What Happened to Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob?

Notes from Nan: Tangled up in Blues Festival
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Did anybody happen to get a good photograph of the hot air balloon glow Friday night at the Green River Festival? It was just gorgeous—a dozen balloons all roaring with fire and helium, glowing at dusk. I think it was the prettiest glow they’ve ever done at the festival and I’m looking for a photograph of it. If you have one, would you let me know?

This just in:

Elmer’s Newsletter Readers Think They Know the Formula

Thereby Missing Rob’s Column


ASHFIELD, MASS—A number of readers of Elmer’s weekly newsletter were disappointed to find that last week’s e-mail was sent without Rob’s weekly side-splitting column—or so they thought.

Chagrinned readers were really chagrinned to find that newsletter editor Nan Parati had swapped positions of The Farm Report with Grocery Talk with Rob and, finding The Farm Report first, they assumed there was no GTwR for the week.

“What the–?” asked one reader who spoke on condition of anonymity, but who spoke suspiciously like a comic strip character named Mark Trail who’s always saying, ‘What the–?’ Why did she do that?”

When asked, Parati responded, “Uh UH uh. Just did.”

OCD readers who actually read the e-mail all the way through to the last word were rewarded with what many thought was Taft’s funniest column yet. Those who deleted the email without finishing it will never know what he said.

“Too bad for them,” said Parati.

Speculators suspect that Parati is jealous of Taft’s meteoric rise in readership and speculate some more that she did it on purpose just so no one would read his column. Parati was too busy slashing Taft’s tires to comment, but her publicist later issued a statement from her that read, “Yeah, right.”

There has been no word at this point whether this week’s newsletter will include the hilarious weekly column by Taft, and calls to the editor’s home were answered by someone who kept picking up the phone and saying, “What if we were still at Johnette Watson’s house watching Betty Boop movies?”

No word as to what the—? that means.

Photographers are, however stationed outside her window with long lenses to try and see what she’s typing.

The Freakin’ Farm Report!

By Little Donna Elwell

In a Local Routine

We are getting veggies from Ashfield farmers every Tuesday and I fill
in on Fridays with veggies from our farm, as needed. Raspberries and
blueberries are delivered every other day. FRESH as can be!


FRIDAY, 7/18/08
BLUEBERRIES from Nancy Intres, Ashfield
HARICOT VERT from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield
RASPBERRIES from Alex Osterman, Ashfield
SNAP PEAS from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield
SUMMER SQUASH from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield
ZUCCHINI from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield

TUESDAY, 7/15/08
ARUGULA from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield
BEANS from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield
CILANTRO from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
LETTUCE HEADS from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
LETTUCE MIX from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield
SNOW PEAS from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield
TOMATOES from Sidehill Farm, Ashfield

SATURDAY, 7/12/08
SPINACH from Sangha Farm, Ashfield

THURSDAY, 7/10/08
BEETS from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
BROCCOLI from Paddy Flat Farm, Ashfield
GREEN BEANS from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield


Organic (Argentina) Garlic
Organic (HI) Ginger Root
Organic (CA) Leeks
Organic (CA) Mushrooms: Portabella
Organic (CA) Plums: Red
Organic (CA) Potatoes: Red and Gold

To make specific produce requests, email me at



So for dinner this week we are having

  • The best Gumbo you ever had in your Whole Life! It’s Shrimp, Chicken and Andouille sausage
  • With a field greens salad.

For vegetarians

  • We have a fresh vegetable stew
  • Served over rice
  • With a field greens salad.

Come on, all y’all who know gumbo! Come try this and tell me it ain’t the best! ‘Cause it is!

And speaking of food,

Here’s what we’re serving at the First Annual Elmer’s Blues Festival!

o Fried Catfish

  • Cochon de lait Po-boy (that’s the pork butt po-boys that everyone liked so much at the Cajun Festival)
  • Fried Chicken Wings
  • Shrimp Gumbo
  • Collard Greens
  • Hush Puppies
  • Cornbread
  • Cole Slaw
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Hot Dogs
  • Pecan Pie
  • Banana Pudding
  • And the Ice Cream Man!

Now, this time we’re going to have food booths and they will all be outside so that you can go to the booth you like best and still hear the music.

Hey and guess what! This time we will really and truly have our liquor license so that we will be selling wine and beer! So we will be carding people at the door and issuing wrist bands for those that is able to buy alcohol and those that ain’t. So bring your honest-to-goodness ID and don’t try wearing a fake mustache or a Mexican wrestling mask to make yourself look older.

