Editor’s letter

Friday, March 02, 2018

Hi, friends:

Welcome to March, which happens to be Women’s History Month. I’m happy to feature the Ekus/Cohen family in our cover story written by my intern Emma Kemp, a sophomore at Smith College. It’s a fitting subject considering this month’s theme. “Lisa and Sally are a mother-daughter team, strong women in the community,” says Emma of the Hatfield-based culinary agency. “My own family is filled with strong women who get things done.”

As it happens, Emma’s grandmother, Susan Lantz, lives in Northampton and subscribes to the Gazette. (Hi, GG!) “She’s a trailblazer,” Emma says, “a social advocate who does a lot of work for climate change. She’s passionate about her causes, her family and her community.” 

Given her own close ties with her GG, Emma understood Sally Ekus’ commitment to her grandfather, Gerald Cohen (aka Poppy), a retired radiologist who recently published a memoir, “Beyond the Images,” which includes a few of his favorite recipes as well as a letter from Sally as its preface: “Thank you for your recent submission to The Lisa Ekus Group,” she writes, before recommending he self publish his book. “From what I gather you have an extensive social life and can market this at cocktail parties, club dinners, and on the tennis court. I heard that the pro shop is already willing to buy at least 100 copies. If you print them for $.50 and sell for $25 you will make quite a profit.”

Emma turned in a sweet, well-reported story that underscores the value of eating dinner together as a family — and cooking it together, too. Coincidentally, this week’s “Friday Takeaway” columnist is farmer Caroline Pam, who first introduced me to Sally Ekus at a party (with amazing food). She writes about how the wonky weather has been keeping everyone at Sunderland’s Kitchen Garden Farm on their toes. As I’m typing, the newsroom is abuzz with people talking about this weekend’s storm, threatening to deliver rain, wind and snow.  

If you’re looking for some musical relief, check out Ken Maiuri’s “Tuned In” writeup of The Back Porch Festival, setting up shop at the Academy of Music and The Parlor Room, both in Northampton, and featuring (among other performers) Deer Tick, Anais Mitchell, and Molly Tuttle, the first woman in history to win the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year award. Or pick up one of two new books reviewed inside, including the novel “Sunburn” by Laura Lippman; and check out “Valley Readings” while you’re at it.

Hope you stay warm this weekend. Spring is almost here.

Brooke Hauser