Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Banana Bread & Anise Christmas Cookies

One of the best parts of the Christmas holiday is walking into a house that smells like someone has been baking all day. The sweet aroma of spice, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cookie dough wafts around the house like a new type of air freshener.

Christmas desserts are a favorite part of any family Christmas gathering. What makes it even more special is that many Christmas dessert recipes are passed down from generation to generation. Maybe your grandmother had some great Christmas dessert recipes that have been passed down to you that you haven’t tried yet. Why not try them this year?
Find everything you need for yout favorite holiday recipe at Harter House and Harter House World Flavors.

Typical Christmas desserts are: brownies, cupcakes, muffins, hard candy, chocolate candy, and cookie bars. Cakes involving candy canes, peppermint, or any other type of mint as an ingredient, garnish, or topping are often prepared for Christmas as well. In addition, any cake recipe can be adapted for Christmas with a little bit of creativity. Fudge and puddings also make wonderful Christmas desserts.

But before, after and during Christmas dessert you also need some Christmas candy. That Christmas candy jar on the coffee table should never be empty. Christmas candy is the ice breaker when visitors come to your home. Hard candy, soft candy, citrus peel candies, truffles, brittle, and the like are all interesting treats to nibble on during Christmas. You will find plenty of Christmas candy recipes on our site as well.

How about some delicious Banana Bread
1 cup butter for shortening
5 over-ripe bananas, mashed well
2 ½ cups sugar
4 eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
3 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

Combine shortening, bananas and sugar.
Slowly add eggs, one at a time and beat well.
Sift baking soda, flour and salt together.
Alternately add the other dry ingredients along with the buttermilk to the batter mixture.
Add the vanilla and nuts and mix the banana bread recipe mixture well.
Bake the mixture for 70 to 80 minutes at 325 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean from the bread.

This Christmas Dessert Recipe Serves 16.

You will need two greased loaf pans for the entire banana bread recipe mixture. Do not fill to the top since the banana bread recipe will rise, you might like to give at least an inch space from the rim of the loaf pans.


Anise Christmas Cookies
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
4 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 drops anise oil

Beat together sugar and eggs until very fluffy.
Add anise oil and lemon zest.
Gradually mix in the baking powder and flour blending well as you go.
Chill this dough for at least 4 hours or overnight, if you wish.
Flour a dough rolling area and roll out the chilled dough to roughly 1/8th to 1/4th inch thick.
Use a springerle rolling pin or a pressboard to make the designs these cookies are so well known for.
Cut into desired shapes.
Let these sit out overnight, uncovered.
The next day bake them for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container.

This Christmas Cookies Recipe makes 3 dozen.

These cookies have been called many things over the years. Whatever name you call it by it’s sure to turn into a holiday tradition.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Beaujolais Nouveau arrives - just in time for Thanksgiving

Beaujolais Nouveau wine has arrived at Harter House World Flavors!

At the strike of midnight on the third Thursday of every November, France erupts in massive celebration in honor of the unveiling (or should we say uncorking) of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine.

Beaujolais Nouveau, which is a young wine (only 6 weeks old) comes from a region south of Burgundy in France. It’s rumored that the light-bodied and fruity wine must be finished by Christmastime and the French government has put regulations delaying the wine’s release until the third week in November. This means the arrival of the new Beaujolais is warmly welcomed in France.

All over the country, grand traditions have developed in honor of the release of the Beaujolais, with the biggest festival taking place in Beaujeu, the capital of the Beaujolais region. This little city springs to life during this weekend in November, hosting a massive party called Sarmentelles. The party gets its name from the french word for cuttings from the canes of grapevines called sarments, which are burned in the center of town just prior to the grand midnight unveiling. Then the huge barrels are opened to much fanfare and party-goers indulge in the new wine for the festival’s 3 day duration.

Other areas in France also boisterously celebrate the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau. Lyon hosts the Beaujolympiades (Beaujolympics), marking the release of the wine with music and fireworks followed by 2 days of sampling. In Paris, restaurants and bistros host their Beaujolais Nouveau parties, staying open through the night and uncorking hundreds of bottles after midnight.

Wherever you may be traveling in France, this is a great night to celebrate life, wine, and a grand French tradition.

Beaujolais Nouveau is made from handpicked Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France, where the beverage accounts for half of the region's production.

