The green standard

Family pub celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

After two years more or less on the sidelines, St. Patrick’s Day revelry returned to full flower in 2022, and the party only looks to get better with the big day landing on a Friday this year. Across New Hampshire, pub keepers are counting down. Early hours and Irish breakfasts are the rule, along with a bevy of traditional music.

Running a chain of Irish pubs, Salt hill, the Tuohy family exemplifies this celebratory spirit. Every year each pub kicks off with a traditional breakfast of bangers, mash and black pudding. Musicians like Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki and Concord band Rebel Collective start the day there and make their way back to bigger venues for evening sets.

This year, fiddler Tirrell-Wysocki will perform at noon in Lebanon, then head to Bedford for a private show. He’s also at LaBelle Winery on March 16, Claremont Opera House on March 18, and Stone Church on March 19. See

Rebel Collective will kick things off in Lebanon at 9:30 a.m., play the Shanty at 1:30 p.m. and head to Shaskeen for 8 p.m. See

Other musicians making the rounds that day are O’Hanleigh, Atlantic Crossing, JD & the Stone Masons, and Celticladda. The Salt hill Celli Band will be in Newport and Sunapee, led by Anthony Santoro, a musician who’s led the weekly Irish session in Lebanon since Josh and Joe Tuohy opened it in 2003.

“He is so good that other really good musicians want to find him and play with him,” Josh Tuohy said while sitting at the original pub’s bar. “I’m not exactly sure who Anthony has with him this year, but I know it’s only high quality, because I don’t think he would play with less.”

Salt hill’s other locations are in Newport and at the foot of Mount Sunapee, a stone’s throw from the original site of The Shanty, a pub Tuohy’s mom and dad ran from 1968 to 1991. The famous and infamous have stopped there over the years.

In the ’70s, a pre-sobriety Steven Tyler pushed a cigarette machine down a flight of stairs, resulting in a lifetime ban from Mother Tuohy. A reformed Tyler has dropped by the new Shanty many times. Two summers ago he lingered long enough to take pictures with staff and even helped wash a few dishes.

New York subway shooter Bernie Goetz enjoyed a burger and a beer there while on the run from law enforcement and staying at a nearby hotel. “We didn’t know who he was until a couple of days later when the news hit,” Josh recalled.

March 17 is often the only time of the year many people go to an Irish bar, but Salt hill is a bit different.

“There’s people that come in a few times during the year,” Josh Tuohy said. “They’re always here on St. Patrick’s Day; it’s everybody’s go-to, and I like to think they wouldn’t consider going anywhere else. We always have a little extra for them that day.”

Those extras include a $500 cash prize at each location, along with plenty of Guinness, Jameson, Smithwick’s and other assorted bar swag. “We give away so many prizes,” Josh said. “We want everyone to feel like they got something.”

Pre-pandemic there were five pubs. One in Hanover was due for a lease renewal in mid-2020, as Dartmouth College went remote and events that filled the bar got canceled. “I don’t think we could have done anything else,” Josh said. “A lot of people said, ‘I’m sorry you went out of business,’ but we really just chose not to stay there.” Another in West Lebanon shut temporarily in September 2022 citing staffing shortages, and did not reopen.

Despite those setbacks, the Tuohys aren’t looking back.

“My brother and I are burger-flippers and bartenders by trade for our whole lives, and I love what we’ve accomplished,” Josh said. “The little victories, the challenges, the difficult things — it’s never the same day twice. I don’t think I’d know how to retire…. I’m wicked lucky to say we still love when we do.”

High on his list of reasons for that feeling is every Irish pub’s green letter day.

“Everyone, wherever they go for St. Patrick’s Day, I hope they’re safe and have a great time,” Josh said. “If they come to our places, they’re going to have more live music that they can shake a stick at and the best authentic traditional Irish food around, and everyone’s going to go home with a prize — if I could do it safely, I’d have a T-shirt cannon. I expect and hope to see all of our friends and family back, and anyone who’s new and hasn’t been here, give us a try. You’re going to have a good time, I promise that.”

St. Patrick’s Day at Salt hill starting at 9 a.m.
Salt hill Pub: 2 W. Park St., Lebanon; 448-4532
Salt hill Shanty: 1407 Route 103, Newbury; 763-2667
Salt hill Newport: 58 Main St., Newport; 863-7774
Full schedule at

A dozen more New Hampshire Irish pubs with St. Patrick’s Day festivities
Barley House 132 N. Main St., Concord; 228-6363
Cara Irish Pub 11 Fourth St, Dover; 343-4390
Casey Magee’s 8 Temple St., Nashua; 484-7400
Fury’s Publick House 1 Washington St., Dover; 617-3633
Holy Grail 64 Main St., Epping; 679-9559
Kathleen’s Irish Pub 90 Lake St., Bristol; 744-6336
Kelley’s Row 417 Route 108, Somersworth; 692-2200
McGarvey’s 1097 Elm St., Manchester; 627-2721
Olde Kilkenny Pub 30 Middle St., Milford; 283-6631
Peddler’s Daughter 48 Main St., Nashua; 821-7535
Shaskeen Pub 909 Elm St., Manchester; 625-0246
Wild Rover Pub 21 Kosciuszko St., Manchester; 669-7722

Featured photo: Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki. Photo Credit: Mark Myers.

