life in the Kearsarge area

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

Archive for September, 2009

Foliage and chocolate

Picture 007 Walpole is a drive, but the destination is worth it: Burdick Chocolates. There are very few places that make their own chocolate (a shop in Newport and a shop in Woodstock made their own, but both closed last year) and there’s a huge difference between the waxy chocolates that sit on a shelf for…weeks…months…and something that was made on site that day. We didn’t buy much (it was very busy) but we did pick up a sampler box and some penguins for the kids. Then, on our way out of town, we see Walpole Creamery – their homemade ice cream is my all-time favorite. (I recommend the cinnamon.) Of course we’ve already eaten some chocolates AND a cookie, but we have to stop in to see where the ice cream is made…and get a scoop. If you decide to make the drive (an hour from the Kearsarge area and probably about 35 minutes from the Upper Valley), don’t plan on sticking to any diet. Picture 001

Fermented apples (and other fruit)

Picture 029 It’s not my favorite activity – loading the family into the car and taking a drive to see the scenery. (In this case, the foliage.) But I’m okay with it if we have a destination and, this time, we did: Silver Mountain Ciders in Lempster. Last summer, we picked up their product in Georges Mills and enjoyed it. Today we got to see how they made it. Cindy Brzezinski gave us a tour of the facilities and then my husband got to do the tasting. (We know that the apple wine has a real kick, so only one of us tasted.) Everyone is really nice, and you’re sure to find a flavor that you’ll enjoy. We picked up a few bottles, including two of Silver Mountain’s new flavors, to enjoy at home. Today Cindy and Steve Miner (shown in the photo giving a tasting) will be pitting peaches, with the help of friends and family, for another new fruit wine. Check them out at Picture 045

apples & more at Windy Ridge

Picture 004 Apple picking is an annual activity for anyone with kids. This year we left the Kearsarge area and made a drive to North Haverhill to Windy Ridge Orchard. Why? Because I heard that the cider donuts were amazing. (They were.) We picked a peck of apples, walked the nature trail, pet the animals (sheep and goats), shared a dozen donuts – all in a really scenic location. My favorite part of the day was when my husband yelled to our kids (playing on the swings) “Hey guys, it’s lunchtime!” and two little old ladies yelled back, “Great! Count us in!” I would have treated them to some donuts but they were leaving with several bags of their own. If you don’t mind an hour drive, I highly recommend the trip. We stopped at Farmway for some shopping on the way home and Colatina Exit for some pizza for dinner, so you can really make a whole day of it. Picture 011

Ah, fall

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Is it me or did the leaves change overnight? I drove out to Autumn Harvest Farm in Grafton today, and the trees were gorgeous along Route 114 and Route 4A. Now’s the time to see every color- not just the red swamp maples – and there were some striking oranges, but I didn’t get out of the car to take any photos. I was on a mission to get to the farm stand (open year round, by the way) to pick up some fresh vegetables. Not sure how I amassed $40 worth of locally grown and organic food, but I am sure what I am going to cook for dinner tonight: summer squash in butter and garlic. Mmmm, mmmm.

Home away from home

Picture 021 My son, out of the blue, started asking, “Where’s my tree house?” Now let me tell you that I fell for this trick already. Earlier this year, he would say, “I miss my fish.” So people would ask me – what happened to Henry’s fish? I said, he never had a fish – he just wants one. So I broke down and bought a little orange tank and two fish (the second for my daughter) and now I’m the sucker who has to clean the tank and remember to feed them. So when he started to ask about a tree house, I said things like, “Why don’t you draw one?” to get me off the hook. Well, he asked Grampa “Where’s my tree house?” and it didn’t take long for Grampa to start building one for the kids. Now they have this cute little loft attached to a shed in Grampa’s backyard. They’d live there if we’d let them. We’re thinking about it…maybe the fish could go, too?

My favorite things

Here’s what I like this September.

I like Morgan Hill Bookstore in New London. I had to spend an afternoon in a hospital waiting room, and I asked Peggy and Connie for a book suggestion. They recommended one – and it was the best book I had read in a long time. If you haven’t done it lately, patronize your locally owned bookstore IMMEDIATELY.

I like the Kearsarge Cooperative Grocer in New London. I’ve been a longtime believer in organic products – especially when it comes to your face – and I really like the fair trade skin moisturizer and the all natural eye makeup I bought there. My eyes aren’t stinging from ingredients I can’t pronounce! And my skin, if I’d lay off the chocolate they have right there at the check out counter, is surprisingly smooth around my recent chin break out.

I like New London Gallery. Not only are Sonia and Pete two of the nicest people I know, they are talented framers. I had a little unframed watercolor that I picked up in an artists coop a while back. It was already matted, and one of the mats was an odd gray-blue. Sonia and I talked about replacing it, but she found a frame to match it. And what do you know? That watercolor is truly striking. It is hung up by my desk and I look at it every day, and smile.

I like the Hair Station in New London. Donna, one of the owners, cuts my hair and she does a darn good job. But what I really like is that she knows when you want to talk, and when you want to sit there and just veg out. I was so tired last week that I couldn’t form a coherent sentence, and she didn’t make me. I also like the little neck massage she gives you after she washes and conditions your hair.

A two pound lunch box

Surprisingly, I do more shopping than I do eating, but I seem to write about the eating much more. Hmmm…I’ll have to backtrack and blog about some of the great new products I bought locally last week. I drove out to Canaan to check out a new gallery, but the show wasn’t open yet. (I was a week early.) So on the way home I stopped in Enfield to see how a new restaurant was doing. The Copeland Block building hasn’t had much luck with restaurants – Stecco lasted a year and Season’s didn’t finish their year. Now Kam King, a Chinese restaurant, is open, only using half of the former restaurant space.

Picture 001 The counter and signage looked suspiciously like a restaurant front in a mall – there are numbered pictures of all the food on the wall about the counter for easy ordering. I ordered #21, General Tso’s Chicken. I used the restroom (clean) and my meal was ready. There is some seating available, but I figured I would eat it in the car. (That way, if the food was awful, I wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.) The first thing I noticed was that the styrofoam box was heavy. What could be so heavy? Turns out that the weight was due to a  solid two cups of rice, then another two cups of chicken in sauce. It was a b-i-i-ig portion. But was it good? Sure was – it was fresh and hot. I did my best, but I couldn’t finish my meal. So the next time you’re in Enfield, give Kam Ming a try. They are located on 56 Main Street. Picture 005