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More Autumn Fun in New England by Jon Bornstein

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Oct 01, 2014

flowers and cranberries resized 600Guest blogger Jon Bornstein of Newton, Massachusetts returns to share his insight and observations on autumn in New England. Exotic Flowers of Boston is honored to have our friend Jonathan share is writing skills. We have received great feedback from his guest writing and cannot wait to share his blog posts. Not only is Jonathan enjoyable to read, but he is also an avid flower buyer at Exotic Flowers. Jonathan and his company L. Bornstein are both top clients at Exotic Flowers in Boston where they send flowers throughout the world.

Autumn In New New England

  - Autumn is upon us, and with it arrives appetizing phrases like “pumpkin spice” and “apple cider”. That’s right, kids, the Sandwich Guy’s got food on the brain as usual, and the ushering in of the fall harvest season brings the opportunity to experience home-made and fresh baked foodstuffs of every size, shape and flavor at farm stands, fairs and festivals from Westerly to Waterville. At our DNA’s core resides the vestiges of our ancestor’s hunter/gatherer instincts, so for goodness’ sake heed their call and get out to your local orchards and farms while the weather is inviting and the festival season is in full gear.

 

I like my fruits and vegetables just fine, but I LOVE baked goods made with them even better. Pie, crumble, cobbler, I don’t discriminate. I love’em all. Heat it up, top it off with a dollop (love that word) of whipped cream and pass me my share and yours, too. I guarantee you won’t enjoy it as much as I will.

 

This time of year is truly magical with edible adventures. Just this past weekend my family was redirected from one of our favorite farms for apple picking (Apple Crest in Hampton, NH, anyone?) when we got word that there was a Cranberry Harvest Celebration at Tihonet Village in Wareham, MA. Rides and activities for the kids, bog tours by tractor and helicopter for the adults, and most importantly, food of every sort imaginable from food trucks, farm stands, and fair booths for the whole family.

cranberry bog resized 600

 

 Don’t get me started on the nearly two dozen vendors plying their tempting fares. Everything from kettle corn to deep fried Oreos and even a raw bar practically put me in a blissful food coma. After all, the fact that we savor our food is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, am I right?

 fall foods in new england resized 600mmmmm donuts.

Ask any New Englander what their favorite time of year is, and chances are they’ll come right back at you with the Fall. But don’t take my word for it. Get out there and see for yourself!

Jon Bornstein

 

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Exotic Flowers may not sell those delicious donuts, but we do offer full line of gourmet and fruit baskets. 

Tags: Harvest Season, New England, Autumn, Fall, Jon Bornstein

Memorial Day - Do you Grill or Barbecue ? by Jon Bornstein

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, May 22, 2014

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we embrace the holidays as a way to create memories and celebrate traditions. Flowers are always a big part of your celebrations, thank you. Memorial Day is a time for celebrating.

Read on for blogger and Boston flower buyer Jon Bornstein's take on grilling versus barbecuing.

Memorial Day Boston

So you think you know food, huh? Pride yourself on being able to differentiate between a Rib Eye and a Porterhouse? Aioli and Au Jus? Focaccia and fiddlehead? Impressive. Now that you’ve humbled me as an American and a food buff, maybe you can answer my favorite question on the cusp of the first long weekend of the summer – what’s the difference between grilling and barbeque?

 

This quandary has been on my mind as we roll into Memorial Day, a time that signifies many things to those of us fortunate enough to celebrate it. Perhaps most importantly, it is a time for us to reflect upon the sacrifices of our fellow Americans who have fallen in service to our country. Memorial Day also serves as the harbinger for a number of lesser events commonly associated with the warmer New England months. Academicians and their charges view the weekend as the beginning of summer break. Cinephiles welcome it as the start of the “tent pole” popcorn flick season (although the starting date for that seems to creep back earlier and earlier each year). Food-obsessed types like myself embrace it as open season on the outdoor grill.

