All Dressed Up (in clean clothes) With No Where To Go!

Notes from Nan: Holidays All Over the Place!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

December 31st, 2007

Dear Diary,

You know what I’m wearing right now? My pajamas, and I am not at a New Year’s Eve party; I am home writing this. Why? Because when you own Elmer’s Store, every single day is a party and staying at home on this night when all other hell is breaking loose is pure-tee joy. I’ve been cleaning the living room and doing laundry. And I am happy!

January 1st ,2008

Dear Diary,

Damn it! I found out that Bob Nylen, Dick Todd, Jonathan Harr, Tracy Kidder and other revered members of the writing world were all sitting around talking at the party I would have gone to and that would have been so dang cool to be a part of and, as cool as doing laundry is, it would have been cooler to have been a part of that!

January 2, 2008

Dear Diary,

I was supposed to post this a couple of days ago, but it was so freakin’ cold I decided I couldn’t go out again. So I didn’t. I am going to wait until tomorrow, January 3rd and I hope it’s not too late, but . . . it’s so cold (and I have to go to Elmer’s to send it out, which means I have to put those boots on and stuff.) I’ll wait.

January 3, 2008

Dear Diary,

It still isn’t any warmer, but at least the sun is shining which makes it sort of warmer. And another thing: Every day you don’t do your post, the more you learn to add to it! So here it is. Stupid New Year’s Eve party. Stupid laundry. Now I’m all dressed up in clean clothes with no where to go!

But you can come here for dinner!

Friday Night Dinner Menu (01/04/08)

Our dinner this week comes again from Mexico! Be hot inside while it’s freakin’ cold outside with our

  • Field Green Salad with roasted corn, avocado and lime vinaigrette dressing
  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Refried Beans
  • Mexican Rice
  • We will have a vegetarian version of that and we will also have macaroni and cheese!


Little Sugar Plum Elwell is back this week with her Farm Report. Be sure to read it all the way through to the recipe for Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake at the end, as it sure is worth it!

    We special ordered them through Emi Link. Her Greenfield Center School class sold cases of fruit to raise money for new “AlfaSmart” computers. Make a delicious VITAMIN “C” FRUIT CUP by using one orange and one half grapefruit. Cut the orange in half, as you would a grapefruit. Cut around the outside edge. With a spoon, scoop out the orange wedges into a bowl. Do the same with half a grapefruit and add it to the orange wedges. Be sure to scrape the inside of each orange and grapefruit peel and add it to your bowl of fruit, squeezing to get every last drop of juice too!
  • SQUASH, Produce Distributor:
    ALFALFA SPROUTS (organic), AVOCADOS, bananas, broccoli, cilantro, CLEMENTINES, garlic (organic), ginger root (organic), grapefruit (organic), LEMONS, MESCLUN, onions (organic( (WA), oranges (organic), parsley, portabella mushrooms, radishes, CLUSTER TOMATOES (FL OR CA), yams (organic).
    ROOT VEGETABLES: beets, carrots
    APPLES: Macoun, Macintosh, and Empire
    SQUASHES: acorn, butternut, buttercup, red kuri, and pumpkin.
    ONIONS: French shallots, red onions, garlic, long cayenne peppers.
    POTATOES: Fingerling potatoes. Red, Yukon Gold, Russet.
    Other: cordwood (split and dried)
    Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake (recipe at the end of this report) is the best! Mary Beth Richie gave me the recipe along with a huge piece to try and ever since, I have been making it for every gathering I go to. Elmer’s Store has the pumpkins – locally grown – that you will need. So don’t miss out. Indulge today!


Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake
(Makes one 9-inch cheesecake)

For Crust combine
1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 1/4 cups graham crackercrumbs
1/4 cup sugar
Press firmly in 13×9 inch baking dish

For filling mix well:
3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 (16-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
(NOT evaporated milk)
1 (16-oz) can pumpkin (2 cups)
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until cake springs back. (It may crack – that’s OK). Cool. Chill.

Top with glaze:
Boil for 5 min
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans.


