Ice Cream and Movies in Ashfield

Notes from Nan: Ice Cream and Movies!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

This is big news: BIGGER than the presidential election outcome! Ready?  Winton the Hilltown Ice Cream Man decided to go out of the ice cream business.  Maybe you already knew that. Maybe I’ve just upset you really, really badly and for that, I am sorry.

BUT! Here’s the important Breaking News part:

Elmer’s owns ALL of his remaining ice cream! We have it right here!! Why? Because I always wanted to corner the market on something and now I have! No, not really (well, yes really, but that’s not really why.)

We have the stuff, man, and we will be selling it right here out of Elmer’s in the form of dessert until it runs out. And then it will be no more. Ever again. So we are selling each scoop for $49.95, which may seem expensive until you reflect on how rare and good it is.

$49.94 a scoop is actually just for the out-of-towners who never come here who want to order it on-line or through QVC. For Elmer’s patrons we will sell it at normal prices with pie, with cake, with salami—whatever you want it with, or just alone; but only as dessert. We can’t sell quarts of it or even pints of it because:

1. Then we will run out quickly and that is not the point of having it.
2. Just like with your birthday presents, if you savor each bite, the delight will last longer.
3. I said so.

Every week we’ll have a different flavor and just that flavor because I don’t want to open a lot of tubs all at once and have them get freezer burnt. See, we are an analogue business and that’s how we operate. Refer to number 3 above.

The flavors we have are

  • Coffee
  • Butter Pecan
  • Chocolate
  • Spotted Leopard

I don’t know which of the flavors it will be this week, but if you come in for dinner and dessert, you will find out!

Speaking of Dinner and Dessert

This week we have”

Dinner from 5 – 8 pm

  • Chicken Parmesan over Linguini and
    Eggplant Parmesan over Linguini

Dinner from 5 – 9pm

Elmer’s regular Friday night dinners, exactly like before.

  • Fish Filet with Rice and Beans
    Fillet of Red Snapper topped with a sauce of shrimp, olives, tomatoes, cilantro, green chilis, cinnamon and capers

Jim is going to the fish market tomorrow to see what kind of fish he is going to choose, so I don’t know yet what it’s going to be. Except for, good.

Dinner from 6 – 9pm.

This is our Tapas night, where portions are small and single-serving sized so that you can pick and choose from a variety of mix and matching options (just like playing Barbie!)

Choose from about a dozen different appetizer-sized dishes ranging in price from about $3 to $8. Eat as many or as few as you like! Jim hasn’t yet told me what he’s making for Tapas night yet this week, but I guarantee you that each of those little dishes is going to be magnificent!

Last night we had an Election Night dinner at Elmer’s that was attended by more people than I could count. I could have counted them if they had held still, but they were moving all over like a crowd of puppies—jumping up and down, eating, drinking, watching TV, seeing their friends, coming, going and I just could not get a handle on how many were here—I’d say about 5000 though, roughly.

To make it so that 5000 people could watch TV all at once, I rented a Huge-Ass TV from Rent-A-Center in Greenfield. And since the minimum rental is for longer than one night, since we have the thing, this Saturday night, instead of a live band we are going to have

Movie Night!

We will move the movie time up to 8:30 and begin dinner at 6:00.

Why? Because a 9:00 movie makes you think it’s too late, and because most people don’t come for dinner on Fridays until about 6 or later.

The movie will be:

The Band’s Visit—one of the best films I’ve ever seen in life. You laugh, you cry, you remember it for a long time just because it’s such a great script and great acting! Here’s a review from It’s just a regular person’s review, but it’s right on target. This is a great, great film.

Band Visits, You’d Want Them to Stay, 24 January 2008

Author: janos451 from San Francisco

In an ocean of predictable movies, “The Band’s Visit” is an island of bliss. When you see the advertising about the story of an Egyptian police band getting lost in Israel, you’re likely to roll the film instantly in your mind – conflict, hatred, perhaps some awkward humor, and a forced bit or two of vague optimism about the future.

Forget all that, it’s some other movie. This one is free and clear of anything set, routine, obvious, predictable. “The Band’s Visit” is about people – mostly awkward, all real, well- and ill-behaved in turn – and not about agenda, ideology, politics. It’s an unsentimental “people movie” (remember when Hollywood used to churn those out?), enormously likable, a treasurehouse of humanism.

“Visit” is also a film you have to work with. It’s not dumped on the audience in its fullness by its writer and (first-time) director, Eran Kolirin. Action is slow or nonexistent, dialogue is halting, silences are rampant. And yet it all works so well: even if you have never heard Egyptian music, when the band finally plays (as the end-credits roll), you’re guaranteed to groove on it.

Kolirin is a writer and director of great economy. The characters of and relationships between the eight band members – in their powder blue, Sgt. Pepper-wannabe, uniforms are revealed through a word here, an expression there, and pretty soon, you really know them… except that later you realize you didn’t.

The head of the band, Tewfig, is an officious, prissy, downcast, silent figure, and yet as the camera stays on him a great deal of the time, slowly you are getting used to him, and when he finally puts together a couple of full sentences, you may feel acceptance and even appreciation.

It is at this point, far into the movie, that you understand why Dina is pursuing him. Dina is the attractive – if blowsy – owner of a small cafe in the Israeli desert town where the band is stranded. There is much, much more to “Visit,” but just watching the Tewfig-Dina story, and reveling in the performances of the two actors, is well worth the price of admission.

