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Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week we all got together in the office kitchen and made chips with pita from Worcester favorite, George’s Bakery.
xoxox,
Apple

Among the mini marts, apartments, and coffee shops located on Grafton Street lies a white and red adorned building exhibiting the name of one of Worcester’s most beloved spots: George’s Bakery. The establishment has been around for 65 years and has been a Worcester favorite for many residents. The bakery has flourished under the ownership of two different Georges since its opening. The store was named after its original owner George, who unfortunately passed away last year. The ownership was then passed down to another George (unrelated to the original one), contributing to the tradition of George owners.

George freshly bakes his bread every morning, one of the reasons why it always tastes so fresh and delicious. He arrives at his store around 1 AM and stays until 6 AM. His days are spent sleeping and preparing for his busy early morning routine.

The store has a super friendly environment, with Mediterranean food lining the walls, and cheese, pies, dips, meats, and bread freshly stocked behind the counter and stacked on the shelves. You can tell that the quality of the food is spot on, and that when you buy anything at George’s it contributes to maintaining the success of the business and its products. The employees are always chatty and kind, always putting customers in a good mood and bringing a smile to their faces. In bold letters on the menu, it even states: “In the place of good food… we shine!” And that it does.

Rabbit Heart is a huge fan of George’s products, hence our recipe** and enthusiasm for the business. We love Worcester businesses that make our city a happy place, and George’s is definitely a contributing place. After stating on Instagram that George’s has the, “best pita bread ever,” a Rabbit Heart follower enthusiastically agreed in the comments.

Let us know if you try out our pita chips recipe, and visit 308 Grafton Street to purchase the famous pita bread and other treats. George’s hours are 5 AM-7:30 PM. And if you go early enough, maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of George.
~Sarah

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

** Homemade Pita Chips
Notes: none of the quantities on this are really exact – actually, there are no quantities specified at all. You’ll have to eyeball it, depending on how many pita loaves you use and what kind of seasoning you choose. Also! Watch over the chips in the oven the first few times you make this – we found out our oven has some hot spots and fluctuations in temp, and that it isn’t always clear if our chips need 4 minutes or 5. Also also! If the pita is a little stale, it’s still good for chips =)

You’ll need:
– Loaves of George’s pita bread – we love George’s because they’re thinner than most other brands, and make for a delightfully crisp chip. Also, they’re sugar free! Three bags of the small loaves gave us about two bags of chips (#thrifty!)
– Your favorite olive oil
– Seasoning – we used Old Bay (YUM!) and sesame seeds for the video, but in other batches we’ve also used: garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika and, for a sweeter chip, cinnamon and a light sprinkle of sugar. Also lovely: just a sprinkling of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. And we’re about to enter pumpkin spice season, too – I bet you could go that direction with some pie spice and a touch of brown sugar (#goals)!
– A big bowl
– Kitchen shears (or, you know, a pair of kitchen-clean Fiskars ~.o)
– A cookie sheet
– Foil (you don’t have to cover the cookie sheet, but it certainly cuts down on cleanup)
– A cooling rack on top of a towel

1. Preheat the oven to 400° with your rack in the middle position. Dress your cookie sheet in foil to get it ready. Set out your cooling rack on a kitchen towel (so that you don’t end up with stray sesame seeds all over your counter – those suckers bounce, y’all).
2. Split the pita loaves into halves by tearing along the crease. Cut them into triangles into the bowl.
3. Once the pita has all been cut and you have a big pile of triangular goodness, scoot them edge up, and drizzle in some oil. It shouldn’t be super  greasy, but you do want all the chips to get oiled so your seasoning sticks. Mix it up! PRO TIP: If you’re doing a big big batch, it might help to dump the contents of the bowl onto your cookie sheet for this part, and then, once it’s all mixed up, put it back in the bowl.
4. Spread some of the greased pita triangles out on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Season them the way you like =)
5. Bake in the oven for ~5 minutes (see notes above) until they’re golden brown. Remove from oven, and transfer chips to cooling rack
6. Repeat steps 4-5 until you’ve baked all your chips. Once cool, they can be stored in a zip bag, or even right back in the pita bag. If they’re protected from humidity, they’re good for 4-5 days.
Enjoy by themselves or with your favorite dip (spinach dip is amazing with these, as is cream cheese. Cottage cheese is pretty great too. Or tuna salad, even).
~Apple