The Music Roundup 23/03/16

Local music news & events

Going places: The arc of her first three singles has Rebecca Turmel on the path of many New England musicians who gravitate to Nashville. Her latest, “Girls On Fire,” is an empowering rocker featuring session players who worked with Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves and Toby Mac. In mid-2022, Turmel released the spare breakup song “Am I Missing Something,” followed by “Wish You Well,” a lush ballad. Thursday, March 16, 7 p.m., Tortilla Flat, 595 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack. More at

Country green: For those seeking a different way to mark St. Patrick’s Day, Jodie Cunningham & Close Range blend a down home vibe with a rock edge that appeals to fans of Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood and Gretchen Wilson — all artists that Cunningham has shared stages with in the past. The energetic singer, who’s won both New Hampshire Idol and two NHCMA awards, offers a mix of covers and originals. Friday, March 17, 7 p.m., The Big House, 322 Lakeside Ave., Laconia, $20 at

Folk legend: A master of folk guitar — he’s a member of Rolling Stone’s 20 Greatest list — Richard Thompson has won lifetime achievement awards from both the British and American standard-setters. As a member of Fairpoint Convention, he helped invent folk rock in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Thompson’s songs have been covered by Robert Plant, Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello and others. His latest album is the Jeff Tweedy-produced Still. Saturday, March 18, 8 p.m., Tupelo Music Hall, 10 A St., Derry, $55 to $65 at

Celtic pop: Close out the long green weekend with Screaming Orphans, an all-sister band from the Irish County of Donegal. They released their debut album Listen and Learn in 2001, and their Celtic-infused pop sound is reminiscent of The Corrs, another familial Irish band. A fiddle and drum remake of the Turtles’ smash “Happy Together” from the 2019 LP Life In A Carnival is an especially frothy bit of fun. Sunday, March 19, 7 p.m., Bank of NH Stage, 16 S. Main St., Concord, $23.75 at

Pub power: With its roots in Dover group The Swaggerin’ Growlers, an area appearance by Tail Light Rebellion is a homecoming of sorts. The one-man-band project, now a duo, was born in the ashes of the group, who broke up in the early 2010s. The current project remains a raucous “rolling riot folk brigade” inspired by The Pogues, and energized by multi-instrumentalist, singer and raconteur Jonny Swagger. Tuesday, March 21, 8 p.m., Shaskeen Pub, 909 Elm St., Manchester. More at

Scream VI (R)

Scream VI (R)

Another sequel, another spate of Ghostface killings in Scream VI or, wait, is it a franchise now?

After all, as Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), one of the Core Four (as they extremely reluctantly call themselves) next-generation survivors from the last movie (the 2022 installment, the fifth Scream, called just Scream), says, the rules for a franchise are different. Legacy characters like Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) can die. Main characters like Sam (Melissa Barrera), last movie’s lead girl and daughter of OG Ghostface Billy Loomis, and her younger sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) also can die — or be the new killer. They killed Luke Skywalker and Tony Stark, Mindy explains; franchises can do anything.

Scream VI takes the action out of Woodsboro and to New York City, where Sam and Tara and Mindy and her brother Chad (Mason Gooding) have all moved to try to put the past behind them but still stick together. They are all dealing, sorta: Tara is going to frat parties and making bad choices, Chad is slow to act on his feelings for Tara, Mindy is hanging close in part because what are the chances lightning (i.e. a serial killer) will strike twice (heh), and Sam is attempting therapy, in part because the narrative about Sam has shifted. The internet has decided that she is the secret true killer, not her boyfriend and his secret girlfriend, whom (the internet says) she framed. So sometimes strangers throw drinks on her and call her a killer while filming her reaction — a particularly disturbing turn of events because Sam does wonder if some part of her does have her father’s stabby inclinations.

Right away, the killings start — actually, as Mindy predicts, the movie goes bigger and actually starts with two Ghostface killings, rather cleverly setting up the movie’s whole vibe of being not just self-referential in its dialog but structurally meta too. And intentionally, I think, the movie pretty quickly lays out the best suspects for the murders, subverts your expectations a little but then steers right back onto the path you suspected from the start. And it works? There’s something sort of cute about how it plays with and fulfills your expectations at the same time. It’s, I dunno, fun in a way that keeps this movie, so so deep into its lore, so full of characters I do not remember at all (did you remember Hayden Panettiere was in this series? because I did not), unexpectedly lively. The new characters are fun, the old characters are fun. This is a solid cast that seems to understand what’s being asked of them and are able to (mostly) keep their characters just interesting enough to get me moderately invested in them. (As to the “mostly,” the movie itself points out that you’ve gotta fill out the cast with some redshirts.)

While I didn’t find most of the movie particularly scary or horrifying (it is not quite Cocaine Bear goofy in its gore but it’s also not entirely not that), there were a few legitimately unsettling moments, usually tapping into some non-horror-specific fears about whom in your life you can trust and some nice “everybody looks like a serial killer on this subway” shots (it’s Halloween in the movie so there are legitimately multiple civilians dressed as horror movie villains but also that kind of paranoia is well conveyed).

Scream VI is, ultimately, fine — which was more than I was expecting and just enough to make me like it more than not. B-

Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, and brief drug use, according to the MPA on Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and written by James Vanderbilt & Guy Busick, Scream VI is two hours and three minutes long and distributed in theaters by Paramount Pictures.

65 (PG-13)

Adam Driver reminds you that he can do action movies with 65, a non-Jurassic Park franchise film that allows for fighting dinosaurs.

It’s been a minute since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) and he’s done more prestige-y stuff since then, so walking around in a chest-hugging shirt wielding a big sci-fi gun while uttering a minor amount of dialogue is probably good, career-wise, just to keep his hand in.

Mills (Driver) is the captain of a science space vessel transporting a bunch of people in cryo-sleep. The trip is going to take him two years, two years when he’ll be away from his wife (Nika King) and his young daughter Nevine (Chloe Coleman). This makes him sad but, as his wife reminds him, the trip significantly boosts his pay, giving the family the means to pay for Nevine’s medical treatment.

So, you know, paying for health care is a bummer everywhere, even a long time ago on a planet far far away, because, as we’re quickly told, we’re 65 million years ago and Mills and his family live on another planet.

Mid voyage, Mills’ ship runs into an unexpected asteroid field and is badly damaged. It crashes onto an unknown planet, with the cryo pods being flung this way and that. At first it appears that all the passengers have died, but then Mills discovers that one pod, carrying a young girl named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), is still intact and he takes her out of cryo sleep. He searches for the escape pod that will take them off the planet to where they can be rescued. It is about 13 kilometers away, which doesn’t sound so bad on this planet with breathable air and potable water except that Mills quickly realizes it is also chock full of giant bugs and even gianter people-eating dinosaurs. And there is a ticking clock on this endeavor; it seems that a catastrophically large asteroid from the field his ship flew through is headed to the planet.

Because — dun dun DUN — Mills is on Earth! Right before the dinosaurs are about to have a Very! Bad! Day!

This is maybe a mild spoiler; though I felt like the movie make most of this pretty clear pretty fast. There was something about this very blunt setup and the surface-level bleakness of the characters that made me worry initially that this movie would be very slow going with very little in the way of stakes. And while it did feel this way a little bit in the beginning, I did find myself interested enough in these two characters and in Adam Driver’s overall performance. Koa and Mills don’t speak each other’s language, which helps keep the cutesiness to a tolerable level. The movie uses very simple scenes and moments between them to build their makeshift parent-child relationship and I believed it enough. And Driver is compelling; I mean he brought something to Darth Sulkypants in the last Star Wars trilogy and he is able to make even the goofiness of House of Gucci watchable.

65 isn’t particularly deep or innovative in its Man vs. Dino interactions but it is a solid enough bit of action. B-

Rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi action and peril, and brief bloody images, according to the MPA on Written and directed by Scott Beck & Bryan Woods, 65 is an hour and 33 minutes long and is distributed in theaters by Columbia Pictures.

Featured photo: Creed 3.

Maame, by Jessica George

Maame, by Jessica George (St. Martin’s Press, 320 pages)

There’s a lot to like about 25-year-old Maddie Wright, the main character in Jessica George’s debut novel. Born in Ghana and living in London, Maddie is navigating her unique brand of young adulthood struggles, from low-key workplace racism to familial responsibilities and expectations. She is sweet and kind and very innocent, at times frustratingly so. But watching Maddie grow up and figure out who she is and who she wants to be is what Maame is all about, and it’s a charming journey.

In some ways, Maddie is forced to be more of an adult than many 25-year-olds; she’s taking care of her dad, who has Parkinson’s disease, and her mom, though still married to her dad, spends most of her time in Ghana running a hostel while Maddie and her dad live in London. Her mom is critical of Maddie and the fact that she isn’t as engaged in her Ghanaian heritage and customs as her mother would like her to be — yet Maddie is the one paying all the bills at home and sending money to her mom in Ghana, while her brother does little to help.

In other ways, though, Maddie seems younger than most women her age, and she knows it. That’s why she sets a goal to transform herself into “The New Maddie.” She makes a list of who she wants to be, which includes “drinks alcohol when offered, always says yes to social events, tries weed or cigarettes at least once (but don’t get addicted!), goes on dates, is not a virgin,” and so on.

Maddie gets the chance to work on these goals when her mom returns to London for a year to take over the care of her husband. Maddie moves out and into a flatshare with two women her age, both very different and seemingly more worldly than she is, which gives her a whole new opportunity to live her own life. At the same time, she starts a new job at a publishing house, and, of course, there’s suddenly a new guy hanging around. (Happily, though, romance is not a central plotline but rather a nonintrusive piece of Maddie’s coming-of-age puzzle.)

George expertly depicts both Maddie’s Gen Z traits and her innocence through her frequent Google searches. She Googles random things like “back pain in your mid-twenties” and gets mostly-useless answers from random people: “CC: ‘It’s all linked to the Government. … From a young age we’re told office jobs are the goal. Then you sit at a desk hunched over 9-5, 5 days a week for most of your younger years.’ LG: ‘Why would the government want a nation suffering from back pain?’ CC: ‘So we don’t take over.’”

