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A Bunch of RI Christmas Cards You Didn’t Know You Needed

These are the Rhode Island holiday/Christmas cards you didn't know needed, and there's one for everyone on your list.

For your jovial aunt who used to live in RI but who now lives in Florida and who doesn't understand sarcasm:
(because you don't want to send her the same "You Suck, Merry Christmas" card that you send your bff who gets it. Your aunt will just cry.)

 


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Buy them here, herehere and here

For your friend who is geographically challenged: ("Wait, Chariho  isn't an actual town that's north of Scituate?")

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Buy here and here.

For that one person you know who revels in their weirdness: (There's always at least one). Ed. Note: Not all ABOUT RI, but all the cards are made in RI. 

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Buy here, here and here

For your grumpy uncle or friend who is a bit of a Scrooge/Grinch but secretly, deep down in the recesses of their soul, loves the holidays: (While they nurse their whiskey on the rocks by themselves near a blazing fire, they begrudgingly mutter, 'God bless us, everyone.')

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here, here and  here

And finally, just some genuinely cute, pretty cards: (In honor of all that's normal and right with the world)

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Get them, and more, here.

 

All photos courtesy of the retailers' websites.

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Rhode Island Breweries: Week 8

We're posting a brewery a week to celebrate fall (and the fact that brewery tours and tastings just seem cozier and more fun when the leaves start to change!).

Today's brewery is...

Long Live Beerworks

The new kid on the block, Long Live Beerworks has clever beers that are shaking things up. The brews are the creations of head brewer Armando DeDona and the colorful beer labels are designed by his wife, Jessica DeBry.

From the mouth of the brewer, Armando DeDona:

Black Cat, our hoppy pale ale, is our most popular brew to date. It pairs well with duck confit fries from The Slow Rhode. The citrusy, bright flavor of the beer contrasts nicely with the richness of the duck confit. At home, I pair Black Cat with grilled barbecue chicken tacos. The bright citrus of the hops cuts through the sweet barbecue sauce nicely and complements the experience of grilling outdoors (in warmer weather, of course).

Tastings: Wed. and Thu., 4–9 p.m., Fri. 4-10 p.m., Sat., 1–8 p.m. and Sun. 12-4 p.m.

Photos courtesy of Long Live Beerworks' Facebook

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Escaping the Election: 4 Places to Visit

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Whether you've already cast your ballot or you're abstaining from voting entirely (we don't blame you), most people are pretty tired of this election cycle. As the country selects our glorious leader for the next four years, hide out from the political frenzy at one of these prime locations.

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Courtesy of Snake Den's Facebok

Snake Den

If you'd like to follow in Thoreau's footsteps and escape to nature, Snake Den is the perfect place. With over a thousand acres of undeveloped forest to explore, you could probably spend the next four years wandering the woods. There's a range of terrain from relatively flat to hilly. If you feel like working off election anxiety, make the climb up to the high trail and bask in the glory of nature from the many scenic overlooks.

2321 Hartford Ave., Johnston, riparks.com

eddy-bar

Courtesy of Eddy Bar's Facebook

The Eddy

It may not be terribly original, but a bit of imbibing can help you forget just about anything, and the Eddy has some of the best drinks around. With warm and fuzzy cocktail names like Bees on Bees on Knees (it tastes great too!), politics should be the last thing on your mind. If mixed drinks aren't your thing, they've got a good selection of craft brews that should do the trick. The best part about the Eddy? There's no TV, so you can drink with your disaffected comrades in peace.

95 Eddy St., Providence, 831-3339, eddybar.com

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Courtesy of East Greenwich Library's Facebook

East Greenwich Public Library

There's no better way to forget about the current political imbroglio than by settling down with a good book. Whether it's a cheap thriller or a classic (Machiavelli's The Prince maybe?) there are plenty of books to choose from. The cozy interior of the library, with its rough-hewn stone and dark wood paneling, will make you think you're nestled away in an Old World manor, far removed from American politics.

82 Pierce St., East Greenwich, 884-9510 eastgreenwichlibrary.org

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Courtesy of Roger Williams Botanical Garden's Facebook

Roger Williams Park Botanical Center

If it's too cold for an outdoor adventure, you can still get your nature fix by heading to the Roger Williams Botanical Center. It has more than 12,000 square feet of indoor gardens in its toasty-warm greenhouses. With over 150 varieties of flowers, trees, cacti, and tropical plants, there should be plenty to see. The only heated arguments you'll hear will be over which is the most beautiful plant (Only Trumpet flowers will make the garden great again!).

1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, providenceri.com/botanical-center, 785-9450

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Rhode Island Breweries: Week 7

We're posting a brewery a week to celebrate fall (and the fact that brewery tours and tastings just seem cozier and more fun when the leaves start to change!).

