Then and now: Thousands of gorgeous fall dahlias Stacy Boulevard #GloucesterMA and award winning lufkin dahlia gardens 1925

There’s a bright autumn haze in Stacy Boulevard gardens. Thousands of fall dahlias are waiting. Go find your bloom and color!

The varieties are labeled. I wondered how many were chosen, and if any were grown from area heirloom seeds? The Glory of New England, a prizewinning “fancy dahlia” dazzler was cultivated from seeds by the Lufkin dahlia gardens of Gloucester and introduced in 1925 (see below). I love reading about Gloucester gardeners.

Dahlia flowers were eventually named after Swedish botanist, Anders Dahl. The giant ones are nicknamed dinner plate dahlias. In the 1800s avid gardeners and commercial seed and plant firms bloomed in Massachusetts. Established in the early 1800s, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is recognized as the oldest in the country. A gardener from Bridgewater is credited with the first American collarette dahlia variety in 1912.

Thousands of gorgeous dahlias, exhibited by 50 growers attracted throngs to Horticultural Hall on the opening day of the free dahlia show, held under the joint auspices of the New England Dahlia Society and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

For the site of his exhibit and the magnificence of its setting, L.L. Branthover of Wakefield held first place. His pompom dahlias decorate the stage of the lecture hall, and rays from a warm moon falling obliquely over the stately blooms, against their evergreen background, lend added glory to the scene.

Wonderful tints of orange, cream, scarlet, vermillion and gold are to be seen in the dahlias exhibited by George L. Fish of Billerica, president of the society. (“Francis Cooper Hav-A-Look” illust.)

Giant blossoms, some of yellow with white tips, are introduced for the first time from seedlings of the Lufkin dahlia gardens of Gloucester. The new blossom is called “The Glory of New England.”

Another prize winning variety is the dark-red “Alexander Pope,” one of the most beautiful of the collection in the A.I. Strobel exhibit, grown in the Montrose dahlia gardens of Wakefield.

Boston Globe 1925 – 2 Wakefield gardens, 1 Billerica, and the “Lufkin dahlia gardens of Gloucester” are featured

Topsfield Fair and flower show competitions

Have any Gloucester gardeners entered the Topsfield Fair this year? There are usually dahlias in the running.

Whenever any one flower is cultivated and shown, I always think of Mrs. Miniver and the rose. Maybe someone can propagate a “Glory of Gloucester Gardens” variety for the city of Gloucester’s horticultural history then & now, generous gardeners and public works!

Mrs. Miniver rose scene

Giant party subs! Jeff’s Variety of Gloucester feeding the crew of Topsfield Fair

Caught Jeff in action loading up delivery vans with delicious Jeff’s Variety & Deli  party platters and  giant subs for the Topsfield Fair. The fair is celebrating its 200th anniversary and continues through Monday, Columbus Day. Opens 10am daily- here’s the link to the 2018 Topsfield Fair daily schedule:

Party sub_Jeff's Variety_Gloucester Mass_ for crew Topsfield Fair_20181003_©Catherine Ryan

detail giant sub_ Jeff's Variety Gloucester Ma _©c ryan.jpg


Fun day at the Topsfield Fair

This is the 199th year of the oldest Fair in the United States. I have been going for since a little girl. It is always the same and always fun. Really enjoyed a beautiful day on Sunday at the Topsfield Fair.

Cool looking sheep

Do not want to carry this around all day

Dave Fernandes 1st prize

There is always junk food

Brand new chick


love these beautiful horses

Melissa Cox photo

Audreys of Gloucester award

Join American Craft Week Oct 6-15 | Gloucester made the USA Top 10 list and you should be in the guide!

Here’s a super easy and great opportunity to share what you do or help your friend’s work get noticed.  Crafters, artisans, makers, retailers, creatives: make sure to sign up before July 1, 2017 when it’s just $25.