While most red wines improve with age, Beaujolais Nouveau is all about freshness.

Many producers, including regional giant Georges Duboeuf, race to deliver the first of the vintage to celebrations throughout France and the world. Under French law, the wine may be released at 12:01 a.m. on the third Thursday of November, just weeks after the wine's grapes have been harvested. Fermentation is so short that the resulting wine exhibits fruity flavors and light tannins.

Beaujolais Nouveau should be consumed right away (or within a year of being made), and is best served slightly cooled. Nearly half of the wine's 70-million-bottle production is exported abroad, mainly to Japan, Germany and the United States (where it is popularly enjoyed with Thanksgiving dinner).

Tasting Notes
Generous notes of strawberry and black currant dominate the nose, with silky tannins that bring smoothness to the palate. The long finish has subtle touches of sweet Griottine cherry.

Pick up your celebration bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau at Harter House Supermarkets.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Martha's Vineyard - Walking Tour - Day 1

I took notes along the way on this tour.  I am Shelly.  I am attending a Grocers Getaway with 3 others from our business, Harter House Supermarket. My notes are hand written, at times in my own form of shorthand.  So I had to rewite my notes in order to retain them as accurately as possible.  And I looked up spellings of things I wasn't too sure of.  But I hope you enjoy it.  I enjoyed providing and sharing it with you.

Oct. 8, 2012
We start our "Walking Tour" with Mike at the Edgartown Paper Store which he either owns or works at.  He starts talking as we walk down the street.  We take a path walkway between two houses.  There we find a park.  At least 6-8 houses back up to the park with no fences.  It's very nice.  We stay here for a bit while he gives us some history of the area.

This is the largest island on the east coast that you can drive to (by ferry).

The Noepe Tribe lived here for 10,000 years.  It was known as "Land of the Waters."
An English explorer in 1602 came to this area looking for sassafras to cure illnesses back in England.  He wanted to claim the land for Europe.  They found fresh water and what they thought were grapes.  This explorer had a mother and a daughter, both named Martha.  So he named the island Martha's Vineyard.

About 40 years later the Mayhew family settled.  There are still Mayhews living on the island today.

In 1642, Thomas Mayhew Sr. came to Martha's Vineyard.  As the English came, the Indians went "up-island", settling near Aquinnah.  .   The Wampanoag Tribe is 800 strong today and still living in that area. 

Edgartown area was, at that time, called "Great Harbor"

1671 - Thirty years later, Great Harbor wanted to be incorporated with England.  They asked for the name Edgartown after the three year old prince Edgar that would someday be king.    With their incorporation came a letter thanking them for paying their respects to the late prince.  This is the only Edgartown in the world.

In the late 1700's the men went on whaling expeditions.  They would be gone weeks, months, even years at a time.  The captains lived in Edgartown in the early 1800's.  Whaling boomed from 1830 to 1865, until whale oil was no longer needed due to the discovery of petroleum.  Edgartown then became a ghost town.

County of Dukes
County Court House
Ted Kennedy was arraigned here,
but never convicted of anything.

The Town Hall was first a Methodist Church.  Later it was the Fire Department. 
It sits atop a hill so it was downhill to get to any fire.  Then it became the town theater. 
Now it's the Town Hall.


1843 to 1847 - The Old Whaling Church, a huge Methodist church, was built.  The Clock Tower was dedicated to Captain Peaze.  Captain Peaze died before the church was finished being built. 

It has 120 pews and holds 850 people.  Today it is non-denominational and sometimes serves as the Performing Arts Building.  It is also, second only to Las Vegas, as the most popular place for weddings.


We continue to walk to the Vincent house.  Built in 1677, it is the oldest house on the island. Vincent's lived in the house until 1970.   In 1970 the house was moved to this location, next to the Old Whaling Church and Dr. Fisher's house, from the center of the island.  It is the oldest unaltered structure and is currently a museum. 


Dr. Fisher's house was built in the 1840's. Dr. Daniel Fisher practiced medicine in Edgartown. In 1829, he married Grace C. Coffin. She was the daughter of a wealthy whaling-ship owner. Dr. Fisher soon discovered that there was more money to be made in whaling than in making house calls. He built a whale-oil refinery, a spermaceti candle factory, a bakery to supply hard-tack biscuits to whalers and an up-island mill to grind hard-tack flour. He was founder and president of the island's first bank.

