4:00PM with a Pre New Years Party on the 29th from 2:00-4:00PM.

E.J. Lefavour

Thank you to Musicians, Sponsors, Volunteers & Fans for a magical solstice

WinterSolsticeSm_FlyWhat a gift it is to live in a community full of tremendously talented musicians, who can bring world-class music to one of Gloucester’s most treasured spaces.

All the performers were at the top of their game last night and, based on their level of talent, they could have brought giant egos with them.

But they chose to leave their egos at the door and collaborate at the highest level of professionalism in order to lift a packed house at Gloucester’s UU Church to a level of musical joy that many said they hadn’t felt in years.


Thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers and Cape Ann TV crew who helped to bring The Cape Ann Winter Solstice Concert to life.

Thanks, most of all, to everyone who came out to support our local music treasures and help restore the Meetinghouse so it can become a premier listening venue for dozens of major musical events  every year.

Based on last night’s success, it’s safe to say we’ll be doing this again and again and again.  Stay tuned …

Octopus Salad

Printoctopus salad (1)

Octopus Salad


2½ cups Octopus, cooked, cleaned, and cut into ¾ inch pieces

1 cup sweet Vidalia Onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon red crushed pepper

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

¼ cup pure olive oil

juice of 1 large lemon


1  defrost octopus in large sink filled with cold water( will take several hours)

octopus salad (17)

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2  fill large stockpot with water; bring to rolling boil over high heat

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3  carefully add defrosted Octopus to boiling water by holding the head firmly while lowering the legs in and out of the boiling water 3 times allowing the legs to shrink and curl; release and submerge octopus in water; return to boil

octopus salad (9)

4 boil octopus 1 1/2- 2 hours or until fork tender; using long kitchen tongs, remove from water; cool 10 minutes in large colander

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octopus salad (11)

5  clean by removing lose skin, eyes, and center core; and cut legs and cleaned head into 3/4 inch bite size pieces

octopus salad (5)

octopus salad (4)

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6  place cooked, cleaned, and cut octopus in mixing bowl, add onions; mix; reserve

7 in separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients; whisk well; pour over reserved octopus and onions; mix well

8 transfer to airtight container; refrigerate minimum 24 hours (I prefer to marinate several days); remove from refrigerator 1 hours before serving


(1) Do not be fooled by the size of the uncooked octopus, as shown in the photos they cook down in size considerably

(2) I usually cook two or three 4-5lb frozen octopus which yields the amount shown in the first photo

March of the Olive and Carrot Penguins

Melissa Cox, our Ward 2 City Councilor, came to the GMG Holiday party and brought her famous penguin platter, only this time they appeared to be marching out of their fortress made of sugar cubes.
Melissa Cox, our Ward 2 City Councilor, came to the GMG Holiday party and brought her famous penguin platter, only this time they appeared to be marching out of their fortress made of sugar cubes.

Community Photos

Hi Joey,
All the best of the season to you, yours and your many blog viewers!
See you in the spring.
Bruce Louise Bonham
St. Catharines, Ontario


O’Maley Staff Mosley ugly sweater crew



Nichole Schrafft submits-

Great Holiday Photo taken by my co-worker, Gail Estes.  Just made a bunch of thank you cards out of it.  Incase you’re looking for a blog photo 🙂

lobster buoys


Hi Joey,

Here are 2 shots from my travels around Cape Ann on Friday.   I was coming down Rte 128 to Grant Circle and the late afternoon light captured my eye, so I snapped this as I was stopped waiting to enter the rotary.

The second one is a tree behind Woodman’s in Essex.  I just thought it was lovely sitting by itself along the Essex River.   

Mary Barker

1 Michael McHugh Captains the Voyager 042 (1)1 Michael McHugh Captains the Voyager 047

Why the Vikings fled Norway

From Al Bezanson

Why the Vikings fled Norway ___ For ages it has been obligatory for Scandinavians to ‘enjoy’ lutefisk at yule time. Having tasted this delicacy in Stavanger myself, I found it understandable that millions of citizens would emigrate from that beautiful region just to escape the obligation. Anyhow, that’s my theory.  Lutefisk is cod marinated in lye over a very long period of time. If you enjoy snacking on Ivory soap you might enjoy lutefisk