Maple Syrup and New Hampshire

Maple Leaves

Every year as winter begins to lose its bite and the temperature starts to break away from freezing during the day and creep into the forties maple trees start to produce their sweet sap. At this time collection of the clear fluid begins by a tap in the tree collecting the sap in a bucket or by piping it to a collection station.  The sap is brought to the sugar house where the sap is turned into syrup by boiling the water out of the syrup.  35-50 gallons of sap is needed to make just one gallon of maple syrup depending on the sugar count in the sap. The syrup this then filtered and bottled for us to take home and enjoy.

maple-syrup-production-process

New Hampshire will be celebrating the Maple Syrup production process on March 23rd and 24th when over 110 sugar houses will be opening their doors to celebrate and educate us about the sweetest food found in New Hampshire. The weekend will include learning how maple syrup is made, samples, horse- drawn rides and of course pancake breakfasts. Make sure to check out your local sugar house!

Collecting Maple Sap

http://www.visitnh.gov/4-seasons/spring-maple-sugaring.aspx

http://www.nhmapleproducers.com/mapleweekend/index.html

The White Potato the State Vegetable of New Hampshire

White Potatoes

When most people think about potatoes they think Maine or Idaho but what about New Hampshire’s potatoes? I’m not talking about who’s the most prosperous potato producing state in the industry, but who has adopted the white potato as their state vegetable. New Hampshire has as of mid-February.

Why the potato, you may ask? Well a group of fourth graders from Derry Village School in Derry, New Hampshire were research the white potato when the discover the place the white potato first grew in North America was Nutfield, New Hampshire now known as Londonderry, the birth place of General John Stark. I’m not suggesting he or his family grew the first potato but it was first planted by an Irish-Scottish immigrants. The state of Virginia weighed in on this, claiming that Virginia grew the first potato but they have since withdrawn their claim. The students requested the state house make the white potato the state vegetable. After some debt about the potato and a consideration for broccoli as the state vegetable the students request was approved.

So a little about white potatoes… White potatoes also sometime called Irish Potatoes. Potatoes are edible starchy tubers. They are in the night shade family with bell peppers, tomatoes and eggplant. They were first brought to Europe after the invasion of South America. They were adopted into the English and Irish diets. When the Irish were migrating to North America they took this dietary staple with them and began producing in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire no longer grows potatoes commercially but they can be purchased as part of the fall harvested at most local farmers markets. They can also often be purchased at winter markets because they store well in root cellars or a cool dry location.

For those of you curious the state fruit is the pumpkin as of 2006!!

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130221/NEWS06/130229891/0/newhampshire

http://agriculture.nh.gov/news/documents/reg-potato-history.pdf

White Potatoes

Potato Recipe

By Ina Garten

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/rosemary-roasted-potatoes-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds white potatoes
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Dump the potatoes on a baking sheet and spread out into 1 layer; roast in the oven for at least 1 hour, or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning.

Remove the potatoes from the oven, season to taste, and serve

Looks Like We’re gonna Need a Plow Guy

Looks like New Hampshire will be enjoying a good deal of snow Friday. So this is just a friendly reminder to give your plow guy a call and take Friday off. Stay home with the family and watch New Hampshire get a fresh blanket of snow while sipping some hot chocolate by the fire. Check out the link below for Super Secret Projects song Plow Guy.

Plow Guy-Super Secret Project

New Hampshire’s Going Sexy

Image

So while looking up items and information for future blogs, I came across an article in NH Magazine “Find Out What’s Sexy About New Hampshire”  that I got quite the laugh from so I had to share it with you. I never knew NH was such a sexy state. Hahaha!

http://www.nhmagazine.com/home/989853-101/find-out-whats-sexy-about-new-hampshire.html

This is the article referenced from the Huntington Post about New Hampshire’s toy fetish. Enjoy the chuckle, we came in at number 6!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/sex-toy-sales-per-capita-_n_1790014.html#slide=1388357

I hope you enjoy and have a little pre-Valentine’s Day laugh!

The Man and Thoughts Behind ‘Live free or die’

John stark  Mollystark Starks Monument

“Live free or die: For death is not the worst of all evils.”, was written by General John Stark as a toast for an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington in July 1809, in which General Stark and his men with the aid of Colonel Seth Warner and the Green Mountain Boys defeated a detachment of General John Burgoyne’s army in 1777. This victory pushed the revolution in the colonists favor. It also made General Stark one of New Hampshire’s most famous soldiers.  General Stark was unable to attend the anniversary due to illness and sent the toast via letter.

