Foodstuffs

Jason Moon for NHPR

If you’re on the road, looking for a place to stop and get a cup of coffee in New Hampshire, you’ve got plenty of options: Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, every single gas station.

For this week’s Foodstuffs, we visit a tiny, drive-thru coffee shop in Newmarket that's managed to carve out a niche despite this crowded field.

Natasha Haverty

Brothers Donuts in Franklin has some pretty odd hours of operation: 3 am to noon, Mondays through Friday, with a 2 am opening on Saturdays.

But it’s worked. The donut shop has been open for the past 35 years. And for 33 of those, it's just been one brother in the kitchen. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Running a restaurant is a risky business. Many owners don’t figure out all the angles and are out of business the first year or so. But in the North Country, the family that owns Grandma’s Kitchen figured it out more than 30 years ago.

Dennis Streeter and his wife, Linda, have owned Grandma’s Kitchen since 1994.

Linda’s parents owned it for a decade before that.

As a kid, Dennis used to buy ice cream cones here.

So, the couple understands what works in Whitefield and the North Country.

Sean Hurley

Every week or so someone stops by Brookford Farm in Canterbury and finds the little building near the chicken coop where Dane Percy makes bread and asks him if he’ll teach them how to do it.  

“Which just has a romance variable in it,” Percy says, “that  I try to extinguish it as soon as possible by saying,  ‘Well, can you use a chainsaw?’”

Emily Corwin / NHPR

If you move from Korea, Pakistan, or Senegal to New York City, you’ll find a whole neighborhood of shops with foods from home. Move to New Hampshire from just about anywhere else -- and there’s pretty much just Saigon Market.

Saigon Market opened twelve years ago in Manchester, but had to close in 2013 after owner Thanh Ho’s lease was not renewed.

Jack Rodolico

Odds are at some point, you've paid good money for a really bad cup of coffee. But a cup of coffee is really just ground up beans plus water plus time. And in cold brewing, you just add a lot more time.

"It’s this movement away from your classic World-War-II Folgers," says Connor Roelke, owner of Nobl Coffee.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

To hear 45 year old ex-restaurant chef Dave Valicenti tell it, making a living selling food at farmer’s markets was far from a master plan.

“In fact I didn’t even want to do farmers markets at all. My mother was like, ‘you know that’s how Stonewall Kitchen started,’ and so I’m like yeah, I don’t want to be one of those carny-weirdos who goes around to farmers markets.”

Mary via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/ZnDmU

  What happens when a school takes one of those lunchroom staples off the menu?

Something big – at least if you look at recent events at schools in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

When you imagine the daily tasks of a farmer in New Hampshire, scheduling Facebook posts probably doesn’t come to mind. But it turns out that social media skills have become an important part of the modern farmer’s resume.

Inside a large reception hall at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, about fifty farmers from around the Monadnock Region gather for a meeting of the minds. But they’re not here to talk about the growing season, the price of grain, or animal husbandry -- though that sort of thing does come up.

A&E Coffee

That cup of coffee you had this morning came a long way before you poured it.

Certified coffee taster Emeran Langmaid has spent the past 15 years getting to know coffee growers in Latin America, and mastering the art of roasting coffee here in New Hampshire. She owns A&E Coffee in Amherst, and Manchester New Hampshire. 

Langmaid flies to Honduras to judge a coffee competition in a couple of weeks, but NHPR's Natasha Haverty caught up with her right here in New Hampshire as she sampled her latest batch.

Elodie Reed / Courtesy of The Concord Monitor

When you’re about to sit down to a meal, and that meal involves a piece of meat—a steak, some chicken, or pork chops, for example—how much do you think about the animal it came from? We all bring a different level of awareness to the dinner table, and it can be uncomfortable for some people to think deeply about the chicken, cow, or pig that was killed to become someone’s food. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Summer may be a ways off yet, but in Portsmouth, restaurant owners Matt Louis and Jay McSharry are already anxious about staffing their kitchens. That's because there’s a shortage of line cooks in restaurants all across the country, especially on the Seacoast, where unemployment is particularly low.

“Come May when the beaches open, it’s a mad sprint to make sure you have enough staff to be ready for summer,” McSharry says.

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

You can only buy Canterbury Aleworks beer in one place – at the brewery in the woods.

"I like the little saying, a little out of the way, a lot out of the ordinary. But you could swap those off one way or the other. Some people say, 'Oh it’s a lot out of the way.'"

That’s Steve Allman, brewer and owner of Canterbury Aleworks. He’s behind the bar in his taproom. And he doesn’t look like a bartender – no crisp white shirt and pressed black pants. He looks like a carpenter. Which he is.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

For more than a year one of the most-visited stops on the New Hampshire primary trail has been closed. But this old-time shop may have some new life in it after all. 