"Coffin" is another known name on the island.
Mike said, "He was very well respected, the most handsome, the most rich."
Personally, I don't see it.
"One story says when he died he donated half his wealth to the town to start a preservation society.  The other half was to be split between his wife and his mistress.  His mistress would be wearing a scarlet red dress at his funeral."
Many scarlet red dressed showed up, 6-7 ladies."

As we continue to walk,
Mike points out the original granite curbing dating back to 1868.

Martha's Vineyard is known for the black and green shutters and the 3 foot tall white picket fences. 

Mikes points out anchors in the street where they used to hitch horses.


The building with 4 pillars was a church, now it is a residence.


The Vineyard Gazette is the oldest newspaper on the island.
It is still active today.

 A whale oil burning chandelier hangs in The Federated Church, built 1825-28, by Frederick Bales, Jr. 

When it was built, there was a long open field in front of it, an entire block back to main street. 


The Mayhew Family owned all the water front property. 

A grandson to Captain Peaze lived in the house across the street, with the red door. 

On the waterfront, across the street,  is 2 lovely homes with a vacant lot between them. 

Captain Peaze, the grandson, said, "if anyone builds anything on that land, blocking my view of the ocean, the structure will burn down."   They built anyway and the structure did burn down.  It is said that Captain Peaze watched it burn. 

After his death, another structure started to go up and, when it was almost finished, it too burned.  So today, it is a beautiful area of open land.   

Herman Melville, who wrote the book Moby Dick, also stayed at this house, with Captain Peaze, while he was writing Moby Dick.  It is said that Captain Peaze, the grandson, is the inspiration for the character Ahab.


Thomas Mayhew, Sr. is buried in the front yard of this next house.

This huge tree is a Little Leaf Linden Tree.

Mike is still narrating our tour;

The first wave of tourism was in Oak Bluffs in the 1860's .The Oak Bluff Cottages are there. 
8 years later, people were coming and building homes.

(We will visit here later today)

In the late 1960's, business and tourism was very slow. That's when Paramount Pictures asked if they could film the movie Jaws here, about a shark terrorizing paradise.  It was the summer of 1974.  City planners were hesitant, but it proved to resurrect this area. 

In 1974 three thousand people visited the area.  In 1976 thirty thousand people visited. 

The movie crew incorporated many residents and even crew as extras.  The movie's screen writer is coming out the door of The Gazette. 

This is the house that served as The Gazette.

Looking through a window we see a plaque for Amity National Bank.  Mike offers a "Jaws" tour as well.

1908 - Oak Bluffs was founded.

1969-74 - the area became known for the incident that happened on the island of Chappaquiddick.

This area has always had a reputation of being the playground for the rich.


Debris, from John F. Kennedy Jr's airplane, was found on Gay Head Beach.  Most ship wrecks are off of Gay Head.
(We will visit here tomorrow)

Many famous people have owned property or still live here. Walter Cronkite, Meg Ryan, Larry David, James Taylor and Carly Simon.  Jim and John Belushi. John is buried on the island.  John now owns the house that was Jim's, overlooking the islands only nude beach. 

There's not much crime here. 
There are fresh water ponds all over the island.

This concludes our tour. 

Next we visit the book store and have lunch at The Newes From America Restaurant.


By Shelly Kauffman
Harter House Supermarkets
Springfield, MO



Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Trip to the Hawaiian Islands

I recently visited the big island of HAWAII and wanted to share some of my experiences with you.

There are six main Hawaiian islands – Oahu, Kauai, Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii, Molokai and Lanai.

What Does Aloha Signify?

 The Aloha Tower

Aloha is the most Hawaiian word. In the Hawaiian language, it can mean hello or goodbye. It also means love and affection. The word aloha is used in a combination with other words, such as aloha kakahiaka, which means good morning; aloha auinala used as a greeting that means good afternoon; and aloha ahiahi is how you can wish good evening in Hawaiian. Because of aloha’s unique meaning and popularity, Hawaii is called the Aloha State.
Aloha is a Hawaiian symbol. Its meaning goes beyond any definition you can find about it in the dictionaries. In Hawaii, you hear aloha all the time and you are treated with aloha everywhere.