Many of her questions show her uncertainty and lack of confidence, particularly in the social domain. Waiting to hear back from a potential love interest, she Googles “How long do guys wait before asking a girl out on a date?” (Some very realistic Google answers range from: “I spent four months getting to know my now-girlfriend before I asked her out on a date” to “One hour.”) George incorporates these searches sparingly enough that they’re not annoying and they add some relatability to Maddie’s character no matter how different she is from the reader. We can all relate to the frustration of such drastically diverse search results with no definitive answer from a source — the almighty internet — that is supposed to have all the answers. (Honestly, who hasn’t Googled “weird rash” and been led to believe it’s either totally normal or a sign of impending death?)

Maame covers all the bases of growing up with cultural barriers, without being heavy-handed or preachy. Despite Maddie’s sometimes cringy naivete, I was rooting for her all along. Her story is often funny, and always heartfelt and engaging. A

Album Reviews 23/03/16

Creye, III: Weightless (Frontiers Music)

Some epic melodic metal from Sweden here, in the vein of bands like Heat and whatnot. Their sound is even cleaner than Trans Siberian Orchestra, if you can even conceive of such a thing, and that makes this stuff come off as a bit one-dimensional, but not, I assure you, in the area of wonky musicianship, which is what should really matter, and I’m well aware of that. But still, in between all the (very complicated and clever) riffing and all that, I was really hoping to hear some bad-assery, something messy or slightly dangerous, but it didn’t really happen for me. Now, all that means is that I wouldn’t play this in the car, but I can still heartily recommend it if you ever wanted to hear a smarter, more prog-rock version of Iron Maiden, or at least an Iron Maiden that sounds freshly scrubbed for dinner, like White Lion or some such hair-metal thingie. But again, the selling point is that these guys can really play. A

Public Serpents, The Bully Puppet (SBAM Records)

And here we have a ska-punk band from New Jersey. I didn’t even know that was still a thing, you know? What’s that? No, I was referring to New Jersey, not ska-punk. But anyway, folks, all seriousness aside, this band’s leader, who goes by the name of Skwert, has had a rough time of it over the last few years, enduring incarceration, homelessness and the end of his marriage, so if you like ska-punk, and who actually does, this would be a wise investment, as maybe Skwert could take some time off to rest his voice, because right now these tunes sound like a really drunk Ozzy Osbourne singing for the Suicide Machines except the horn section is better. There’s really nothing stunningly innovative here, not that you’d want innovative music if the only reason you’d ever even sit through a ska band would be to get to the three 19-year-olds playing hamster-wheel straight-edge stuff after them. Side question: Do people still listen to Sublime anymore, or was that just a giant troll? A


• March 17 is a Friday, which means a day of new CD releases, because that’s just how it works, folks. It used to be Tuesdays when all the albums would be released, if I recall correctly, but the record industry changed the traditional release weekday to Friday in their infinite wisdom, after figuring out that Fridays are a lot better, because that’s the day rock ’n’ roll fans figure is the most safe for partaking in day-drinking and puffing wacky tobaccy during work hours, and when quittin’ time comes around they leave work completely shnockered, burn rubber out of the parking lot and just randomly go buy albums at Strawberries and Bradlees and Woolworths. OK maybe not anymore, which only brings up the question, “Is music still cool if all you have to do to obtain it is download it from a pirate site or whatnot?” I don’t think so, but little shining points of light pop out of nowhere now and then, for instance this week’s spotlight new LP, Fantasy, from excellent French weird-beard soundsystem M83, whom you may know if you’re either young or were a fan of the Ovation network’s TV show Versailles (M83 did the impossibly epic theme song) until its untimely demise in 2018. I’m sure this’ll mark a high point for these guys, unless they’ve run out of ideas like everybody else, and toward answering that pressing question I’ll venture into the YouTube, to see what I can hear. I’ll bet you anything that by now they’re ready to make some real money out of their success, so there’s some edgy diva like Zola Jesus guesting on a single that you’ll hear playing at — well, I don’t know, where do people even hear music being played nowadays? Roller skating rinks? Red Lobster? Seriously, now that rock is completely dead, and there’s nothing left of the club scene except for bored-looking (and honestly bored) 20-somethings standing around listening to chopped-and-screwed versions of “My Humps” or whatever, who’s going to buy this awesome new M83 album? I’ll leave that here, with a scratching-my-head emoji added as emphasis, for you to puzzle over, but meanwhile, the group’s new single, “Oceans Niagara” is completely epic and cool, a really buzzy electro dance-beat infused with an urgent, energetic, loud-ass multi-voiced chorus. M83 are still the best, don’t even argue with me.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a band from Auckland, New Zealand, is all about the psychedelic rock ’n’ roll, just like our good buddies, whose name takes up nearly a full line of column space, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard. There’s something fishy about all the awesome stoner-rock coming from “Down Under,” like this new album from UMO, titled V, but either way, these fellas are based in Portland, Oregon, now, so we’ll see if being far away from King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard had any negative effect on these new songs. I’m test-driving the new single, “Hunnybee,” and it’s not stoner-rock at all, it’s chill soul-pop, like Bon Iver trying to be Jamie Lidell. It’s OK I guess.

• Speaking of weird people with Warp record contracts, it’s Yves Tumor, with his new one, Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume. The rollout track, “God Is a Circle,” is driven by loud, muddy bass, mumbled vocals and industrial samples, I like it just fine really.

• Lastly, it’s Black Honey, a U.K. indie band that’s gone through a few name changes, so no, I already don’t take them seriously at all. A Fistful Of Peaches is their new album, and the video for the song “OK” has a seizure warning (I’m not taking that seriously either). The tune is like Foo Fighters but with a vampy girl singer. It’s cool overall.

If you’re in a local band, now’s a great time to let me know about your EP, your single, whatever’s on your mind. Let me know how you’re holding yourself together without being able to play shows or jam with your homies. Send a recipe for keema matar. Message me on Twitter (@esaeger) or Facebook (eric.saeger.9).

Pea-ña Colada

Spring means a lot of different things to different people:





Spring Break

When I was a college student, back in the Late Cretaceous, I had strong feelings about Spring Break. I had heard the stories about 24-hour beach parties, bacchanalian excess and overcrowded hotel rooms. I had dreams of going on a proper Spring Break, but each year I ended up broke and crashing on various friends’ couches, teaching them how to make piña coladas.

Admittedly, I was something of a low achiever in college. I was not smooth or popular. I never made the dean’s list. I did not break any hearts. I didn’t write much poetry.

What I did do, however, was master the art of making a piña colada. I prized my blender and through sheer repetition and practice could measure out the ice, rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream by eye, and make a roomful of college students with low standards very happy.

“Who’d you invite over, tonight?”

“Rick, Bob, Hugo, those three girls and their friends.”


“And Fladd.”

“Ugh. Really?”

“And his blender.”

“Oh, OK, then.”

From time to time I’m tempted to make one of those college piña coladas, but just as there are television shows from my youth that I won’t watch for fear that Adult Me will hate them, I’ve been too afraid to make one.

But it is spring.

What if I made something that Adult Me would think tasted like spring but at the same time was strange enough that College Me would cautiously approve of it?

I give you —

The Pea-ña Colada!!!

  • 2 ounces pea-infused rum (see below)
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce coconut rum – I like Malibu or Coconut Jack for this.
  • ½ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ to ½ ounce simple syrup, depending on how sweet you would like this

Put on your most garish shirt, preferably something that will utterly humiliate your children.

Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Tell your digital assistant to play “Margaritaville” at Volume 8. (Granted, you aren’t actually making a margarita, but the sentiments are just about perfect for this situation. If you can’t make yourself listen to Jimmy Buffet, ask for something by Van Halen.)

Put the top on your shaker, then shake until the ice cubes — and maybe your heart — break.

Pour, ice and all, into a rocks or small Collins glass.

Don’t make any plans for the rest of the afternoon, because this drink will go down very quickly, get lonely, and call for a bunch of its friends to celebrate Spring Break in your stomach.

OK, with all my industrial-strength reminiscing, I skipped over a detail that you might want to discuss a bit before actually making this drink:

“Excuse me? Pea-flavored rum?”

You heard me. Pea. Infused. Rum.

Here’s the thing: Against all odds, it’s delicious. The peas carry a spring-like herbaceousness that plays really well with the fruit juices. The coconut — which your own embarrassing memories lead you to expect to be too sweet — is actually restrained and tasty. Adult You probably doesn’t want a drink quite as sweet as you did in your salad days, and dialing in the actual sweetness with simple syrup will allow you to make this just perfect for singing really loudly. You might want to call an old friend on the phone and sing loudly to them, too.

Bright Green Rum

Add equal amounts by weight of fresh sugar snap peas and white rum to your blender. Don’t worry about snipping off the little stems and squiggly parts on the ends. Just wash them briefly and throw them into the pool with the rum. Go with a basic white rum for this. I like either Bacardi or Captain Morgan. The flavor of the peas will cover up any subtle nuances that you might want to savor in a top-shelf rum.

Blend the rum/pea mixture on a medium-low speed for a minute or so, so that the peas are chopped up really finely but haven’t been liquified.

Let the mixture rest for an hour, then strain it. It will be a vibrant, please-don’t-ignore-me shade of green. If you are so inclined, filter it through a series of coffee filters, which will tone down the color but leave you with the vibrant, pea-ey taste that you want for a proper Pea-ña Colada.

Featured photo: Pea-ña Colada. Photo by John Fladd.

In the kitchen with Nicole Chalfant

Nicole Chalfant of Derry is the owner and founder of Bungalow Bakes (, and on Facebook and Instagram @bungalowbakes), offering a variety of scratch-baked cakes, cupcakes, scones, biscuits, sweet breads and other items available to order. Named after her bungalow home in Derry where she first launched her business, Chalfant now bakes in a commercial kitchen at The Grind Rail Trail Cafe (5 W. Broadway) downtown, which also regularly features her items. She’ll often collaborate with craft breweries in town too, including baking sourdough loaves for the weekly sandwich specials available at From the Barrel Brewing Co. (1 Corporate Park Drive). Cask & Vine (1½ E. Broadway), meanwhile, almost always carries one of Chalfant’s own cheesecake flavors on its dessert menu.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

My KitchenAid mixer. She was a birthday present from my husband. Her name is Buttah, because she is butter yellow. We’ve gone through a lot together and she has never failed me!

