life in the Kearsarge area

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

Archive for March, 2015

LJ’s maple granola recipe

I had a bottle of Everts Infused Maple Syrup, specifically the cinnamon, left over from a Kearsarge Magazine photo shoot. I used half of it on my pancakes one morning (delish), but decided to use the other half in one of my granola recipes. The result was outstanding. Here’s my recipe:

LJ’s Maple Granola

  • 5 cups oats
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 cups dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Everts Infused Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

IMG_3512Mix it all in a bowl. Spread on a cookie sheet (with edges) and place in a 250 degree oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, flipping granola with a spatula every 30 minutes. Cool slightly and store immediately in a ziploc bag or jar for a month or two.

This is just my version. You can alter it with any nut (walnut, sunflowers) or berry (cranberries, raisins) that you would like. The basic recipe is four cups oats, one cup nuts, one cup seeds, one cup fruit. (As you can see, I’m more of a fruit gal.) You can also switch between honey, molasses and maple syrup, depending on your preference. I have made recipes using all maple, or maple with just a touch of honey, like this one.

You can also read more about Everts Infused Maple Syrups in the spring 2015 issue of Kearsarge Magazine.


Maple madness

Be on the lookout for bellowing smoke stacks in March. This means that the maple sugaring season has begun.

For many, the draw is the aroma of the sugarhouse — the addictive smell of boiling maple — and the opportunity to taste the warm syrup. For others, it’s the chance to venture out of the house. “After being cooped up in the house all winter, I’m ready for a tromp out in the woods to tap trees and put up tubing. It’s nice to get out this time of the year,” says Barbara Lassonde, publicist for the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association and a maple syrup producer with her husband, Don.


Van Webb of Harding Hill Farm in Sunapee agrees. “I love this time of the year — spring, change of seasons, the renewal,” he says.

Even if you know how maple syrup is made — from tapping the sugar maples to boiling sap in an evaporator over a blazing hot fire — it is still a treat to visit working sugarhouses and learn more about the families who continue the ancient tradition of making syrup. Will Leavitt’s sugarhouse was built in winter 2005, but his family has “been doing some sort of sugaring for more than 50 years,” the Sunapee resident says.

The sugarhouse on Harding Hill Farm was built in the 1920s. “It’s quite an antique,” says Webb. “My dad started in that sugar house in 1963 or 1964, I’ve helped since the 1970s, and now my son is going to start sugaring this year.” The only modern technology is a reverse osmosis machine; Webb still uses an old wood-fired evaporator to make the syrup, between 225 and 350 gallons a season.

This year, New Hampshire Maple Weekend will be held on Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29, typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s free to visit the sugarhouses in operation; just bring along your wallet to purchase a jug of warm syrup. For more information, go to


Where to Go

Ben’s Sugar Shack

693 Route 103, Newbury



Courser Farm

427 Schoodac Road, Warner



Harding Hill Farm

131 Route 103, Sunapee



Kearsarge Gore Farm

173 Gore Road, Warner


Leavitt Family Maple

546 North Road, Sunapee



Tucker Mountain Maple

224 Tucker Mountain Road, Andover


Valley View Maple Farm

1269 Main Street, Springfield


25 Things to Do this Spring

An oldie but goodie updated for 2015: 25 things to do this spring.

  1. Enjoy Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon at the Center at Eastman in Grantham
  2. Set the clocks back an hour, and check the batteries in your fire detectors as well
  3. Learn to square dance with the Bradford Country Squares on Thursday night
  4. Put on a green shirt and head over to Salt hill Pub in Newport for a celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day
  5. If you can still feel the cold of winter in your bones, try a hot stone massage at a local spa
  6. Warm days and cold nights bring the sweet delight of maple syrup. Go to and find the sugar shack nearest you
  7. Need some gardening tips? The Fells in Newbury offers horticultural classes in March
  8. Now that the Easter chocolate is gone, maybe it’s time to join a gym or check out sporting opportunities at the local rec department
  9. Earth Day provides the perfect opportunity to pick up the trash along the sides of our country roads
  10. When will the ice on the lake melt? Take a guess in one of the area’s ice-out contests
  11. It’s Cinco de Mayo! Head over to Revolution Cantina in Claremont and raise a taco in salute
  12. Welcome spring in Warner at the Annual Spring Arts Festival in mid-May
  13. Show Mom how much she really means to you
  14. Get out the bug spray and hit the greens at the Black Fly Open, sponsored by the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce
  15. Change the snow tires on your car. Vacuum out all the sand and salt, and take a spin through a car wash, too
  16. Bring your children (or grandchildren) to a town-sponsored Easter egg hunt
  17. Find your sandals at the back of the closet and schedule a pedicure
  18. Help a local snowmobile club maintain the trails used by skiers, hikers, horseback riders and ATV enthusiasts
  19. Check the propane tank on the grill. You don’t want the first outdoor steak of the season well done on one side and raw on the other
  20. Grab your friends and attend the first annual Zing into Spring! event in New London in on March 31
  21. Donate all the books you read this winter to your local library. They can add the books to their collection or sell them at used book sales
  22. Now that the roads are clear, go for a drive. Tour a town in the Kearsarge area to see what’s new
  23. Listen to beautiful music by the Kearsarge Chorale in early May
  24. Be creative with marshmallow peeps at the annual Library Arts Center contest
  25. Sign up for a moonlight ski (or snowshoe) with one of the area’s rec departments