Where is the best place to stop for a great farm to table meal? How about your local farmers’ market! Tuesday was a clear beautiful but hot summer day and my little guy and I decided we’d try some local fare. We headed off to the Bedford Farmers’ Market located at 190 Meetinghouse Rd behind St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Bedford, New Hampshire. This was a large sized farmers’ market. It had several vendors selling produce but it also had a local fish monger (who I’ll discuss more about in my Merrimack Farmers’ Market post) a brewery of beer and hard cider, a craft booth, dairy free frozen treats, fresh pressed olive oil, maple syrup and a food truck. One vendor even mentioned they usually have live music. I’ll have to go back to check that out.
While we were there we got fresh cherries, blueberries and broccoli to make baby purees. The recipe I used for the blueberry puree is below. The head of broccoli was so large my husband and I had some with our dinner the next day. We purchased the cherries and blueberries from a farmer called Apple Hill. They are out of Concord New Hampshire. The fruit was very sweet and tasty. I snacked on them while making my little guy’s purees. We also acquired broccoli and zucchini from a farm called Rockey Ole Farm also out of Concord. The veggies were excellent and the folks running the booth were so kind. They were chatting up my little guy and he was all smile and wiggles in his baby carrier. ❤ Check out Apple Hill Farm at http://www.applehillfarmnh.com/ . Check out Rockey Ole Farm at http://www.rockeyolefarm.com/.
Another treat as I mentioned above that my husband and I enjoyed was from a local Brewer, Pup’s Cider. They were selling beer and hard cider. The hard cider was crisp and dry. I found it refreshing and a large step away from the commercially produced ciders which can be overly sweet in my opinion. I enjoyed sipping it on the warm evening on our deck with a nice local fish dinner. My husband had the American Pale Ale. That was served chilled. It was refreshing with dinner. It was a bit on the sweeter side but good. More about Pup’s Cider company can be found here http://www.pupscider.com/SHTM/HOME.htm.
Bedford Farmers’ Market was definitely a fun shopping trip for me and my little guy. There was plenty of shade and lots of nice people out for some local dinner shopping. I can’t wait to go back and grab more goodies! ❤
Place a sauce pot on your stove and add the water to the pot.
Turn the burner on high and add a steaming insert into pot.
Wash blueberries. When water is boiling add blueberries to steaming insert.
Steam for 5 minutes.
Remove berries from insert and place into food processor. Puree till smooth consistency.
Divide puree evenly into silicone ice cube tray.
place plastic wrap on the top.
Freeze over night.
Serve completely thawed or frozen in baby fruit pacifier.
Thaw by placing in lidded mason jar the night before serving. Ensure completely thawed before serving.
Always supervise baby carefully when they are eating.
Check back in next week to hear about our adventure at the Merrimack Farmers’ Market. If you enjoyed this blog please like, comment or share. You can also find more from me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This weekend I made way over to the Made in NH expo. It was fantastic. Lots of great New Hampshire crafters made it out. It had a large variety of options to check out food, wine, photography, baby clothes, ballroom dance lessons and more! I had a great time exploring.
I discovered while I was there, a local artisan who made soap. This may not seem very impressive but the woman made soap products from local brew!! Beveridge Soap Company is a small home based business producing artisan soaps. They use local breweries beers to make soap. I got their Cape Ann Brewing Pumpkin Stout Beer soap for myself and their Dude made with White Birch’s beer. Dude has a clean man smell to it my hub and I love. They aren’t just limited to beer soaps either. They also offer a wine soap from LaBelle and a chocolate soap. Candles and shampoos are also available!
I find this to be a cool man gift! So if you are looking check out: http://www.soapguildstores.com/BeaverRidgeBathandBody/Default.aspx
Tasting New Hampshire’s local drinks has offered me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. People who are passionate about their work, as well as the products and services they provide. One such family, who are excited to share the product they make, is the Eaton Family. They own and operate Sweet Baby Winery.
