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The Great Banh Mi Search

jbuttitta, I agree on the baguette. I had a banh mi in a mid-western city that came on a roll that was quite sweet. I don't even think it went with the filling. I was greatly disappointed. What recipe do you use?

about 18 hours ago
dfrostnh in Northern New England

The Great Banh Mi Search

Some day I have got to get to Lowell. I think I'm missing out on a lot of good eating. Thanks for the recommendations.

The Great Banh Mi Search

thanks! Yesterday booked a visit to Maine. Usually stay in the Bath area but this time further north. Plan is to go down the coast on our way home. Might be able to hit Pho Sizzle.

What variety of grean beans to grow?

I used to grow Provider bush bean which if kept picked and fertilized, put out a second crop. But we like the tender filet types even better. A friend just shared some pole bean seeds with me. I will grow on concrete reinforcing panel trellis that was set up for sugar snap peas.

I have seen bean plants but that's an expensive way to go for something that is so easy to plant. In the future, I would suggest buying from a catalog that offers far more variety than box store seed displays. I like Johnny's and Fedco.

When our son was small, I planted a 3 or 4' square raised bed for him. That small an area produced a lot of green beans. I'm pretty sure I was growing Provider.

May 27, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

The Great Banh Mi Search

Please help me locate Banh Mi sandwiches in Northern New England. If I'm in Nashua on the weekend, I stop at Saigon Market for their pre-made sandwiches. Recently we went to Portsmouth so I could try the banh mi. (forgot restaurant in warehouse type place) It was ok but not as good as I had hope since it seemed to be missing some key ingredients. Over in Brattleboro, the great food truck that used to be in Harmony Parking lot is no longer. Surely there is some place in Manchester that serves these great sandwiches. What about Portland ME?

Yesterday I had an Italian sandwich at In a Pinch in Concord NH. While nothing like a banh mi, the sandwich roll they use is darn close. Last week I had a cold cut banh mi in Boston at 163 Vietnamese Sandwich in Chinatown. Only $3.75!

Any place in Hanover area?

If anyone is making their own, what is kind of cold cuts do you like to use?

May 27, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

visit to Maine

While you are in Kittery, you can stop at Stonewall Kitchen to try different samples of their products. When Pigs Fly has a bakery with lots of free samples, too. You might want to hit that on way home. They'll slice a loaf for you if you want and bread is put in plastic bags so you can pop into freezer. The only one I didn't think did well in freezer had curry powder in it. They have some very interesting flavors.

Check to see if Bite Into Maine food truck is parking at Fort Williams park in South Portland. They have several different kinds of lobster rolls plus you can find a spot overlooking Casco Bay for a picnic. We carry bag chairs in the car. Then go to Old Port Area for MDI ice cream. Get the sampler.

You're going to have to check if any of the popular lobster shacks are open. Waterman's doesn't open until June 20. Five Islands is open now and probably has one of the best views. Friends have recommended a seafood place in Scarborough and another in Yarmouth that I'd like to try but we usually head directly to mid-coast area. I would be tempted just to stay in Portland and do day trips.

May 27, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

What to cook with a bounty of Asian herbs

I used to make a punch with lemon balm but don't remember where the recipe came from. I think it started off with making a tea (tisane?) from the lemon balm. You could probably make some amazing drinks. Also consider making jellies and vinegars. Herb jellies are wonderful for thumbprint cookies.

May 24, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Advice for new food gardeners

ps Abundance has led me to discover fermenting (I use a Perfect Pickler gadget) and some good water bath canning recipes. It was great yesterday to open a jar of pickled jalapenos so I could make a corn and cheese dip for a cookout. Surplus cherry tomatoes get cooked up into a curried sauce that makes a fantastic cocktail sauce for shrimp and also an addition to breakfast egg sandwiches.

May 24, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

Advice for new food gardeners

I agree. I've had two years of diseased tomato plants which I will hopefully prevent this year by using mulch. The tomatoes I planted in my high tunnel (with sides rolled up) did not get diseased because they didn't get rained on. (rain spattering up from soil carries disease)

Love our county extension and some free classes offered by a local ag group. Mr Neat (otherwise known as husband) had to be talked into leaving a strip of unmowed grass to encourage birds and beneficial insects.

