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Kids in the Kitchen

9/6/2017 |

Katherine Zahirovic skirts the edge of a large table, carefully arranging a collection of colorful placemats and nylon knife sets.  Reaching into a large red bag, she assembles a collection of ingredients, including everything from almonds to a pineapple.  Today she’s setting the table for a “H ...

Modern Stitchery

9/6/2017 |

As cooler weather gestures an onslaught of vibrant patinas, Kate Hutton is briskly preparing for the changing season.  Perched in the crook of a couch she parallels courses of yarn, interlocking and progressing by row to create garments characteristic of New England, but with a modern twist.  Each stitch r ...

No Reservations

9/6/2017 |

There’s wanderlust in all of us, the urge to pursue scenic highways, off-beaten paths, and otherworldly landscapes.  Hitting the road for a new destination rejuvenates the spirit, a grounding experience that doesn’t necessarily wane with age.  It’s a big, beautiful country, that’s w ...

Editor's Note

9/6/2017 |

Summer’s looming end is swooping in quickly and the back-to-school season is a melancholy cue of another fading season.   Often met with a begrudged transition, the return of another academic year reflects a new beginning and anticipation of a fresh adventure. It’s been nearly thirty years since I f ...

Kindness Rocks

8/28/2017 |

They’re precariously speckled across town, representing hallmarks of kindness with the intention of unexpectedly brightening someone’s day. Small rocks – some ornamented with colorful pictures and others with inspiring messages – have been serving a larger purpose in the town of Enfield.  ...

Mangia Bene

8/28/2017 |

A caramelizing bath of extra virgin olive, a sizzling cut-to-order vitello filet serves as a melodic accompaniment to the muted thud of a quick-tapping knife.  In its rustic simplicity, ebullient marinara simmers quietly while the metallic rattling of long-handled kitchen tongs signals the assembly of a perfect ...

Peachy Keen

8/8/2017 |

With joy, Kathleen Smedberg walks the sunny slopes of her 65-acre farm in Wilbraham.  While her happiness stems from her ability to live and toil in the outdoors, today her delight is pointed at the hundreds of peaches that hang just above her head.Read More

Chef's Garden

8/8/2017 |

It’s just a few hours before dinner service at The Federal Restaurant & Bar on Friday afternoon.  Inside, white linens are smoothed over tables and polished flatware is set in order of use.  Outside & ...

Paddle Faster Bluegrass Festival

8/8/2017 |

The Michaels – Todd, Tracy, Sarah and Katie – are a bluegrass family.   The Appalachia-born music - traditionally featuring fiddle, five-string banjo, guitar, mandolin and upright bass – has shaped ...

A Cut Above

8/8/2017 |

New England is no stranger to the farm-to-table movement, a full-circle food philosophy boasting locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.  The concept encourages you to “know your farmer” and understand the journey of your food, which is ideally ...

Blueberry Fields Forever

8/8/2017 |

Tucked away in the quiet, tree-covered hills of Beffa Road in Stafford Springs – just after the asphalt gives way to dirt – rows of lush bushes are laden with indigo-colored berries.  The peace and tranq ...

Editors Note

8/1/2017 | Amber Wakley

Throughout the [nearly] last three years it’s been an extraordinary delight discovering the best bits of what our region has to offer.  As an outlet for honest-to-goodness content, each one of these pages serves as an antidote to mainstream media, an o ...

PYO Guide

7/5/2017 |

Ahhhhh, summer. Time for sleeping late, lounging in the sun,  and of course eating fresh, local produce. We’ve put together a list of pick-your-own farms in the area - blueberries, raspberries, peaches, apples and pumpkins, oh my!Read More

Kombucha Basics

7/5/2017 | Amber Wakley
berwakley@gmail.com

“Welcome to my kitchen,” Crystal Morawitz says with a wide smile as she looks up from a boiling pot on her stove. “I’m making kombucha!” Hailing from Alaska and now living in the hills of Stafford Springs, both she and her partner [in crime], Rob Miltimore, ...

Authentic Fare

7/5/2017 | Amber Wakley

Central Mexico is a long way from Agawam, Massachusetts, but that’s not stopping the Diaz family.  The menu, conceived by Guerrero-born Jose Diaz and his mother Ana, is simple and authentic – featuring flavors indigenous t ...

Secret's In The Sauce

7/5/2017 | Amy White

Meet Gary and Larry McNeff, the masterminds behind Mac Brothers Gourmet Foods. In the 1930s, their mother’s father, E. W. Stevinson, owned a restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas. Every day, grandpa would make a batch of his favorite barbecue sauce, and ev ...