Please share. Also, please encourage any under 30 Gloucester to showcase their work. Perhaps they’ll be designated next year’s ‘rising stars’. Participants & Events :: American Craft Week :: HOW TO JOIN  and check out their resource page- “PR power packet page”

Here’s why Gloucester won

gloucester is top 10 town in USA for craft lovers winner 2017

It’s tough to match Gloucester for the range and depth of fall art fairs and events –including American Craft Week– and Gloucester’s heritage of artists and artisans of yesterday and today (more on the pioneers below.) Pauline Bresnahan participates and drummed up the vote: “Gloucester has always encouraged creativity, individuality and artistic expression. Honored to be able to participate and encourage others to take part in this celebration for everyone who has fallen in love with their art and craft that shows their creativity.”

October is BEAUTIFUL!


I’ve gathered special events and festivals that run annually each October/Fall in Gloucester and on Cape Ann.  Make sure to look into the monthly art gallery exhibitions, live music, performances, and readings going on in the many art and culture venues as well as non-traditional spaces, businesses, organizations, accommodations, and restaurants. Mind you this is only the fall (October!) listings:

Just in October

Founded in 2016-  Cape Ann Plein Air Note that Paint Essex annual Plein Air  (founded in 2012) moved from a summer slot to the fall to coincide with Cape Ann Plein Air in 2016

Founded in 2016- Look for Magnolia Sip and Stroll nights –  “Enjoy complimentary food, beverages and live music while visiting the wonderful shops on historic Lexington Avenue in Magnolia, MA”

Founded in 2015- Brace Cove 2nd Annual Art Market (one day only!) 1pm till dark.

Founded in – Oktoberfest at Cape Ann Brewing Company

Founded in 2010 /in Gloucester 2014 – Annual American Craft Week held in October Gloucester recognized as one of America’s top 10 towns for craft lovers | 2017 Annual American Craft Week October 6-15  Last year Pauline’s Gifts and Cape Ann Artisans participated. I think we can increase that list a bit! 

Founded in 2015 – Pumpkin Carving at Cape Ann Art Haven

Founded in 2012- Fall Fest at Mile Marker 1 by Bridge Cape Ann

Founded in 2009- the Annual DoctoberFest Documentary Film Festival curated by Cape Ann Cinema & Stage (estab.2008)

Founded in 2006- Cape Ann Farmers Market outdoor market Thursdays into October, also features artisans and makers.

Founded in 1984- Annisquam Arts & Crafts show Oct 8 & Oct 9, 10-5

Founded in 1984-  Annual Art Auction, Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library

Founded in 1983-  Cape Ann Artisans Studio Tour (the oldest continuous in the country) featured as part of Artweek Boston 2016

Founded in 1979- Gloucester Stage is world class professional American theater in our country’s oldest seaport. Look for fall Premiers

Founded in 1972- Annual Essex Clamfest October


Start with a visit to Cape Ann Museum a world class American art museum with a not to miss fine art and archive collections founded in 1873. Just Go! Outsider art and fine craft maker high lights include Folly Cove designers repository,  1893 Columbian Exposition Chicago World’s Fair harbor diorama, Fiesta oars, and the Community of Neighborhoods quilt cycle.

In each and every decade, printed ephemera and guides capture Gloucester’s long proud cultural history. Guides matter. Here are a couple of pioneer examples with a craft emphasis from the 1960s and 1892. American Craft Week is the digital equivalent of a who’s who in the American craft scene.


