life in the Kearsarge area

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

Archive for New London

A quiet spot in New London


Did you know that there is a labyrinth in New London, NH? It is behind the New London Inn – check it out!


Get thrifty

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Thrifting is not for the faint of heart, but it is great fun. I checked out a few stores for the summer issue of Kearsarge Magazine; one of my trips is below. If you have some time this summer, grab a friend and see what you can find!



Go Lightly Consignment Boutique

255 Newport Road

CODE: consignment, clothing, jewelry


The Renaissance Shoppe at the VNA

107 Newport Road

CODE: thrift, art, collectibles, jewelry, antiques, nonprofit cause


Switchback Consignment

256 Main Street

CODE: consignment, clothing, toys, sports equipment


St. Andrews Thrift Shop

52 Gould Road

(603) 526-6590

CODE: thrift, clothing, housewares, nonprofit cause

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.


Wreaths at Spring Ledge Farm

wreath1  Wreath making can get repetitive — attaching bunches of evergreen trimmings to a wire frame until you complete a circle. What if you added a little bit of juniper here and a little bit of white pine there, perhaps topping it off with sprigs of gray-green juniper berries?

Sue Clough, the former owner of Spring Ledge Farm, came up with the idea of “tapestry” wreaths, named for the way the greens weave in and out to create the overall effect of a woven item. Spring Ledge has made Christmas wreaths since 1995, using balsam brush harvested from the edges of the fields on the farm. The tapestry wreaths came a few years later after experimenting with different greens and combinations.

“We tried several combinations of juniper, white pine, cedar and others on a balsam base until we found the right amounts to make the tapestry, but not so much that the individual aspects of each type of green were lost in the wreath,” says Greg Berger, owner of Spring Ledge Farm. “As new greens and berries come to our attention, we try them as well. A perfect example is the pepperberry on the latest incarnation of tapestry wreaths. These berries weather outside quite well and add a splash of natural color to the wreaths.”

Up close, the tapestry wreaths are stunning — but the appeal isn’t Picture 172limited to a bird’s eye view. “The different shades of greens stand out even from the road,” says Berger. “It’s not a wreath that you’ll find at the supermarket or box store.”

Spring Ledge Farm is located on 37 Main Street in New London, N.H.

Doing what you love

It was so nice to see Anne Boisvert (of Anne Boisvert Pottery) at the indoor Market on the Green in New London, N.H. As I watched her set up her table, I drooled over the delicate blue and green pottery. I remember meeting her five years ago at a farmer’s market in Newbury, and drooling over her pottery then as well. She happily told me that she was a full-time potter now, and teaching a class at Wellhouse Farm Pottery in Springfield, N.H., on Wednesday night.

Anyone can take a class. You pay a membership fee to use the studio (there are different rates for one month, three months, weekly, etc.) and, as a member, you can take any class you want. Anne’s class is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. She says it is a mixed level class and there are 14 wheels and a kickwheel. You can learn more at

I don’t have Wednesdays open right now (I’m a softball mom) but I did buy two soup bowls with happy swirls circling the rim. Every time I use them, I’ll think of Anne and her happiness at being able to do what she loves, full time, and share her 10 years of pottery knowledge with others.