At least, I think she is our Hedwig–Betty G. and Dave Fernandez, what do you think? Comparing photos from last winter, the feather patterning around her face looks to me identical. 

With thanks and gratitude to Bob and Doug Ryan from Ryan and Wood Distilleries. Bob emailed yesterday afternoon that a Snowy Owl was being dive bombed by crows and gulls. I raced over and she had tucked in under the rocks at the base of a tree.

I took several photos and footage, and just as I had packed up to go, she flew to a large boulder. Immediately, within thirty seconds, a noisy flock of gulls were harassing her from overhead once again, and a few crows dove at her. She then flew to the nearest building. The crows and gulls pestered her for another fifteen minutes, while she quietly perched.

To write “return” is not entirely accurate. She was probably here all along. As soon as work began on the Atlantic Road hotel roofs, we no longer saw her at the back shore. I thought Hedwig might still be here last month, but wasn’t positive, and then Alicia wrote to say she had seen a Snowy and thought it could possibly be Hedwig. It was difficult to confirm without looking at closeups from a long lens. I searched around Alicia’s location for several days but could not find.

Considering most Snowies have left Massachusetts by April, it’s wonderful to have a record of her here in Gloucester in early May. I am elated, and grateful, to Bob and Doug for the call, because now we have footage of her in a rocky woodland Cape Ann setting! Thank you, thank you!

The reason crows mob owls is because some owl species, like the Great Horned Owl, eat crows. Snowy Owls (Bubo scandiacus) and Great Horned Owls (Bubo virgianus) are closely related.

Gloucester beaches in the Boston Globe | Officer Al D’Angelo, Jack Doyle, Bob Ryan, & Heidi Dallin SHINE!

Ways to beat the traffic and work around MBTA closures– Bob Ryan (General Manager Cape Ann Transportation Authority) and Heidi Dallin (Gloucester Stage and so much more) are such incredible Gloucester–and greater Cape Ann– ambassadors.

Enjoyable read-


Boston Globe article by Hattie Bernstein  “Heading to the Beach this Weekend? Here’s Some Parking Tips” 

CATA Stage Fort Park trolley shuttle Park N Ride 

Gloucester Harbor Water Shuttle  and lighthouse tours

Early June TBA public meeting about MBTA train closures and mitigation plans

freight cars addison gallery

Update from Senator Tarr, Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, Representative Brad Hill, and Mayor Romeo Theken



From the letter:

4. The Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) has offered in writing to assist the MBTA with alternative transportation. 

5. The MBTA has advised us that a transportation mitigation plan is in development and will be released soon. The MBTA plans to have public forums in early June to explain their mitigation plans and to explain how they will communicate those plans to the commuting public.”

capeanntransporation cata logoIMG_20170520_184624

43rd Senior Care Meals on Wheels fundraiser buffet breakfast at Gloucester House

Many familiar faces and organizations came together in support of Senior Care’s Meals On Wheels, and showed up early to help host a festive and delicious event. We enjoyed sharing a table with staff from Cape Ann Savings Bank,  GoldenLiving Center, and Betty and John Erikkala from Lanesville. The Valentine’s Day fundraiser buffet breakfast was pushed back to March 10 due to the winter storm. March being March it was lightly snowing when we left.


I missed John and Betty Erkkala’s Souvenirs of Lanesville talk at Cape Ann Museum about their new book, but noticed the pocket ornament. The book is  available at the museum shop. Our marvelous city archives were mentioned once or twice!


Custom place mats gave thanks for the wonderful sponsors. You’ll recognize people in the photographs affiliated with these organizations and businesses.




Mayor Romeo Thekan Discover Gloucester 2015 Holiday PartyThe annual Discover Gloucester holiday and awards party was held today at Latitude 43. A delightful luncheon was served followed by the award presentation. A stellar group of Gloucester can-do citizens  was in attendance and it was a pleasure and honor to be amongst so many who have dedicated themselves to doing tremendous good for our community, especially where so much of their work is done behind the scenes and goes unsung. Thanks to Joey for suggesting that I cover the event for Good Morning Gloucester. He wished so much that he could be there to honor Kay, Bob, and the Mayor but it’s that time of year when work at the dock is nonstop.

A rising tide lifts all boats!