“We are told in the print that the American public is hungry for art…untouched by the machine. Cape Ann craft workers can satisfy that hunger…given a chance.” Henry Bollman, 1961

Bollman a ceramicist volunteered to chair the crafts section VIII of the 10th annual Gloucester Arts Festival: Ruth Balch, leather sandals; Henry Bollman, ceramics; Harriet Curtis, weaving and trays; Doris Frankbonner, ceramics and jewelry; Folly Cove Designers, Block Printing; Heather Godfrey, furniture decoration; Max Kuhne, silver leaf; Morris Lubin, Metal work; Reina Martin, silver and gold; Robert Natti, Pottery; Ruth Powers, Rugs

1961 Gloucester MA artisans

1960 list craft exhibition: John Black (silk screen); Henry Bollman (Ceramics); Greg Burke (Mosaics); Doris Coleman (Rockport Beach Glass jewelry); Edward Coleman (Rockport Beach glass jewelry); Carol Creed (mosaics); Alfred Czerepak (wood sculpture); Otis Dana (old pine furniture); Preston Donn (stained glass); Anne Daukas (woodwork); Folly cove designers (printed fabrics); Hazel Gaudreau (pottery); Heather Godfrey (hand painted trays and furniture); Thelma Karr (fabric designing); Evelyn Krames (enameling); Sol Krames (enameling); Max Kuehne (silver leaf); Gene Lesch (pewter and soft metals); Moris Lubin (art metal work); Ada Maker (ceramic coffee table); Barbara Marshall (cabinetmaker); Reino Martin (gold and silversmith); Sandra Matheson (cermaics)

1960 craft exhibition

Detail from one of the maps indicating the “General location of artists residing in same place permanently or each summer.” This one shows Gloucester Bay View, Lanesville, Folly Cove area mainly painters and sculptors among them: Paul Manship, Walker Hancock, Leon Kroll, George Demetrios, Virginia Lee Burton, Folly Cove Designers

1961 folly cove designers leon paul walker.jpg


The Gloucester Arts Festival scheduled ancillary programming like Cape Ann Festival of the Arts guided hikes and arts and writing exhibitions and contests for Gloucester’s youth.


The Art and Loan Exhibition for The Celebration of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Gloucester held August 24-29   featured “a representation collection of the antique and artistic from the many homes on Cape Ann…In connection with the exhibit a souvenir silver scarf pin was sold representing a fishing schooner under full rig with the dates 1642-1892 in raised work, and found ready purchasers…A piece of room paper from the walls of the old Ellery House, the first wall paper used in Gloucester, is exhibited…an interesting bit of fancy work is a frame inscribed in letters worked in silk Hannah Masters her Sampler May 8 1768…Another piece of family work which shows evidence of much labor and painstaking is a Clark family tree worked in silk on canvas in 1832 by Mary B. Clark, mother of Mayor Andrews…” The loan and art committee were reimbursed  $1195.81; the souvenir pins inventory was $211.40. Thankfully the city published a “true and detailed account of the 250th anniversary observance and illustrated these Lane and Beach works. The 1817 view of Gloucester by Capt Beach was loaned by Asa G. Andrews, too. JB Foster was the one and only artist on the extensive exhibition checklist (321 detailed items) that listed his work for sale $100 “At the Wharf Gloucester Harbor”. James Pringle wrote the seminal digitized “History of the town and city of Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts” 1892.

1892 art and loan on exhibit for Gloucester MA 250th

American Craft Week

How to save for Topsfield Fair: buy discounted ride tickets, don’t forget your kids’ Library Read & Win rewards, note active military and senior discounts


FREE admission for all active military on Tuesday October 4th, 2016.

Senior Citizens discounted entry on Monday October 3rd, 2016.

You can purchase advance discounted tickets from Topsfield Fair on line or at the fairgrounds. Ace Hardware in Gloucester has discounted admission and ride tickets for sale. Discounted admission tickets are also for sale at the Gloucester Daily TimesAnd Groupon.  Thank you Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library for participating in the Topsfield Fair Read&Win summer reading prize packet incentive which contains free entry, 2 rides and 1 yummy meal!

The 2016 Topsfield fair opens September 30th and closes October 10. Discounted ticket sales are limited and stop September 26.


Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library one of many that partners with Topsfield Fair Read & Win — great kids reward packet for their summer reading



Every once in a while you’ll hear me say how smart my boys are….and then, one of them will say something like, “Well, obviously that goat is a boy.”

And my bubble is burst.

