It was a dark and stormy chicken . . .

Notes From Nan
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati


I’m sorry about last week’s post. I was out of town and not able to write it. Mary (the cook) wrote it but it didn’t make it up here on Hilltown Families until after dinner was served. The great thing was that we still had 70 people show up for dinner who not only had no idea WHAT we were having for dinner, they also had no idea that we were even SERVING dinner! Which makes me wonder: Why am I even writing these every week? Maybe I don’t need to! Maybe I should just start making up things and see if you’re reading them. Maybe I should write a cliff-hanging novel, serialized in these here weekly e-mails kind of like Charles Dickens used to do with his novels. That would be fun! Let me think on that . . . .

You know, some people like it when we do fancy foods, others like it when we do down-to-earth comfort-type foods. This week we’re going with the comfortable foods of:

  • Chicken Stew with Biscuits, or
  • Vegetable Stew with Biscuits with
  • Local, happy salad and all.
  • And Macaroni and Cheese, very comfortable food


Have you seen our new produce department here at Elmer’s!!?? It is plump and beautiful and organic and locally grown and just gorgeous! Just what I always wanted! Did you know I got fired out of the produce department at Whole Foods back in 1983? And then I got fired out of the cheese department there in 1984? Just goes to show you. Something. I don’t know what, though.


Don’t forget the Big Dance this Saturday night starting at 7:30 out here in Ashfield, in the street beside Elmer’s! Swing Music with an authentic live band, we’ll have the ice cream man here, we’ll have other desserts, we’ll have a good, good time!

Dress up or wear your regular old clothes! Dance or just tap your feet and grin! It’s all okay and gonna be fun!


Sunday, September 16th from 3-5 pm: Poetry Reading at Elmer’s. This event is being organized by Lea Banks. If you have questions, please call her at 625-6702.


The woman’s voice broke mid-line. “How can I compare thee to a—“ she sang and stopped. This being the late nineteenth century, the audience was not prepared for anything avant garde and so began to mumble, certain that something was wrong. People turned in their seats, raised their eyebrows, looked at their watches.

The poetry master edged out onto the stage.

“Miss Vandermeer!” he hissed, “Are you all right?”

Miss Vandermeer stared over the heads of her audience and her eyes grew wide, her face contorted in horror. The men of the audience jumped up, whirling to look.

“Dear God in Heaven!” shrieked the poetry master. “Stay calm! Stay calm!” but his own terror created stampede in the hall. He gave in to his fright and sank to his knees, unaware of anything but a green darkness overcoming him from the back of the hall.

Next week: The bad prose worsens

Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm every week in her column, “Notes from Nan.” Share dinner with her every Friday at Elmer’s. Each weeks menu posted with her column. Previous Notes from Nan & Related Posts:

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  • One Comment on “It was a dark and stormy chicken . . .

    1. Hey all you cool cats, if you missed the Big Dance last night you missed a real treat! Best of show: Watching Gregory Thorpe dance! What amazing moves! Great music! Great time! My feet hurt!

      What did I want to tell you? Oh yes—we have some of Mary’s Vegetarian Chili in our To Go cooler, Jest a-waitin; to be et!

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