15 June 2010

New cheese and gourmet shop

Our very dear friends, Robert and Mary Gonsalvez, have just opened Bloomy Rind - a much anticipated and universally welcome addition to Hingham Square. There are so many things I love about this shop - including its energetic and completely charming owners!

First of all, Robert is an excellent chef, who is an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America, where our Drake goes to school. He creates salads, sandwiches, pates and other divine comestibles in the kitchen at the back of the store/restaurant.

Mary is a cheese curator extraordinaire, and between them, they have chosen an outstanding selection of cheeses - mostly focusing on American artisanal cheeses that are every bit as interesting as the imported cheeses they also carry. Many of their cheeses are award winners, quite a few of which are relatively local, coming from Massachusetts and our surrounding states ...and you KNOW how I love local foods!

Since Mary and Robert are special friends of ours, we and some other friends and family helped out getting the shop ready to open - so many hours of painting, laughter, moving furniture around, more laughter, sampling cheeses, more laughter.... you get the idea. "It takes a village," was the catch phrase for a few months.
C'est moi painting the new sandwich board.

I also painted words that describe cheeses at the top of one wall, and savory foods on the opposite wall. 
We had such fun coming up with all the descriptions!

Every cheese has a story...
Mary and Robert holding up a first, small version of their new sign, designed by Jack.
The logo (above) was also done by Jack - especially for this incredible duo.

 A few nights before the shop was due to open to the public, Robert, with Mary, prepared a delicious thank you meal for Lisa, Dan, Jack and me.
Lisa and I attempted making potato gnocchi, with much
assistance from the chef (and even more wine).

OPENING DAY coincided with the annual Taste of Hingham.

Madeleine and I labeled cheeses. 
Drake made paper cones to hold the cheese curds.

Jack manned the fried cheese curd station, 
along with Mary's relatives.
Mary's sisters and brothers were there pitching in and generally keeping everyone smiling.

A selection of their cheese offerings
One of my favorite cheeses they offer is Winnemere (right), 
handmade at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont.

They offer imported olive oils, capers, jams, etc., as well as many American artisan-made products.

Bloomy Rind has now been open a couple of weeks, and already has a burgeoning fan club! Today, Jack and I treated ourselves to lunch there, with our friend, Marge.
The delectable selection of goodies pictured above, which Jack called his French picnic, included Aged Beemster Gouda (from Holland), Crottin de Champcol (French goat cheese), Bridgid's Abbey (raw cow's milk cheese from Connecticut), quince paste, dried cranberries, Marcona almonds (from Spain), three veggie sides created by Robert, Volpi salame (hand made in St. Louis), sourdough bread and Castleton artisan crackers (from Vermont).
The communal table is a terrific gathering place for friends as well as for meeting new people.
After the Hingham Farmers Market opened for it's Wednesday summer hours in Hingham Square yesterday, Robert was inspired by the locally grown strawberries he bought there, and created these lemon cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream frosting - out of this world!

Their coffee is hand-poured one cup at a time.

Le chef in his domain.

Rebecca making my grilled BLB - 
hand crafted smoky bacon, 
lettuce and brie sandwich
on dark pumpernickel, with 
peach butter.

The deli case features Robert's salads and pates, various imported olives, cured meats and much more. The selection changes daily.

Mary is constantly handing out cheese tastings and explaining what makes each cheese so special.... since every cheese has a story!

This shop is such a needed and welcome addition to Boston's South Shore. Visit Bloomy Rind to eat in or take away your goodies. I know you'll fall in love with the shop!

14 June 2010

New horizons - Wonderful memories

Wow - I just cannot believe how time has flown since my last post. It's been almost seven months! I've been so busy - first working on our house to get it ready for sale (24 years worth of acquiring stuff!!), then having it on the market (well, OK, that part was only three days - phew!), and now packing to move. I have soooooo missed writing and feel the NEED to take a break from packing boxes of china, to post some news and memories.
After over 24 very happy years in our wonderful antique home, Tranquility Lodge, we are moving to new digs. If all goes according to plan, Jack and I will close on both our old and our new house on June 30th, becoming first-time art gallery owners on Cape Cod! I cannot wait to begin my exciting new project - setting up and decorating a new home for us, our family and our friends to enjoy.

That being said, leaving Hingham is bittersweet, as we have so many truly wonderful friends and acquaintances here. We will be back to visit our friends and the town, frequently (for one thing, we'll need to visit Bloomy Rind for the best cheeses and sandwiches around, and I'll still be getting my hair cut at Zona Salon, in Hingham Square). This is a charming and beautiful town, and we have been lucky to live in such an amazing house! It's just that, now that all three of our kids are grown and out of the house, it's time for us to explore new horizons. Change is good, even if it's also sometimes both sad and happy at the same time.

Someday, I plan to write a memoire of our time here at Tranquility Lodge, including the history of the house. For now, however, here are some highlights of our personal events here.

Jack and I fell in love on our first date, and began looking at houses after only seven months together. We also fell in love with the first house we saw (obviously, we're not ones to waste time), a beautiful antique colonial in Hingham, MA, which is a lovely town on the shore, just 1/2 hour South of Boston. We first saw the house in February, under a blanket of white snow, not even realizing how gorgeous the grounds were until we moved in in May.

We had officially become engaged the night before our move, and announced this to our families at the end of a long day of closing on two houses, then moving into the new one. We started our life in the house with champagne, and will always remember it as a place where our three children were raised, many special occasions were celebrated...and much champagne was consumed!
The house was painted battleship grey, which we later
softened to a gentle taupe grey.
(The tacky aluminum storm door got deep-sixed the very next day!)
...and announced our engagement.
Giles staked his claim on lawn-mowing duty by monograming the grass. That beautiful antique gazebo has seen many wonderful gatherings of family and friends since then.
We went to Portugal on our honeymoon and came back with 350 lbs. of hand-made tiles...
...which we then installed in our kitchen renovation.

Our first Christmas in the house.
A couple years later, Madeleine was born.
Then, Drake was born.

Lots of messes for me to clean up...

Over the years, so many Halloween costumes sewn by yours truly.

And Christmas memories...like looking for Santa Claus.
Easter egg hunts
...and decorating our egg tree.

...and family gatherings
So many 4th of July parties!
The parade went right by our house. One year the parade was dedicated to the Desert Storm troops.

We will never forget all the incredibly FUN 
parade/barbeque gatherings here, 
with so many dear friends 
and family of all ages.

First Giles, then later Madeleine and Drake, all graduated from Hingham High School.

We've done lots of renovations on the house...

...and decorating

Over the past 24 years, Tranquility Lodge has been featured in numerous decorating books and national magazines, as well as on HGTV. It has also been on many tours, benefiting local charities, and annually on the Hingham Arts Walk.
(Photos by Nan & Monty Abbott)

Preparing to be on the Garden Club's "Secret Gardens of Hingham tour". Jack built stone stairways and walls. I designed and refurbished all the flower beds and borders.
Giles and Mia got engaged at our house at Christmas.

Madeleine turned 21 while at Lesley College...
...and we celebrated Drake's acceptance to the Culinary Institute of America.

We've had so many FUN times here with friends, family, neighbors!

Our first grandchild, Taylor!
Our second grandchild, Sophie!

Then & Now: Our Family!

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