It’s time for a road trip to enjoy one of New Hampshire’s treats- 34 ice cream locations! Join the Hippo on the Great New Hampshire Ice Cream Tour! Share your adventures with photos of your favorite Ice cream place! Hashtag us at #NHicecreamtour !
“Montepulciano of every wine is king,” said the founder of modern experimental biology, Francesco Redi, in 1685, after tasting 500 types of wines. You may remember from high school biology that Redi, the Italian physician, demonstrated that maggots resulted not from spontaneous generation but from eggs laid by flies. Perhaps as important to Redi’s celebrity as a scientist is his judgment of wine. A native of Tuscany, and later residing in Florence, where his most notable scientific achievements were made, Redi had access to the same great wines from Tuscany that we enjoy today.
The sangiovese grape is the varietal that goes into the making of fine classic Chiantis, brunello di Montalcino, and vino nobile di Montepulciano. (Brunello is the alias given to the sangiovese grape.) The sangiovese grape is grown throughout much of Italy, with an estimated 250,000 acres and more planted to it. However, when planted in the southern region of Tuscany, the grape shines to produce a wine that is ready to drink early but becomes full-bodied after cellar aging.
Our first wine, Cantina Del Redi 2015 Toscana Sangiovese Pleos (originally priced at the New Hampshire State Liquor & Wine Outlets at $42.99, reduced to $20.99), is from a winery in the town of Montepulciano, 25 miles southeast of Sienna. As the label states, the wine is made from 100 percent sangiovese grapes. The alcohol content is 14 percent. The Pleos, as described on the website, “is born of the need to bring to your tables all the taste of the purest and most fresh sangiovese of our lands. It wants to be a fun wine, with scents of purple and crispy black cherry. Light but rich in history.” This vintage was awarded a score of 91 points by James Suckling, former Senior Editor and European Bureau Chief of Wine Spectator and regarded as one of the most influential wine critics. The color is intense with a slight burnt sienna red, in the depth of the glass thinning to an orange rim. It holds up to the website’s suggestion of rich dark cherry, both to the nose and to the tongue with some added spice, along with a little chewiness, ending in a long, dry, slightly acidic finish. This wine is not a sipping wine but needs to be paired to food. It can be enjoyed with white- or red-sauced pasta, marinated beef, or Mexican dishes. As the label states, this is a rosso from Montepulciano, and as such has an aging requirement of only six months in oak (as compared to the minimum of two years for our next wine); however, this wine is a great bargain and can be enjoyed for another five years, if cellared.
Our second wine, Lunadoro 2015 Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano (originally priced at the New Hampshire State Liquor & Wine Outlets at $44.99, reduced to $18.99), is sometimes called the big brother to the rosso. Also made from sangiovese grapes, it is aged for a minimum of 24 months in oak barrels, not so much to add flavor as for the slow maturation the barrels provide. The barrels are larger than traditional barrique and thus have less surface area in relation to volume, to avoid the vanilla or toast notes found in wine. While not enjoying the same cache as the Brunello noted above, it does carry the moniker of “nobile,” as the wine was once the wine of popes and nobles. After a short decline of quality in the mid-20th century, it has rebounded as the lesser grapes of this region are now slated for the rosso, sampled above, improving the quality and status of the vino nobile.
The color is maroon red, and will take on a subtle brick orange tint as it ages. To the nose it also has cherry notes with some plum, generated by the aging. To the tongue, the cherry stays on with a light tannic leather finish. Because of the aging, and its acidity, it is a wine suitable for cellaring, as it can improve with a decade or even two in your wine cellar. This “big brother of the two” can be sipped, or thoroughly enjoyed with a grilled steak.
It was extremely interesting and informative to taste and compare these two wines, coming from the same hilltop town in the same region noted for its exceptional quality of red wine. It is well worth conducting your own test and comparing the two. Take the test!
All flowers supposedly carry symbolic meanings, but some are more emotionally fraught than others.
When I was a child, my mother told me that our elderly neighbor was sick and that we should probably send her some flowers.
Me: “How about lilies? Those are pretty.”
Mom: “Honey, those represent Death.”
Me: “So, no?”
Even if you don’t buy into the whole symbolism of flowers thing, it still permeates our culture. If you showed up for a blind date and they brought you a dozen long-stemmed red roses, you’d start looking for escape routes.
My dad is a carnation man. Growing up, anybody, any occasion, I could pretty much expect him to give a bunch of red and white carnations. They lasted forever, smelled good and didn’t carry too many expectations. Me — I’m an alstroemeria guy. They are pretty, don’t make anybody nervous and are pretty much bullet-proof; stick them in some water, and they’ll outlast the sour cream in your refrigerator. The downside is that they don’t have much of a smell.
Why flowers smell so good is a bit of a mystery. I mean, we know why they smell good — to attract bees, hummingbirds and chorus girls — but nobody has ever been able to figure out how to breed reliably fragrant roses, for instance. The intersection of botany and human chemoreceptors is a complicated and mysterious dance.
Nowhere more so than in a cocktail.
Scientists estimate that somewhere around 80 percent of everything we eat is actually based on what it smells like. If you’re holding a shmancy party and want to serve a cheese board, experts will tell you to take the cheese out of the fridge an hour or so before you actually want to serve it, so that the volatile chemicals in the cheese loosen up and become easier to smell, and thus, taste. This is one of the reasons why so many cocktail recipes call for you to chill a cocktail so thoroughly — as your drink warms up, the flavor will evolve as the esters float up into the back of your palate.
