Gas in Ohio and other interesting tidbits

Notes from Nan: Greetings from Ohio!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Good gracious, y’all—gas in Ohio is $1.79 a gallon!

I am actually in Ohio, which is how I know that. I am on a Midwest tour with me old mum, visiting the places she grew up in. And today I committed a sin. I don’t think it was a mortal sin, and I don’t know what a venial sin is and I forgot what the other one is called, but it was the sin of “oh yeah.” And that’s a bad one.

Traveling around with me old mum is not a sin—that’s just about the only thing that’s keeping me tethered to the gates of Heaven, considering the wicked life I’ve led, but this afternoon, Mom chose for us to eat lunch at Bob Evans.

Bob Evans is a restaurant not at all unlike Shoney’s or Perkins or even (for you locals) Friendly’s—albeit without the ice cream bonanzas. But there we were, waiting for lunch when I looked at their placemats that advertised, “BE-Mail” (which would be short for Bob Evans mail) so that one could stay connected to them and receive updates on Bob Evans Food and Specials.

So I looked at that and thought, “Why in the world would anyone care about what Bob Evans restaurants are doing with their food?” and then I thought, “Oh yeah. Why would they care about Elmer’s food enough to get a dang weekly e-mail about it?” And then I felt small and bad for ridiculing Bob Evans and his followers.

So then I decided to rip off his other idea that he talked about on his placemat! He offers a gift card good for meals at Bob Evans as “The Perfect Holiday Gift!” And I thought, “What a great idea! Offer a pre-paid card for dinners at Elmer’s as a holiday gift!” So I’m working on that idea. So don’t call for it yet as I don’t have it worked out yet. —-Assuming, of course that you think it is a good idea.

Thanks Bob Evans! You’re a good guy with good ideas after all! And I still feel bad for thinking no one would care about your food and specials.

And so, of course, speaking of dinner, here is what Nan Parati restaurants are offering this week:


Corned Beef, Cabbage. Potatoes, Carrots, Horseradish cream sauce

Lentil Soup with Grilled Cheese with Spinach.  (I think that’s sandwich, but I’m in Ohio and can’t ask Chef Jim)


Beef Tenderloin with Burgundy Mushroom Sauce

Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Field Greens Salad

Roasted Acorn Squash stuffed with Bulgar wheat and dried Cranberries and herbs


Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna

Over Soba Noodles with Miso Broth

Saturday we are not doing the tapas because we are doing the dinner and Irma Vep theater package and it is nearly impossible to get people to an 8pm show while trying to serve tapas.  The little guys will return next Saturday.

This Saturday we are doing Movie Night again!  Because we still have our big screen TV and so we’re taking advantage of it.  Rob gets to pick the movie this week, so he picks Bonnie and Clyde, which I think would be good.  Once again, not so much for little kids.

Dinner will be from 6 to 8:30 and the movie will start at 8:30.

Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob


Well, there’s no gettin’ around it folks. The holiday season is upon us at last! How do I know this? It’s all in the commercials. Not necessarily Christmas commercials, but ads for chocolate and carpet cleaning and shipping are appearing with increased frequency. These are merely the opening salvos that signal the coming onslaught. Okay, it’s also November.

Here at Elmer’s Store, we have lots and lots of holiday merchandise! You just can’t see it yet because it’s all still in boxes at a super secret location we call “Santa’s Special Place”. Now the plan, as always, is to construct an elaborate display strategically placed to maximize interest, traffic, sales, and general good cheer. However, every time we go through all that trouble, Nan just tears it apart so she can use it as a table: “Are you here for breakfast? Great! We don’t have any tables open, but if you don’t mind, l can clear off this Christmas display and you can sit on some candy cane boxes! How many in your group? Ten? Great! Right this way”.

Note: Elmer’s Store strictly adheres to all prevailing laws pertaining to seating capacity and fire codes and all that stuff. The police and local officials conduct inspections and evaluations on a daily basis over coffee and bagels. That they pay for. The coffee and bagels, I mean.

