life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for June, 2009

They taste like candy

Despite the pouring rain and the lack of an umbrella yesterday, I left the warmth of my car to stop at Springledge Farm in New London. It’s strawberry season. I usually pick my own, but the smell of the berries was intoxicating. My son and I ate the entire box. So I pulled out my jelly jars from last year, did a quick count, and went back down to farm stand and bought three more boxes of berries for $5.99 each. I left them in a big cardboard box so the kids wouldn’t see them (and they would actually make it to the jelly making process).

I got up at 5 a.m. this morning and prepped the fruit. Five cups of strawberry mash – oh, the delicious smell! – was on its way to strawberry jelly. I just finished cleaning the kitchen, and eight jars are sealing now. I have some strawberries left, so I pulled out the rhubarb in my freezer and I think I can squeak out one more batch of jelly.

I didn’t make strawberry jelly last year (somehow missed the season), but I did make raspberry for the first time in a long time. That batch was my favorite – I think over the course of the year I ate three jars by myself. But my blueberry has a solid fan base, so I’m saving the rest of my jars for them. Does anyone know if all this rain will make better berries? (Or will be get caught short if the plants don’t get some sun?)

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A really great business sign!

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You’ve got to admit – you probably haven’t seen a business sign like this before. The airborne snowmobile marks the business of Tim Hibbard-matics in Lempster. Look for it the next time you’re driving on Route 10.

How about a side of garlic sauce?

Picture 048 I’ve driven by the restaurant many times, and FINALLY I was able to stop in. (I say finally because one time I drove by it was 9 a.m. – of course they are not open. Then the next time I had just finished an interview for an article and I had to rush home…no time for lunch. Then I went on a drive with my mother, but we, duh, ate lunch before we got to town.) But today the open sign was out and I pulled right into the Que Pasa parking lot. Que Pasa is a cozy little restaurant in Henniker that serves Mexican, Latin andAmerican food. Well, I’m all about the nachos, as you know, so I ordered a plate of El Pasa nachos with house-cut tortilla chips, melted cheeses, jalapenos, black olives and Que Pasa garlic sauce. The plate came out piled high – really I’ve never seen anything like it – and I wasn’t quite sure if I should start with the crispy edges or the cheesy middle. And, yes, I took a picture (as I do of all my meals): Picture 049

Never seen nachos like this before? Well, you haven’t tried them with Brendan Walsh’s garlic sauce. Jim (his brother) says that he doesn’t like particularly like the sauce, but if they removed it from the menu there would be a revolution. I can see why. The handmade chips were light and salty and the sweet garlic sauce was a great balance. Throw on some salsa (green or red) and you had the perfect bite. I did my best to finish the plate, but I did end up bringing some home. (The waitress, I’m so sorry I didn’t write down her name, was extremely nice and packaged everything up for me…even the sour cream!)

Was it worth the wait? You betcha. Get your own plate next time you’re in town, maybe enjoy it in the outdoor seating area, and don’t forget to get a side of sauce to go. (Thanks, guys!)

I think I’ll learn how to sew

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I’m handier with a spatula than I am with a needle, but a trip to Quilted Threads on Main Street in Henniker made me want to learn a new hobby. The new shop is really very beautiful. I spoke with the owner, Rebecca, briefly and she said she just moved to this new location last September. There’s a lovely gallery upstairs, where I took photos of the quilts on exhibit, and lots of classroom space. But what I really liked was that many of the kits on display had a final (already made) product with it. It was nice to see exactly what you were going to make. Problem is, I can’t sew and I just wanted to buy the display item! Can’t do that…so I was wracking my brain to figure out who I could buy a kit for…and ask them to make one for me! Any takers? There was a really cute hobo purse…

See more at http://www.quiltedthreads.com – and don’t be alarmed if you accidentally click on “strip clubs.” It’s not what you think!

I’m molding

I know that the calendar says summer, but am I supposed to be content with these brief slivers of sunshine? I’ve been cooped up in the office for a week now, planning editorial for two magazines and doing a bit of writing myself. But I’m leaving the computer on Wednesday, rain or shine. I’m going to take a road trip and see what’s new. Stay tuned.

Summer means lobster roll

Picture 026 It’s a humid 78 degree day and, although school isn’t out yet, I’m feeling like summer. As I’m looking at the Sophie & Zeke’s menu (the photo is my view out the dining room window), one item jumps out out me: lobster roll. Add some fries and that is one good summer lunch. I had to skip dessert (boo) because the portions were so big. Diane ordered the haddock sandwich (HUGE) and brought all her sweet potato fries home. We eyeballed pastries at Stone Arch Bakery and chocolate bars at Green Acres, but just couldn’t make the leap.

It was my first visit to the new S&Z location, and I liked the larger dining area, the window seating (two sides instead of just one) and got a peek at the conference space, which must be really handy for lunch meetings. The flower arrangements throughout the restaurant (like the one below) were done by Floral de Vine, also in Claremont. Picture 024

New face for an old space

Picture 023 A basement flood made a church unusable, but a Claremont family with construction know-how have turned the former building into a quilting shop. Four Pines Quilting, located on 24 Crescent Street, kept the steeple on the outside, but completely renovated the inside to hold a quilting machine, classroom space, yards and yards of fabric, and details of all kinds. It’s become the meeting place for the Pine Needles Stitchers Guild, a group of talented local ladies, and a great place for newbies to learn. You can drop in any Wednesday night at 6 p.m. and learn to quilt; there’s also a Stack-n-Whack class and open sewing afternoons. Learn more at http://www.fourpinesquilting.com. Picture 020