And…to make matters worse, I’m pretty sure the goat to the far right was teasing him…and the goat in the middle was snickering.

“Did you hear what that kid said?  He thinks Gertrude over here is a boy.”


So much for the Topsfield Fair being a learning experience.


Local bands at Topsfield Fair this week

You may not cross the bridge often, but local musicians have to if they want to make a living.  We love seeing locals in venues outside of Gloucester.  It’s kind of like going to an  away game.  You get to root for the home team, except musicians never lose.

This week is the perfect chance to show your Gloucester Love for musicians at the Topsfield fair starting tomorrow 10/4 with Full Circle 7-9pm on the Kiddie Land Stage.  Then on Saturday 10/6, it’s the distinctively Gloucester sound of  The Bandit Kings on the Trianon Stage at 6pm and 7pm and the GHS Docksiders on the Trianon Stage at 8:30 and 9pm.  You could wear your GMG T-Shirt so everybody knows you’re from G-Town.

Just to get you in the mood, here’s a fun video of the Docksiders Spring Break Fundraiser at GHS featuring a drum-off with special guest Dennis Monagle of the Bandit Kings

You know how we’re committed to starting the weekend on Thursday.  Well, have you noticed that Wednesday is now the new Thursday?  Nine live music choices tonight!  Check out all the live music in Gloucester & Cape Ann here.

Two Killer Deals To Take Advantage Of Ithaki $25 for $50, Gloucester Daily Times Topsfield Fair Discount

We have 5 favorite restaurants on the North Shore for dinner- Duckworth’s Bistrot, Ithaki, Passports, Nordstrom’s Bistro and The Blue Ox.

Today there’s a deal for Ithaki  $25 for $50 worth of food.  Ithaki NEVER disappoints just like out other favorites.  We bought one.  You can too, here


From Gloucester Daily Times Twitter Feed

#TopsfieldFair: Buy your tickets, $9 each, at the GDT office and$ave. Tix at fair are $11 weekdays; $15 weekends. (Cash only please)


The GDT is also selling discount ride tickets: 11 for $22. Not sure of the savings, but you won’t have to wait in line at the fair.

Here’s a blue ribbon winner from the Fair….Sweet Sesame Crusted Shrimp with Asian Ginger Garlic Sauce

You know I love the Fair.  Lil and I spend a ton of time there during the 11 days volunteering, seeing friends, eating and having fun competing in the food contests in Coolidge Hall.  We both were very lucky this year and did well in the competitions and are so grateful for our good fortune!

If you think that the competition is not tough at the Fair you are mistaken.  There are women and a few men who compete in the food competitions in Coolidge Hall that have enough ribbons to make a giant blanket and probably paper one wall of their house–my friends Jannine Fisk, Donna Marie Ryan, Susan Laurence, Deb Stewart, Sheryl James are included in that group and so many more.  I didn’t even know these ladies a few years ago but they accepted me in to their circle of “Fair Weather Friends” and my life, and Lily’s,  has been enriched by them in so many ways since I joined their ranks in 2007.  Going to the Fair, seeing our friends and lots of friendly competition make us look forward to the first week in October every year.

There are competitions every weeknight and weekend days throughout the Fair.  The week started off this year with Fleishmann’s Yeast “Bake for the Cure” which I was thrilled to place third (  On Tuesday, Pillsbury Pie Crust Championship came an went without any ribbons for me but my friend Susan Laurence brought home the blue ribbon and I was thrilled–her pie was a lovely creation loaded with strawberries and just gorgeous, topped with chocolate curls–maybe I can pry the recipe out of her?

Wednesday rolled around and it was time for one of my favorite contests, Make it With Malto-O-Meal Cereal Contest.  As you know, I love to both cook and bake and this is my chance to give up the rolling pin for the night and cook.  Malt O Meal is a low cost cereal sold at some grocery stores and discount chains and the varieties offered mimic some of the most popular brand name cereal in the aisles today.  They have their own version of frosted flakes and that is what I chose for my creation.  I decided to do a crusted shrimp but I knew that the sweetness of the cereal needed to be tamed.   I added some panko breadcrumbs and toasted sesame seeds and created a delicious appetizer that the judges liked enough to award me the blue ribbon!

Here’s the recipe and a few pictures—the ribbon comes with a nice little cash prize as well and I am still very excited to have won!

Sweet Sesame Crusted Shrimp with Asian Ginger Garlic Sauce

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons honey
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoon chopped scallions for garnish

Whisk together ginger root, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar honey and garlic in a bowl.  Set aside for 30 minutes.  Strain sauce through a fine sieve and serve with shrimp.

2 cup Malt O Meal Frosted Flakes
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup sesame seeds
12 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 egg white
1/4 cup canola oil

In the bowl of a food processor, process Malt-O-Meal cereal, panko crumbs and salt.  Add sesame seeds, pulse once to combine and pour prepared mixture in to a shallow dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss together shrimp and egg white. Crust shrimp, four to six at a time, in crumbs and press crumbs on to shrimp to adhere if necessary. Set aside when coated and repeat procedure with remaining shrimp.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook shrimp, six at a time in a single layer in pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove shrimp from oil and drain on a flattened brown paper bag. Repeat with remaining shrimp and serve with Asian Ginger Garlic Sauce.  Garnish with chopped scallions.

Me? Bake A Yeast Bread?

I have always been one of those people who thought that baking a yeast bread was very difficult–yeast was some sort of mysterious creature and that terrible things would happen if I didn’t do everything just exactly right.

Well, that really isn’t true and the only way to figure that out is to just start making bread.  So I did.  Last Winter I made endless loaves of olive bread, lots of pizza crust (yes, that counts) and a few others and had fun in the process–and lots of nice bread to go with dinner and toasted for breakfast the next day.  There really is nothing better for dinner than a big salad, nice bread and a piece of grilled fish or some lobster and steamers in my opinion.

But as usual, I am getting off track.  Last week at the Topsfield Fair I entered the Fleishmann’s Yeast Bread contest.  When I say that the competition was fierce, I am not kidding.  There is so much talent there–some of these ladies have been baking bread their whole lives.  I knew that I probably wouldn’t have a chance if I chose something too complicated since I am still a novice but I was inspired by an idea I saw on the King Arthur Flour website for a twisted stuffed bread.  I also had to be realistic–I could not spend all day waiting for dough to rise, punching it for a second rise and then bake it—a girl has to work–so my friend Caroline Craig suggested that I tinker with her overnight dinner roll recipe so I did.  My final bread dough and filling recipe is completely different than the original that I found in the King Arthur email but I followed the procedure for making the figure 8 shape with good results.  So, gathered up my courage and just went for it–and I am so happy I did!

This recipe makes two loaves.  I submitted one to the Fair and made one for home that we enjoyed with soup and salad for dinner.  I added some finely chopped preserved lemon–preserved by yet another talented friend Beth–to the loaf I kept for myself and that little bit of salty citrus really added something to the mix.    Try it–feel free to use whatever filling ingredients you like–and let me know how you made out.  You don’t  have to do this one overnight.. You can do this early in the day and then bake it for dinner but I actually refrigerated it and baked it off in the morning before I went to work.  YUM!

Overnight Fennel & Cheese Brunch Twist

For the dough:

2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon olive oil, divided, plus additional for oiling the bowl
4 1/2 teaspoons Fleishmann’s Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
6 1/2 to 7 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

For the filling:
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel
1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
3/4 cup drained oil packed sun dried tomatoes
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine warm milk, olive oil, Fleishmann’s Yeast, warm water and sugar. Beat once to combine and allow to rest until foamy.

Beat in the eggs and then slowly incorporate 6 cups of the flour on medium speed until dough forms, adding as much of the remaining one cup flour as necessary to form a cohesive dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth.

