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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.

Apr 12, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening
1

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

On the way to Quebec City

Haven't checked out Brother's Donuts. Yes, it's doable. Get off I93 at exit 17. Follow Rt 3 thru Boscawen to Franklin. I think it will be easiest for you to continue north on Rt 3 and get back on at exit 20 (Tilton Mall area).

Ma and Pa's in downtown Meredith NH is pretty good for breakfast but the hash really isn't homemade from scratch. It would be a short detour off I93 at exit 23.

Haven't been to the Littleton Diner in a long time but we had the best hash there ... maybe they have good donuts.

Apr 05, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Melting snowbanks reveal mass destruction

Still have some snow in the yard and am anxious to see how the shrubs I bought on sale in the fall have fared. I had my husband put them in a trench, still in their pots.
Maybe there's enough life left in your shrubs and trees. One year my mother-in-laws magnolia which really isn't hardy enough for our area was severely damaged. It did survive, though. You might be surprised at what new branches come out on the small shrubs.
Perhaps you can try grafting some new branches to the crabapple.

Good luck!

Apr 01, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

easter brunch in Concord or Manchester, NH?

according to their facebook page dated 3/22, Granite Restaurant in Concord in the Centennial Inn is taking reservations for 10:30 and 12:30 seatings. https://www.facebook.com/GraniteResta...
It's located on Pleasant St so easy to find.

Mar 27, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

tryingtobakebread....

interesting point, chowser. I've made some recipes that say let yeast work for 10 minutes and others where you just start mixing everything together. Tryingtobake - best wishes for Easter Dinner brioche. I usually make yeast rolls every week for our family dinner but stopped during the heat of last summer. Started up again when 10 year od granddaughter asked when I was going to make rolls again. The smell of baking yeast breads puts a smile on my husband's face.

Mar 25, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Good Mexican or Chinese Food near Lebanon/Hanover

The China Station is actually inside a gas station 410 Miracle Mile in Lebanon. You can see the Yelp reviews are a mixed batch and it's considered Americanized. I really liked it the first time but was disappointed the second. Try it and see for yourself? We had trouble finding it. It's right at the intersection heading over to VT. Sorry, forget what brand of gas station.

Mar 25, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Has anyone ever tried weighing flour to test the weight vs volume relationship?

After seeing the flour weight demo during a class at King Arthur Flour, I stopped hard scooping. We were told to scoop flour into a measuring cup and then slide the excess off. That made a big difference in the amount of flour I use.

Spinach seeding hints

I have had good luck with Tyee and usually get my seed either from Johnny's or Fedco. I'm in zone 5 (NH). As soon as the ground thaws is when I plant- usually it's early April but will have to be later this year. One time I read that spinach is day length sensitive which is why it bolts if planted later. For a fall crop, follow recommendations for how many weeks before a fall frost in your area. I have had fall planted spinach winter over even when we didn't get much snow and start growing in the very early spring. It's definitely a cool weather crop.

Also, one year I planted before topping my garden beds with composted horse manure. It grew but not as big and luxurious as a second seeding after manure. Check the fertility of your soil.

Mar 18, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

How to use up a cup of lemon basil syrup ?

This is an interesting challenge. I think I made this recipe last summer and used it to flavor iced tea. Making a fruit salad would be an obvious solution but I would be tempted to invent a version of lemon pudding cake.

Mar 18, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Traveling with pie

I haven't transported a pie since before 9/11. Make sure you have a sturdy container (I had a pie basket). You should be able to find a plastic container. How long is the flight? The TSA rules say pies and cakes are ok but might require additional screening. Perhaps you can pack a frozen food item around the pie since you can't use an ice pack.

Mar 16, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

aanyone baking pie today...

It was much easier to drive to a local place where the owners make fantastic pies. My husband chose apple but knowing I love strawberry rhubarb (he hates it), he got me a mini sr pie.

Mar 15, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking
1

Organic Baby Spinach... Never Again!

Eating stems next time is a good idea. I think locally grown spinach is probably more tender than store bought that's been shipped long distances. I know there are some vegetables that have been bred for durability and longevity that are probably harder to digest. Can't remember when our grandchildren started eating raw vegetables but I think fiber is a good idea in diets.

Mar 15, 2015
dfrostnh in General Topics

Braised beef short ribs, what can be done the day ahead?

Do the braise ahead. Make some yeast rolls to take out of the oven just before eating. Smell of baking yeast rolls trumps braises.

Mar 14, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Braised beef short ribs, what can be done the day ahead?

I would cook them start to finish the day before if you are short on time. I think anything braised tastes better on day 2.

Vegetables that aren't necessary to grow at home?

Check to see if you can grow spinach as a fall crop. Here in NH, I've had it over winter even when we didn't get much snow. It dies back to the ground but then starts growing again very early in the spring.

