Shopping Local Opportunities

Local shopping isn’t limited to the little locally run shops downtown. They are great and I recommend checking them out to everyone but what about locally made shopping? The stay at home mom who knits the cute caps, the local wood carver who creates bears from logs or the local farm who turns seeds into veggie feasts, they aren’t always easy to find. We search the net, craft sales and expos to find these fun treasures.

Handmade Owl Hat, Gloves and Scarf

Bags made out of plastic grocery bags.
Bags made out of plastic grocery bags.

So I’ve found a few for you to check out.

Castle Berry Fairs is host 3 different local crafts events around New Hampshire.

http://www.castleberryfairs.com/calendar.php

March 22-24 in Salem

May 11-12 in Hampton Falls

May 25 – 27 in Meredith

These are great opportunities to check out local crafters and find some great gift but that’s not it. Don’t forget to check out NH Made’s website. They have a great calendar for local events. They offer links for the farm to restaurants connections, NH Farmers’ Market Association, NH Winery Association, New Hampshire Cheese Maker Guild and more. This is a really exciting site for NH goods, products, and events.

http://www.nhmade.com/

This last event I’m really excited about, it’s the 18th annual Made in NH Expo. It offers a wide variety of New Hampshire Services and products wines, desserts, chiropractors and more. The current list of vendors seems endless. It is April 5-7. Tickets are just $9 for endless tastes of NH. It is being held in Manchester at the Raddison.

http://millyardcommunications.com/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=ExhibitorLists&category=madeinnh

New Hampshire #3 Wine Drinkers Per Capita…

NH Wines

New Hampshire has an ever growing local wine industry. Currently there are about 21 wineries in New Hampshire that have wine you can purchase locally, whether it is from the grocery store, the state liquor store or directly from the winery itself. The New Hampshire Winery Association has even published a map of all of the wineries in the state.

 

http://hauntingwhisper.net/images/WineTrail_Inside12x9_1Nov11.pdf

Of course wine drinking doesn’t stop at local wines, although they are amazing. New Hampshire does provide a state liquor store on most major highways. Wine can be purchased at the grocery store and even local wine shops, like the WineNot Boutique in Downtown Nashua or the Wine Studio in Manchester. If you’re in a pinch some beer stores like Beer Store NH also offer wine. There is always the gas station which often sells wine as well.

http://www.thewinestudionh.com/

http://www.winenotboutique.com/

http://www.thebeerstorenh.com/

Oh course now we are all curious where I’m going with this, well here it is… WMUR posted on their website that New Hampshire has the #3 highest wine consumption rates per capita per state. Now #1 was DC, which, well to be frank isn’t a state since we only have 50 states not 51. With that said New Hampshire is still really high on the list. So is this because we are super wine drinkers or is it because Mass, Vermont and Maine jump the border to buy their wine here because it’s cheaper or does New Hampshire really enjoys their wine? I can’t say for sure but I found the stats interesting. Check out the link below for WMUR’s post.

http://www.wmur.com/news/health/Wine-consumption-by-state/-/9857712/19208592/-/10rtwvj/-/index.html

Chocolate Lovers Unite in NH

Chocolate

Chocolate brings smiles to the masses. Whether hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake or just delicious chocolate by itself; it can’t help but bring out the best in all of us. When we see the sweet treat a smile come to our faces. We know it means a brief sugar rush. It’s supposed to be an aphrodisiac. So it only makes sense that someone should throw a Chocolate Fest, right??

Chocolate

Well tomorrow, March 9th from 12 – 2pm at Colby-Sawyer College; chocolate lovers will converge for the 18th annual Chocolate Fest! Tickets are just $10. This festival will include “best chocolate” and “best display” in which festival guests will be voting for the winner. This is an event not to miss! So if you are in the Lake Sunapee region swing by and if not head that way or you may have to wait till next year and it’s chocolate so that’s just not worth it when you can taste the region’s best chocolate!

http://www.lakesunapeenh.org/chocolatefest/

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!