Welcome to ELF!

ELF is the weekly entertainment and lifestyles publication brought to you by The Keene Sentinel. You’ll find lively features about local people, businesses and information on gardening, pets, healthy living, hobbies, antiquing and much more. Our Spotlight section includes local event listings and other activities to plan for a weekend of fun. More than 20,000 copies of ELF are distributed in the area. Please contact elfweekly@keenesentinel.com with any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you!

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Featured Stories


Body & Soul

Sally Wright felt she was being dragged to a tango class. A friend of hers said they would go out to dinner first and then to class.

If you’re anything like me, having grown up in the 1970s or 1980s, the chances are that your only exposure to roller derby came via films such as “Rollerball” and its ilk, where players are bent on causing as much bodily harm to their opponents as possible.

At Wondrous Roots, this time of year brings many through the door looking for remedies to help keep them healthy and/or fight an illness. Fortunately, there are several different options, usually depending on the individual. 

Different cultures have their own ways of observing the passing of summer and the arrival of the dark months of winter. Here, we have Halloween, with its attendant ghosts and Jack O’Lanterns. In Europe, on the other hand, they celebrate Bonfire Night, where the community gathers together to …


By Hand By Hobby

The sudden arrival and onslaught of arctic temperatures and plowable snow before Thanksgiving sent many in northern New England rushing to get out their snowblowers and winter parkas. But if you went to your closet and found your gloves from last year worn from too much shoveling, or one wen…

At the opening of Anne Francisco’s quilt show at the Historical Society of Cheshire County on Nov. 2, the exhibit hall was full of appreciative smiles. Visitors alternated between viewing the designs from a distance and going in close to see the stitchery of the quilts.

Just as ancestry.com can determine where humans came from, online testing kits can tell us the lineage of our canine companions — and potentially give them better lives.


Potpourri

Sun and the sand are primary reasons for heading, lemming-like, to the seashore in summer. The Maine coast around Kennebunkport has some of the best beaches in the Northeast, with miles of fine sand and gentle surf, but it also offers a variety of things to do when the sun doesn’t shine.

Get ready to see trucks topple and smoke pour out from hardcore motor vehicles at the 2018 Northeast Off-Road Jamboree. This annual event, hosted by Northeast Performance Diesel, is coming to the Cheshire Fairground in Swanzey on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, and will feature a number …

Half a decade ago, the Keene Lions Club started a program called the “Junior Lions.” Since then, more than 500 Keene High School juniors have joined at least four luncheon meetings each and participated in the Club’s activities.

When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, the event marked the passing of a civil rights icon whose legacy has only increased over the ensuing decades.


It Takes a Farm

There’s something in all of us that strives to revisit the old days of real Christmas trees, and the smell of fresh fir that comes with it. Face it — you’re just not going to find that in retail stores, with their glittery packages and plastic facsimiles of the real thing.

When looking to improve health and nutrition, the internet can be a blessing and a curse. The overabundance of information can intimidate just as quickly as it can inform.

It’s one thing to grow an unusual vegetable on your farm — it’s quite another when it is recognized as a new species. When your prodigy is selected as the state vegetable, then you’re in a completely different sphere.

With November upon us, preparations for Thanksgiving and Christmas are well underway, along with the shopping frenzy that they invariably entail. For some of us, that means braving the big box stores with their glittery shelves full of imported knick-knacks. Others, however, prefer to source…


Nest / Intrepid Gardener

I was originally going to write this week’s Nest column about candles, but I pushed that ahead after cleaning my chicken house over the weekend, looking for something in the cupboard of the bathroom vanity upstairs in my house and then chatting with a client of mine at Achille Agway. The com…

Oh, my goodness. I just realized in an ELF editorial meeting that this week’s Intrepid Gardener would be my next to the last for the season. Autumn is here and I haven’t yet determined what I’m going to rate this growing season.

How are your gardens looking? Now that we’re past Labor Day, it feels like summer is over and my gardens certainly look like it.


Outside My Door

The day after a near record-breaking cold snap swept through the region on Thanksgiving, my wife, Maureen, and I decided to do our first cold weather hike of the season with our dog Buck. We chose Fall Mountain in North Walpole because of its wide and easy-to-follow trail that leads to a fla…

Marlborough is a quiet little town, situated between Keene and Troy. Its main street is lined with quaint Victorian houses and various small businesses. It’s also the site of some beautiful natural locations, including small hills, forests, rivers and wetlands.

The Thanksgiving repast can leave most of us feeling sluggish, bloated and looking for some way to shed a few of those festive pounds. Luckily, the Harris Center for Conservation Education has just the thing to get you going, as it hosts its annual Post-Thanksgiving Hike Up Mount Caesar in Swanzey.


Pickin' & Pokin'

The other day in the office, a colleague and I were discussing chopped liver. Chopped liver sounds somewhat appealing to me… fried with onions at least. This wasn’t the chopped liver she was talking about, though. She was talking about Jewish chopped liver and I was insisting what she really…

A couple weeks ago, I headed out on one of my “pickin’” adventures on a cold Sunday morning to parts unknown about 40 minutes away from my Dublin home. Actually, my destination was known because I’d spoken to a guy on the phone who’d placed a Craigslist ad for an 8-foot harvest table for sale.

As I sat, thinking about writing an article on Thanksgiving traditions, I realized how intimate our memories can be around this holiday of coming together. For some reason, Thanksgiving seems to be a much more private holiday than most. 

She was born in Virginia, raised in Nebraska, lived the bulk of her life in New York and wrote about the American Midwest and Southwest – but Pulitzer Prize-winning classic author Willa Cather always had a huge place in her heart for the Monadnock Region.


The Dish

Editor’s Note: Ask Cake Breaker is a Dish column that connects the dots often found between food and relationships. Cake breakers were a kitchen tool popular in the 1950s. They look like decorative combs and were used to cut slices of delicate cake with the least amount of pressure. Cake Bre…

When Darci Hammer of Peterborough would go out with friends for coffee she usually sipped her drink while her friends enjoyed a croissant or pastry. Sometimes she would be lucky enough to score a gluten-free snack, but more often than not it was, in her own words, “usually awful.”


Spotlight

Antrim’s Festival of Trees is about community. Now in its ninth year, civic groups, individuals, businesses and schoolchildren of Antrim and the surrounding communities come together to create a dazzling display of seasonal finery that showcases the many talents and interests of the people t…

Reagan Messer, MoCo Arts director of dance, remembers when the organization’s holiday show was a modest production on the former Keene Middle School stage with very minimal sets and lighting. Today, the biennial “The Nutcracker” is a Christmas extravaganza, complete with projected backdrops,…