I highly recommend buying seeds and plants from a good source. A local backyard grower offers a wonderful selection of tomato and pepper varieties. My favorite varieties are not offered at the local big box stores.

I transplant preferably on a cloudy day or late in the afternoon and water well with a fish emulsion or liquid seaweed fertilizer. Here in NH it was low thirties at night but today a heat wave starts.

May 24, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

Is there anywhere North of Boston to see lots of flowering trees and catch lunch nearby?

If you want to go a little further (but I heard north bound traffic is really bad today - 5/22) Rt 1B from Portsmouth NH thru Newcastle is very pretty. Lilacs are blooming in the Concord NH area. Any place with an apple orchard would be nice but probably past peak now. I remember a lot of crab apples along the coastal road in Rye NH. Wagon Hill Farm in Durham NH on Rt 4 is open to the public with walking trails. There is a picnic area down by the water (long walk) but I don't think there are any grills. I think there are grills at Hilton Park on the water (Great Bay) in Dover Point. I think it's route 16. The bridges over Great Bay are my favorite approach. We usually take some side roads between Rt 1A and Rt 1 and enjoy the beautiful homes and landscaping.

May 22, 2015
dfrostnh in Greater Boston Area

Soup ideas to use up close-to-use-by-date vegetables?

Agree. I made a roasted tomato pizza sauce that is just enough for one pizza. There's lots of garlic in the sauce. If I recall the recipe correctly, It's basically roasted tomatoes and garlic but not cooked as a sauce.

May 09, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Soup ideas to use up close-to-use-by-date vegetables?

I think I would sauté leeks and 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks, couple of garlic cloves then add chicken stock. I'm thinking dried parsley and dillweed for this. Also add courgettes diced. I'm not sure about adding red peppers but you can roast, slice and freeze or just slice and freeze for some later use. Peppers are easy to freeze and don't need to be blanched. Add some chilis to the veggie soup if you want more heat.

May 09, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Saving my rhubarb

Perhaps call your county extension office to see if rhubarb is safe to eat growing so close to where herbicide was used even next year. I think this is a great question to ask by people who use weed and feed type products. I would contact the company, too. Should be a phone number on the package.

May 08, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

Mid-May Maine vacation: recs please!

Last September we did a "cooking class" at Stonewall Kitchen in York. The room is set up classroom style with the chef demonstrating. Assistants finish cooking and serving the students. It was a fun night and I was surprised that they did not use Stonewall Kitchen products. I'd like to go back for one of the seafood menus. Menus change daily and advance reservations are suggested.

Thanks to a package deal where we were staying, we had breakfast at Merriland Farm Café. It's popular and away from Rt 1. We all enjoyed our breakfasts - interesting menu.

May 07, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Seeking food adventure in VT (not Burlington)

Do you visit farmers markets? I have liked Brattleboro, Norwich and Montpelier for breakfast snacks and lunches. I think Brattleboro has more ethnic food vendors. Norwich is very festive. One vendor has a savory small pie (suitable for lunch). When I asked about the dough, she said it was a combination of two recipes. It wasn't flakey like a pie crust. Last summer at Norwich a vendor was selling homemade fruity popsicles.

May 04, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England
1

Need suggestions for healthy snacks for a road trip with colleagues

I used to be on a diet that recommended both a morning and afternoon snack. My favorite morning snack is stick cheese (I like Polly-O brand) and an apple. I prefer to cut my apple into wedges and core. Fuji don't brown too quickly like other varieties do. I don't mind if stick cheese isn't refrigerated for a few hours but some people might prefer it be kept in an insulated bag. I also like clementines. Grapes are a good suggestion.

May 03, 2015
dfrostnh in General Topics
1

Seeking food adventure in VT (not Burlington)

Pizza on Earth was the first thing I thought of. Make sure you have very good directions since it's in the middle of farm country. (We don't have a gps.)

Seeking a pork chop recipe that will go with this butternut squash dish...

Agree with everyone. My rule of thumb is to keep one item simple if another one on the menu has a lot of different flavors.

Apr 30, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking
1

Lunch in Dover NH area?