The band leader is Sasson Gabal, and I must admit being incredulous finding out after seeing the movie that he is a famous Israeli actor. Not only does he appear authentically Egyptian, but when starts singing an Arabic song – oy! Dina is Ronit Elkabetz, an actor so fine that you’d never suspect her of being one; what you see on the screen is the character, totally believable.

“Visit” is a rare film, one that keeps running in your mind long after the band strikes up.

Now: This particular event is not going to be a kid-event. Not that we don’t like kids, because we do very much, but this particular film would be boring to little kids and so they shouldn’t come to this. I don’t remember the actual rating on it, but it’s probably PG-13, only because it would be boring to younger than that.

So, we’ll serve dinner from 6-8:30 and then the movie at 8:30. Okay! It should be fun!

By the way, did you know that Peg over at Country Pie is giving away free soup and slices on Tuesday nights while they last?— (the soup and slices. We’re hoping that Tuesday nights indefinitely.) You know why? Because Peg is nice and she feels like it’s a nice thing to do for a community in times of tight money. I think so too, but I ain’t giving away no soup! No indeed! I’m going over to Country Pie! –The Editor

Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob

Congratulations to Barack Obama! Wow. Just wow.

And here in good ol’ Massachusetts, the three ballot initiatives have resulted in something about greyhounds being able to smoke pot but still having to pay income taxes. I’m thinking maybe that’s a good thing maybe.

Diary of embarrassment (quick version)

The first time I ever voted, I really only went to vote for Dewey, but the ballot had all these other races that needed my crucial vote. I went down the line, voting for names that looked familiar somehow. It was like taking a sort of final exam for a class that I hadn’t even attended (not so unusual for me). Anyway, by the time I got to the judges section, I was totally dumbfounded. Making it worse, many of the names had the word “incumbent” after them. Since I didn’t know what the word meant, I took it to mean some sort of malady; like “incompetent” or “impotent” which kind of made me feel sorry for them. Seriously, I couldn’t imagine what it could be. And why should I deny them their judicial dreams just because of a disability? So I voted for all the incumbents that day, except for one, because I didn’t want to pander.

I got a camera

Sister Nancy, who bestows upon me gifts of great usefulness, has bequeathed me her much loved and much traveled Nikon and oh, the fun we will have here at Grocery Talk.

Yes, nothing will escape my curious lens as I attempt to take full advantage of the ability of a single image to reduce my writing obligation by one thousand words.

Take this, for example:

That’s cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto! And it came from our kitchen! No more need be said. That’s the power of photography right there.

Grocery Talk

Will resume as normal next week. With pictures!

The following vegetable announcement reflects the views of our produce manager and may or may not represent the views and opinions of Elmer’s Owners, Staff, Management, Nephews, Nieces, Cousins, In-Laws, Out-laws, Neighbors, Friends, Romans or Countrymen.

That’s the thing that’s so darn hard about community—it takes a whole village to make a community and everyone needs to know that the community is their place too, regardless of opinions and voting preferences.

So, as hard as we tried to keep politics out of the shopping place while the election was going on, here goes:

Barack Obama is our President!!!


I am so encouraged by this outcome.  Through the involvement of millions of people, a man of Kenyan and American heritage has been elected President of the United States of America.  I am hopeful because President Obama is sensible.  I believe he is motivated by the interests of common people and will, therefore, implement changes that will benefit us all.  I am also hopeful because throughout his candidacy he has inspired millions of people to get involved in politics and to educate ourselves on how to participate in our democracy!

I’ve got a lot of learning to do.

And now for the local and organic veggies list…………….



APPLES: Macintosh from Scott;s Orchard, Ashfield

APPLES: Macoun from Scott;s Orchard, Ashfield

BEETS from Sangha Farm, Ashfield

ONIONS: RED from Sangha Farm, Ashfield

SQUASH: ACORN from Sangha Farm, Ashfield

SQUASH: BUTTERCUP from Paddy Flat Farm, Ashfield

SQUASH: DELICATA from Paddy Flat Farm, Ashfield

WATERMELON from Paddy Flat Farm, Ashfield


Organic (Ecuador) Bananas

Organic (Vermont) Cabbage

Organic (Vermont) Carrots

Organic (CA) Celery

Organic (Vermont) Kale

Organic (CA) Mesclun

Organic (CA) Potatoes: Gold

Organic (Vermont) Tomatoes: Vermatoes


Organic (CA) Ginger Root

Organic (CA) Onions

Organic (Ca) Oranges

Organic (CA) Yams

To make specific produce requests, email me at


Pauline Productions Presents


by Charles Ludlam

Starring Valley Favorites Jeannine Haas and Kelsey Flynn,

Directed  by Van Farrier

“A hilarious full-length quick-change marathon spoofing Gothic thrillers”

November 7-9 and 14-16 in Ashfield

1st Congregational Church on Main Street, Ashfield

Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm.

Reservations:  413-268-3850 or

$18,16 (Senior./Student)

or “The Package Deal of the Century“ =Fri. or Sat. Dinner at ELMER’S and the PLAY, $32.50!

Church and Elmer’s are wheelchair accessible.

Art Opening:
Sunday, November 30th 3-5pm: Marcine Appel and our own baker: Kim Sebrey!
Readings and Author Signings!
November 16th: Jacqueline Sheehan and friends
November 23rd: Dick Todd reading from his new book, “The Thing Itself, On the Search for Authenticity.”

I think that’s all I know.

Big E.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: