It’s easy being green: architectural character downtown Gloucester

Cat Ryan submits-

19th, 20th and 21st Century green in the mix

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From the distinguished Cape Ann Museum’s fresh coat of paint and ongoing preservation

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To many weathered, copper-clad architectural details like these rare repeat oriel windows

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Elegant oriels along Parsons’ pedestrian street, too, though no pressed metal. But look up for the green tiled roof!

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Creating a nice umbra mix alongside the newish-ish green exterior for the Jeff Weaver/Restoration Works, 16 Rogers Street –  the newcomer (former Old Timers/Catch 22/Fiesta Pub) joins the green in Gloucester. Check out its distinct porthole window on the door.

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Then and then: 16 Rogers before photos (green middle elements against textured and well acclimated exterior).

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Snapshots from Christmas in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Country Club ©Kim Smith 2013Liv and Alex copyLiv and Alex

My husband’s extended family has been celebrating Christmas Eve together since they emigrated from Germany in the mid-1800s. I was feeling a tiny bit melancholy because the older generation (now in their 80s and 90s) is retiring from hosting the parties. The festivities will surely still go on, although not in quite the same high style as Christmas’s past because many of the next generation (such as ourselves) have made their homes far and wide.

_DSF5764This year was my mother-in-law’s turn to host the party. The table was beautifully decorated and I love the simple and cheery touch of the cardinals on the apples.

Bumbleberry cake BonBonerie ©Kim Smith 2013jpg copyBumbleberry Torte from BonBonerie

Cincinnati was settled largely by German immigrants and judging by the countless established bakeries dotted throughout the city, I imagine the original emigrees were fabulous bakers. One of Tom’s cousins, Debbie, created a cookbook based on favorite family Christmas recipes, including recipes that date back to the 1800s, recipes from the family’s cooks, and recipes from old German great aunts who also lived in the big house and whose job it was at Christmastime to make thousands of cookies. When we spend Christmas at home and not in Ohio, Liv, Alex, and I love to cook from the family Christmas cookbook and the cookies especially are the yummiest you could possibly imagine. _DSF5794My father-in-law, who is the most kind-hearted man I have ever met, has a wonderful sense of humor, and is a great storyteller, too–and boy does he have many stories to share from a life richly led!

Liv Alex and Hannah

Cincinnati Country Club snow ©Kim Smith 2013Dusting of snow Christmas Eve morning

Cincinnati Country Club  -1©Kim Smith 2013_DSF6033Cincinnati is just that much further west that sunrise is nearly an hour later than in Gloucester. The club that we stay at is set within a golf course sited on a hill, with beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Cincinnati Country Club  -3©Kim Smith 2013JPG Cincinnati Country Club -4 ©Kim Smith 2013Getting ready for Christmas Eve celebration #2! _DSF5990Always a challenge to get loved ones to stand still long enough for a photo!

_DSF5987Liv and AlexNutcracker ©Kim Smith 2013 copyDouble Exposure Fuifilm X- E1

End Notes: In poking around online, I found a photo of the home of Great-aunt Kitty, where the Christmas Eve parties were held continuously for many years. Tom has fond memories of wonderful Christmas’s spent there and especially of the “kiddy table,” where all the cousins and siblings sat together (no adults!), and I gather, where many food fights occurred. The house, still standing, was donated to the Cincinnati park board and you can see more photos of the gorgeous interior at this link: The Gibson-Hauck House. While in Cincinnati we also visited the Rookwood Pottery studio. If you have ever seen Antiques Roadshow, you probably know how beautiful is Rookwood pottery. This post is already too long so later in the week I’ll do a little post about Rookwood.

Hauck Gibson HouseGibson-Hauck House

Blue Cheese Dip

 

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Blue Cheese Dip

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups sliced shallots

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

3/4 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups blue cheese; crumbled

Step-by-Step

1 heat olive oil in medium size frying pan; add sliced shallots; cook 15-20 minutes on medium/ low heat until shallots caramelize

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2 whisk together mayonnaise and sour cream; add crumbled blue cheese; season with salt and pepper; mix well with hand mixer

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3 add and mix three quarters of caramelized shallots to mixture; mix well

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4 transfer to serving bowl; top with remaining caramelized shallots; serve with potato chips

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Rubber Duck Multitasking Polar Dive Preparation

My new swimsuit arrived today from Coastal Dog Apparel in plenty of time for the New Year’s Polar Plunge. These thing are pretty snazzy and might be just the thing for a cold dip. Comfy and loose outer swimsuit with an inner swimsuit that is form fitting. Keeping those kibbles and bits all snug is key when diving into 42° F ice water.

The tourists and the snowy owls all flew away. I wonder why?
The tourists and the snowy owls all flew away. I wonder why?

To prepare for the chill the Rubber Duck went off to Stage Fort Park to check out the snowy owls.

This is a photo of a sexy potato which has nothing whatsoever to do with this post.
This is a photo of a sexy potato which has nothing whatsoever to do with this post.

Guitarists Mark Small & Raymond Gonzalez at Cafe Shalom next Saturday, Jan 11

This just in from Natalia Carollo …

Cafe Shalom at Temple Ahavat Achim
Saturday, January 11th at 7PM
Tickets $10/per person

Raymond Gonzalez
Raymond Gonzalez
Mark Small
Mark Small

Enjoy music performances by Mark Small, a classical guitarist-composer-arranger who has penned classical, jazz, pop, and sacred music for chorus, wind ensemble, orchestra, piano, and guitar, and Raymond Gonzalez, a guitarist and composer who combines classical, jazz, Celtic and Latin influences into his songs and solo guitar compositions. His topics range from ethereal to- well, songs about pigs and mermen and most things in between.

Essex Aggie – 100 Years Old

The Essex Agricultural School was founded in 1913 at Hawthorne (Danvers) MA, on land granted by descendants of Nathaniel Hawthorne. They raised  cows, learned how to milk them, and then sent the milk to be processed and bottled. This unused bottle was given to me by Gloucester resident  Gus Olson, former president of Essex Agricultural and Technical High School..
The Essex Agricultural School was founded in 1913 at Hawthorne (Danvers) MA, on land granted by descendants of Nathaniel Hawthorne. They raised cows, learned how to milk them, and then sent the milk to be processed and bottled. This unused bottle was given to me by Gloucester resident Gus Olson, former president of Essex Agricultural and Technical High School..

What happens when two events ( A Wedding and Plunge 4 Pete) collide on Good Harbor Beach?

What happens when two events ( A Wedding and Plunge 4 Pete) collide on Good Harbor Beach? Lots of peace, co-opertion and goodwill! It was an afternoon to simply smile.

Best-Janet

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West Parish Student in Boston Ballet

Hi, Joey.  Here is something for you.  The photo was taken by Rhian’s mother, Michelle Williams.

West Parish Student Danced in Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker for Third Year

Ten-year old West Parish student, Rhian Williams, performed in the Boston Ballet’s iconic production of The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House for a third consecutive year.  Rhian, the daughter of Michelle and Paul Williams and granddaughter of Ward 5 Councilor Elect, Bill Fonvielle and Atlantic Vacation Homes president, Carole Sharoff, has been a student at the heralded Boston Ballet School for five years.   In this year’s production, she danced the part of a mouse that emerges from a fireplace and runs off with a giant cookie.  In previous productions, she has been a doll and a page. 

Nutcracker 2013