Did not get back to Dover but finally made it to Street. It was a gray weather day and my husband was very dismayed by the dimly lit industrial look. We were seated against a dark wall. He had perused the menu on-line and decided on a hamburger. He has never had a fish taco in his life and apparently he wasn't going to start yesterday. I looked forward to the banh mi and thought the $9 price wasn't as bad as some have posted elsewhere since the sandwich is larger than usual. It wasn't very spicy (I'm used to Saigon Market Saturday bahn mi sandwiches) but the chicken was freshly grilled thigh meat. I may be wrong but I don't think they used pickled daikon and carrots which I think are required for a great banh mi. I got a noodle bowl take-out to enjoy today. Service was sketchy yet it was not crowded at lunch time on a Wednesday.

I would go back to try other things on the menu but I'd choose a sunny day and probably leave my husband at home.

Apr 30, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Concord NH: Granite Restaurant at Centennial Inn

We did enjoy a lunch at Old Europe and will return.

Apr 30, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Fried clams around Seabrook, N.H. or Kittery, Maine

Petey's in Rye. Definitely casual. Even in winter tends to be busy so we try to do a late lunch.

Apr 30, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Any good fried clams in Southern VT?

We went to the Marina in Brattleboro a couple of years ago to meet up with friends. It was decent enough. I haven't figured out why seacoast clams are better, maybe fresher? Maybe not cooked as long? Maybe secret batter? Best clams we ever had were from a food truck at Maine's Common Ground Fair held in September. The batter was more cake-y almost like pancake batter.

Apr 25, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Uses for dry mashed potatoes

There's some roll recipes that call for mashed potato flakes. You could also donate to a food pantry. The mashed potatoes served at our local benefit suppers come from a box. They aren't too bad but if I had a new box, I would donate t.

Apr 21, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking
1

Cabbage Rolls anyone?

I second the recommendation to make the cabbage casserole instead. Same flavor and far less work. Sorry, I can't remember the name of the recipe, it was something like unrolled cabbage casserole.

Apr 12, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking
1

Vegetable gardens 2015

Not possible to plant outside yet. We had more snow last Thurs and rain on Friday. But I got some seeds planted in my high tunnel and have started some seeds indoors. Most years I have spinach planted by now but spring really isn't here yet. Maybe this week.

Shuttered Golden Bowl plans reopening across from Verizon Arena - Manchester Ink Link

Thanks for the update!

Apr 12, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Tomatoes from seeds - grow light necessary?

I use old florescent shop lights, too. They hang on chains so they can be lifted as plants grow taller. I think you can find some instructions for DIY seed starting stands. Local market growers just use tables with lights suspending from ceiling in the basement. You get the chain at the hardware store.

Apr 10, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

raised beds

Sorry, I meant the book Crockett's Victory Garden that was based on the tv show. There are several versions. The first one was the best unless you want the one that focuses on flowers.

Apr 10, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

raised beds

I usually plant things like marigolds, borage, calendula, and nasturtiums on some of my veggie beds. Borage and calendula self seed from year to year. I have to pull a lot out. Also usually plant some herbs. Dill has been self seeding for a couple of years now. I have a strip of "wild" flowers and grasses just beyond the vegetable garden for beneficial insects otherwise Mr. Neat mows everything.

You can plant whatever you want. Suggest you start composting and mulching. I found almost free composted horse manure on Craigslist. The owner adds kitchen scraps and bedding to the manure pile and turns it several times. It's beautiful stuff by spring. I think he charges $15 to load our utility trailer. You can find free manure you have to dig yourself. Just make sure it's aged. Even if you can only fill a 5 gallon pail, it's something.

Years ago there was a wonderful vegetable gardening show on Boston tv - Crockett's Victory Garden. It's a month by month guide to what to do in the garden and lots of how-to info. Your local library might have it. I've seen used copies for sale in used bookstores.

Apr 09, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

raised beds

Need more info. Are you looking at something on legs? We have deer but they don't usually bother the garden. You can buy deer repellant spray at the farm and feed store. I use the lasagna method of building a raised bed - no sides. I have grass paths that are mowed. Black thumbs have to do with not having good soil which I think the lasagna method helps solve. It's kind of late this year but you could start one for things planted when it gets warmer. I top my beds with composted manure EVERY year. What I did for winter squash last year was start a new lasagna bed but made a hole filled with composted manure for each hill (5-6 seeds).

But friends have reported super results from "salad tables" if that's what you are looking at.

Apr 07, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening