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February 2010 / Vol. 14 / No. 2

Sealed with a kiss


Cuttyhunk seal tours Find love locally Look before leaping Wedding help online

South Coast Loves

Historical Newport Hidden treasures


Big things in Little Compton

Wine notes

Wala Wala, Washington

Your health

To salt or not to salt


New views on old treats

Happenings you’ll love

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South tiverton – New listing. Beautifully maintained 3,700 sf Colonial offering 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, master suite, hardwood floors, formal living & dining rooms, fireplace, custom built-ins, finished walk out basement, office, 2 stall garage, central air, stonewalls, privately located on over 4 acres. $525,000. Call 508-679-3998.

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From the publisher


24 South Coast secrets

On my mind: Count on the census



11 Fishing for scholarships

14 Seals sighted at Cuttyhunk


by Paul E. Kandarian

32 Book Picks:

Expert tips for quick meals by Magoo Gelehrter

36 Tarot-Scopes

by The Celtic Cricket and Duir Kell

40 Last Word

by Michael Vieira


I love L.C.

by Paul E. Kandarian

13 Hebert retires FOOD NOTES

26 Old foods, new benefits

23 Winter’s Festive in Newport 38 Happenings:

Stuff you’ll love

by Elizabeth Morse Read

18 Modern look at marriage

by Jasmine Smith-Gillen

34 Reasons to hold the salt WINE NOTES

by Stacie Charbonneau Hess

by Stephen C. Smith

by Elizabeth Morse Read

16 Find love locally

30 Washington wines by Alton Long

by Cara Connelly Pimental

What’s Happening? Send your events to: or post them online at: Please limit your announcement to no more than 30 words.


February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

ON THE COVER These two seals get into the spirit of the season. The Lloyd Center sponsors ferry trips to Cuttyhunk to see the seals and to learn about the island community (pg. 14)

CONTRIBUTORS Stacie Charbonneau Hess is a mother, a graduate student, and a freelance writer based in New Bedford, Massachsuetts, where she lives with her husband, three children, and too many pets to mention. Paul Kandarian is a lifelong area resident and has been a professional writer for the past 23 years whose work has appeared in Yankee, Banker and Tradesman, American History, a variety of alumni magazines and many other publications. He writes regularly for The Boston Globe, and is a contributing editor and columnist for Rhode Island Monthly magazine. Alton L. Long is a freelance writer, educator and event producer specializing in wine, food and travel. He and his wife Dorothy live in Tiverton. Tom Lopes is a regular c­ ontributor to The South Coast Insider. His work has also appeared in a number of local publications. In addition, he has taught classes and exhibited in various galleries. Cara Connelly Pimental, a freelance writer who recently completed her first children’s book, has published in several New England magazines and in the Standard-Times. She lives in Dartmouth with her husband, David, and three sons, Keegan, Colin and Cole. Elizabeth Morse Read is an award-winning writer, editor and artist who grew up on the South Coast. After twenty years of working in New York City and traveling the world, she came back home with her children and lives in Fairhaven. Stephen C. Smith has been Executive Director of SRPEDD since 1983. He lives with his wife Maria in Assonet village. When he’s not on boats, they enjoy traveling, cooking and gardening together. Jasmine Smith-Gillen is a Naturalist/Educator at the Lloyd Center for the Environment in South Dartmouth. Michael Vieira, Ph.D. is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bristol Community College. Mike has written for several newspapers and magazines and is an editor of The South Coast Insider and South Coast Prime Times.

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The South Coast Insider / February 2010



Let The South Coast Insider Weekly Happenings plan your weekend! The South Coast Insider Weekly Happenings is the best source to learn about what’s happening in your town. Sign up and receive free weekly e-mail updates on the latest South Coast events. From concerts to art gallery openings, The South Coast Insider Weekly Happenings keeps your finger on the South Coast’s pulse. Visit and fill out the “Join Our Weekly Events Mailing List” box on the left to become one of the 2,500 South Coasters currently on the inside.

Classified ads in newspapers can be expensive. Let’s face it: in tough times like these, we need to pinch every penny possible. is a penny-pincher’s delight, offering free South Coast classified listings. Buy or sell antiques, shop for a new house, or land a new job. SouthCoastGo’s simple interface provides all the joys of classified hunting without the hassle of slogging through a newspaper. Whatever you’re looking for, look no further. Your search is over at

Can’t find the new issue of The South Coast Insider? Our issues tend to fly off the racks. After all, when you’ve been in the biz for over 13 years, people care about what you have to say. That’s why, when copies of The South Coast Insider are all gone, a visit to The South Coast is a must. In addition to complete issues of The South Coast Insider, you will find exclusive features including the popular “Dining Quest” and a comprehensive South Coast business directory.

For advertising call 508-677-3000 or e-mail 4

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

FROM THE PUBLISHER February 2010 / Vol. 14 / No. 2 Published by

Memento mori

Coastal Communications Corp. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Ljiljana Vasiljevic Editors

Joe Murphy Michael J. Vieira, Ph.D.

General Luka Vasiljevic died in Rovinj, Croatia on January 17, 2010 at age 86. From his birth in 1923 until his recent death, he was shaped and defined by an historic Slavic karma over which he had no control. He was born into a world where people had long memories of subjugation, battles, ethnic and religious quarrels, and a moral imperative to even the score.


The Celtic Cricket, Magoo Gelehrter, Stacie Charbonneau Hess, Paul Kandarian, Duir Kell, Alton Long, Tom Lopes, Elizabeth Morse Read, Steven C. Smith, Jasmine Smith-Gillen and Michael J. Vieira The South Coast Insider is published monthly for visitors and residents of the South Coast area. The Insider is distributed free of charge from Mount Hope Bay to Buzzards Bay. All contents copyright ©2010 Coastal Communications Corp. Deadline

20 days prior to publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, by any means, without written permission from the Publisher. All information contained herein is believed to be reliable. Coastal Communications Corp. does not assume any financial responsibility for typographical errors in advertisements, but will reprint that portion of an advertisement in which the typographical error occurs.

He was a patriot, possessed of great dignity, a soldier’s bearing and a quiet toughness that enabled him to survive life as a Partisan, cold, hunger, pain, capture, imprisonment in a German concentration camp, escape, war, post-war purges, and hard times beyond the experience or comprehension of most Americans. Having suffered and endured so much for the dream of a unified and peaceful Yugoslavia, he was never really able to adjust to the destruction of that dream in recent years. I shall never forget asking him if, since he was born in Bosnia, he was what The New York Times called a ‘Bosnian Serb.’ He replied, with a straight face, “No, we are Montenegrins. Our family has only been in Bosnia for 600 years.” Most Americans have no idea where their great-grandparents were born. The thought that a man knew that his family moved from Montenegro to Bosnia before Columbus discovered America is mind-boggling. He did end up with a son and an American daughter and grandson. His legacy to them is not much in dollars, but then you cannot readily calculate the financial value of genes that equip you to survive whatever curves and horrors the world throws at you. What he has passed on can only be defined as “priceless.”


30,000 Subscriptions

$25 per year Mailing Address

The South Coast Insider 144 Purchase Street • PO Box 3493 Fall River, MA 02722

I think that he, like many warriors who have witnessed and done much violence, later developed a deep and passionate longing for peace. My hope is, after all that he endured in his lifetime, he has now found that which he sought all his many years. May my beloved father rest in peace.

Tel: (508) 677-3000 Fax: (508) 677-3003 Website E-mail

Ljiljana Vasiljevic Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Our advertisers make this publication possible – please support them

The South Coast Insider / February 2010




10 * 3 + x... but who’s counting? by Paul E. Kandarian Greetings, my fellow Americans. This year, 2010, also known as “Two-Thousand Ten,” or “Two Zero One Zero” or “It’s ten years into a new millennium and I’m still alive? Outstanding!” is also the year of the census, that time when a nosy United States government looks into your home to see who lives there and what you’re up to. Think of it as federally run reality TV. Over the years, the census has sought to do many things, mostly keep count of Americans. That was simple way back in the beginning of America when there was a small bunch of us and it was easy to keep tabs on who was who (few names, easy to pronounce), where they lived (in the woods mostly), and what they did (struggled to survive). It’s much more complex now; there are more than 300 million of us and it’s not easy to keep tabs on who is who (many names, hard to pronounce, like Gwakashinimokala Abba-Dabba-Ding-Dong Bangeiouaioueoooie), where they live (from globally warmed rising sea to globally warmed rising sea) and what they do (struggle to survive). The census is important, they say, because it will help communities receive more than $400 billion in federal funds each year for things like hospitals, job training centers, schools, senior centers, bridges, tunnels and other public-works projects and emergency services. Minus bailout money for banks, automakers and fat-cat CEO bonuses, of course, that leaves that aforementioned list with about a buck and a half to split among them. The amazing thing about the census this year is the technology involved. You can follow it on Twitter and watch it on YouTube. There’s a census director’s blog and a census road tour blog. You can get the word out about the census by Bleetbox, Blip, Bloggy and Baidu, by Blinklist and Bebo and BonzoBox and BizSugar. And I’m absolutely not making any of that up and I’m absolutely not even out of the B’s yet. 6

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

And with all that, it’s completely natural to expect to be able to fill out the 2010 census online, saving millions of dollars in taxpayer-paid mailings and administrative costs, not to mention being exceeding convenient to the American public footing the bill for it, right? Wrong! You cannot fill it out online and there is no explanation, just a hopeful question at the website asking “Can I fill out my form online?” and the Civil Service-flavored dour response “No. Not at this time. We are experimenting with Internet response for the future.” Oh, the future! Uh, the future as it applied in 2000, when long after Al Gore invented it, the Internet was already being used to fill out forms? That future? So in 2020, will the site have a question asking “Can I fill out my form online?” and will the response be “I told you to stop asking! Now get to the back of the line, dammit, and start all over again!” followed by the sound of the collective slow, shameful head droops of hundreds of millions of Americans humbled by Big Brother? But anyway, this year’s census is remarkably simple in that there are only 10 questions, but complex enough, I guess, not to answer online. The answers will be secure, according to Bob Grove, census director, who tells you and me at the website in a little video clip that census takers swear in an oath that they will safeguard this information. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, OK. This is sort of like our honest, scrupulous politicians being sworn into office and taking an oath to do right by us and to not break the law and to generally not screw us over, right? Good, good, I feel better already. Those 10 questions key in on simple things, how many live in a home, phone number, ethnicity, age, gender. In short, stuff of no use to anyone. In this day and age, I’d have the questions as follows:

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1. Would you like to continue the census in Spanish? Say ‘Si!’ 2. If the answer is si or any language other than English would you like us to send over a translator at no cost to you? You got it, amigo! 3. Are you an illegal alien? Shhhhhhhh! 4. If you are an illegal alien do you want full tuition to the college of your choice and free health care? Then say “Si! Si! Mucho gusto! Para mi familia, tambien? Bueno!” 5. If you are an American politician, do you think we expect a single honest answer to any of these questions? No, so feel free to leave and go back to screwing us. 6. If you’re a high-ranking banking or insurance official or automaker have you received your bailout money yet? If not, please claim status as an illegal alien and step right up! 7. Are you a homeowner, renter, squatter, resident of a beat-up refrigerator box down by the south end of the park or a freeloading relative glued to the couch? 8. If you’re too young to vote or too old and feeble to get to the polls, you realize nothing you say matters to the government, right? 9. Paper or plastic? 10. Would you like to be able to answer these questions on line? HAHAHAHAHA!!! So belly up to the census, America, and keep us strong as the country with far more questions than answers! White’s of Westport · Bittersweet Farm · Rachel’s Lakeside

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Lovely Little Compton by Paul E. Kandarian

Little Compton, Rhode Island, is one of my favorite towns. And not just because it’s got a great little convenience store in Adamsville where on my way back from Newport I pull off the highway to get a Powerball ticket, in this little village right on the Massachusetts border. A rich history Little Compton is big on cool, and like virtually all New England towns, huge on a rich past and foundation. History has it the land that comprises Little Compton once belonged to the Sakonnet tribe, led by Awashonks, cousin of Metacomet, a.k.a., King Philip, all of them mega-native names in the day and worthy of their place in our history. The first Europeans were Brits from Duxbury up the coast who came down to, naturally, selfishly expand their land 8

holdings by stealing it from the Indians, which eventually led to all manner of conflicts and bloodletting. They tried negotiating but failing that, Plymouth County officials granted them a charter for the land. And the lottery was big even then, though not quite in the same vein as today: in a series of lotteries starting in 1674, the colony divided the land into lots and started settling the land. All manner of historic sites naturally abound in Little Compton (which is thought to be named after Little Comp-

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

ton in Warwickshire, England, though no solid proof exists), including the entire town commons, which is not only listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but is the state’s only town common, it is said. Not a lot of truly old buildings remain, but one includes the Wilbor House, built by Samuel Wibore in 1673, and which now serves as the headquarters of the Little Compton Historical Society, well worth a visit to inhale the historic feel of the place.

Truly un-common And speaking of historic, no better place in Little Compton for it than the town common, a great place to walk around and be enveloped by history. The Quaker Meeting House, Number 8 Schoolhouse, Town Hall, Wilbur’s Store and the United Congregational Church are all buildings of varying antiquity

centered around the common that make you walk in little wondrous circles marveling at the beauty of the place, no matter the season. And drop by the Brownell Library for a quiet read on a cold day, warmed by the richness of the words within, cozy in the brick building interior. Also on the common is one of the most incredible cemeteries in New England. Of the roughly 60 or so graveyards of historic note, this one shines for who is buried here, among them Elizabeth Pabodie (which eventually became Peabody), eldest daughter of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins—of the Mayflower, thank you very much—who is reportedly the first white child born in New England. All around the common are cool stores, restaurants, shops, my favorite of which is Commons Lunch, run by George Crowther who makes the best, bar none, johnnycakes in the state. If you don’t know what they are, go, order, and be delighted by the crunchy corn-meal flat cake, best slathered with butter and syrup.

Sakonnet Vineyards, founded in 1975 and cranking out a variety of varieties, chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet Franc; you name it, they’ll pour it at their regular tastings and tours, and those tours are most tasty, don’t miss them. The town also has what’s known as “The Spite Tower” over in Adamsville, with the story being it was built long ago to obscure the sight line of a local who apparently annoyed whoever put the tower up. And Little Compton is also for the birds of the chicken variety: it is the only place in America with a monument dedicated to a chicken, in this case the Rhode Island Red, and located in Adamsville near a ball field, put up in 1925 by the Rhode Island Red Club of America. Personally, I think a Mr. Potato Head and a Rhode Island Red monument would be a chicken and chips match made in heaven. And my own best memory of Little Compton includes going to Goosewing Beach. My worst memory of that best memory is going over the Mount Hope Bridge. No kidding, it scared the heck out of me as a kid, I’d hunker down on the floor of the back seat of my dad’s car, trying to ignore my idiot older brother kicking and laughing at me. But the sight of those massive (then massive, now not so much) towers on the old bridge just filled me with dread. I thought for sure once we got through the old toll booth, which for the longest time cost a dime, and up to the tallest part of the bridge, we’d all plunge to our deaths. We didn’t, we lived, went to the beach, lived our lives and now my next best memory of Little Compton will be buying a winning Powerball ticket at that little variety store in Adamsville. I’d walk over the old Mount Hope Bridge for that one.

My own best memory of Little Compton includes going to Goosewing Beach.

Johnnycakes and wine Rhode Island’s famous for its johnnycakes and on this side of the bay, they’re thinner than the other side (no one knows why, it’s just the way it is), and Crowther is king of the creation here, far as I’m concerned. The secret, he says, is knowing when to flip them, when the edges are all lacy. He knows whereof he speaks in that his johnnycakes are virtual award winners and have been written up in publications no less prominent than Yankee Magazine and the New York Times. Wine and johnnycakes aren’t necessarily a good pairing, but Little Compton is also famous in modern times for



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The South Coast Insider / February 2010


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February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

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Gela earns Pier Fish Scholarship The first recipient of the Pier Fish Scholarship Award was Geneva Gela, a Dartmouth High School grad with a strong academic record. She now attends UMass Amherst. Her $1,000 dollar scholarship was presented in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Pier Fish Company, in conjunction with Downtown New Bedford, Inc. The annual scholarship program is open to any high school student with a parent in the fishing industry. The student must be attending college in the fall of 2010. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Pier Fish Company Inc., the Taste of South Coast Festival on May 16, 2010 will have a seafood theme. For more information contact Downtown New Bedford Inc. 105 William Street, New Bedford, 508-997-7969. 9

1. Richard Barry, Geneva Gela and Jessica Barry 2. Richard Bucolo, Diane Nichols 3. Chris Saunders 4. Lisa Bode, Mike Sardinha and Ed Peretzman 5. Michael Barry

6. Kevin Pelland, Scott Bode 7. Jeff Pontiff and Arthur Bennett 8. Randy Weeks, Liz Isherwood, John Saunders, Bruce Duarte 9. Linda and Jim Barry

The South Coast Insider / February 2010


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February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

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SRPEDD’s Hebert retires


After 30 years of service, Roland Hebert recently retired from the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD.) He was honored at a party held at White’s of Westport. Roland was SRPEDD’s Transportation Planning Manager and Deputy Director. Prior to that he worked for the City of New Bedford and served in the US Navy. Roland and his wife Penny reside in New Bedford and have 2 daughters and 7 granddaughters. 1. Suzanne Dagesse & Jean Fox

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The South Coast Insider / February 2010



Lemme take you on a seal cruise by Jasmine Smith-Gillen Lloyd Center Naturalist/Educator

It’s February and winter has her hold on New England. The land is frozen at the ocean’s edge, the sky is a pale yellow-blue, and most days bring bitter cold and whipping winds. Yet for Lloyd Center naturalists Jamie Bogart and Jasmine SmithGillen, the season brings the annual treat of the Cuttyhunk Seal Cruise. The Lloyd Center partners with the Cuttyhunk Ferry company on board the M/V Cuttyhunk for excursions featuring seal viewing on Gull Island, and a walking tour of Cuttyhunk, the westernmost island in the Elizabethan chain. Passengers bring many 14

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

layers of clothing and cameras for the trip, eager to see what the day brings. Once clear of the harbor, they speed across the water towards the hazily-outlined land in the distance. On the way, they usually glimpse long-tailed ducks, eiders and other sea birds floating or flying by. Jamie Bogart explains some of the natural history of the islands along the way. The boat slows when we approach Gull Island, a small rocky sand bar of land between Penikese and Cuttyhunk islands. On a recent trip, led by the Lloyd Center naturalist and boat operator Captain Jono Billings, a group of 25 enjoyed superb looks at wintering

seals, and stunning scenery from the “lookout” of Cuttyhunk as it exists during the island’s quieter season. A large number of harbor seals were hauled out at low tide on Gull Island, a small rocky sand bar. Seals “haul out” at low tide to rest between feeding sessions and to regulate their temperature. The harbor seals are smaller than the grey, lighter in color, and have a more dog-like face. They raise their heads to look at us in the boat, stretch their bodies into a banana shape, or wiggle their way across the sand to the water. Harbor seals are generally more solitary than grey seals, but gather during the winter in large congregations.

Nearby, the larger grey seals were frolicking in the waters, a pair swimming together only feet from the boat as onlookers congregated for a closer look.

Social seals The more social and gregarious grey seals breed in Massachusetts and have young between December and February. The harbor seals winter here, gathering in large groups in this location, but generally breed further north and are more solitary in their breeding range. Some approach with apparent curiosity—only to suddenly splash away as they dive backwards under the water. A pair swims together only feet from the boat, giving people a great chance to photograph and appreciate them. For example, when

seals surface their nose is closed, but with each breath the nostrils flare wide open. Next the group ventures onto historic Cuttyhunk Island. After eating lunch at the town hall, opened for our arrival, and visiting the local museum, the public gains a sense of how land use has evolved on the island, and learns how glacial activity shaped the island. After walking up one of the many “drumlins” (glacially formed hills) to the lookout and observing West End Pond and the Gosnold Monument, the group took time to observe a pair of Eiders and Buffleheads swimming in the surf. A second look at the seals was offered before the boat headed back to the state pier in New Bedford Harbor.