More Than Just Mud

7/5/2017 | Amber Wakley

It’s the early morning hours on the New England Trail at Rising Corners Road in Agawam.  Gleaming dew droplets cling to blades of grass, shining like pearls in the warming sun.  Down a path of tussled gre ...

Second Chance Ranch

6/6/2017 | A

Cradled on a gentle crook of East Street against dense woodland and pristine farmland is a beautiful haven for both horses and humans. It’s incredibly peaceful; the serenity is interrupted only by whistling birds, a symphony of grasshoppers and the happy grunts of content hor ...

Built on Family

6/6/2017 | Amy White

Whenever I tell someone I work in Ellington, I am invariably faced with a look of puzzlement. “Ellington? Where’s that?”  “Between Vernon and Somers?” (This usually doesn’t help).

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On Target

6/6/2017 | Amber Wakley

With eyes narrowed and his bow drawn, 8-year-old Eli focuses his concentration to the center circle of a target just down range.  With the quick release of his first three fingers his arrow shoots; its fluorescent g ...

Pedal for Patients

6/6/2017 | Amber Wakley

Inspiration comes in many forms: nature, art, kindness, love, loss.  It’s being filled with the urge or ability to do or feel something; from the Latin word inspirare is to ‘breathe or blow into.’< ...

Turned & Sculpted

5/1/2017 | Fanceen Munson

Approaching the home of Rosanna Coyne, master woodworker, one starts to see neatly placed chunks, blocks, logs, and trunks of wood weathering and drying in the elements in Hampden, Massachusetts. Stepping into the federal style home that she designed, one realizes the incredible level of skill and artistr ...

It's About Thyme

5/1/2017 | Amy White

If you have ever driven up Route 83 in Somers heading toward Springfield, you are sure to have noticed a bright pink post and beam barn with a green door and white trim. It was built in 1830, and, like so many Connecticut Tobacco Valley barns, had hinged sideboards originally used for opening the barn to dry the tobacco that hung from its rafters. Today that barn is the home of Kassandra…It’s About Thyme…Herbs Unlimited, a unique shop owned by Katherine Mashiak, who grew up with the nickname Kassandra, or Kassy, for short. ...

Local Roots

5/1/2017 |

Amongst the sprawling acres of fields and greenhouses at E. Cecchi Farms, there’s more than just produce and plants rooting in, but also a long-standing family tradition of agriculture. Here, embedded in the soil is a rich tradition of timeless work and diligent farming practices, one that has been passed down through five generations. It began in 1946, when Erminio Cecchi left his father’s farm in Agawam, purchasing a forty acre plot to start his own business in Feeding Hills. Under the shade of a large maple tree, Erminio sold his yield and thus began a legacy of providing the community with fresh, local produce. ...

A Peachy Place to Be

5/1/2017 | Amber Wakley

This story begins at the home of Helene Pickett, who co-founded the beloved Wilbraham Peach Festival in August of 1985.  Positioned on the couch she begins to thumb through a plastic tote filled with saddle-stitched program books, pictures, ...

The Little Red Store

5/1/2017 | Amber Wakley

Situated on a precarious corner in the Stafford Hollow – the original center of town – there’s a little red store with a treasured history. The gable-ended building is draped with warm nostalgia and timeless charm; its rustic ambiance is a point of pride for locals and an intriguing stop for visitors. This is Mill Pond Country Store. Established in 1845, the country store has always lent itself as a local hub and the façade has gone nearly unaltered over the last 175 years (a true rarity for commercial buildings of this period). At its inception most arrived by horse and buggy, while others used furs in exchange for goods. And while some things have changed over the nearly two centuries, it has always been a place for community and conversation. ...

Born From the Heart

5/1/2017 | Amber Wakley

In the front yard of a modest ranch home in East Windsor you can hear a pleasant commotion inside; the warm breeze blowing inward exchanges itself with happy laughter tumbling out. Rainbow bits of thick chalk are sprinkled across the driveway and a downscaled plastic yellow wheelbarrow leans against its replica in the meticulously kept garden. Approaching the breezeway curious voices, chattering toddlers and even a few squeals escape through the screen door – this is the Dziadul Family. ...

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Latest News

Editor's Note

Posted on 9/6/2017


Kids in the Kitchen

Posted on 9/6/2017


Modern Stitchery

Posted on 9/6/2017


No Reservations

Posted on 9/6/2017


A Cut Above

Posted on 8/8/2017


Blueberry Fields Forever

Posted on 8/8/2017


Chef's Garden

Posted on 8/8/2017


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