 

Not that we diehards stop working our Webers when the weather turns cold and unpleasant. Working the grill is a year-round event for us. But the most glorious time to work the smoky hot space that a full grill top creates is when the thermometer heads north of 70 degrees and the icy sweat coming off a cold bottle of beer can cut a refreshing swath across your forehead.

 

So I repeat – do you know the difference between grilling and barbeque? I thought I did. Well, I pretty much did. But a recent demonstration at Le Cordon Blue institute in Cambridge by one of their talented chefs/instructors brought it all home for me, so let me do the same for you, just in case your sitting there wondering why I keep asking such an obvious question.

 

Grilling involves cooking something (be it meat, fish, chicken, or vegetable) by applying direct heat via flame, to the foodstuff in question through a grate. The significance of this is that most of us refer to this act as barbecuing, or having a barbecue, and as you will see, it’s not.

 

Barbeque is the process of slowly cooking food by applying heat indirectly via burning wood. This process can take up to 18 hours, and imbues the food in question with a smoky flavor and juicy tenderness as the long cooking time breaks down the fats and other components of the meat. Barbecue is truly an American style of cooking, and the way it varies from region to region is part of what makes it special.

 

Wherever you happen to be chowing down on ‘cue, be it somewhere in Texas, Memphis, the Carolinas, St. Louis, or Kansas City, you will be treated to completely different styles of eats. The sauce might be based around tomato, vinegar, or mustard. You might be eating beef brisket, pork ribs, or shoulder. Your meat may even have been seasoned with a dry rub and served with sauce on the side as opposed to being slathered by sauce directly.

 

The previously mentioned regions of the US view barbeque in the Northeast using the same lens that we New Englanders view college sports with – sure we’ve got it, and some of it is pretty damn good, but we don’t take it nearly as seriously as the rest of the country. And for a long time, they were right. But ‘cue is trending in this part of the country, and if you don’t believe me, ask anyone who’s been to Red Eyed Pig in West Roxbury or Sweet Cheeks in the Fenway. These places are popping up all over, and people who are serious about their smoke are putting them on the map.

Red Eyed Pig West Roxbury

 

I’ve got a list of three long time denizens of the Boston area that I love who’ve been banging out quality ‘cue for quite some time. Any one of these three can walk you through all the styles I previously mentioned to satisfy both your intellectual curiosity and your hankering for something sweet, tender, and smoky.

 

1)      RedBones has been a fixture in Somerville’s eclectic Davis Square since 1987. Pumping out authentic bbq of all styles including jerk, the menu covers meat, chicken, fish, and vegetarian options, with numerous tasty sides and a handful of desserts to go with the two dozen microbrews on tap. Did I mention they also have a food truck?

 

2)      Blue Ribbon Barbeque is a multi-location operation whose longevity I’m not entirely sure of, but like Redbones, they do offer a variety of regional barbeque styles for your smoky flavor cravings. They do a nice job, and they’ve got four “Best of Boston’s” to prove it.

 

 

3)       The East Coast Grill & Raw Bar in Cambridge’s Inman Square is not your typical “BBQ joint. In fact, BBQ is only a small portion of the menu, with the roster being filled out by a number of deliciously inventive grilled options from both the seafood and meat families. But they do offer classic ‘cue from a couple of different regions, and for heat seekers, they are renowned for their “Hell Night”, where numerous dishes of a volcanic nature are trotted out for the brave patrons who participate. Definitely worth a stop, and I’m pretty sure once you’ve been, you’ll want to go back.

 

So do your patriotic duty this upcoming holiday weekend, and indulge in a truly American pastime by enjoying our native cuisine at one of the fine institutions listed above, or somewhere else you’ve been meaning to check out. And once you’ve done that, please don’t forget to report back! Did I mention this would also be a good opportunity to send flowers to someone you love?