Sweet Baby has all the charm anyone would love to find in a local business. When my husband and I walk into Sweet Baby we were greeted by Lewis Eaton himself. Personally I love this touch in neighboring businesses. It gives one the feeling you are entering a friend’s house for drinks. This is what I found when I visit Sweet Baby. Sweet Baby was hopping with guests trying the deliciously smooth wines offered as well as enjoying wedges of cheese and crackers with their wine. Bob Marley jammed on the iPod in the background and the atmosphere was so easy going, groups who had never met were mingling and chatting about New Hampshire and wine. Not to mention the setup of the room. It’s gorgeous. It’s very clean rustic with handmade tables and comfy couch.
Let be honest though, a good vibe is great and all but this blog is about wine. So let’s talk about wine. Sweet Baby had a delicious offering of wines available for tasting. All of which I enjoyed but I’m gonna pick out some of my favorites to share with you. Kensington White was a crisp refreshing white wine. This wine would pair really well with relaxing on the porch on a warm summer day. Since summer is coming this delight will be found in my house soon! Sweet Baby’s Marechal Foch is grown right in New Hampshire on the Eaton property in Kensington. It was excellent. It had a really smooth finish unlike most Marechal Foch. I never thought a wine could have a nutty flavor but Sweet Baby’s Pear wine which is a light semi sweet wine with a fun peanuty finish. Love this wine!! Lastly a wine I can’t pass up when it’s available… Blueberry wine! This wine was wildly blueberry! It was not overly sweet and it had a really smooth finish.
Needless to say I had a great time at Sweet Baby and was definitely impressed. The new building is fantastic. The tasting room was like a little friendly gathering. As I said it felt like a Saturday afternoon at a friend’s house. Oh and don’t miss out the Eaton children have their own side business at the tasting room, selling fresh eggs. The sign is on the hallway wall as you walk up into the tasting room. Who can pass up fresh eggs!
According to Men’s health Manchester, NH has an A rating for happiness only beaten out by Honolulu, which let’s be honest sunshine and happiness are in the air and water in Hawaii, but New Hampshire has had this silly reputation for being cold and wet. Many people think it snows all year here, that’s only on Mount Washington and I don’t think they will let you live up there and from someone who’s hiked it, trust me, you don’t want too!
So how has Manchester beat out cities in California, Texas and sunny Florida? Well Men’s Health did some statistical research based on the suicide rate, the unemployment rate and the number of people on antidepressants and Manchester fell in second place. Is this because we are a freer state? Is it because we enjoy our weather and all of it challenges? Are we just healthier? Are we more innovative? I’m not sure. Let me know what you think…
As part of my drinking around New Hampshire Series, I thought I would share this amazing bit of prestige for Throwback Brewery, one of New Hampshire’s nanobreweries… Throwback has won the title of being 1 of the 10 best nanobreweries in the US according the Bon Appetit Magazine! Congratulations Throwback! Your brews have always been enjoyed in my home!
Hundred Nights is an emergency cold weather shelter in Keene New Hampshire, open from December through March. This shelter, started by Don Primrose in January 2010, is a volunteer/ donation run charity. They offer a resting place on cold nights for those who have been displaced or are homeless. They cater to individuals and families.
On March 30th they are hosting their 2nd annual Hundred Nights’ Masquerade Ball. This event will be to help raise money for the shelter. It will include dinner, a cash bar, dancing and a silent auction. Tickets are $40 with a guest purchased before the event or $50 at the door. Please check this event out. It’s a fun night out and great way to give back to the New Hampshire community!
Mom Prom is a nationwide event that came to New Hampshire three years ago. It was started in Canton, MI with a desire to raise money for a local charity and for women to have a great night out. Women get together to get dressed up in their best or tackiest dress and bring awareness to a charitable cause, in New Hampshire they are raising money for St. Joseph’s Breast Cancer Center.
On April 20th Mom Prom Nashua will be hosting there 3rd annual Mom Prom event. It will include snacks, one drink ticket with a cash bar, dancing, a photo booth, and a silent auction. Tickets are $50. This event will help kick cancer out of our lives and help improve the quality of care offer to patientsfighting breast cancer. Please check out this event! It’s great night out for women!
Local shopping isn’t limited to the little locally run shops downtown. They are great and I recommend checking them out to everyone but what about locally made shopping? The stay at home mom who knits the cute caps, the local wood carver who creates bears from logs or the local farm who turns seeds into veggie feasts, they aren’t always easy to find. We search the net, craft sales and expos to find these fun treasures.