Discover Gloucester 2015 Holiday Party 4

Discover Gloucester 2015 Holiday Party -6

Sefatia Discover Gloucester 2015 Holiday PartyMayor Sefatia Romeo Thekan was awarded the Discover Gloucester Heritage Award, which recognizes a person, business or organization that works towards ensuring that our maritime and cultural heritage remains current and relevant.

Bob Ryan Discover Gloucester 2015 Holiday PartyBob Ryan, owner of Ryan and Wood Distilleries was awarded the Golden Sou’Wester Award, recognizing a person, business or organization that has jumped into tourism to add a new dimension to Gloucester’s diverse destination.

Kay Ellis Discover Gloucester 2015 Holiday Party.JPGKay Ellis, co-owner of the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon received the “Good On ‘Ya” Award, which recognizes a person or organization that has helped create a destination that is a wonderful place to visit and to live.

Discover Gloucester 2015 Holiday Party -2


Snapshots from the Schooner Lannon Cigar and Rum Cruise

Joey Ciaramitaro Alicia DeWolf ©Kim Smith 2014The cruise was wonderful fun! Thanks so much to our host Joey, Captains Tom Ellis and Heath Ellis, Bob and Doug Ryan for their fabulous Ryan and Wood rum cocktails, Paul Giacalone for cigars, which although I don’t smoke were throughly enjoyed by guests, and the always awesome Lannon crew! 

Schooner Lannon Cigar and Rum cruise -3 ©Kim Smith 2014

Schooner Lannon Cigar and Rum cruise ©Kim Smith 2014 -2

Bob and Doug Ryan Schooner Lannon ©Kim Smith 2014 copyBob and Doug Wood ~ Loved the cocktails in coconuts–what a delightful touch!

My apologies to our friends on the cruise that there are so few photos. This morning when looking at the images I noticed a giant black sploge on every photo–a huge goober on my image sensor. Here’s a few without the sploge after photoshopping out.

Today at Hunt’s photo in Melrose, my go-to place for all camera wants, needs, and crisis, Doug showed me how to professionally clean my image sensor, and its not as scary as you might think!

Schooner Lannon Cigar and Rum cruise ©Kim Smith 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Stage Fort Park Trolley Shuttle is BACK!

Stage Fort Park Trolley Shuttle

We just got word from Bob Ryan at CATA that, since the Blynman Bridge weight restriction has been lifted, he was able to scramble and get the Stage Fort Park Trolley Shuttle up and running starting on June 21!  See the trolley schedule here.  This is excellent news for everyone who drives in Gloucester during summer weekends because it means fewer cars — as well as anyone who benefits from tourists coming to Gloucester (which is just about everybody who lives and/or works here as I explain in this post).

Way to go Bob!

Video: Sunset Sail Aboard the Gorgeous Schooner Thomas E. Lannon

Many thanks to Captains Tom and Heath Ellis, Kay Ellis, Bob and Kathryn Ryan, and Paul Giacalone for hosting the 4th Annual Good Morning Gloucester Sunset Cruise aboard the elegant Schooner Thomas E. Lannon. Old friends and new enjoyed the beautiful harbor views, the superb cocktails and aged rum provided by Bob and Kathryn Ryan, and Cuban cigars from Paul Giacalone. We almost didn’t have Joey aboard as a lobster boat came in late, but the Ellis’s Zodiac provided last minute transport to the schooner.

I had never filmed on a schooner, or any boat for that matter, and it was So Much Fun.  I cannot wait to try it again!! Admittedly, I’ve only been on a boat less than half a dozen times (excluding the ferry to and from Martha’s Vineyard) and think I have been missing out on way too much. Thanks again Joey, Tom, Kay, Heath, Bob, Kathryn, Paul, and Ship’s Crew for a great night of fun and beauty aboard the gorgeous Schooner Lannon!

Kathryn Ryan ©Kim Smith 2013Kathryn Ryan

View from the Lannon ©Kim Smith 2013View from the Schooner Lannon

Bob Ryan Represents! in San Diego

Bob Ryan pictured here with Chris White of White Labs in San Diego, California, last week. Bob was part of a small group of 18 from around the country to be educated on the cutting edge work being done by yeast designers and propagators for the distilling industry.

Chris White, president of White Labs, holds a vast library of proprietary yeast for brewery, winery and distilling (and sour dough bread). Chris has also authored articles and books on the subject of yeast. Bob and Chris are standing in front of only a partial amount of the inventory of yeast vials White Labs handles. If you think Bob “Pasteur” Ryan could run on about distilling before, don’t get him started on yeast!