WEBER GRILL TELEFLORA resized 600

 

 

Jon Bornstein Sandwich Guy Flower Buyer Follow Me On Twitter @Zucrow

Tags: Memorial Day, Traditions, Jon Bornstein, Holiday Memories

Easter Traditions are a lot more than Peeps and Cadbury Eggs

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Apr 15, 2014

Growing up Jewish always brought a host of questions this time of year. Did we really have to do the whole “matzah thing” again for an eight-day stretch?  What was the deal with eating fish on Fridays? And that most perplexing of all mysteries – what do colored eggs, jelly beans, and rabbits have to do with commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

 Easter Baskets in Boston

The sacrifices of the unleavened Passover diet were difficult enough for a bread-obsessed, food-focused kid, but watching my friends make what seemed to be drastically reduced abstentions with Lent and gorging on spiral ham, Peeps, and Cadbury eggs at Easter made this time of year even harder to swallow.

 

The passage of time and the onset of maturity have given me a more accepting take on the practices connected with these Spring festivals, but I’m still left with unanswered questions regarding my Christian brothers’ and sisters’ Easter observances. An attempt divine some answers via an Easter-themed google search may have given me more than I bargained for in the “things that make you go huh?” department. It should come as no surprise that the internet is filled with an abundance of informational sites that pop up when you type in “What is Easter?”, so grab a big proverbial grain of salt for my findings, and let’s dig in!

 Easter Flowers in Boston

1) Did you know that depending on whom you believe, the name Easter stems from the pagan goddess Ashtaroth, goddess of Spring and Fertility, or the Egyptian fertility goddess Astarte, or the Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess Ostara. or…the commonality of all of these goddesses and their names leads me to my next point, which is…

 

2) Were you aware that the Christian holiday of Easter evolved from pagan celebrations honoring their fertility goddesses  upon the arrival of Spring? There are even descriptions of families celebrating their savior’s resurrection by decorating their homes with flowers and bunnies, painting and hiding eggs, observing 40 days of abstention ending in a worship service at dawn and a ham dinner with all the fixings. Only these weren’t early Christians, they were Babylonian families celebrating the resurrection of their god Tammuz, who was led back to life by their fertility goddess Ishtar.  Sounds a bit like Easter, only the events just described took place over 2,000 years before the birth of Jesus!

 Easter flower delivery in Boston

2) Did you know that the celebration of Easter wasn’t commonplace in America until nearly 100 years after the country was founded? The Puritans who arrived on our shores seeking freedom to observe religion in the manner they saw fit were leery of the pagan festivals connected with the arrival of Spring. These misgivings about the “chiristian nature” of certain holidays included Christmas as well. The appearance of Easter as a celebration of the mystery of faith (the death, resurrection and ascension to heaven of Jesus) became more commonplace shortly after the Civil War.

 

3) Lastly, the connection of rabbits and eggs to the holiday is somewhat murky, but both served as symbols of fertility and life dating back to some of the earliest pagan practices, and seemed to accompany the transformation of pagan spring festivals into what is more commonly known as Easter.

 

None of this, of course, is shared with any intention other than to illuminate some lesser known aspects of a celebration that is a mainstay in our lives. As is often the case, the celebrations and traditions that have been a part of many of our lives for as long as we or our parents and grandparents can remember are not necessarily what we might have expected. The research (if you can refer to a google search as such!) leaves us with the impression that no matter what the explanation, these times of year are likely descended from universal and time honored celebrations of man, hope, life, faith, and family brought on by the burst of life that arrives with Spring each year.

 

Most importantly, keep in mind that Spring and the arrival of the holidays like Easter and Passover create a wonderful time to gather with friends and family, be grateful for our many blessings, and send lots of beautiful arrangements from the folks at Exotic Flowers as a token of that gratitude! Happy holidays, and Happy Spring!

 Jon BornsteinJonathan Bornstein

on Twitter @Zucrow

 

Want to read about some of the best sandwiches in the world ?

Read my blog.

