Summertime gose

Tart and refreshing for your taste buds

Whoa, it’s mid-August. When did that happen?

That can only mean one thing: Pumpkin-flavored beer is right around the corner.

Honestly, I’m kidding. It’s not right around the corner. It’s already on the shelves.

But let’s forget about pumpkin beer for a moment, shall we?

We’re still very much in the thick of summer. The temperature supports me. You still have time to get to the beach or the pool. It’s hot and it’s humid and there’s no reason to turn the page to fall. Pumpkin can wait.

I’ve found myself drinking a lot of session IPAs and a lot of Pilsners over the past month or so and decided I needed to shake things up. When it comes to beer, nothing shakes up your taste buds quite like a sour brew. And within the sour realm, nothing screams summer quite like a gose: tart, salty and refreshing.

A style the German Beer Institute says is about 1,000 years old, it is perhaps most defined by its saltiness. Food & Wine wrote in a 2016 article the brew’s name stems from the river Gose in Germany and that the beer’s original saltiness was probably a product of “mineral-rich aquifers” in the town of Goslar, where the brew originated. Today, though, brewers just, you know, add salt.

That characteristic tartness and salinity of a gose just wakes you up and kind of whacks you around — sometimes you need that, especially when it’s still blistering hot out.

In terms of summertime sours, it’s awfully difficult to beat Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale, which is a session sour. The combination of bright and tart lime and sea salt just refreshes right to the bone and leaves you begging for another sip (or can). Paste Magazine refers to it as tasting “like a margarita without all the sugar and it makes me want to go straight to the beach.”

That is just a winning description and the beer really epitomizes what I’m looking for from a sour during the summer months: bright, tart, refreshing, flavorful and unique. Also, the gose style is typically brewed with a very low ABV, allowing you to enjoy a few without getting bogged down.

Here are a few gose brews to bring with you as you savor the remaining beach days.

Margarita Gose by Great Rhythm Brewing Co. (Portsmouth)

Apparently I have a thing for that lime-sea salt combination. This one also blends in orange flavor in an extremely light, very, very drinkable package. A perfect summer brew.

Poppy’s Moonship on Blackberries by Schilling Beer Co. (Littleton)

This is just an exciting brew. The pour is a bright red, and the blackberries add extra layers of richness and tartness. Despite the added richness, this is very sessionable.

Love is Love Gose by Great North Aleworks (Manchester)

There’s that lime-salt combination again. This “slightly tart” wheat beer is brewed with sea salt, coriander and lime. The brew screams refreshing. The super low ABV makes it OK to have a couple.

Sour Lime Ale by Portsmouth Brewery (Portsmouth)

This is another gose that relies on lime juice — and zest — to produce a thirst-quenching and tart brew. At just 3 percent ABV, well, I’m not going to tell you how many you can have.

E09 Blueberry Lemon Gose by 603 Brewery (Londonderry)

As much as I love the flavor of lime in a gose, the blueberry-lemon combination here works really well. This is a fun brew that will delight your palate.

What’s in My Fridge

Lemongrass Lager by Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers (Framingham, Mass.)
I had one of these after a particularly frustrating round of grass cutting on a hot day, and yeah, this was a winner. With fresh lemony flavor, this just slides right down your throat so easily, it’s a little scary. Great summer beer; great anytime beer. Cheers!

Featured photo: Summer in a can. SeaQuench Ale by Dogfish Head Brewery. Courtesy photo.

Fresh peach slump

Last week I wrote about fresh peach scones, which are a delicious way to start your day. Now I have a recipe for fresh peach slump — a delectable way to end your day. At the height of peach season, there’s really no better way to start and end the day than with peach-centric dishes.


Slumps are newer to my cooking repertoire. Typically when I am making a fruit-based dessert, I lean toward crisps. I enjoy the combination of brown sugar and oats that top them. However, I was asked by a friend if I could create a slump, and from that, this recipe was created. Just as with a crisp, the focus is on the gently cooked fruit. However, instead of oats and brown sugar, there’s a tender, sweet biscuit coating.


Served with some freshly made (or straight from the can) whipped cream, it’s the perfect ending to a summer meal.

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.

