May the best eats and sips win

Taste of the Region returns (in person!) to Derry

From pizza, tacos and macaroni and cheese to locally produced brews, spirits and sweet treats, there will be an array of foods and drinks to discover during the annual Taste of the Region, happening on Wednesday, June 16. After the pandemic forced the event to go virtual last year, Taste of the Region is back at its normal spot at Derry’s Tupelo Music Hall for 2021, this time under a large tented space outdoors.

More than 25 restaurants, breweries and other businesses from Derry and a few surrounding towns will be offering samples and vying for your vote in at least one of three categories — “savory,” “sips” or “sweets.” Each vendor can opt to participate in one, two or all three of them.

“We’ll have one entrance into the tented area … and people will be able to move among the tables,” said Ashley Haseltine, president of the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event. “They can either sample as they go or sit down at the tables at the outdoor restaurant area that the Tupelo has set up for this season.”

This year’s participating vendors include a combination of returning and new faces to the local dining scene. Destination India Bar & Restaurant, which opened its doors on East Broadway in Derry earlier this year, is among them, as well as The Nutrition Corner, a Derry shop offering protein smoothies and teas, and Bellavance Beverage Co. of Londonderry, which Haseltine said will act as a liaison between attendees and even more local businesses.

“They’re a distributor, so what they’re actually going to be doing is offering products from some of our other Chamber members that can’t make it to the event themselves,” she said.

Other vendors will include Kiss the Cook Macaroni & Cheese, a Derry-based business offering a few types of homemade macaroni and cheese to go; The Residence at Salem Woods, a senior living facility that Haseltine said will be offering tacos; and Rig A Tony’s Italian Takeout, which has in the past featured a display of desserts like coconut macaroons and whoopie pies. Clam Haven, also owned by Rig A Tony’s founder Lisa DeSisto, will be at the event as well.

During the tasting, attendees are invited to vote for their favorite item in each of the three categories. Haseltine said each onsite vendor will have a code you can scan with your phone, which brings you to an online voting system. If you especially like what you try, vendors will also be selling discounts on gift cards and certificates during the tasting.

Attendees can also now pick up a “dining passport” at the Chamber or at any participating restaurant or brewery, getting a stamp with each purchase that they make. Stamps will then be redeemed during the event for your chance to win an outdoor fire pit.

“We wanted to find ways to keep the core of the event intact, while also creating revenue opportunities for everybody participating,” Haseltine said.

Taste of the Region
: Wednesday, June 16, 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Outside the Tupelo Music Hall, 10 A St., Derry
Cost: $35 admittance per person (includes full access to food and drink tastings; tickets are available both in advance online and at the door, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Kyle B. Ross Memorial Scholarship Fund)
Event is rain or shine. Masks are recommended but not required.

Participating food and beverage vendors
Bellavance Beverage Co. (
Casa Java Cafe (
Clam Haven (
Daydreaming Brewing Co. (
Destination India Restaurant & Bar (
Doire Distilling (
Kiss the Cook Mac & Cheese To Go (
Kona Shaved Ice (
La Carreta Mexican Restaurant (
Long Blue Cat Brewing Co. (
The Nutrition Corner (
Nutrition in Motion (
Pipe Dream Brewing (
The Red Arrow Diner (
Rig A Tony’s Italian Takeout (
Rockingham Brewing Co. (
Sal’s Pizza (
The Residence at Salem Woods (
Troy’s Fresh Kitchen & Juice Bar (
Windham Terrace Assisted Living (
Zorvino Vineyards (

Feautred photo: The Residence at Salem Woods. Courtesy photo.

The Weekly Dish 21/06/10

News from the local food scene

Pre-order your Greek favorites: Get your orders in now for the annual Lamb Barbecue & Food Festival, which returns to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (1160 Bridge St., Manchester) on Saturday, June 19. Now through June 13, pre-orders are being accepted online at, for items like lamb barbecue or marinated chicken dinners, pastichio (Greek lasagna), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and spanakopita (spinach pie), plus a number of fresh pastries, from baklava to kourambiethes (powdered cookies) and koulourakia (butter cookies topped with sesame seeds). Pickups will be on the day of the festival, between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., at a designated time. Walk-ins will be available starting at 2 p.m. until food is gone (takeout only, no seating available).