Tags: Passover Flowers, Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Jon Bornstein

Ever Want to Learn About Passover, But Were Afraid to Ask ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Apr 10, 2014

PASSOVER FLOWER DELIVERY resized 600

Have you ever wondered about those “kosher for Passover” shelves that crop up in your local grocery store when Spring arrives? Are you one of those people who like to eat the “matzah crackers” your Jewish friends choke down this time of year while you’re obliviously munching on chocolate bunnies? Or are you simply curious about the “Seder” dinner that you’ve been invited to by one of your Jewish colleagues? Well, wonder no more, you amongst the hebraically-challenged! The sandwich guy is here to ‘splain all about the holiday of unleavened bread with his “Passover Primer”!

 

Passover, or the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is one of the three major pilgrimage festivals on the Jewish calendar.  These festivals are so named in light of the historical pilgrimages Jews made from all over the world to the Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate these special holidays. Passover commemorates the Exodus, the part of biblical Jewish history where the Israelites were freed from generations of enslavement at the hands of the Egyptians to travel for forty years in the desert (yes, even back then, men refused to stop and ask for directions despite the protestations of their wives) on their way to the Land of Milk and Honey, otherwise known as Israel.

 PASSOVER FLOWERS IN BOSTON resized 600

The holiday lasts eight days, during which Jews observe a special diet absent foods made with leavening agents. These dietary sacrifices were inspired by the unleavened bread, (or matzah) the Jews prepared in their haste to leave Egypt once the Pharoah had finally been convinced to grant them their freedom. The aforementioned haste was a result of said Pharaoh’s multiple renegings on similar promises. The Jews were taking no chances that the Egyptian leader might change his mind again, and anyone familiar with the parting and closing of the Red Sea allowing the Jews to flee their Egyptian pursuers who were swallowed up by the swift unparting of those same waters understands their haste.

 

The first two nights of Passover Jews conduct Seders, ritual dinners that retell the story of Passsover by incorporating song, prayer, stories, and food. Seder literally means “order” referring to the many parts of the meal that must be observed in order to tell the story of Passover properly. The dinner is participatory by everyone in attendance, from youngest to oldest, ensuring that all involved participate in the retelling of our past enslavement and by doing so on an annual basis become less likely to forget where we came from.

 PASSOVER PLANT resized 600

Passover is a time for all Jews to be grateful for how far we’ve come and what we’ve gained during that journey. But you don’t have to be Jewish to engage in that exercise. Just send flowers! After all, what better way to show your gratitude and humility than by sharing nature’s beauty with those you care about!

 

Jonathan Bornstein The Sandwich Guy Want to read about great sandwiches ? I am your sandwich guy.

Follow me on Twitter @Zucrow

 

 

 

Tags: Passover Flowers, Traditions, Jewish Holidays, Jon Bornstein

Boston Flower Buyer Jon Bornstein Writes About a Kosher Christmas

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Dec 06, 2012

Hanukah. Chanukah. The Festival of Lights. Kosher Christmas. Kwanza’s hebrew brotha from anotha motha. Call it what you like, it’s December and the three-pronged multi-cultural holiday monster is rearing its ugly head once again. Unless, of course, you love this time of year, in which case let me say it (or sing it) differently: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

 hanukah flowers in sharon resized 600

The ”eight crazy nights” (Sandler’s words, not mine) of Hanukah carry thousands of years of history and tradition with them. But for those of you who have only a passing familiarity with the rites and rituals of your Jewish counterparts during December (or the month of Kislev, for you Jewish calendar sticklers), I thought it might be fun to lay down a little fact or fiction. So fasten your seat belts, kids, and get ready to take your first steps into a much larger world as I drop some knowledge…

 

1)   Hanukah is not a major holiday on the Jewish calendar. Fact. You want the heavy hitters form the Hebrew holiday set, check out Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) or Yom Kippur (the day of atonement). The hullabaloo surrounding Hanukah is due in no small part to the gift giving, a tradition borrowed from our Christmas-observing brothers and sisters. Why co-opt a tradition that has nothing to do with our holiday? You parents out there know the answer. How many times can you listen to your kids ask in a pleading tone why their christian friends get presents for their holiday and we don’t? Exactly.

