Sunday, September 24, 2017

Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids at the Wilton Historical Society

Maslin is a mixed crop of wheat and rye. It's little grown today, but used to be the staple crop for many farmers. Using whole meal wheat and dark rye, maslin bread is a high-fiber, wholesome alternative to the classic white loaf.  On Saturday, September 30 from 11:00 – 12:30 the Wilton Historical Society will be holding a Colonial Cookery and Customs Workshop for Kids, and the focus will be on preparing a loaf of this rustic grain mixture.  Museum Educator Lola Chen will be showing the children how to make a loaf of maslin bread sweetened with blackberries.  The children will enjoy vigorously kneading the bread, as well as sampling the finished product.

The Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids workshop at the Wilton Historical Society teaches kids a “reciept” (recipe) used in the Connecticut region.  While the food is prepared, they hear about Colonial manners, morals and way of life.  The monthly workshops feature relatively simple dishes made with local, seasonal ingredients, adapted for modern kitchens.  All participants will sample their own cooking and take home recipe cards - as well as any leftovers! The children will learn how a Colonial kitchen would have operated, in order to appreciate the modern conveniences we take for granted.  Previous sessions have made bannock cakes, pease porridge, pickles, an amulet of green peas, apple tansey, fairy butter, pumpkin bread, cranberry shortbread, New Year’s “cakes”, New England chowder, hand pies, cheese and ramp soufflé, and pea and watercress Rappahannock. 
Did You Know?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines "maslin" as a "Mixed grain, esp. rye mixed with wheat. Also, bread made of mixed corn." The word derives from Old French "mesteillon" which in turn derives from Latin "miscere," to mix. The oldest reference to this word in English print dates to 1303, and over time there have been many spelling variations. Maslin bread, as is true with most European foods made with rye, was the food of the common/poorer people. Wealthy people ate bread composed solely of wheat. The wealthier the person, the finer the wheat.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Watertown House Tour Sept. 30

The 12th Annual Watertown House Tour will take place on Saturday, September 30 from 11am to 3pm, rain or shine. Five fabulous properties will be featured in this year's tour including The Buell H. Heminway House at 305 Main Street, The Copper House at 28 Nova Scotia Hill Road, The Henry Long House at 423 Northfield Road, The Boone House at 561 Winding Brook Farm Road, and The Barrett House at 53 Hamilton Avenue. The Nova Scotia Schoolhouse at 22 DeForest Street will also be open for viewing.
Advance house tour tickets are $25 per person, and will be $30 the day of the tour. Tickets for this self-guided house tour and are non-refundable & can be purchased by mailing a check or money order to: Watertown House Tour P.O. Box 853 Watertown, CT 06795 Checks should be made payable to the "Watertown Historical Society". Tickets can also be purchased online with a credit card or Paypal at: Requests for tickets after Friday, September 22 will be held for pick-up on the day of the tour at the Nova Scotia Schoolhouse at 22 DeForest Street.
House Tour tickets are available to purchase at the following retail locations: LaBonne's Market in Watertown, Chubba's in Watertown, the Health Complex, The Watertown Library, Hosking's Nursery, Depot Square Farm Shoppe, and Jimmy's of Watertown. On the day of the tour tickets will be available at all of the businesses, all of the houses, and at the Nova Scotia Schoolhouse, which will be tour headquarters.
Call the Historical Society at 860-274-1050 or view for more information. New this year, Sunset Grille, located at 834 Northfield Road in Watertown, is offering a special luncheon for attendees of the house tour. Present your house tour ticket for the purchase of lunch at a special house tour price.
About The Tour
The Watertown House Tour is a benefit for the Watertown Historical Society and Museum in Watertown, CT. The Watertown Historical Society is a private, nonprofit, all volunteer organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing Watertown's and Oakville's history.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Be the Judge @ Chowdafest Oct 1

The 10th anniversary for Chowdafest is taking place at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport on Oct. 1 from 11 am - 3 pm  and it's expected to set several records. This year's event will feature the best restaurant line-up they have had to date, showcasing past and defending champions plus half the field is new to the event. If the weather is as terrific as in years past, they are expecting a record crowd which hopefully means a record donation too.

