Now — Thanksgiving and Christmas — is the time of year that we enjoy Cranberries!
Ever wondered where this holiday staple comes from?
Two intrepid Blazers traveled to Massachusetts to find out.
Cranberries are a unique native American fruit. They thrive in a special combination of soil and water during the months between April and November. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines in beds with sand, peat, gravel, and clay and an adequate supply of fresh water.
Cranberry bogs are common in New England, particularly in Massachusetts.
In Massachusetts, where Cranberries are the number one agricultural commodity crop, these beds are referred to as Bogs. Tens of thousands of years ago, receding glaciers carved out cavities in the land that evolved into cranberry bogs. Newly formed kettle ponds filled with sand, clay and debris formed the perfect environment for vines to spread across the South Shore of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Massachusetts were born with cranberry bogs. For two hundred years, it has been where tradition has met innovation. Initially criticized the idea of growing and selling cranberries commercially caught on. Many of these “farms” are open for visitors to purchase cranberries and other products.
Celebrate the Season: The Hunter’s Moon October 15-16, 2016
As we fall into the Autumn season, the first Full Moon, The Hunter’s Moon, will rise early tomorrow and Sunday evening. Luckily, this year it is a supermoon and will appear dramatically larger than normal in the sky.
The Native Americans referred to the October full moon as the Hunter’s Moon as it was the time of year to prepare for the winter by hunting. The October full moon has also been referred to as the Travel Moon, Dying Moon, Sanguine Moon, and Blood Moon.
Catch it in all of its glory this weekend as this spooky moon will “disappear” from the sky by Halloween.
GB&Co. welcomes the Hunter’s Moon as it is a wonderful time to gather friends and family around the fire, keep warm, and prepare for the long cold winter nights.
One of our favorite Blazers celebrating the 2016 Harvest Moon at the beach with our Blazin’ Torch!
After a long search, our Blazer Beekeeper Julie (and Apiarist for over a decade) found the perfect honey for Greatest Blaze and Co. to call its own.
She had several criteria tempering her search, it had to be local, fresh, of high quality, and of course delicious. After tasting and testing, she found a producer in upstate New York that fit the bill.
We just received our first shipment of this premium honey and will be putting it up on the GB&Co. site shortly.
Beyond tasting delicious, there are many other wonderful facts about honey:
1. Honey never spoils
2. Bees make lots of honey.
3. Honey was a hot commodity in Medieval Europe.
4. Bees survive on honey during winter. 5. Honey is medicinal. Because the substance is so inhospitable to bacteria, it was often used as a natural bandage to protect cuts and burns from infection. Today, honey is still used as a natural treatment for dandruff, stomach ulcers, and even seasonal allergies.
6. A little honey goes a long way.
7. There are many different colors and flavors of honey.
8. Not all bees make honey.
9. And not all honey is made by bees. (Didn’t know that…)
10. Bees have made honey for millions of years.
11. Evolution allows us to easily find great honey at GB&Co. 🙂
12. Beekeepers only take that which is extra.
13. Honey is good for the environment and the economy.
14. Bees are a surprisingly versatile food source.
15. Honey vendors went to great lengths to attract consumers.
When you meet someone like Kelli Delaney you know immediately that you are going to be fast friends. She is the wonderful lady behind KDHamptons: The Luxury Lifestyle Diary of the Hamptons and has a finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the Hamptons. She is kind and generous and we just love her here at Greatest Blaze & Co.
Love cozying up to a roaring fire on a rainy day in the Hamptons? Here are KDHamptons foolproof tips to fire things up in five minutes with my must-have fireplace accessories.
Step 1. Crumble newspaper sheets into a ball and pack under the grate and between the grates…
Her directions are spot on. (We tested them out at Blazer home base and it only took us 4:32!) Start out with great firewood, add nuggets and fatwood as kindling, and use her technique and you’re golden. Seriously, it’s that easy!
If you want to truly get a taste of paradise, look no further than the Belmond La Samanna Resort on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. A reasonable 3hr and change direct flight from JFK and you are in St. Maarten. A painless customs experience, then a quick 11min cab ride and you’re at the doorsteps of Heaven on Earth. (BTW, NEVER check your bags. Rookie move and big waste of time…)
La Samanna is the ultimate luxury resort with one of the most spectacular beaches you will ever (in your life) squish your toes into. The resort itself is clearly at the top of the food chain and will not disappoint. Natural beauty, service, food, amenities and everything else at your disposal.
A Real Connection
What really struck me, and deeply connected me to La Samanna out of the gate, was one morning while I was casually reading Belmond Now, I discovered something very interesting. In the “welcome / intro” section from the CEO Roeland Vos he mentioned something like “We here at La Samanna pride ourselves in bringing the very best experiences to family & friends alike..” This resounded with me immediately because at GB&Co., we live by our motto “Bringing family & friends together.”
As some really dumb person once said, although very true, ‘if you ever have to ask what the price is, you probably don’t deserve it.’ Perhaps. This place is certainly NOT inexpensive, however, if your smart and do a little homework, you can absolutely visit this gem on the “off” season for a, well, somewhat reasonable price tag. I will say this; it’s worth every penny spent. I was celebrating a 25 year anniversary with the bride and I would do it again in a minute!
One last highlight of our trip was one evening we were walking along the beach to the beach bar. Some great company with very good taste was hosting a company trip with about 25 lucky employees. Anyhow, they were burning wood on a firepit right on the beach. Perfect setting. I cannot lie though, truth is the firepit they were using was NOT in our category of the “Greatest.” Somewhat of a chink in the armor coming from a true BLAZER.
(PS, I did reach out to Roeland Vos with a nice note and did mention this slight weakness. We’ll see what he comes back with.)