That gets tricky, though, when you are basing your cocktail on floral smells. Rose water or lavender pull you into a dangerous standoff — too little, and your drink won’t taste like much of anything. One drop too much, and you’re dealing with the little decorative soaps in your grandmother’s bathroom.
This drink depends on that. Your first sip or two should be extremely cold. The taste should be crisp and a little gin-forward. As it warms up — and, not for nothin’ that’s why glasses have stems; to slow down the warming process — it will start to smell more perfumy and floral. The taste will match the color; it will start to taste pink.
Rose N. Hibiscus
2 ounces gin (For this, I used Collective Arts Rhubarb and Hibiscus Gin, which a friend who distributes gin in New Hampshire gave me, because it is gently hibiscus-y, but pretty much any gin will work, though it will add its own stamp onto the finished drink.) 1 ounce hibiscus syrup (see below) 1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/3 oz. amaretto 5 drops rose water
Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until very cold. Strain into a martini glass.
Why this strange combination works so well:
The botanical backnotes in the gin play well with the rose water. Roses play well with almonds — in this case, the amaretto. Almonds and lemons go together extremely well. Lemon, in its turn, is a classic pairing with gin. The hibiscus makes it pink. If you like your drink a little crisper, pour small amounts of it into your glass at a time, and drink it extremely cold. If you want a little more of the flowers, pour it all in one go and let the perfume develop as you drink it.
Much like carnations and alstroemeria, this is delicious to share with somebody without making anything weird between you. All it says is, “I like spending time with you.”
5 ounces water 5 ounces sugar 1/3 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/3 ounce dried hibiscus blossoms
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often. Let the simple syrup boil for 10 to 15 seconds to make certain the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and hibiscus blossoms. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. Strain and bottle. Keep indefinitely in your refrigerator.
A Market in Manchester carries dried hibiscus and they can also be found online. Rose water is available in most supermarkets and can usually be found in the international foods aisle.
Featured photo: Rose N. Hibiscus. Photo by John Fladd.
It’s berry season in New Hampshire, which means it’s time to get some fruit and start baking! Growing up with wild blueberries in my backyard, this fruit was always part of my summer. Blueberry muffins, pancakes and crisps were made regularly this time of year.
You might notice that I didn’t mention blueberry pies. There may have been one or two, but I am not a fan of pie. Call me odd, but I find pie crust to be boring. I would much rather enjoy my blueberries in a different format.
After years of making blueberry crisp, I decided to see if I could transform that recipe from a “serve it in a bowl” dessert to something that might need only a plate or napkin. Thus, I have this recipe for blueberry crisp bars.
These bars have that same sweet and crumbly topping of oats and brown sugar for the base as well. That means you’re getting two layers of oat-y goodness filled with sweet and jammy blueberries.
Two important notes on the ingredients for this recipe. The blueberries need to be fresh. If you use frozen, there will be extra liquid, which will make the bars soggy. Although the blueberries need to be fresh, the lemon juice can come out of the bottle. You need a little tartness but not a ton of flavor, so you can skip buying and juicing lemons.
Michele Pesula Kuegler has been thinking about food her entire life. Since 2007, the New Hampshire native has been sharing these food thoughts and recipes at her blog, Think Tasty. Visit thinktasty.com to find more of her recipes.
Blueberry crisp bars Makes 16
2½ cups fresh blueberries ⅓ cup granulated sugar 2 Tablespoons cornstarch ½ Tablespoon lemon juice 1 cup all-purpose flour ⅔ cup light brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 10 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed 1¼ cups old-fashioned oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, and coat with nonstick spray. Set aside. Place the blueberries in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and cornstarch over the blueberries; toss to coat. Add lemon juice and stir to combine; set aside. Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers, and cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles small peas. Add oatmeal to the flour mixture, and stir well to combine. Press approximately 1¾ cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the blueberry mixture on top of the crust. Sprinkle remaining crust mixture evenly on top of the blueberries and press lightly. Bake for 45 minutes uncovered. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until a knife in the center shows only blueberry juice and no raw dough. Remove from the oven and cool on a baking rack..
Kayley Bowen of Bedford is the owner of O’Regan Breads (email@example.com, visit facebook.com/oreganbreads or follow on Instagram @backtothegrindstone), a homestead business she launched in March that offers various sourdough bread loaves, pancake mixes and other products using freshly milled grains. Bowen is also the assistant garden manager of the Educational Farm at Joppa Hill in Bedford, where she got her start baking bread loaves for their farmstand and where you can purchase them. She’ll also be at the Pelham Farmers Market, held outside the First Congregational Church of Pelham (3 Main St.) on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Aug. 21.
What is your must-have kitchen item?
Definitely my digital scale.
What would you have for your last meal?
A cheeseburger, probably medium rare, with Swiss, provolone and mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and lettuce.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Blake’s [Creamery] in Manchester.
What celebrity would you like to see trying one of your breads?
What is your favorite bread that you make?
The honey butter and oat sourdough. It’s a sweet bread, so you don’t even notice that it’s 45 percent whole grain. It’s just delicious.
What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?
Foraged foods are a big trend now. People want to know more about how to pick their food and how to get things like fiddleheads and ramps from farmers markets and farm stands.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
In the fall, I like squash soup. In the summer, I’d say a really good summer salad with olive oil and balsamic dressing.
Sourdough croutons From the kitchen of Kayley Bowen of O’Regan Breads in Bedford
½ pound day-old sourdough bread, chopped into ½-inch pieces ½ cup olive oil 6 cloves or 1 head of garlic, minced Fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat for two minutes, then add the minced garlic and herbs. Keep the olive oil mixture over medium-low heat for another three to five minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t get brown. Drain the olive oil into a coffee mug or microwavable cup. Lay out the chunks of bread on a baking sheet lined with foil. When the oil has cooled, drizzle over the bread and use your hands to gently toss the chunks. Sprinkle salt and pepper over everything and toss again. Make sure all of the bread chunks are in a single layer on your pan. If they aren’t, you can split them up for two batches, but be sure not to put two trays in the oven at once. Place the tray on the top rack, close the oven and set it to 375 degrees. When the oven reaches 375, turn the heat down as low as it can go. Take out your croutons, toss them with a spatula or spoon and put them on the lowest rack. Leave the oven door ajar and wait for about five more minutes. You can always let them cool, taste test a few, then put them back on the top rack at 375 for a minute or so to get the edges even crunchier.
• Ripe and ready: It’speak blueberry pickingseason, and several local farms are continuing to welcome customers for pick-your-own blueberries. Most will produce blueberry varieties through July and into early to mid-August, depending on the weather conditions to come. Apple Hill Farm in Concord, for example, grows 15 blueberry varieties throughout the season and is open for picking six days a week, while in Strafford, the 7-acre Berrybogg Farm is now in its 45th season offering nine varieties of blueberries over a period of roughly six weeks. For a list of blueberry farms in southern New Hampshire offering pick-your-own, along with a few recipes using local blueberries, visit hippopress.com and scroll down to the July 15 issue’s E-Edition — the story begins on page 22, and the listings are on page 23.
• Barbecue and bluegrass: The Concord Coalition to End Homelessness will hold its picnic-style Bluegrass BBQ fundraiser at White Park (1 White St., Concord) on Saturday, July 24, from noon to 5 p.m. The event will feature a barbecue feast with multiple food items to choose from, as well as an afternoon of live music and plenty of outdoor space to bring your own chairs or blankets. Meal options range from $10 to $35 and will include a grilled hot dog with chips and a drink; a pulled pork sandwich meal with beans, coleslaw and pickled red onions; a “pit master special” with pulled pork, sausage, Texas-style brisket and sides; and a gourmet garden burger vegetarian meal. Donations are also being accepted, with proceeds benefiting the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness. The rain date will be July 25. Visit concordhomeless.org.
• Tastes of Haiti: Pre-orders are available now for the next monthly Haitian dinner from Ansanm, a series brought to you by owner and executive chef Chris Viaud of Greenleaf and Culture in Milford, along with his family. Viaud and his parents, siblings and wife all work together to create a menu of authentic Haitian dishes each month. This month’s items will include griot (marinated pork) and poule nan sós (stewed chicken in creole sauce), each available in servings of one, two or four, with sides of rice, plantains or pikliz, a spicy vegetable slaw of carrots, cabbage, onions and peppers. Other options are braised salmon, beef or mushroom and vegetable pate, pineapple upside down cake, and diri djon djon, a black mushroom rice dish popular in Haiti. Order now by visiting toasttab.com/greenleaf/v3. Pickups will be available at Greenleaf (54 Nashua St., Milford) on Sunday, July 25, beginning at 4 p.m.
• IPA adventure: The New Hampshire Brewers Association has teamed up with more than two dozen local craft breweries for a collaboration IPA release and beer trail, featuring new individual IPA recipes for beer lovers to check out now through the end of September. Release dates will vary by location but multiple Granite State communities are represented — participating breweries hail from Derry, Londonderry, Manchester, Nashua and across both the Seacoast and Monadnock regions of the state. Beer lovers who visit 18 or more breweries on the list will be entered for a chance to win a prize package. The full list can be viewed on the Brewers Association’s Facebook page @nhbrewers.
Three or four days each week, a small group of family members and friends will gather at Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm in Temple to make ice cream. Each person has multiple roles, from hand-mixing ingredients to packing the ice cream in tubs — and, of course, everyone’s willing to do some taste testing. It’s proven to be a highly successful formula for the small family-run business.
“Ice cream sales never stop,” said Mike Connolly, the middle Connolly brother and the farm’s primary ice cream maker. “We keep pumping ice cream out … even right through the winter.”
Since purchasing their own equipment to make ice cream in the early 2000s, Connolly estimates the farm is now up to around 60 flavors made over the course of each year, about 15 of which are made almost every week. All of the farm’s ice cream is produced on site in small batches, from a pasteurized sweet cream base containing its own cows’ milk.
More than just a high-quality summertime treat, homemade ice cream has proven to be one of the many effective ways for local dairy farms to diversify and add value to their product in what has been an increasingly competitive and challenging market.
“The level of intelligence on any dairy farm, when it comes to business and how to survive and make a business thrive, would blow your mind,” said Amy Hall, executive director of Granite State Dairy Promotion. “I have never met a group of individuals who are so able to quickly adapt and find solutions to any problem that gets thrown their way.”
Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm sells its ice cream in pre-packaged containers in several sizes at the farm store and has plans in the works to open its own scoop shop on site. They also work with other local businesses to create specialty custom-made flavors, from maple-infused ice creams you can get at Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason, to cherry cordial, peanut brittle, peppermint candy cane or butter pecan-flavored ice creams available at Nelson’s Candy & Music in Wilton.
Contoocook Creamery, at Bohanan Farm in Contoocook, provides Granite State Candy Shoppe with an ice cream base produced from the milk of its cows. They also supply Frisky Cow Gelato in Keene with their milk and cream, and recently began selling their base to Whippoorwill Dairy Farm in Kensington for the purposes of making ice cream as well.
In Boscawen, Richardson’s Farm — not to be confused with Richardson’s Ice Cream in Middleton, Mass., which sells its ice cream wholesale to many New Hampshire ice cream shops — makes its own pasteurized base using milk and cream sourced from Hatchland Farm in North Haverhill, according to owner and ice cream maker Jim Richardson.
So how exactly does ice cream get made? We spoke with New Hampshire dairy farmers and ice cream makers to get some answers on how this sweet treat makes the voyage from cow to cone.
The scoop on ice cream-making
A batch of ice cream starts with a base made up of milk, cream, sugars and small amounts of stabilizers to maintain its consistency and prevent crystallization. Jamie Robertson, who runs Contoocook Creamery with his wife and three adult sons, said about 110 of the more than 200 cows on the farm are milked twice a day, 365 days a year.
Three days a week, the milk is pumped from the barn to the processing plant, where it’s then pasteurized and homogenized. When making the ice cream base, Robertson said, the milk is mixed with each of the other ingredients before this step takes place.
“Pasteurizing is what we do to kill all the harmful bacteria in the milk, so we bring it up to a high temperature really fast, keep it there for a little under a minute and then drop it right back down,” he said. “It goes into the pasteurizer at 38 degrees, goes up to over 170 degrees and then comes back out at 38 degrees, and that all happens in under a minute. … Then we homogenize it, which breaks up the fat molecules so that they don’t separate out.”
Kristen May’s family has owned Hatchland Farm since 1971, beginning to make and sell their own ice cream about a decade ago. The farm produces vat pasteurized milk, or milk that is pasteurized at a slightly lower temperature for a longer period of time.
“We pasteurize at 145 degrees [for] 30 minutes,” May said. “The milk and the ingredients that we put into the ice cream are in big 300-gallon vats. … It takes a bit longer to do, but it actually makes [it] a little bit more different of a product. The flavor of the milk is a little more natural.”
Depending on his supply, Richardson said he receives regular shipments of Hatchland’s Farm raw milk and cream, which he uses to make his own ice cream base with.
“Legally, ice cream has to be at a minimum of 10 percent butterfat,” he said. “So we’re blending the milk and cream to get that butterfat level, and then obviously there are sugars involved, and a non-fat milk solid to boost the protein and add body to it.”
Some local ice cream makers will start with a pre-pasteurized base obtained from the HP Hood processing plant in Concord, to which several dairy farms in New Hampshire ship their milk through a number of cooperatives, according to Hall. This is also how Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm gets its milk pasteurized for ice cream making, Connolly said.
“Basically, we ship our milk up to Hood and then we get it back,” he said.
The base is poured into a batch freezer, and what ice cream makers do from there depends on the flavor they are creating.
“Sometimes it’s just a pure liquid extract or what’s called a variegate that goes into the machine,” Connolly said. “We hand-mix any of the chunky stuff, so chocolates, chocolate chips, cookies, all of that gets mixed in by hand, just because the machine will pulverize everything.”
Lisa Ilsley of Ilsley’s Ice Cream in Weare, which uses the Hood base mix, said her machine will churn out a batch of roughly five gallons of ice cream in 20 minutes, depending on the flavor.
“The machine whips air into it,” she said. “That’s essentially what you’re doing when you’re making ice cream, is you’re changing it from a liquid to a whipped air solid.”
She’ll also hand-stir her ingredients as the ice cream is ready to come out of the machine. Once all of the swirls, fruits, chocolates or candy pieces are mixed in, the batch of ice cream is placed into a blast freezer designed to rapidly bring the temperature below zero.
After a hardening period, typically lasting at least 24 hours, the ice cream is moved to a holding freezer to bring the temperature back up, slightly softening it and making it scoopable at roughly 6 to 8 degrees.
Milking the opportunity
Dairy was once a dominating presence in New Hampshire’s overall agricultural landscape. There were more than 800 commercial dairy farms in the state as recently as the year 1970, according to Granite State Dairy Promotion. That number has continuously dwindled over the years, to 274 in 1990, 182 in 2000 and just 95 farms in 2020.
Slim profit margins for farmers, a worldwide surplus of milk, and the competition they face at the retail level from out of state, including through the emergence of plant-based beverages onto the market, have all been contributing factors to the industry’s gradual decline.
“Once a dairy farm goes out of business, the chances of them coming back are close to none,” Hall said. “It’s a really tough industry to survive in.”
The pandemic only exacerbated the struggles last year, as the sudden shutdowns of restaurants and public schools quickly resulted in an unprecedented oversupply of milk. Cooperatives limited the amount of product they were buying from farms, forcing dairy producers to dump any milk that could not be sold. May estimates that Hatchland Farm had to dump about 11,500 gallons of its milk off and on throughout last year. In the fall, they decided to sell 35 of their cows.
“Never in my father’s life had he worked that hard to produce a product that he had to see go down the drain, basically,” she said. “We’ve had surpluses at different times but we’ve always been able to find a place to get rid of it. We’ve never had to dump milk like that.”
Jared Johnson of Sanctuary Dairy Farm, a 10th-generation farm in Sunapee dating back to the 1700s, said that while milk prices have rebounded and restaurants are back open, input and overhead costs for farms have gone through the roof.
“It was a really dry year last year, so a lot of people had to buy a lot of feed because of the drought conditions,” he said. “Grain costs have increased probably 20 to 40 percent.”
Despite all of the ongoing challenges, dairy farms pivoted and still found unique opportunities.