What sets these islands apart from the rest of the world?
  Native Hawaiian Culture. This stunning culture is filled with fascinating customs, music, legends, traditions and values.

The Flower Lei

Today, probably the most enjoyable and unforgettable Hawaiian custom is the flower lei. Custom dictates that a lei should be offered graciously with a kiss and removed only in private. It's considered rude to remove a lei once it's accepted in view of anyone, but especially in view of the person(s) who gave it to you. Lei designs are limited only to the imagination and range from the simple common one-strand orchid or tuberose presented as a special treat to those who arrive by plane or ship to the more elaborate or rare depending on how important the occasion.

What exactly is a Luau?

 For Hawaii's people, it is a way to celebrate a variety of occasions, such as a birthday, successful harvest, graduation and many other occasions. A luau is a feast of life. It can be held at a family's home or a park in form of a huge family gathering, with lots of traditional luau foods and games.
Luaus are usually called "Hawaiian barbecues." They are, generally speaking, large parties in which the main meal is a Kahlua pig. Kahlua pigs are entire pigs that are steamed in underground ovens called "imus." The Kahlua pig is served alongside various appetizers called "pupus." The appetizers include haupia (pineapple and coconut pudding) and laulaus (pork cooked inside of leaves).
Hula Dancing
 This  Hawaiian traditional dance is supposed to tell a story in a flowing, dancing manner. The music consists of repetitive chanting, which are known as "mele." These chants are either done alone or accompanied by music. The hula has ancient origins in which it began as a style of worshiping. The instruments were made out of coconuts, gourds or logs covered in shark-skin membrane. The ukulele was also a major instrument used in hula dancing.

Hawaii’s nature is rich and  vivid. You will find your self looking at the most spectacular waterfalls cascading down from tall cliffs, lush tropical rain forests and valleys, active volcanoes and flowing lava.

Oahu is home to two monumental mountain ranges, the Koolau Mountains, which reach along the northeastern side, and the Waianae Mountains which lay to the west.

Oahu Hawaii
A land area of 607.7 square miles and 112 miles of coastline. Situated just below the Tropic of Cancer, Oahu is 2,390 miles west of San Francisco, California and one of the most remote spots on the globe. Oahu is the 3rd largest island in the chain of 8 major Hawaiian Islands, but it is home to 75% of the state’s total population.
 Hawaii has beautiful blue lagoons, waterfalls, lush rainforest's, sea cliffs and serene mountains to active volcanoes and even snow. you'll find beaches with white, black, red or green sand and everything from powdery soft sand to pebble and lava rock beaches. There is also a feeling of serenity and peace a person receives when standing on the sandy beach and are so closely connected to nature and its historical questions.
 Who is your top chef?

Andrew Sutton - Nappa Rose
Fritz Hasselback - Weingut Gunder
Heather Pats Sonoma Ca
Justin Bladwin
Raphael Lunetta - Santa Monica Ca
Roberto Vernes O'ahu Hawaii
Scott Higa
Semus Mullen Tertulia - New York
Takaaki Yamachi
Tsu Yoshi Kakao- Takerhara Japan

Oahu Hawaii Food and Wine Festival


Save the Date! The Hawai`i Food & Wine Festival is pleased to announce the dates for its third year to be held 
September 5 – 8, 2013. 

 Some Local Favorites

Roy's Capres Salad Ko Olina Beach Hawaii

Organic Roasted Vegetable Salad

Roy's Ko Olina Moriawase Sashimi

Roy's Ko Olina High Plaines Drifter Roll

  Roy’s Restaurant

Family Style Restaurant 

    92-1220 Aliinua Dr Ste 1

      Kapolei, Hawaii 967070-4296
The most beautiful things in life are simple and glorious just as they are.

The creation of beauty is like a painters pallet in one's own mind. 

Remember to explore the truth and life  in a childlike way. The time is now and the choice is ours. Aloha!

Linzi lives and works in Springfield, MO.
She loves shopping at Harter House
and Harer House World Flavors.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Grocers Get-Away to Martha's Vineyard

On Sunday, Oct 7, 2012, my mother, Barbara and I, joined by our manager Dale & his wife Connie Dothage, departed for a Grocers-Get-Away to Boston and Martha's Vineyard.  It's my first time to visit this area and I am SO excited.  This first blog, I want to share with you some of Martha's Vineyard. 

