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Archive: Nov 2015

Thanks and Giving

  1. Thanks and Giving

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    This year I’ve been researching my ancestry.  Many (many) years ago, when I was in fourth grade, my great grandmother wrote to me  relaying all she could remember about my family history that intersected with her part of the family.  One thing she revealed was that we had direct descendants who arrived on the Mayflower.  At the time I didn’t consider the magnitude of this information, which I was finally able to confirm this year (at some point I will write more about this).  At this time of year I can’t help but reflect on the importance of that first feast of thanksgiving.  Little is really known about it, but one thing we do know is that those hearty souls experienced nothing like the bountiful tables around which so many of us are now privileged to gather.

    This year I especially give thanks to my Soule, Mullins and Alden family members (and all the pilgrims) who traveled to this new world and were a part of that first autumn feast, shared with their Native American allies who graciously helped them learn to live in this new land.   As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, may we pause and give thanks for living in a blessed nation that still offers people seeking freedom and opportunity a place to call home.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    In coming days I’ll post some new favorites, but first I want to share (again) our family’s favorite Thanksgiving menu (link to the recipes are below)!


    Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter

    Apple Cider Gravy

    Apple-Chestnut Stuffing

    Smashed Red Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions

    Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

    Crème Brulee in Sweet Dumpling Pumpkins

    THE RECIPES:  A Local Thanksgiving Feast — menu & recipes

    Give Thanks

  2. Introducing The Mansions Collection

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    Mansions Logo cropped

    Local Goodness is thrilled to introduce The Mansions Collection — a stunning collection of items created by local artists inspired by the history, grandeur and artistry of The Mansions on Fifth.

    About the Mansions on Fifth

    Along a busy road in a Pittsburgh neighborhood are stunning remnants of the city’s gilded age.  In this stretch of Fifth Avenue, known as “Millionaires Row,” lie two homes that once housed the family of Willis F. McCook.  An industrialist and one of the nation’s first corporate lawyers, McCook was Henry Clay Frick’s attorney, representing him in Frick’s celebrated fight with Andrew Carnegie.  After the McCook family, the Mansions were home to the Bonavita family who, shortly after moving into the mansion, began renting rooms on the second and third floors to carefully screened university students from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Chatham. For more than 50 years, hundreds of students came to call the McCook Mansion home.

    In 2004, a fire broke out on the third floor of the McCook Mansion, causing substantial  damage to the third floor and the roof, rendering the building uninhabitable.  It sat vacant until Mary Del Brady and Richard Pearson embarked on a long journey to restore the property with an unwavering commitment to preserving as much of the historical detail and integrity of the Mansions as possible. In her new chapter as a luxury boutique hotel, the Mansions on Fifth is now available for all of us to experience the history, grandeur and artistry of this city’s rich industrial past.

    Mansions God of Fire

    God of Fire – adorns the Mansions’ dining room fireplace

    In 2015, Local Goodness joined forces with the Mansions to create a gift line of unique items created by  local artisans.  The Mansions Collection is the result of this effort and on November 29, 2015, the Mansions will unveil the inaugural artists and their exquisite items at a special shopping event.  All items in the collection are available on the Local Goodness Marketplace.  Proceeds support local artisans and historic preservation.