Take the trip This unique trip will take place on Sunday, February 7, (Saturday, February 6, if inclement weather is forecast for Sunday) departing at 10 a.m. and returning at 2 p.m. to the parking lot of the Cuttyhunk Ferry Company, located at 66B State Pier, South Bulkhead, New Bedford. The cost of the program is $42 for members and $45 for non-members. The program is suitable for age eight and up. Participants should wear warm clothing and hiking boots, and bring a camera and binoculars (if you have them). To register for this event, call the Lloyd Center at 508558-2918 or visit and register online. Registration deadline is Friday, February 5. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Jamie Bogart, Lloyd Center Research Associate at 508-990-0505 ext. 23. This is a very popular trip and space is limited, so please register early. Participants should plan to arrive no later than 9:45 a.m. as boat departs promptly at 10:00 a.m. Founded in 1978, the Lloyd Center for the Environment is located on 55 acres of pristine salt marsh, maritime forest and wetlands, overlooking the mouth of the scenic Slocum River estuary, the Visitor Center is open, at no charge, to the public Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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The South Coast Insider / February 2010



Finding love

in your own backyard by Stacie Charbonneau Hess Especially in February, it is easy to dream of greener grass. Heck, any grass really. Any little patch of green will do. It’s just like our lives, our human nature, to daydream that any situation but our own seems to have allure. When restlessness ensues in my life, I hit the road, literally. Usually we drive north to Vermont or New Hampshire, but any trip, by highway or air or train, will do. I find that often a change of scenery makes me appreciate what I sometimes forget to see. The bright smile of my daughters, the playfulness of my son, the loyalty of my husband. For this reason, trips can bring back romance, and fill our lives to overflowing with gratitude and appreciation. To shake up tradition a bit this year, Mark and I planned a trip over the holidays to the city where I spent my 16

twenties—San Francisco. We chose it because I had been wanting to show him and the kids around for years, my oldest was even born there, and I felt this magnetic draw to the city by the bay that eight years had not shaken from my consciousness.


e boarded the plane from T.F. Green for our 6:10 a.m. flight on Christmas Eve. We didn’t know who would be picking us up at the airport in San Francisco, and we had only bits and pieces of information about our 10 day rental in Russian Hill that we found on Craigslist. We packed our bags, threw them into the trunk, woke the kids up at 4 a.m. (they slept in their clothes so they could just stumble out to the car), and headed to the airport for an adventure.

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

Now, here is where I interject a bit in my narrative. I recommend that the easiest way to liven up a marriage, or any love relationship, is to remove yourself from your day to day routine and do something completely different together. Because when you approach this big, wide world, it’s suddenly the one you love that becomes your anchor. Part of who you are is defined in this person, and this is not something you learn if you just keep doing the same thing every day, unaware. If you meditate and practice spirituality in some form, you may know this without moving an inch. But for the rest of us, the less enlightened ones, we need to sometimes get a change of perspective to get a change in appreciation for what we have. As we found our seats on the open-seating Southwest Airlines flight, we began

to settle in. Even before take-off my new eyes took over. Not my day-to-day eyes. I began to recognize all the things I first noticed when Mark and I were only dating, like how capable this man is. How he is so steady and unfrazzled and organized. How I might start to freak out, but his calm would bring me back and I would think again, “No big deal. We’re heading to California. Enjoy the ride.” The pilot echoes these words, and reminds me to sit back and relax. And I do. And we catch a taxi cab no problem on the other side, at San Francisco airport. And our apartment surpasses our dreams with its grand view of the Bay Bridge and Coit tower, a view like nothing we could afford in a hotel. And we are together. And we congratulate each other with a knowing, loving, married kiss.


n this trip, our kids visited relatives for a couple of days, so Mark and I had the chance to have some relaxing days to ourselves. Our most romantic, memorable day began with a walk. We didn’t know where we were going, or where we would end up. After some touristy stuff, like eating a fabulous breakfast at the Boulange on Union Street and walking by the stately Victorian where Mrs. Doubtfire was filmed, we entered unplanned territory. Don’t you just love that, unplanned territory? Isn’t this where we believe the grass is greener? We walked, and we walked and we walked. We thought about hopping on a bus, because there were so many whizzing by us on their electric cables, but we decided against it. We walked through the inner Richmond district into Sea Cliff, and all of the sudden our urban landscape was transformed into massive views of the Marin Headlands and Golden Gate bridge. We barely controlled our envy at the fortunate people who wake up every day to that view.


hile we walked, something amazing happened. We started to talk, without any concept of time. We talked like when we

were dating, not about checking accounts and doctor’s appointments, or work day slights, or traffic complaints. We talked as if dreaming, we dreamed as we talked. And most importantly, he was in my dreams, and I was in his. I mean, all of our plans for the future included—each other. This was the greener grass. We walked so far this day we ended up at the other side of the city, and eventually, when we could walk no more, at the Pacific Ocean. We ate a late lunch at the Cliff House, which is something I never did in all my years of living in San Francisco. As we ate oysters and Caesar salad and white wine, we looked out the floor to ceiling glass windows

With this spirit of gratitude, there is no greener grass, even if as far as the eye can see, there is a landscape of rolling winter white. at the Pacific Ocean, so unlike our own Atlantic, which is mostly steady and placid. The Pacific will sweep away your past, and your future while it’s at it, and leave you with the delicious present. We clinked our glasses and toasted to our perfect, unplanned day, filled with surprise views, and reminders of vows so easily forgotten. What surprised me about our trip to San Francisco is that it seemed like a new city to me, like I was seeing everything for the first time. And perhaps I was. Suffice it to say I am thankfully evolved from the person I was in my twenties. Also, everything is more beautiful when it is shared, and San Francisco was so beautiful, again, because I had the

chance to see the sights, smell the smells, and hear the sounds of cable car and seal calls—all over again with the one I love. What we did on the trip—go to the “InN-Out Burger” on Fisherman’s Wharf, hike in Muir Woods, take the ferry to Tiburon—hardly mattered. We were together—that mattered. We had our tiny little battles, but mostly we just walked arm and arm and took a lot pictures and soaked up the winter sun, the big reason people visit California in the first place. Even in foggy San Francisco, even in December, the sun shines on you, the visitor from the east, filling up your light-starved soul with enough rays to get you through until spring.


ut, ten days pass and we were ready to come home. The flight is long, seems longer on the way home, and we arrive after dark, although we left at 7:00 a.m. California time. We throw open the door to our house and our dog waddles and wags his tail so strong he could knock over a small child (and this he may have done). This is it. We are home. I look around and stop dreaming that I want to be anywhere else because I realize that as long as I am with Mark and my kids, it really doesn’t matter where on the map home is. I recently read a report from a priest who is ministering in Sudan as a missionary. There, he says, he is amazed by the gratitude expressed in prayers of Sudanese people. They are not so much petitioning God when they wake up in the morning as they are thanking him. “Thank you for seeing us through the night,” they say. In a place where getting through the night is not a given, life and relationships are valued perhaps as they should be. As the gifts that they are. And our challenge this Valentine’s day and always is to appreciate every sunrise as if it were the first, or maybe last. With this spirit of gratitude, there is no greener grass, even if as far as the eye can see, there is a landscape of rolling winter white.

The South Coast Insider / February 2010


© Nikitu |


Wedding help online by Cara Connelly Pimental

As I began my research for this article about marriage, I started with the internet. According to the Centers for Disease control—apparently, they track more than just the swine flu—in 2008, there were 2,162,000 marriages or 7.1 per 1,000 people. For the same year, the divorce rate was 3.5 per 1,000 population—pretty much exactly half. I was overwhelmed at the amount of advice available at the click of a mouse. The hits were plentiful, varied and most contained valuable information. There were sites for free marriage advice, humorous marriage advice, men and marriage advice, save your marriage advice, Christian marriage advice, inspirational marriage advice and still more sites about marriage wisdom, what pitfalls to avoid and how and if you find that your marriage is off in a ditch, how to get it back on track. Of course, it’s important to look before you leap into wedlock. Common values are important. If you aren’t together on basic values 18

such as children, honesty, fidelity, and putting family before work, no amount of learning or effort of the will can resolve the conflict. For example, constant tension will result if one spouse wants to live simply while the other wants life’s luxuries. There were fewer sites boasting about wonderful marriages—I suppose that is because if something is working well, why would anyone be online looking for help? There were a fair amount of advertisements for divorce mediation, attorneys and available local counselors as well as sites to spice things up in the boudoir.

Plus ça change

Statistics show that people

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

are getting married later in life. Completing not just college but graduate studies, finding a good job and establishing a solid career are all contributing factors. The days of single parenting or being pregnant without being married, regardless of your moral or religious convictions, no longer has such a negative social stigma. Marrying for the second time or marrying someone that has children from a previous relationship/ marriage is more commonplace.

Change is difficult

According to many marriage experts, some of these factors may account for the high rate of divorce. The longer we live without a partner, the more set in our own ways we become. We’ve established our own way of doing everything from where the mail gets set, how the kitchen is organized,

a laundry system or maybe no laundry system—basic division of household chores. Not to mention the hot topics in most households—conflicts about money, family, communication and intimacy. Life is busy and keeping up with work, social, family and household obligations can seem overwhelming, which is why it is so important to keep your partner close— even when you feel there isn’t any time or energy to do so. Balancing life is a constant juggling act—actively participating in marriage, plugging into our children, meeting work obligations, social commitments, keeping our own identity and meeting the needs of everyone tugging on our shirt tails doesn’t have to be so difficult.