What would you have for your last meal?

My husband and I traveled to Tuscany last April and we stayed at an agriturismo, which was this beautiful farmhouse on an olive farm. We took a cooking class with a chef and his wife and the woman who owns the farm, and we spent the whole afternoon with them, learning how to make pasta and we made a ragu and we made tiramisu from scratch. … I would do all of that again. It was the most amazing meal I’ve ever had.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

It’s been The Grind and Cask & Vine [both in downtown Derry]. They are both amazingly passionate about what they do and about supporting local businesses.

What celebrity would you like to see trying something you have baked?

I think it would be Mary Berry. … I fell in love with her on The Great British Bake Off and her other cooking competitions, because she is so knowledgeable and yet so gentle, and she wouldn’t say mean things about your food, ever. She just seems like a delightful human being.

What is your favorite thing to bake for someone?

I love doing babies’ first birthday cakes. I’ve done a lot of them — I have 14 nieces and nephews between my husband’s family and my family, and they are all under the age of 8 at the moment, so in the last 10 years I’ve done a ton of baby’s first birthday cupcakes and smash cakes. … I love when they just get in there and get the frosting all over themselves.

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

Something that I really love is the use of local ingredients and smaller makers. I try really hard to source ingredients locally, and seasonally, when possible.

What is your favorite thing to make at home?

That would be Henrietta’s pound cake. … Henrietta was a friend of my grandmother’s back when she lived in upstate New York. This pound cake is a huge family recipe. It always gets made by my mother and my aunts, and it’s my favorite thing to eat. … It’s just simple and delicious and it reminds me of my family. I can’t make it too often because I would eat the whole thing.

Henrietta’s pound cake
From the kitchen of Nicole Chalfant of Bungalow Bakes in Derry

1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup milk, at room temperature
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt or tube pan. Sprinkle a few sliced almonds in the bottom of the pan. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. Using a mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and the almond extract and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with the milk, mixing lightly in between additions. Spoon the thick batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and enjoy.

Featured photo: Nicole Chalfant, owner and founder of Bungalow Bakes in Derry. Courtesy photo.

Liquid gold

New Hampshire Maple Weekend returns with sugarhouse tours, syrup samples and more

March is prime maple season in New Hampshire, and sugarhouses large and small are inviting you to partake in a celebration of the sweet stuff. During New Hampshire Maple Weekend — returning on Saturday, March 18, and Sunday, March 19 — there will be opportunities at participating sugarhouses for visitors to attend free tours, view maple syrup making demonstrations and sample all kinds of exclusive maple-flavored goodies.

The weekend is overseen by the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, a nonprofit founded in 1943 that today represents more than 350 maple purveyors statewide. A full list of participating sugarhouses and their Maple Weekend plans is available on the NHMPA website.

On March 13, during the annual gubernatorial tree tapping at the Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm in Tamworth, Gov. Chris Sununu announced a proclamation officially recognizing March 2023 as Maple Month in the state of New Hampshire. The Granite State ranks seventh in the nation in the total production of maple syrup, according to the proclamation, and generates about $10 million in sales revenue annually from syrup and other maple products.

Andrew Chisholm, president of the NHMPA, is a maple producer himself — he runs Chisholm Farm in Hampstead, which is known for its flavored syrups, from cinnamon and vanilla to cardamom-infused syrup. During Maple Weekend he’ll also have maple ice cream that’s produced by Shaw Farm, just over the state line in Dracut, Mass.

Chisholm has been at the forefront of promoting the maple syrup industry in New Hampshire, which he said has steadily been on the upswing statewide as an agricultural product. On Sept. 5, 2022, the NHMPA received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to execute a marketing campaign for promoting maple syrup “beyond pancake’s best friend” — Chisholm said this will include an overhaul of the Association website, with the goal to improve its user-friendliness among maple producers and consumers. The grant cites that in 2021 New Hampshire was the No. 1 exporter of maple syrup and maple sugar in the United States.

“That’s really been my focus over the last year, is trying to promote maple as a natural sweetener that has a lot of minerals that we’re trying to get on a daily basis anyway,” Chisholm said.

Here’s a look at how this year’s maple season has gone so far for some in southern New Hampshire, plus what you can expect when you visit a local sugarhouse on Maple Weekend.

Maple madness

Although they welcome visitors all month long for weekend tours, Journey’s End Maple Farm, a small family-run operation in Pittsfield, turns into a syrup lover’s destination on Maple Weekend.

“There are literally hundreds and hundreds of people that come through that weekend,” said Amy Lemire, whose fiance, Marty Boisvert, runs the maple production at Journey’s End. “It’s crazy busy, but it’s fun. … The great thing too is that right in our area there are numerous maple producers, so we find that a lot of families are coming out and making a whole day of it.”

Both days, Journey’s End will be serving treats like maple shakes and maple sundaes, plus “sap dogs,” or slightly sweeter versions of hot dogs, cooked in sap water. They also host vendor pop-up events, with onsite purveyors offering everything from microgreens, homemade artisan breads, jams and jellies to candles, home decor, birdhouses, woodworking signs and more.

“We’ll be boiling sap and we’ll be giving samples of product … right off the evaporator,” Lemire said. “We also set up a maple tree and we kind of simulate tapping it for the kids, so it’s a good learning experience for them.”

At Ice Mountain Maple in Boscawen there will be maple fudge, maple candy and maple coffee. The evaporator will also be running all day, inviting visitors to see the maple production process. Established in the fall of 2019, Ice Mountain Maple is also a small family-run sugarhouse that spent its first season tapping trees the following year.

“Last year we had the most people we’ve ever had,” said Chrisi Gray, who owns Ice Mountain Maple with her husband, Jon. “It’s just phenomenal to see how popular it’s become.”

In addition to its own treats, Ice Mountain Maple is partnering with Confections by Kate, a baking business based in Boscawen.

“She uses our syrup exclusively for her baked goods that feature maple,” Gray said, “so we’re going to have her baked goods in our sugarhouse this year as well.”

In Chester, Folsom’s Sugar House plans to have ongoing tours throughout each day of Maple Weekend and will be providing samples of maple syrup and maple cream.

“We explain to people how we tap the trees, the collection of the sap and bringing it back to the sugarhouse, and then the process of boiling it,” co-owner Brian Folsom said. “We also talk about how we use the reverse osmosis to concentrate the sap and then how we bring it to a finished product … and then we have a little store where they can go in and sample or purchase our different products.”

man distilling maple syrup at farm
Journey’s End Maple Farm in Pittsfield. Courtesy photo.

Folsom said that on a good day he can collect between 600 and 900 gallons of sap from the trees, collected in five-gallon pails from tree to tree across nearly two dozen locations and gathered in a large tank in the back of his truck.

It takes roughly 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. But using reverse osmosis, Folsom said, they’re able to save time and energy by concentrating the sap, producing the same amount of syrup by the use of just 15 gallons.

After the reverse osmosis process, the sap goes through an evaporator, which boils between 60 and 70 gallons an hour on average. Visitors then learn about how the syrup is filtered and bottled, as well as the four types of Grade A syrup that are produced and how each is different in flavor and color.

“We have golden, which is a very light, delicate maple flavor, and then we go on to the amber, a nice rich maple flavor that we’re making,” Folsom said. “Then we get into the dark and then there’s very dark, a very strong robust maple flavor. All of those four are considered Grade A.”

Let the sap flow

As a whole, sugarhouses across the Granite State are well ahead of where they were at this time last year, according to Chisholm, thanks to a steady combination of mild days and cold nights.

“I know a lot of producers in southern New Hampshire and even in Vermont were producing maple syrup in January, which is incredibly unusual,” he said. “Some of them that I spoke with had already produced 40 percent of their 2022 crop by Valentine’s Day of this year. … We got a little nervous around then, because it was getting really warm and wasn’t cooling off at night, but then … as we got into late February and early March, we had that pretty hard freeze for a few days, and that’s exactly what we needed right there at that time.”

Chisholm said the recent late-season winter storm that blanketed much of the state in 8 to 14 inches of snow on March 4 was also very beneficial for maple producers.

“The snow actually helps the trees, because it keeps kind of a refrigerator effect going in the woods,” he said. “It really does help extend the season for us a bit, because if you think about it, as we get into that early spring sun in March, if there’s no snow in the woods, it will heat the ground faster and the woods don’t retain some of that cold weather that we need for the sap to run.”

Folsom said he produced more syrup this February than he has in any February of the last 30 years.

“The start of this month has already been very strong for us, so we’re going to end up with an excellent season,” he said. “If it had warmed up and stayed warm, our season would have ended. But that hasn’t been the case.”

Ideal temperatures for maple producers are around 40 to 45 degrees during the day, and 20 to 25 degrees at night. For many, Chisholm said, the maple season could stretch into early April this year the way the forecast is trending.

“We haven’t seen an April flow of sap around in the southern part of the state for a while,” he said. “Up north it’s very common. You go north of the Franconia Notch and they are typically into April just because of the latitude up there and the little microclimates that they can get in some of the valleys.”

New Hampshire Maple Weekend
When: Saturday, March 18, and Sunday, March 19
Where: Participating sugarhouses and farms statewide
For a full list of participating sugarhouses, click the “Find a Sugarhouse” tab on the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association website. Some will be offering maple sugaring tours and demonstrations, while others will be selling and providing samples of their own maple syrup and a variety of maple-infused products.

Joyce’s maple shortbread cookies
Courtesy of Journey’s End Maple Farm in Pittsfield (makes about 50 small cookies)

2 sticks butter
¼ cup Journey’s End dark maple syrup
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon maple extract
2½ cups flour
Journey’s End granulated maple sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cream together the butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and maple flavoring until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix well. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured board to 1/4 inch thickness. Using small cookie cutters, cut out and place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Use a small fork to make light dents in the cookie tops. Sprinkle the tops lightly with maple sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Asian maple Brussels sprouts
Courtesy of Ice Mountain Maple in Boscawen

3 to 4 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
3 Tablespoons dark maple syrup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
3 to 4 shakes Cholula sauce

Toss all the ingredients into a bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes. After marinating, spread the Brussels sprouts evenly in a greased roasting pan. Roast in a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes — a multipurpose toaster oven on the Roast setting works best, according to Ice Mountain Maple co-owner Chrisi Gray. Note that the cooking time might vary, based on the size of the Brussels sprouts.