So, the challenge is to build a holiday display that can be quickly transformed into a table for ten when the need arises. Yeah, I’ll get right on that.

Actually, the challenge is to build a holiday display that can’t be turned into a table for ten. Maybe some sort of self-destruct mechanism would kick in whenever someone (Nan) tries to remove too many items at the same time.

So look for our beautiful, fully stocked, self-destructing Holiday Display coming to Elmer’s Store real soon!

See you next week,


Shrimp and linguini from last Friday’s dinner

Ed. Note:  Rob, if I weren’t in such a hurry to get this done, I’d fire you for insubordination!  But I’m in a hurry!  And I’m sleepy!  But when I get back, you’re outta here!

The Farm Report


We have five senses with which to understand our surroundings and each sense has an enormous capacity.  Like our eyes, that can see variation in tone and color, so can our tongues distinguish the flavors of bitter, sweet, sour, salty, and umami.   According to Wikipedia, “Umami is a Japanese word meaning savory, a “deliciousness” factor deriving specifically from detection of the natural amino acid, glutamic acid, or glutamates common in meats, cheese, broth, stock, and other protein-heavy foods. “

Our tongues are amazing.  Exercise all your taste buds.  Just think of all the joys to discover as you explore the variety of bitter flavors or the complexity of sour tasting dishes.  So hurry in and get a few purple-topped turnips or a bunch of spicy greens.  Try our selection of ASHFIELD apples:  Honey Crisp, Fortune, Macintosh, Macoun, Sweet 16, and Fireside.

Stay healthy,




APPLES: Honey crisp from Clark Brothers Orchards, Ashfield

APPLES: Fortune from Clark Brothers Orchards, Ashfield

ARUGULA from Springwater Farm, Ashfield

GREENS: SPICY from Springwater Farm, Ashfield


APPLES: Macintosh from Scott’s Orchard, Ashfield

APPLES: Macoun from Scott’s Orchard, Ashfield

APPLES: Sweet 16 from Brookside Farm, Ashfield

APPLES: Fireside from Brookside Farm, 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: Red

Organic (Vermont) Carrots

Organic (CA) Celery

Organic (CA) Mesclun

Organic (CA) Potatoes: Gold

Organic (Vermont) Tomatoes: Vermatoes


Organic (CA) Ginger Root

Organic (CA) Onions

Organic (Ca) Oranges

Organic (Vermont) Lettuce: Green leaf

Organic (Vermont) Lettuce: Red leaf

Organic (CA) Plums: Red Mariposa

Organic (Vermont) Turnips: Purple top

Organic (CA) Yams

Conventional (CA) Lemons

To make specific produce requests, email me at


I didn’t write this,

But I do plan to read there:

The Great Darkness Writing Group

Presents a reading at Elmer’s Store.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

3-5 pm.

Join us for an afternoon of hilarity, heartbreak, and happiness.

Our featured guest reader is none other than

NAN PARATI, making her debut reading in Ashfield.

Our writers include:

Marianne Banks, Leeds

Jeanne Borfitz, Northampton

Jennifer Jacobson, Northampton

Celia Jeffries, Westhampton

Lisa Kerr, Ashfield

Alan Lipp, South Deerfield

Pat Riggs, Leeds

Jacqueline Sheehan, Florence

Marion VanArsdell, Florence

And, finally, this Saturday the Knitting Group plans to re-start knitting at Elmer’s at 2pm. That’s this weekend and all of them!

And now I have to go to sleep.  Lots of driving again tomorrow.

Big E

One Comment on “Gas in Ohio and other interesting tidbits

  1. Greetings, I am new to this area and love what you are doing here. I do have a suggestion, though, that I think will increase your business: for those of us who are RSS readers, please make a “signature” (that goes on the bottom of each post) with the address and phone number of the store!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: