Notes from Nan: Stova-saurus!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Day 14 of Hula Hoop Camp:

I have found out much Hula Hoop Lore while at camp

  1. Hula Hooping is just not for everyone. Some people try it out their entire lives and cannot keep it up. I have found a few people like that.
  2. There is a little girl RIGHT IN OUR ASHFIELD MIDST who is a hula hoop champ! She’s the daughter of Richie Richardson who owns the Goodtyme Stove Company and she hoops professionally!
  3. I also found out that the hula hoop I’m working with is, indeed too light and that’s why I can’t do it.

Numbers One and Three were the best news I had all week at Camp Hoop! Number two made me feel a little inferior.

New Kitchen at Elmer’s!

Hey! Stick your head in the kitchen door and check out our new Barca-Stova-Lounger! We got a stove with more burners than God’s got children and from what I understand, it makes the possibilities for all kinds of new stuff endless!

Remember when I was talking about how to expand our kitchen? We have just finished Phase One –and without a lick of building involved!

Weather Report—but a possible solution:

I know, I know, God bless you up there, it’s still snowing.

But I do happen to know of two lovely short term apartments for rent down here that are both available right now, if you’d like to just get away from there for a few weeks.

One is in Bay St. Louis; a lovely little town of about 5000 people right on the Gulf Coast; the apartment is located in an old antebellum house with a huge front porch under ancient oak trees, two blocks from the ocean.

The second is in New Orleans, on Louisiana Avenue, walking-blocks away from all the shops and restaurants of Magazine Street.

Both places are for any-term rent (short or longer) and if you’re interested, e-mail me ( and I’ll send you the information. (They are available all year around so if now is too soon and you’re interested in them later, I’ll still have the information.)

Friday Night’s Menu (04/11/08):

For Friday’s dinner we’ll be serving a very New Orleans meal (although not necessarily what people associate with New Orleans). We will be serving:

  • Bouillabaisse: a Provincial seafood stew infused with saffron & fennel, the seafood will be mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops, and sole with red potatoes and a crouton topped with saffron aioli.
  • The Vegetarian dinner will be vegetables & tofu Italian sausage over pasta with a tomato basil sauce.

And now it’s time for

Grocery Talk

With an emphasis on talking about Groceries

With Rob

“Ladies, please don’t squeeze the El Jardin!”*

Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob

Okay Nan, you’re right. Again. I should be talking about groceries in this column. It’s just that I get on a roll sometimes and the words just start a-flowin’ and by the time I’m done, there just isn’t any space left for groceries.

Beginning this week, I embark on what I call “Phase Two” of my journey through Whippleville by learning to work within a “budget” instead of just ordering whatever and not worrying about invoices (kind of like the Pentagon). This will make my job harder at first, but easier in the long term as I believe that setting limits actually simplifies a lot of things. For instance, it’s much easier for me to say “nope, can’t afford it” than “where am I going to get the $65 a month for the satellite service I just signed up for?”

Aside: Yeah, I know. I’ll quit when I’m ready. And besides, that money is

earmarked for my triumphant return to Hawaii. To me, nothing says

“Congratulations, Rob” more than a beachside hammock strung between

two coconut trees. Hula girls are optional, but appreciated.

Hopefully, this will not impact the variety of offerings you’re accustomed to at Elmer’s Store. But, since I will be concentrating on numbers for awhile, this may result in some items being out of stock for a week or so until I get the hang of it. Again, I’m still learning the ropes here. Bottom line: Me Smarter, You Happier, Big Elmer No Go Broke.

Of course I still welcome (and encourage) special orders because they constitute a guaranteed sale and thus have no impact on the grocery budget, so order away!

She’s Got The Right Dynamic For The New Frontier

Last week, while I was in the office delivering treats to Kara (always, always stay on the accountant’s good side) I spied the latest catalog for Frontier Spice Company. Kara suggested that maybe I should take the catalog and maybe order some of the spices that have been missing from our spice display, maybe. Well I’m going one further and beginning a complete “spice audit” and will be updating and replacing spices in the coming weeks.

For those who don’t know this, our bulk spices are the best deal going! Buy only what you need, and save, save, save!

That’s it for this week. I now hand it back to Nan.

*Editor’s Note:

Rob grew up in the world of 1970s TV and was apparently a huge fan of Mr. Whipple, the product of idiotic TV advertisers who thought that women were stupid, stupid people who had nothing better to do than squeeze Charmin toilet paper. Mr Whipple was always admonishing women to please not squeeze the Charmin. That’s where Rob gets this. I fear sometimes that it may be offensive to women who were born to hippie parents who didn’t have TV in the seventies, or to women who missed that whole part of TV world, so sometimes I take it out of Grocery Talk with Rob. I leave it in sometimes so that the whole “Whipple” thing will make sense.

These are the things I worry about: Is Mr. Whipple offensive to women in 2008? I still don’t know. Some people worry about war and famine. I worry about Mr. Whipple. The world of grocery store ownership is a very stressful place.

—–The Editor

And I hand it over to Donna with her

Farm Report

Ashfield-grown spinach is available this week at Elmer’s as well as
Florida-grown snap peas. Also packing our cooler and shelves are the
following organic vegetables: crunchy green beans, succulent bok
choy, tender asparagus, Crimini mushrooms, sweet parsnips, and the
ever popular mesclun!
Note: You can access this Farm Report on It is
posted there on Saturdays (or when I get something from a local
farmer). This is at least two days before it comes to you in the Big
E Newsletter. Black River Produce orders are delivered on Friday
afternoons and local farmers deliver when the crops are ready. So
come on in on Friday’s or get the report on our website in order to
buy your fruits and veggies when they are their freshest!

SPINACH from Sidehill Farm was delivered WEDNESDAY, 4/3/08
APPLES from Scott’s Orchard delivered weekly:

SQUASHES from Scott’s Orchard and Patty Flat Farm are ON SALE : ½ PRICE
red kuri
ONIONS from Ashfield gardener:
French shallots

POTATOES from Manda Farm in Plainfield :
Fingerling potatoes (in the cooler on the bottom shelf)


Organic (CA) Asparagus
Organic (Ecuador) Bananas
Organic (FL) Green Beans
Organic (CA) Bok Choy
Organic (CA) Mesclun
Organic (CA) Mushrooms: Crimini
Organic (CA) Parsnips
Conventional Cilantro
Conventional Peas: Snap
Conventional Parsley: Italian

Organic (CA) Red Beets
Organic (CA) Broccoli
Organic (VT) Carrots
Organic (CA) Cauliflower
Organic (CA) Celery
Organic (Argentina) Garlic
Organic (CA) Grapefruit
Organic (HI) Ginger Root
Organic (CA) Onions: Yellow
Organic (CA) Peppers: Green
Organic (CA) Potatoes: Red in bags or by the pound
Organic (Canada) Potatoes: Yukon in bags or by the pound
Organic (VT) Sprouts: Alfalfa
Organic (VT) Tomatoes: Long Wind A’s
Organic (VT) Tomatoes: Good n’ Uglies

Conventional Limes

If you would like to make specific requests, email me at
Get your daily dose of fresh air – there is nothing like it!


See you around and everywhere!

Big E

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: