Thursday, November 12, 2015

Holiday Tradition = Holiday Stroll

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Here in Peterborough, NH we usher in the season with the Annual Holiday Stroll. A tradition since 1994, when the churches in town decided to work together in creating a full day of holiday craft fair fun.

Not just a shopping experience, this year you will enjoy fresh baked goods, attic treasures, plants, music and books in addition to those one-of-a-kind handmade crafts. The Peterborough Garden Club is even offering a greens creating workshop for only $5.

The 22nd Annual Holiday stroll will be held Saturday, November 21 from 9:00a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Start your day with a pancake breakfast, enjoy your stroll along Main, Grove and Concord Streets, then head on over to Shieling forest for the greens workshop. And it is quite likely you may meet Santa or an elf strolling Peterborough, too!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pack Monadnock & Raptor Migration

It's called the Hawk Watch. Every fall Pack Monadnock hosts NH Audubon naturalists and volunteers at the Raptor Observatory site. 

Accessible via a 1.5 mile hike or the auto road in Miller State Park, the clearing atop South Pack Monadnock lies directly along the migration route and offers the opportunity to view hundreds of raptors.
 My hike up this week was gorgeous. Booth, the puggle, joined me for a late afternoon trek up the Wapack Trail.The foliage was lovely and the often damp trail offered up the musty, leafy aroma of fall.  Views were spectacular, with peak-a-boo-sunshine providing some unique lighting.  At the watch station Audubon representative, Katrina, was happy to answer my questions and talk about this season's hawk watch. Her enthusiasm for her work was evident as she detailed the rare sighting of a Swainson's Hawk this year. After 20 minutes of observation without a late afternoon raptor appearance, we headed back down the Marion Davis Trail.

The daily reports are fun to peruse, and this year marks record numbers sighted at the Pack Monadnock Observatory. In addition there is further entertaining information about non-raptor migratory birds and the visitors (including dogs, on occasion) that visited. It is with great pleasure that, in addition to hiking up to partake in the viewing, the Jack Daniels Motor Inn supports the Raptor Observatory annually:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Never too many apples

Apples everywhere - now what? I know in our house the abundance of fall means fresh apples daily...but there are always more than we can eat. 

Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy apples throughout Autumn - or anytime!

Apple Sauce is so much easier than you think: 

Core, peel and cut into a large dice any quantity of your favorite apples. Put in a sauce pan with about 2 Tbs of water, cover and simmer until apples are soft, stirring frequently. Mash with a potato masher - we like the sauce still chunky and served warm, but you can food process or blend for a smooth sauce. A little cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top - perfect side dish or dessert. If you like your applesauce sweetened, add a little sugar as your are cooking.

Apple Pan Cake is why I bought my big cast iron skillet. A quick and easy go-to for dessert or just eating, my favorite recipe is this classic from allrecipes

Grilled Apples are the perfect accompaniment to a pork tenderloin crusted with a slightly spicy rub. I let my apples soak in lemon juice and a little sugar to soften them up and throw them on the grill as my meat reaches the end of its cooking time.

While these are some of our favorites, I am always open to suggestions. What great apple recipes do you prepare when you have apples in abundance? Share in the comments  - I'll look forward to some new recipes to try!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Apple Picking Monadnock Style

For generations the kind care of a family orchard has delighted Monadnock Region visitors and residents alike. My visit to Norway Hill Orchard  this week was perfection:

An abundance of Macintosh apples were ready for the picking. At the apple shed I was encouraged to try one as I walked the rows of trees on this Hancock, New Hampshire hillside. 

Just a short drive from Route 202 via Route 123, Forest Road or Route 137, this family owned and operated orchard grows primarily Macintosh, Cortland, Empire and Macoun, and you will also find Delicious, Paula Red,and Baldwin. As early as 1923 the orchard was part of a network of McLeod family orchards. Peg and her husband chose to continue it's operation independently in retirement and have made the orchard a dynamic feature in the town landscape. One unique trait of this special location are the views across the orchard to the Grand Monadnock, the mountain our region is named for.

 As I bite into my large apple, I know that my efforts will be much appreciated back at the Jack Daniels Motor Inn - 'cause who can resist that hand picked autumn apple?
And this is just the beginning: My favorites - Macoun - will be ready for picking in another week or two!