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looking for baccala in lowell/nashua

I saw large pieces at Whole Foods in Nashua today.

about 12 hours ago
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Faves to buy at King Arthur Flour - Wish List

I took a class last summer and since I knew ahead of time we would get a discount in the store, I made a list. Based on what I wanted to make I bought things like Harvest Grains and the long clay covered bread baker. I originally had to buy the mini chocolate covered peanut butter cups but now I buy the bagged mini Reese cups and chop them a little. If you look at the ingredients on their website, you can click to see what recipes they are used in. I've been focusing on bread and rolls. Bought boiled cider but haven't used it yet. Sourdough starter was on my shopping list but they were out of stock at the time. It seems the recipes I want to try require instant yeast so I bought a package of that.

Dec 17, 2014
dfrostnh in General Topics

Maine Meat (aka MEat) in Kittery, Maine

Thanks for the report. I think we need to do a road trip to Kittery.

Crock Pot Pork Belly Recipes?

I have cooked many pork roasts without adding any liquid. The meat exudes enough liquid. But I don't think you'll get crispy because the cover keeps a lot of moisture in the pot. You might try roasting it to crisp it up after it has almost finished cooking in the crock pot. If you leave the cover off the crock pot (done that cooking down tomato sauce), I don't think it will be hot enough for crisping.

Dec 10, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Cheese fondue- I want it to be perfect, not grainy

Haven't made fondue in years but actually went to a cooperative extension class on cheese. Just in case you don't know, Swiss doesn't melt and mix well by itself. It usually needs to be mixed at least half and half with another cheese.

Dec 06, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Are carrots DYED to cover up the dirt on their skins ?

I've never had this happen. We're eating carrots from our own garden right now but have bought inexpensive supermarket carrots for many years. Can you talk to produce manager where you bought them?

Dec 03, 2014
dfrostnh in General Topics

7 thoughts for next growing season

It is with smug satisfaction we had baked potatoes last night with some fresh swiss chard I scavenged from the garden. Perhaps if I had used a row cover, the chard would last longer. Lost some leaves to frost damage but what are left are wonderfully sweet. Winter seems to be coming early to NH this year. My husband dug the last of the carrots. Still have spinach, lettuce, Chinese cabbage and cilantro in the high tunnel. Garden isn't done yet! Not sure if I'll get the rest of the hakurei turnips pulled - they did terrific considering I didn't thin them enough. I'm really surprised New Englanders stopped gardening so early in the season when they still needed fresh food on the table.

Nov 26, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

Winter squash varieties? Best sub for butternut?

I don't think differences between some varieties of winter squash are subtle. Butternut is moister than buttercup (to me, butternut is too watery) and although buttercup and kabocha look very much alike, kabocha is much drier and sweeter. I think buying good squash is hard for a consumer. I'm a gardener so I grow a grey kabocha variety called Confection which is reliably sweet and dry. I have had good luck with a long neck butternut (easy to peel, good taste, and good keeper) variety from Baker Creek seeds but I do not care for the Waltham butternut variety.

Nov 23, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Winter squash varieties? Best sub for butternut?

We much prefer buttercup and kabocha type winter squashes. I substitute either for butternut or sweet potatoes. Carnival and Acorn don't have as much flavor so I just cook (microwave) and add butter. I add maple syrup and seasonings if the squash lacks flavor.

ButterCUP has a prominent light grey button on the bottom. Kabocha looks almost identical but does not have the button. I think the kabocha varieties are sweetest. I also think butternut squash tends to be watery but I don't think it makes a lot of difference is recipes.

Nov 21, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Are there good pickling cukes anywhere?

I bet you could mix green tomatoes and cukes - just look at recipes for chow chow, relish or antipastos. If you just want some pickles for home use (couple of jars), you might try a freezer pickle recipe or refrigerator pickle. I think they stay crunchier because they don't go thru the heat of processing. If you are looking to give food gifts, perhaps a good time to look a recipes for hot pepper jelly, chutney or relishes.

Nov 21, 2014
dfrostnh in Greater Boston Area

Thanksgiving for one - What would you make?

I might roast a turkey thigh so I could make a turkey sandwich in the evening with mayo and cranberry sauce on whole grain bread. With maybe ambrosia salad for dessert.

With the freshly roasted turkey thigh I would have delicate squash and stuffing, maybe some peas. Homemade rolls!

Nov 19, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking
1

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

I bought a Perfect Pickler gadget at the farm store last summer. See their website for recipes. This is used for small batch fermenting. The gadget fits on the top of any wide mouth canning jar. (I got a single 2-quart jar at Hobby Lobby). I really liked salsa starter. Daikon and carrots are very good and a sweeter recipe of just carrots is very good. I also did cherry tomatoes (whole) and thought the brined flavor reminded me of green olives. I'm thinking of using some for a holiday cheese ball. Although you can mix vegetables (see recipes for antipasto), if there are any spices or flavoring added other than plain brine, it's going to change the result. I think I'm going to have a very interesting relish tray this Thanksgiving!