Connie Dothage & Dale Dothage

Michele Kauffman & Barbara Bettlach

We were joined by about 30 other retailers from around the midwest.  All are members of Associated Wholesale Grocers.  Several we have traveled with before.

We take a 45 minute Ferry from the mainland to the Island of Martha's Vineyard.  We docked at Vineyard Haven which also has the town name of Tisbury.

We are staying at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown.  This hotel was established in 1891. 

Harbor View Hotel   
View Directly across from our hotel

The Harbor View Hotel is described as being built on a generous scale with stunning panoramic views of Edgartown Harbor, Edgartown Lighthouse, and Chappaquiddick Island.  The front of the hotel has a 300 foot veranda.   

Edgartown is a charming 19th Century Whaling Captain's Town.

We have arrived one day ahead of the rest of our group, so we decide first that we will take a walking tour around Edgartown.  Our tour guide is Mike and we start on Water Street.

The Mayhews and their associates were the first authorized English settlers and they took over the island from the estimated 3,000 indians.  In 1671, the town was incorporated. The name Edgar Towne was chosen to honor the only son of the Duke of York.   The Mayhews, hoping to gain favor, chose the name Edgartown, not knowing that Edgar had died a month earlier.  It is said that this is the only "Edgartown" in the world.

This is a picture that was hanging inside of our hotel.

The Mayhews owned the entire waterfront area in Edgartown.  There are still Mayhews living on the island today.

In 1865 the need for Whaling Oil came to an end and Edgartown became a ghost town.

Do you remember the movie JAWS?
It was filmed on Martha's Vineyard.  I remember thinking how I loved the town in this movie.  
Tourism was waining at the time and city managers thought that the shark scare movie might be detrimental to the island, but instead it began a new and revived era for tourism.


Many people living on the island were used as extras in the movie.  The man standing in the doorway of the Gazette is also the movie's screen writer.

The Vineyard Gazette  is the oldest paper on the island and is still active today. 

1969 - 1974 Martha's Vineyard was known for Chappaquiddick.

The Gay Head Lighthouse was built in 1788.  In 1844 it had to be moved back 75 ft because of the constant eroding of the cliffs. 
At the Gay Head Beach, debris from John Kennedy Jr.'s plane washed ashore.

Many famous people have lived here.  Off the top of his head, Mike named, Jimmy Cagney, Walter Cronkite, Bill Gates, Meg Ryan, Larry David, James Taylor & Carly Simon, Tony Shalhaub, Ted Danson, Billy Joel when he was married to Christy Brinkly, Diana Ross, Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, John & Jim Belushi.  John Belushi is buried on the island.  Jim Belushi now owns John's house overlooking the island's only nude beach.

After our walking tour of Edgarville, we took the bus to Oak Bluffs. We wanted to explore the gingerbread cottages of Oak Bluff. 

In 1835 this area was host to a two or three day Methodist religious revival meeting during the summer.  The revival became an annual event. At first there were nine tents for the attendees, twenty-three years later almost 12,000 people attended and families began bringing their own tents and building rough wooden platforms for them, and finally simple houses were built on these platforms.  These houses were built very simple, the inside walls were also the outside walls, no heat and tiny rooms, but they were built with elaborate gothic flair.  These cottages are about 1,100 SF and today will sell for 300,000 to 500,000 and the owner still will not own the land only the building. 

 We walked a LOT today, resting a little along the way.  Of course Connie & I are shopping.

 The area is known for the black and green shutters with 3 foot tall white picket fences.

There are 6 golf courses on the island.

There are 5 lighthouses on the island.

These are pictures that were displayed on the walls of the Harbor View Hotel.

Martha's Vineyard is an island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts known for being an affluent summer colony.

The island has a land area of 100 square miles.

Its year-round population has grown considerably since the 1960s. A study by the Martha's Vineyard Commission found that the cost of living on the island is 60 percent higher than the national average and housing prices are 96 percent higher.

The estimated year-round population is 15,000 residents; however, the summer population can swell to over 100,000 people. 

About 56% of the Vineyard’s 14,621 homes are seasonally occupied.

I would love to hear of your Martha's Vineyard stories.
Visit me at Harter House
1500 E. Republic Road, Springfield MO
email me at shelly@harterhouse.com