Maple Syrup time at Bothways Farm in Essex!

Hi Joey,

          I thought the GMG readers might enjoy seeing a couple pictures of our Maple Syrup production at Bothways Farm in Essex,We have 10 Maple Trees tapped with 20 metal buckets that we collect the sap from.So far we have collected about 90 gallons of sap.It taking us 70 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup.We boil it down in the wood fired evaporator for hours until the sap starts to turn brown from its original clear color.Once it just starts to stick to a ladel we transfer about a half gallon to a smaller pot.We then burn the rest off until the sap starts to foam,that means its real close.We then test the sap in a metal tube with a Hydrometer which tests the density of the sap.Once it hits a red line of the Hydrometer that means its now got a high enough sugar content and has changed into the syrup you put on your pancakes.Lets just say its about 10 hours of watching sap boil to 10 minutes of pure terror getting to density just right,because if you don`t and it gets too thick you get sap rock candy.The cold weather has been delaying our collecting of the syrup just like everyone else in New England.


Dean Burgess


New Film: Making the Special Saint Joseph Altar Bread

Artists-in-the-Kitchen Maria Cracchiolo, and her parents Domenic and Nina Damico, demonstrate how to create beautiful bread in shapes symbolic of Saint Joseph and inspired by nature. Watch as Maria, Nina, and Domenic artfully shape angels, a carpenter’s saw, San Giuseppe scroll, Saint Joseph sun, snails, flowers, butterflies, grapes, and more.

Many thanks to Sefatia Romeo Thekan for the suggestion to contact Maria and family to interview for Gloucester’ Feast of  Saint Joseph film project.

For improved viewing experience, click off the Vimeo HD icon in the bottom right hand corner and the video will load much more quickly.

As you will hear Maria’s story unfold (while deftly shaping the dough), her family’s tradition of making the Saint Joseph altar bread began several years ago, for a very heartfelt reason. In 2010, her young daughter was facing a very serious operation. Maria had never made the special Saint Joseph bread, but decided that year to make it her devotion to Saint Joseph. Maria taught herself how to shape the bread, finding inspiration in old photos of altars, and also from images, which she found online, of bread made in Sicily. Maria lived in Italy for five years, attending art school and studying fashion design. When I write “Artists-in-the Kitchen” you’ll see why after viewing the video.

Both of Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic, were born in Sicily and grew up celebrating the Feast of San Giuseppe in the Sicilian tradition of feeding the poor and orphaned, and welcoming all who came to their table. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina for graciously welcoming me into your Caffe Sicilia’s kitchen!

Saint Joseph Bread is available by special order at Caffe Sicilia. Call to place your order at (978) 283-2345

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia ©Kim Smith 2014

See previous posts related to Caffe Sicilia:

Filming Continues on Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project, Today at Caffe Sicilia

Caffe Sicilia’s St. Joseph Zeppole or, in Other Words, A Cloud of Sweetness Sent from the Heavens 

Sfinci di San Giuseppe

If you want to make a living playing music, you have to make a living playing music!

One of my favorite local stars, Inge Berge, shared a post on his Facebook page about this “Call For Performers” by the city of Yellowknife, NT in Canada:

As we head into Gloucester’s spring/summer/fall busy season, I’m glad he brought this topic up because that’s often when musicians are asked to play for free in return for “exposure.”

I don’t expect musicians to perform for free, because I don’t work for free.  Actually, the last time I asked any musician to play without pay (except for passing the hat) was when Vickie and I were helping organize the first Block Parties in 2008, at which I played for free too.   And that was only because everyone involved in starting the Block Parties donated their time.  By last year  (could have been 2012) the Block Parties had evolved to the point where the Block Party Committee raises money and pays musicians.

Don’t get me wrong, I do volunteer my time for various causes that I feel are worthwhile — and I sometimes work for trade.  But in every trade case, I’m getting something in return for my work — something of equal value to the value of my work.

Next time somebody asks you to play for free, ask “What am I getting in trade?”  If the answer is something like, “Oh, you’ll get great exposure,”  my advice is just say no.

Lugging your gear into your car, driving to the venue, setting up, breaking down, loading your gear back into your car and driving home would be enough to demand some pay (at least what stage hands get).  Then there’s performing, which (among other things) requires years of practice, tremendous dedication, a willingness to trust your artistic instincts and … talent.  That should be reserved only for those occasions where the people who’ve asked you to perform value the fact that you’re digging deeper into the human soul than most people ever get and sharing what you find with the rest of us. 

I could rattle off a dozen reasons why mere “exposure” is no where near enough compensation for performing — and the first one that comes to mind is that if you’re playing anywhere on Cape Ann, you can get plenty of free exposure right here on GMG and on

Plus, because you don’t want to play to an empty room, you’ll probably plug the event on your own social media pages, which gets free exposure for the people who’ve asked you to perform in the first place.

Feel free to share this post with everybody who asks you to play for free …

Live From Sista’s Kitchen…Noble Electric Saves St. Joseph Braed Making Day!