So who is General John Stark? General Stark was a first generation New Hampshire native, born in Nutfield , New Hampshire; in an area which is now Londonderry, on August 28th 1728. He was born the second son of Scottish immigrants Archibald and Eleanor (Nichols) Stark who were originally planning to land in Boston but their ship was said to have potential cases of small poxes and was sent away. When Stark was eight his family moved to Derryfield, now Manchester, where they settled and began there life. Stark grew into a frontiersman, exploring the New Hampshire wilderness. In his early twenties, Stark joined his brother and a small group of friends on a hunting trip. While out Stark was captured he tried to divert the Native Americans from his comrades but they got nervous about his extended disappearance.  They let off a shot signaling the natives to their location. Stark’s brother got away, another member was killed and the last man was captured with Stark. Stark survived his imprisonment with the Natives and was even said to have earned their respect with his headstrong and bold behavior. His release was eventually purchased and he spent two year paying back the Massachusetts colonists who purchased his freedom. Stark’s adventures didn’t end there though that was only the beginning for him. He eventually took up arms as a member of Roger’s Rangers under Major Robert Roger.  They joined the French Indian War also known as the Seven Year War. During his time as a Ranger, Stark and the Rangers were ordered to do a raid on a Native village in Quebec. They refused to be involved in the unnecessary slaughter of the people and they returned to New Hampshire. Stark also refused to let his soldiers drink on St. Patrick’s Day while the regulars partied heavily. This decision saved the lives of all of the soldier because the French thought they could use the holiday as an opportunity to attack the men. Stark’s forethought saved the lives of the men as they fought off the French.

During this time Stark married Elizabeth “Molly” Page the daughter of Caleb and Ruth Page. The Stark’s had 11 children. One of their children was Caleb Stark. Caleb Stark served in the Revolutionary War under his father and continued to serve after his father resigned. He also served as a Senator in New Hampshire. Molly spent a great deal of time caring for her children and her husband business while he was away fighting. She also treated her husband’s troops for small pox. Stories are also told of Molly’s tomboyish ways. Legend has it she was also a sharp shooter.

After the war ended Stark returned home. He started his own business. Stark believed in productivity but when fight broke out in Lexington/ Concord, Stark raced to Boston to enlist. During his time he fought many battles and proved himself a brave man.

Stark lived to the ripe age of 94 always believing in hard work and I’m sure felt a great disappointment when he couldn’t join his men at the reunion.

The first half of the toast “Live free or die” was adopted as New Hampshire’s State motto in 1945. It is likely one of the most widely known state mottos. Even vacationing in Hawaii a man asked where we lived and we told him New Hampshire. He laughed and said all I know about New Hampshire is ‘Live free or die’.  Our state motto is a tribute to men like Stark, who believed in liberty and freedom, who fought bravely for these believes but have they become nothing more than ideology with no value? Is it just your right to ride around without a helmet or a seat belt and pretend to be free for these novelty ideas? Or is freedom more? Is it the separation from oppression and if it is what is oppressing us?  Should we have a right to defend ourselves in whatever way we choice? Should we have a right to educate our children as we see fit? Should we have the choice to treat our bodies as we see fit or choice a doctor or health care plan that we feel fits our life styles?  When General Stark said “Live free or die: For death is not the worst of all evils.” was he warning us to not turn our backs on our inalienable right to choice to live our lives as we see fit?

640px-ManchesterNH_GenJohnStarkHouseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Want to learn more about General John Stark:

Moore, Howard Parker; Life of General John Stark

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stark

http://www.revolutionarywararchives.org/stark.html

http://www.nh.gov/nhdhr/publications/warheroes/starkj.html

Sex Lies & Anarchy

How about a local podcast?

Back story…This summer I attended a libertarian minded luau. How did I find myself here one might ask? Well here’s how… With the political upheaval I have noticed sense be coming of age to vote; I’ve found myself searching for some sort political view that makes sense. Everything seemed pretty on paper but let’s be honest when you find a candidate or a party that says all the right things you find yourself curious and check the real stance behind these people or parties and what do you find… A rude awakening.

 Enters Dr. Ron Paul. Love him or hate him, the man is who he says he is.  One can’t deny that. His ideas, for many are crazy even outlandish but to others like myself, they are a cure to a disease. I know this is a little extreme but think about how most people vote… “the lesser of two evils” or “voting down party lines” or “voting to over throw the current regime” or “we know they lie, they know we know they lie, and that’s just the way it is” for me these fallacies can’t continue. I’m sick of war, debt, the loss of freedom and liberty, and the endless lies. We live beyond our means and our industry suffers, yet the madness continues. Then I discovered Dr. Paul, with a brigade of other freedom/ liberty minded people who talk the talk and walk the walk so to speak. I’m not claiming any are perfect but when I listened to Dr. Paul speak, for the first time I thought some of this actually makes sense. And then the homework started. Podcasts, town hall meeting, research, and books; the search for knowledge, spearheaded by my husband but I was quick to follow behind. This led to meeting some amazing people at phone banks, rallies, town hall meetings, and online. Many of these people made libertarian their life style, believing in freedom and liberty. They were inspiring to talk too. They have come from all walks of life trying to spread the word with passion. They create groups like the Free State Project. They create art like NHNovella.com, Jordon Page’s music, and Tatiana Moroz’s music. They create podcasts like Sex, Lies & Anarchy.

