life in the Kearsarge area

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

Archive for Wilmot

25 Things to Do This Summer

1 Find some good deals at town-wide yard sales   throne

2 Get involved with your hometown. Volunteer with the conservation commission, join the local gardening club or offer to help at Old Home Day

3 Wish you had saved your first car while ogling the oldies (but goodies) at the Sunapee Lions Annual Antique & Classic Car Show

4 Take a nostalgic tour of New London at The Ice House museum on Pleasant Street

5 Go to a play at the New London Barn

6 Love your lake by participating in a local fishing derby; it is great family time while saving the lake from prolific fish

7 Enjoy homemade ice cream at the Sanctuary Dairy Farm in Sunapee

8 Watch blacksmiths in action at the historical smithy in Bradford

Sunapee Memorial Garden  9 Stop and smell the flowers in Sunapee Harbor, thanks to the Sunapee Gardeners

10 Pack a picnic and head to the nearest town bandstand for a free summer concert

11 Rent a paddle boat on Eastman Lake in Grantham

12 Eat fresh! Visit a farm stand and purchase dinner — local meat for the grill, fresh veggies, and baked goods like bread or dessert.

13 Or join a CSA. Every week you’ll pick up a box of food in season.

14 Or plant a few of your own vegetables at home. Every year, we enjoy about 20 tomatoes from our five porch plants.

15 Plan a local vacation: choose a Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee inn, campsite or cottage and stay for a weekend.

16 Find a lakeside viewing spot and watch the fireworks

17 Go antiquing — start with the antique show in New London and then travel to shops in Sunapee and Georges Mills

18 Bring a hammer and a pail, and explore the tunnels of Ruggles Mine in Grafton

19 Catch up with old friends at your high school (or summer camp) reunion

20 Make some new friends; stop by a local senior center or church supper and say hello to a stranger

21 Watch the races at the Claremont Speedway on Saturday evenings

22 Support the local arts and visit artists with a studio open to the public

Elkins marsh23 Go for a hike. You can find trails at

24 If hiking isn’t for you, get out and walk 10 minutes a day. Soon you’ll be walking 15 minutes, 20 minutes — and ready for a hike

25 Pick and freeze some berries. You’ll be glad to see them in your freezer once summer is over

5,000 casseroles

The recipe on deck is macaroni and beef pronto. “It’s an ancient Mueller’s recipe,” says Janet Paulsen of Wilmot. And although four ladies are cooking up enough food to feed 100 or more people, they are not intimidated by the task at hand. The group — members of the Kearsarge Community Presbyterian Church in New London — has been preparing meals for the “Feed the Freezer” project since January 2009.

“It started with the kitchen,” says Dave Barden, mission committee chair. Indeed, the church has an amazing professional kitchen; it was added as part of a 2004 renovation. The original thought was to use the underused location as a soup kitchen, but “after a few meetings it was decided that the most practical way to provide food to needy individuals and families was to distribute frozen casseroles through the Newport Food Pantry.”

Church members donate $10 each month to purchase ingredients, and many items — such as about-to-expire meat and vegetables — are donated by Hannaford in New London. Small groups of willing cooks meet every other week to create meals out of whatever donated food they have. Extra-large cans of chili, provided by the food pantry, are used as the base of a casserole. Super-sized boxes of elbow macaroni find their way into the pronto casserole or a macaroni and cheese recipe. “We like to keep things simple, and vary the recipe according to what we have for ingredients,” says Paulsen.

The group estimates they’ll make 45 casseroles today. Since each casserole serves two (three, if there’s a small child in the home), that’s 90 to 135 people that won’t go hungry.

About 60 church members — from middle school students to 80-year-old retirees — volunteer in the kitchen. “If I’m short a cook, all I have to do is ask,” says Paulsen, one of two head cooks, “and I get twice as many people as I need.”