Words to live by

Breaking down these obligations, commitments

or obstacles into smaller, more manageable tasks and simply remembering to be kind to each other are key components to get through daily life. Years ago, my father gave me some good pieces of advice. If you are 80% happy 80% of the time, life is good. If you aren’t happy with your situation, only you can change it—change yourself and your surroundings will change too. When faced with conflict, he would often say, ask if is this going to be a big deal in two weeks time?— if so, do something about it, if not, let it go. Easier said than done—still words to live by— I’m still trying. Recently, marriage.about. com asked online readers to share their marriage wisdom/ advice they ever received. Some submissions included: “Communicate, respect for self and each other, trust, faith, laugh together not at each other, don’t go to bed angry or hurt, remember your vows, don’t ask what you are not ready and willing to accept and let go and remember that often time we don’t know we’re making a mistake unless we are told so speak up without being rude and hurtful.” —Antoinette 34 “My dad told me ‘try to outdo each other in kindness.’ I thought that was good advice. That way you are concentrating on the positive.” —tjmac66 “Get on your knees together every night and say the Lord’s Prayer. Even if you don’t go to sleep and may have something else to do. This assures

that most nights you will spend some time together before you go to sleep. If you are apart, do it over the phone.” —Michele “The best advice in my opinion is to live in a different town than your families when you get married. My hubby is in the Air Force and lucky for both of us, we moved across the country! We both grew up in negative environments and the space is a blessing! Now we appreciate talking to our families and they are far enough away where they can’t interfere and smother us with negativity. On another note, I believe the standard “don’t go to bed angry” is right as rain as well!” —GirlyGirl220 “My father always said that the secret of a happy marriage is a short tongue. Instead of saying the first thing that pops into your head to your spouse in a heated discussion, bite your tongue, and consider the consequences before proceeding. I have been married to the same man for 19 years, and I am lucky to have him. I know that biting my tongue helps me to weigh my words more carefully.” —Susan H. “The best marriage advice I received was from my grandmother: Marriage is not always 50/50. Some days you will wake up and may have to give 90% and your spouse will give 10%. Other days you may wake up and give 25% and your husband will have to put in the 75%. I never thought of this before but it is so true.” —Meme Continued on next page

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Continued from previous page

It’s the money

Financial issues can be great source of stress in a marriage. Mary Claire Allvine, a certified financial planner (CFP) and co-author of The Family CFO: The Couple’s Business Plan for Love and Money advises being proactive about finances. “People tend to be emotional and reactive about money, not strategic.” According to SmartMoney magazine, there are 6 basic financial pitfalls, and the wrong and right way to approach each: 1. Merging the Finances

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The Right Approach: It’s yours, mine and ours. 2. Dealing with Debt The Wrong Approach: Your debt will ruin us; you must find a way to pay it off. The Right Approach: It’s our debt: Let’s decide how to pay it off together. 3. Keeping Spending in Check The Wrong Approach: I’m a saver and you’re a spender. That’s the problem.


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5. Keeping Money Secrets The Wrong Approach: What my spouse doesn’t know will never hurt him/her. The Right Approach: Big financial secrets can ruin a marriage.

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February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

The Wrong Approach: We’re fine. We don’t need to worry about money. The Right Approach: Anything could happen. Let’s plan for emergencies.

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3 Special Advertising Section — Wedding And Gift Guide 4

Family matters

Another often controversial issue surrounding married couples are issues about family. Balancing your family of origin and family of choice isn’t always easy. Where to spend holidays, which family are you closer to—geographically or emotionally, does your husband feel welcomed, accepted and loved by your mother, do you as a wife and mother measure up in the eyes of his family and are they kind to you? We all bring family baggage into our marriage. Whitney Thompson, PhD., local therapist, advises taking the positive from your childhood, taking the positive from your partner’s childhood and make a path for your own family. Unresolved childhood issues can ruin a marriage. It’s important to either face and fix the negative relationship or resign yourself that you are going to make a better life for yourself make and take a healthy path for yourself and as an example for your own family.

It’s worth it

Marriage is hard work. Family life educators agree that one indispensable ingredient for making marriage work is communication. This is good news, because effective communication can be learned. Skills such as active listening, using “I” statements, paying attention to my feelings and those of my spouse, and learning tips for “fighting fair” make marriage easier. Some couples use these skills intuitively because they saw them modeled in their own upbringing. Others can learn them through classes, workshops and reading. Commitment bonds a couple together when you are tired, annoyed, or angry with each other. Sometimes, remembering your vows can prompt you to push past these problems and try to forgive and start again. Remember why you fell in love, grow with one another, support one another and turn toward one another in times of difficulty. Enjoy your spouse and family and appreciate the small joys as much as the great happiness life and love brings your way!

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February 2010 / The South Coast Insider


Winter Festival highlights Newport history The cold breezes off the ocean may keep some tourists away, but winter is a great time to enjoy Newport. In addition to the food and scenery, this time of year is also perfect to rediscover the city’s history, and the Newport Winter Festival, which starts on February 12, provides a good opportunity to do just that. Newport History Tours offers many walking tours during the tenday festival. On the flagship tour, “Discover Colonial Newport,” hear stories of revolution and ruin, struggles for liberty, and remarkable entrepreneurship among Newport’s diverse people. This 75-minute walking tour is offered daily at 10:30 am starting Friday, February 12 and runs through Sunday, February 21. Take a walk There are also specialty walking tours offered nearly every day. . Unless otherwise noted, tours last approximately 75 minutes and depart from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI. The Lantern Tour of Colonial Newport transports visitors back to the heyday of this thriving colonial metropolis on a 75 minute lantern-lit stroll through the Historic Hill on Friday, February 12 and Friday, February 19 at 4:30pm. Pirates & Scoundrels Walking Tour reveals where scoundrels lived, where pirates profited, and where criminals were put on trial and punished. Find out why this colony was sometimes known as “Rouge’s Island.” Monday, February 15 and Saturday, February 20 at 11:30am. Old House ABCs teaches the basics of antique home construction as you explore the uniquely preserved historic streetscape of Newport, with examples of the earliest 17th century architectural styles to 19th century Victorian splendor. Tuesday February 16 at 11:30am. Newport’s Other Summer Colony is the focus of this tour told through the lives of the 19th century writers, artists, and intellectuals who summered in Newport on this 90-minute tour through the Catherine Street and Old Beach Road

neighborhoods. Wednesday February 17 at 11:30am. Newport’s Buried History: Slavery and Freedom Tour tells the stories of Newport’s people of color, enslaved and free. Visit the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House and the colonial African burying ground on this 90-minute tour. Thursday, February 18 at 11:30am. Tastes of the Working Waterfront allows visitors to taste, touch, and smell your way through history on a walk along Lower Thames while learning about the sailors, merchants, and immigrants who lived there. Tickets for this tour are sold at the departure point, Whitehorne House Museum 416 Thames Street. Saturday, February 13 and Friday February 19 at 11:30am. All Newport History Tours are $12 per person, $10 with Newport Winter Festival button. All tours are weather permitting. Space is limited; reservations suggested. For more information, call 401-841-8770.

Make a visit The Newport Historical Society offers tours of its important historic properties. Tour the 1739 Colony House on Washington Square, built to house R.I. government meetings. The first floor is open by donation; guided tours explore this historic site and include a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. Tours are offered

on February 13, February 15, February 20, 11am to 2pm. Admission: $5, $4 with the Newport Winter Festival button, free for NHS members. For those craving more history, the Museum & Shop at Brick Market opens daily at 10am. The exhibit offers an overview of Newport’s history from the 17th through the 20th century. Exhibit highlights include the Franklin Press and Clement C. Moore’s (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas) writing desk. Rotating exhibits currently include a special display on the Navy in Newport and Caswell-Massey apothecary. Museum admission is by donation. WinterFest button holders receive a 15% discount at the museum shop. Since 1854, the Newport Historical Society has collected and preserved the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, and genealogical records that relate to the history of Newport County, to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment, and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the history of Newport County, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present. For more information please visit For additional information about the Winter Festival, call 401-846-0813 or email:

The South Coast Insider / February 2010



Hidden gems alternate routes and destinations by Stephen C. Smith


ow that the ubiquitous GPS units have taken the fear out of being lost (“recalculating,” they repeatedly say), we are free to venture out and explore places off the beaten track without the fear of being stuck in some permanent purgatory. Southeastern Massachusetts is loaded with hidden gems. We have drives and destinations that rival anywhere for scenery and interest but yet are unfamiliar to many local residents. So whether it’s a Sunday afternoon drive or an alternate route to a regular destination, consider these variations when driving around the region. 24

Alternate routes Rather than following the same old same old when traveling from point A to point B, try these variations. But remember—only use your GPS if you’re lost, because it will simply direct you back to the highway. GPS units have no imagination or romantic inclination.

Route 105, Marion to Lakeville Tired of the monotony of interstates 195 and 495? Try the scenic and educational Route 105 alternative. It takes about 15 minutes longer, but is well worth it. The farms and fields of Rochester are a welcome sight, and the 2

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

minute diversion to Eastover Farms is recommended. But the eye-popping stretch of this route is through the Lakeville Ponds complex. As you weave between Great and Little Quitticas Ponds, you’ll see the historic granite buildings for the New Bedford water supply. Farther along, you pass right by the City of Taunton water supply intake on Assawompsett Pond. In between are winding roads, old houses and horse farms.

Route 118, Swansea to Attleboro There is a shorter and infinitely more pleasant route that connects I-195 to I-95 (North), avoids the traffic

and hassle of going through Providence, and lowers your blood pressure by a measurable amount. Starting at the Swansea Mall, Route 118 winds north for 19 miles, mostly though Rehoboth, and reconnects with I-95 in Attleboro. Along the way is a semi-rural landscape that was preserved when the state decided not to build I-895 along this route in the 1970s. When you cross Route 44, take a two minute diversion to the east and check out Anawan Rock, the National Historic Register site where King Philip’s War officially ended in 1676.

Riverside Ave. and Pleasant St., Somerset and Dighton Follow the Taunton River instead of Route 138 for about 7 miles and you’re in for a treat. You’ll pass through the historic villages of Somerset that were built along the river in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Boatyards, marshes, and historic homes line the route. In addition to the natural beauty of the Taunton River, you will drive through two more historic districts in Dighton before rejoining Route 138.

Fall River State Forest/Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve This is only for those who will drive on occasional dirt roads with almost no landmarks or directional signs. The best bet is to drive north for 5 miles from Hixville Village in Dartmouth along Yellow Hill Road to Wilson Road in Fall River. The detour to the Copicut Reservoir (Fall River water supply) is an interesting diversion. If you are feeling truly adventurous, continue another 3 miles past Fighting Rock Corner along Bell Rock Road into Freetown. You will see very little civilization along this entire route. It is not for the faint of heart.

Enticing dead ends The best treats are often at dead ends. Here are a few of the better ones.

Acoaxet (Westport) You have to drive into Rhode Island to get there, but Acoaxet village along the

west branch of the Westport River and the Atlantic Ocean is a beautiful side trip, even in the dead of winter. Starting in Adamsville, RI, where the Rhode Island Red monument stands, follow River Road to the ocean and watch egrets and ospreys and you pass by centuries old farmhouses and summer cottages. This area is truly a hidden gem.

Fort Taber, New Bedford Follow JFK Highway to the end and then Rodney French Boulevard until you can go no further south and you will arrive at Fort Taber at the southern tip of New Bedford. Walk around the fort and out to the point and take in the expanse of Buzzards Bay that opens up before you. The most traffic you’ll see from this incredible spot are the scallop draggers moving in and out of New Bedford harbor. A special treat on a summer evening.


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Ned’s Point, Mattapoisett If you can tear yourself away from beautiful Mattapoisett village, follow Ned’s Point Road for one mile to the end when you get to the lighthouse and landing. You won’t want to leave this romantic spot. Bring someone special. These are just a few of the tremendous assets all around which get lost in the blur as we whiz by at 65 mph. You owe it to yourself to break from your routine and make the occasional side trip. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

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Ancient foods, modern miracles by Elizabeth Morse Read

On her first night in America, my then 14-year old English grandmother was served corn-on the-cob. She had no idea how to eat it until she watched her American cousins pick it up in their hands and start chomping away. This was what cattle and pigs in England were fed, and here she was, eating it for dinner. The Plimouth Colony Pilgrims were probably just as baffled when they first encountered the local foods and recipes that their native American neighbors introduced them to back in the early17th century. And yet these original, aboriginal foods have become part of American lore (especially at holiday time) and have spread across the country and the world as major sources of nutrition. Read on for a primer on how the native foods of the New World have traveled and changed the world.

The Three Sisters: Corn, beans and squash With the help of English-speaking native Americans like Squanto, the Pilgrims learned about “companion planting methods” the natives used, whereby corn (maize), pole beans and local squashes were planted together on a mound for maximum production 26

(with a dead fish thrown in for fertilizer). The corn provided natural “poles” for the beans, which provided nitrogen-enrichment for the soil, and the spreading vines and leaves of the squashes provided a natural mulch to prevent weeds and insects. These “three sisters,” when combined, provided a healthful complement of nutritious foods, as well as a source of dried foodstuffs used during cold and hungry months. So significant were these “three sisters” to America’s development that they are featured on the reverse side of the US “Sacagawea” dollar coin. And, to this day, these “New World vegetables” have become major food sources globally, as well as traditional fare at winter dinner tables across the nation.

etable eaten fresh or mixed with other native American vegetables, as opposed to “field corn,” which is not harvested until the corn kernels are hard and dry, ready for storage as feed for livestock or for grinding into cornmeal. Early settlers quickly adopted cornmeal as a substitute for wheat flour, and our traditional regional recipes are the result. The oldest (and still-operating) corn grist mill on the South Coast is Kenyon’s, in Usquepaug, Rhode Island. Their products are still sold on supermarket shelves throughout southern New England. It is considered the premier product when making regional and holiday specialties like cornbread stuffing, muffins, jonny cakes or Indian pudding. (see sidebar)

Knee high by the Fourth of July

Although beans have been cultivated worldwide for millennia, the ancient

Sweet corn (also known as Indian corn) is the soft and sugary immature veg-

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

Beans, beans, the musical fruit

Continued on page 28


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New World varieties have become an indispensable protein/vegetable food in American cuisine, from the Southwest (chili and Tex/Mex recipes) to the southern Gulf states (red beans and rice) to Washington, D.C. (Senate bean soup) to New England (baked beans). Their high protein content, especially when eaten with rice or corn, make them ideal for economical meatless meals. While some varieties are picked early and eaten in their pods (green/string beans), most are harvested when the interior “seeds” (beans or peas) are fully grown, ready for cooking or drying. But because beans contain traces of a toxin, they must be carefully prepared and cooked to avoid severe gastric distress (not to mention flatulence), hence the old New England saying, “Pea soup and jonny cakes, makes a Frenchman’s belly ache.”

Squashes and gourds

This spud’s for you From its humble beginnings in South America thousands of years ago, potatoes have become a major food source globally and is now the world’s fourthlargest crop, after rice, wheat and maize (corn). Mashed (or ‘smashed,’ with skins), roasted, deep-fried, baked or boiled for cold salads, potatoes are as “all-American” as pumpkin pie and are a regular portion of American meals. Ironically, America’s early settlers considered potatoes to be poisonous (potatoes are related to deadly nightshade and tobacco, and its leaves and vines are toxic), until their native American neighbors showed them how to grow and cook them safely. Before long, potatoes were exported to and grown throughout Europe, rapidly becoming a major food source during all-too-frequent famines and crop failures. But of the 3,000+ varieties of potatoes, only a handful were grown in Europe, and this lack of genetic diversity left them vulnerable to weather and disease. The Great Irish Famine of the mid-19th century was precipitated by a countrywide fungal blight which killed all the potato crops. Yet this lowly “New World” vegetable is now successfully cultivated around the world—China is currently the largest potato-growing nation in the world, and almost a third of the world’s potatoes are harvested in China and India.

South Coasters serve cranberry sauce year-‘round, whenever we eat poultry, not just turkey at Thanksgiving.

Askutasquash, the Narrangansett word for “a green thing eaten raw,” has been cultivated in the New World for almost 10,000 years. And if you’ve ever taken a foreign visitor for a walk on the wild side (the produce aisle in local supermarkets), they are amazed by the riot of colors, shapes and sizes of native squashes and gourds, a staple of winter dinners. What we call “summer squash” are the soft-skinned early vegetables like zucchini or patty-pan we eat fresh or cooked immediately. “Winter squash” are the late-harvest mature vegetables, cured and dried, like butternut, acorn, pumpkin, or spaghetti squash, that can be stored during the winter and spring for later use. Their seeds can be dried, crushed, roasted or used to produce oil. Dried gourds, the largely-inedible cousins of squashes, were used for

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

ornamental or utilitarian purposes, like ladles, rattles, bowls or carved lanterns (hence our jack-o’lanterns). During the Civil War, escaping slaves traveling along the Underground Railroad were advised to follow the “drinking gourd” (the Big Dipper) as they made their way north to freedom. The edible leaves and blossoms of squash plants are still used in native American recipes.

The humble potato has had quite a history, but even I remember older relatives warning me never to eat a green potato (“it’s been kissed by the moon,” I was told): the Pilgrim’s wariness about poisoning still lingers in our cultural psyche.

Cranberries The tart/sweet cranberry sauce so revered at Thanksgiving dinners is another native American recipe our Pilgrim forebears came to love. Although cranberries grow in cool boglands along the northern half of the globe, their large-scale production and marketing is distinctly associated with the South Coast, especially Plymouth County. Our early settlers added them to puddings and breads; our native American hosts blended them into “pemmican,” the local version of beef jerky. Like so many New World foods, cranberries were soon recognized for their healthful benefits—very high in Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, and a sure-fire home cure for urinary-tract or gum infections. Since the late 1800s, cranberries became one of the first agricultural products to be marketed cooperatively nationwide, with A.D. Makepeace of “Ocean Spray” fame becoming the world’s largest producers of commercial cranberry products—juices, sauces and Craisins. Meanwhile, us South Coasters serve cranberry sauce year-‘round, whenever we eat poultry, not just turkey at Thanksgiving. There’s nothing like a roast chicken/turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce slathered on it, no matter the season.

early settlers quickly adopted it as an alternative to imported sugar (or molasses, which was a by-product of the rum/sugar-cane slave trade in the West Indies). Maple syrup is distinctly a New England/ Canadian product and is a staple sweetener in many recipes , as well as a topping for pancakes, jonny cakes, waffles or baked hams/sweet potatoes. And you can’t find “maple walnut” ice cream anywhere but on the South Coast. Like cranberries, maple syrup is a distinctly regional product that has been adopted nationwide for “traditional” dinners.

Gobble, gobble We had a long-standing joke in my family that you never ate a particular auntie’s “purple turkeys” come holiday time. Not only did she consistently undercook them, but she added enough Bell’s Seasoning to her equally-undercooked Pepperidge Farm bread stuffing to give a whale heartburn. But, family lore aside, turkey is the quintessential Thanksgiving centerpiece. Another “New World” species, turkeys are probably the ugliest and dumbest birds in the world, next to emus. Benjamin Franklin wasted a lot of time and energy trying to have the American wild turkey named the national bird, as opposed to the bald eagle. But the early settlers were happy to serve turkeys instead of their traditional goose or swan at holiday time, so it’s turkey we eat at Thanksgiving, whether your auntie cooked it or not. So, this year, when you gather around winter dinners with family and friends, give thanks for the hospitality of the native Americans who helped the South Coast settlers survive almost 400 years ago. Their generosity has helped feed the world.

We had a longstanding joke in my family that you never ate a particular auntie’s “purple turkeys” come holiday time.

Maple syrup Native Americans had long been harvesting the sap of sugar maple trees as a sweetener and energy-source long before the Pilgrims arrived on our shores. The

“Grist for the mill”

Cornmeal classics

Johnny Cakes

New Bedford’s Whaling Museum sits atop Johnny Cake Hill, so-named for the fried cornmeal pancakes that have been a South Coast staple since preColonial days. Johnny (or jonny) cakes, were originally called “journey” cakes, a take-along snack for a day’s journey— indeed, they were an icon on local inns and tavern signs in the early 1800s. Apparently, the distinctive New England accent was strong enough even back then that the “r” got dropped and they became known as jonny cakes. But even now along the South Coast, especially in Rhode Island, jonny cakes with maple syrup and ham is a traditional Sunday breakfast, as well as a favorite dish at Thanksgiving dinners. Its early popularity as a quick and inexpensive food spread across the globe. It was one of the main foods served to Confederate troops during the Civil War, and is enjoyed as far away as Australia.

Brown Bread A few years ago on a Saturday morning, a Southern-grown friend called and asked if she could pick anything up for me at Stop&Shop before she came over for coffee…“Yeah—get me a large can of B&M baked beans and some brown bread.” Okay—she knew where the baked beans were, but didn’t know if the bakery carried brown bread. “Oh, no,” I assured her. “It’s in the cans next to the beans.” Dead silence, then finally, she said, “Y’all eat bread here out of cans?” New England brown bread, with or without raisins, is a cornmeal-and-molasses based steamed quick bread, and a classic Saturday night food throughout the South Coast, as well as a frequent ingredient of Thanksgiving dinners. I like it warm with cream cheese, but my Southern friend won’t touch it. (Then again, I won’t eat grits, so there you go.)

The South Coast Insider / February 2010



Wines of Wala Wala Washington by Alton L. Long

Not many people realize that the state of Washington, in the northeast corner of the U.S., is the number two state in wine production. The climate is very compatible for grape growing, enhanced by the long sun light hours during the summer. A variety of locations provide a good combination of rainfall as well as great grape growing terrain. There are over 600 wineries in the state including the well-known Columbia Crest, the first Washington winery to be named as Number 1 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of the world. Their award winning wine was their 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Though Columbia

Crest is barely 25 years old, it is one of the largest wineries in the United States, and it is the largest in the Northwestern United States. It originally was a division of Chateau Ste. Michelle, but became a more or less independent operation very quickly. The relationship between these to large wineries is now as equal but separate members of the same holding company. On the other hand, Chateau Ste.

Michelle evolved from a grape growers association and is now 75 years old. These and many other Washington wineries have been a factor in the development of more wineries in the eastern part of Washington including the Wala Wala appellation in the greater Columbia (River) Valley that extends into the northeast tip of Oregon as well as southeast tip Washington.

A respectable heritage

Though Wala Wala is a relatively new appellation in grape growing and wine making, its story goes back to the very early times of Washington state wine history. It was there that early Italian immigrants introduced wine grapes with the planting of Cinsault grapes in the mid-1800’s. The growth of the Wala Wala wine industry was very slow to get started.

Columbia Crest is Washington’s premier wine producer. 30

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

The AVA was not established until 1984 and at that time there were only about a six wineries in the delineated area. Even by 2000 there just about two dozen operating wineries. Some of these early wineries had to get their grapes from beyond the appellation in order to make good wines in the beginning, as it seemed to take several years before the newly planted vineyard bore quality fruit. Most of Wala Wala is a desert-like environment and it take serious water management to successfully grow good quality vinifera wine grapes. But the results so far show that this can be done in an economically sound basis. One positive special side effect of the dryness is there seems to be little evidence of grape and grape vine molds and funguses. Today Wala Wala claims more than 100 operating wineries, most less than a few years in operation. There are still a lot of wine grapes being brought in from other regions, but there are plenty of bona fide Wala Wala appellation wines to enjoy. It seems that the signature grape and wine of the region at this time is the classic Syrah. It is often made as a single varietal and often used to make some interesting blends. There are several great examples that may be found in sophisticated wine shops in this region.

blend at about $40. L’Ecole has a good Syrah from the Seven Hills vineyard that runs at $36. As you can see, these wines are not inexpensive. But don’t despair—there are some great bargains to be found. Tamarack’s Firehouse Red made from seven different varietals can be found at $20, or a little less when it is on special. But Wala Wala has some really excellent Cabernet Sauvignon as well as some incredible Cabernet Franc wines to offer, but they do not seem to be available in the East. Many of the wines are made in small lots. The limited supply and the great demand has enabled the Wala Wala wineries to get good prices for their wines and sell a large percentage directly to the locals and tourist trade.

Today Wala Wala claims more than 100 operating wineries, most less than a few years in operation.

Pricey, and worth it

One favorite is the Durham Syrah, Lewis Vineyard, from the famous Rattlesnake Hills vineyard. It may be a little steep for your pocket book or purse, as it runs at least $75 a bottle, if you can find it. More reasonable, but still running in the low $40s is the K Vintners Morrison Lane Syrah. K Vintners also produces a neat Sangiovese (86%) and Syrah (14%)

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Because of the dryness and moderate fall weather (the winters can be wicked), some suitable grapes can be left to hang until they become very ripe. A delicious example of this is Three Rivers Bisquit Ridge Vineyard Late Harvest Gewürztraminer. Late harvesting is not unusual in Wala Wala. In a recent bulletin, Birch Creek Vineyard announced that they were just harvesting some of their Syrah from their estate vineyard. They have allowed the grape bunches to hang until the grapes began to shrivel and to bring on raisin traits. They expect to have sugar level that would result in 16 to 18 per cent alcohol, though they could make a Port style wine. That could be delicious. Do yourself a favor and see if you can find one of these great Wala Wala wines locally, or on you next trip to Boston or New York. You’ll be a hit when you offer this wine to your guests, who will probably be tasting a Wala Wala wine for the first time.

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The South Coast Insider / February 2010


BOOK PICKS BY BAKER by Magoo Gelehrter

Courtesy of Baker Books

To live well, one must eat well, but with the hectic pace of life today, this is not easy. However, it is much simpler than you might imagine when you know what to do in the kitchen. Some expert chefs have done the legwork for you and will show you how to make the most of your meal-preparatin time while doing the best for you and your family. Now that’s good eating! Emeril 20-40-60: Fresh Food Fast by Emeril Lagasse Harper Collins paperback $24.99

If after a long day at the office you don’t have time to cook and you are in a hurry to get the kids to soccer practice but hungry for more than just a sandwich, Emeril 20-40-60 is there to rescue you. Finally, here is a cookbook designed to help you make cooking a part of your busy life. Even if you’re short on time, there’s a delicious recipe by Emeril that will fit your schedule and get a freshly prepared, satisfying meal on the table. Divided into three sections, this cookbook is Emeril’s first ever to organize mouthwatering home-cooked meals according to time. You’ll find recipes you can make in 20 minutes or less, 40 minutes or less, or around 60 minutes, so now you can make the meals you want in the time you have. How about Orange, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Salad (19 minutes) or Spicy Pork Wraps with Creamy Coleslaw in a mere 26 minutes? Really in a hurry? You can whip up the Simple Italian Wedding Soup in only eleven minutes. If you have more time to spare, try the Shrimp and Zucchini Fritters in 35 minutes or splurge on the Pork Loin with Apples and Prunes in just 60 minutes. Fresh food fast is what you and your family need to keep going at today’s rapid pace. 32

Kitchen Express:

404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes you can Make in Twenty Minutes or Less by Mark Bittman Simon & Schuster hardcover $26 Cooking can be one of life’s essential pleasures, even when you have to put dinner on the table every night. Now, with Mark Bittman’s trusted voice as your guide, quick, easy, and fresh meals are always a realistic option. Chef Bittman presents 404 dishes, that’s 101 for each season, that will get you in and out of the kitchen in 20 minutes or less. His recipe sketches provide exactly the directions a home cook needs to prepare a repertoire of eggs, seafood, poultry, meats, vegetables, sandwiches, and even desserts. Add a salad here, a loaf of bread there, and these dishes become full meals that are better than takeout and far less expensive. These 404 recipes are as delicious and sophisticated as they are simple: Make the most of summer produce with Scallop and Peach Ceviche or Apricot Cream Upside-Down Pie. When the air starts to cool, try Salmon and Sweet Potato with Coconut Curry Sauce or Broiled Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts. On a cold winter night, warm up with White Bean Stew served over crusty slices of olive oil-brushed baguette. Or welcome spring with Shrimp with Asparagus, Dill, and Spice

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

or Poached Eggs and Truffled Arugula Prosciutto Salad. Good ingredients are the backbone of delicious home cooking, and Bittman includes a guide to the foods you’ll want on hand to cook the Kitchen Express way, as well as suggestions for seasonal menus and lists of recipes for specific uses, like brown-bag lunches or the best dishes for reheating. With Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express, you can have dinner on the table in not much more time than it takes to read a traditional recipe.

Real Simple Best Recipes: Quick Delicious Recipes You’ll Use and Love for Life by Real Simple Little Brown hardcover $27.95

You want to feed your family well, but with your busy life, getting a healthy, satisfying meal on the table sometimes seems like impossible. For 10 years, Real Simple has been finding ways to help you fulfill that mission while saving you time, stress, and money. Here, they’ve gathered up some of their best recipes to serve anytime, anywhere, from a weeknight supper to a dinner party. These include one pot meals that require just a single pan and hardly any cleanup as well as thirty minute meals to throw together at the end of a busy workday. Real Simple shows you how to make meals that require no cooking for when you just don’t want to turn on the oven and freezable meals to make ahead, for days when there’s no time to cook. Make kid-friendly meals that please both you and the kids. This book includes full nutritional information for every recipe, to make watching your numbers easier and menu suggestions for combining recipes for special occasions. Includes tricks of the trade to help you choose the freshest produce, pair pasta shapes with the best sauces, decipher the labels on packaged food including meats, poultry and seafood.

Gourmet Today

Everyday Easy: One Pot

In no other period of our country’s history has the food scene changed so rapidly. Exciting new ingredients are available everywhere, expanding our culinary horizons. Even casual meals have globe-trotting flavors. We want memorable dishes, and we want them to be healthy for our families and our planet. And with our busy schedules, we want them on the table faster than ever. Gourmet Today responds to our changing foodscape with more vegetarian recipes, more recipes for popular dishes from every corner of the world, more recipes for stunning meals ready in 30 minutes or less, more simple ways to prepare all the vegetables in the farmers’ market, advice on choosing sustainable fish, chicken, and beef, tips on throwing an easy cocktail party, more recipes for flavorful techniques like grilling, and more recipes for the new ingredients flooding our market. Each of the over 1,000 recipes was selected by editor in chief Ruth Reichl, a best-selling author in her own right, who wrote the introductions to each chapter. Every recipe has been tested and cross-tested in the Gourmet test kitchen so every cook, whether a first-timer or a veteran, gets impeccable results. With menus for holidays and other seasonal occasions, an authoritative glossary of ingredients (plus mail-order sources), and hundreds of sidebars on ingredients and handy techniques from the test kitchen, Gourmet Today is the indispensable book for today’s cook.

Everyday Easy: One Pot is a one-stop cooking resource for delicious stews, soups, chilis, etc. Six “recipe choosers” at the start of the book act as an instant reference for cooks in a hurry. A useful techniques section covers all the preparation methods you may need step-by-step. Icons with each recipe indicate serving proportions, prep time, cooking time, and—where relevant—low fat, low GI, special equipment, and freezability. Other handy extras include “Prepare Ahead” information and food pairing tips.

by Ruth Reichl Houghton Mifflin hardcover $40

by DK Books DK Books hardcover $20

Mad Hungry

by Lucinda Scala Quinn Workman Publishing hardcover $27.95 In a family with four hungry brothers, three ravenous sons and a husband who loves to eat, Lucinda Scala Quinn has spent much of her life feeding men and boys and teaching them how to feed themselves. Now Scala Quinn—chef, television personality, and Martha Stewart Omnimedia’s resident food guru—shares winning strategies for how to sate the seemingly insatiable, and get men to manage in the kitchen. She provides recipes for single-skillet meals and dinners that yield fabulous leftovers and are a cinch to stretch for extra guests. Her grab-and-run breakfast will help kids start the day right, and her healthful drinks make it easier for guys to say no to soda. Scala Quinn’s recipes are easy to prepare, affordable, and so good that even the most finicky eater will want to dig in. Along with her cooking techniques and survival strategies (“Never be

caught without bacon”), Quinn provides empowering advice to feed guys’ spirits as well as fill their bellies. With her help, homemade meals become second nature, nourishing both diner and cook.

