Everything’s Coming up Rosemary in Ashfield
Notes from Nan: Everything’s Coming up Rosemary . . . for me and for yoouuu!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati
Congratulations to Del Haskins for being sworn in as our new Fire Chief in Ashfield! In some really surprising news, I was the Fire Chief for about two and a half minutes! Maryellen wanted to make sure she had the oath right (not wanting to repeat the slip-up at the Obama inauguration) and so she turned to me to practice on. Realizing it would be my only chance to ever be Fire Chief, I vowed to do everything right. Fortunately, no major fires broke out in my two and a half minute reign, only a few trash can fires that I was able to put out by kicking them over and stomping on them.
But you know, one of my favorite mottos is “Roll when you’re on fire.”
This weather is very bad. (I just wrote three different words/terms for bad, but then thought better of them as you never know who is reading.) But, this weather makes me very grouchy. (Three more words deleted.) But you know what helps? A little while ago herbalist Toni Lemos was showing me some essential oils and I accidentally hit the rosemary one with my nose and now my whole world smells like Rosemary! And that is helping my mood considerably! I recommend it until the sun comes back out.
Sorry this post is so late, but I’ve been busy! Okay? Okay! (Rosemary! Inhale the rosemary!)
The first thing I have to do is correct myself on my last post when I said we had served 139 people on Father’s Day. A hundred and thirty-nine, that ain’t nothing; last Sunday we served 160 people. No, on Father’s Day we served two hundred and thirty-nine people. I am sorry for the gross understatement I imposed upon our hard-working staff of that day. (And they let me know I had messed up—for which I do not blame them!)
I had something else I had to correct as well, but I forgot what that one was.
But thank you to all of the people who brought in dish towels, mugs and pens! One faithful reader forwards this post every week to her niece in Connecticut and the niece mailed a box of dish towels and pens! I feel like Berlin in the 1940s!*
Many people have asked if we will be open on July 4th, and indeed we will! We’ll serve breakfast from 8am – noon and after that we’ll be open as long as people keep coming in. If they stop we might go home, but do come in for breakfast!
*For those young enough to wonder what in the world I’m talking about, and for those of you old enough, yet versed enough in history to also wonder what in the world I’m talking about, I’m talking about the Berlin Airlift of 1948 and 49 when the Western Allies airlifted food and supplies into Soviet-blockaded Berlin. Now, what we have here at Elmer’s is nothing at all like the Berlin Airlift of 1948, but it makes a nice image; all the Elmer’s employees standing on the roof of Elmer’s waiting for airplanes to drop loads of dish towels and pens to us. The mugs hurt when they hit us, but the dishtowels are okay.
For dinner this week!
- Clam cakes in Remoulade sauce
- With Crawfish and Cheddar mashed potatoes
- Green onions and Hush Puppies!
Here’s the farm report for this week:
We Win Some and We Lose Some
Local greens are still plentiful with this wet weather but the strawberries are not doing well. It is so wet that they are getting damaged by slugs and rotting. That is why Joe and Alex haven’t been delivering many berries this week.
However, Joan Arsenault of Paddy Flat Farm called me on Monday and exclaimed that they have sweet cherries! The last time they harvested any was 10 years ago! So we ordered some for Elmer’s – they are in the cooler. The more we order, the more Joel will pick, and the fewer the birds will get. So hurry in and get your cherries – it is a short season.
Although I proclaimed that “Midel Ginger Snaps, Spectrum and Nasoya Mayonnaises will be replenished” last week, they were NOT delivered in the order. I’ll try again for next week.
LOCAL MEATS, GROCERIES, DAIRY AND PRODUCE:
- BEEF: GROUND, SHANKS, STEW, STEAKS, LIVER, ROASTS from Steady Lane Farm, Ashfield
- LAMB: KABOBS, BREAKFAST SAUSAGES, LAMB CHOPS, SHOULDER CHOPS, LEG STEAK from Carter’s Farm, Ashfield
- PORK: HAM STEAK from Manda Farm, Plainfield
- ELMER’S BREAD Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday Baguettes, Daily Bread, Country White, Whole Wheat, Rosemary and Olive, and Rye.
