North Shore Bloggers: Holiday Weekend Fun

Seth of Lynn Happens and Heather of Food for Thought found some Christmas weekend activities for you.  The rest of us in the consortium (as of this writing) have not.  If that changes, I’ll be sure to update the page.  In the meantime, give Seth’s and Heather’s a look; you’ll find the links below.

To give you something to browse when you find yourself with some down time this weekend, I have selected my favorites from my fellow bloggers’ recent holiday- or winter-themed columns.  You’ll find links to all of these below also.  From gingerbread and baking bread, to cold weather warmers such as wassail and roasted chestnuts, you’re sure to find something to keep you entertained.  I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as I did.

Here’s my most recent piece from Local In Season, a sit down with the owner and the chef of Evenfall Restaurant in Haverhill.

Evenfall Restaurant: Local. Magical.

Features – Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Jane Ward

One late afternoon in November, I sat with restaurant owner Spiro Pappadopolous and chef Scott Pelletier in the large, high-ceilinged dining room of Evenfall Restaurant in Haverhill. Outside, commuter traffic began the crawl to nearby Route 495, and car headlights started switching on to compensate for the dying daylight. In that hour before opening, a stillness hung over the room as tables were being set and the room straightened for a dinner service that would soon be underway.
Just the Saturday before, I had visited Evenfall as a dinner guest in a party of four, had sat in the same large room, off the same major thoroughfare, but the experience…(read more)
Seth of Lynn Happens has a Christmas weekend pick here.  Check out that activity, then read on below for a recent Lynn Happens review of The Blue Ox.

The Blue Ox

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review by Gregory Gray of Lynn, MA

As usual, The Blue Ox was as busy as ever. I walked in and was greeted with smiling faces. I went to the bar, but no seats were available so I decided to have a beer, watch the Sox and hope for the best. I got lucky shortly thereafter, and a seat opened up. The bartenders were very busy with the bar crowd and mixing drinks for the rest of the patrons, but not too busy to say hello and get you a drink. Charlie was the bartender on my end of the bar…(read more)

Heather at Food for Thought has a Christmas weekend pick too, and you can find it here.  You’ll also enjoy Heather’s column about Wassail from last Wednesday’s Gloucester Times:
December 21, 2010 

Wassail still a perfect merry-maker for cold winter months

Wassail is a hard sell in the 21st century. Central heating, cheese platters, and commercial apple orchard maintenance have pretty much made what was once both a magic potion for good McIntoshes and a merry-making energy drink obsolete. Today, hungry winter guests don’t descend from their frozen buggy to a house heated only by a pokey fire on one side of the room. They’re not desperate for sustenance in a cup, a beverage able to instantly nourish, soothe a traveler’s weariness and assuage any ill-will the impending visit might represent. Today, our friends and relatives, no matter how reticent they may be about the holiday, arrive…(read more)

If you are looking for a cold weather activity, take some inspiration from The Two Palaverers and their recent bread baking project:

Baking French Bread Down East in Maine

Recently, my friend Erica Holthausen and I were fortunate to grab the last two available seats for an Artisan French Bread class at Stone Turtle Baking & Cooking School, a small, family run baking school in Lyman, ME. Stone Turtle is an unpretentious, hidden gem that turns out some wonderfully executed and practical lessons on the art of bread baking. (Hidden indeed as the directions had us turn at an old landmark, roadside stand painted with a weathered Moxie logo.) On this brisk fall day, ten participants surrounded the kitchen’s large rectangular table. The group makeup was diverse: three men and seven women ranging in age…(read more)

Check out Joey C‘s photos of the colorful buoys found on a Gloucester lobster trap and buoy Christmas tree.

2010 Gloucester Lobster Trap Tree Buoy Series

Posted on December 23, 2010 by Joey C


Click here to see more of Joey’s photos.
Have you ever wondered how to roast chestnuts at home?  Abby of 5th Joy has some tips for you, straight from New York’s sidewalk chestnut roasters.

How to Roast Chestnuts, Two Ways

DECEMBER 22, 2010

No sooner did the vow to post twice a day pass my lips than my mom and I snuck off for an impromptu New york jaunt.  (I’ll get to posting twice a day, I promise, beginning regularly in January and fitfully between now and then.)

We’ve seen the Morgan Library stuffed to the gills with rare books and Degas sketches, feasted on warm chestnuts…(read more)

Once again, North Shore Dish finds a great foodie event in their neck of the woods.  Pick the gingerbread house you’d most like to live in.  (Note: I already hi-hoseyed the Victorian, so it’s out of the running!)

Gingerbread Wonderland in Wenham

Posted: December 15th, 2010 

Last week we were invited to see the Wenham Museum’s 4th Annual Gingerbread Contest and Gingerbread Express Display. The beautiful creations were set up as a model train village, to go along with the model railroad exhibit currently at the museum.

All of the entries were terrific, and we had a great time identifying the various building materials and methods used.

Some of our favorites included…(read more)

Here’s another cold weather, at-home activity, one that you and the kids can do together, from North Shore Kid.

Salt Dough Ornaments

Make Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

My favorite ornaments on the tree are handmade by family and friends. We have quite a few ornaments that my husband and I made when we were kids and looking at them brings back very fond memories…(read more)