Foodstuffs

  Foodstuffs Small Plates: Dean Kamen, Restaurateur?

Small Plates is a roundup of New Hampshire food news.

With all of this warm weather, it definitely feels like summer. But it isn’t yet.  And for local farmers, it’s still too early to produce local crops. And that means restaurant owners using locally sourced food are still looking for new solutions to get through the trickiest time of year: the long, cold winters. But now Farm to Table Restaurants are getting farmers to consider new methods for supplying produce in the lean months.

Small Plates is a roundup of New Hampshire food news.

Colin Grey/flickr

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, marking the unofficial start of summer.

With the warm weather, farmers markets are opening for the season across the Granite State, but there aren't as many here as there used to be.

(Click here for the Department of Agriculture's directory of farmers markets for 2015, with times and dates)

Jane Lang is president of the New Hampshire Farmers Market Association. She joined Morning Edition to explain why.

rows of crops
Brady Carlson / NHPR

Years ago, the members of the community at Canterbury Shaker Village grew their own food, and sold some of the surplus to residents in the area. There hasn’t been farming on the site for a number of years. That’s why farm manager Stacey Cooper was pleasantly surprised to find the soil in such good shape.

"I was a bit surprised that the nutrient analysis was as balanced as it was," Cooper said, as she looked over the roughly 3/4ths of an acre that make up her farmland. "It didn't need much at all - a testament to how well they took care of their land."

Sean Hurley

Polly and "Sugar Bill" Dexter opened Polly's Pancake Parlor in 1938.  That first year they served a few hundred customers in a carriage shed that sat 65.  Last year, in the same old shed, Polly's granddaughter Kathie Aldrich Cote and her husband Dennis, served nearly 60,000.  The Cote's realized it was time to tear the old shed down and build a new Polly's from the ground up.

Though he's looked everywhere, Dennis Cote can't seem to find his hammer.

"I've spent hours just looking for my hammer in this building."

Produce on a store shelf
Sodanie Chea via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/MLjxV

Update 5/16 11:19 am: In a statement this week, the cooperative society's director of communications, Allan Reetz, told NHPR that the organization has "and will continue to follow the mandates of the National Labor Relations Act.  While we will continue to treat employees of the Co-op with courtesy and respect, we are hopeful that union organizers will, as well." 

The original story follows: 

A national labor union is taking a dispute with a group of New Hampshire food cooperatives to a federal agency.

Benson Kua via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/ML4YP

  Even in the coldest parts of the year there are Granite Staters out on hiking trails and in the woods, but now that we have warmer weather, even the most casual outdoorsmen and women among us may choose to head out of doors.

Concord Farmers Market

May is when many farmers markets get underway or move from indoor markets to outdoor locations.

Jane Lang is president of the New Hampshire Farmers Market Association. She says it’s still early in the growing season, but over time consumers will see more options.

“A lot of them bring a lot of their seeds and things like that to the market," Lang says. "But you’re going to start seeing the vegetables coming probably in the next few weeks.”

Brady Carlson / NHPR

There's a cliché around college life, that students are up at all hours of the night, and not merely for studying. Of course, when junior Tyler Kelting is up at 4 in the morning, it’s not because of partying. He’s got work to do.

"We milk at 4 am and 3 pm," he says during an open house at the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, on the northwestern side of the Durham campus. And about 70 of the roughly 170 cows here need milking, so there's plenty to do. 

mantasmagorical / Morguefile

Among the tables featuring fresh fruits and vegetables at New Hampshire farmers markets this summer, you’re also likely to see small craft breweries and wineries selling their creations.

Tasting one of these alcoholic beverages, however, will have to wait until after you purchase it and take it home.

Jane Lang is president of the New Hampshire Farmers Markets’ Association. She says it’s important to taste samples of food and beverages before you buy—it helps the consumer choose—and this is especially important for wine and beer.

Luca Nebuloni via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/LZ7gR

A lot of what you see at presidential primary events is pretty standard: a national political figure, local officials, members of the press, and, of course, voters.

On this night at the Snowshoe Club in Concord, there was something else: a long table with sixteen pies.

The guest of honor, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, says he mostly adheres to a paleo diet, which doesn’t include baked goods. But in the spirit of the evening, he dug into a slice of blueberry pie – and the potential 2016 candidate had no regrets over indulging.

K Hardy via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/L97SE

There's a spring tradition that's been building over the last few years: Peeps diorama contests. Participants use those marshmallow birds and bunnies to put together all kinds of wacky and creative displays.

Steve Richardson via Flickr CC

Looking for something  Grade A to do this weekend? After an especially long winter, New Hampshire residents can finally taste the sweet stuff that's become an annual rite of spring: local maple syrup produced in a roadside shack.

Sean Hurley

Local Foods Plymouth has been connecting area residents with local farmers and bakers via their online farmer's market since 2006. Members can order meat, vegetables, bread, hot sauce, even hand-made soaps online and collect their goods at a local pick-up spot.  Last year, they made it even easier with a delivery service they call "Farm to Desk" as NHPR's Sean Hurley reports.

