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THE NOURISH LETTER
Meet the Team Behind Your Meals SEPTEMBER 2021
OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042
The coolest thing about learning of your heritage isn’t just the history itself — it’s learning about the enormous obstacles your ancestors had to overcome. Most days it feels like you probably invented being human, but that’s hardly the case! I started learning about the Finney’s deep family roots in the New England area in third grade. My grandfather and father took me up to New Hampshire to the old Finney family dairy farm and I was about 8 years old, so I was nonchalant about the visit. Yet, I got to see where my grandfather grew up as a boy and hiked up Mount Cube and even into the Appalachian Trail. My dad would point in the distance and say, “That’s Smarts Mountain, and that’s Pickle Pond where we go fishing …” And then, he’d point out over 100 acres of forestland that we used to own. From that point on, as I grew older, I always had a deep connection to that place. As an adult, I started to become more curious about the family farm (which didn’t belong to the family anymore) and how we got here. That’s when I discovered the Finney family lived on the farm for over seven generations and our stay in America was even longer. If you can believe it, we found the log inscribed with the name of the first Finney to sail to America from England, back in 1638. That’s nearly 140 years before the founding of America, starting when a woman named Mary Finney and her son arrived in Barnstable, 1638: THE YEAR THE FIRST FINNEY MOVED TO AMERICA
Massachusetts, along Cape Cod. Eventually, a John Finney joined her and was notated as one of the “wolf hunters” in one of the original colonies (because wolves were such an ordinary, daily problem!). They ended up migrating to Connecticut sometime between 1670 and 1700, although portions of the family moved out to Rhode Island. How do we know this? Several years ago, my dad and I checked out the archives of Lebanon and Hebron, Connecticut, ourselves. Sure enough, we discovered Finneys that had fought in the Revolutionary War and Civil War. We also found the name of one of my great-great-grandfathers who was a witness to both the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack, which was history’s first naval battle between ironclad warships. Then, we acquired land in New Hampshire in 1784 and seven generations of Finneys grew up there. It began to fall into disarray when, unfortunately, my great-grandfather died suddenly and my grandfather had to run the dairy farm with his mother, aunt, one brother and sister. They stuck it out for a few years before the work overwhelmed them.
Most days it feels like you probably invented being
human, but that’s hardly the case!”
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Say Goodbye to Excess Salt, Sugar and Groceries Adell and Jerry’s October Kitchen Story
The more I learned about family history, the more I realized how much hardship we survived — America’s history of wars, famine, hardship and tragedy is certainly a mix of luck and perseverance. For example, there’s a harrowing recorded story of the two newlywed Finneys horseback riding from Connecticut to New Hampshire. At the time, they were moving outside of the city and there weren’t many ways to tell where you were going. They traversed hundreds of miles, laid out a footpath and struck up a log cabin before a full house was built. I can’t imagine what that must’ve been like. We’re pretty lucky to still be around, even just in the past couple generations. My dad has had numerous close calls with death, from falling off a third-floor Jerry, and their daughter bought them a three-month supply to try it out as a Christmas gift. After giving us a try, they absolutely loved it and kept the membership for good! They find it’s perfectly cost- effective, since they often share a single portion between themselves, and skip grocery trips altogether. “The delivery service during COVID-19 was a godsend,” Adell shared with a laugh during a phone interview. “We didn’t have to go shopping and our daughter and son-in-law didn’t have to worry about us. They knew we were always having good food.” They especially love that we’re always on time. “If we’re out for an appointment, our daughter will watch for the delivery and bring it inside, but the food is also iced and stays fresh before we’re home to put it away.” Living 25 minutes away from October Kitchen’s brick-and-mortar location,
They eventually packed up, moved to Hartford and started new lives there while Hartford’s tall buildings and skyscrapers were just being built. The family still owned some land in New Hampshire at that point. Every summer, my grandfather and his brother would go up to the forests, cut wood and sell the lumber to pay for the land taxes. That changed during the Great Depression, when money was tight and necessary. While my grandfather sold off most of the forest, luckily, he didn’t sell one acre of the forest. In the middle of his life, he and four buddies built a hunting cabin with an outhouse and well. He loved using that cabin for many decades. My dad has clear-as-day memories of hunting there with him. ... continued from Cover Adell enjoys cooking, but shopping at a grocery store wasn’t a fun experience for her anymore. Even if the shopping was done for her, there was another problem: Since Adell and her husband, Jerry, were living in a mother-in-law suite in their daughter’s home, she cooked family meals that appeased her four grandchildren. But at Adell and Jerry’s age, the grandparents shouldn’t really eat the same as their grandchildren. Then, Jerry had congestive heart failure — and Adell knew their diet had to change. In 2018, they learned about October Kitchen through Andy, a member of their church. After Andy’s wife died, he wasn’t eating right. His doctor told him that he needed to change his habits and recommended us by name! It changed Andy’s life by helping with weight loss and healthier living. He shared his experiences with Adell and
it’d be a lot more difficult to get fresh orders in person.