Today's brewery is...

Grey Sail

Grey Sail Brewing has a committed crew of brewers, “yeast wranglers” and beer aficionados. Their brews range from a classic Pale Ale, The Flying Jenny, to their award winning Flagship Cream Ale. No strangers to getting funky, they also carry an array of seasonal and small-batch brews like their Mary Ann’s Ginger spice ale.

From the Mouth of the Brewer, Jennifer Brinton:

Captain’s Daughter Double IPA is our most popular beer. Our pairing would be any seafood dish, especially one with a little spice to it.

Tours and Tastings: Thu. and Fri. from 4–7 p.m., Sat. and Sun. from 1–5 p.m. A pint glass and tasting is $5 per person. Tours are informal.

Photos courtesy of Grey Sail's Facebook
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Where to Chow Down on National Sandwich Day

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What are humankind's greatest inventions? The wheel? Fire? Maybe. Although these were some pretty practical developments, they haven't brought nearly as much joy and contentment to the world as the sandwich. From the humble PB & J to the opulent Monte Cristo, sandwiches have been filling our hearts and stomachs for centuries. What better way to celebrate this delicious victual's national holiday than by visiting one of RI's finest sandwich shops?

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Courtesy of Edgewood's Facebook

Edgewood Cheese Shop

More than just a place to load up on Gruyere, Edgewood Cheese Shop has rustic cheese platters and oozing paninis. Try the Adrianne, with roast beef, brie and fig jam or for the picky eater, the Miles, described as “grilled cheese — no green stuff or anything else touching it.”  1828 Broad St., Cranston, 401-941-2400, edgewoodcheeseshop.com 

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Courtesy of Geoff's Facebook

Geoff’s Superlative Sandwiches

A college-student staple, Geoff’s not only makes good sandwiches, they also give their sandwiches names that make you want to meet them. Take, for instance, the Judy Garland Sandwich, or the Margaret Trudeau Sandwich.
Nice to meet you, roast beef with coleslaw. The pleasure’s all mine, Canadian bacon with mushrooms and Swiss.  163 Benefit St., Providence, 401-751-2248, facebook.com/GeoffsSuperlativeSandwiches/

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Courtesy of the Italian Corner's Facebook

The Italian Corner

Three words: Authentic. Italian. Grinders. This is the real deal at The Italian Corner, with a porchetta sandwich that could easily be the best sandwich ever. It has the Guy Fieri stamp of approval, need we say more?  10 Boyd Ave., East Providence, 401-431-1737, italiancorner-ri.com

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Courtesy of J's Deli's Facebook

J’s Deli

If you’re really hungry, J’s Deli makes a sandwich that is more like a meal. You may even want to split one with a friend. Choose from a variety of beef, chicken and turkey sandwiches and wraps.

2364 Diamond Hill Rd., Cumberland, 401-334-1414;
285 George Washington Hwy., Smithfield, 401-231-0823;
760 Cumberland Hill Rd., Woonsocket, 401-356-1430, jsdeliri.com

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Courtesy of the Picnic Basket's Facebook

Picnic Basket

Most Narragansett Beach goers rely on the Picnic Basket to satisfy their midday sandwich cravings. Cool off inside and indulge in a freshly made veggie wrap or make the short walk back to the beach with a classic meatball grinder (just watch out for hungry seagulls).  20 Kingstown Rd., Narragansett, 401-782-2284, thepicnicbasketri.com

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Nine Weird Facts About Oysters

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Oysters are weird if you think about it. These rather unsightly gelatinous mollusks are all the rage, as evidence by the plethora of quality, local oyster farms that are popping up like, well, oysters. After slurping down oysters to our hearts content at the Walrus and the Carpenter‘s recent oyster release party, we couldn’t help but investigate these bivalves, and when we did, we found out some weird stuff:

1.Oysters from the northeast are often brinier compared to their pacific northwest cousins, who possess a more mineral taste.

2.How pearls are made: A bit of sand or shell makes its way into the vulnerable oyster, who then deploys its pearl-making powers (i.e. ‘nacre’ fluid) as a method of self-defense on the hapless grit. The result:

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3.Oysters filter over 1 gallon of water in an hour.

4.Their blood is colorless.

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5.In the early 19th century, oysters were cheap and mainly eaten by the working class. Go figure.

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6.If they are uncooked, you are eating a LIVING, pumping, digesting oyster.

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7. Oysters taste better in the winter (just remember the months ending in ‘r’ rule). They spawn in the summer months, which makes them flimsy and watery.

8. Oyster juice (you know, that salty water that pools above your jiggling mollusk) is actually called oyster liquor. Fancy.