More summer markets return: The New Boston Farmers Market will kick off its season on Saturday, June 12, at its usual spot on the corner of Route 13 and Meetinghouse Hill Road. According to co-manager Allison Vermette, the market will welcome craft vendors back for the first time since 2019 and will also feature some new prepared food vendors and likely food trucks throughout the season. Local musicians are due to perform on the nearby gazebo each week. The market will continue every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 9. Visit On Tuesday, June 15, the Bedford Farmers Market is expected to begin its summer season — that market is back at the parking lot at 209 Route 101 in Bedford for the second consecutive year, manager Lauren Ritz told the Hippo. While there won’t be meat or coffee vendors this year (due to Wicked Good Butchah and Flight Coffee Co. being in the same shopping plaza), Ritz said there will be around 20 local vendors selling everything from fresh produce to maple syrup, baked goods, seafood and more. The Bedford Farmers Market will continue every Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. through Oct. 12. Visit For a full list of market openings, check out our coverage of the summer farmers market season in the Granite State, found on page 20 of the May 20 edition of the Hippo.

Harvest at home: Join the Derry Public Library for Adventures in the Vegetable Garden, a two-part virtual program featuring Judith Taylor of Seeds2Plate. She’ll answer multiple questions related to your home vegetable garden, like how to combat pests and when to be ready to fire up the grill. Water management, fertilizing, harvesting and other topics will be discussed. Part 1 of this program is set for Wednesday, June 16, with Part 2 on Wednesday, June 23 — both will take place via Zoom from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Visit to register.

The Sun Pub at Pats Peak opens: The Sun Pub, an outdoor dining experience at Pats Peak (686 Flanders Road, Henniker), will open for the season on Thursday, June 10, according to a press release. A new pub-style menu to be served on Pats Peak’s valley lodge deck includes various appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, salads, pizzas and more, plus weekly food and drink specials, and desserts like soft-serve ice cream, homemade strawberry shortcake and s’mores. New this year, there will be a full bar available, in addition to beer and wine options. Outdoor games like cornhole and disc golf baskets are also set up. Dinner is served under the lights every Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m., weather permitting, and also around Pats Peak’s private event schedule. Visit

Lighten up and cool down

All of a sudden it’s summer

Well, that happened fast. One day it was 41 degrees and straight up cold and the next it was 93 degrees and everyone had to make the big decision on whether to install those air conditioners now or try to wait it out for a few more weeks. New England, am I right?

In terms of beer, all it takes is that first hot day to send me on a completely different trajectory. Frankly, I’m not sure what to do with all the stouts and porters in my fridge. Kidding. I’ll still drink them.

But my taste buds immediately steer away from rich malts and toward clean, bright, light brews the second I break a sweat.

You want something refreshing and sometimes — especially when it’s hot, for some reason — you want something you don’t have to think about. Sometimes you just want a beer that tastes like a beer, and the beer that does that best is the Pilsner.

Now, a “light” beer or a Pilsner isn’t going to have the deep complexity of a big stout or the waves upon waves of flavor of a super-hoppy IPA or the overall funkiness of a sour, but lighter brews like Pilsners aren’t lacking for flavor; it’s just that the presentation of the flavor is a bit different, a bit less in your face.

Pilsners can vary considerably. The hops can give way to a wide range of notes. Some have an almost bread-like flavor, while others feature more fruity notes and citrus, or a combination. A good Pilsner goes down easy and comes in low in alcohol.

Let’s also be honest for a second: Lighter beers have fewer calories. That’s not a thing I worry about much when it comes to beer, but the reality is that low-calorie is having a moment. Low-calorie hard seltzers are exploding and low-calorie wines are on the rise.

Pilsners are the original low-calorie beer. A 12-oz Coors Light comes in at 102 calories. I know. I know.

OK, enough about calories. The Pilsner is the beer of summer and beyond, and craft brewers near and far have turned back to this style, providing beer enthusiasts with quality Pilsners to be enjoyed fresh and preferably right at the brewery. Here are four to look out for.

Revuelta Mexican Style Lager by Able Ebenezer Brewing Co. (Merrimack)

The craft beer version of a Corona: light, crisp, uniquely flavored and featuring a hint of lime. You’ll probably be having more than one of these.