porch when he was little (his pants got caught on a loose bolt, saving his life!) to narrowly avoiding becoming a victim of the Hartford Circus Fire in 1944 (they missed the trolley and it was too hot to attend that day). Today, the original Finney farm no longer exists, since it burnt down in the 1950s. Legend says that a drunkard Frenchman bought the land and ended up letting it catch on fire. Although buying land is a much taller order in modern times than it used to be, my dream is to someday buy the land back — I’d love to continue our legacy there. Overall, the reduced salt in their diet has been huge — Jerry’s nutritionist loves us! “The October Kitchen meals are perfect for him: high in protein and good vitamins.” And Adell loves Chef Paul’s creativity. She loves the variety of our menu, but what surprised her the most was that the food was so, so delicious. “They cut back on the sugar and you don’t miss it. You don’t feel like you’re cheated out of anything because it’s so good and so fresh.” Thanks so much, Adell and Jerry, for all your support and sharing your experience with us! We love that we’ve been so helpful to you. Your kind words mean the world to us!
LAND OF THE FREE, OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL
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How This Bookstore Is Helping Young Adults Achieve Their Dreams Have you ever applied for an entry-level job that requires experience, whether due to increased competition or otherwise? It can be very frustrating, but it’s even more challenging for young people with special needs, who typically have short resumes or may face other stigmas to getting work. In the town of Cheshire, Connecticut, a newly opened bookstore called Re-Read Books & More is looking to change that in its community — and bring in a huge variety of books and genres to readers of all ages. A volunteer told Fox 61 News, “We never had a bookstore like this in Cheshire for probably decades and whenever we get a customer, they say, ‘Oh, I love your bookstore.’” In the modern age, you may be wondering how another brick- and-mortar bookstore could possibly fare against its online marketplace competitors. The truth is that the expenses are pretty low, as executive director Hope Reinhart explained, “The nice thing about Re-Read Books is that all our inventory is donated, so we don’t have that expense of filling up our store.” So, what’s the real origin story behind Re-Read Books? As a conviction built to raise awareness for young people with special needs, the Connecticut Community Empowerment Foundation was formed. As members started to think of ways to help improve these peoples’ lives, Re-Read Books was born. “There are lots of benefits to employing individuals with special needs. To begin with, whenever anyone is productively engaged in any area of occupation, it helps with their self-esteem.” Re-Read Books has been the talk of the town, and the staff intends to work hard to keep it that way. With educational workshops for families and various social activities, Re-Read Books employees are striving to become a safe haven for families to interact and benefit from the whole community, not just provide opportunities for those who may feel more vulnerable than others in the job market. One proud employee said, “The best parts about working here are my coworkers, my job coach and just seeing people who I know in town.” It’s definitely a local success story to remember in 2021!
FALL GOLDEN GRANDPARENTS HARVEST LABOR MAPLE SPORTS WINDY WRITE US A customers and we strive to give you a spectacular experience every time. As a small business, we rely heavily on customer testimonials to let others know about our service. We would be eternally grateful if you’d take a minute to share your experience as an October Kitchen customer on Google by scanning the QR code below. REVIEW We appreciate our loyal
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309 Green Rd. Manchester, CT 06042
INSIDE Why My Family History Shocked Me
This Couple Needed a Diet Change — Then They Found Us!
How This Bookstore Is Helping Young Adults Achieve Their Dreams
Willie the Parrot: The Ultimate Danger Alarm
WILLIE THE PARROT: THE ULTIMATE DANGER ALARM
Willie began squawking and shrieking, saying the words “Mama! Baby!” over and over again. In a matter of moments, Meagan knew something was wrong. She rushed to the kitchen to find a very frantic Willie and a very blue Hannah. Meagan jumped into action. She grabbed Hannah and performed the Heimlich maneuver until the Pop-Tart piece dislodged itself and shot out of her mouth.
Willie the Quaker parrot was a pretty remarkable bird. Like many parrots, he had a knack for mimicking certain sounds and words, including barking dog noises, human kissing noises and a fair share of swear words. However, what made Willie a hero one day was not just what he said, but also when he said it. Meagan Howard, Willie’s owner, brought him over to her friend Samantha Kuusk’s house while she babysat Kuusk’s little daughter, Hannah. Hannah and Willie were both in the kitchen while Meagan prepared a Pop-Tart for Hannah’s breakfast. After placing the Pop-Tart on the table, Meagan stepped away to use the bathroom. While she was away, however, Hannah got her hands on the Pop-Tart and began to scarf it down, lodging a piece in her windpipe. She started choking and was unable to signal to Meagan that something was wrong. Luckily, Willie came to the rescue.
Meagan may have been the one to stop Hannah from choking, but she insists that Willie was the real hero of the story. If he hadn’t used his unique mimicking skills to get Meagan’s attention, she doesn’t know what would have happened. It’s worth noting that before that incident, Willie had never used the phrase “Mama! Baby!” before. He knew something was wrong and he knew how to get help.
Shortly after the incident, Willie received the local Red Cross chapter’s Animal Lifesaver Award for his heroic actions.
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