Wallingnford Center
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts Newsletter
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Issue: # 12   July 2009

Well, June has been a busy month. I think it is for everyone - a transitional month with the weather, certainly, but also with the kids getting out of school (at last!), vacations to plan, and take. We have had a new baby born into our Crackerjack family; Ewa is now grandmother to baby boy Cannon James who arrived on Father's Day! It has been so touching to see his pictures and hear of the wonders he possesses!

Here at Crackerjack we've begun to get ready for our 23rd Annual Anniversary Sale beginning Saturday July 18th! If you can, come by on that first day for our Customer Appreciation Day, when we'll have all sorts of fun things going on - games, prizes and drawings - with a carnival theme! Of course there will be lots of items from our stock marked down to tempt you, as well as some special collections from our artists at reduced prices. So stop by early for the best selection!

This Wednesday, July 1st, is Wallingford Art Walk - a great time to amble through Wallingford, see some diverse artwork, and meet the artists. We will be hosting local artist Susanna Prince who will be showcasing her fused and slumped glass pieces - light fixtures, plates, votive holders and more. Susanna first came to us as a jeweler, and we will have a great selection of jewelry as well that night. And refreshments, of course!

And don't forget the summer pleasures of the Farmers Market, here at Wallingford Center every Wednesday from 3 - 7. Check inside the Center, too, as many of the stores run specials during the Market.


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Saturdays - now open until 8 p.m.!

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Upcoming Events
Susanna Prince

Wednesday July 1 -
Wallingford Art  Walk 6-8 p.m.

Featured Artist Susanna Prince

Susanna will be presenting an array of her unique fused glass pieces. Her work is not only functional, but highly inventive and beautiful, ranging from tabletop candleholders and plates, to overhead light covers.

She is also one of our most popular jewelry artists, crafting feminine pieces from sterling silver wire, pearls of many colors, Swarovski crystal and natural gemstones!

Join us Wednesday evening for a great selection, meet the artist behind the work, and enjoy some refreshments!

Wednesdays -Wallingford Center Farmers Market
is back every Wednesday, 3 -7 through Fall! Come enjoy local produce, pasta, meats, fish and baked goods - Yum! And don't forget to check inside for Market Day Specials at the various stores.

23rd Anniversary Sale - July 18 through August 2

Wednesday August 5 - Wallingford Art Walk 6-8 p.m.August's Featured Artist will be Cecelia Otto, our very local (Wallingford) jewelry artist, working with goldfilled wire, pearls and gemstones to create fanciful earrings.

Mark your Calendars for our Annual Kristin Ford Trunk Show: Saturday October 24, from 12 - 4

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Things to Celebrate!

July 1 -   Canada Day (Ay?)
July 2 -  Halfway Day (of the year! Oh my gosh!)

July 4 -  American Independence Day, 1776. Crackerjack closed in observance (one of only 5 days a year we are closed!)

July 6 -  Cherry Festival in Michigan. I remember the Best Cherry Pies!

July 7 -   Chocolate Day - wow! Cherries, then Chocolate! Have you tried the local Chocolati Dessert Truffles we carry? Fantastic!

July 8 - First public reading of The Declaration of Independence

July 10 -  Don't Step on a Bee Day (now that makes sense!)

July 11 -  My Mom's Birthday, and Swimming Pool Day, which, if you know my mom, is very appropriate.

July 14 -  Bastille Day - francophiles will be celebrating!

July 18 - Our 23rd Anniversary Sale Begins - see details below

July 20 - National Hug Your Kid Day - mine is in Alaska right now, so that may be difficult!

July 24 - Parents Day

July 25 - Merry-Go-Round Day - I feel like I'm on one most of the time, how about you?

National Independent Retailers Week is the 19th-25th


Yes, it is that time again! The holiday of summer; of red, white and blue. Of  fried chicken and potato salad. And fireworks and sparklers. It is the holiday that evokes thoughts of America's past, of a simpler time, of community picnics in the town square, with kids running around laughing, and a band playing John Phillip Sousa music in the bandstand. And then the awaiting of darkness, the quiet which descends upon the gathered as the first fireworks explode into the night sky, and the oohs and ahhs that are the uncontrollable sounds of the crowd's appreciation and awe.

Of course, there are as many ways to celebrate this uniquely American holiday as there are families. Being the melting pot that we are, I would assume that for many families, Fourth of July celebrations embrace favorite foods from their own family's past. Foods that are present at any celebration, be it wedding, birthday or a national holiday. Ewa, who has been at Crackerjack for six years now, emigrated from Poland with her husband and son in the late Eighties, and brought with her the recipe for a fabulous cold beet soup that is a beautiful magenta color. She says it is one of those recipes that every Polish family makes a little differently, some adding more vinegar, some omitting the hard boiled egg slices. When she served it to me the first time, I didn't know what a delight I was in for, but I loved the color, offset by the white and yellow of hardboiled egg slices and the green flecks of fresh dill. It would make a welcome addition to any summer meal! (see recipe below!)

I like that the Fourth of July has something of a community feel to it, that we celebrate it "out there" in the parks and on the beaches, rather than inside our private homes. And I hope that by sensing this, we can really celebrate the marvel of what America is - that melting pot we learned about in grade school, the place that welcomes. I think, growing up with this concept, we take it for granted, and forget that the rest of the world is not the same, even our Western friends. It does seem a uniquely American concept that has been realized, if imperfectly at times, in our national consciousness. And that, I believe, is something we should celebrate to the high heavens.

So bring on the fireworks!

NEXT MONTH:  Staying Cool

The week of July 19th through 25th is Independant Retailers Week, and I want to take the opportunity to say a special Thank You for supporting this independant retailer! I was recently made aware of the 3/50 project, which is dedicated to saving the bricks and mortars our nation is built upon. They ask you to think of 3 independantly owned businesses you'd miss if they were gone, and support them. They go on to say that for every $100. spent in independantly owned stores, $68. returns to the community through taxes, payroll, etc.  If you spend that in a national chain, only $43. stays here.  Sounds like a "win-win" to me!

Have a great July - don't forget our Sale beginning the 18th - and Thank You for your continued patronage of a local independent business and for supporting American handmade!

Kathleen Koch
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts

Ewa's Cold Beet Soup
1 bunch small young beets, with greens
t. salt
1t. sugar
1 to 2 t. white vinegar
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced (peel or score skin if desired)
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
1 bunch chives, chopped
4 c. buttermilk
2 c. plain yogurt
2 eggs, hardboiled, peeled, sliced

Thinly slice beets, chop beet greens. Place in saucepan with water to barely cover. Add sugar and salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until beets are nearly tender, but not overcooked. Add vinegar. Cool. Add radishes, cucumber, dill and chives. Add buttermilk and yogurt. You can adjust the proportion here for the consistency you prefer.

Chill thoroughly. Ladle into serving bowls, garnish with hardboiled egg slices and sprigs of dill.

Take outside and enjoy while viewing your garden!

Save 10% Additional Off any Item of Your          Choice, sale or regularly priced merchandise!                                                                                                
One coupon to a customer, please. Please present printed coupon before item is rung up. Limited to stock on hand. May not be combined with other offers and is not eligible for Customer Appreciation stamps.

Offer Expires: August 2,2009