Treasure Hunt 23/08/03

Dear Donna,

Is this pizza cutting board old? I recently picked this up at a flea market and I’m wondering. Thanks so much for any information.


Dear Sandy,

First let’s tell you what this is: a German bread board. Sometimes you can pick up some that are old. Most, though, are still being used, in Germany and other countries. They aren’t used for cutting pizza at all. Pizza paddles can be wood but a totally different shape. That’s why you probably don’t see any cut marks on it.

They are sweet and still useful decorative pieces. Very collectible, so depending on what you spent for it you could have a little large treasure. The values run in the range of $100 to $200. Older ones are preferred, but even modern ones have high values too.

Thanks for sharing with us, Sandy, and enjoy your find. They look great hung on a wall when not in use.

Kiddie Pool 23/08/03

Family fun for the weekend

Make it a museum day

• The SEE Science Center (200 Bedford St. in Manchester;, 669-0400) is open daily through Labor Day — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission costs $12 for ages 3 and up.

• Check out the new Science Playground at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center (2 Institute Drive in Concord;, 271-7827). The playground can be accessed from inside the Discovery Center through October from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is included in admission to the center, which cost $12 for adults, $9 for ages 3 to 12 and $11 for ages 13 through college and for seniors, according the the website. Planetarium shows cost an additional $6 per person. The center is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 3.

• The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road in Londonderry;, 669-4820) is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission costs $10 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 12 and ages 65 and up, and $30 for a family, according to the website.

Save the date for the museum’s PlaneFest on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day’s activities are held outdoors and are free to families, with a focus on elementary and middle school-age kids, according to a press release.

• The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St. in Dover;, 742-2002) continues its Wacky Art Wednesdays, Learning Garden Fun on Thursdays and Science Fridays with programming at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays with sessions from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission costs $12.50 ($10.50 for seniors).

And, save the date: The museum will hold its Teddy Bear Clinic from 9 to 11 a.m., with teddy bear snacks from 11 to 11:30 a.m. The event, which is sponsored by Portsmouth Regional Hospital, features a check-up for a teddy bear or other stuffie kids bring with them, and ends with the “patient” getting a certificate of wellness, according to a press release. The clinic is part of morning admission to the museum.

Also in August, the Children’s Museum will hold a Kick Off to Kindergarten on Sunday, Aug. 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is free for kids entering kindergarten and their families; register by Monday, Aug. 7, according to the website. The event will include a craft, a scavenger hunt, Biscuit the Dog reading Biscuit Goes to School and more, the website said.

Cherry trees & memories

Authors on Main series features Ann Patchett

In the end, it is the elated, tragic and everyday moments in between that make life beautiful. This is the feeling I was left with after reading Tom Lake, the latest novel by award-winning author Ann Patchett, which is set partially in New Hampshire. Patchett will be at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord for the sold out Authors on Main series event on Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m.

For as long as she can remember, Patchett has wanted to be a writer.

“If you had interviewed me when I was 5, seriously, I would have been like, ‘Yeah, I want to be a writer,’” she said. “I don’t understand where that comes from, but it’s the sort of defining thing about me that even when I was a kid I always knew that was what I was going to do and I really never strayed from that, which made my life very simple.”

When Patchett first read her favorite piece of American literature, Our Town by Thorton Wilder, in high school, it planted a seed in her mind that would blossom into her ninth novel decades later. Our Town follows Emily Webb and George Gibbs, two neighbors who fall in love, get married and go through the course of life together.

“Nothing really happens,” Patchett said. “It’s not a play of action so much as it is a play about learning to see that life is beautiful and brief and we are best advised to pay attention to it.”

The same could be said about Tom Lake, a sentimental, heartfelt portrait of one woman’s life. Lara’s three daughters return to the family cherry farm in the spring of 2020. We follow along as Lara tells her children the story of her romance with a famous actor in the summer of 1988 during her time at Tom Lake, a theater company in Michigan.

Lara’s story begins in New Hampshire, where her spontaneous involvement in the community theater production of Our Town as Emily sets the ball rolling.

At the Authors on Main event, Patchett will discuss her new book with her longtime friend, author and editor Katrina Kennison, and will take part in a Q&A hosted by NHPR Morning Edition host Rick Ganley.

“We are old friends … and she was somebody who I talked to a lot about this book early on in the process, so she feels like she’s really a part of the story,” Patchett said of Kennison. “I like to go see somebody that I know while I’m on book tours. It’s just really helpful to have somebody who’s kind of an anchor for me in every place, so the fact that Katrina lives nearby and that we will be doing this event together makes it a very happy thought.”

When asked where she draws inspiration from for her stories, Patchett said, “Life itself is inspiration. It’s just a matter of being an observant person and an interested person and a good listener.”

“I think that appreciating what you have is maybe a good thing to take away from this book,” Patchett said. “It’s a lot about what we want [when we’re young] versus what we want when we’re older, [and] also telling the story of your life to the people that you love.”

Sal, of blueberry fame, is getting old

Pick berries, make pie

Have you ever wondered what would happen after a story ends? I have. The children’s book Blueberries for Sal came out in 1948 and has been a hit for 75 years. If Sal was 4 years old in the book, she must be pushing 80. I imagine she went to the University of Maine and got a degree in teaching. She probably married her college sweetie at age 24, and taught for six years before deciding to start a family. I bet she makes a mean blueberry pie.

