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Anything & Everything About Seeds

I might try the baggie method to test germination on a favorite green that didn't germinate this year. Possibly the seed is too old. Tried starting some seeds this year for fall crops in high tunnel but they got too much sun and cooked.

Indoors I have a seed starting table with hanging florescent lights that can be adjusted higher as plants grow. Also have a heat mat for things that need warmth. Best to read recommendations in a good seed catalog.

Outdoors: make sure rows get plenty of water until plants are up a few inches. I've seen plants not grow but also not wilt from lack of enough water.

Oct 16, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

Columbus Weekend Itinerary in Portland

Thanks for the report. We don't visit Portland often enough and Empire Chinese is new to me. Their menu looks wonderful.

Oct 16, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Foodie roadtrip in VT -- suggestions for stops needed!

would like to get there next year but in meantime, need to buy some cider. What we had at Warner Foliage Festival on Sat (hot) was pretty tasty. Will check local food coop to see if they carry the Scott cider. They have some apples.

Oct 13, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Foodie roadtrip in VT -- suggestions for stops needed!

check to see if Norwich, Brattleboro, and/or Montpelier farmers markets are still going on. All have a wide selection of things including some prepared food.
There's a new book out about heirloom apples and lots of publicity about Scott Farm in southern Vermont. They are going to have a tasting event, I think this weekend (Columbus Day). I was surprised to see some of their apples at the Concord NH food coop but you might find them at other coops in Vermont.

Next door to King Arthur Flour is a small but interesting farm stand. I bought some unusual dried beans. They also had unusual melons last summer, would suspect they would have a nice variety of winter squash. Across the river, the food coop in Hanover and Lebanon (across from road that goes to CHAD) are very good. Should you decide to make a detour to NH, Poverty Lane is well known for their ciders http://www.povertylaneorchards.com/

Oct 11, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Dinner restaurant along the way traveling 93 from Boston to Meredith, NH?

Maybe the Barley House in Concord nh. It's about opposite state house on N Main St. Get off exit 14 and turn left off ramp. You'll drive thru most of downtown area. Barley House is on right (east side of street) but you might have to park across street or side st next to state house. To get back on I93, you can get on at exit 15 or 16. I haven't been to the Barley House in quite some time but used to like it. (Don't work in the are any more.)

Oct 05, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

help me create a simple rustic dinner menu

sounds good but with all the herbs for the lamb, I would go with something very simple for the salad and vegetable. For a vegetable maybe a roasted winter squash but a simple mashed squash would be fine. For salad I would do something that included fresh pears with a mustard vinaigrette.

Ice cream alone even if gourmet seems a little plain. I would add some simple cookies but I think a sliver of apple pie a la mode would be even better. It kind of depends what kind of ice cream you had in mind. Indian pudding is in season now at local New England ice cream stands but frozen pudding is one of my favorites.

Oct 04, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Dinner restaurant along the way traveling 93 from Boston to Meredith, NH?

what kind of meal did you have in mind? Quick but tasty? Cuisine?

Oct 04, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Help me create a soup-centered lunch menu

I had fried sage leaves for the first time and think they would be perfect, crumbled for the top of the soup. A lot of people don't like goat cheese. I made a salad recently of mixed greens (including baby kale), sliced bosc pears, with shaved parmesan and a mustard vinaigrette. Recently had a spinach and garlic ciabatta from When pigs fly but friends raved about a biscuit I made with green tomatoes, roasted red pepper and cheese.

But since turkey and cranberry is one of my favorite sandwiches, I could easily switch my vote.

Oct 03, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Maine: Best and Most Unique Dining Experiences

Unique: we were driving around and the weather seemed a little too drizzly for lobster at Waterman's Beach but we saw a sign for a lobster benefit dinner for a volunteer fire department. There was a tent with tables set up. I think it was $17 for a lobster with choice of mussels or crab, some sides. Pie was extra and you could buy a second lobster. There were rocks on the tables to crack the crabs. It was fun and the food was good.

Oct 03, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

What to do with fresh hot cherry peppers?

Look for the small batch pickling recipes that you can just put in the fridge. You don't need to process them if you refrigerate them. I've been looking at 2 different recipes one with sugar and one without. You might have to boil the vinegar solution first but that doesn't take long. Just be sure to use a jar that can take hot liquids.

Sep 30, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

squash bugs

thanks for the tip. I love nasturtiums in the garden but once planted them too thickly and they choked out cucumber plants. I'm slowly gaining an appreciation for petunias. Really nice to read a non-chemical solution.

Sep 30, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

What goodies to send to Navy personnel

Our son and his friends like homemade Chex mix but it didn't take very long to get there even when he was in Japan except during the Christmas season which started early. He also loves Twizzlers licorice. I like Aussie style better. I better Rice Krispy treats would make the trip. The recipe that has peanut butter mixed in is our favorite. The topping is melted chocolate bits which would melt in hot weather so you would have to skip. I would try a recipe that had some chocolate chips mixed in or maybe the one that has candy corn mixed in.