Ilsley said her family’s dairy farm purchased a cream separator in October and began skimming their raw milk with it. The Ilsley Farm in Weare now sells quarts of its own heavy cream.
“We literally have a new dairy product that we sell now. I don’t think we would’ve done it if it wasn’t for Covid,” she said. “We have people come to the farm all the time to buy our raw milk, so we figured we would at least take the cream off and sell that. Our customers love it.”
Contoocook Creamery, which had been using glass bottles for its milk until the spring of 2020, quickly made the switch to plastic jugs after grocery stores stopped accepting glass bottle returns. This doubled their milk sales and increased the number of local stores you can now get their milk in. One hundred percent of their milk is also now bottled on site, Robertson said.
Supporting local dairy farmers is much easier than you may think, and does not have to involve travelling to a farm directly to purchase their product. Every bottle of milk in the dairy aisle of your local grocery store will have a code on it that specifies where it was processed. The code No. 33-08, Hall said, whether it’s on a Hood brand or a grocery store’s own brand of milk, indicates that it was processed at the HP Hood plant in Concord.
“One of the largest threats to the dairy industry is … milk that comes from outside of the region, which creates direct competition for our local farms,” she said. “If you pick up a gallon of Hood milk with the Code [No.] 33, you can feel good knowing that dairy farmers right here in New Hampshire sent their milk there, and that’s what’s in that bottle that you’re picking up off the shelves. … Not all of the milk in the dairy aisle has that.”
Ice cream for normalcy
After a season like no other last year, ice cream makers in New Hampshire are turning the page.
Christy LaRocca wrote down July 1 as a “back to normal” date for Moo’s Place Ice Cream. It marked the indoor reopenings of both the Derry and Salem shops for the first time in more than a year, and nearly all the company’s staff members were fully vaccinated by that point.
“We’re on pace to have a very, very good season,” said LaRocca, who owns Moo’s Place with her husband, Steven. “We’ve been so excited to open up and welcome everybody back indoors.”
Moo’s Place makes its own ice cream five or six days a week, producing more than 40 regular flavors as well as the occasional special, like chocolate-dipped cherry or wild blueberry crisp.
Ice cream sales have been very strong so far this summer at Granite State Candy Shoppe. Owner Jeff Bart said the Concord shop usually offers ice cream from Easter through the end of October, while in Manchester they scoop it year-round.
“Things are as good as they were back in the summer of 2019,” he said. “We have noticed that people are definitely interested in coming back downtown and stopping by.”
Around 30 flavors of ice cream are available at each shop at any particular time, including unique offerings like Flapjacks and Bacon, a cake batter ice cream with a swirl of maple syrup and bacon chunks, as well as a Mexican chocolate ice cream with a blend of cinnamon.
New for this year, Blake’s Creamery in Manchester has opened an ice cream window with outdoor patio seating directly in front of its restaurant on South Main Street. It’s now open every Wednesday through Sunday, from 3 to 8 p.m.
“It has been very well-received, and it’s really nice to see people just sitting outside under an umbrella and enjoying ice cream,” Blake’s Creamery co-owner Ann Mirageas said. “There were takeout windows when Blake’s opened in 1963, so it’s actually a return to its roots.”
Blake’s introduces a few new ice cream flavors to its lineup every year, some of which become permanent additions. This year, newcomers include salted caramel brownie, and Mocha Joe’s Dough, a Colombian coffee and chocolate ice cream with cookie dough and chocolate dough.
In Nashua, Hayward’s Ice Cream now has a brand new commissary space downtown where their ice cream is produced, with a kitchen three times the size. Owner Chris Ordway said ice cream is made six days a week and trucked to both Hayward’s stores in Nashua and Merrimack. A whopping 10 gallons is produced every 12 minutes from their machines.
“We’re bringing in something new every two weeks, and it may be something that you had a few years ago that we’re bringing back to get some new interest,” Ordway said of the flavors.
Memories Ice Cream in Kingston is also rotating out specialty ice cream flavors. Owner Dawn Padfield said they are up to at least 50 to 60 different offerings, including not just the hard ice cream but also a selection of soft-serve, frozen yogurt and vegan options.
If you can’t find your favorite ice cream flavor on the menu, it could be because that local stand or shop simply hasn’t been able to get certain ingredients to make it, a lingering issue from the pandemic that continues to affect the industry.
“Week to week, it’s different things,” Steven LaRocca said. “Some products are in stock one week, and then they’re not in stock for the next two or three weeks. It’s a constant battle.”
The New Hampshire Ice Cream Trail
An interactive way to enjoy locally made ice cream while supporting dairy farmers, the New Hampshire Ice Cream Trail is a passport program released by Granite State Dairy Promotion every year, usually around Memorial Day weekend. Maps can be downloaded by visiting nhdairypromo.org/ice-cream-trail, or can be found at any one of the trail’s participating locations. Maps are also at the Manchester Airport and at several state highway rest areas.
There are a total of 42 “stops” on this year’s trail scattered across the state, featuring dairy farms that make their own ice cream on site or ice cream makers that use local milk. Participants can visit each stop on the map and receive a passport sticker for a chance to win prizes.
“For me, one of the most exciting parts about the Ice Cream Trail is hearing from folks who have completed it and say that not only they had a blast but they learned some things too,” said Amy Hall, executive director of Granite State Dairy Promotion. “It was developed as a way to creatively get information about the value of dairy farms into the hands of consumers.”
Completed passports will be accepted through Oct. 18 and will be entered into a grand prize drawing. The grand prize winner receives a $200 Amazon gift card and a basket of New Hampshire-made goodies, but all who complete the trail still receive a complimentary sweatshirt.