  It’s the first week of March, about the time we usually see the kickoff to the maple sugaring season. But maple syrup producers are still waiting anxiously for the sap to start flowing.

Howard Pearl joined All Things Considered. He’s a maple producer in Loudon and a director of the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association which represents 400 maple farms in the state.

Karima Nabulsi owns Karima's Kitchen, a specialty food and catering company that operates out of Eastman's Corner Farmstand in Kensington, N.H.

Nabulsi moved to the United States from Lebanon when she was 14. Today, she uses produce from Seacoast-area farms to make traditional Lebanese food.

Listen to the audio postcard below to hear her recipe for spinach fatayer: a Lebanese finger-food.

Matt Saunders via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/IzBvo

Over the next few weeks Foodstuffs is going to look at the range of foods we have here in the Granite State - and it may be a wider range of foods than many of us think.

Among winter comfort foods, Susan Laughlin of New Hampshire Magazine has one choice for the ultimate: poutine. She compiled a guide to poutine in New Hampshire and she joined All Things Considered to talk about it.

Sean Hurley, NHPR

Each year the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association honors the state’s best maple producer with the Lawrence A. Carlisle Memorial Trophy.

This year’s winner is the Fadden family, which has been making syrup for some 200 years, and has been producing on its current location in North Woodstock since the 1930’s.

Jim Fadden joined All Things Considered to talk about the award and the sweet old world of maple.

Michael Rosenstein via Flickr/CC http://ow.ly/HN2Su

If seaweed isn't part of your share of New Hampshire food, it may soon be. At least that's the goal of the “exploration of seaweed” event taking place at Stages at One Washington in Dover.

Ted Murphy via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/Hoz3v

In cold weather we turn to comfort food, and there are few foods more comforting than mac and cheese.

This winter favorite is becoming increasingly versatile, as is evident from the many entries in the New Hampshire’s Own Macaroni and Cheese Bake Off, which takes place Saturday, January 17th, in Concord.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The A&E Custom Coffee Roastery in Amherst is hosting a latte art throwdown. We decided to learn more about how latte art is made and judged.

Sam Delay really knows his coffee.

“This espresso that we’re using is our bonbon espresso blend.”

Delay is a trainer and wholesale account manager at A&E. And, as a barista, he puts a lot of pride in his art, describing the exact weight of the coffee grounds, the time it takes to pour, the volume of a double-shot and so on.

“Mugs that are very good for pouring art have a very curved bottom.”

Florian Schroiff via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4LGNke

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who submitted answers to our questionnaire. We'll leave it up in case some of you haven't had a chance to submit. Here's a link to the answers we've received so far: Questionnaire Results.

Overview of Results: These don't include the results of our panel.

Ketchup: Heinz or Hunts?

This is a time of year when food banks and aid groups are looking for ways to encourage people to donate food and money to help the hungry.

The Portsmouth Public Library is offering its patrons a deal: donate food to the Seacoast Family Food Pantry and they’ll forgive some overdue fines.

Rhett Sutphin via Flickr CC

Your dad made it look easy...maybe. But carving a turkey is a bit more complicated than you might think. It's a big bird, after all, and not every knife is created equal. (Nor is every bird, thanks to the "spatchcock" craze!)

But never fear, humble home-chef, there's somewhere to turn if you're confounded by the prospect of carving: YouTube. 

Listed below are some of the most informative and easy-to-follow turkey carving how-to videos on the site.

Pro Tip: Watch them in advance of the family arriving and you'll look like a turkey carving ninja come dinner time.

Jocelyn & Cathy via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/EeQ62

Yankee Magazine recently released the winners of its 2014 Editors Choice Food Awards. One of the New Hampshire honorees caught our attention: Moochie’s Macarons of Nashua.

Amy Quinton, NHPR

For the past several years, two men calling themselves The Fish Nerds have been on a quest to catch and eat all the species of New Hampshire freshwater fish. Their quest is now complete.

Clay Groves and Dave Kellam talked with All Things Considered about what they learned while trying to “Catch-m-All and Eat-m-All.”

How did this all get started?

Stef Noble via Flickr/CC http://ow.ly/CdH92

It’s apple season, and one of the most enjoyable ways to partake is the apple cider doughnut.

Amy Traverso is senior lifestyle editor at Yankee Magazine and author of The Apple Lover’s Cookbook.

She tells says even though New Hampshire has plenty of great cider doughnuts for sale, everyone should try making a batch at home at least once.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A Colebrook woman is trying to make it easier for people to buy locally grown foods while giving farmers an economic boost. Her idea is a variation on the classic roadside farm stand, and it is a model that could be used around the state.

But it’s going to require a change in state law.

Cascadian Farm via Flickr/CC http://ow.ly/APWQE

Yes, the Market Basket dispute is over, but not all is rosy in the New Hampshire food world. Take for example, the legal challenge in Walpole between two ice cream shops.

Pages