- EL JARDIN BREAD out of Deerfield Monday and Wednesday
- GRANOLA: MAPLE AND SAVE THE FOREST NUT from New England Naturals, Greenfield
- HERBS: DRIED. Basil, Cayenne Peppers, Celery Leaf, Cilantro Leaf, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Lemon Thyme from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
- HONEY: WILDFLOWER, BEE POLLEN from Bear Meadow Apiary, Ashfield
- MAPLE SYRUP: New Crop Half gallons, quarts, pints, ½ pints, 100ml from Gray’s Sugar House, Ashfield
- MISO: ADUZI BEAN, CHIC PEA, SWEET WHITE, GARLIC RED PEPPER, HEARTY BROWN RICE from South River Miso Company, Conway
- PICKLES: ASIAN CABBAGE, SAUERKRAUT from Real Pickles, Greenfield
- SALAD DRESSINGS: HONEY DIJON, BUTTERMILK RANCH, GINGER MISO, CILANTRO LIME, CHIPOTLE RANCH from Appalachian Naturals, Goshen
- SALSA: MILD, MEDIUM, HOT from Appalachian Naturals, Goshen
- CHEESE: PLAIN CHEVRE, CHIVE & GARLIC CHEVRE, DILL CHEVRE, ROASTED RED PEPPER CHEVRE from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
- ICE CREAM: VANILLA, CHOCOLATE WITH RASPBERRY, MOOSE TRACKS from Bart’s Ice Cream, Greenfield
- TRUFFLES: GOAT CHEESE DIPPED IN DARK CHOCOLATE from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
- YOGURT: WHOLE MILK PLAIN, LOW FAT PLAIN, MAPLE, VANILLA, APRICOT ALMOND from Sidehill Farm, Ashfield
- BROCCOLI from Paddy Flat Farm, Ashfield
- CARROTS from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
- CHARD: RAINBOW from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
- CHERRIES from Paddy Flat Farm, Ashfield
- KALE: from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
- HERB: CILANTRO from Springwater Farm, Ashfield
- LETTUCE: ROMAINE from Paddy Flat Farm, Ashfield
- LETTUCE MIX from Sangha Farm, Ashfield
- RADISHES: RED from Springwater Farm, Ashfield
To request a special order, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or leave me a message at the store. The phone number is 628-4003.
Cherries! I was just wishing for cherries last week and here they are! Y’all don’t come in and buy them—I want them all for me.
And let’s see what Mr. Fancy Pants Rob has to say this week:
The Rob Report
This is going to sound a little harsh (or weird), but of all the celebrities we lost last week, the one I feel any real sadness for was Billy Mays. It may be because of the unexpectedness; after all we knew that Ed was getting on in years, Farrah was fighting cancer, and Michael had been on a dizzying downward spiral for two decades. But Billy had the rug pulled from under him before he could discover an amazing new rug fastener system.
He was not a child prodigy, or a dazzling blond pinup, he was just a guy on a mission. He started out hawking products in the cutthroat atmosphere of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk, where he developed his signature “in your face” style. By the time he landed his first television commercial, he had the spiel down pat. I’m not sure when I first saw him on TV but I am sure the first words out of his mouth were “BILLY MAYS HERE”, as if I were already supposed to know who he was. In that regard, he was simultaneously selling the product and himself. The public bought the product and manufacturers bought Billy. Brilliant! Little by little, Billy Mays-endorsed products started filling the shelves, and he became a household name (to just about anyone with a television).
So, Billy’s path to celebrity was simply more relatable to me. You know, hard work and dedication and all that. And unlike the others, he was in the apex of his career. That’s what make me feel more sad about it.
The last commercial I saw him in (probably just a week ago) was not for some miraculous new cleaning potion, or some fabulous goop, but for Arm & Hammer baking soda. He had crossed over. Now, giant corporations wanted him to sell a product that needed no introduction whatsoever. When I saw that commercial, I thought “way to go, Billy. You finally made it”. Seriously, that’s what I thought.
A couple of weeks ago, Nan came back from Target with a battery powered engraver with Billy’s face on the package. She wanted me to engrave her initials in her tools so they wouldn’t get mixed up with my tools. The engraver works great. It’ll even engrave glass. I think I’ll buy a shot glass and engrave “BILLY MAYS HERE” on it and have a little toast.
Now, on a different note, here is a little film I made starring Mary’s dog, Willie.
Nan’s Note: The post stopped there, as if Rob, himself had met an untimely end at that moment. From the video, I’d say that Willie and Karl Malden might be in the same boat. Dogs aren’t supposed to eat grass, are they? Chocolate cakes, yeah, but not grass. Willie is 140 years old or so. Poor little Willie. He don’t hear much or see much, but he’s awful cute.
Rob, you should enter that in the Ashfield Film Festival!
And that’s our news. Keep those dishtowels, pens and mugs a-coming! We really appreciate them!
Elmer’s Store | 396 Main St. | Ashfield, MA 01330 | (413) 628-4003
Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm every week in her column, “Notes from Nan.” Share dinner with her every Friday at Elmer’s. Menu’s are posted with her column. email@example.com