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Creating a food co-op is a labor of love.

“It’s your neighbor who’s the farmer. It's your community, you own it,” says Sarah-Marie Cole, president of the Manchester Food Co-op's board, “It's all the good feel-good things about the community.”

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

When you walk into Willows on South Main Street in downtown Concord, you are greeted by the vibrant purple walls and bright artwork that fills the dining room.

Willows opened up in April and its menu is entirely vegan and organic.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

In 2008, when some North Country residents were trying to start a food co-op in Littleton, one of the goals was to support the region’s economy by buying as much locally as possible.

Six years later, the co-op is buying about $1.7 million a year in the area, says the Co-op’s general manager, Ed King.

“The local food and producer business is probably 25 percent of our business. That is a pretty good chunk of money going back into the local economy," he said.

That money goes to producers like Tim Wennrich.

It all started with a question about food labeling at the Iowa Agriculture Summit earlier this year and Jeb Bush's not-so-humble brag:

"When I go to Publix in Coral Gables after church to go prepare for Sunday Funday in my house ... I'll probably make a really good guacamole and I want to know where that avocado is from and I want to know where the onions are from and the cilantro and all the secret stuff I put in it."

Sean Hurley

Up in Jackson around this time of year you can climb aboard a horse drawn Austrian sleigh and ride through town collecting handmade chocolates from local merchants.  NHPR's Sean Hurley went along on the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour and sends us this.

Even though Kathleen Driscoll has to sit all day in a gazebo beside a roaring fire she says she has no trouble resisting the bowl of handmade chocolates before her.  "I don't like chocolate," she says, "I'm not a chocolate fan. If it was birthday cake I'd eat it!"

(From El Rincon Colombiano's Yelp page)

 

Step into the Rincon Colombiano on a Saturday night, and you’ll probably have trouble finding a seat. There’s just a few tables, a long counter—tonight, all full. And in back, Owner Beatriz Delacruz and her two daughters barely have room to move in this tiny kitchen.

There’s lots of different dishes coming out this swinging door. I came for the empanadas.

Looking forward to sipping on spiked eggnog or rum punch while hobnobbing with the boss?

Dipping your cup into the punch bowl at the office holiday party may be festive, but too much alcohol can lead to behavior that might embarrass you later.

Not to fret: The Salt is here with tips to help you stay in control.

There are a couple of things to do before you put on your party shoes.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

When Stephanie Zydenbos started Micro Mama’s – a company based in an old farm-house in Weare which makes sauerkraut and kimchi – she says she made “like 500 bucks” in sales and “that was huge.”

She says year two the company grew “I don’t know, 5,000 percent” and the following year processed 20,000 pounds of vegetables. Next year, she estimates they will be up to nearly 100,000 pounds of artisanally lacto-fermented products.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The City of Concord approved Wednesday Concord Craft Brewing Company’s request to put in a microbrewery and tasting room in the city’s newly renovated downtown. That part of the city can be heated with steam, and that, says brewery owner Dennis Molnar, is a huge advantage when it comes to making beer. 

"So that’s where the steam comes in for this part of the building," Molnar says as he shows off a closet filled with pipes in the back of what will be a beer production room. He says the steam from those pipes will reduce the risk of burning the beer as it brews.

Emily Corwin

  It’s been one year since James Beard award-winning chef Evan Mallett had an epiphany. “We were on a vacation that culminated in a meal at a restaurant called Saturne,” Mallett recalls, “an amazingly expensive meal with the love of my life in Paris.”

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.

For those who like to try new recipes at Thanksgiving, let Clay Dunn and Zach Patton be your guides. They're the couple behind the food blog, The Bitten Word, and every year before the holiday, they scan 10 leading food magazines to identify recipe trends.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Each year Yankee Magazine chooses some of the finest foods of the region - as the magazine puts it, "just in time for holiday entertaining and gift giving."

Jack Rodolico

Behind the counter at Fox Country Smokehouse stands the original smoker from 1969. It’s a wood closet – maybe six by four feet – with metal racks and a light bulb. The walls in there are deep brown, almost black. But they shine. You’d think they were shellacked, but the gloss comes from something else.

"It’s actually the creosote from the smoke," says Bill Annis, smokehouse manager. "This is the original door from day one. It just gets a little heavier every year from the smoke."

Editor's note: A version of this story originally ran in November 2014.

The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun. And for those of us who already feel short on time during a regular week, the pressure is on to figure out just how to squeeze in all that extra shopping, prep work and cooking ahead of the holiday.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

To put their name on New Hampshire’s primary ballot, candidates for president visit the Secretary of State’s office at the statehouse. Where they go after filing - is often to a restaurant across the street. 

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