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Life & Times

A whole turkey is cut up into manageable pieces, rubbed with plenty of spices, then braised until tender. The method allows for easy transport and reheating. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Thanksgiving, the ulitimate potluck

Friday, November 21, 2014

By JEANMARIE BROWNSON Chicago Tribune Long gone are the days of one person cooking the whole Thanksgiving dinner. These days, many guests volunteer to bring a part of the meal, for a bunch of reasons — special diets or food preferences, but mostly, for the pleasure of cooking. They practically beg to bring their all-time favorite dish, or the newest idea they found in a magazine. Friends of ours always want to share a favorite wine or craft beer. For Thanksgiving, about two dozen of us gather at my sister’s home. She’s a practical person and plans two turkeys — one braised in a portable … 0

Tea Guys: Blended brews

Friday, November 14, 2014

During a visit to Piccadilly Circus in London, Tea Guys co-founder Oliver Rich came across an open-air market, where he found vendors busy at work selling fresh lemons, spices and other foods. The crisp aromas swirled in the air, coalescing beneath the tea lover’s nose. That’s when inspiration struck. The experience gave him … 0

Living Dinosaurs?

Friday, November 7, 2014

I s this gawky, Dr. Seuss-like bird — the emu — directly related to Tyrannosaurus rex? Author Elizabeth Thwing of Hawley takes her young readers through the fossil evidence, and it’s just one of a few hundred astonishing facts in her first book, “Amazing Amusing Emus: Yesterday’s Dinosaurs on Today’s Farm.” Thwing’s book … 0

Voice of Audubon: bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A golden eagle was seen in Holyoke and a northern goshawk was reported in Northampton. A few surf scoters, red-necked grebe and a black vulture were reported in Turners Falls. Some of … 0

How change comes: ‘To the Village Square’ recounts anti-nuke movement’s beginnings in Franklin County

Friday, October 24, 2014

On the face of it, the book with an iconic black-and-white cover photograph of protesters marching down railroad tracks toward the 1976 occupation of the Seabrook nuclear plant construction site conveys the story of the “No Nukes” movement … 0

Breathing new life (and death!) into Hawley

Friday, October 24, 2014

I love living in Hawley. Its forests and meadows are beautiful. My neighbors are caring. When asked about the history of my hometown, however, I generally have to admit that nothing remarkable has ever happened here. In Chrysler … 0

Between the Rows: Growing interest in gardening

Friday, October 24, 2014

When I arrived last Thursday afternoon, the scene at the Discovery School at the Four Corners school garden was controlled chaos. Several teachers were staying after school to divide and pot up perennials from the butterfly garden. “Is … 0

Coming 'round the mountain: Berkshire East's new coaster is built for fun

Friday, October 17, 2014

I t felt like I was nearly being thrown from my seat, tethered only by my seatbelt as I careened down Mount Institute with no way to steer. When I finally came to a safe stop at the … 0

Worms, astronauts & moon cows? why not?!

Friday, October 10, 2014

A line of nearly 30 8- and 9-year-olds steps off a yellow school bus and through the rear door of the Amherst Cinema, then files into the front rows of the 180-seat Theater 1. The theater is marked … 0

Liquid inspiration: Inventing cocktails with Jim Zaccara

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mid-day last Friday, my editor emailed me with a last-minute assignment: “I’m interested in a feature on the art of making a good drink,” he wrote. Could I meet with Jim Zaccara? Zaccara, co-owner of two downtown Greenfield … 0

Between the Rows: Fall cleanup

Friday, October 17, 2014

The weather has been kind to those of us who procrastinate and go about fall cleanup in the garden with a little less energy than we once had. Right now I am buckling down and in the midst … 0

Between the Rows: garlic planting time

Friday, October 10, 2014

It is not widely known but I was crowned the Garlic Queen at the Heath Fair this year. It is only right that I was crowned by Rol Hesselbart, who gave me my first garlic cloves to use … 0

Voice of Audubon: Western Massachusetts bird sightings

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Here are this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A Nelson’s sparrow was found in the Arcadia Meadows of Northampton. A white-fronted goose was seen with a large flock of Canada geese off … 0