Blog :: 11-2013

We All Know The Story of the First Thanksgiving - Or - Do We?

Geri Main Turkey

Our national holiday stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag to celebrate the colony's first successful harvest - this is what we were all taught in school. Here is a slightly different point of view...

In September/October 1621, the Pilgrims had just harvested their first crops, and they had a good yield. They “sent four men on fowling,†which comes from the one paragraph account by Pilgrim Edward Winslow, one of only two historical sources of this famous harvest feast. Winslow also stated, “we exercised our arms.†“Most historians believe what happened was Massasoit (the Wampanoag Chief) got word that there was a tremendous amount of gun fire coming from the Pilgrim village,†“So he thought they were being attacked and he was going to bear aid.â€

When the Wampanoag showed up, they were invited to join the Pilgrims in their feast, but there was not enough food to feed the chief and his 90 warriors. “He [Massasoit] sends his men out, and they bring back five deer, which they present to the chief of the English town [William Bradford]. So, there is this whole ceremonial gift-giving, as well. When you give it as a gift, it is more than just food,†said Kathleen Wall, a Colonial Foodways Culinarian at Plimoth Plantation.

The harvest feast lasted for three days. What did they eat? Venison, of course.†Was there turkey? “Fowl†is mentioned in Winslow’s account, which puts turkey on Wall’s list of possibilities. She also said there probably would have been a variety of seafood and water fowl along with maize bread, pumpkin and other squashes. “It was nothing at all like a modern Thanksgiving,†she said.

So, this year as we sit down and give thanks for everyone & everything in our lives, remember that cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are fairly modern takes on the "traditional". Enjoy!!!



Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

Out & About

Looking for something to do this week? Here are some events for you and your family to enjoy!

1. Thurs, November 21st - 6:00 pm at the Wilton Historical Society (224 Danbury Rd, Wilton, CT): JFK - 50 Years Later.

2. Thurs, November 21st - 7:30 pm at the Avon Theater (272 Bedford St. Stamford, CT) - Legends of Rock Live: Garage Bands of the 1960's Rare Clips.

3. Sat, November 23rd - 3:00 -6:00 pm (Summer & Hoyt Streets) -SAC Capital Advisors Giant Balloom Inflation Party. Join us for this backstage look at the parade and watch the giant helium balloons come to life.

4. Sun, November 24th - 12:00pm (Summer to Broad to Atlantic Streets) UBS Parade Spectacular - one of the largest events of its kind in the country!

5. Thurs, 11/28 - 10:00 am (Westhill Football Field) Annual Homecoming Football Game, Westhill vs. Stamford High.

If You Were Selling Today, Would You Have the Home That Buyers Want?

This summary from a recent article in Houselogic really hits the mark when it comes to knowing what appeals to today's homebuyers. Knowing these trends can pay off years from now when you sell your home.

Privacy from neighbors remains at the top of the most-wanted list (important to 86% of buyers), according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® “2013 Community Preference Survey.†While it may not be possible to move your neighbors farther away, you can increase your home’s privacy (and therefore its resale value) by planting a livable privacy screen of trees and shrubs or by physically screening off your patio or yard by installing a privacy fence.

Patio set in back yard of house next to tall privacy fence

A privacy fence was a great investment for this homeowner (and any future buyers), considering her safety-minded neighbor loves mounted outdoor cameras.

3 Other Things to Consider the Next Time You Remodel:

1. More and more generations are living together. Another NAR survey, the “2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,†found 14% of buyers purchased a home suited to a multigenerational household due to children over the age of 18 moving back into the house, cost savings, and the health and caretaking of aging parents.

Even if you’d rather live in a cardboard box than with your mother, you might want to consider the multigenerational living trend when you’re remodeling. For instance, opting for a full bath when finishing the basement could offer more convenience for you now and boost your home’s resale value by making it more appealing to a multigenerational family in the future.

2. On average, homeowners live in their home for nine years. That’s up from six years in 2007. Since you’ll possibly be in your home for quite a long time, it makes sense to remodel to suit your taste but also with long-lasting marketability in mind. After all, you don’t want to have to redo things you've already done. For instance, you can go for classic and trend-defying features, which work with a variety of styles. Just beware against going so far out of the norm might turn off potential buyers even nine years from now.

3. Homebuyers love energy efficiency. Heating and cooling costs were “somewhat†or “very important†to a whopping 85% of buyers. If your home could use an energy-efficiency upgrade, go with projects that have a solid return on investment, like sealing your air leaks, adding attic insulation and window replacement - a huge bonus! You’ll save money on your utility bills now and when you’re ready to sell, your home will appeal to buyers looking for efficiency.

Image: Lee Niata Johnson from Little Bitty Damn Houze blog

Out and About in Stamford - Beer Garden Set to Close

Did you ever go to the Beer Garden? Now that the Beer Garden has been "chopped" will you miss it or are you excited for the new restaurant ALEGRE to open?

Beer Garden Set to Close; Celebrity Chef Aaron Sanchez to Open New Restaurant


Things just keep getting better in Stamford’s South End – and next year Harbor Point will get a little spicier with the help of a celebrity Chef!

As reported on CTBites, celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez, restaurateur and co-star of Chopped and Heat Seekers, is bringing his Mexican magic to a new home in Waterfront Square. ALEGRE, a sexy, high end restaurant, cocktail and wine lounge, will occupy the 6,000 square foot glass building that has housed the Beer Garden, which is closing.

Alegre’s is sponsored by the owners of Frankie and Johnnie’s Steakhouses and famed mixologist and competitive sommelier, Olie Berlic, who is to wine and spirits what Sanchez is to Latin food. Aaron’s Stamford outpost should open sometime next Spring or Summer.

Alegre’s concept will be similar to that of the Mexican Melting Pot menu at Mestizo, Aaron’s acclaimed Kansas City restaurant. (In addition to Sanchez’s cookbooks and television appearances in both North and South America, he also sets the culinary vision for Crossroads at the House of Blues nationwide and Tacombi Tacqueria in New York City.)

As for Beer Garden at Harbor Point we are just as sad to see this go as you are! But, next spring, the World of

Beer Garden at Harbor Point 005

Beer will open not to far from here. This national franchise will offer one of the widest selections of brews and spirits in Connecticut, along with some great tavern food fare.

Plans call for the new restaurant to open in the Spring/Summer of 2014. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more! Stay tuned!