The volunteer operation takes their work seriously — everyone wears hair nets, aprons and gloves, and the kitchen is inspected by the state of New Hampshire. They also have an assembly line production: One volunteer is writing casserole ingredients, under the date, on the cardboard tops of the aluminum containers provided by the Newport Food Kitchen. Another ladles noodles into each container, another sprinkles cheddar cheese on top, and two more add the tops and turn down the edges to seal the casseroles. Soon 29 containers are ready to go into the professional freezer. The frozen casseroles will be picked up the next day and delivered to the Newport Food Pantry, where families eagerly await a home-cooked meal.

“They do cartwheels over them. People are asking for them, and ask if they can come back when we have them,” says Rich Chappell, coordinator of the Newport Food Pantry. “There’s a good variety, they are good quality — it’s been a blessing.” The two-serving casserole is perfect for seniors, and bigger families take home two containers.

After two hours, the ladies are halfway through — another pot of sauce and another pot of boiling noodles are waiting. They make 26 more casseroles. “It’s heartwarming to feel like we’ve done something,” says Dot Wicksman of Sutton. “I’m grateful that I have enough food, and I’m glad that someone else can get food if they need it.”

In October 2014, the Feed the Freezer project reached a milestone: 5,000 casseroles. If you’re interested in helping, the group is at the Kearsarge Community Presbyterian Church on 82 King Hill Road in New London. Donations can be sent to Kearsarge Community Presbyterian Church, Feed the Freezer, 82 King Hill Road, New London NH 03257.


An artful day

Picture 025 Sure, Columbus Day means that you might get a three-day weekend, but it also means that you might be able to visit an open studio of a local artist. I was driving along Route 4A and saw signs out for an open house. Ann Feeley – a Wilmot artist who sculpts in marble, bronze and clay – was welcoming folks into her gallery and studio. Her work is lovely, and I plan to return to learn more. Next door, Margaret Howe opened up her late husband’s studio, so folks could see the works of the talented Townsend Howe as well as her talented son Paul Howe, a local photographer. It was a pleasure to tour her home and see Townsend’s work in a real life setting. (Below is a photo of his artwork on the front porch.)  I entered to win a painting (wouldn’t that be nice?) and met another local artist, Loa Winter, who was also visiting. I am fortunate to have one of Loa’s paintings in my front hall. I’m certainly no artist (unless crafting with words counts), but I feel an urge to take a class to learn how to be one. Just need to decide which medium…   Picture 031

Local authors

picture-007 I was in hog heaven this Sunday. I went to the Wilmot Public Library and met some of my children’s favorite people: Rosanna Dude, David Elliott, Mary Lyn Ray, Rick Libbey, True Kelley and Mary Kuechenmeister. Not that my kids know all these folks, but we do read their books! Sunday was the First Annual Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators Fair. I brought all the books I could find in our house – although I was bummed that I forgot Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray – and got them signed. Then I bought more books, including True Kelley’s new book, The Dog Who Saved Santa, and Jeremy Cabbage by David Elliott. So we spent a bit less at the grocery store this week, but it was totally worth it.

It will be easy to buy local this holiday season. For the record Rosanna Dude is from Wilmot, David Elliott and True Kelley from Warner, Mary Lyn Ray from Danbury, Rick Libbey from Andover, and Mary Kuechenmeister from New London. Just ask for their books at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner or Morgan Hill Bookstore in New London.    picture-005

Good book

Here’s my daughter, reading Rosanna Eubank Dude’s new book, Natalia’s Favorite Colors. We haven’t put the book down since we bought it four days ago – the Wilmot resident did a wonderful job with this children’s book! If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a young reader, stop by Morgan Hill Bookstore and pick up a copy.

Grantham goes high tech

News from the Grantham: The Grantham Area Chamber of Commerce is the first chamber in New Hampshire with its own television show. Local sponsors, such as Sugar River Bank, are supporting the venture, which is a 30-minute production created by Marie Pacetta of Wilmot. (Her company is Pacetta TV Productions.) I haven’t seen it yet, but my friends Don Gobin and Lorie McClory are in the media stills that were sent to me, so I’m sure it’s good. I wonder what town will be next?

Garden gnome

Well, it’s not a gnome -it’s a bunny. And the Cottage at Mountain View Farm Antiques in Wilmot says that they are going to have more animals, such as pigs and dogs, coming soon.