Oil the mixing bowl and let dough rise overnight covered with plastic wrap.

In the meantime, saute sliced fennel with one tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

When ready assemble twist, punch down dough and divide in half and roll out to about 8” x 22” on a well floured surface. Sprinkle on granulated garlic, half of the herbs, half of the fennel, olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese. Roll the dough the long way to form a log, pinch the seam closed and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.

With kitchen scissors, lengthwise down the center of the log about 1” deep most of the way down the log, leaving about 1” on each end uncut. Twist one end to the right and one end to the left, tucking the ends underneath the log to form and “S” shape. Cover the bread with buttered plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise again for an hour. In the meantime, repeat process with remaining dough and filling and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake twists, one at a time, in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting with foil after 20+ minutes to prevent over browning. Allow to cool before cutting and enjoy!

And how did I do in the competition you ask?  Well, even if you didn’t I am going to tell you–I came in third!  I was thrilled with the win and for me, placing in a bread competition is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to learning the art of bread baking.

And my friend Deb Stewart came in second with an amazing pizza—she is quite an accomplished cook and another one of my “Fair Weather Friends” who has enough ribbons to make a quilt, and perhaps wall paper her living room with them.  I was in very very good company.

Topsfield Fair!

You can eat healthy (well, relatively) at the Fairgrounds! We had a butternut squash cranberry bisque that was heavenly and this local entrepreneur mac shack serving up gourmet mac-n-cheese with vermont cheddar was awesome. Roasted nuts and hot apple cider donuts! YUM! 🙂

Slideshow including my awesome 8-year-old cellphone shots of the Ewok bunny, a big beautiful bull, baby cow, baby piggildy-wiggildies, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police saying sayonara, sand-sculpture, bees and beeswax candle-making (a deal for a $1) by the Essex County Beekeepers Association, miniature trains including a mini Topsfield Fair, miniature farm town, and an elephant.

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So Far at the Fair…..with pictures & recipes!

I could not be more proud!  Not only has my girl Lil been on national TV (The Nate Berkus Show) and featured in a national magazine (Kiwi Magazine) but now she is bringing home the ribbons at the Topsfield Fair!

Over the weekend, Lil won two blue ribbons and one red second place ribbon for her desserts–and she is giving out her recipes.  Her third ribbon, a red second place, was for a version of her rice pudding that she made on the Nate Berkus show last week.  I am so proud of my girl!

Happy Apple Streusel Muffins–Recipe by Lily for the Topsfield Fair Muffin Contest

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cup diced apple
1/4 cup cinnamon chips

Heat the oven to 400°F with the oven rack in middle. Put cupcake papers in 12 standard muffin cups

First, make the streusel topping:

Combine the flour brown and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces.

Combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.

Combine the milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir only until the flour is moistened. Gently stir in apples and cinnamon chips.

Divide the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 full. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of streusel over each muffin.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a couple of muffins comes out dry. Cool slightly.

Makes 12 -14 muffins

Three C’s Cookies–recipe by Lily for Topsfield Fair

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cashews

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put silicone baking mats on three cookies sheets.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, kosher salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat together shortening, butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and milk until light and fluffy.

Turn mixer to low speed and beat in dry ingredients.  When mixed, add chocolate chips, cranberries and cashews and mix until combined.

Using a medium ice cream scoop, dish out cookie dough on to prepared pan, 12 to a sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly browned.  Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

North Shore Weekend Picks From Your Boy Joey

Here’s My Top Picks As Part of the North Shore Blogger Consortium Weekly Cultural Things To Do

Thursday October 7

Cape Ann Farmer’s Market


Niki Bogin Writes-

Hi Joey,

Could you let your folks know that this is the last week of the Farmers
Market and we still need the communities support! Plus it is a great time to stock
up on maple syrup, honey, baked goods and produce for the fall and get some early
Christmas shopping done!


Topsfield Fair- do I really need to explain this one?  Just a gentle reminder that it’s out there as an option.