Illustrated Quick Cook:

Time Saving Tips, After Work Recipes & Cheap Eats by Heather Whinney DK Books hardcover $35 Never has fast home cooking with fresh ingredients been more important than it is now, and that puts pressure on the home cook: how can I prepare a balanced meal from scratch when I have only 30 minutes to spare, and 4 hungry mouths to feed? I want to make something from scratch for one, but will it be simple enough? Every minute counts— I’ve got unexpected guests tonight, what can I whip up quick, that won’t disappoint? Family food is not just about fussy eaters and getting the quantities right. It’s also about flexible eating—how often does everyone sit around the table together? Once a week if you’re lucky! So, simple straightforward dishes that can be prepared in advance are an essential part of the equation. Here are recipes that cover every need, with speed, so you will never have to resort to the ready-meals aisle in the supermarket. The Illustrated Quick Cook is not trying to change the way you eat, introduce you to obscure ingredients, or take you off the beaten track. It’s there to make your life easier, from planning, through cooking, to serving. More than just recipes, The Illustrated Quick Cook offers fantastic value for the price. Extra features include: handy menu planners, recipe chooser galleries, Cheat tips, Cook’s Notes, recipe variations, and practical information to introduce you to every time-saving chapter theme. With far more recipes than any of its competitors, and a picture of every finished dish, The Illustrated Quick Cook delivers fast food for every occasion.

The South Coast Insider / February 2010



Hold the salt! By Elizabeth Morse Read

Salt (sodium chloride), like water, is essential to life and the smooth biochemical functioning of the human body. Since ancient times, salt has been a valuable commodity defining trade routes, industry and commerce around the globe. In addition to its culinary uses, salt and its derivatives (brine, pickling, cured, smoked, salt-drying) were the primary preservatives for foods (and mummies) and played a central role in many religious/cultural customs and folklore.

Kick the salt habit

You don’t have to sacrifice taste to lower your consumption of salt/sodium: n Use alternatives like lemon juice, vinegar/wine and herbs when you cook. Eat plenty of high fiber foods, be assertive at restaurants, be more proactive when you shop (read the nutrition labels!) n Learn how to eat with chopsticks—this will minimize how much salty dressings/ sauces you take with each bite.

Eat more grilled/broiled meat or fish and season it with lemon juice. Avoid anything that’s been breaded and fried.


Find out what your children are eating at school—it’s useless to bypass the burger joints on the way home from school if they’ve eaten snacks and saltladen “foods” in the cafeteria.


Drink a lot of water and eat a lot of salads.



For thousands of years, salt has been used as a preservative for meat and fish. Its importance throughout history has come down to us through such expressions as “salt away some money,” “a man worth his salt”; even the word salary refers to the supposed practice in Roman times of paying a part of wages in salt. (Read Mark Kurlansky’s Salt for a fascinating history of this chemical commodity.) Salt also has many industrial uses—the manufacture of pulp/paper, production of soaps/detergent/cosmetics, textile dyeing. With the advent of refrigeration and alternative chemical preservatives, salt/ sodium has been used less as a preservative, but has increasingly been added to commercially-prepared foods as a (largely unnecessary) flavoring (why should Rice Crispies or Corn Flakes contain 8-9% of my daily requirement for salt/sodium?)... “Saltiness” is one of the major “tastes”

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

detected by the taste buds (chemoreceptors) along the tongue and mouth, along with bitterness, sweetness, sourness and savoriness (umami), although these categories vary from culture to culture. But “saltiness” can be evoked by substances other than salt/sodium (such as lemon juice, red-wine vinegar, certain herbs), and learning to use these substitutes is essential if you need to lower your daily ingestion of salt/sodium.

Why salt is necessary But salt/sodium is essential for regulating the body’s fluid balance, and too little salt can create serious systemic problems, especially in hot climates or during extreme exertion. Dehydration (sweating) not only depletes the body’s water supply, but throws off the critical balance of electrolytes in the blood (sodium included), resulting in muscle cramping, dizziness, even heart arrhythmias. Many sports

drinks are specially formulated to restore not only water, but the electrolyte balance needed by athletes, soldiers, anyone at risk of dehydration. Because of its chemical structure, salt crystals (NaCl) can be combined with other minerals needed for public health. “Iodized” salt has long been used in the US, delivering the rare but essential mineral iodine to the thyroid, thereby preventing many debilitating diseases. Although the US has also been adding fluoride to public drinking water for decades, which has reduced tooth decay, many countries do not—for instance, in France fluoride is added to commerciallyproduced salt, to achieve the same goal. There are even brands of salt with added folic acid (vit. B9), a vital nutrient for pregnant women.

Too much of a good thing But consuming too much salt/sodium can cause severe and preventable health effects —high blood pressure, diabetes,

osteoporosis, certain cancers, edema (swelling), pre-menstrual syndrome, obesity, ulcers, athsma, congestive heart failure, osteoarthritis, renal failure, even cataracts. But it’s hard to break the salt habit if we’ve been taught to crave saltiness since infancy and salt is very difficult to avoid given our eating and shopping habits—think snack foods, fast foods, convenience foods. [see sidebar] The American Heart Association recommends that adults not consume more than 2400 mg. of salt/sodium per day (we need only 250-500 mg/day)—but that’s easier said than done. A teaspoon of table salt contains 2300 mg. So consider how much “hidden” salt/sodium there is in the pre-mixed/packaged food we buy, and in the fast-foods/cafeteria foods we eat. According to a Rutgers University study, many Americans unknowingly consume three to five times more salt/sodium each day than recommended because so much unneeded salt/sodium is used in commercially-prepared foods.

Caveat emptor: Read the nutrition labels Pushing away the salt cellar is not enough to lower your daily intake of salt/sodium. Almost all commercially-produced foods in our grocery stores have added salt/sodium that ratchets up our daily intake. Everything from baby food to mustard has salt added for “flavoring,” and you need to be vigilant about reading the labels on everything you buy. If sodium is listed in the first few ingredients, don’t buy that product—find an alternative or learn how to make your own sauces and mixes. Here are some general guidelines you can start with: Canned foods – soups, sauces, gravies, meat/fish in cans are notoriously high in salt/sodium content. Shop for no salt added/low-sodium brands. Canned vegetables can be rinsed/soaked to leach out excess salt/sodium.

Dairy products – cheeses, whether hard, shredded or cottage/soft have high salt/sodium contents. Even different brands and grades of milk have different salt/sodium levels. Salted butter/margarine are no-nos.

Condiments – BBQ sauce, ketchup, salsa, mayo, soy sauce and salad dressings/ marinades are another hidden source of salt/sodium. Read the labels, find alternatives—or make your own. And always order them “on the side” when you go to a restaurant or order take-out.

Packaged foods – frozen pizzas/entrees, pre-mixed “instant” pasta/rice/ potato mixes, bread crumbs/stuffings/ coating mixes, baking/biscuit mixes, crackers/chips, breakfast cereals, bakery products/breads.

Deli /packaged foods – sausage, hotdogs, bacon, “luncheon” meats, processed cheeses, smoked/salted/pickled foods, mayo-based “salads” may be tasty, but they’re loaded with salt/sodium.

Beverages – tomato/vegetable juices, chocolate drink mixes, many sodas/ sports drinks.

How can you reduce your salt/sodium intake without sacrificing taste? First, work with your medical professional— some advertised “salt alternative” additives may not mix well with your medical profile or current prescriptions. Guidance and advice on changing your diet and habits abounds in books and on-line (check out My, developed by the medical professionals at the Dartmouth Medical Center, or Read the nutrition label on every food item you buy, avoid salty restaurant/cafeteria foods, and never add salt to your food (especially for children or babies) when you cook and eat at home. Make sure to eat plenty of high-fiber fruits and vegetables and pasta (yeah!) and lots of water when you go low-salt. Walk past the packaged, pre-mixed foods when you shop and learn to cook your favorite dishes from scratch using the freshest of ingredients.

Take control when eating out Be assertive at restaurants or when ordering take-out foods. Ask for no/lowsalt foods, all sauces/condiments on the side; hold the pickles, olives, processed meats/cheeses or anything breaded/deepfried. Request corn tortillas over flour, chicken over beef/beans when eating Mexican food; lean toward fish/chicken, rice/ vegetables/tofu when eating Chinese/ Japanese foods—minimize eating salty sauces (soy, hoisin, Worcestershire) and insist that no MSG or soy sauce be used in preparing your food. When you’re in the mood for Italian food, avoid pickles and olives and the antipasto plate, use oil/vinegar/lemon juice on salads and vegetables, watch the cheese/bread intake, and eat lots of pasta with marinara, marsala or primavera sauces. Find fast-food restaurants that will make you unsalted fries, and hold the cheese, condiments and pickles on your burger with half a bun. Avoid subs, wraps and creamy/cheesy concoctions or dips/ sauces.

The South Coast Insider / February 2010


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February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

Taurus – Don’t be too fast to jump into something new this month. If all your energy is used up too quickly you will get bored and leave many new projects unfinished. Take your time and pace yourself. Gemini – Change is on your mind this month, but consider the cost; penny wise and pound foolish. You do not need to make more debt this month. Balance the checkbook and eat in. Cancer – This month your hard work will pay off, but remember to take time to enjoy the fruits of your labor as soon time will be a little more limited. Leo – Pay close attention to the things going on around you. Be cautious of people lurking in the dark corners. As the month comes to an end things will start to show themselves to you. Virgo – You need to look at the bigger picture. Once you can do this you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and realize it is not far away. Towards the end of the month listen to someone younger that is bringing you a message.