Happy New Year everybody

Man, it is snowing AGAIN! I’m starting to think that Ashfield might really be just an idyllic little town inside a giant snow globe and somebody’s kid keeps picking it up and shaking it.

Hey, you know what Anna Fessnesnesden did? She sent me an email listing the items she would like me to order. Thank you Anna! That makes so much sense that I want everyone to do it and if you’re reading this that means you have the technology to do so. Now get out a pen and some paper.

I’ll wait.

O.K. here it is:

Of course you can still talk to me in person or leave me little notes at Elmer’s Store, but I think the email thing is pretty slick.

On the grocery front, we are currently selling Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters Coffee beans. We have four varieties: Breakfast Blend (light), Columbian Supremo (medium), French Roast (dark), and a Christmas blend. As you know, these folks lost a store in the Great Fire of ’07 so pick up a bag or two of this fine coffee as a show of support. Helping your neighbor never tasted so good!

Also, don’t forget to check out our sale table where you will find deep discounts on holiday related items. There are many Chocolate Santas that did not find their way into a child’s stocking this year. Won’t you find them a good home before we melt them down?

Well, since it’s a new year, and I’m feeling optimistic, and the email idea is pretty cool, I’m gonna give myself another half Whipple!

Week 3

Yeah, baby!

Have a great year everyone!



At Elmer’s we’re re-upping our Sunday Afternoon Interesting Talk Series beginning with

  • Sports Talk with Howard Bryant
    On Sunday, February 10th.
    Not only is Howard one of Ashfield’s most recent new residents, he’s also a senior sportswriter for the Washington Post, and appears regularly on the ESPN programs The Sports Reporters and Outside the Lines. He is a regular contributor to NPR on Saturday morning’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. His books are “Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston” and “Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball.” He doesn’t only know baseball, but all sports, and his talk will be the Sunday after he returns from covering the Super Bowl.
  • Then, get down to business with
    Money Talk with John Perkins
    Ashfield Resident John Perkins CFP® is a fee-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP) with Compass Planning Associates. He has been awarded the CFP® designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. He has also completed the Financial Planning Association Residency Program. John is active in the financial planning community, including the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
  • Sunday Feb. 17th:
    Knowing Your IRAs – pros & cons
    This talk will discuss the different types of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), who is eligible, how much you can contribute, is this my best option, what type of investments should I use, tax deductibility and more.
  • March 9th:
    Do you Know What & How Your Planner Charges
    There are three main compensation models in financial planning, Fee-Only, fee-based and commission. If you are not familiar with exact differences between these, and you are interested in working with a financial planner or already are, it is in your best interest to know. We will discuss the three different models, the different share classes (A, B, C, etc.) that indicate how a planner may be receiving compensation from you and the expense ratio that all mutual funds have & how much the can differ widely.
  • March 30th:
    Organizing and Simplifying All of Those Accounts
    Many people have numerous accounts, including IRAs, 401ks, 403b and many other types of accounts at various providers. I am a big believer in simplifying and organizing accounts into the fewest places possible to achieve your goals, with the account services & features you need and with the fewest account statements as possible. We will discuss different providers, such as Fidelity, Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, Schwab, T. Rowe Price and online savings accounts. Life is too short to be digging through a handful of statements, mailings and emails each month from all those account providers.
  • And then there’s Mardi Gras! Again!
    This year we’re having our ball the Saturday after actual Mardi Gras itself (although that’s probably not too big a deal up here) with Eilen Jewell and her band!
    Elmer’s has moved into the bigger-time with Eilen and her band and the event will be held at Ashfield’s Town Hall, upstairs. If you don’t know her, her style is blues-country and just great. Kind of a road-house style with a guitar player who reminds you at times of Dick Dale and his surf guitar style of the 60s. You can dance, or you can just listen and tap your feet. It’s gonna be great! It’s Saturday night, February 9th at Ashfield’s Town Hall from 7 – 11 pm. ($$) We’ll be serving dinner, too, but that will be a separate deal so that people can either have dinner with us or just attend the concert. Call us at 628-4003 for details!

See you around and everywhere,

Big Elmer

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