This segues into Sex, Lies & Anarchy. While at a liberty minded event, I happened to meet a rather interesting woman named Antigone. Antigone had a lot to offer when discussing her views. Upon seeing how interested I was in what she had to say, she suggested I check out her podcast; Sex, Lies & Anarchy. This isn’t a ‘cram our politics down your throat’ kind of show. It teaches and challenges the social side of becoming and being a libertarian/ anarchist.

 Some time had passed before I had actually had a chance to check out Sex, Lies & Anarchy but when I did the show didn’t disappoint. I, myself, have only had a chance to listen to the last fifteen or so shows but they have never failed to entertain and educate. There are four different hosts; usually three participate during each podcast. Antigone, Candy, Kellie, and Celestina each offer different view and perspectives on issues and items they discuss during the show. They offer different religious perspective, as well as different social viewpoints. Candy is openly a Christian while Antigone is openly an atheist. Their discussions have touched on everything from the women right to vote to porn. They discuss relationships and the friendship dynamics between men and women. Celestina offers valued historical information about the meanings behind traditions which makes one rethink the platform upon which our customs have evolved. Antigone shares a side of history which you will never find in your public school history book. Candy is more light and humorous. Her views are often entertaining and easy going. Kellie seems to direct the flow of the show and often keeps everyone on topic. Sadly she is leaving the show.  If you’re looking for something different; fun, funny and often eye opening, you’ve gotta check out this show.  At the least these women will get you thinking and that’s the first step isn’t it?

Interested in learning more about libertarians?

http://www.libertarianism.com/

Sex, Lies & Anarchy?

http://sexliesanarchy.com/

The Free State Project?

http://freestateproject.org/

Jordan Page?

http://jordanpagemusic.com/

Tatiana Moore?

http://tatianamoroz.com/music/ 

NH Novella?

http://nhnovella.com/

 

         

Sharing is Caring- Shire Sharing

 

With the first snow falling from the sky, it’s a reminder that Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here soon. Thanksgiving and Christmas are an important time to remember others, especially the less fortunate. Amanda Bouldin, a Free Stater, who moved from Texas to Manchester, organized Shire Sharing. Shire Sharing was started as a Basket Brigade. Bouldin was inspired by her father, who in Texas was involved in a Basket Brigade. A Basket Brigade is a basket with the Thanksgiving fixings provided to a family in need. Last year they were able to feed a hundred and seventy- four families. This year they wanted to increase that number.  These Basket Brigades were just this beginning.  They added a Christmas Backpack program. The Backpack Program provided homeless people with backpacks filled with toiletries, first-aid kits, hats and gloves, and more.

Bouldin got together with other liberty mind folks to deliver and spread the word about Shire Sharing. This program runs strictly on private donation and volunteerism. Proving the libertarian idea that the government doesn’t need to provide for people because people can and will provide for people. This is a great independent charity in which we can all contribute too. Please check out their website and donate with your heart in any way you can.  

http://shiresharing.org/welcome/

 

Fall Festivals

A new chill and the fresh smell of crisp leaves fill the air. Pumpkins sit out decorating front steps. Kids skip through apple fields while harvesting a tasty treat.  Football season is well under way and many televisions will be assaulted in unjust ways after a few bad calls.  Of course it’s also fair season as well. The first fair of the October season that I attended was Warner’s Fall Foliage Festival and this weekend I checked out Hudson’s Pumpkinfest.  I found some amazing crafts, fun people and great food at these events.

Warner’s Fall Foliage Festival was a large event from October 5-7 on East Main Street in Warner.  The festival was a merge of a craft fair, a regular fair (with kiddie rides and farm animal events), a talent show and flea market.  This festival was very large and spread out, up and down roads, in building and on lawns. In the heart of the festival was a flat stage set up for the performers. Singers and dancers congregated here.  Many talented young children or groups of children flashed their performance skills for on looking parents and guests. The talent didn’t end here though strolling around amongst the crafter I was astounded by crafty and creative group assembled here. Handmade pottery, quilts, purses, scarfs, hats, gloves, home décor, soaps and more; New Hampshire is very innovative. A woman sat at her booth spinning wool into yarn from Loosen Ends Weaving/ Fiber Arts. Another woman, CraftyKathi, turned her old plastic grocery store shopping bags into new reusable woven bags. She offered totes, picnic bags, coin purses and more. Amazing and ecofriendly! Another man from Dogwood Studios, made amazing wildlife shaped puzzles and other wood crafts. Not to mention the number of people selling handmade Christmas items; stocking, tree skirts, and table runners in a variety of Christmas patterns.  This was great but the local creativity didn’t end here! The Festival offered your average fair cuisine of deep fried everything but the creative residents also got involved in this too! Restaurants opened booths serving comfort food and local growers got products out farmers’ market style. Fall comforts were available, like cider, and apple crisp. Fun, stay at home and relax foods like chili and mac and cheese were on the menu. They even offered homemade ice cream! Buffalo meat from Yankee Farmers’ Market was available if you wanted chilli, a burger or a hot dog. It turned out to be a great day and only sprinkled a little and the foliage was at about 50% of its prime color change.