So I’ve found a few for you to check out.
Castle Berry Fairs is host 3 different local crafts events around New Hampshire.
These are great opportunities to check out local crafters and find some great gift but that’s not it. Don’t forget to check out NH Made’s website. They have a great calendar for local events. They offer links for the farm to restaurants connections, NH Farmers’ Market Association, NH Winery Association, New Hampshire Cheese Maker Guild and more. This is a really exciting site for NH goods, products, and events.
This last event I’m really excited about, it’s the 18th annual Made in NH Expo. It offers a wide variety of New Hampshire Services and products wines, desserts, chiropractors and more. The current list of vendors seems endless. It is April 5-7. Tickets are just $9 for endless tastes of NH. It is being held in Manchester at the Raddison.
New Hampshire has an ever growing local wine industry. Currently there are about 21 wineries in New Hampshire that have wine you can purchase locally, whether it is from the grocery store, the state liquor store or directly from the winery itself. The New Hampshire Winery Association has even published a map of all of the wineries in the state.
Of course wine drinking doesn’t stop at local wines, although they are amazing. New Hampshire does provide a state liquor store on most major highways. Wine can be purchased at the grocery store and even local wine shops, like the WineNot Boutique in Downtown Nashua or the Wine Studio in Manchester. If you’re in a pinch some beer stores like Beer Store NH also offer wine. There is always the gas station which often sells wine as well.
Oh course now we are all curious where I’m going with this, well here it is… WMUR posted on their website that New Hampshire has the #3 highest wine consumption rates per capita per state. Now #1 was DC, which, well to be frank isn’t a state since we only have 50 states not 51. With that said New Hampshire is still really high on the list. So is this because we are super wine drinkers or is it because Mass, Vermont and Maine jump the border to buy their wine here because it’s cheaper or does New Hampshire really enjoys their wine? I can’t say for sure but I found the stats interesting. Check out the link below for WMUR’s post.
Every year as winter begins to lose its bite and the temperature starts to break away from freezing during the day and creep into the forties maple trees start to produce their sweet sap. At this time collection of the clear fluid begins by a tap in the tree collecting the sap in a bucket or by piping it to a collection station. The sap is brought to the sugar house where the sap is turned into syrup by boiling the water out of the syrup. 35-50 gallons of sap is needed to make just one gallon of maple syrup depending on the sugar count in the sap. The syrup this then filtered and bottled for us to take home and enjoy.
New Hampshire will be celebrating the Maple Syrup production process on March 23rd and 24th when over 110 sugar houses will be opening their doors to celebrate and educate us about the sweetest food found in New Hampshire. The weekend will include learning how maple syrup is made, samples, horse- drawn rides and of course pancake breakfasts. Make sure to check out your local sugar house!
When most people think about potatoes they think Maine or Idaho but what about New Hampshire’s potatoes? I’m not talking about who’s the most prosperous potato producing state in the industry, but who has adopted the white potato as their state vegetable. New Hampshire has as of mid-February.
Why the potato, you may ask? Well a group of fourth graders from Derry Village School in Derry, New Hampshire were research the white potato when the discover the place the white potato first grew in North America was Nutfield, New Hampshire now known as Londonderry, the birth place of General John Stark. I’m not suggesting he or his family grew the first potato but it was first planted by an Irish-Scottish immigrants. The state of Virginia weighed in on this, claiming that Virginia grew the first potato but they have since withdrawn their claim. The students requested the state house make the white potato the state vegetable. After some debt about the potato and a consideration for broccoli as the state vegetable the students request was approved.
So a little about white potatoes… White potatoes also sometime called Irish Potatoes. Potatoes are edible starchy tubers. They are in the night shade family with bell peppers, tomatoes and eggplant. They were first brought to Europe after the invasion of South America. They were adopted into the English and Irish diets. When the Irish were migrating to North America they took this dietary staple with them and began producing in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire no longer grows potatoes commercially but they can be purchased as part of the fall harvested at most local farmers markets. They can also often be purchased at winter markets because they store well in root cellars or a cool dry location.
For those of you curious the state fruit is the pumpkin as of 2006!!
Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Dump the potatoes on a baking sheet and spread out into 1 layer; roast in the oven for at least 1 hour, or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, season to taste, and serve