Chowdafest is a true people's choice event where the public determines the best chowder, soup and bisque in New England. Everyone is a judge. This event wants to give everybody a spoon, ballot and pencil when they enter and off they go to enjoy unlimited sampling from 40 restaurants from Manhattan to Maine and as far away as Seattle. 

Attendees use a ballot flashing back to the 70's where you would fill in bubbles like on a test. Foodies are asked to rate everything they try on a scale from 7 to 10.5 in half point intervals. The ballots are then scanned throughout the event so the winners are determined and announced shortly upon the conclusion of the event. The restaurants by category who have the highest rating are declared champions.

The real winner of course is the charity tied to Chowdafest which is Food Rescue US. “Event organizers hope to fund over a half million meals in the ongoing fight against food insecurity. Surprisingly food isn't the problem facing hunger. We have plenty of food but it's poorly distributed. Food Rescue US does a great job identifying excess food and redistributes it to shelters and groups who need it.  Fighting food insecurity is synergistic to promoting the participating restaurants and sponsors.

Tickets are now available online at  Tickets includes sampling in  all  specialty sections.  There is an Italian section called “Ciao-dafest” where you can sample freshly baked artisan breads, dipped in premium pasta sauce plus salad mixes and an Italian themed chowder entered by Mario Batali's Tarry Lodge restaurant.  In the  “ChowdaMex” section  people can sample premium salsas, guacamole and a chicken tortilla soup entered in the competition. 

There's also a “sweet treats” section where you can sample farm fresh milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, even candy. You can sample juices, sparkling beverages and more in the beverage bog plus coffees and teas! 

Rounding out the pallet is the sample booth for The Great Mac and Chili Challenge, the sister event to Chowdafest that takes place on 11/5, also at Sherwood Island. You'll get a taste of great mac n' cheese and chili. This event has something for all tastes.

Tickets are $20 adults, $5 kids (6-12) and parking is FREE. You can save $5 on every adult ticket if you're a AAA member.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

New Show @ Carole Peck's Good News Cafe

Carole Peck's Good News Cafe located on 694 Main Street South in Woodbury is hosting a new art exhibit by Sebastian DiStefano that will run through November 21. DiStefano’s work from the 1960’s to the present includes watercolors, oil on Masonite, and acrylics which depict how he explores color, line, and composition. These paintings, that are the product of five decades of work depict a full expression of the emotional experiences of his life. “I love the elements of painting; it sets my mind in motion where I am seeking the balance even if the piece ends up unbalanced. I don’t speak for my paintings they speak for me.”

Mr. DiStefano was a Waterbury native. He spent his life painting abstract and non-objective art, a medium where he felt most comfortable. Color and balance were two focal areas for him. He was inspired by the Abstract Expressionists and Color Field artists and is also moved by Baroque painters. The incorporation of light and dark contrasts are woven into his works; and, as he painted, he continually turned his pieces around to seek balance. Even in the pieces that appear unbalanced, balance is found. This allows many of his works to be viewed from different perspectives, even though he had seen it in one particular orientation and allowing any owner of his works to hang these pieces from their own perspective.

Mr. DiStefano graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Art and continued his studies at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University. He returned to Waterbury, Connecticut where he stayed the majority of his life until moving to Cheshire. Mr. DiStefano was a true artist and found artwork his expression from within. Rather than being driven to sell his artwork, Mr. DiStefano saw his work as an extension of himself. As a result, this collection remains intact today; as the family states, this show represents the true heart of the artist he was throughout his life. His work has been exhibited at Gallery 53-Meriden Arts and Crafts Association, Sharon Creative Arts Foundation, Mattatuck Community College, The University of North Dakota, the Waterbury Arts Festival, Slater Memorial Museum, Silvermine Guild of Artists, and previously before at Good News Restaurant & Bar.

Carole Pecks is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, from 12 noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday and is closed Tuesdays.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Little Red Schoolhouse Opens for Special Tour & Lobsterfest!

Once again this year, the New Canaan Historical Society is hosting it's annual "Lobsterfest" on Sept. 22 and 23   on the grounds of the Historical Society located on 13 Oenoke Road. This event coordinated by the Rotary Club will take place on Friday, Sept. 22 from from 5-8 pm, and on Saturday, September 24 from  12-8 pm.  