Mar 11, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening

Easter dinner in NH

I just had lunch for the first time at the Granite Restaurant. If you are looking for a very nice, upscale place I would choose it. It is located on Pleasant Street in Concord NH and isn't far from exit 2, I89.

Mar 11, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Concord NH: Granite Restaurant at Centennial Inn

Finally had lunch at the Granite Restaurant. Lunch is only served M - F. My fussy friend ordered the battered haddock entre which came with cole slaw and French fries. I did not care for the aioli but I thought the fries were good. She did not think her fish had been cooked long enough but it's the first time in a long time that I have seen her finish her meal. Despite a short menu, I had trouble making up my mind. Even the meatloaf sounded delicious. I ended up choosing Potato Chive Gnocchi which was scrumptious. Everything about it was perfect from just the right spiciness of the sausage to the flavor of the pesto. The gnocchi was not overpowered by the rest of the ingredients. I would have licked my plate but this is a white tablecloth restaurant. I chose a half salad of roasted winter squash, dried cranberries, apples and mixed greens. I think it had a maple vinaigrette. This is not the kind of restaurant my husband enjoys but I am so tired of mediocre and unimaginative iceberg lettuce salads. The website says they make use of local ingredients. Hurrah!

There were not a lot of other diners for a Monday lunch. My friend wants to return because it's a classy kind of place and with its own parking lot, there's no problem parking.

Mar 10, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Variations of risotto?

I hate the long cooking/stirring time risotto requires and looking at your list of ingredients I would follow a recipe such as http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
after deciding which items could stand long cooking and which need to wait until near the end of the cooking time to be added. I would not want zucchini to disintegrate and I think basil should be added at the end (if it's fresh).

Mar 07, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Adding counter top to a small kitchen?

That's a good suggestion. Something that was standard in our camping trailer. Worked well.

I'm pretty sure you can buy a piece of countertop with finished ends. We use one for an office desk using two 2-drawer file cabinets as a base. Just check with in-house pro. You have to request the ends finished when you order the countertop.

Since you could probably use the storage area, look for some shelving that can serve as a base. You need to measure the height of existing counter and get something similar so it's comfortable.

Mar 06, 2015
dfrostnh in Cookware

Food, gardening, and other upcoming classes/workshops at Canterbury Shaker Village

Thanks for the heads up. I started doing fermentation last summer with a Perfect Pickler gadget. The whole idea is fascinating and I was surprised to really enjoy some of the recipes. I'm looking forward to more and a class with an expert would be a great help.

Feb 25, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Golden Bowl Manchester NH is closing - NO MO PHO

Darn, I hardly ever get to Manchester but was planning on a visit in a month or so. Thanks for the heads up. Does this mean going to Nashua for pho? Any other place in Manchester? I'm still mourning the loss of banh mi on weekends at Saigon grocery in Manchester. Get to Nashua even less often.

Feb 22, 2015
dfrostnh in Northern New England

Are tank lobsters any good?

We live in NH where the grocery stores in our area have lobsters in tanks and will steam them for you. We usually get lobsters in the summer when they are soft shell and inexpensive. For Christmas, I got two lobsters steamed to make our own lobster rolls. They were very hard shell and I thought tastier than we usually get. I think feisty is a good indication of freshness. I have read that if they are in the tanks too long, they are slowly starving. Yes, our favorite steamed lobsters are eaten at a lobster shack in Maine where we expect they were just recently caught. As long as the lobsters haven't been in the tank too long, they should be fine. Can you ask when they get new deliveries?

Feb 22, 2015
dfrostnh in General Topics

Looking for sweet yeast bread starter recipe

Could you be thinking of Amish Friendship bread? Did you have to feed the starter and give some of it away to friends?

Feb 16, 2015
dfrostnh in Home Cooking

Vegetables that aren't necessary to grow at home?

What I like to grow best are the veggies we pick just before cooking like sugar snaps and peppers. I grow several varieties of peppers Carmen as well as Bells because we love sausage and pepper sandwiches. I have one jalapeno and one Serrano so I have a hot pepper if needed for a recipe. Last year I discovered fermenting and love the pepper based salsa starter recipe.

My husband asked that I grow carrots because he likes them so much. I think I grew Nelson last summer. Very good carrot and yes, sweeter than store bought. I like the potato samplers you can get from Moose's Tubers via Fedco Seeds. Year one was the Fingerling sampler. Year two (last summer) was the Classic Keepers plus a couple of fingerling varieties. Potatoes are on the dirty dozen list, grown with so many chemicals, I am reluctant to eat store bought anymore. They make take up a lot of room (fingerlings are very prolific) but easy to store so it's great in winter to have something from the garden even if it's really from storage pails in the cellar.

We don't care for flavor of Swiss chard in summer but it turns sweet in the fall. Great treat in winter when I can buy some at the winter farmers market.

We don't grow corn because of the animal problem and we have local corn stands in summer but quality isn't as good as it used to be.

Feb 15, 2015
dfrostnh in Gardening