Where to get New Hampshire-made ice cream
This list includes New Hampshire restaurants, dairy farms and ice cream shops and stands that offer ice cream either made on site or, where specified, sourced locally. Some dairy farms also make proprietary flavors for New Hampshire businesses using their own products — those are included here as well. Do you know of another local business serving homemade ice cream that isn’t on this list? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Arnie’s Place (164 Loudon Road, Concord, 228-3225, arniesplace.com) offers more than 25 homemade ice cream flavors, in addition to ice cream cakes, novelties and more.
• Beech Hill Farm and Ice Cream Barn (107 Beech Hill Road, Hopkinton, 223-0828, beechhillfarm.com) carries several flavors of ice cream from Blake’s Creamery.
• Blake’s Creamery (353 S. Main St., Manchester, 669-0220, blakesicecream.com) offers dozens of unique premium ice cream flavors, and, new for the 2021 season, now has an ice cream takeout window that is open Wednesday through Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m. Blake’s also has several seasonal wholesale accounts at restaurants and ice cream stands throughout New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
• Bruster’s Ice Cream (621 Amherst St., Nashua, 881-9595, find them on Facebook @brustersnh) has more than two dozen signature and classic flavors of homemade ice cream that are made on site.
• Charlie’s Ice Cream (150 Front St., Exeter, 772-7400, find them on Facebook @charliesicecreamnh) offers more than 50 flavors of ice cream made on site in small batches, including a selection of “21+” flavors infused with premium alcohol.
• Chuckster’s Family Fun Park (9 Bailey Road, Chichester, 798-3555; 53 Hackett Hill Road, Hooksett, 210-1415; chucksters.com) carries more than two dozen ice cream flavors from Blake’s Creamery.
• The Common Man (25 Water St., Concord, 228-3463; 304 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 429-3463; 88 Range Road, Windham, 898-0088; 10 Pollard Road, Lincoln, 745-3463; 21 Water St., Claremont, 542-6171; 60 Main St., Ashland, 968-7030; Town Docks Restaurant, 289 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith, 279-3445; Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, 623-5040; Tilt’n Diner, 61 Laconia Road, Tilton, 286-2204; 104 Diner, 752 Route 104, New Hampton, 744-0120; thecman.com) offers its own homemade ice cream across each location’s dessert menus.
• The Common Man Roadside Market & Deli (1805 S. Willow St., Manchester, 210-2801; 530 W. River Road, Hooksett; 25 Springer Road, Hooksett, 210-5305; 484 Tenney Mountain Highway, Plymouth, 210-5815; thecmanroadside.com) offers Common Man-made ice cream across each location’s dessert menus.
• Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm (140 Webster Hwy., Temple, 924-5002, find them on Facebook) offers dozens of flavors of homemade ice cream using a base that comes from the farm’s own cows’ milk. Dozens of flavors are available at the farm store in pre-packaged containers coming in several sizes. Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm also makes proprietary ice cream flavors for other New Hampshire businesses, like Nelson’s Candy & Music in Wilton and Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason.
• Countrybrook Farms (175 Lowell Road, Hudson, 886-5200, countrybrookfarms.com) has dozens of flavors of ice cream from Blake’s Creamery.
• Cremeland Drive-In (250 Valley St., Manchester, 669-4430, find them on Facebook) offers multiple flavors of homemade hard ice cream, as well as soft-serve, frozen yogurt and sherbet.
• Dancing Lion Chocolate (917 Elm St., Manchester, 625-4043, dancinglion.us) offers unique flavors of house-made small-batch ice cream during the summer, sold in cups and house-made cones as well as sundaes and frappes.
• Devriendt Farm Stand and Ice Cream Shoppe (178 S. Mast St., Goffstown, 497-2793, devriendtfarm.com) offers dozens of flavors of ice cream from Blake’s Creamery.
• Dr. Davis Ice Cream (75 Route 13, Brookline, 673-6003, drdavisicecream.com) has been in business for more than eight decades, serving up more than two dozen homemade ice cream flavors.
• Dudley’s Ice Cream (846 Route 106 N, Loudon, 783-4800, find them on Facebook) offers more than 20 flavors of homemade hard ice cream, in addition to soft-serve and ice cream cakes.
• Goldenrod Restaurant Drive-In (1681 Candia Road, Manchester, 623-9469, goldenrodrestaurant.com) has more than 30 flavors of homemade ice cream.
• Gould Hill Farm (656 Gould Hill Road, Contoocook, 746-3811, gouldhillfarm.com) serves ice cream sourced from Granite State Candy Shoppe in Concord and Manchester.
• Granite State Candy Shoppe (13 Warren St., Concord, 225-2591; 832 Elm St., Manchester, 218-3885; granitestatecandyshoppe.com) has around 30 homemade ice cream flavors available at both locations, with specialty and customizable make-your-own sundae options. All of its flavors are made from an ice cream base sourced from Contoocook Creamery, at Bohanan Farm in Hopkinton.
• Hatchland Farm’s “Wicked Good” Dairy Delites (3095 Dartmouth College Hwy., North Haverhill, 348-1884, find them on Facebook) is a family-owned and -operated dairy farm that offers its own milk and ice cream products, including dozens of flavors of hard ice cream and soft-serve. The farm also sells its milk and cream to Richardson’s Farm in Boscawen to make ice cream with.
• Hayward’s Homemade Ice Cream (7 Daniel Webster Hwy., Nashua, 888-4663; Merrimack 360 Shopping Plaza, Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack; haywardsicecream.com) has been in business for more than seven decades, featuring dozens of homemade ice cream flavors on its menu out of both locations.
• Hayward’s Ice Cream of Milford (383 Elm St., Milford, 672-8383, haywardsfamilyicecream.com) is a third-generation ice cream stand that offers more than 50 homemade ice cream flavors, in addition to frozen yogurts and sherbets.
• Ilsley’s Ice Cream (33 S. Sugar Hill Road, Weare, 529-6455, find them on Facebook) offers about 10 flavors of its homemade ice cream during its season, in addition to specialty flavors of the week that are regularly rotated out.
• Jake’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream and Bakery (57 Palm St., Nashua, 594-2424, jakesoldfashionedicecream.com) offers homemade wholesale packaged ice cream in a variety of flavors.
• Jordan’s Ice Creamery (894 Laconia Road, Belmont, 267-1900, find them on Facebook @jordansic) has been in business for more than 25 years, serving up dozens of flavors of homemade ice cream in addition to a large selection of cakes and pies.
• Just the Wright Place for Ice Cream (95 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham, 775-0223, find them on Facebook @wrightplaceforicecream) offers a wide selection of homemade ice cream flavors, and also takes orders for ice cream cakes.
• Kellerhaus (259 Endicott St. N, Weirs Beach, 366-4466, kellerhaus.com) always has a rotating selection of more than a dozen homemade ice cream flavors.
• Memories Ice Cream (95 Exeter Road, Kingston, 642-3737, memoriesicecream.com) has been serving dozens of homemade ice cream flavors out of a converted dairy barn since 1992, also offering ice cream cakes and wholesaling to some local restaurants and country stores.
• Moo’s Place Homemade Ice Cream (27 Crystal Ave., Derry, 425-0100; 15 Ermer Road, Salem, 898-0199; moosplace.com) makes all of its own hard ice creams available in several dozen unique flavors, in addition to frozen yogurts, Italian ices and ice cream cakes.
• Nelson’s Candy & Music (65 Main St., Wilton, 654-5030, nelsonscandymusic.com) offers more than a dozen flavors of ice cream produced at Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm in Temple, using the shop’s own chocolates, candies and other ingredients.
• Parker’s Maple Barn (1349 Brookline Road, Mason, 878-2308, parkersmaplebarn.com) offers several flavors of ice cream produced at Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm in Temple.
• The Puritan Backroom Restaurant (245 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 669-6890, puritanbackroom.com) has more than two dozen traditional and unique homemade ice cream flavors.
• Richardson’s Farm (170 Water St., Boscawen, 796-2788, richardsonsfarmnh.com) has dozens of flavors of ice cream made on site, using its own pasteurized ice cream base sourced with milk and cream from Hatchland Farm in North Haverhill.
• Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream (209 Route 103 Sunapee, 863-8940, icecreamkidbeck.com) has dozens of flavors of homemade ice cream available, including many dairy-free, sugar-free, gelato and low-fat options. The farm also has wholesale accounts for businesses that carry its ice cream in quarts, including Achille Agway in Hillsborough.
• Stuart & John’s Sugarhouse (31 Route 63, Westmoreland, 399-4486, stuartandjohns.com) offers several flavors of ice cream from Blake’s Creamery.
• Sugar & Ice Creamery (146 Calef Hwy., Barrington, 888-616-8452, sugaricecreamery.com) has multiple flavors of homemade ice cream, with sundae options and freshly baked waffle cones also available.
• Trombly Gardens (150 N. River Road, Milford, 673-0647, tromblygardens.net) has more than a dozen flavors of its homemade ice cream, available for sale at the farm store in quarts.
I want to say that you deserve a vacation, but honestly, I don’t know that you do.
Don’t get me wrong, you might. Maybe you’ve been going crazy putting in extra time and making yourself available at all hours of the day. Then again, maybe you’ve mailed it in over the past year-and-a-half “working from home”? I just don’t know.
The reality is, whether or not I think you deserve a vacation, you’re probably going to take some time off this summer. And whether you deserve it or not, you’re going to need some beer.
I find I end up drinking really random stuff on vacation. I think part of it is this all-consuming pressure that all dads feel to eat and drink everything in the cooler during the vacation. That seems to leave me knocking down some brews I might otherwise stay away from. I’m looking at you, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy.
Vacations, whether you’re hitting the beach, the mountains, the lake or somewhere tropical, are all about taking it easy and your beer should mirror that feeling. I gravitate toward lighter styles, like Pilsners, for screaming hot days at the beach and I tend to follow that up with darker, but not too heavy, brews for cool, breezy vacation evenings.
Let’s be honest, you’re on vacation, so you’re probably going to be having several beers, and you don’t want your beer to bog you down. I tend to stay away from big double IPAs — they taste great but sometimes leave me ready for nap time a little too early in the day.
If you can find something local on your vacation that fits the bill, all the better. You don’t want to neglect your family, but I give you permission to explore — it seems like there are great breweries wherever you go now. I discovered Cigar City Brewing in Tampa on a family vacation to Florida years ago, and, while it’s easily accessible nationally now, I now consider that brewery a go-to for vacations and just normal life.
For years Sam Adams Summer Ale was my go-to summer beer: easy, flavorful and light. There was just something about the beer that solidified for me that I was, in fact, on vacation. Find your vacation beer.
Here are a few beers to enjoy wherever your vacation takes you.