Tickets are on sale in the Historical Society office for $35 each. The good news is that for each ticket sold, the Rotary Club will donate $15 to the Historical Society.  If you are not a fan of lobster, chicken dinners will be available as well as a hot dog dinner for kids for $5.

A special opening of the Little Red School House, located on Carter Road will be open on September 23 in conjunction with this event from 1  p.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors and residents will have the opportunity to explore this schoolhouse that was opened in 1868.  This was Connecticut's last operating one-room schoolhouse that closed its doors in 1957.

Physically small, the room centered around the stove, with rows of slanted desks screwed to the wood-plank floor. The desks graduated in size, row by row, with first graders in front and fifth graders in back. Acquired by the Historical Society in 2003, it was
subsequently restored with the help of Society members, non-profit groups, former students and friends.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Celebrating 25 Years of Open Farm Day at Sunny Valley Preserve

Stepping onto The Nature Conservancy's Sunny Valley Preserve on 8 Sunny Valley Lane in New Milford is like stepping back in time. It is a picturesque setting of rustic, working farms that produce fresh, sustainable food for local residents and visitors alike. Once a year, the community and visitors from far and wide join to celebrate this special place during Open Farm Day—an event that is now in its 25th year. It's a Conservancy tradition providing a chance for every member of the community to celebrate conservation and Connecticut's agricultural history—and to see how agriculture will continue to play a role in the state's future.

There is evidence of farming here that stretches back almost a thousand years, and at Open Farm Day, visitors are treated to a host of activities inspired by this history: wool-spinning, maple syrup-making, pumpkin painting and more. Antique and new farm equipment are on display and there's even a petting zoo for children to meet farm animals.
This year's Open Farm Day there will be more attractions than ever before, including:
Pony rides
Petting zoo
Border Collie herding demonstrations followed by a meet & greet of the dogs and ducks
Kids "barnyard" where they can collect eggs from chickens and milk a cow
Oxen demos
Sheep-shearing demos
Chainsaw wood carvings
Pumpkin painting
And much more!
Visitors can also hike on trails and learn about nature, land management, and environmentally compatible farming at several observation sites on the property's 1,850 acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and meadows.
The land, donated by George D. Pratt Jr. in 1970, was conserved under the condition that the farms be kept in agriculture as long as possible. Today, about 650 acres of the preserve are in active agriculture.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Strut Your Mutt at the Annual Dog Show at Bellamy-Ferriday House

On Saturday, September 23rd, strut your mutt at the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden’s Annual Dog Show. This Fido-festival celebrates dogs of all shapes and sizes- from the well-pedigreed to the well-petted! Join in a variety of canine-related activities, demonstrations & visits from pet-friendly organizations. 

Flaunt your shiny coat on the dog-walk with our Mutt-Strut costume contest, or Strike-a-Paws in the pet photo contest. Boast your moves in the best trick competition; make a run at gold in the BowWow Olympics course and compete for the top spots of King and Queen of the dog show. Be sure to bring your human and lead them in the Pet Look-Alike Parade!

But wait! This event hasn’t completely gone to the dogs- kids are invited too! Kid-friendly crafts, music, and candid canine antics will entertain the whole pack! All this fun takes place from 12-4 pm. The Soroptimist will have food and treats available for purchase.

Admission is $15 registration fee (includes 1 adult & 1 dog); $8 per adult; $5 children; 2 and under are free. In case of inclement weather, a rain date of Sunday, September 24th is set.

Dogs must be up-to-date on their shots and on a leash. Pre-registration requested call (203) 266-7596 or visit for a registration form.

The Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden is located at: 9 Main Street North, Bethlehem, CT. It is open for tours May through October. For hours and more information, visit htp:// call (203) 266-7596.

About Connecticut Landmarks
Connecticut Landmarks’ mission is to inspire interest and encourage learning about the American past by preserving selected historic properties, collections and stories and presenting programs that meaningfully engage the public and our communities. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Torrington House Tour Sept. 23

On September 23, 2017,  from 10 am - 3 pm. the Torrington Historical Society is hosting the  Torrington House Tour that will highlight six historic homes and one garden.  Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of the tour. Tickets may be purchased online at

The Torrington House Tour provides a unique opportunity to learn about Torrington’s history and to see how historic homes have been preserved and adapted for the 21st century. The house tour is also designed to highlight positive achievements in the community and increase awareness of the city's heritage.   

