Big doings this weekend in Ashfield!

Read more about Crafted in the Village.Notes from Nan: Big Doings This Weekend
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati


So, here at the Culinary Institute of Elmer’s (CIE), we’ve engaged the services of a second chef, Mr. Jim Dion, formerly of Gypsy Apple in Shelburne Falls. How, you ask, do we get all of the fabulous restaurant people from Shelburne Falls to come and work with us at Elmer’s? I do not know! But I am darned happy about it! Jim and Mary have been collaborating on dinners and last Friday night Jim took us on a culinary tour of Asia that was outstanding. I ate two plates full. This week we’re going to Greece with Jim’s Mediterranean Platter!

This Friday’s Menu (11/30/07)

  • Greek Salad
  • Chicken Skewer with cucumber yogurt sauce
  • Hummus
  • Tabbouleh
  • Baba Ghannouj
  • Flatbread
  • Rice Pilaf

(can you hear the music and see the guys dancing in the background?)

And for dessert Susanne will make

  • Baklava

And something else but we don’t know what it is yet!

By the way, when I left there she was making Chocolate Truffle Tarts that were outstanding! If I were you, I would go over there RIGHT NOW and get one! I would do that myself, except that I just did and if I eat them all, there will be no profit whatsoever and I will have no one to complain to about that.


Produce Pointer of the Week: We have solved the cooler dilemma! Vegetables and fruits no longer get frosted in the cooler. Therefore, the cooler will contain all the perishable items like the mesclun, mushrooms, carrots, beets, apples, collards, leeks, alfalfa sprouts, and cilantro. No more hunting required!

  • 1/2 mile from Elmer’s Store:
    PATTY FLAT FARM Joan and Joel Arsenault:

    collard greens, leeks, red onions, red kuri and delicata squash.
  • 1 mile from Elmer’s Store:
    SANGHA FARM MaryBeth and Derek Richie:

    beets (Heirloom and Red Ace) herbs (parsley), CURLY LEAF KALE (when the weather warms up), acorn squash, buttercup squash.
  • 2 miles from Elmer’s Store:
    SIDEHILL FARM Amy Klippenstein and Paul Lacinski:

    Fresh yogurt in 5 flavors.
  • 4 miles from Elmer’s Store:
    SPRING WATER GARDENS Will and Donna Elwell:

    cordwood (split and dried), garlic (for eating or for seed), herbs (curly parsley), long cayenne peppers, winterberry branches (for decorating – not eating!).
  • 10 miles from Elmer’s Store:
    SCOTT’S ORCHARD Ed, Colin, and Donna Scott:

    Macoun, Macintosh, and Empire apples. Pears, acorn squash, butternut squash, and buttercup squash.
  • 10 miles from Elmer’s Store:
    French shallots
  • 15 miles from Elmer’s Store:

    Fingerling potatoes
  • 20 miles from Elmer’s Store:
    DONOVAN FARM Ivan and Cinni Donovan :

    Red potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Varying US and international sources:
    SQUASH, Produce Distributor:

    alfalfa sprouts (organic), avocados, bananas, cilantro, garlic (organic), lemons, mesclun, onions (organic) (WA), portabella mushrooms, cluster tomatoes (FL, OR, CA)

This week’s produce listed by proximity to Elmer’s Store; new items are capitalized.


You know how we serve a lot of coffee? And that makes thusly a lot of coffee grounds? Well, we used to have a guy who wanted the coffee grounds for his blueberry fields, but right now he doesn’t need so many. If anyone would like organic coffee grounds for their blueberries or artistic sculptures or anything, we would be glad to save them for you. Call Peggy at 628-4003 weekday mornings before 1:30 and let her know if you want us to save you some grounds. (If you were trying to stop drinking so much coffee, you could just keep them in your bedroom and smell them when you woke up, too!)


Our up-coming December Gallery Show is going to be on Sunday, December 9th at 3pm with Jackie Boudreaux Kinsey and her Blue Chickens and Ripped Livestock. Wonderful pieces!

In the Big Room Gallery we will have photos by Scott Saltzman, a friend of mine from New Orleans who has made his name in photography with his beautiful and intimate photographs of musicians—mostly blues, gospel, Cajun and R&B. He now lives in New Orleans (which is how I know him) but went to college at UMass, Amherst, so he’s really, kind of a Western Massachusetts local. You can preview his imagery at and I will have it up on our gallery wall for December.

Come and try our lunch this weekend!

Big Elmer

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.

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