life in the Kearsarge area

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

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Zing into Spring 2

ing into Spring Logo FinalCold? What cold? Here at Kearsarge Magazine we’re working away on Zing into Spring 2016. Date: Saturday, March 19. Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Location: Colby-Sawyer College’s Wheeler Hall/Ware Student Center in New London, N.H. Swag bags: yes! Chinese auction: yes! Free stuff: double yes!

Vendors are still confirming, but here’s a list of who will be at Zing this year. Look for more interactive demos, more giveaways and more great things to do and learn this year!

  • AlliOops Flowers & Gifts
  • Anne Boisevert Pottery
  • Avery’s Massage
  • Blackwater Mustard
  • Cabaret Dance & Fitness
  • Carrie Fradkin Fine Art
  • Center for the Arts
  • Colorful Journey
  • Deer Meadow Homestead
  • DMGPhotography
  • Folk Fusion
  • Emma Chase Designs
  • Honestly Simple Soaps
  • Hygeia
  • Infuse Me
  • Jo Shields Jewelry
  • Karma Soap
  • Kathleen Sirois Jewelry
  • Kearsarge Magazine
  • King of Cupcakes
  • KJ’s Café
  • Leave It to Leslie
  • Library Arts Center
  • Little Nature Museum
  • LulaRue
  • Meadow Pond Photography
  • Mimi Wiggin
  • Namaste Newport
  • Nantucket Jewels
  • Nature’s Palette
  • New London Hospital
  • Northwood Naturals
  • Nourishing Wellness
  • Platinum Puzzles
  • Pleasant Acres Landscaping
  • Porter’s Finest
  • Raq-on Dance
  • ReRe Pareo
  • Serenity Products
  • Sew There!
  • Silly Bee Design
  • Soake Pools
  • Summercrest
  • Sunapee Lake Massage
  • Sweet Beet Market
  • Switchback Consignment
  • The AlpacArt Studio at Parris Hill Farm
  • Tiger Mountain Shotokan Karate School
  • Tina Boardman
  • Tummy Time Dog Treats
  • Vickie Branch DOMP, LMT
  • Yia Yia’s Creations
  • Walk In Beauty Day Spa
  • Wonderwell Mountain Refuge

The Dog House


“Two specials and a super, please!”

Say this phrase to anyone who has longtime ties to Wright’s Beach on Blaisdell Lake in South Sutton and they will know exactly what you are talking about. This would have been a typical order placed at the window of The Dog House, the beloved little hot dog stand that plied its trade for almost 40 years along the lake’s western shore.

In the years between the two World Wars, South Sutton attracted quite a little colony of show biz people. The town’s rural charm, beckoning woods and clear cool lakes provided a welcome respite from the bustle of the city and life on the road.

Pat Rooney (1909-1979) was a dancer who had followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather onto the stages of Broadway. He was just one of the many well-known entertainers to make the trip north to visit fellow vaudevillian Buster West at his farm in South Sutton for a bit of rest and relaxation. The visit would change Pat’s life forever when he met a local girl, Estelle Wright. They married in 1942 and he would call South Sutton his home for the rest of his life.

In 1947, Pat — with the Lowe brothers, Don and Tom — opened The Dog House for its first summer of business. It adjoined the Wright family compound of businesses owned and operated by Estelle’s father, Sutton native Chet Wright. In its heyday, the compound included a thriving general store, privately owned Wright’s Beach and bath houses, their home, and a tiny museum housing Chet’s collection of vaudeville memorabilia. In 1948, Pat and Estelle took full ownership of The Dog House.

Blaisdell Lake was a happening place back then, and The Dog House was at the hub of it all. The little hot dog stand — with the big red dachshund painted on its front — opened the first of May for trout season and closed on Columbus Day (although it was only open on weekends before Memorial Day and after Labor Day). The order window, flanked on either side with hand painted menus, opened at 11 a.m. and would try to close by 9 p.m. – or when they could clear everyone out ! The two most popular items on the menu were Specials and Supers; the Special was a hot dog with cheese, bacon and sauce, while the Super was a hamburger with cheese, bacon, onion and sauce. The “sauce” was Pat and Estelle’s own delicious (but closely guarded) secret recipe. Absolutely everything was made fresh.       DSCN9918

You could enjoy your food at one of the umbrella covered tables outside or in the tiny dining room where the windowsills were lined with porcelain dog statues and the walls were covered with signed photos of movie stars that Pat had known and worked with during his career, including Bob Hope, Red Skelton and Mickey Rooney. Pat also honored his regulars with their own coffee mugs on which he would paint their name in bright red letters and these hung proudly in the kitchen and dining room.

Pat and Estelle ran The Dog House every summer until Pat’s passing in 1979. Estelle ran it with the help of her devoted employees for a few more summers, closing the order window for good in 1984. She passed away in 2006 at the age of 90.

Today The Dog House returns every other summer for one weekend. Huge tents are set up on Wright’s Beach and the original grill once again sizzles with hot dogs. Sponsored by the Blaisdell Lake Protective Association (BLPA), the “kitchen” is staffed by former employees and their families who still prepare the food to Pat’s exacting standards. BLPA members help out with everything else. And what about that secret sauce? Estelle left the recipe to only a select few … you might say it’s still a “super special” secret, even after all these years!


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.

Enjoy the fall colors


This is the weekend: fall foliage. As I left New Hampshire for a conference, I looked out the window (both car and plane)  I noted the deepening oranges and yellows. I took mental pictures of the fleeting reds. Enjoy the season, and check our Facebook site for fall photos. Thanks to Brenda Martin of Enfield for this photo.

Trying something new

Today I am going to try a new recipe. It’s not a hard one, but I’ve been putting it off for a few days. Not that I don’t like to cook – I LOVE it – it’s just that I don’t have the time to cook. I end up feeling rushed and stressed in the kitchen. Someone’s hungry, the phone is ringing, no one emptied the dishwasher, the pans are dirty, and I have to make a meal? That takes all the joy out of creating something yummy and watching someone’s delight in eating your efforts. Here’s what I’m going to try today, adapted from a recipe in Arkansas Life:

Possum Pie (makes two pies)

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese

1 cup confectioners sugar

12 ounces Cool Whip

1 box milk chocolate instant pudding

1 box chocolate fudge instant pudding

3 cups milk

Now, I’m cheating and not making the pecan/flour/butter crust, so I’ll skip right to the filling. Cream together cream cheese and confectioners sugar. Add 6 ounces of Cool Whip and beat until fluffy. Spread over bottom of both pie crusts. Blend together both pudding mixes with milk. Pour on top of cream cheese mixture and allow to set. Spread remaining cool whip over both pies.

Which brings me to Kearsarge Magazine ( we’re looking for recipes to run in our annual summer dining guide. Readers, please send in your favorite recipe and, if we like it, we’ll publish it! I’ll let you know how this one turns out, and who got the second pie…

I’m back!

Technology, technology – it is so hard to keep up. First there’s twitter – but I love to write (and write and write) so I find it difficult to keep it to one interesting (or funny) sentence. Then at some point over Christmas I started wasting some major time with Facebook. First I posted my own profile, then I posted a profile for a new magazine that will be coming out in April. Turns out I get some pretty great feedback from readers on Facebook – I’ve been asking them some questions to help me determine what articles would be of interest. Anyhoo, the blog fell by the wayside but I’m back and raring to go for 2010. Get ready!

Happy Halloween!

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