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9. Though often listed with chocolate in the category of aphrodisiacs to eat on Valentines Day, there is no concrete proof that they will, ah, help you. But hey, if it makes you feel better about guzzling them down, go for it.

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4 Things in RI We Are Excited About This October

1.Three words. Tom’s Bao Bao.

bbqporkbun-21998cadYes, my darlings, the time has come for Tom’s to finally open its doors and serve up steaming buns packed with yummy fillings like curried beef and lobster. We’ll race you to it’s opening on Saturday, October 15 at 10 a.m. Tom’s Bao Bao, 326 Westminster St., Providence. 

 

2. Haunted everything. 

Courtesy of Factory of Terror Facebook

Courtesy of Factory of Terror Facebook

It’s that wonderful time of year when you have the perfect excuse to cuddle up to a date–it’s the season of haunted everything! From factories of terror to haunted hayrides, trails and mazes, grab your sweetheart and be prepared to clutch their arm in terror.

Here are a few to get your heart pounding:
-Highland Farm’s Trails to Terror,  4235 Tower Hill Rd., Wakefield, trailstoterror.com
-Field of Screams, 179 Plain Meeting House Rd, West Greenwich, www.hauntedhayride.net
Factory of Terror, 3 Bridal Ave, West Warwick, factoryofterror.com

3. Collegiate sports.

Courtesy of Brown Athletic's Facebook

Courtesy of Brown Athletics website

Ah, there’s nothing like decking out in your team’s colors, a hot chocolate clutched in your chilled hands, as you watch college athletes duke it out on the pitch, field or river. Whether you enjoy the sport, the atmosphere, or the athletes in action (the Brown men’s crew is always a sight for sore eyes as they cruise down the Seekonk– we speak from the biased perspective of a 23-year old female), it’s a lovely outing and excuse to re-live your collegiate-days-past.
Some local uni’s with sports to watch:
Brown, URI, RWU, Providence College 

4. Fall beer.

Courtesy of Foolproof Brewery Facebook

Courtesy of Foolproof Brewery Facebook

I don’t know what it is about October and beer, but it’s like they were destined to be synonymous. There’s Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest brews, and of course, the ever controversial pumpkin beer. Why not tap into your wild side (see what we did there? hah!) and try some pumpkin brews, Oktober brews, heck, the plethora of brews from local breweries that keep popping up like candy corn in office bowls before Halloween.

Here are a few local places (and fall-ish brews) to get you started:
FoolproofAugtoberfest
Crooked CurrentPlunderdome Pumpkin Maple Ale
Whaler’s Brewing: Hazelnut Stout
]Tilted Barn: jack. Pumpkin Ale

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Rhode Island Breweries: Week 6

We're posting a brewery a week to celebrate fall (and the fact that brewery tours and tastings just seem cozier and more fun when the leaves start to change!).

Today's brewery is...

Foolproof

Foolproof was the brainchild of home-brewer Nick Garrison and since its inception it has received much acclaim. Funky brews like Peanut Butter Raincloud and Shuckolate have a fevered following, and the brewery hosts an array of fun events like yoga and beer tastings.

From the Mouth of the Brewer, Nick Garrison:

Right now, our most popular beer is our Peanut Butter Raincloud Porter, which I recommend pairing with vanilla or peanut butter ice cream. Even better, blend the beer and ice cream together and create your own beer float!

Tours and Tastings: Tours on Sat. at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. for $10. Participants receive a Foolproof glass, an overview of the brewing process, a tour of the brewery and three beer samples. Tastings on Fri., 5–7 p.m. are also $10 (includes three tastings and a pint glass).

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Four Places for Wicked Good Cider Doughnuts

Cider doughnuts are arguably the piece de resistance of fall in New England, and Rhode Island is no exception. Sure, we love our summery Del’s and our creamy clam chowder and doughy clam cakes, but when the leaves start to change, it’s the humble but delightful cider doughnut that captures a special place in our heart. Here are four WICKED good places to grab warm cider doughnuts on a cool fall’s day.

Jaswell’s Farm: 

50 Swan Rd., Smithfield, 401-231-9043, jaswellsfarm.com

The vibe: Family-friendly farm with pumpkin and apple picking for the tykes (and the adults who are still tykes in their own minds!)

The cider doughnuts: A top secret recipe is fried up in vats of oil and the result is a light, fragrant and scrumptious doughnut that will be gone before you know it.🍩🍩

Image from Jaswell's Facebook

Image from Jaswell’s Facebook

The Hard Pressed Cider Company

71 Weeden Ln., Jamestown, 595-4828, hardpressedcidercompany.com

The vibe: Made in a trailer at Windmist Farm in Jamestown, this hidden gem boasts a beautiful autumnal backdrop complete with glistening lake and winding stonewalls.