http://wfff.org/

http://recycledplasticbagsbycraftykathi.weebly.com/

http://hdgpdg.wordpress.com/about/

http://www.dogwoodstudiosnh.com/

http://yankeefarmersmarket.stores.yahoo.net/

The Hudson Pumpkinfest was a small festival that took place October 12-14 off Route 102 in Hudson. Of course the day I chose to go was the last day. It was rainy and cold so there were few people and not as many vendors as there had been on Friday and Saturday when the sun was out but it was still fun. Fair rides were set up for the kiddos but because of the rain the children seemed more drawn toward the small petting zoo and the pony rides. The petting zoo offered pigmy goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, a small donkey, a baby donkey, turkeys, a llama, an alpaca, a cow and a baby llama/ alpaca hybrid called a Inca. The babies animals were extremely wet muddy and cute especially the donkey and the Inca!! Pony rides were offered under a heated tarp so kids could have a ride and stay warm and dry. The pumpkinfest had some fun crafts. Although my favorite vendor was a wood crafter, named John Holmes, he made clocks, planters and even toilet paper roll holders out of wood in the shape of bears and moose. The most creative item he made was the convertible picnic table. The table converted into a backed bench.He doesn’t seem to have a website but I’m looking into more details but his workwood was awesome!  The pumpkinfest also offer a vendor selling home brew soda in barrels, Martial Arts instruction, handmade jewelry, a car show, and on Saturday night it had fireworks.

http://www.hudsonpumpkinfest.com/

By John Holmes

 

 

 

Keep in mind fall fairs aren’t over yet. Keene’s Pumpkin Festival is coming next Saturday October 20th from noon to 8:30 p.m.

http://pumpkinfestival2011.org/Visitors.html

Strange Brews and Rhythm Method

Halloween is only a few weeks away and what’s the best way to pre-celebrate? How about a tavern hidden in a dark alley off the main drag looming nestled between darkness and light?  Strange Brew is a crafty bustling bar with great atmosphere, food, music and, of course, brews. The beer menu is impressive, so take some time to check it out.  A magic seems to surround this eclectic place. Inside the tavern, books line the walls. They fill the windows in front of the kitchen, line walls between the tables and run around the tavern. Amongst the fantasy, fiction, mystery and mayhem you almost expect to find a book of special purpose. This adds a creative level of charm to the atmosphere. Strange Brew is in an old brick building. During the warmer months tables are set up outside for patrons to enjoy but make sure you make your way inside, you’ll never know what you’ve missed if you stay outside. You may find an amazing band.

http://www.strangebrewtavern.net/index.html

Strange Brew is located 88 Market Street in Manchester. Parking may be a challenge especially if there is a concert going on.  A visit to Strange Brew last Friday would have led to the discovery of a band called Rhythm Method.

Rhythm Method had an astounding lead singer. Yamica Peterson was an amazing singer. She was as good as Tracy Chapman herself as she sang Give Me One Reason. The band was amazing. Pete Peterson and Chuck Wentzel also were amazing singers. Wentzel also dominated as lead guitar. Gene Guth was rocking the drum and Tom Martin jammed on the bass were also fantastic.  This band brought down the house Friday.  Talent is at the heart of this band.

http://www.theonlymethod.com/

So if you’re in Manchester check out Strange Brews . Don’t miss Rhythm Method either!       

Ladies Night for a Cause

Every woman has that old dress; she had thought she’d never wear again, stuffed in the back of her closet just waiting for its next show case.  The dress may not have been seen since a prom or a wedding. It may be a year old or fifty years old. Some dresses are even found on eBay. These dresses are getting their second chance at the Mom Prom. So shake the dust off your dress just into those dancing shoes because Saturday April 20, 2013.

Mom Prom is a night out for women to celebrate as they raise money for a great cause!! Mom Prom Nashua is raising money for St. Joseph’s Breast Cancer Center.  This year Mom Prom is moving from Nashua to Alpine Groves in Hollis.

More to come but please share this and check out Mom Prom Nashua website.

http://mompromnashua.org/index.html

http://www.alpinegrove.com/default.html