Smuttynose Lager by Smuttynose Brewing Co. (Hampton)
It’s just a beer. You don’t need to think about it. This new offering by Smuttynose is light, crisp and refreshing, and — not that I’m recommending this — you could probably drink a million of these in a single weekend away.
Patina Pale by Austin Street Brewery (Portland, Maine)
I had this beer during a Portland brew bus tour several years ago and it blew everyone away. Right at the brewery, I think the freshness just hit us right in the face. This is delightfully hoppy with notes of pine and citrus in a light, easy-drinking package that is perfect for getting your hops fix on vacation.
Golden Hour Sour by Granite Roots Brewing (Troy)
Mango and passion fruit combine to produce a fruity, tropical-tasting sour that pairs perfectly with the beach. If you’re a little wary of sours, this is a great choice as the tartness isn’t overly pronounced.
Maduro Brown Ale by Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Fla.)
I had to give Cigar City some love — this beer features light flavors of toffee, coffee and chocolate in a very, very smooth package. This is the one I want on a cool evening sitting by a fire on the beach.
What’s in My Fridge
Greylock Imperial New England IPA by Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co. (Worcester, Mass.) This might be the most dangerous beer I’ve ever had. Named after Massachusetts’ highest peak, this brew comes in at 12 percent ABV but you’d never guess that drinking it. You’ve been warned. This brew is quadruple dry-hopped, producing a smooth finish bursting with huge citrus flavor. Cheers!
Featured photo: Patina Pale Ale by Austin Street Brewery.
Coleslaw is a regular item on summer cookout menus. Typically it’s mainly a combination of cabbage and some sort of mayonnaise-based dressing. I went to introduce you to a fun yet simple spin on regular slaw.
This slaw starts with a base of coleslaw mix. Sure, you could buy a head of cabbage and slice it yourself, but the mix will save some prep time. Plus, you’ll most likely get a mix of red and green cabbage, as well as some shredded carrots, for zero effort. That’s a double win.
Then that cole slaw is combined with a sweet and tangy vinegar-based dressing. For additional flavor and texture, dried cranberries, slivered almonds and crushed up ramen noodles are added.
You may wonder about the ramen noodles. Trust me. They add a fun component to this dish.
Because the ramen noodles are thin, just a few minutes in the dressing transforms them into a tender yet crunchy state. In fact, I’d highly recommend adding the ramen just before serving. The texture of the ramen is a key part of the salad.
Michele Pesula Kuegler has been thinking about food her entire life. Since 2007, the New Hampshire native has been sharing these food thoughts and recipes at her blog, Think Tasty. Visit thinktasty.com to find more of her recipes.
Healthy ramen slaw Serves 4
1/4 cup water 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 14-ounce package coleslaw mix 1/3 cup slivered almonds 1/3 cup dried cranberries 1 3-ounce package ramen, vegetarian or chicken flavor recommended
Combine water and sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir well. Repeat in additional 10-second increments until sugar is fully dissolved. Allow sweetened water to cool slightly. Add vinegar, olive oil and ramen flavoring packet to sweetened water. Mix dressing ingredients well, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow sauce to cool. Combine cole slaw mix, almonds and cranberries in a large bowl. Pour sauce over salad mixture, toss well. Break ramen into smaller pieces, and add to the coleslaw mixture; mix well. Serve salad.
Notes Leftover salad can be refrigerated in a sealed container. However, the ramen noodles will become softer, and the salad will lose a bit of its toothsome texture.
Lisa Kingsbury of Derry is the owner of Lush Confections (find her on Facebook @lushbakedgoods), a homestead business offering fresh cookies baked in small batches. Her signature flavor is a triple chocolate chunk, made with white, dark and milk chocolate, and other versions include walnuts and Heath candy bar pieces. She also bakes lemon yogurt cookies with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, as well as a dark chocolate brownie with a dark chocolate gaze, and chocolate raspberry rugelach with walnuts. Find her cookies at the Derry Homegrown Farm & Artisan Market (1 W. Broadway) on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to whenever she sells out. The triple chocolate chunk cookies are also regularly available at the East Derry General Store (50 E. Derry Road).
What is your must-have kitchen item?
I would say that a kitchen scale is the most important thing in my kitchen. … There’s also always a bench scraper nearby, without a doubt.
What would you have for your last meal?
Whatever my husband decides to make. He is fabulous in the kitchen.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
My personal favorite is Janie’s Uncommon Cafe in Londonderry. They are really nice people, and everything is delicious. I love their avocado toast.
What celebrity would you like to see ordering from you?
I’m really not too driven by the whole celebrity culture. … Right now, I think my biggest compliment is when somebody compares my cookie to that of someone’s that they love. That, to me, is such a huge compliment when there’s that nostalgia applied to it.
What is your favorite cookie flavor that you offer?
The chocolate raspberry rugelach, because it’s a cookie that you really don’t find anywhere. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and savory.
What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?
I think restaurateurs in New Hampshire have done such an amazing job pivoting their operations over the last year and a half, regardless of what their business model is. … I think they are more open to different possibilities than they would have otherwise been.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
I am definitely a seasonal shopper. So for example, when clamming season is open, I just want to eat fresh clams. Now that it’s warmer, I love to garden.
Olive and Cooper’s homemade soft dog cookies From the kitchen of Lisa Kingsbury of Lush Confections in Derry
1 cup creamy peanut butter ¾ cup milk 1 egg 1 large carrot, shredded 2½ cups all purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, milk, egg and carrot. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into ¼-inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter, cut into two-inch squares. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, flip the treats and bake on the other side for 10 more minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving. This recipe yields about 40 treats, which can then be frozen and taken out as needed.