Featured photo: Photo courtesy of Ice Mountain Maple in Boscawen.

The Weekly Dish 23/03/16

News from the local food scene

Wine in the dark: Join LaBelle Winery for a blindfolded wine tasting at its Amherst facility (345 Route 101) on Wednesday, March 22, from 6 to 7 p.m. During this session led by LaBelle wine educator and sommelier Marie King, participants will be blindfolded and must rely on their senses of smell and taste to identify five of the vineyard’s wines. No previous knowledge of wine is required — just a curiosity and a desire to learn about and taste wine. A similar class is also planned at LaBelle’s Derry location (14 Route 111) on Wednesday, April 12. The cost is $40 per person and advance registration is required. Visit

Brews and eats at the golf course: Get your tickets now for a special 603 beer dinner happening at Stonebridge Country Club (161 Gorham Pond Road, Goffstown) on Saturday, March 25, from 5 to 9 p.m. The three-course prix fixe menu will feature selections from Ed Ceccherini, executive chef of the club’s Drumlins Restaurant, alongside craft beer pairings from Londonderry’s 603 Brewery. The cost is $40 per person (event is 21+ only) and tickets must be purchased by March 20. See

Spring into deliciousness: Save the date for the annual spring wine and cheese festival, happening at Fulchino Vineyard (187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis) on Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26, with multiple available time slots to choose from on either day, including from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $49 per person and allow attendees access to sample all kinds of cheeses, meats, seafoods and desserts from around the world during their designated time slots, in addition to complimentary samples of wine and a souvenir wine glass. Visit to purchase tickets in advance and to see the most up-to-date details on time slot availability.

Edible art: And speaking of cheese, check out a charcuterie-board building class with the team at 603 Charcuterie — new classes at local breweries, wineries and restaurants across the Granite State are added to the calendar on an almost daily basis. The next available dates include a brunch-themed charcuterie class at Boards & Brews (941 Elm St., Manchester) on Sunday, March 26, at 10 a.m. as well as classes at Mountain Base Brewing (553 Mast Road, Goffstown) on Monday, March 27, at 6:30 p.m., and at KC’s Rib Shack (837 Second St., Manchester) on Monday, April 3, at 6:15 p.m. Tickets for classes usually range between $115 and $128 depending on the location (those that are held at breweries usually include two drinks in the price). Attendees get to eat all of the provided charcuterie board-building materials and even get to take their boards home. See for details.

On The Job – Michael Brochu

Digital/flexographic hybrid print specialist

Michael Brochu runs a specialized printing press at Amherst Label, a custom label manufacturer in Milford.

Explain your job and what it entails.

My job is to run a digital and flexographic hybrid printing press. I print labels for commercial and small businesses alike, from medicine bottles to beer labels and everything in between. The machine I run is very long in length and has state-of-the-art digital ink jet and flexographic technology.

How long have you had this job?

I have had this job for exactly 10 years. I started in March 2013.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

By chance. I was looking for work fresh out of high school. I was getting my hair cut by the hairstylist who has been cutting my hair since I was a baby, and she happened to say that her husband sometimes hires kids over at Amherst Label. He was VP of manufacturing at the time. I sent in my application, and he just so happened to know my family. After one quick interview, I was hired.

What kind of education or training did you need?

I started out as a press assistant, which taught me about presses and how to set and clean them up. Being a press assistant is a little like being an apprentice: You can watch, learn and ask questions to the operators running the press. After about one year of being an assistant, my boss said that he ‘had big plans’ for me, and one month later I was put on a straight flexographic press to start training. In 2019 I transferred departments to run our digital roll to roll and die-cut finisher. I ran that press for two years, and at that time we purchased the current hybrid press that I run now.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

Company T-shirts and sweatshirts with jeans or khakis —anything I’m OK getting ink on.

What is the most challenging thing about your work, and how do you deal with it?

The most challenging aspect of my job is how to manage the workload and to always try to improve myself. I am challenged to find the best way to complete a high volume of work while maintaining a very high quality of work.

What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

To not be so worried about speed and how fast I was being, and to just focus on learning and improving. Like my father said long ago, ‘Speed will come with experience. Down the line your normal speed will be fast.’

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

Just how much goes into making a label. People look at labels and don’t think twice about them. They may go, ‘Oh, that’s a cool-looking label,’ or ‘I will buy this wine because the description sounds good.’ However, so much love and care has gone into that little piece of paper that they are looking at.

What was the first job you ever had?

I worked at a grocery store as a bagger for three months part-time while I was in high school.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

My boss who hired me always had great advice. Some of his best was to always collect the facts before you react; approach every issue you have with a cool head; if you get frustrated, step away for a moment and breathe; and look at the issue on hand from everyone’s perspective.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
Berserk, the Japanese manga
Favorite movie: Austin Powers
Favorite music: It’s a three-way tie between classic rock, alternative and country. And Taylor Swift!
Favorite food: Seafood
Favorite thing about NH: The hidden sceneries. You can just be driving along some old back road, come over a hill and, bam, you’re hit with a gorgeous view.

Featured photo: Michael Brochu, Amherst Label. Courtesy photo.

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