 

Hanukah commemorates the Jews reclaiming of the Second Temple from their oppressor King Antiochus. The wicked King had desecrated the Jews’ sacred house of worship while it was under his control in an effort to force them to embrace Hellenic religious beliefs. The Jews refused, observing and teaching the laws of their Torah in secret, and a small Jewish faction called the Maccabees hid and ultimately led a successful revolt to reclaim the Second Temple.

 

The central symbolic miracle that defines Hanukah occurred when the Jews were restoring the Temple, and went to relight the Ner Tamid (Eternal Flame). They only recovered enough oil to light the flame for one night. Miraculously, the flame stayed lit for eight days by which time new oil had been created to sustain the flame. Hence, the miracle that explains both the eight day duration of Hanukah, and its alternative name - “The Festival of Lights”.

 hanukah flowers in newton resized 600

2)   The eating of fried food is not only allowed during the holiday, it’s encouraged. Fact. Like all Jewish holidays, there are foodstuffs associated with it. Since the defining miracle of Hanukah centered around the oil used to keep the Eternal Flame lit, foods prepared in oil, like potato pancakes (we call them “latkes”) and jelly donuts (we call them “sufganiyot”) are served during the eight day span. The pancakes are served with applesauce and sour cream. The jelly donuts are truly more like beignets with fruit filling, and in other parts of the world these tasty treats have a variety of filling options.

 

3)   The holiday is lousy with gambling. Fiction. Fact. Well, sort of both. Back during the rule of Antiochus, Jews were forbidden from studying and practicing the teachings of the Torah. They did so in secret, and they would cover up their activities when agents of Antiochus came around by pulling out a dreidel and a pot full of gelt (coins) to create the illusion that they were gambling. The dreidel, for those of you in the dark, is a four sided top with Hebrew letters on all four sides that stand for how much of the pot gets distributed on any given roll. The game is played with modern day “gelt” (gold foil wrapped chocolate coins), and the letters of the dreidel also stand for the Hebrew phrase which translates to “A Great Miracle Happened There.”

 HANUKA FLOWERS IN BOSTON resized 600

Look at you. Five minutes of your attention and you’re a hebraic holiday maven (that’s Yiddish for “know-it-all”). Thanks for tuning in this year, and don’t be such a big shot that you overlook the opportunity to send something nice to your friends and loved ones from Exotic Flowers. They’ve got more in their bag than just the pushing of petals So don’t be such a shnook! Check it out! And Chag Sameach! (Happy Holiday!)

 Jon Bornstein

Enjoy Every Sandwich

 

Follow me on Twitter @Zucrow

Tags: Jon Bornstein, Hanukkah Flowers, Hanukkah Decorating

Meet the Bloggers at Exotic Flowers in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Mar 03, 2012

Rick Canale Boston Florist Rick Canale, yes that is me. As my twitter profile suggests; married to Suzie with 2 sons. My interests include family, food, wine, baseball, reading, Boston, flowers and orchids. My family comes first and everything else second. My blog posts are not only meant to inform, but entertain as well. You can often find me hanging out at Exotic Flowers in Boston. My goal is to deliver breathtaking flower arrangements to residents, workers and visitors in Boston and New England. My favorite flower is the phaelenopsis orchid.

Suzie Canale Boston AuthorSuzie Canale grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Salem State College.  She began writing as a children's book author after a twenty five year career in the wholesale floral industry in Boston at Back Bay Wholesale where she was inspired by flowers named after child friendly foods.  She developed the concept of "The Beantown Tales" - a series of books geared towards educating children to make positive changes within the key concerns of our society.  Suzie is the recent recipient of the Green Difference Award for Green Book of 2011 by the Massachusetts Green Schools Organization as well as anHonorable Mention in the 2011 New England Book Festival children's division for her first installment of the Green Series, "The Land of Chocolate Cosmos".  She has also authored "The Popcorn Hydrangea of Poppingtom" and "The Candy Roses of Cape Care,".
As she continues her career by writing books, articles and blogs for online websites, magazines and local businesses, she is also busily raising her two sons. Married to Boston florist Rick Canale, Suzie's blog posts focus on weddings, wedding flowers and wedding planning for the Boston area. You can also download her free ebook for wedding planning.  Her favorite flowers are sweet pea and of course chocolate cosmos.

      jon bornstein Jonathan Bornstein is a Newton resident and graduate of The Roxbury Latin School and Cornell University. Jon is the owner of L. Bornstein and Company, a wholesale floor covering distributor servicing the needs of members of the floor covering trade throughout New England. Jon is active on twitter and writes an amazing blog about great sandwiches that he has ingested. His contribution to the Exotic Flowers in Boston blog ranges from Halloween treats to being a Jew at Christmas. His favorite flower is the gerbera daisy.

Exotic Flowers in Boston is always on the lookout for guest writers. If you would like to write for our blog, let us know. We will make it worth your while.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Suzie Hearl Canale, Rick Canale, Boston Florist Staff, Jon Bornstein

Valentine's Day Facts and Fiction by Jonathan Bornstein

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Feb 08, 2012

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It has been said that there is a thin line between love and hate. Those of us swept up in the affairs of the heart are all too familiar with this concept, not only from the perspective of how tenuous it is to balance on this particular tightrope, but also in light of the complications that Valentine’s Day can add to the terrain. For some, the opportunity to express romantic inclinations regardless of age (remember back in the day when you used to count up all the little handheld Valentines you received in class?) or the tokens of affection involved (do we ever truly outgrow our fascination with the numerous sayings on a candy heart?) is one we embrace. Other more cynical types decry the occasion as more commercial than Cupid, where the delicate beginnings of a budding romance can be dashed on the rocks as we are forced to send the wrong signals too soon.

 

Truth is, while most of us have a keen awareness of the occasion and it’s romantic themes, we know little about Valentine’s Day’s origins and history. Hence, an opportunity to play one of our favorite games here at the old Exotic Flowers’ blog, “Fact or Fiction” (although given the nature of the holiday, perhaps “Truth or Dare” might have been more appropriate).

 

1)   Valentine’s Day was an invention of the Hallmark Greeting Card Company to push love-themed paraphernalia for profit. Fiction. First, the earliest mechanically produced Valentines date back to the early 1800’s, prior to Hallmark’s existence. Second, the roots of the holiday are a subject of much debate. The general consensus is that it began as the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a celebration of fertility or the marriage of Roman gods Juno and Hera (depending on who you ask) dating back to the Middle Ages. The “Valentine” aspect was introduced when the Catholic church attempted to de-paganize the holiday by associating a catholic martyr named Valentine with it to create a feast day in his honor,  bringing us to Fact or Fiction #2:

 Valentines tulips in boston

2)   Valentine’s Day is a tribute to St. Valentine. Fact. Well, sort of. Little is known about the martyr Valentine, and there appears to be more than one in Catholic canon. There are stories of a Valentine who defied the Roman Emperor Claudius’ edict that men not marry (making military recruitment easier) by performing the illegal ceremony for young lovers, an activity he was ultimately executed for. A Valentine dating back to 200 AD is also purported to have helped free prisoners from jail, restored sight to his jailer’s daughter prior to being executed once he was caught helping others escape, and credited with possibly being the first to use the phrase “From your Valentine” in a note written to a female prisoner he had fallen in love with prior to his execution. There is no definitive historical evidence for any of these actions or the Valentines who performed them, hence the removal of the holiday’s status as a feast day from the calendar by the Catholic Church back in 1969 (wasn’t that the Summer of Love? Ironic, huh?).