Sep 30, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking
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Lakes Region eats for foodies in the off season? (late October)

My husband won't try the Thai House even though it's close. He thinks Asian Delight makes a perfect House Special Fried Rice although we think there's been a change in cooks and possibly owners. Menu is the same but ingredients seem just a little different. When the rice is perfect, there is a slight char from the wok. Very subtle but it seems to be the secret ingredient. I might have to insist on a comparison trip.

Sep 30, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Lunch/Snacks along the way-Allenstown to North Conway, NH

Last week we liked the calamari at Nolan's in Wolfboro. There were some nice sandwich and salads on the menu. (But I liked the calamari with Asian sauce at Canoe in Meredith/Center Harbor better.) If you would consider returning via I93 by driving from Rt 16 to Tamworth and Center Sandwich, you could stop at the Corner House and let me know if it's as good as it used to be.

Sep 30, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Gardening From the Produce Department

Here in NH it will be time to plant garlic next month, in October, before the ground freezes. A friend commented that my bulbs are huge. I tried several different kinds from local growers, all hardnecks. Today's garlic bulb contain 4 huge cloves so when I cook, I sometimes count one clove as 2. I've been re-planting garlic for several years now so I have plenty to use all winter and next spring. In late June I'll get garlic scapes, one from each plant, that need to be cut off (and used like garlic) and then harvest bulbs in late July depending on when foliage starts to yellow. I replant about 36 - 48 cloves since we use a lot of garlic.

Sep 28, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

Gardening From the Produce Department

In NH, sweet potatoes need some additional warmth. We saw one market farmer growing them in a high tunnel. I've been tempted to try. But can't imagine they are easier to grow than potatoes. I bought a sampler pack of fingerlings last year from Moose's Tubers and this year bought a sampler of storage potatoes. I also replanted some of last year's fingerlings which had sprouted. First hilling was done with dirt. Then I covered plants with straw. This year I was more careful so I only lost a couple of potatoes to greening. Just dug them all a few days ago.

Sep 28, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

Lakes Region eats for foodies in the off season? (late October)

We visit Asian Delight year round. It's right next door to the Franklin Opera House on the main street.

Sep 28, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Lakes Region eats for foodies in the off season? (late October)

I recently enjoyed a calamari appetizer at Canoe. It came with a small pool of Asian soy based sauce and a very spicy siracha dipping sauce. Canoe is in the same restaurant family as O Steaks in Laconia. My friend and I shared a lunch order of lobster mac & cheese which was pretty ordinary but good. Lunch this week in Wolfboro was at Nolan's. Good calamari again but this time with a traditional marinara sauce and a garlic butter sauce. Friend ask for bread to dip into the garlic butter because it was so good. Split a garden salad. Good basic food. We tried the Tavern 27 tapas place on Parade Rd in Laconia but my friend thought things were too spicy. I think too much salt was used but we disagreed on the duck confit rolls - two came fried and two came steamed but it worked out well because she preferred fried and I preferred steamed. I would go again but I don't think she would. Another table of diners very much enjoyed what they were having.

There's a hole in the wall place in Franklin NH that is our favorite place for Thai food but they also have a few Korean and Japanese items. It's called Asian Delight. My husband doesn't want to go anyplace else because he likes the house special fried rice so much (Thai style, not Chinese). Good curries. Nice people but I don't care for the country western singer on Saturday nights. He has a nice enough voice but doesn't fit the place.

Haven't been to the Corner House in Center Sandwich in a few years but always liked it.

We had a fun wine tasting at Hermit Woods Winery in Meredith.

Sep 26, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

squash bugs

from a website: "Pyrethrum is a broad spectrum insecticide. Meaning it will affect a wide range of insects; including beneficials."
I do not understand why you used pyrethrum on the tomato plants? Did you have a serious bug infestation? I have had occasional tomato hornworms which I hand picked. I had a lot of potato beetles and Japanese beetles but had enough time to make daily rounds with a pail of water, knocking them into the water where they died. Also looked for eggs which I squished with gloved hands.

I did have a lot of squash bugs on a winter squash plant but them seemed to be contained in one area of the garden so I did not use any insecticide.

I am concerned that if you use too much pyrethrum, you are going to kill some good bugs, too.

I got some cheap yellow sand pails to use as squash bug traps but the dollar store pails became brittle over the winter. I don't know if they will work but a friend was trying that.

Sep 24, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

weekday lunch somewhere between Pelham NH and Wells Maine

Thanks for the recommendation. I had such a nice time visiting Churchill's garden shop, I'd like to take a different friend there soon so it will be nice to try a different place for lunch. On the way home from Maine, we decided to judge the lobster rolls at Beach Plum. We all liked our lobster rolls very much. Atmosphere isn't as beach shack-y as Petey's but the lobster roll only comes with a bag of chips, not Petey's good but required French fries.