Lovers Night Tea for Two

Libra – Right now is not a time to make hasty decisions. It is time to work on the inner conflicts that are going on. Stop tearing yourself in too many directions and focus. Once you do this you will start to find peace. Scorpio – This is a good month to bring new relationships into focus. It is time to tell people how you feel about them and time to move forward. If you open your heart to others, what is ahead of you is more then you can imagine. Sagittarius – Believe it or not you have all the tools you need to make things right. Take time to think of yourself and what will make you happy, because if you don’t do it soon it may be too late to do it at all. Capricorn – Don’t slow down now. Up and onward is your motto this month. You’re in charge of everything you do. Keep that attitude and a little bit of generosity may just make that dream come true. Aquarius – Stop putting everything on hold. Your fear and worry are blocking you. This month it is all about stepping up and beyond. Focus, focus, focus, and then you can relax. Pisces – Give yourself a pat on your back. Even if it appears small you are making a dent in your debt and should be happy for accomplishing so much. Be passionate, for love is calling.

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The South Coast Insider / February 2010


It’s Tea Time! Partners Village Store Hosts its Annual Teas Invite a friend or family member and share traditional English Tea, tea sandwiches, mini desserts, and great conversation on Friday afternoons, February 5, 12, 19 and 26 & March 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 3:00-4:00pm $9.95 per person Space is limited, call for reservations

508-636-2572 865 Main Road, Westport, MA 02790 Daily 9:30-5:00

HAPPENINGS Through February 28 – Frosty Fun in February: Programs for Children and Families. Audubon Society of Rhode Island. For activities and events call 401-949-5454. Through February 6 – Catholic Schools Week. Holy Family-Holy Name school presents a week of activities including Service Projects, Spirit-Filled Days, Academic assemblies, family events, and an awesome faith gathering with the musician Tony Melendez. 508-993-3547 or visit February 2 – Groundhog Day Events. Buttonwood Park Zoo, 425 Hawthorn Street, New Bedford. 1-4pm. Free with zoo admission. For more information please call 508991-4556 or visit February 3 – Taunton Chamber of Commerce 93rd Annual Meeting. Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Boulevard, Taunton. 12-1:30pm. 508-824-4068. February 6 – New Bedford Symphony Orchestra at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase St. at 8pm. Call Box Office 508-994-2900 or visit

February 7 – Sparke, Smith and Sousa concert, Tri-County Symphonic Band. Soloist Bonnie Denton to perform. Old Rochester Regional High School, 135 Marion Road, Mattapoisett. 3pm. 508-997-3321 or visit February 7 – What’s in a Name: Biblical Origins of Plantations in the Colony of Rhode Island. Lecture by Keith Stokes presented by Linden Place Museum. Linden Place Ballroom, 500 Hope Street, Bristol. 2pm. 401-253-0390 or visit February 9-14 – NETworks presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street, Providence. 401-421-2787. February 10 – Understanding Your Feelings: Clarifying Normal Grief and Loss, Adjustment Disorder, and Major Depression, with James Cremins, Ph.D, licensed psychologist. St. Anne’s Hospital, Nannery Conference room, 243 Forest Street, Fall River. 6-7:30pm. Call to pre-register at 1-800-4885959 or visit February 11 – AHA! New Bedford Carnevale AHA! Night. Downtown & National Park 5-9pm. 508-996-8253 or visit www. February 12-14 – Marquee Theatre Productions presents Peter Pan. Bristol Community College, Margaret L. Jackson Theater, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River. 508-678-7031. February 12 – Rehoboth Contra Dance. Amy Larkin and friends perform. Goff Memorial Hall, 124 Bay Street, Rehoboth. 8-11 pm. 508-252-6375 or visit

Patti Larkin February 6 – Patti Larkin and Cheryl Wheeler in concert, to benefit the Katie Brown Educational Programn. Eagle Performing Arts Center, 24 North Main Street, Fall River. 7:30pm, doors open at 6:30pm with refreshments and cash bar. 508-6784466. February 7-March 5 – Creative Arts Center in Chatham Juried Photography Show Exhibit. Co-sponsored with the Cape Cod View Finders Club. 154 Crowell Road, Chatham. 508-945-3583 or visit


February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

February 13 – The Moscow Circus at Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase St. 7:30pm. 508-994-2900 or visit www.

February 13 – Take This Child to Heart Fundraiser. The New Bedford Community Connections Coalition’s Task Force for Foster Care Support. Century House, 107 South Main Street, Acushnet, MA. 8pm-12am. 508-994-9625 or visit

February 20 – Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase St. at 8pm. 508-9942900 or visit February 20 – Rogers Free Library Monthly Book Sale. 525 Hope Street, Bristol. 10am2pm. Books for readers of all ages. 401-2536948 or visit February 23 – Home Safety, with Tracey D’Amico, OTR/L, occupational therapist. St. Anne’s Hospital, Nannery Conference room, 243 Forest Street, Fall River. 6-7:30pm. Call to pre-register at 1-800-488-5959 or visit February 26 – RFK: The Journey to Justice at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase St. at 8pm. 508-994-2900 or visit

February 14 – Bubble Artist Keith Michael Johnson at the Providence Public Library. Young Children’s Room, 150 Empire Street, Providence. 2-3pm. 401-455-8000 or visit February 14 – Lois Vaughan Jazz Trio. Concert at St. Michael’s Church, 399 Hope Street, Bristol. 3-5pm. 401-253-7717 or visit www.

February 26 – Rehoboth Contra Dance. Crowfoot performs. Beginners of all ages, singles, couples, and families are welcome to attend. Goff Memorial Hall, 124 Bay Street, Rehoboth. 8-11 pm. 508-252-6375 or visit

February 14 – Groovaloo at the VMA. Winners of NBC’s hit television show International Superstars of Dance. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. 6:30pm. 401-421-2787 or visit www.

February 27 – Ballet Folklorico De Mexico at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase St. at 8pm. Culinary Pairing at No Problemo, 20% meal discount with performance ticket. 508-994-2900 or visit www.

February 16-21 – Xanadu. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street, Providence. 401-421-2787 or visit www.

February 27 – Newport Baroque presents Harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa in recital: music of Bach, Couperin, Scarlatti and the world premiere of a work by Larry Thomas Bell, Hawes Room at Trinity Church, One Queen Anne Square, Newport. 7:30pm. 401- 8553096 or visit

February 19 – Cape Verdean Singer Maria DeBarros at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase St. at 8pm. 508-9942900 or visit February 19-March 28 – Trinity Rep presents Dead Man’s Cell Phone. 201 Washington Street, Providence. For performance schedule and ticket information call 401-351-4242 or visit

February 27 – Midwinter Book Sale. Swansea Public Library. 10am-1pm. 69 Main Street, Swansea. 508-674-9609 or visit www.

The South Coast Insider / February 2010



Lots to love

by Mike Vieira f you believe all of the heart-filled advertisements and love-loaded commercials, St. Valentine’s Day is the major event in February. Not to give you cardiac arrest, but this minor saint is only a big shot in the sales department. Looking for “real” church holidays? How about Candlemas? It is considered the end of the Christmas season because it marks the ritual purification of Mary which happened 40 days after Jesus’ birth. (Old custom and long story— Google it for more info.) It’s also the day when candles were brought to church to be blessed. And, this year it falls on February 2, which is also Groundhog Day. Now, there’s an interesting holiday for you. If a little cousin of a rat sees his shadow or doesn’t is a good indication of when spring starts or doesn’t? A little far-fetched, but then again, he may be as accurate as many weather men—or women. It might be an interesting day, but is it a holiday? I actually know of only one family that celebrates it each year. They sent friends Groundhog cards and include all kinds of creative gifts ranging from a tape of Groundhog Carols to a package of Groundhog jerky. Although it’s a great family tradition for them, it seems like this cold, dark month is just yearning for an excuse to party. And we do.

Real holidays

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, a time of reflection and penance for Christians. This year, it falls on February 17—which makes February 16, Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday.” Now that’s a real holiday.


It has some legitimacy from its roots in religion, but offers an excuse for eating and drinking. From Carnival in Brazil to the celebrations in New Orleans, it’s an infamous time of year, but you’ve got appreciate the beauty of a day just devoted to excess. When I was a kid, many of the Portuguese churches in the area had Malassada Suppers just before Lent. There were no beads tossed or bodies painted, but folks lined up to eat their fill of the famous, fried dough sparking with sugar. I remember rows of white paper covered tables filled with people of all ages just passing plates of malassadas and enjoying the last hurrah before the fast. No matter how or if you celebrate it, Mardi Gras is a good holiday. It’s got food, music and fun—not bad things during this cold, dark time of year. But is that all that February is good for? I think not.

noisemakers, costumes and treats, according to various websites. Sounds like fun to me. Want to put a Tiger in your month? Celebrate Chinese New Year. By their count, it is 4707, which is also the year of the Tiger. What’s that mean? Folks born in the year of Tiger are optimistic, romantic, lovable, magnetic and independent. Beethoven, Chuck Berry, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Stevie Wonder and Marilyn Monroe are among the famous Tigers. Go figure. This year, the ancient event is celebrated on February 14, 2010, which is the first day of the First Moon of the lunar calendar. Socially, it’s a time for family reunions and get-togethers. This year, the timing is perfect because it’s the eve of Presidents’ Day—the beginning of school vacation.

Celebrate diversity

Although technically not a holiday, most schools give their students a week off in February. You can argue whether it’s necessary or cuts down on “time on learning,” but for kids and teachers alike, it’s nice. For our family, February vacation meant a trip to Cape Cod. Yes, most folks go in the summer, but we loved being able to play in a pool, shop and eat, drive along the seashore, and relax during the “off season.” I’d also catch up on my reading…while others shopped. This quiet time in the busy year provided us with special family time. You might want to take some time to enjoy these unofficial breaks in our regular schedule as well. If nothing else, the long weekend provides an opportunity for socializing. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

February is Black History Month. There’s lots to celebrate and honor. Check out community newspapers and web pages for events, there are many activities to enjoy. More importantly, actually go to something. Bristol Community College is hosting Black Inventors Exhibit on February 4 in G Building. This multimedia presentation is a tribute to Black inventors and innovators internationally, who have developed many of the things people use on a daily basis. Check out the college website for more activities and information. The month ends with Purim. Considered the most festive of Jewish holidays, it commemorates a major victory over oppression. It’s celebrated with prizes,

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

Winter breaks

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• Ranked among the top 5 hospitals in Massachusetts for Overall Cardiac Services — 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

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The South Coast Insider - February 2010  

The South Coast Insider magazine - February 2010