About Keri Girts

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So far Keri Girts has created 107 blog entries.

Senioritis 2021
April 28, 2021

Senioritis 2021 APRIL 28th - MAY 22nd Senioritis showcases the work of Falmouth High School art students. These graduating seniors present engaging, inspiring, and thought-provoking work in a wide range of media — drawings, paintings, pastels, prints, ceramics, and graphic arts.  This will be the 15th annual senioritis show at Highfield Hall, a tradition started by Jane Baker and Barbara Milligan in 2007 as a way to feature the artistic talents of the senior students in a beautiful setting. With the high school under renovation and the student gallery in a work zone, Highfield and FHS collaborated to [...]


Spring Minestrone with Meatballs
April 7, 2021

Week 51: RECIPES OF THE WEEK FROM OUR CULINARY DIRECTOR GAIL BLAKELY! This spring minestrone is adapted from Epicurious.com.  One of the reviewers says “it’s so good I make it every week!”.  I agree.  It’s very simple and very, very delicious.  The original recipe calls for 6 ounces of ground chicken (try to get dark meat, if possible), but I find that the meatballs are so good that I have doubled the amount—they tend to disappear before being added to the soup if you are not careful. The pasta I like to use is called Fregola, and it’s available [...]


Garden Tip 41:
March 24, 2021

Garden Tip 41:   EDGE THE LAWN Edging the lawn is one of the most rewarding and effective chores of spring garden clean up. The danger here is that cutting into the lawn every year can reduce your lawn area significantly over time. I avoid this problem by edging with a two step approach. I first cut a new edge with an edger just inside the garden bed so that the cut is in the bed and not in the lawn. Secondly, I use a hand cultivator to loosen the soil and pull it slightly into the bed exposing [...]


3 Holiday Side Dishes
March 31, 2021

Week 50: RECIPES OF THE WEEK FROM THE HIGHFIELD TEAM! This week the Highfield team (Gail, Lisa & Tara) have joined together to bring you a few different side dish options for your holiday meal. We believe you will find each one will bring a colorful addition to your table! I love pea salad in the spring and summer months, and a perfect side dish for your holiday meal.  It is quick, easy and always a crowd pleaser. There are many varieties out there and have adapted Mom on Time Out to my tastes and a reduced calorie diet.  I [...]


Garden Tip 40:
March 10, 2021

Garden Tip 40:   LET'S PLAY "PICK UP STICKS" One of my constant garden projects this past winter was picking up sticks. Many weeks had windy days with gusts that would continually do some deadwood cleaning in the oaks. It is surprising now to see how many of those twigs and sticks ended up in shrubs and smaller trees below. This is a good time to clean out winter debris that has collected in the understory plantings before new growth and foliage appear. Evergreens also have a tendency to collect leaves over the winter so a quick brushing with [...]


Pesto Baked Rigatoni
March 24, 2021

Week 49: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM OUR CULINARY INSTRUCTOR MICHELLE ITZKOWITZ I LOVE ANYTHING PESTO! This recipe has all of the ingredients for satisfying meal with elements of warmer weather that we can all welcome with open arms. Ingredients can be swapped out to make this easy dish gluten free, vegan, or both. For easier prep, you can toast the pine nuts or walnuts ahead of time– it also gives the dish a nuttier flavor. Recipe adapted from pinchofyum.com Email Gail


Small Works curated by Claudia Nimar
April 7, 2021

Small Works curated by Claudia Nimar April 7th - May 31st Every person deserves the color, texture and vibrancy a work of fine art can bring to a space. Small Works Art is a company, inspired by Claudia Nimar of Falmouth, dedicated to making petite, quality paintings accessible to the public. Small Works Art collects works from new and mid-career fine artists in the United States and makes it easy for you to fit the beauty of "small works" or miniature fine arts into your home or office. Even if your space is small it deserves a great [...]


Chicken Stew with Prunes
March 17, 2021

Week 48: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM OUR CULINARY INSTRUCTOR KAY BENAROCH This week's delicious stew recipe from Kay Benaroch is adapted from “Real Stew” by Clifford A.Wright and is perfect for cool spring evenings (or lunches!). It would be perfect served over couscous or enjoyed alone! If you prefer, the stew can be made with sweet potato instead of white potato or cubes of turnip or parsnip. Enjoy! Email Gail


Hats by Elsie: A Milliner’s Treasure
April 7, 2021

Hats by Elsie: A Milliner’s Treasure APRIL 7th - MAY 31st Highfield is excited to host this artful display featuring millinery tools, materials, and accessories from a New Bedford milliner’s business archive. Shown throughout the interior of the house, this exhibition will be a first-time look into the work and business of Elsie Rebello, a creative entrepreneur, mother, and teacher who at the age of 92, has never stopped making hats. A perfect welcome to spring, the exhibition is curated by Rita Pacheco, who has been the designer of Highfield Hall & Gardens’ Holidays at Highfield for three years. [...]


Dirt Cake
March 10, 2021

Week 47: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM OUR CULINARY INSTRUCTOR GAIL BLAKELY – A PLAYFUL AND DELICIOUS DESSERT! This past week we celebrated the birthday of a very talented and kind gentleman, our own Landscape Director, George Chapman. What could be more fitting than a Dirt Cake, complete with worms and a shovel? The recipe is an old one, and rather retro at that. It can be made in a trifle dish or in a 9 by 13-inch pan, whichever you choose. It could be put into small (clean) flowerpots—it serves about 10. You could also use Golden Oreos and [...]