Fresh peach slump
Serves 8

For the filling:
4 cups peaches, pitted and diced
½ cup granulated sugar
2½ Tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt

For the dumplings:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cold butter, diced
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
⅓ cup water

Place the peaches in a large skillet or Dutch oven.
In a small bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt; sprinkle over the peaches.
Place the Dutch oven (or skillet) on a burner over a medium heat until the peaches begin simmering.
Stir occasionally and gently, simmering for 10 minutes; remove from heat.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
Add the butter and combine using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingers until butter is reduced to the size of peas.
Add the milk and vanilla, and stir until just combined.
Divide the dough into eight pieces and place evenly over the peach mixture.
Add 1/3 cup water, pouring between dumplings.
Return the pot to the stove and bring to a low simmer.
Cover fully with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until dumplings are puffy and cooked through.
Uncover and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
If desired, sprinkle the top of each dumpling with cinnamon and sugar or serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Photo: Peach slump. Courtesy photo.

Lynne Donnelly

Lynne Donnelly of Litchfield is the owner of Bittersweet Bake Shoppe (272 Derry Road, Litchfield, 978-649-2253, bittersweetbakeshoppe.com), a small-batch bakery offering a wide selection of sweet and savory items. A longtime Litchfield resident, Donnelly moved her operations to a new storefront last December after being in Tyngsboro, Mass., for about 16 years. You’ll find everything at Bittersweet Bake Shoppe from cookies, cake pops, pies and cakes to quiches, stuffed croissants and soups and stews in the fall and winter. The shop also carries various retail items, such as sauces, jams, mustards and chocolates, and accepts custom cake orders with a preferred advance notice of a week to 10 days.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

A spatula, specifically a frosting spatula.

What would you have for your last meal?

It would have to be something with ketchup.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

The Bedford Village Inn. I usually look at the chef’s specials. I always try to venture out from something that I couldn’t cook at home.

What celebrity would you like to see visiting your shop?

Steven Tyler. He probably doesn’t even eat sweets, but I’ve just always been a big fan of his.

What is your personal favorite thing that you offer?

If I had to narrow it down, I would have to say all of the celebration cakes, with the crazy artwork. Little kids’ birthday cakes are always fun. They are stacked like wedding cakes with all these different characters sticking out of them.

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

My savory baked croissants are really popular right now. I would say those, and also whoopie pies.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

Anything Italian. I like to do different forms of from-scratch pasta with sauces from tomatoes in my garden.

Apple cheddar squares
From the kitchen of Lynne Donnelly of Bittersweet Bake Shoppe in Litchfield

1½ cups flour
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup soft butter
6 ounces cheese
2½ cups sliced apples (about 3 medium apples)
¾ cup sugar
½ cup nuts, chopped

Mix together flour, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, baking soda and butter. Press half of the mixture into a 13×9-inch pan. Layer the cheese, sliced apples (tossed in the sugar) and nuts. Top with the other half of the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Featured photo: Lynne Donnelly

Capital City pies

Lucky Moose Casino & Tavern opens in Nashua

More than a decade after he brought Dos Amigos Burritos to downtown Concord, Joel Harris is introducing an all-new concept just a few blocks up the street: a full-service dine-in restaurant featuring brick-oven artisan pizzas, appetizers and other items made with local ingredients.

The New Hampshire Pizza Co., opening soon in the former Crazy Goat space on North Main Street, will also have selections of local craft beers and specialty cocktails, as well as a selection of salads and multiple flavors of its own ice cream made on site.

“I’ve really come to love Concord … and I felt like full-service family-friendly brick-oven pizza would be a great addition to the city’s dining scene,” said Harris, who opened the first Dos Amigos location in Portsmouth in 2003 before coming to the Capital City four years later. “The goal for the restaurant is to really make it a showpiece for the state of New Hampshire. Being in the capital, we want to serve New Hampshire beers and liquor. The decor is going to be New Hampshire-focused, [and] we want to use local ingredients as much as possible on our pizzas.”

Harris, along with his head chef, Rylan Hill, said the pair traveled to several iconic pizzerias and restaurants in the Brooklyn, New York, and New Haven, Connecticut, areas to try out some of the best pizzas they could find. Hill had also worked a stint at Luigi’s West End Pizza in Portsmouth, which Jay McSharry, Harris’s partner at Dos Amigos, is also part owner of.

Harris described the pizza’s style as “a hybrid between New York and Neapolitan,” with likely at least two sizes and both traditional and specialty pies available, from a classic cheese to an eggplant pizza, a sausage and smoked ricotta pizza and a Hawaiian pizza with grilled pineapple and prosciutto. Gluten-free crusts and vegan pizza options are in the works, too.

Among the featured appetizers will be Buffalo-style wings served three ways: traditional chicken wings, pork “wings” (pork shank) and a vegetarian option with cauliflower. There will also be charcuterie board options highlighting local meats and cheeses, and likely three or four varieties of both individual and family-sized salads.

For dessert, Harris said the plan is to begin offering homemade ice cream, from classics like vanilla and chocolate, to more inventive flavors, like basil or Parmesan ice cream.

The New Hampshire Pizza Co. will operate mostly as a sit-down restaurant with wait service, an open kitchen and a full bar. Harris said he also expects to utilize the eatery’s back door alleyway for pickup orders in order to eliminate the need for parking downtown.

“I’m really excited for this. This is definitely going to be a new venture for me, going from counter service to the sit-down full service,” Harris said. “I feel like we’re going to be able to provide Concord-area residents and visitors with a different experience … and we hope people will embrace us as we try to present the best of our state.”

New Hampshire Pizza Co.

An opening date is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Visit their website or follow them on social media for updates.

Where: 76 N. Main St., Concord
Hours: TBA
More info: Visit newhampshirepizzaco.com, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @nhpizzaco

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

Flavors of summer

Great New England BBQ & Food Truck Festival returns

Following a successful 2020 event despite social distancing regulations in place, the Great New England BBQ & Food Truck Festival is back, this year adding even more local food and beer vendors, games and activities. The third annual event is happening on Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Hampshire Dome in Milford, and will include food trucks, an afternoon of live local music, multiple craft and artisan vendors, a cornhole tournament and more.

“We were extremely happy with the outcome last year. I think people were so relieved to be able to get out safely and comfortably,” festival organizer Jody Donohue said. “We’re using both the inside and outside of the [Hampshire] Dome this year, so we have more space than before.”

Food trucks will be set up around the perimeter of the dome’s parking lot, with a diverse array of offerings, including several local to New Hampshire and others coming from nearby New England states. Prime Time Grilled Cheese, for example, has been an attendee favorite since the festival’s inception with its specialty grilled cheeses and “dessert” sandwiches like grilled s’mores and Fluffernutters. They’ll be back this year, along with Jayrard’s Java Cafe, a mobile trailer specializing in premium Costa Rican coffees and organic teas; and Sweet Crunch Bakeshop & Catering Co., which features freshly baked cookies.

New to this year’s festival are The Lobster Roller, a food trailer based in Gloucester, Mass., selling lobster rolls and New England-style clam chowder; and the Totally Thai Food Truck, which hails from Peterborough and serves up pad Thai, spring rolls and chicken satay. Other specialty eats and drinks will include fresh kettle corn popped on site, freshly squeezed lemonade, gourmet baked potatoes, and a plethora of barbecue options from brisket to pulled pork.

A “libations tent” will be in the center of the lot, featuring craft beers from local purveyors, like Frogg Brewing of Marlborough, Martha’s Exchange of Nashua, and Able Ebenezer Brewing Co. of Merrimack. Homemade sangria from Dave Bourgault of The Hills Restaurant at Milford’s Hampshire Hills Athletic Club will also be poured.

Around 50 vendors will be selling their goods both indoors and outdoors for the duration of the festival, from specialty foods to crafts and artisan products.

Live music will be featured all day long, starting with Peter Pappas from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by Brian Weeks from 1 to 4 p.m. and Robert Allwarden from 4 to 7 p.m. The crew from 106.3 Frank FM will also be there between noon and 2 p.m., doing a live broadcast and offering photo opportunities with their promotional van, Donohue said.

A kids zone that was eliminated from last year’s festival amid safety concerns is due to make a return this time around, featuring bounce houses, face-painting, henna tattoos and more. A cornhole tournament is planned too, likely taking place around 2 p.m. indoors on the dome’s turf field, with warmups at 1 p.m. According to Donohue, interested participants can sign up that day at $15 per player, for a chance to win a cash prize.

Third annual Great New England BBQ & Food Truck Festival

When: Saturday, Aug. 14, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: The Hampshire Dome, 34 Emerson Road, Milford
Cost: General admission tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the gate (free for attendees ages 14 and under). Food and crafts are priced per item. Cornhole tournament tickets are $15 per player.
More info: gne.ticketleap.com/foodtruckfest to purchase advance tickets online
Free parking is available on site. Masks are optional. Socially distanced seating will be provided, but attendees are welcome to bring their own blankets. No pets are allowed.

Participating food vendors

Barry’s Hot Sauce (barryshotsauce.com)

Coco’s Coffee (cocoscoffeenh.com)

Dandido Sauce (dandidosauce.com)

Extreme Concessions, Inc. (find them on Facebook)

The Greatest BBQ of New England (greatestbbqofnewengland.com)

Get Baked Potato Co. (getbakedpotato.com)

Jayrard’s Java Cafe (jayrards.com)

La Chula Truck (find them on Facebook)

Little Charlotte’s Kettle Corn (find them on Facebook @charlotteskettlecorn)

The Lobster Roller (thelobsterroller.com)

Local LunchBox Truck (find them on Facebook)

Mak’n Ends Meat Food Truck (find them on Facebook @maknendsmeat)

Mooseman’s Kettle Corn (moosemanskettlecorn.com)

Prime Time Grilled Cheese (primetimegrilledcheese.com)

The Stand “Shaken not Stirred” (find them on Facebook @thestandshakennotstirred)

Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream (subzeroicecream.com)

Sweet Crunch Bakeshop & Catering Co. (sweetcrunchbakeshop.com)

Temple Street Diner Food Truck (find them on Facebook)

Totally Thai Food Truck (find them on Facebook @totallythaifoodtruck)

Twins 4 Life Creations (twins4lifecreations.com)

Uncle Joey’s Cannoli (unclejoeyscannoli.com)

Featured photo: Courtesy of the The Lobster Roller food truck.

The Weekly Dish 21/08/12

News from the local food scene

In good spirits: New Hampshire distilleries that produce fewer than 10,000 bottles a year can now offer samples at local farmers markets, thanks to a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu. Under the new law, liquor samples are limited to a ½-ounce serving per label per person, and products may be sold at the farmers market in their original containers. Distillers had previously only been allowed to provide samples at tasting rooms with reduced hours, usually on weekends. “Since most of our distilleries are in rural or industrial areas with limited foot traffic, these restrictions made it more difficult to attract visitors,” state Sen. Regina Birdsell, the bill’s prime sponsor, said in an Aug. 3 statement. “Now, [they] can take advantage of ‘spirits tourism’ … especially during weekdays.”

Barbecue, bands and more: There’s still time to get your ticket to the inaugural Barbecue Benefit Bash, happening on Saturday, Aug. 21, from 5 to 11 p.m. at Alpine Grove Banquet Facility (19 S. Depot Road, Hollis). A fundraiser for the Nashua Children’s Home, the event will feature a catered barbecue buffet with craft beer options, along with raffle prizes and live performances from local musicians, including Nashua-area veteran rockers Aces & Eights and Hollis musician Joe Birch. Among the food items will be half chickens cooked over a bed of charcoal, in addition to tender steak tips, tossed garden and pasta salads, local corn on the cob, cranberry sauce, biscuits and butter, and ice cream. Tickets are on sale now through Sunday, Aug. 15, and are $50 per person, with a portion of all proceeds benefiting the Nashua Children’s Home. Visit louduhamel.simpletix.com or contact event organizer Lou Duhamel at 305-2841 to buy tickets. For more details, you can also check out our coverage on the event by visiting hippopress.com and scrolling down to the Aug. 5 issue’s e-edition — the story is on page 22.

Food and fun at the Faire: Join the Deering Community Church (763 Deering Center Road) for its annual Deering Community Faire on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature dozens of local vendors selling items like home-baked goods, homemade jams and other artisan foods, as well as live music, children’s games, craft vendors, raffle prizes and pony rides. There will also be a lunch of burgers, hot dogs, sausages and chips served behind the church, followed by a free ice cream social at 2 p.m. Raffle tickets are $5 apiece, or $20 per six, with drawings to take place at 2:30 p.m. The event’s rain date is Aug. 21. Visit deeringcommunitychurch.org/2021-summer-faire.

Concorso Italiano returns: Food tents, live music, family entertainment and all types of exotic cars around the world will be featured during the annual Concorso Italiano, happening on Sunday, Aug. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tuscan Village’s new location (9 Via Toscana, Salem). According to a press release, 100 percent of the ticket proceeds will be donated to the Lazarus House, a nonprofit based in Lawrence, Mass., that offers transitional housing and educational and work services. Visit tuscanvillagesalem.com/car-show.

Recipes for success: NH Eats Local Month continues with a free virtual workshop with Cooking Matters, a program of the NH Food Bank, set for Wednesday, Aug. 18, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Staff members will be demonstrating various dishes live that will highlight local maple syrup during the presentation. Recipes and other resources will be sent to participants afterward, so you can try them out at home. Admission is free, but registration is required. Participants will receive a link via email to the Zoom meeting. Visit nhfoodbank.org/programs/recipe-for-success.cooking-matters.

From the land of sunflowers

A look at some wines from Provence

It’s summer and the beginning of sunflower season in New Hampshire! Sunflowers evoke thoughts of Vincent Van Gogh and his painting of the bright, robust flower. Van Gogh painted sunflowers 11 times, with seven of those paintings executed while he was in Arles, in Provence. Van Gogh found the area to his liking, with its sunshine and bright colors. He created some of his greatest work in the short 14 months he was in Arles.

Marseille provided Julia Child with experiences that ran counter to those of her residency in Paris. Julia and Paul Child’s Parisian friends thought Marseille “a rough, crude, southern” place. “But it struck me as a rich broth of vigorous, emotional, uninhibited Life — a veritable ‘bouillabaisse of a city,’” Paul said, according to Julia Child’s My Life in France.

The cuisine of Provence is decidedly different from Parisian cuisine; it’s founded on olive oil and garlic and an abundance of fish and fresh vegetables. It borrows from its Italian neighbors but remains decidedly different from them.

Provence is rich, if not as sophisticated as Paris. It covers a wide swath of territory from the Alps and Italy to its north and east to the Pyrenees and Spain on its west. It was the first region conquered by the Romans beyond the Alps. For a time, it was home to Popes at Avignon. Its coastline with its blue water is called the Cote d’Azur, and its film festival at Cannes is world-famous. With its warm climate and the fragrance of lavender and citrus, it is no wonder the perpetual season of summer of 300 days of sunshine along the coast lures many to visit, and some to stay.

With these notable differences in climate and cuisine from the rest of France, it is expected that the wines of this region would also differ greatly from those of parts north. Provence is known for the production of rosé wine. Rosés are produced throughout France, but the rosés of Provence are unique in their character and structure.

Our first wine, a 2019 Château D’Esclans Whispering Angel Côte De Provence Rosé (available at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets at $22.99), is a blend of grenache, cinsault and rolle (vermentino), an Italian white grape identified by its French moniker, rolle. The grenache and cinsault impart their spice-fruit to the wine, while the rolle adds floral and citric notes to the blend. The color is an almost clear very pale peachy pink. To the nose, there are slight floral, lily-like notes, along with some citric. To the tongue the same is carried through with a very slight orange peel coming across the tongue. This is a light wine of 13.5 percent alcohol, created by Sacha Lichine. His 2006 acquisition of Château D’Esclans, located northeast of San Tropez, has resulted in building a world-class brand and providing a strong contribution to the popular growth of rosé wine. Sacha is the son of the renowned Alexis Lichine, who was instrumental in the rebuilding of the wine industry destroyed by World War II, as well as the author of The Wines of France, published in 1952. This wine has a pedigree all but surpassed by the expertise of the generations who created it. It can be sipped on a warm, sunny afternoon, or paired with a light supper of a green salad, dressed with cheese and fruit. Doesn’t that sound like what Provence should be?

Our second wine is a classic, a 2017 Château Beauchêne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grand Réserve (available at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets at $37.99). It is a blend of 80 percent grenache, 10 percent syrah and 10 percent mourvèdre. The color is deep ruby red, the nose is of raspberries and spice, tampered with the sweetness of vanilla. To the tongue it is rich in flavor while remaining dry and slightly leathery from the tannins. There is a good dose of red fruit: cherries and plum, with a slight earthiness that makes this an ideal accompaniment to grilled meat, especially lamb. Château Beauchêne is owned by Michel Bernard, whose family has lived in Orange, just North of Avignon, since the 17th century. Today Chateau Beauchêne has become the hub for the vinification and maturation of all the cuvees from the different vineyards owned by the family. Three appellations are represented over their 175 acres: Châteauneuf du Pape, Côtes du Rhône Villages, and Côtes du Rhône.

These are two exceptional wines worth considering for your pretend visit to Provence. Enjoy them on the patio with your favorite Provence fare!

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

The Firecracker

I deeply distrust economics.

Yes, I acknowledge that economics provides some convenient answers, but I don’t really trust it. It’s like the character in a movie — always shot with shadowy lighting — who supplies the hero with important information. Everything seems on the up-and-up, but something about the whole exchange makes you realize that she really isn’t on the hero’s side. When things fall apart badly in the third act, you nod your head and tell your eye-rolling date, “Yup, thought so.”

Economics pretends to explain a great deal about human nature, but once you make peace with the concept that money is imaginary and economics is arbitrary, everything sort of falls apart.

“Why is such-and-such worth so much money?”

Because that’s what people agree it’s worth.

“Janitors and farm workers do work way more important than CEOs; why don’t we pay them more?”

Because we don’t want to.

Totally. Arbitrary.

And yet — OK, have you ever made an impulsive purchase or invested a lot of time and money in something that ultimately hasn’t worked out? Hobby supplies or a disappointing vacation or a boyfriend — that you kept around or stuck with long after they ceased to be rewarding?

You or I might call that Poor Judgment, but economists have a name for it (because of course they do): the Sunk Cost Fallacy. The idea is that we don’t want to “waste” all the money and heartache that we’ve put into something unproductive, which makes sense on an emotional level but isn’t actually terribly logical. That money and effort are gone, no matter how you feel about it. Investing more time in Bradley or shelf space on scrapbooking materials doesn’t make much sense if they aren’t going to fulfill you.

Which brings us to triple sec.

It is a sweet, low-octane, vaguely citrusy liquor that 99 percent of us have around because of that time we were going to make a pitcher of margaritas, but we forgot to buy limes, and then we had a series of hard weeks at work and ended up drinking all the tequila one slug at a time, directly from the bottle, in lieu of sending ill-advised texts.

Anyway, an economist would tell us to throw away the triple sec; it’s just taking up shelf space. Marie Kondo would ask you if it was bringing you joy, which — let’s face it — it isn’t at the moment. It’s really hard to envision a scenario where you are lying on a polar bear rug in front of a fire and purring, “Hey baby, let’s drink some triple sec.”

Let’s give Marie — and the polar bear — a break, and stare the economist in the eye and let him know that yes, in point of fact, we are using that triple sec.

The Firecracker

3 1-inch cubes (~45 grams) of fresh watermelon
1½ ounces golden rum
1 ounce triple sec
½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Muddle the watermelon thoroughly in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. It will surprise you how easily it dissolves, like it’s been waiting for an excuse to completely fall apart. Better it than you.
Add ice and the other ingredients. Shake until very cold.
Strain into a coupé glass.

Drink several of these while watching Wall Street Week in Review and shouting “YOU DON’T KNOW ME!” at the TV.

Surprisingly, it is the watermelon that takes a back seat in this cocktail, providing color and a vague fruitiness. The rum is great — rum is everybody’s friend — but is there mostly to bridge the different varieties of sweetness. The stars of the drink are — again, unexpectedly — the triple sec and cayenne. Citrusy sweetness and in-your-face spiciness don’t seem like they would work together, but they do. That’s yet another mystery that economics can’t solve.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

Fresh peach scones

The second half of summer heralds a rush of locally grown produce. For a cook, it’s an exciting time of year. With so many freshly picked fruits and veggies available, it can be difficult to decide what to cook or bake next.

For the next two weeks peaches are the focus in my kitchen. Although this fruit is absolutely perfect when eaten on its own, it’s also fun to find new ways to serve it, such as these scones. For this recipe you want peaches that are perfectly ripe —‌ nicely sweet but not too soft. The softer the peaches are, the more liquid that adds to your scone. If it happens that your peaches are a bit on the softer side, you can add a little more flour to make the dough less sticky.
These scones are topped with a simple vanilla glaze. If you would rather not add the glaze, I would suggest sprinkling a tablespoon or two of granulated sugar on the scones right before baking. Either way you’ll have a nicely sweet scone full of freshly picked peaches.

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.

Fresh peach scones
Makes 8

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 cup diced peach*
3/4 cup buttermilk**
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla divided
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Add butter.
Combine butter with dry ingredients using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers until the butter is reduced to the size of grains of rice.
Add diced peach to flour mixture, tossing gently.
Whisk buttermilk, egg yolk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl.
Add liquids to dry ingredients; mix until dough forms a ball.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press into an 8-inch round.
Cut into 8 wedges.
Transfer wedges to a parchment paper-lined, rimmed cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the scones are crusty on top and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
While cooling, combine powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk.
Top each scone with vanilla glaze.
Notes
*I prefer to keep the skin on the peaches in this recipe. You can peel them if you prefer.
**In place of buttermilk, you can pour 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a measuring cup and fill with milk to equal 3/4 cup. Allow to sit for 2 minutes before adding it to the recipe.

Photo: Peach scones. Courtesy photo.

Jenn Martins

Jenn Martins of Hudson is the owner of Brickoven Catering (brickovencatering.com, find her on Facebook and Instagram), a mobile food trailer specializing in wood-fired pizzas, appetizers and other options cooked out of a built-in brick oven. Other than the pizzas, which come in 12-inch and six-inch personal sizes and feature flavors from pepperoni and margherita to chicken bacon ranch and dill pickle, other menu items have included meatballs, pulled pork sliders, meat and veggie skewers, crabcakes and stuffed mushrooms. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Martins held multiple jobs in the industry from catering to working as a private chef before purchasing the trailer in February 2020. Brickoven Catering is available to rent for all types of events, from weddings and birthday parties to corporate gatherings, and is known for creating signature “Bride & Groom” pizzas. You’ll also occasionally find Martins slinging pizzas outside of Able Ebenezer Brewing Co. (31 Columbia Circle, Merrimack).

What is your must-have kitchen item?

A good old wooden pizza peel.

What would you have for your last meal?

Our pickle pizza with bacon. I could literally eat it every day.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

MT’s Local [Kitchen & Wine Bar] in Nashua. Their grilled flatbreads are really good, and I’m also pretty fond of their hamburgers.

What celebrity would you like to have seen ordering from your food trailer?

Anthony Bourdain. In culinary school, he was who we looked up to and somebody we aspired to be. We all read his books and watched his shows.

What is your favorite thing on your menu?

The pickle pizza. It was something my 10-year-old daughter came up with. It has alfredo sauce, cheese, sliced hamburger, dill pickles and bacon, topped with fresh dill.

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

Food trucks at events are a huge trend. I always thought I would have my own catering company out of a brick-and-mortar building, never a food truck, but I love it.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

My daughter and I love Corn Flake-breaded chicken.

Bacon-wrapped chicken
Courtesy of Jenn Martins of Brickoven Catering, brickovencatering.com

1½ pounds chicken breasts, cut into two-inch strips
1 pound bacon
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1 cup brown sugar

Roll chicken in chili powder, garlic and cumin mix. Wrap bacon around chicken and secure with toothpick. Roll in brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees on a broiling pan for 30 minutes.

Featured photo: Jenn Martins

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