The homes and garden that will be open to the public on September 23, 2017 include:

Owen Cummings House located at 251 Crestwood Road 
This Tudor-revival house constructed in 1938 is impressively sited on a large lot with a beautifully landscaped back yard and patio.  The current owners have preserved the home’s exterior charm while adding more living space and a modern kitchen. 

 William Danaher House located at 54 Adelaide Terrace
 This “California-Modern” home was built in 1974.  The open, yet cozy first floor opens onto a patio and inground pool. The house has many original interior details including a double-sided fireplace and cathedral ceiling in the living room.

Hotchkiss-Fyler House located at 192 Main Street
 Built in 1900, this grand Victorian-style home has been operated by the Torrington Historical Society as a house museum since 1956. The home is remarkably well-preserved and is furnished as it was in 1956.
William Burns House located at 17 Wilson Avenue
 This house was built ca. 1895 as a clapboard-covered wood frame house.  In 1926 it was totally remodeled according to plans drawn up by noted Torrington architect William E. Hunt and a brick façade was added.  The house retains many of the interior details designed by the architect.

William E. Hunt House located at 59 Wilson Avenue
 This gambrel-roofed home was built in the late 19th century but was totally remodeled by William E. Hunt when he purchased it in 1920 for his private residence.  The exterior has been restored by the current owners and the interior is well preserved featuring many of the architect’s signature touches. 

First Church Parsonage located at 380 University Drive 
 This historic Greek-Revival style home was constructed as the parsonage for the First Congregational Church in 1845.  The current owners have retained the clapboard exterior and original window sash while adding a new kitchen, large family room and master bedroom suite.

Edmund Wooding House 1845 located at 52 Norfolk Road
 This historic home is situated on the West Branch of the Naugatuck River.  The gardens are behind the house and along the river.  These formal gardens have a park-like setting with stone walls, boxwood topiary and yews.   The gardens have a European feel and can be enjoyed year-round.

Tour participants can take a shuttle bus or drive their own vehicles. The tour begins at the Chamber of Commerce at 333 Kennedy Drive where participants will receive a program guide and map.  On Friday, September 22nd a House Tour Preview Party will include a bus tour of the 6 homes from 5-7 p.m. followed by a reception with refreshments and entertainment from 7-9 p.m. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Last Taste of Summer in Greenwich Sept. 30

The Last Taste of Summer Craft Beer Fest takes place this year at the scenic Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, overlooking Greenwich Harbor on September 30 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gates will open at 12 noon for VIP ticket holders. Early bird tickets are available online and at the gate on the day of the event.

Festival goers will enjoy a fabulous afternoon with family and friends at this zero-waste, craft beer festival that features brews and pours from over 30 of Connecticut's finest craft breweries, live music, a variety of delicious food, an array of exhibitors, games and activities, making this the perfect finale to the summer craft beer festival season.
Confirmed Brewers include: Armada Brewing, Ballast Point, Charter Oak Brewery, Lock City Brewing Company, New England Cider, New Belgium Brewing, Owls Brew Raddler, Shiner, Spiked Seltzer, Stony Creek, Tito's Vodka, and Thimble Island. It is best to check the website for updated lists of breweries.
Festival goers will not go hungry with a line up of five of the state's top food trucks including Bobby Q's, Cowabunga, Lobster Craft, Melt Mobile, and Wendy's Weenies. To add to the fun, participants will listen to the cool summer sound of Wilton Steel Community Band, blues, funk and rock & roll from The Clams, and Sacred Fire a Santana tribute band. Try your hand at games and activities, visit exhibits and enjoy the picturesque views of Greenwich Harbor. The Last Taste of Summer is the perfect finale for the Summer Craft Beer season.
Parking for this event is free at Island Beach and Horseneck Parking lots, Greenwich Plaza and all street parking in the area. The event is three blocks from Greenwich Metro North Station. Everyone should have a photo ID for admittance and must be 21+ for tastings.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sharon Art Walk on Sept. 16

Sharon Connecticut is a quintessential New England town in the Litchfield Hills with a long village green bordered by perfectly manicured white clapboard colonial homes. On Saturday, Sept. 16 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. visitors to Sharon are in for an "artistic" treat.