Garden Tip 39:
February 24, 2021

Garden Tip 39:   TIME TO "LIMB UP" February and March are good months for pruning evergreen and shade trees in the garden. Trees planted five, ten, fifteen years ago have branches now that extend far beyond their original space. These branches bring shade to previously sunny areas and can affect the growth of lawns, perennials, and vegetables growing nearby. One way to to increase sunlight in the garden is to “limb up” evergreen and shade trees removing the lower branches to allow sunlight to filter in below. Pole pruners and pole saws are the best tools and safest [...]


Baked Potato Soup
March 3, 2021

Week 46:  RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM OUR CULINARY INSTRUCTOR GAIL BLAKELY – THE PERFECT COMFORT FOOD I came late to the party with this soup.  I have tried baked potato soup made by other people, and liked it, so I thought I would give it a whirl.  I was amazed at how good it was!  Depending on your garnishes, it can be strictly vegetarian, if you wish.  But I did the whole “loaded baked potato” version, using Kayem bacon, a new item in my supermarket.  Next time I served it, I sauteed some pancetta, and sprinkled that on [...]


Vegan Butternut Mac & Cheese
Feb. 24, 2021

Week 45:  RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LISA WALKER FEATURES VEGAN MAC & CHEESE I am not vegan, I’m not even vegetarian, but I am trying to reduce the amount of animal products my family and I consume. Sometimes it’s very easy to replace traditional foods with plant-based products, for example, burger night in our house now consists of Impossible Burgers or Beyond Burgers instead of beef burgers. I have also replaced the ground beef in our tacos and in our Bolognese with Beyond or Impossible beef – something that went completely unnoticed by my husband and children until [...]


Garden Tip 38:
February 10, 2021

Garden Tip 38:   SNOW IN THE GARDEN The snowstorm this past week dropped about five inches of heavy wet snow on the garden and many ornamental trees and shrubs were laid flat or splayed open. The following day temperatures remained in the twenties and the snow was like cement. The best way to handle trees and shrubs in this situation is to simply walk away. Plants are extremely brittle under these conditions and any attempt of snow and ice removal can cause cracking and breaking of branches. I have a yew hedge, azaleas, rhododendrons, arborvitaes, cedars and many [...]


The Best Shepherd’s Pie
February 17, 2021

Week 44:  RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM THE STAFF AT HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS, TARA BURKE. Adapted from Food Network Kitchens These cold rainy days have put me in the mood for a bit of comfort food!  And, one dish that is always at the top of my list is Sheppard’s Pie.  Growing up, Sheppard’s pie was a staple in our home, and while I will fondly remember it as the ultimate comfort food, I thought it was time to update this traditional dish, and turned to the Food Network Kitchens. There are a few extra steps in this [...]


Chicken in a Bag
February 10, 2021

Week 43:  RECIPE OF THE WEEK SHARED BY DIRECTOR OF EXHIBITIONS & PROGRAMMING, JOANNE INGERSOLL Roasting a chicken in a bag has been a standby in my household for years. Because I have family members with multiple food allergies and cooking with many of my favorite ingredients cannot be included, this method has several benefits. First, there is no need for basting or tending to the bird while in the oven, leaving you time to do other things (like laundry, or help kids with homework). Second, the bag seals the herb and lemon flavors so every mouthful is moist [...]


Week 37:
January 27, 2021

Week 37:   BIRDS IN THE GARDEN Feeding wild birds in the winter garden adds activity and interest to the landscape. The old adage “you get what you pay for” certainly rings true when it comes to buying wild bird food. Some commercial mixes contain a high percentage of fillers such as milo and wheat which are not appealing to most bird species and will result in a lot of wasted seed. A quality food mix leaves behind mostly empty shells. Many folk use straight sunflower seed for feeding and this can work very well. I prefer a mix [...]


Italian Chicken Vegetable Soup
February 3, 2021

Week 42:  RECIPE OF THE WEEK SHARED BY MEMBERSHIP MANAGER, KIM COURCHESNE FEATURES AN ITALIAN CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP (ADAPTED FROM WW.COM) As the weather gets colder, my family craves warm brothy soups. We especially love tasting ingredients like lemon juice and thyme in our dishes. The fresh seasonings smell wonderful and always brighten the meal. This Italian soup is brimming with healthy veggies and tastes delightful. It is my family’s go-to on Winter afternoons. For my soup, I enhance the original recipe (which is very forgiving) by adding another 6 cups of chicken broth. And I rarely use fat free [...]


Turn the Tide: Courtney Mattison
July 14, 2021

Turn the Tide: Courtney Mattison JULY 14th - OCTOBER 31st Highfield Hall and Gardens is pleased to collaborate with the Marine Biological Laboratory to bring artist Courtney Mattison to Falmouth for a unique summer 2021 exhibition. Turn the Tide explores the delicate beauty of coral reefs through the eyes of Los Angeles-based artist and ocean advocate, Courtney Mattison. Mattison hand-crafts intricately detailed and large-scale ceramic sculptural works drawing from her background in marine conservation biology and policy. Her glazed stoneware and porcelain wall reliefs and sculptural objects translate concepts from climate science into aesthetically compelling forms, bringing the [...]


January 27, 2021

Week 41:  This week's recipe is shared by Operations Manger, Keri Girts and features a Chai Layer Cake (adapted from The Little Epicurean). I made this recipe last week to celebrate our Director of Programs & Exhibitions, Joanne Ingersoll's birthday, and it tasted as good as it looked! I added fresh raspberries after icing the cake for a little pop of color and a little tartness to contrast with the sweet. The entire staff thought it was amazing! Email Gail

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