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Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week they had a merry romp at the Blackstone Valley Bike Paths.

xoxox,
Apple

Before coming to RHPFF, the Blackstone River Bikeway was this mystery multi-use bike path I had heard people talk about but I had never investigated for myself. I’m not going to lie, I’m not exactly an outdoorsy girl.. I can appreciate the wilderness but I prefer to enjoy it by looking out the window (the second there are bugs flying around my head, I’m out of there). Anyway, Alli and I ended up at the bike path on a day where the weather was awful, raining and crazy gross humidity. BUT, the bike path was honestly so beautiful – we both felt instantly taken out of the hustle and bustle of the city and into a scenic and tranquil place that is not often what people think of Worcester. We only walked a short way but little did we know, the path goes 48 miles from Worcester to Providence. From there, you can ride further into Rhode Island or into my home state of Connecticut! It goes through 14 cities and towns and where it was possible, the path was built along the river so there are lots of plants and animals to be seen as you travel. For those who love to be outside (and even for those like me who don’t) the Blackstone River Bikeway is a delightful thing of Worcester that you don’t want to miss!
~Sarah

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week they were treated to a tour of the Worcester Idea Lab

xoxox,
Apple

The Worcester Idea Lab is a communal and collaborative work space created by Action! Worcester. Located at 20 Franklin St in downtown Worcester, the Lab is on the first floor to the right as you walk in. Parking is amazingly easy, there is street parking as well as municipal lots all a short walk away from the building. Fitted with a kitchen space, two small call rooms, a group meeting space, and many comfy places to sit, including a bar/counter for working standing up AND free wifi. I’m telling you, it smells like productivity in there. The Lab is open to the public 8-5pm every Wednesday and if one day per week isn’t enough time to enjoy the space, there are also membership options for individuals, corporations, nonprofits, and universities. Additionally, you can book the space for a variety of things such as lectures, meetings and retreats, events, or workshops.

A big thank you to Josh who took the time to speak to us about all that is happening at the Idea Lab. He and everyone else who works for the Lab show such passion for Worcester and the community that we couldn’t help leaving inspired. If you get a chance to visit Action! Worcester or the Idea Lab and you see him, I highly recommend introducing yourself and chatting a little. You won’t be disappointed.  
~Sarah

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Mercy! Has it really been 17 days since Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival wrapped? It feels like it was just this last weekend, and I am still absolutely flying from it. We had a spectacular weekend celebrating poetry on film – you can see all the good stuff here (pictures) and here  (the finalists) and here (all the films), if you weren’t able to make it, or if you want to relive it (highly recommended! Omg, so much good work!)

I feel like I came out of this year better than I went into it – it’s been a slammin’ year, y’all.* And I was about a week behind the whole time. And I got super ambitious halfway through when I realized we had a glut of Very Good Submissions, so I decided we needed a second day of showings, but hadn’t really thought about the work that entailed (oops). So what I’m saying is that, whoa – I’m kinda proud of myself for getting it together on time.

But more than that, I’m still awash in all the feels about the the festival itself. In a nutshell, even with a couple of late-presenting snafus, it went off beautifully, and I was thrilled with the shows. But more than that, I was thrilled with the connections that happened.

Friends came from across state and out of state. There were lots of hugs, and people got to reunite and to meet each other – some of them who had learned about each other just online. Makers met makers and talked about the things that makers talk about when you get them together. It was more than I could have hoped for.**

Looking down the barrel of the afterparty,*** I very much expected that when everything was put to bed this year, I would be exhausted. But instead I put it down feeling invigorated, inspired, and excited.

One of the things I do at festival is catch as much footage as I can of people talking about the festival. Mostly it’s because I love a souvenir (and also, it’s for grant apps), and there’s nothing nicer than a moving snapshot, hello. But also, it’s because I am a curious creature who’s generally engaged in some research, and primary sources are the best thing in the world for research purposes. So I asked questions – I asked about process, and about favorites, and about what it’s like to be a judge or a filmmaker, or an audience member. I asked What made you do this? I asked How does it feel on this side of the curtain? I asked What do you think about the short film format? I asked How did you pick your collaborators? And it turns out that I know some super smart people who have super smart answers, and I was bowled over, and humbled, and overjoyed to hear the answers.