Longfin Lager by Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego)

Is liking the can design a reason to try a beer? I just decided it was. There’s a tuna on the can and that drew me in. This is the epitome of easy drinking: crisp, refreshing and still flavorful with a touch of a peppery bite.

Aosta by Schilling Beer Co. (Littleton)

Everything Schilling does, it does well, as far as I can tell, and one of the things they have absolutely nailed is the Pilsner. And not just one Pilsner. At my last count, they had seven Pilsners or Pilsner-like beers on tap, if I’m allowed to refer to them as Pilsner-like. This is an Italian Pilsner that the brewery says features floral, citrus and cracker malt notes on the aroma and the flavors of biscuit, cracker and melon.

North Beach Mexican Lager by Great Rhythm Brewing (Portsmouth)

I haven’t tried this one but Mexican lagers are just all about summer. This one is brewed with Pilsner malt, vienna malt, flaked corn and hallertau mittelfruh hops, which, according to, is a German hop strain that is floral, earthy and a little spicy, and I like the sound of that.

Featured photo: Cool down with a Revuelta Mexican Style Lager by Able Ebenezer Brewing Company. Courtesy photo.

Steve and the boozy ice cream

My blender died last summer.

I’m not sure what I asked it to do — scramble a couple of eggs, maybe? — but it made a sound like a dying frog, and slowly ground to a halt.

Oddly, I took this as a good omen. I had been dropping 25-pound hints to my wife about how great it would be to have an upscale, professional-grade blender. I’m not 100 percent sure if these thoughtless, insulting references to ambitious blending are what broke my old blender’s will to live, but I feel guilty about it anyway.

But not too guilty — I had that particularly dangerous gleam in my eyes that only 16-year-old boys and middle-aged men get. I really, really wanted a new blender, which my wife was fine with.

Until she found out how much it would cost.

At which point she gave me an ice-cold, steel-spined glare that the above-mentioned 16-year-old boys and middle-aged men are extremely familiar with.

A little more research on my part revealed that there is such a thing as reconditioned, high-end, professional blenders, that are slightly cheaper.

This revelation relaxed my wife’s glare by about 12 percent.

I suggested that I could put a little bit of cash aside each week and save up for one of these almost-new über-blenders, and got cautious, provisional permission to move ahead with this plan. Frankly, I’m pretty sure she thought that I didn’t have the attention span to follow through with it and would forget about it eventually.

Except that I found a loophole.

I had been throwing all my spare change in a large jar on my bedroom dresser for the past year or two — by definition saving up money, bit by bit. I made an appointment, then went to our bank to get the change counted.

When I got back, my wife asked, “How’d it go?”

I responded that unfortunately we’d need to go to the post office and get a change-of-address form.

Another confused but cautious look. “And why is that?” she asked.

“Because we’re moving to BLENDER TOWN, BABY!,” I responded, fluttering a handful of cash in her face.

Which is how I got Steve.

Steve is not a patient appliance. Every time I blend something, he urges me to use his highest setting — “C’mon, boss! Let me loose!” I quickly learned that while I could probably use Steve to grind a broomstick into sawdust, that much power isn’t all that useful for many of the things I actually want to blend. He is so powerful that on the highest settings, cavitation from the blades will lead to an air pocket that keeps the food from getting as blended as you’d think.

All of which is more or less beside the point, except to say that your blender — OK, my blender — is your (my) new best friend when you make this week’s recipe: boozy ice cream.

Rum Cheesecake Ice Cream

Put the canister of your blender on a kitchen scale and zero it out.

Add the following ingredients to the blender jar, taring the weight each time:

• 1 block / 8 ounces / 230 grams cream cheese

• Zest of 1 lemon

• 1 cup / 8 fl. ounces / 240 grams sour cream

• ½ cup / 125 ml sugar

• Pinch of salt

• 3 Tablespoons / 1½ ounces dark rum – I like Myers’

Blend. (At this point Steve chuckled evilly, and I indulged him. I turned the dial up to 8. Steve had a Very Good Afternoon.)

Put the blender jar in the refrigerator and chill thoroughly.

Blend again, briefly, then pour into your ice cream maker and turn it into ice cream.

Harden in your freezer.

So, here’s the thing about using alcohol in ice cream:

Sugar and alcohol have very important roles in ice cream, apart from tasting good. They affect the freezing/melting point and texture of the finished product in extremely weird ways. You are extremely limited in how much you can or cannot use. Do not try adding more rum to this recipe. Don’t try to find a loophole (yes, I’m aware of the irony here) and use a higher-proof rum – the amount of alcohol will seriously mess up your texture, and possibly your ability to make ice cream at all. Even the fairly modest amount of rum in this recipe dramatically altered my ice cream maker’s ability to freeze it. Normally it takes me about 20 minutes to freeze a batch of ice cream. This took close to an hour. (Steve did not help the situation by shouting disrespectful comments to the ice cream maker, across the kitchen, implying that if it was better at its job, it would have a name.)

This cheesecake ice cream is really delicious — it tastes spot-on like actual cheesecake — but the rum is definitely a subtle, background flavor.

That’s where the topping comes in.

A Possibly Misguidedly Boozy Blueberry Topping


• 2 cups frozen wild blueberries

• 1/2 cup water

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 2 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

• 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 Tablespoons cold water

• 8 Tablespoons / 4 ounces Golden Rum

• Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon), optional

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice, until it comes to a gentle boil. Let it boil for another 10-15 seconds, to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.

Stir in the cornstarch/water slurry, and keep stirring, until the mixture thickens noticeably – about three minutes.

Remove from heat, then add the rum and lemon zest. Let the mixture cool slightly before topping your ice cream.

Blueberries and lemon go together extremely well. This is a fantastic topping. Yes, you can make it without the rum for the kids – sub in a tablespoon of vanilla for the alcohol – but this is a really, really good Thursday night, bracing-yourself-for-one more-day, grownup sundae. The rum is deceptive. You’ll taste a spoonful by itself – this is inevitable – and say, “Yup, that’s a good sauce,” then go to put the spoon in the sink, only to be stopped in your tracks by a hands-on-hips, steely glared reaction from the sauce.

“Good? That’s what you have to say? Good?”

The ice cream maker might not have a name, but I call this sauce Frida.

Featured photo: Boozy ice cream. Photo by John Fladd.

Marie Sacco

Marie Sacco of Salem is the owner of The Sandwich Monstahh (, and on Facebook and Instagram), a food trailer she launched in April that specializes in homemade gourmet sandwiches, soups, sides, appetizers and desserts incorporating a variety of Italian and New England-themed flavors. Sacco, who grew up in Swampscott, Mass., just outside of Boston, said much of The Sandwich Monstahh’s menu is inspired by what she grew up eating and what her mother and grandmother would often cook. Popular items include eggplant or meatball Parmesan subs, as well as steak bombs, chicken cutlets, homemade egg rolls and more. The trailer is bright green, in tribute to the Green Monster at Boston’s Fenway Park. You can find The Sandwich Monstahh at the Derry-Salem Elks Lodge (39 Shadow Lake Road, Salem) on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m., as well as occasionally at a few local breweries, including Rockingham Brewing Co. and From the Barrel Brewing Co., both of 1 Corporate Park Drive in Derry.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

It sounds crazy, but if I don’t have a pair of tongs I’m lost.

What would you have for your last meal?

For me, I would say a really good New York strip steak, with a baked potato and Brussels sprouts, and also a red wine.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

Trattoria Amalfi, which is a little restaurant right here in Salem. They are amazing. We’re there once a month at least.

What celebrity would you like to see ordering from your menu?

Gordon Ramsay, a hundred percent. His food is unbelievable, and all of his ideas about food are straight on. I actually try to model a lot of what I do around his cooking techniques and ideas.

What is your favorite thing on your menu?

The eggplant Parm sandwich, because it’s such a part of my childhood.

What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?

I feel like egg rolls are really popular right now. You can throw literally anything into an egg roll as long as you serve it with a good sauce accompaniment that makes sense.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

Breakfast is so fun to cook. I like to do eggs and some sort of protein, either bacon and sausage … and then some cut-up fruit or maybe homemade muffins.

Homemade cannoli dip
From the kitchen of Marie Sacco of The Sandwich Monstahh food trailer

16 ounces dessert ricotta
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup sugar
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
1 squeeze fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon anise extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest

In a mixer, blend cream cheese at room temperature with juices, anise extract, zests and sugar. Mix on high speed until smooth. Add ricotta and mix until combined. Refrigerate for one hour. Sprinkle chopped pistachios, shaved chocolate or mini chocolate chips on top. Serve with pizzelles dusted with powdered sugar, cannoli chips or crushed up cannoli shells.

Featured photo: Marie Sacco

All about herbs

NH Herbal Network’s Herb & Garden Day returns

Bringing its signature event to a new venue this year, the New Hampshire Herbal Network will host its 11th annual Herb & Garden Day outdoors on the grounds of the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner on Saturday, June 5.

This year’s Herb & Garden Day will feature a free luncheon, an herbal market and plant sale, local food vendors and children’s activities, plus a variety of workshops centered around herbs, mushrooms, medicinal plants, home gardening and other topics.

“You definitely don’t have to be an herbalist or even have a green thumb to attend,” event organizer Jessica Livingston of JLiv Inspirations said. “It’s open to the public, and there are workshops for all skill levels and interests.”

The evening before Herb & Garden Day begins, the New Hampshire Herbal Network will host a virtual presentation from 6 to 7:30 p.m., featuring clinical herbalist Maria Noel Groves of Wintergreen Botanicals in Allenstown. Groves will speak about the widespread increased interest in herbalism during the pandemic over the past year. Registrations can be made online now.

During the main event on Saturday, Livingston said, there will be four tracks of two workshops each for attendees to choose from, all led by local herbalists. Topics run the gamut, from herbal support and prevention during the pandemic to the impacts of healthy soil on your food.

Between workshops, local vendors from herbalists and farmers to crafters, artists and food purveyors will be on site. Attendees who want to skip the workshops and go right to the vendor fair can do so at a discounted price of $5, according to Livingston.

Food offerings throughout the day will include pastries, coffees and other items from Cafe One East in Warner, as well as several ethnic options provided by the Kearsarge Justice Alliance.

“We’re actually going to have a lot of local vendors who have been at the [Concord] Multicultural Festival as well,” Livingston said. “We’re going to have momos and samosas, empanadas, Somali meat pies, El Salvadorian tacos … and a variety of herbal teas.”

Other features of Herb & Garden Day are a plant sale, with the option to pre-order plants online, and various children’s activities like face-painting, sand art and thumbprint art.

11th annual Herb & Garden Day
: Saturday, June 5, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (A virtual keynote presentation featuring clinical herbalist Maria Noel Groves of Wintergreen Botanicals in Allenstown will take place on Friday, June 4, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.)
Where: Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, 18 Highlawn Road, Warner
Cost: $20 for access to the virtual keynote event on Friday and $25 general admission on Saturday, or $40 for access to both. Access to the vendor fair only (no workshops) is $5. Admission is free for children ages 12 and under.
Event is rain or shine. All workshops and vendors will be outdoors. Social distancing and masks are required.

Feautred photo: Vendor Jess LaBrie, owner of Blackbird’s Daughter Botanicals in Barrington. Courtesy photo

Shop (and eat) local

Fresh Start Farms to open centralized “food hub” and market

A new store set to open in the heart of Manchester this weekend will be a one-stop shopping spot for locally sourced produce, meats, dairy products and various non-perishables — and it’s also going to serve as a centralized “food hub” and production area for Fresh Start Farms, a collective of more than 20 immigrant and refugee farmers in New Hampshire.

Fresh Start Market, a year-round retail space due to hold its grand opening on Saturday, June 5, was born out of a partnership between NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire and the Organization for Refugee & Immigrant Success. According to Fresh Start Farms program director Jameson Small, the market has been more than a year in the making.

“NeighborWorks had bought the building at an auction, and they started finding out from people what they wanted in the community. The idea of a grocery store kept popping up,” Small said. “So they had approached us, and at the time, we were just farming in Dunbarton and Concord. We had no storefront, we had no refrigeration and no real wash stations.”

According to Small, the pandemic caused Fresh Start Farms to pivot its CSA model to mostly home deliveries. The kitchen side of the market was finished first to meet that demand.

The grand opening of Fresh Start Market’s retail space coincides with NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire’s Wellness Weekend. But in the weeks to follow, Small said, it will be open only on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons to start, with the goal to expand later this year.