Nov 19, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Polar Vortex is coming

Lemon verbena goes into dormancy, at least here in NH. I have successfully overwintered it in semi-heated garage (doesn't freeze). The trick is to start watering it in the spring when it's ready to come out of dormancy. It puts out new leaves.

Parsley is a biennial. I leave it out and get fresh leaves when it re-grows in the spring but as soon as it puts up a flower stem, it gets bitter.

Nov 19, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

7 thoughts for next growing season

The cold wet springs have been early death to my tomatoes except for the plants I put in the high tunnel. The rain doesn't hit them and they get extra warm during the day.

Love poona kheara cucumbers but they seem to be really good at hiding so maybe I should try growing on a trellis.

Was very happy with one jalapeno and one Serrano pepper plant which produced as much as we needed. Can't decide whether I like poblanos or not.

Need to set traps next year since I lost a lot of produce to rodents. They even chewed on hot peppers.

Need to put paste tomatoes in the high tunnel.

Like costata romanesco zucchini very much.

Need to get that late planting of bush beans in the ground. Did not have enough fresh beans this year.

Nelson carrots have been great.

Decided I need to grown long white radishes/daikon to make pickles and fermented radishes and carrots. Love the Perfect Pickler gadget I bought for small batch ferments. Salsa starter is terrific.

I have started a new veggie bed but since my husband really likes potatoes, I need even more room. Both sampler packs from Fedco/Moose's Tubers were great. Last year Fantatic Fingerlings and this year the storage variety (and one variety of fingerlings).

Someday I might learn to grow a decent onion and leeks.

Pull some/most of volunteer pot marigolds because the darn plants get quite large, drop seed and start a second crop.

Do not allow volunteer winter squash plants to grow in our small high tunnel. What a waste of space plus the rodents got the squash.

Definitely prefer tall sugarsnaps over bush variety. Must better production although need a strong trellis. We use concrete reinforcing panels leftover from a construction project. Vines can get 7' tall.

Figure out how to get an early tomato. 4th of July was great but the local grower doesn't have plants available until mid-May. Maybe start my own plants.

Nov 15, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

I have seven butternut squash. I had ten. I used three, and used several more in the past few weeks... need more ideas.

- Shaker squash rolls/biscuits (recipe uses yeast but I think I've done a squash biscuit that just uses baking powder
- I've subbed squash for sweet potatoes/potatoes in Massaman curry. I just buy the little can of curry mix and a can of coconut milk. I pre-cook the squash and add to the recipe rather than try to cook it in the recipe since butternut can disintegrate if cooked too long. Recipe is on the can.
- squash and apple bisque
- squash, kidney bean and corn soup (Three sisters stew)

Do a routine check of your stored squashes for signs of rot. I don't think butternut keeps that well but it depends on the variety. I have grown a long necked butternut type that kept until spring.

Nov 15, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Can I Save a Dry-As-Dust Pork Loin?

This happened to me this week with a mini pork sirloin roast. It had been cooked in foil so I had some tasty concentrated drippings to help. Cut the pork very thin. Sautéed an onion sliced thin in wedges, added some flour, then some water to make a roux. Added the drippings. This made enough gravy in which to re-heat the pork.

Nov 14, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking
1

What is your favorite Thanksgiving roll recipe?

Maybe Shaker squash biscuits/rolls. They are yeast rolls but the most important ingredient is cooked buttercup (not butternut) squash. I use King Arthur Flour and Fleischman's yeast.

But if you are really short on time, there are no knead recipes out there. The dough is so moist it needs to be baked in muffin tins.

Nov 14, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Church Suppers?

In our town, the same core group of volunteers belong to the church, the Grange, and the women's Union so the supper profits get divided three ways. I know one of the Grange projects is to provide holiday food baskets to elderly residents. They are fairly simple not whole meals more like snacks. Another project is to buy dictionaries for all the children in a certain grade at the local elementary school. The reasons for fundraising usually aren't clear. For several years we volunteered with a 4-H teen service club. The annual food benefit (chicken barbecue) funded annual projects such as camp scholarships, Operation Santa, 4-H Foundation, etc. But I think the reason why the barbecue was successful was the smell of the chicken grilling over a charcoal fire. Unless the customers were former or current 4-H, I don't think people knew how the profits were used.

Nov 14, 2014
dfrostnh in Greater Boston Area

Church Suppers?

The church/grange suppers that get the largest turnout are the ones that are benefits for a person/family in need. I was surprised that some people feared getting a sermon as well as dinner. Our son and his family enjoy a monthly all you can eat breakfast at an Odd Fellows. I like the idea that any of these meals are fundraisers but I think you might get a better turnout if you are clear about the purpose of the fundraising. I'm not sure why one we attend seems to have friendlier people but come to think of it, it's nice to have people from the supper committee going around to see if people need coffee re-filled whereas my local supper isn't very good at that. The kids usually do the beverages and bus tables and they aren't very good at it. BTW while vacationing we have looked up church suppers. Best benefit supper was a lobster supper to benefit a Maine fire dept.