Darren Winston Bookseller, Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, The Gallery @the SHS of Sharon Historical Society & Museum and Sharon Town Hall Art Gallery are collaborating to present the first Sharon Art Walk.  Each of the participating galleries will be open from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Saturday, September 16, 2017 and will host a reception with light refreshments for artists and visitors. 

Darren Winston Bookseller will display “Picture Book: New Works by Jeff Joyce” (on view September 14 through September 30). 

Hotchkiss Library of Sharon will exhibit a solo show of artwork by Danielle Mailer entitled “Tiny Tremors: Paintings, Prints, Sculpture” (on view September 4 through October 31). 

Sharon Historical Society & Museum will present an invitational group show of multimedia landscape art called “The Land We Love” featuring the work of area artists Basia Goldsmith, Norma Kimmel, Ellen Moon, Patty Mullins, Ray Olsen and Babs Perkins (on view September 16 through October 27). 

The Sharon Town Hall Art Gallery will display “Female Perspective,” a group show of recent work by local women artists including Linda Amerighi, Eve Biddle, Purdy Eaton and Tara Lisa Foley. 

In addition to gallery hopping among the participating galleries, visitors will have an opportunity to visit Standard Space and The Porchlight and to view art by Sharon artists Theresa Kenny, KK Kozik and Will Trowbridge, who will open their studios to the public during the Sharon Art Walk.

All participating galleries are convenient to the Sharon Town Green: Darren Winston Bookseller at 81 Main Street; Hotchkiss Library of Sharon at 10 Upper Main Street; The Gallery @the SHS, located at Sharon Historical Society & Museum at 18 Main Street; and Sharon Town Hall at 63 Main Street.  A list of addresses and locations of artists’ studios will be available at each participating gallery and studio.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Gargoyles of Yale University

The David M. Hunt Library on 63 Main Street in Falls Village is hosting a lecture on gargoyles by Mathew Duman on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m.

Photographer Mathew Duman's lecture and slideshow will be about the gargoyles found throughout the buildings of Yale University’s campus in New Haven. Using original photographs from his book, “An Education in the Grotesque,” he explores the artistic, historic, architectural and even humorous significance of these decorative sculptures and their role in communicating the identity of Yale University as a place of learning and enlightenment.   

Mathew Duman grew up in Bethany, Ct & works as a photographer & graphic designer at the Knights of Columbus in New Haven. He attended the gargoyle-free campus of Central Connecticut State University but while studying abroad, became fascinated with the architectural detail of the cathedrals of Britain. Mathew has since taken photographic trips to Italy, Africa, Australia & New Zealand.

This event is free and open to the public.  For seating and more information contact the library at 860-824-7424 or visit 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Find out about the First Great Awakening in Kent Sept. 17

The Kent Historical Society is presenting a special Sunday lecture series that will be held at the Kent Town Hall located on 41 Kent Green Blvd. just off Rte. 7 in the center of Kent. On September 17 at 2 p.m. the Sunday Series will bring guests a program titled, "The First Great Awakening — Fervor and Ferment". 

In the 1730s, a wave of religious revivals, sponsored by the established clergy of the Reformed Churches, swept the Thirteen Colonies. The fervor disrupted the connection between church and state in New England. These revivals involved extreme emotional displays by the thousands of people who heard the sermons of Jonathan Edwards and various itinerant preachers. Though there was little lasting impact on the religious commitment of the colonies, the ideas presented probably moved the colonies closer to declaring independence from Great Britain.
Tom Key, the presenter studied engineering, was a flight officer in the US Navy and retired as a Commander in the US Naval Reserves. His professional career was with an international engineering firm, designing and constructing nuclear and fossil power plants, steel mills, and chemical plants. He's also had a career as a landscape painter exhibiting in over thirty galleries and invitational/juried shows from Delaware to Maine.
This lecture, as well as future Sunday Series events in 2017, helps give context to the Kent Historical Society's exhibit in the summer of 2017, "The Founders of Kent," on the emergence of one New England town in the 18th century. 
To sign up for a  free monthly newsletter on Litchfield Hills or Fairfield County on things to do and see and special deals visit