For you who did not get last week’s e-mail, here is all about the First Annual Blues Festival:

  • Chris Smither & Jeremy Lyons
  • Elmer’s First Annual Blues Festival
  • August 2, 2008
  • at Elmer’s Store, 396 Main Street, Ashfield, MA – (413) 628-4003
  • Fine, Good Old Fashioned Southern Food (see food list above) & Music
  • Doors open at 4:30
  • 5:15 The Academy at Charlemont Bluegrass Band
  • 6:00 Bill Perlman
  • 7:00 Jeremy Lyons & Greg Schatz – The Deltabilly Duo
  • 8:30 Chris Smither
  • Tickets are available at Elmer’s

Food is not included with the price of the festival ticket and cannot be bought separately from the festival. On the other hand, we’ll have plenty!

And finally . . .

Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob


Ashfield man successfully swings dead cat

without hitting a Subaru

Associated Press

ASHFIELD MASS- Seeking either to prove or disprove an oft-heard local adage, Ashfield resident Robert Taft took it upon himself to literally wield a deceased feline in hopes of striking a Subaru, a popular brand of car in this area. Despite his best effort, however, he failed to land even a glancing blow.

The feat, while sounding simple enough, actually imposed several logistical challenges, not the least was a proper location. “I didn’t want to pick a spot totally at random” said Taft, “otherwise; I might end up in the woods where there aren’t any cars at all.” After discussing possible locations with town officials, it was decided that an ideal spot would be an area between Main Street and the edge of Ashfield Hardware’s parking lot. “When I got there, I was happy to see about three Subarus parked there already, so I thought my chances were good” said Taft.

The second challenge involved the procurement of a dead cat, the idea of which was dismissed immediately due to matters of respect and good taste. Instead, “Poo-Poo”, an eighteen-inch plush stuffed toy cat belonging to a local three year old, was recruited as a stand-in. It had been determined that since Poo-Poo was never technically alive, it could indeed serve as a dead cat.

Finally, a set of rules regarding the swing itself had to be agreed on. After further discussion, it was decided that Taft would be blindfolded, guided to the predetermined spot, spun around until mildly dizzy, and allowed one complete 360 degree swing of the dead cat. Additionally, two town officials would serve as judges.

So at 10:30 the next morning, with spectators gathered on sun dappled lawns surrounding the parking lot, and two judges strategically placed on either side, a slightly dizzy and blindfolded Taft, holding tightly to Poo-Poo’s tail, began his clockwise swing. Almost immediately, a cheer rose from the crowd as it appeared Taft had hit the rear quarter panel of a 1996 Legacy wagon. A second cheer erupted about three quarters through his swing as a 2003 Forrester XT, driving directly into Poo-Poo’s path, swerved to avoid the collision. For the time being though, it seemed Taft had his victory.

However, the two judges could not agree on the initial contact with the Legacy wagon, thus prompting a review of the video footage. After several tense minutes, it was determined that Poo-Poo’s monofilament whiskers missed contact with the Subaru by a fraction of an inch.

“I’m glad I did it” said Taft afterwards. “A lot of people have these preconceptions that just don’t hold up in the real world. I think I, and maybe all of us, learned something here today.”

Grocery Report

Salsa lovers rejoice!

Appalachian Naturals, the folks from Goshen who make those great salad dressings and marinades and sauces, have a line of salsas that are out of this world but in our store!

Introducing Salsa Veracruz!

These are authentic Latin salsas packed with award winning tomatoes from Massachusetts’ Red Fire Farm and fresh, locally grown veggies & herbs. Certified organic, they come in three temperatures:

Wicked Mild (reminds me of a girlfriend I once had)

Medium (what, not devilishly medium?)

Hoppin’ Hot (another ex-girlfriend)

You will find these items prominently displayed on our “New Items” table. So come on in and get yours today!

Peanut butter lovers rejoice!

I just ordered two varieties of peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co.

Smooth peanut butter

Smooth peanut butter with honey

No chunks, okay? I get it now.

Warning: these products do contain nuts.

Speaking of honey, we have an order in but it’s taking awhile due to all the bees on vacation this time of year. Please bee patient.

That is all,


And so there you have it: Rob is clearly clodpated.

See you around and everywhere, mostly at Elmer’s,

Big Elmer

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