The cider doughnuts: Owner Rob Swanson wanted to make a doughnut he would like, so he added apple to the mix. 🍎 The result: a warm, light doughnut so moist and apple-y that you literally can’t eat just one. Read more about the Hard Pressed Cider Company here.

Pippin Orchard

751 Pippin Orchard Rd., Cranston,  943-7096

The vibe: Pippin is a classic pick-your-own orchard, with gnarly trees that truly evoke that October/Autumn/Halloween feeling.

The cider doughnuts: Not only do they have cider doughnuts, they have MAPLE FROSTED CIDER DOUGHNUTS😱. Enough said.

Image from Pippin Orchard Facebook

Appleland Orchard

135 Smith Ave, Greenville, 949-3690, applelandorchardri.com

The vibe: With a name like Appleland, it has to be good. Also, the orchard has been in the family since the ’60s, making it a classic stop this fall.

The cider doughnuts: Their fresh-pressed cider is a key ingredient in their doughnuts, which are a unique and yummy yeasty-cake-y combination😋 .

Appleland Orchard website

Image from Appleland Orchard website

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Picking the Perfect Pumpkin: A Guide

Besides demonstrating our fondness for alliteration, the headline of this blog is also meant to tell you that this is, indeed, the definitive guide to picking the perfect pumpkin. Get your pumpkin picking posse ready…set…go!

by Grace Kelly

Step One: Find a place to pick your pumpkin

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This is probably the easiest part of the quest to finding a quality pumpkin; after all, Rhode Island has sooooo many great pumpkin picking patches (gosh we do love all this alliteration) that you can’t go wrong wherever you go. Here are just a few we recommend:

Confreda Greenhouses and Farms: Located in scenic Scituate, Confreda Greenhouses and Farms has plenty of pumpkins for picking, including pumpkins for both carving and eating. Plus, you have to  take a hayride (like, it’s not an option) to pick your pumpkin— how awesome is that? 2150 Scituate Ave., Hope, 827-5000

Schartner Farms: Take the pumpkin express to a field where you can load up on pumpkins, apples and water. Then, after picking your perfect pumpkin, take the hayride back and enjoy curly fries. This could legitimately be heaven. 1 Arnold Place, Exeter, 294-2044, schartnerfarms.com

Escobar’s Highland Farm: For those of us not in West Bay, Escobar’s in Portsmouth is the place to get your pumpkin. Plus, they have a corn maze– just don’t get lost in it before you get your pumpkin! 133 Middle Rd., Portsmouth, 683-1444, escobarfarm.com

The Barden Family Orchard: At this other Scituate orchard, you can pick your own pumpkin and apples AND they have cider.  56 Elmdale Rd., North Scituate, 934-1413, bardenfamilyorchard.com

Step Two: Gather your pumpkin picking posse (abbreviated Triple P, because it sounds cool)

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      (yes those are persimmons but use your imagination)

This is the challenging part. You can’t just ask anyone to pick pumpkins with you; it’s like a sacred right of passage, so treat it as such. We suggest choosing a Triple P (a group of amigos/family/lovers) who possess the following qualities:

  1. Patience: I mean, when you’re deciding whether or not to pick a huge, perfectly round pumpkin or a smaller one with a cool stem and warts, you need a patient friend who won’t judge you as you weigh your options for a good twenty minutes.

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2. Pacifist: You don’t want a fellow pumpkin picker who will fight you to the death for your one-of-a-kind pumpkin that looks exactly like Donald Trump’s face. You want a friend who supports you and your decision to buy that pumpkin, and who is fine with picking the one that looks more like Hillary.

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3. Punkin: As in, pick someone who you would call your ‘punkin.’ Because when you have a group of punkins picking pumpkins, it’s sure to be a joyous occasion.

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Step Three: Assess your needs

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What are you picking this pumpkin for? Is it to have the biggest pumpkin in your neighborhood? To make a pie? Or to carve an intricate design that rivals the pumpkins at the Pumpkin Spectacular? You should probably know just what you want to use your pumpkin for so you can plan accordingly.

Step Four: Pick the pumpkin

This is what you’ve come to do, so do it well. When you’ve zeroed in on the pumpkin that is perfect for you, approach it gently and with gratitude. After all, you’ll be ending its life (on the vine) as it knows it. Note: If it is already off the vine, still approach tenderly and with care; be a punkin to your pumpkin! Grasp the stem firmly and twist, and with luck and a few grunts, your pumpkin will be off the vine in no time! Give your pumpkin a small hug, yourself a round of applause, pay for it (we don’t encourage stealing) and carry on your way, towards pumpkin picking greatness. YOU DID IT!!!

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