A food blog from NHPR news, digital, & programming staff, exploring food & food culture around the state & the New England region. On-air features air Thursdays on All Things Considered and Saturdays during Weekend Edition.

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. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

Farmers markets are moving indoors for the fall, leaving behind the strawberries of summer and embracing the root vegetables of the colder months. 

Jim Ramanek of Warner River Organics is showing me his wares at a farmers market in Concord. It’s a relatively standard selection for a farmers market in fall, except that for every familiar autumn veggie he rattles off, there’s an alternate variety of it that I’ve never heard of. For instance, there are your classic turnips here, but there are also something called hakurei turnips, too.


There are two pumpkins sitting on the stoop of Amie Lundquist's Nashua home, and she's planned exactly what she's giving out this Halloween. But everything about the holiday scares her.

Via Bonnie's Plants

Diablo…..Falstaff…..Kryptus…Churchill. The names might fit a racehorse, or on the transom of a yacht. But bearers of these names grow in the ground. And in New Hampshire, October is when Brussels Sprouts can achieve their apotheosis.

"They are a good fall treat and a good keeper."

via 2 Teaspoons

Brussels sprouts - talk about a vegetable that gets a bad rap. This cold weather crop is perhaps only second to lima beans when it comes to un-earned disdain. In fact, many people who say they "hate" Brussels sprouts likely haven't eaten them for years, if they've ever eaten them at all.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

As the temperature drops and the leaves begin changing, we know that autumn is finally here. But these days, nothing signifies the start of fall like return of pumpkin flavor.

University of New Hampshire

A lot of people start sentences like this: “ever since I was very small….”  

Few people finish that sentence “… diversity, genetic diversity in plants has been a total driver of my passion.”

That, however, is what Becky Sideman told me, sitting at a lab bench inside of one of University of New Hampshire’s expansive greenhouses. 

Sean Hurley

The Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train in Lincoln is exactly that.  Part train, part restaurant, the Cafe rolls down 20 miles of track serving five course meals to passengers over a 2 hour trip. NHPR's Sean Hurley rode along on this moveable feast on rails and sends us this.  

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Apple growers say good growing weather means they are expecting a bumper crop this year, but when the pick-your-own customers get to the orchards they may notice some changes.

NHPR Staff

Autumn in New Hampshire means foliage, fairs, and yes, picking your own apples at one of the state's many orchards. 

At a lot of farms, "pick-your-own" or "PYO" is much more than an opportunity to buy the freshest fruit. It's also a chance to take a hay ride, watch a cider press in action, and perhaps most important, to eat some homemade cider donuts. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Egg is dripping down Jeff Colt’s bare back as he stands in the kitchen of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Greenleaf Hut just below Mount Lafayette. Such is the peril of carrying about 28 pounds of eggs along with 50 pounds of other food.

But then again, running a restaurant high in The White Mountains is a little different than running one in Portsmouth, Laconia or Colebrook.

Peter Biello / NHPR

In the southwestern United States, the cost of harvesting chili peppers is rising, and competitors in Mexico have the advantage of cheaper labor. Enter Nag Kodali, an inventor from Pelham, New Hampshire. He’s invented a device that could help mechanize the chili harvesting process. 

At a machine shop in North Billerica, Massachusetts, Nag Kodali makes a few adjustments to his creation: a roughly twelve-foot long system of conveyor belts designed to gently remove pepper stems.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

At first glance, Summer Freeze, in the Concord village of Penacook, looks like every ice cream stand you’ve ever seen, with a walk-up counter offering cones, sundaes, banana splits. But look closely at the menu and you’ll find some surprises.

File photos

It's late August, and that means right now, it's the sweet spot for locally grown food. This brief time allows Granite Staters to harvest what's been growing all summer, and we also get to look forward to the fall picking season. Apples, pumpkins, and more.

Joining me now to talk about the state of New Hampshire's agriculture is George Hamilton, with the UNH Cooperative Extension.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

It’s a hot, sunny day in August and the outdoor courtyard at Elm Street Middle School is hopping with activity. There’s laugher, chatter, almost a playground-like atmosphere. 

But these aren’t kids assembling construction kits. They’re 150 adult volunteers from Fidelity in Merrimack who on this workday would rather hammer nails than manage money. Science instructor Denise Rock is one of the two teachers who raised funds for the micro-garden project. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

At this time of year farms across the state are brimming with corn and tomatoes, zucchini and beans.  And if you stop by one of those farms to pick up some of that fresh produce it’s then up to you to find a way to prepare it at home.  But at Ski Hearth Farm in Sugar Hill you can pick up dinner such as new potatoes with season pesto; chilled chickpea-tahini soup and a salad, all ready to go.

Davis and Tina Mangold recently bought the well-known farm once owned by Sel Hannah. And it was their idea to start preparing carry out dinners.

Sean Hurley

In 2012, the New Hampshire Mushroom Company was producing two hundred pounds of mushrooms a week in their 5000 square foot farm-warehouse in Tamworth - and struggling to sell them.  Three years later, with seven full-time employees, the farm can't keep up with the demand, selling out their weekly stock of 1,200 pounds of edible fungus usually within 24 hours. 

Dennis Chesley, part owner of the New Hampshire Mushroom Company, says there's very little gray area when it comes to mushrooms.  It's either love or hate -

Courtesy: NH Agricultural Research Station

Walking in among the rows of more than a 100-varieties of cold-hardy kiwis planted at his UNH observational vineyard, Professor Iago Hale says forget those fuzzy brown kiwis, if you really want flavor, try his plants. 

“Right off the bat you’re dealing with a much, much sweeter fruit, but it’s not cloyingly sweet,” he says squinting against the morning sun, “It also has a lot of acid to it, so it has this really complex flavor to it, a lot of tropical kind of flavors: pineapple, mango, papaya – I mean they’re amazing!”

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

The headquarters of the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter on Quincy Street has three stories and 14,000 square feet aimed at feeding people in need. But executive director Lisa Christie thought there was one part of the property that could do even more for the organization’s mission.

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

The late June morning grows warmer as seven refugee farmers till their new plots at Lewis Farm in Concord. This is the second "incubator" farm established by the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success, or ORIS. After the success of their first location, the organization established another to meet the interest of their clients.

Hannah McCarthy for NHPR

When Gabe Rogers talks about beer, it’s with the casual confidence of an expert chemist. Rogers is the co-founder of Garrison City Beerworks in Dover, New Hampshire. It’s that depth of knowledge – which translates into the quality of his beers - that first caught the attention of his business partner Mike Nadeau.

NHPR / Brady Carlson

Small Plates is a roundup of New Hampshire food news.

Jacob Carozza /NHPR

In New Hampshire, it’s not easy to find a package of JG Coconut Mushrooms, or a jar of clotted cream, or a can of mushy peas.

“Any dinner you would have with a pie you have mushy peas on the side,” says Stephanie Pressinger, president of The British Aisles in Greenland.

“Someone who hasn’t been to England or doesn’t know the culture would say, ‘Why would you want mushed peas?’”

Small Plates is a roundup of New Hampshire food news.

Here is the most dramatic, exciting news I could find about Market Basket in June 2015: the grocery chain is going to open a new store in Rochester next spring.