Here’s a link to their schedules of events-

Topsfield Fair Website Click Here

Saturday October 9th


The Cape Ann Film Festival

Cape Ann, Massachusetts * October 1-17, 2010 * Multiple Venues

Cape Ann Community Cinema Film Festival

Saturday, Oct. 9 features a trio of special filmmaker events: the free screening of the the documentary about Gloucester poet Charles Olson, “Polis Is This” (Sat. Oct. 9 @ 3:00pm, CACC). The screening part of the Charles Olson Centennial celebration taking place all over Gloucester for two weeks in October, and film director Henry Ferrini will host; the fishing industry is on the menu in “Truth: Fishing Crisis Or Government Mismanagement?” (Sat. Oct. 9 @ 5:00pm) when director Brian Loftes is joined by representatives from the local fishing industry in what is sure to be a spirited discussion; “Handsome Harry” (Sat. Oct. 9 @ 7:30pm) director Bette Gordon will discuss her psychological thriller and her storied career in filmmaking.



The Cape Ann Artisans welcome you to our 27th season. Come visit the 16 artisans who make up the 2010 Open Studio Tour. Look for our magenta banners as you travel around the beautiful coastline of Gloucester and Rockport. Visit us by appointment through the year, or during our Open Studio Tours.

Fall Tour: October 9 – 11
10 am – 5 pm


Annisquam Arts and Crafts show will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on Saturday October 9th and Sunday October 10th 

from 10AM to 5PM at the Annisquam Village Hall, 34 Leonard Street, in the center of the quaint village.

Sunday October 10th


Common Crow’s Tenth Anniversary Crow Ball
Sunday October 10 2010 5 to 9 pm
at Legion Hall, corner of Middle and Washington Street
admission Free!


The Cape Ann Film Festival

Cape Ann, Massachusetts * October 1-17, 2010 * Multiple Venues

“Orgasm, Inc.” (Sun. Oct. 10 @ 2:00pm, CACC) features director Liz Canner live, talking about making her documentary about Big Pharma’s relentless quest for a “Viagra for women.”

“Hibakusha” (Sun. Oct. 10 @ 4:30pm, CACC) is the haunting retelling of stories of the Japanese, Korean and American survivors of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Director David Rothauser will present.


* “The Stranger” (Sun. Oct. 10 @ 5:00pm, RMC) – Orson Welles’s 1946 spy drama about a Nazi-in-hiding has been fully digitally restored by Rockport’s own Phil Hopkins of Film Chest, who will present a brief before-and-after demonstration.

Donna Ardizzoni Wins Gran Prix of Gloucester Poster

Topsfield Fair 002

Donna was the first to send in this picture from the Topsfield Fair of The Team GMG First Place Pumpkin Display!

The GMG Pumpkin display was put together by Sista Felicia, friend of the family Sara Francis, niece Amandacakes, nephew BJ, The Bean and Snoop Maddie Mad. Great work team!

Donna you can pick up your Gran Prix Poster right here at the dock.

Don’t Forget To Say Hi To The Tuckers Farm Family Diner Folks At Topsfield Fair

Photo From Donna Ardizzoni

Our own Tucker's Farm Topsfield Fair

Wonder If They Are Serving Up Three Stooge Challenges-

These Clips Are From The GMG Man vs Food Three Stooge Challenge

Part III

Ten Minutes In

Cliff Rideout- A Mean (not so lean) Eating Machine Part IV Video

Good Times.  Look for the next GMG Man vs Food Challenge Soon

Going to the Fair?

If you’re heading out to the Topsfield Fair this week, be sure check out my photography the Coolidge Building. I have 2 hanging pieces in the main hall and several smaller photos and note cards in the bin room. Many of the images have been seen on GMG, so here’s your chance to see the real thing, and maybe take one home!

This one, “Niles Pond Rd.”, is hanging in the main hall.

Thanks for your support!   —–Sharon