The market features a wide range of items from Fresh Start Farms farmers and around 85 other food producers across mostly New Hampshire and Vermont, from fruits and vegetables to milk, eggs, cheeses, maple syrups, cooking oils, grain products and more. A grab-and-go model is expected too, including a small offering of fresh fruit smoothies.

Small also noted that Fresh Start Market is the first and only Double Up Food Bucks location in the city of Manchester for low-income shoppers.

“Part of our total mission is food access,” he said, “so if you have a SNAP or EBT card, you can get any fresh fruit and vegetable here for half the price. … So we’re even able to compete with some of the larger entities on specific items.”

Fresh Start Farms, meanwhile, will continue to sell its produce at several farmers markets throughout New Hampshire, while a mobile market will also make weekly stops this summer.

Fresh Start Market
Grand opening is Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: 150 Spruce St., Manchester
Hours: After June 5, hours will be Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m., and will likely expand into the summer and fall months
More info: Visit, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @freshstartfarmsnh or call 606-2663

Feautred photo: Fresh Start Market. Courtesy photo.

The Weekly Dish 21/06/03

News from the local food scene

Season of strawberries: Join The Friends of the Library of Windham for a takeout-only strawberry festival on Saturday, June 5, with curbside pickup from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Shaw’s (43 Indian Rock Road, Windham). Now through June 4, strawberry shortcake family fun packs are available to pre-order in serving sizes of four or six, featuring handmade biscuits, ice cream, freshly cut strawberries, Friendly’s vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Visit Hampstead Congregational Church (61 Main St.) is also holding a strawberry festival on Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. That event will feature strawberry shortcake, baked goods, raffles and a plant sale. Admission is free. See “Hampstead Congregational Church, UCC” on Facebook for details.

Bacon & Beer Fest returns: Tickets to this year’s New Hampshire Bacon & Beer Festival go on sale on Friday, June 4, at noon, with the event itself to take place on Saturday, Sept. 11, at The Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch Brewery (221 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack). A fundraiser for the High Hopes Foundation of New Hampshire, the event brings together dozens of local restaurants serving dishes made with juicy bacon from North Country Smokehouse, with local brewers also joining in on the fun with beer and cider pairings of their own. A full schedule of live local music is also planned. This is the first Bacon & Beer Festival to take place since May 2019, following last year’s cancellation and this spring’s postponement — event hours are 1 to 4:30 p.m. (VIP ticket-holders get in an hour early). Tickets start at $60 general admission and are $100 for VIP attendees. Visit

Jewish feasts: As of June 1, online ordering is open for Temple B’Nai Israel’s New Hampshire Jewish Food Festival, which will be held virtually for the second year. Now through June 27, visit to order traditional Jewish-style foods, most of which are sold frozen with instructions for heating. New this year is a “picnic pack” made up of fresh ready-to-eat items, like Pullman style of Jewish-style rye bread with your choice of corned beef, tongue or Boston-style black pastrami; green half sour pickles, two pints of homemade coleslaw, one container of deli-style horseradish mustard and one pound of rugelach. Other options are matzo ball soups, chopped chicken liver, crispy potato latkes, New York-style knishes, and hamantaschen. Curbside pickups will be by appointment at Temple B’Nai Israel (210 Court St., Laconia) between Friday, July 30, and Saturday, Aug 1. Visit

Gyros to go: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (68 N. State St., Concord) will hold its next boxed Greek dinner to go event on Sunday, June 13, from noon to 1 p.m. Now through June 9, orders are being accepted for boxed meals, featuring gyro sandwiches, fries and a Greek salad, for $15 per person. The event is drive-thru and takeout only — email or call 953-3051 to place your order. Visit

Wines for pairing

Finding food wines at Angela’s Pasta & Cheese

If you haven’t visited Angela’s Pasta & Cheese, on the corner of Chestnut and Appleton streets in Manchester’s North End, even once over its 40-year history, you have seriously deprived yourself of a real indulgence. Upon walking in, you are greeted by competing aromas of pasta and cheeses, imported meats and local breads. You are on “sensory overload” taking in the savories and sweets, competing for a primary position in your brain as you tour the store.

Angela’s is an institution that has endured but is also quietly evolving, having recently been purchased by Steven Freeman. The wine offerings are taking a slightly different course. Freeman is looking to offer wines that can be easily paired with the many food offerings the store has, creating an entire meal for you.