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This is ridiculous. I have better machine juju than this. I am a fairly up-to-date, tech-savvy woman with a pretty good well of patience and the willingness to troubleshoot. I’m a child of the 70s who grew up with squealing, non-digital modems and those terrible Atari flat keyboards. I started learning back with BASIC on TRS80 stuff, and I have a solid decade or so under my belt of screwing around with external zip drives on some Macintosh business, and I can make an outdated version of Pagemaker stand up and sing. I have ProTools experience. I have been using a PC for over 15 years with a better-than-good success rate. I know how to use a soldering iron. I’m telling you, I have a looooong history with sussing out bugs and getting up to my elbows in workarounds and solutions. Also, I am priveledged to have Our Man Cub’s deep reserve of current computer know-how at my disposal. It SHOULD NOT BE SO DIFFICULT TO BURN A DAMNED DVD, Y’ALL.

Early on in the open submission period for Rabbit Heart 2014, I started to get these emails – submitters wanted to know what I recommended for burning a dvd that would work in the regular teevee-ready dvd player and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I had No Idea. Seriously, sister, I was clueless about the degree of difficulty involved. When I got these emails, I told the senders not to worry, and just send me an MP4 file, and that I’d take care of it from there. Probably the smartest thing I did through the whole festival, as it turns out. Midway through the judging, when swapping out dvds turned into a tedious process,* I turned all the videos into MP4s anyway and stuffed them on a thumb drive. And then I stopped thinking about it.

But the current project on my desk is making Rabbit Heart 2014 dvds. And I want them to be beautiful. I also don’t want to spend more money on software to make them than they will generate in dvd sales.

So I started with the software that comes with Windows 7. The design looks lovely, and I got really excited about it – I picked a front menu template that even has these sweet bunnies on it! It looks great! I can assure you that, but I can’t prove it, because it won’t burn. At 99% the dvd drive pops open and vomits up a blank disc.** The burner literally Can’t Even.

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Update from the office: I am stunned. Absolutely stunned. Kneeling in the middle of a valley of chaos, attempting to coax our most reluctant cat out from under the sofa

The office is a wreck. Every carefully stacked pile has been toppled. We will have to replace a carpet. Houseplants have been de-potted and there is dirt in every crevice. Gunther is under the sofa growling and moaning something like no-no-no-no-no, and it roughly translates into I’m Never Ever Coming Out From This Safe Place Ever Again. #catladyproblems

HO Tanager has been here.

It’s not so much HO – really, I’m sure she’s a very nice person – but that she stormed the office to drop off promo material* and a copy of her new book,** and apparently it was Bring Your Badger to Work Day, and no one notified me in advance. Did you know that badgers bark? And did you know, also, that cats do not appreciate badgers?

A badger! She has a badger – on a leash! Or, rather, she had a badger on a leash. Well, technically, the badger stayed on the leash, but the leash did not stay in her hand, and #omigod, sweet #motherofgawd, this office will never be the same.

Needless to say, I won’t be heading into Cambridge tonight, as I’ll be piecing the place back together. #truestory But you can catch up with her at the Cantab tonight, as I hear she’s going to see Cheryl Maddalena perform. #youarewelcome

HO has left for time being. Right now, I think I’m just going to pour more coffee on it.  #soblessed

***

*Please note, Doublebunny Press is not her publisher.
**Autograph Penis. Actually quite good. Did you miss 2011 Nats in Cambridge? It’s all right here, in living, vivid color.

This is the process: You get it wrong. You make adjustments. You get it wrong. You make adjustments. You get it wrong. You get lucky and see something that you didn’t see before, or you make a connection all of a sudden. Something different turns up wrong. You make adjustments.

And eventually, you not only get it right, but you understand how to do it right. And further down the road, you get good at it. Far down the road, you can even claim some mastery.

It’s the process. The process is probably law. Sister Corita Kent knew about the process. When she put together her rules for the Immaculate Heart College Art Department, number 7 was:

“The only rule is work.

IF YOU WORK IT WILL LEAD TO SOMETHING.

IT’S THE PEOPLE WHO DO ALL OF THE WORK ALL THE TIME

WHO EVENTUALLY CATCH ON TO THINGS.”

It doesn’t say anything in there about sussing out printer issues, but that’s likely because she was all about the letterpress.* If she had been a computer user, I’m 100% sure that there would be something specific about the printer.

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todays

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