Night Sky of New Orleans

Notes from Nan: Putting the Whipple Back in Grocery Performance
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

You know what’s weird?

Forty-eight years I lived in one city or another and now, all of a sudden, I can’t get used to the light of the city at night. The city night sky, she is weird—always red with big pink clouds. Where does all this light come from? I know—Walmart. And, probably, all of the big refineries out there in the parishes, but so much light! It looks like a full moon every night, but disconcerting, not pretty like with the moon, and without all the lovely shadows. Its’ like fluorescent light—no shadows and everything lit from all sides. It’s hard to sleep.

Why don’t you put big light-blocking curtains over the windows? You ask.

Because I hate big light-blocking curtains. I like big, open windows so you can see the sky at night.

Well then why don’t you shut up and quit complaining, Little Miss-All-I-Want-to-do-is-Complain? You ask.

Okay, I say. I’d feel the same way if I were you.


Hey! It’s time for the 2nd Annual Ashfield Film Festival Entries! They’ve broken it up into more categories this year, so that you, too can enter! Film submission deadline is August 12, 2008! Read all about it at!

Friday Night (04/18/08 ) Menu:

Friday Night is Pasta night at Elmer’s!

And it’s not only Pasta night, it’s Your Choice of Pasta Night at Elmer’s!

We have four choices of Pasta

  1. Greek pasta: Orzo pasta, spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts
  2. Linguini with pesto, sundried tomatoes & mushrooms
  3. Penne with kale, linguica (Portuguese sausage), peppers & onions
  4. Linguini carbonara (bacon, parmesan cheese & cream sauce) & mushrooms
  • And to accompany your pasta: Rosemary & thyme grilled chicken
  • or Italian tofu sausage

I don’t know HOW Peggy is going to write all of that on the blackboard! This is what I can lie awake wondering about tonight while all that dang ambient light is keeping me awake!

You know, I don’t ever read Grocery Talk with Rob until the moment I am adding it to this newsletter. So it’s always a surprise to me, as well.

Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob

Dear readers,

It has come to my attention that I have unknowingly been offending many of you by posting the image of “Mr. Whipple” and a variation of his signature phrase on my weekly reports. For this I offer my humblest and most heartfelt apology.

I have also made numerous references to the aforementioned television character in my posts and have even portrayed him as the zeitgeist of a vocation that is part of my daily responsibilities at Elmer’s Store. Although I was trying to be humorous, I now know that my words were hurtful and hateful, and I am ashamed of my ignorance.

As Nan correctly pointed out, I am a product (apparently, even more so than I thought) of 1970’s television and the undeniable chauvinism and sexism that poured from the airwaves on a daily basis. Although I was raised by good liberal parents, and have five sisters, that apparently was not enough to counteract the enormous influence 1970’s television had on my perception of women. That said, I have spent my life “believing” to have an enlightened attitude towards women, but my own written words have exposed me for the misogynistic boor that I truly am. Is it any wonder why I am not married?

So, where do I go from here? I can not afford to voluntarily sign up for sensitivity training, nor does Elmer’s Store require such training, yet. I will, however, never again use an image of, or make any references to, the “Mister Whipple” character. I also welcome any constructive criticisms from the public as to my behavior in this regard.

I am truly very sorry.



Quick grocery notes

Kathy S. wrote to me with a special request for Nairn’s Oatcakes. Well I went to their website and it was so cute I just HAD to order some and I don’t even know what they are! I do know that they are wheat-free and organic and when Kathy comes in to buy them (hear that, Kathy?) I hope she gives me a little taste of one.

And Sherry L. would like me to get some sprouting seeds. Is that like a Chia thing? I’ll check into it.

The Miso and Earth Balance Spread will be here Tuesday. And Side Hill Farm yogurt will be here when gets here.

Speaking of cows, I saw a segment on the Today Show about waterbeds for cows! Apparently some people have this crazy notion that if cows are comfortable and happy, they produce more milk. Imagine that. I talked to Paul and Amy about this and they told me that their cows lie on Tempurpedic mattresses!

That is all for now.

Oh Rob! (I, being much older than Rob is, was raised on sixties television, so that “Oh Rob!” has to be said like Mary Tyler Moore said it to Rob Petrie every week when she was upset with him on the Dick van Dyke Show.)

I didn’t say you had offended people, I said that I sometimes worried about it (while I’m lying awake not able to sleep with all that light in my eyes) and so I was explaining it so that they wouldn’t be offended! Now they’re going to think I’m a sensitive jerk for stifling your creativity! I, myself love the Whipple Rating, and the only thing I was trying to explain was the “Ladies, Please don’t squeeze the El Jardin!” because I was afraid it wouldn’t make any sense to people who were born after the seventies! (And Rob, do you realize you could have been born in 1980 and now be TWENTY- EIGHT years OLD???)

Let’s see what Donna has to say in the Farm Report:

The Farm Report

This week I am featuring a recipe for SUKIYAKI from The Book of Whole
Meals by Annemarie Colbin.

2 carrots, cut thinly on the diagonal
1 head of bok choy or Chinese cabbage, cut into ¼” strips on the diagonal
2 zucchini, diced
1 red pepper, cut in strips and chopped crosswise
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup mushrooms, slicing caps and stems
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2/3 cup water
Place each vegetable in a two quart pot: first the carrots, then the
bok choy, zucchini, pepper, bean sprouts, and mushrooms on top. In a
small bowl, mix water and soy sauce and slowly pour over the
vegetables; cover the pot and turn heat to high. When the pot begins
to hiss, reduce the heat and steam for 5 minutes or until vegetables
shrink to about half their original volume. Toss gently with wooden
spoons. Serve over bulgur.

Experiment with different veggies, putting the root veggies on the
bottom of the pot and the ones that take less time toward the top.
Serve over your favorite grain.
APPLES from Scott’s Orchard were delivered FRIDAY, 4/11/08:
BABY CARROTS from Spring Water Gardens were delivered FRIDAY, 4/11/08
MIXED SALAD GREENS from Sidehill Farm were delivered WEDNESDAY, 4//9/08
SPINACH from Sidehill Farm was delivered WEDNESDAY, 4/2/08
PUMPKINS from Scott’s Orchard are ON SALE : ½ PRICE

FRENCH SHALLOTS from Ashfield gardener:

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

Organic (Ecuador) Bananas
Organic (FL) Green Beans
Organic (CA) Red Beets
Organic (CA) Bok Choy
Organic (VT) Carrots
Organic (CA) Cauliflower
Organic (CA) Celery
Organic (Argentina) Garlic
Organic (HI) Ginger Root
Organic (CA) Grapefruit
Organic (CA) Mushrooms: Crimini
Organic (CA) Onions: Yellow
Organic (CA) Peppers: Green
Organic (CA) Parsnips
Organic (CA) Potatoes: Red in bags or by the pound
Organic (Canada) Potatoes: Yukon in bags or by the pound
Organic (VT) Sprouts: Alfalfa
Conventional Cilantro
Conventional Peas: Snap
Conventional Parsley: Italian
Conventional Limes

If you would like to make specific requests, email me at


What in the world is Sukiyaki?

This whole Elmer’s thing is taking on a life of its own. I don’t even know what it is we’re teaching people to make anymore!

I’m going to go lie down.

PS. I quit hula hoop camp. Now I’m going to Walking to the Grocery Store Camp. That is much, much easier.

One Comment on “Night Sky of New Orleans

  1. It makes me happy to read Nan and Rob and get new recipes. Connected to community and other people who will take the time to invest their thoughts and energy for the greater good of passing along info and a sense of light heartedness. Swimming upstream with a smile!
    Thanks, Kerri

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