Bob and Chris White San Diego

Ryan and Wood Distillery – Filmed for Canadian TV Show

Bob Ryan is not only a master with his Distillery, but a great ambassador to Gloucester.

The TV Company will be filming a Cooking Show using Folly Cove Rum in the Recipe.

See behind the scenes of Bob being filmed at Ryan and Wood Distillery.

Also includes a little plug for GoodMorningGloucester.

Video Behind Scenes

Cruise Ship Eurodam Holland America Lines – Visits Gloucester – Slide_Show

It was a great photo day with the Holland America in the middle of the harbor.

 Bob Hastings President of the Chamber of Commerce was down at Cruiseport along with so many volunteers welcoming the passengers.

 Many Gloucester residents became the best ambassadors for the City of Gloucester.

 I took photos from both sides of the harbor, the backshore and some shots of the ship passing the Twin Light houses as it left the safe waters of Cape Ann.

 Click on photo below and  enjoy the slide_ show.

Click on Photo for Slide_Show (Idaho Couples enjoyed Gloucester)

Talking Vodka with Bob Ryan of Ryan & Wood Distillery

Hello Friends!  After a bit of a hiatus from recipe creation and show taping I am back!  And can you think of a better way to come back than to make a show about vodka?  I can’t!

Remember that stretch of really hot days in August?  I do, and you will too when you watch this show on Cape Ann TV that we filmed at Ryan & Wood Distillery during one of those days.  Heat aside, the place is incredible.  I know a little about a lot of things but I had no idea how vodka was made, just that I enjoy it on occasion.  The process is so simple yet so complicated at the same time that I felt like I was in science class all over again.  The heat inside the building is necessary to keep the products at the appropriate temperature and the near 100 degrees outside that day, and the fantastic aroma of the products being distilled made my head spin that day!

My sister Kate Lufkin and I had a tour which took us through the entire process from the raw ingredients to how they do the small batch bottling by hand.   When the tour was over Kate made some excellent cocktails and I made the recipe below–Vodka cured salmon with lemon mustard sauce.  I hope you enjoy it!

You can easily increase the amount of salmon by two or three times to feed a large crowd and if well wrapped, this cured fish keeps for weeks under refrigeration.  The sauce is excellent with all kinds of fish and shellfish and also works well with chicken or a sandwich spread so make lots!

Vodka Cured Salmon with Lemon Mustard Sauce

Beauport Vodka Cured Salmon with Mustard Lemon Sauce

¾ pound skin on salmon fillet

1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
¼ cup Beauport Vodka

Rinse and pat dry salmon.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine lemon zest, one tablespoon lemon juice, salt, sugar chopped dill and vodka.  Stir to combine.

On a flat plate, layer 3 sheets of plastic wrap overlapping each other.  Place salmon, skin side down on the middle of the wrap.  Pour mixture on top of salmon flesh and tightly wrap.  Use more plastic wrap around salmon if necessary to keep liquid in.  Place on a flat plate and balance another plate on top of salmon and weight plate with something heavy, like a pound of butter for example.

Store salmon in fridge overnight or for at least 18 hours.  When ready to serve, remove wrap and rinse off dill mixture.  Pat salmon dry and thinly slice with the grain of the fish.  Serve on crostini, thinly sliced bread or with eggs (excellent!) and bagels, topping with the lemon mustard sauce  (recipe follows) as desired.

Mustard Lemon Sauce

¼ cup horseradish mustard (or any flavor you like)
¼ cup good mayonnaise
2 teaspoons shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Inspired Cooking airs on Cape Ann TV on Tuesday nights at 8:30, Friday afternoons at 4:30 and Sundays at 11:30 AM.  I hope you will tune in!  If you have any “inspirations” for show topics please let me know by commenting on this entry or email me at  Thank you for watching!

Bobby Ryan at Ryan and Wood Distillery

Yesterday I stopped up to see Bobby Ryan, half of the Ryan and Wood Team and a good friend of the family.  The boys are doing something special up in Blackburn Park.  Something our entire community can be proud of.

They are one of only three distillers in Massachusetts.   Crafting spirits-vodka, gin and rum to exacting standards.

Here is a link to the R & W Distillery website

You can tour the facility, well worth a visit.

Look for the first of a four part video series this morning at 8AM