Sep 21, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

weekday lunch somewhere between Pelham NH and Wells Maine

Thnaks. Green Bean was very good. Enjoyed tarragon potato sausage soup and half sandwich. Very crowded at lunch time. Expeansion area is still under construction. Friends enjoyed their lunches too except they didn't notice the soup and sandwich combo deal.

Sep 20, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Campton/Plymouth, NH

The plymouth CM is nice but not remarkable. If you just wanted a burger, the Green house in Warren is good. A little on the funky side and small. You might try Meredith area for a nicer restaurant. We loke The Homestead in Bristol. Old farm house atmosphere.

Sep 20, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

selling salsa

I agree with JTPhilly. You will have to conform to local and state regulations for your area and it might be very helpful to work with a commercial kitchen (recent tv interview with a commercial kitchen owner said she gives guidance to people use the kitchen). There is a local outfit that sells fresh salsa and they use plastic tubs. Canning jars are expensive so you should look into something else. (local milk and yogurt sellers who use canning jars at local farmers market use a jar deposit/return system). You might check first with your county cooperative extension since many have information and programs for beginning food producers. I just checked one local market that requires product liability insurance so that' something you will also have to check into.
Here's an example of what NH requires from Homestead Kitchens (but since salsa is perishable you would have to make it in a commercial kitchen).
http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/fp/sanita...

You don't have to install a commercial kitchen. Google to find one to rent or ask around. Someone I know started out by renting kitchen time at a small restaurant that wasn't very busy.

Some of the organic farming associations also hold classes for potential food producers. Good luck!

Sep 18, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Spicy appetizer

I'm planning on trying a recipe for Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese biscuits. It says they are good warm or cold.
http://www.npr.org/2011/08/30/1400376...

You could spice it up using some minced hot peppers or a spicy sausage instead of green tomato.

Sep 18, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

weekday lunch somewhere between Pelham NH and Wells Maine

Thanks! both suggestions looks great.

Sep 11, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Has something changed with canning lids?

Both Ball and Kerr are owned by Jarden Corporation. Perhaps different factories make the lids but I would think they are the same.http://www.jarden.com/brands
Here is a discussion about it:
http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/coun...

I read recently somewhere that directions for heating lids have changed. My old packages (just found in barn from 2007) say heat to simmering but NOT boiling. New packages don't seem to be as clear about how hot to get water.

Sep 10, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

What to do with LOTS of fresh basil?

You can make a basil flavored simple syrup to flavor fresh lemonade or iced tea. I was surprised how good it tasted in iced tea. This requires 4 cups packed basil. I recently made another batch of just basil tea in case I wanted to make some more syrup and froze it.
Basil garlic mayonnaise keeps pretty well in the fridge for a week or two. I spread on bread for tomato sandwiches. Just use store bought mayonnaise or find a recipe to make mayo from scratch.
I also packed leaves into a wide mouth bottle and added vinegar to make basil vinegar.

Sep 09, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Canned salsa [moved from Prairie Provinces]

I notice on the Ball website, one salsa recipe uses some vinegar plus the Ball Fiesta spice mix (I don't see lemon mentioned). On the fresh salsa recipe, vinegar is again specified but also some lime juice. Ball seems to be everyone's reference for safe canning. Did your salsa recipe contain vinegar? It may have enough acid without adding lemon.

Bottled lemon juice is recommended because of consistency. From their website:
Tomatoes have a pH (acid) level that is just above the line dividing high-acid foods and low-acid foods. It is important for the safety and quality of tomato recipes that the proper acid level is maintained. Since many factors can decrease the natural acidity in tomatoes, the addition of bottled lemon juice or citric acid helps ensure the correct acidification. Bottled lemon juice must be used because its acid level is consistent, unlike fresh lemons.

Recipes that include an adequate amount of vinegar (5% acidity) do not require additional acidification, such as salsa, tomato chutney, and pickled tomatoes.

Put in the fridge right away and use up within a month as the other poster suggests. If you've canned a lot of tomatoes, I would put in freezer if you have space but change to freezer safe plastic contains. I don't think you can freeze in large glass jars.

Sep 06, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

weekday lunch somewhere between Pelham NH and Wells Maine

WHERE? This will be on a Friday in a couple of weeks to begin a getaway weekend with friends. I think the only cuisine we have to rule out is Asian. We are having Italian on Friday night at a Stonewall Kitchen class. I'm almost thinking an early lunch in Exeter because I never get there. Good soups and sandwiches would be fine. My friends are driving me nuts by not making any suggestions but complaining about what I choose. I would like some place that does interesting salads too.

Sep 05, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

NYC to Vermont; where in between?

I've stayed at the Baymont Inn in East Windsor CT. It's handy to the hwy and Sofia's Restaurant is right across the street. It doesn't get high marks on trip advisor but it was recommended by a friend who lives there. It's one of those popular local places. The Baymont is your standard moderate priced place by the hwy. Nothing special but it's clean and convenient.

Sep 05, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England