 

3)   More roses are sold than any other flower on Valentine’s Day. Fiction. I would have guessed red roses trump every other flora on this holiday, but according to History.com, mixed flowers are the number one choice, and according to noted authority and Exotic Flowers in Boston luminary Rick Canale, the number of red roses sold on Valentine’s day seems to decline every year.

 describe the image

4)   Valentine’s day is an American holiday. Fiction. The roots of the holiday began in ancient Rome, as we discussed earlier, and iterations of it are observed all over the world, from Asia, India, Europe, and the Middle East, all the way to South America. Some countries have banned the holiday for its Western or “pagan” roots, and some use it to honor friendship or the beginnings of Spring. My favorite connection to the holiday is in South Korea, where on April 14th (Black Day), those who did not receive gifts from secret loves on Valentine’s Day eat black noodles to mourn the absence of love from their solitary existence. I also enjoyed learning about Jack Valentine, a mystical character who was legendary in Norfolk County, England for leaving treats and gifts for children on the holiday. Unfortunately, his presence and practices spooked the children of the region so badly that parents stopped propagating his lore.

 

Well, once again, Exotic Flowers blog has broadened your mind and helped you take your first steps into a much larger world. Now why don’t you take that newfound wisdom and share it with someone you love, along with one of the many tokens of affection that the Cupid consultants here at Exotic Flowers in Boston offer?

Jonathan Bornstein

On Twitter @Zucrow

www.enjoyeverysandwich.blog.com

Tags: Boston Florist, Rick Canale, Jon Bornstein, Valentine's Day, Roses

Boston Flower Buyer Jon Bornstein Shares His Top 3 Turkey Sandwiches of 2011

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Nov 23, 2011

Ask most people about their favorite major holiday and Thanksgiving is likely to be their response two out of three times if not more. After all, what other day combines all of the wonderful elements of the December holiday season (family, food, and flowers) without the added pressure of gift shopping or seasonal decorating? ... Nuff said.

 

Fall is drawing to a rapid close, and so we must bid a reluctant adieu to all that amazing seasonal splendor. The year is rapidly wrapping up. Christmas lights, wreaths and poinsettias are popping up all over Boston. My friends at Exotic Flowers have even started delivering garland and holiday plants all over Boston. Holiday music is now playing on WODS 103.3FM and WROR 105.7FM. So before we get mind-numbingly bombarded with sonic good cheer, I say we use this time to look back on the year that was and reflect. And as long as I’m making up the rules as I go, I would like to turn our collective focus to one of my favorite topics – SANDWICHES !

 To that end, I bring you The Sandwich Guy’s 2011 Sandwich Hall of Famers. The only parameters for this year’s class are two: first, the nominees being inducted must come from somewhere I ate in the last 12 months, and second, the sandwich must be comprised of ingredients inspired by the Thanksgiving holiday. After all, the only thing better than Thanksgiving dinner in my book are the sandwiches that ensue in the days that follow.

 

 Here are my favorite turkey-centric sammys of 2011:

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1)   The Black Russian from Concord, New Hampshire’s Beefside Restaurant. This place gives the concept of Surf’n’Turf a New England blue collar spin with its combination of meat oriented sandwiches and fried seafood. The results are unquestionably worth the trip, in case the packed parking lot and full dining room didn’t tip you off. I recently lunched on the Black Russian, a combination of fresh cooked and tender turkey and rare roast beef served on grilled pumpernickel bread with melted swiss and russian dressing. This combo serves up all kinds of fresh flavor, nicely blending salt, tang, and a touch of crunch. And the thick sliced, ruffle-cut “french fries” were awesome, and amazingly, for something that thick, not greasy. Definitely a sandwich experience deserving of gratitude.