Our first wine, Cadre 2019 Stone Blossom Sauvignon Blanc, from Edna Valley, priced at $22.95, is described on the label thusly: “A new life of fragrant blossoms emerges from the rock and sea.” The color is very pale, a silvery light straw. Its nose is citric with a touch of grapefruit with floral, citric blossom notes. These citric notes carry through to the tongue, along with hints of green apple and a slight sweetness of a sugary melon. It is incredibly fresh with a long finish and with notes of minerality.

Paragon Vineyard, designated as Certified Sustainable, was planted by Jack Niven, who brought vineyards and wine-making to San Luis Obispo’s Edna Valley 48 years ago. The root stock is gamay noir, with the sauvignon blanc grafted in the early 1980s. Photos of the vines are impressive, as the trunks are thick, rustic and sculpted by the weather and time. The soils are described as clay with limestone, which impart their mineral nuances to the wine. Additional plantings of stock came from the Loire Valley, vines nurtured from mineral-laden soils.

The Edna Valley is unique in California in that it is but 5 miles from the coast and runs to the coast, as opposed to the many other valleys that run parallel to the coast. This geological formation allows the cool ocean breezes to bring the Pacific fog into the valley morning and night. Edna Valley was cited in a study by the University of Southern Oregon as the coolest growing region in all of California. This climate allows for bud break in February, with a growing season that can extend to the end of October.

Our second wine is a box wine, and why a box wine? For starters, it will allow you to pour a glass without exposing the rest of the bladder to oxidation. If you finish the three liters before 30 days, you are good! I do not believe a box wine has ever lasted 30 days for me!

Quandrum Red Blend, priced at $21.95, is a superb value as the box contains three liters of wine! This is also a wine made from sustainably grown grapes, from the dry, sunny region of La Mancha and the central inner plateaus of Spain. It is a blend of 80 percent tempranillo with 20 percent garnacha. The color is a dark, opaque maroon; the nose is rich with dried fruits that carry through to the tongue. This is a wine to stand up the Italian sausages and salamis of Angela’s but will also hold its own against any backyard burger, joined with a slice of Spanish manchego cheese.

Featured photo:

Becky Costello

Becky Costello of Londonderry is the owner of Owl Hill Preserves (, and on Facebook and Instagram @owlhillpreserves), a business she started in her home kitchen specializing in small-batch jams and jellies in a variety of unique flavor combinations. In addition to seedless raspberry jam and blueberry blackberry vanilla jam, some of her other offerings include maple peach whiskey jam, blueberry lavender jam, mint mojito jelly, apple pie jam and amber marmalade. You can contact her to place orders, or find her jams and jellies at Handmade In… (Pheasant Lane Mall, 310 Daniel Webster Hwy., Nashua); Recycled Creations Artisans Boutique (25 Main St., Wilton); the Manchester Craft Market (Mall of New Hampshire, 1500 S. Willow St., Manchester); Little Red Hen Farm & Homestead (85 Norris Road, Pittsfield); and Linda’s Less Traveled Treasures and Country Store (49 E. Broadway, Derry). Costello will also appear at the Brimfield Antique Show & Flea Market at the Deerfield Fairgrounds on May 29 and May 30.

What is your must-have kitchen item?
A wooden spoon, because you have to constantly stir.

What would you have for your last meal?
Pad Thai noodles.

What is your favorite local restaurant?
Pickity Place in Mason. I always like to go there with friends.

What celebrity would you like to see trying one of your jams or jellies?
Tom Hiddleston.

What is your favorite jam or jelly that you make?
My personal favorite is the blueberry lavender jam, because I just love the combination of flavors. I usually like it on an English muffin.

What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?
I would probably say food trucks. I’ve just noticed that they seem more prevalent now than they ever have been.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Pizza. My husband is actually in the process of building us an outdoor wood-burning pizza oven.

Pineapple sage chicken
Courtesy of Becky Costello of Owl Hill Preserves (using her own pineapple sage jelly)
Using a whole three-pound chicken, put fresh sage leaves under the skin. Rub the outside with melted butter, olive oil, dried sage, thyme and rosemary. Cook for 45 minutes. Melt pineapple sage jelly in the microwave for about 30 minutes, then pour onto chicken and cook until brown and crispy.

Featured photo: Becky Costello

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