HUGE Thank You to Steve Noble from Noble Electric. Today is Bread making day for the St. Joseph Trolley event tomorrow night. We successful maixed 50 lbs. of dough and then the mixer stopped working!!!!! YIKES!!!!!! I immediately reached for my phone to call our good friend Steve Noble. Within 5 minutes of my emergency phone call Steve was behind the door, to fix the technical problem with the electric mixer. We are back up and running Thanks to Steve!


OBrien’s Boru @ The Rhumb Line 6:oopm…Always a fun filled event!

Rl st patricks day1

40 Railroad Ave.

Gloucester, MA 01930

phone: 978-283-9732

Have You Bought Your St. Joseph Pasta Ingredients Yet?


stop 1 Stop 2

Producer manager Tom and his coworker Andrew at Stop & Shop has a beautiful display of Cauliflower and Anise Bulbs ready and waiting for St. Joseph Feast customers


Scalafani  Bakery  # 978-283-6622  &  Virgilio’s Bakery # 978-283-5295. Both are currently taking orders for St. Joseph bread rolls, nd both have amble supplies of semolina flour, and dried fava beans

fava 1

Café Sicilia is located on 40 Main Street # 978-283-7345.  Café Sicilia has announced that they will be selling St. Joseph Pasta on Wednesday March 19, and they are also currently taking orders for St. Joseph Zeppole. Call Nino & Maria and reserve your orders…They sell out quickly!


Cape Ann Fruit Company  978-281-5176 ~ Scott and his crew have been busy all week supplying  host families  around town with cases of lemons Oranges, Anise, and Cauliflower all week. They provide  fresh produce and are great to do business.

…I hope this directory is helpful…and please don’t forget to tell them Sista Sent you !

St. Joseph Pasta Making Day At Maria Cannavo Home

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This past weekend  The Cannavo Family were one of many who began preparing for this weeks St. Joseph Feast Day March 19th. Nino & Maria Cannavo, were joined by family and friends Sefatia “The Godmother of Gloucester,  Pietro Locontro, Maria Margiotta Rossi, Mimma Cusenza, and many more yesterday to prepare over 50 lbs. of homemade pasta.  Preparing for The Feast Of St. Joseph, is a celebratory tradition that family and friends look forward to each year.   It’s gathering like these that make memories that last a lifetime


Monday March 17th , 2014 Cape Ann Weather..

Marine Forecast…
Mon N winds 10 to 15 kt. Gusts up to 20 kt in the morning. Seas 2 to 4 ft.
Mon Night N winds around 10 kt. Seas 2 to 3 ft.

Today mostly sunny with some high clouds highs in the upper 20’s to lower 30’s.. North winds around 10mph ..
Monday night mostly clear with lows in the teens to lower 20’s .. Light north east winds 5-10 mph …
Tuesday sun and clouds 33 degrees with east winds 10-15 mph..
Hourly Forecast …

Extended Forecast…

Long Range outlook from the NWS Boston , frigid late March with a new “Polar Vortex ” … Here’s a look at late March …

Thanks for viewing .. Here’s a few comics for St.Patricks Day … Enjoy ..
Peter Lovasco





Community Stuff 3/17/14



Registration for FREE Adult Education Classes at Wellspring House

Celebrate spring with a new plan for growth! Registration for FREE adult education classes at Wellspring House in Gloucester is going on now for those interested in attending our Spring Session. Classes begin Monday, March 24th   and you must be registered before that date.
Wellspring’s Adult Learning Initiative (ALI) provides 8 weeks of FREE classes in Computer Skills, Career Development, English and Math for men and women interested in passing the high school equivalency test, returning to school or finding a career. Classes run from 8:45 am -12:30 pm, Monday – Friday for 8 weeks.
The goal of the ALI program is to help individuals move toward personal and financial self-reliance by gaining self-confidence, direction, motivation and workplace skills necessary to further their education and careers.
Whether your goal is to get a better job or go back to school, call Career and Education Advisor, Mary Scofield, for more information or to sign up for classes at (978) 281-3558, ext. 304. Wellspring House is located at 302 Essex Ave., Gloucester MA.

Be Courageous!!

Mary Scofield
Career and Education Advisor
ALI Program
Wellspring House, Inc.
302 Essex Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(P) 978-281-3558 x304

Hey Joey!

Just wanted to spread the good news! My daughter Bailee who is now 8 is being recognized as a Hometown Hero by the Red cross on Thursday the 20th at their Annual Hometown Heros Breakfast. She is being honored among firefighters and nurses and others who were at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. They are being recognized for their response on that horrible day. We are so proud of her and want to thank all the Glostonians who have supported her by coming out and buying lemonade at all of her stands! She will be opening up soon in the spring with a new focus…still thinking on where she wants to donate this time. But we will have characters in costume!! I will keep y’all posted! Thanks Joey for all your help with spreading the word! She gets ALOT of customers because of GMG!!

Brieana Militello