Hampshire Life

RomneyCare working in the BayState. Not nationally. Obama made the case for small government last week. Bloated bureaucracy of federal agencies cannot handle complex programs. Should have gone to private sector tech at the outset. Oops. Merry Christmas, Republicans.

Had dinner in newly renovated Lord Jeffrey Inn on the Amherst Green. Outdoor areas with fireplaces. Chic interior. Fun evening with great friends. Martin Sandler’s new book is an epistolary compilation which tells JFK’s story better than any bio. Sandler taught history at both Smith College and UMass.

Lady Gaga has talent. Too bad she squanders it with copycat twerky SNL stint. Homeland looks to be taking a more interesting turn tonight. Finally. Bon week.

Quests de Cuisine

As holidays approach, a renewed interest in gift collectibles. Amazon is offering several ways to buy Table’s Edge. All hardcover with photos and illustrations. A nostalgic nod to Pioneer Valley’s culinary history. Tales of creative chefs who came to Paradise City from all over the world. CookBook, too. Their timeless recipes. For more information, check it out here at tablesedge.com.

Meanwhile, in Manhattan the dining scene continues to evolve. One of our faves, Ciano is now CucinaCiano, moved from Flatiron to Upper East Side. Over on York & 73rd, a hole-in-the-wall has become the hottest spot for fish flown in daily from Japan. Tanoshi has 10 seats, so plan ahead. Snow in NYC today. None here!

Spring Board

King Abdullah of Jordan gives a controversially candid interview to Jeffrey Goldberg in April’s the Atlantic. As he trashes his neighbors’ response to the Arab Spring, Abdullah pines for his days at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. He has even built a school in Jordan modeled on his happy boarding phase.

Spring edition of MSKCC’s Bridges newsletter compares cancer survivors’ resiliency and the long journey of recovery to the plight of Sandy victims.

New York Magazine’s cover RetroWife captures the current phenomenon. Women choosing to be the modern version of a 50’s wife. I get it. They were brought up by absent moms, the feminists who tried to have it all. It’s a nostalgic nod to June Cleaver and Donna Reed. The ideal misses the reality of women who stay home all day. Mother’s “little helpers” are also back in vogue.

I’ll say it again. Richard Engel’s spellbinding account of his kidnapping in Syria is a must read. VanityFair, April 2013.

Il Papa Francesco will celebrate Holy Thursday at a juvenile prison in Rome. He may be the real deal. Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon comes to mind.

Weekend Liaisons

Downton out. Killing off cast faster than General Hospital. Heartwarming liaisons formed. Baby boy born. Happy. And then, poof. No more Matthew. Speaking of silly, GH bringing geezer couples (Luke&Laura) back. Fast-forward.

Woodward smacks down Rove on Fox! Bob looked at Karl and told him he’s writing a book called, Some People Never Go Away. PricelessMcCain and Graham non-stop steaming as Obama and Woods tee off together. Hope Tiger doesn’t take Prez “out” while Michelle and girls are skiing in Aspen. Dangerous.

Sweet to meet the lovely and captivating Lilly Leigh at La Fiorentina.
Another visit to my favorite Bryant barn in winter. Thanks Dr.Photog.

Local Color

Amity Shlaes on Morning Joe recalling many hours spent in Northampton’s Forbes Library researching her new book about former local resident, President Calvin Coolidge. Actress Jane Lynch gleefully gushing to Kelly & Michael about Smith College, where her wife graduated and she received an honorary doctorate, “It’s a training ground for lesbians!” Smith’s P.R. Dept. thrilled.

SOTU watchers remarked Obama’s make-up strangely sallow. He looked whiter than Boehner. Pale showing by Latino GOP. Rubio’s nervous response speech. Ted Cruz bullying senate committee, questioning Hagel’s patriotism.


Springfield, Massachusetts is not ‘the’ Simpson’s city. It’s the one in Oregon. Geez. My aunt Marge Simpson was from ‘our’ Springfield, so thought it was us for sure. No Uncle Homer, doh. Springfield, Mass., does have Dr. Suess’ house on Mulberry Street, he grew up here. So is the Basketball Hall of Fame, where Naismith invented the peach-basket game. Joseph’s Clothiers  was founded in 1918 on Ferry & Main.

We have the Connecticut River with its fertile farms and tobacco barns. Four famous colleges are just up the road. Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire. So there, Bart! Herrell’s ice cream is better.

Stuffington Post 2011

25 lb. Vermont bird demolished, nary a slice left. Lots of eating and laughing accomplished. Minor dysfunctional family melt-downs. Everyone survived. I think. JeanJean chef de cuisine queen made it all happen. At CandyPants’ house.

mAdHad and mAdBen compared account management notes. Cuzins colluded and rebelled to mess up the place cards so they could sit together. Alicat wasn’t here so I had the neck and gizzard to myself. Church basement rentals returned. Thanksgiving for healthy Grandmama.

StuffingtonSaturday cuzins’ football game. 

NoHo Tune

“Massachusetts Afternoon”, SNL’s The Blue Jean Committee folk ditty set in Northampton. What’s the back story? Hmmm. Seth Meyers’ girlfriend is BFF of someone’s daughter who dates music producer in NoHo? No? Don’t know. Leggy women in NoHo? Whoa. No Ho. This is too easy. We’ll get to the bottom of the story. Catchy tune. Check it out. Fred Armisen must have a sister at Smith.

Romney says his real name is Mitt. What, Willard? Cain calls Wolf “Blitz”? Is he a reindeer? Hide under your beds, the Republicans are coming. Let’s head into a healthy stuffington day for all and forget these turkeys.

Witch Twitch

27,000 plus twitches on The Side Trek. There’s a new book about the Witch of Northampton, and it’s not me. “My Enemy’s Tears” is the story of Mary Bliss Parsons who was tried for witchcraft in 1675. Jagged cranky women are in again.

With the exception of witchy bitches on Fox. Is that all they got? False eyelashes, pancake makeup, Barbie dollbots. Bracing for more October snow. Siri didn’t tell Dr.H to get his winter tires soon enough. Boo!

Table’s Tilt

Stellar restaurateurs once converged in Northampton and made it a dining destination. Those shining stars have lately dimmed. Freshness, quality, service have disappeared into a black hole. I don’t want to pay less for three courses of frozen cardboard food. The economy is bad, true. So, put fewer choices on the menu and make sure they’re fresh and good. If you disagree, enlighten me.

A former bright local, Unmi has returned to open a new restaurant “Coco” in the former Easthampton Venus venue. Will try it soon. ‘Til then cooking at home.