Nov 13, 2014
dfrostnh in Greater Boston Area

Church Suppers?

In our area of NH, I haven't even heard grace. The suppers tend to attract older folks who like an inexpensive meal and talking with others at the table. My husband has been enjoying going to suppers in the town where he went to high school and talking over old times with whomever we happen to run into. Some suppers have seatings and serve family style. Others are buffet. If you find one with good pies, that's worth it right there.

Nov 12, 2014
dfrostnh in Greater Boston Area

Polar Vortex is coming

I doubt if rhubarb needs mulching. Here in NH, it's very hardy. You'll see it again in the spring.

Nov 11, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

Solid Road Food Along 95/295 btwn Portland and Augusta?

I might vote for Cameron's Lobster House in Brunswick but we were there only once in the summer so I don't even know if they are open in winter. It's a casual family type of restaurant.

Nov 11, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Farm Journal's Country Cookbook (1959)

I hope it's as good as the Bicentennial National Grange cookbook and the two that followed. All are falling apart (plastic binders) due to use so I keep my eyes open for replacements. I gave my MIL's copies to our DIL.

If you are a bread baker, I would zoom to the chapter on breads. I found steamed brown bread recipes in my local church cookbook that was published maybe 20 years ago. I suspect you might also find some foreign treasures that hadn't yet been lost by families.

Nov 05, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Tomatoes 2014 - Variety Experience Yea? Nay? Meh?

Originally I grew Stupice for an early ripening tomato but the output was very low and the local grower wisely removed it from their list of tomato plants. So, this year, 4th of July was my best early tomato and continued to produce all season so I will grow again.

I had problems with disease once again. The only tomato plants that did well were the ones growing in my high tunnel (sides rolled up) so they didn't get touched by rain and day time temps were frequently in the 90s. Did anyone in the northeast have good luck growing tomatoes with plastic mulch? I was very disappointed that my three plum tomato plants did very poorly. Looks like next year I will concentrate on disease resistant varieties and pray for warmer temps instead of the rainy, cool weather we had in the beginning of summer.

Nov 05, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

Tomatoes 2014 - Variety Experience Yea? Nay? Meh?

Julia, could you explain more about fermenting the unripe fruit? What do you do with it. I am a newbie at small batch fermentation. I did ferment some green cherry tomatoes. I am very happy with a salsa starter recipe that contains green peppers, onion, celery and dried herbs but fresh tomato is added to it. I decided not to try a fermented salsa recipe that included ripe tomatoes.

Right now, I think the flavor of the fermented cherry tomatoes is briny enough that I can use them as a green olive substitute but I would like to eat more fermented veggies more often and have difficulty imagining just how to do that? Maybe I'm overthinking it.

Nov 05, 2014
dfrostnh in Gardening

Thanksgiving biscuits ideas

If you're in an area where you can still get green tomatoes, I made green tomato, roasted red pepper and cheese biscuits that friends loved.

The squash roll recipe from Shaker Village is great!

Nov 02, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Please Share your Favorite Whoopie Pie Fillings

People have their favorites. For pumpkin whoopie pies, I prefer the cream cheese frosting type but like the marshmallow fluff better for chocolate and there's a peanut butter filling that my husband loves for purchased whoopie pies. One local bakery does a fondant type filling which I love but he doesn't. I recently purchased a community cookbook sold by a group from Maine. I think there are three different whoopie pie recipes including a molasses one I've never had. I have an older 4-H cookbook that has a recipe for zucchini whoopie pies.

This recipe would be similar to the filling I use omitting the bourbon and nuts
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Oct 30, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

pumpkin bread recipe

I've done a pumpkin beer bread recipe that's good. Or, do you just want the sweet quick bread type?

Oct 28, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Vermont Trip Report (Stowe/Waterbury/Morrisville) - Oct 2014

Love detailed reports like yours, thanks! This year seems to have been my day and short trips to VT year. The only thing duplicated was repeat visits to King Arthur Flour for classes and Norwich farmers market. Hope you make another trip so you can spend more time. Brattleboro, Montpelier and Norwich farmers markets have some local cheese sellers who have free samples. Noting your comment about social responsibility, you might want to read Ben Hewitt's book "The Town That Food Saved" which is about the Hardwick VT area.

Oct 27, 2014
dfrostnh in Northern New England

What besides meat and soups can I make in a slow cooker?

I just read someone's slow cooker recipe for bread/sausage stuffing that looked very good. I don't use ours enough, mostly for pulled pork and pork roasts.

I've had desserts made in the slow cooker, like apple crisp.

Oct 26, 2014
dfrostnh in Home Cooking