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2)   The turkey sandwich from Meredith, New Hampshire’s own George’s Diner. This unassuming spot resides in the shadow of the area’s better-known Hart’s Turkey Farm, but in terms of the fare, there is no contest. George’s turkey sandwich uses fresh baked bread, fresh roasted turkey, and a combo of cold, crisp tomato, lettuce and sweet mayo to pack a knockout flavor punch. I stumbled across it by accident the first time, and I could think of little else lunch-wise until I got back there to confirm what my taste buds experienced. The fresh cut homemade fries deliver as well. Be sure to ask for George’s special dipping sauce – a combination of mayo, horseradish sauce, ketchup and Cajun spices. A creamy and surprisingly subtle enhancement to the whole experience. Basic homemade ingredients, delicious results.

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3)   The Gobbler from 4 Aces Diner in Lebanon, NH. This is one of their “Specialty Sandwiches”. Special, indeed. Fresh roasted turkey with cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy and mayo on a Brioche. This is literally Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich, and the results are comfort food heaven. The turkey is not only cooked on site, it’s lightly peppered and browned/grilled on the flattop in the kitchen. The fresh brioche is grilled as well. The stuffing is homemade. The cranberry sauce and gravy are proportioned just enough to lend their flavors to the proceedings, without creating a soppy mess. It’s an original twist on a classic, and the result is sandwich lover’s bliss. Don’t hesitate to accompany it with the seasoned homemade gravy fries with cheese. Do make sure to reserve a couch nearby afterwards for the most blissful food coma ever!

 

This Thanksgiving, these three all stars have given me much to wax rhapsodic about from the gratitude side of things. Happy holiday to you and yours, and let me know what makes you grateful!

 

Oh yeah. And would it kill you to send some nice flowers to someone special this holiday?Didn’t think so. Nuff said.

 Sandwich Photo Credits: Jon Bornstein

you can follow Jon at www.twitter.com/zucrow

 

 

Tags: Jon Bornstein, Thanksgiving, Holiday Memories

Exotic Flowers Presents Guest Blogger Jon Bornstein of Newton

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Sep 27, 2011

Rosh Hashanah Flowers Newton
I have known Jonathan Bornstein since I was twelve years old. We attended The Roxbury Latin School together from 1982-1989.

Jonathan, like myself, is an advocate of patronizing small business. Jon is also a big Red Sox fan and truly enjoys a good meal. Jon also writes a fabulous blog, ' Enjoy Every Sandwich,'. His musings on great eats have lead me to invite him to guest blog for Exotic Flowers. 

Jon will share his views on food, sports, family and his Jewish background. Today he shares a post on the Jewish New Year - Rosh Hashanah.

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Rosh Hashanah. Translated for you hebraically-challenged types or even you members of the tribe who zoned out during hebrew school or the Rabbi’s sermons, it means “The Head of The Year”,. The Jewish New year is considered by some to be the birthday of creation, by others the celebration of the birth of mankind, but whatever your interpretation, everyone agrees that it is the beginning of the new year on the jewish calendar. It is a time of year to step out of the regular hectic flow of our daily lives and simultaneously appreciate the blessings that we have while reflecting on who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re headed.

Rosh Hashanah Flowers Sharon

Positioned as such, that makes the holiday part New Year celebration and part Thanksgiving gathering. And what, you may ask, could be more appropriate during a time of reflection and renewal than to share the gift of flowers with our jewish brothers and sisters in the midst of their High Holiday season. The miracle of flowers’ growth and singular beauty is so prevalent that we almost take it for granted, and so just as this time of year serves as a reminder to our jewish brothers and sisters to stop, be thankful and renew our personal resolves to be better parents/children/siblings/friends/people, so can we appropriately and thoughtfully celebrate that process by gifting a symbol of it to our Jewish family and friends with flowers. Shana Tovah, as we say in the tribe – “Good Year”!.

- Jon Bornstein

follow me at twitter.com/zucrow

Jewish New Year Flowers Boston

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Monday September, 17th 2012. Exotic Flowers will be gracing the tables throughout Sharon, Newton and their surrounding towns. 

Tags: Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, Jon Bornstein

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