The key to a great blueberry pie, in my opinion, is to let the blueberries dominate the flavors, not sugar. Pick a recipe, and mix the ingredients using less sugar than recommended. Maybe half, if it seems like a lot. Or if your recipe uses just a half a cup for six cups of berries, it’s probably fine. Add cinnamon, but more is not better. Sometimes I like a little cardamom.

The best berries for a pie are those you picked yourself. Even better are those you grew yourself. I’m picking blueberries now, and have some tips on how to get a good crop.

Paul Franklin and his wife, Nancy, own Riverbend Farm, a self-pick orchard with apples, pears, pumpkins and 1,600 blueberry plants in Plainfield, N.H. Paul once told me that there are just three things to get right if you want lots of blueberries: proper soil pH, proper soil pH and proper soil pH. That’s right: If you don’t have very acidic soil for your berries, you can still have nice bushes, but without proper soil pH, you will only get a few.

For most of us, a simple soil test done with a kit you buy at the garden center or hardware store will show that our soil is around 6.0 or 6.5 if not adjusted. But blueberries want a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 which is much, much more acidic than that. The scale is logarithmic, meaning each change in a number multiplies the acidity 10-fold. So a pH of 5.5 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 6.5 and 4.5 is 100 times more acidic.

How do you adjust pH? Buy soil acidifier or agricultural sulfur and sprinkle it on the surface of the soil. If you have a thick layer of mulch to keep down the weeds, pull it back, then add your acidifier. Follow the directions on the bag as to how much to add once you know your soil pH. It may take two to three years to drop the soil pH to the proper level. And doing it now won’t affect this year’s crop.

What else should you do? Give your bushes room to grow. I did a single row and spaced the bushes 6 to 7 feet apart. But they are a little crowded now, 20-some years later. If I were doing it again, I’d space them farther apart. It’s best to run your row east-west rather than north-south to avoid one plant shading another. Full sun is best, but six hours of sun is adequate.

Blueberries like moisture, but don’t plant them in soggy soil. Also avoid the top of a sunny, sandy hillside. I have mine not far from my brook, and they have done very well. When planting, mix in some duff from under evergreen trees because it will help acidify the soil and will also add fungi that encourage good growth. Pine needles make a great mulch if you have some.

Blueberries do not like weeds, so do a good job of pulling out the grasses and weeds in the place you plant your berries — before you plant. And then add a good thick layer of wood chips around the plants to discourage weeds in the future.

Blueberries are pollinated by bees. And although some varieties are labeled “self-pollinating” it’s always best to plant several bushes and at least two different varieties.

There is a terrible pest that has arrived in most parts of New England, the spotted-winged drosophila. This is an Asian fruit fly that lays eggs in good fruit, as opposed to other fruit flies that only attack overripe fruit. In a matter of days, blueberries can go from healthy to mushy and full of larvae. If you cut open a berry that has been infected, you will see the small larvae. At present there is no organic method for controlling them other than covering your bushes with a fine mesh that the fruit flies can’t reach through.

If you are planting blueberries now, choose bushes that produce their fruit early in the season and avoid plants that mature later in the summer. Why? Some growers are finding that the fruit flies don’t show up early in the summer, so they are getting crops of early blueberries before the pest shows up. And buy the biggest bushes you can find — or afford. Blueberries are relatively slow-growing in our climate.

Birds can be a problem, too. I no longer cover my bushes with netting — I found too many birds got caught in the mesh, so now we just share. And unless you get a flock of cedar waxwings (which are voracious berry eaters), most birds don’t seem to be greedy. Last summer I enjoyed watching bluebirds feeding their second set of chicks with my berries.

I bet Sal (who had a close encounter with a mother bear in that wonderful book) had three kids, two girls and a boy. By now those kids would range in age 43 to 48, so her grandkids are either teenagers or in college. But I bet they all visit her in blueberry season for her wonderful pie. Her mother’s recipe, no doubt. Pie is always a good lure for grandkids, especially blueberry pie.

Henry is the author of four gardening books and is a lifelong organic gardener. Reach him by e-mail at

Featured photo: Not all berries ripen at once, even in a cluster. Photo by Henry Homeyer.

The Art Roundup 23/08/03

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

Saturday of art: Goffstown Main Street’s 15th Annual Uncommon Art on the Common runs this Saturday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with works of more than 45 area artists and artisans displayed in booths along Main Street, according to a press release. Meet the artists — painters, illustrators, photographers, woodworkers, jewelry artisans, metal workers, authors, crafters, potters and more — and purchase their works. The day will also feature the Uncommon Bling project, when visitors can collect beads and handcrafted items from participating booths to create a necklace (the necklace is available at the Goffstown Main Street booth), the release said. A raffle will feature items donated by local artists and businesses, and a craft tent for kids will offer an activity to make, the release said. Goffstown High School will have a tent featuring work by high school students. See

Opening weekend: Cue Zero Theatre Company’s ( Join/Empathy, a project from the Cue Zero Laboratory Series, hits the stage on Friday, Aug. 4, and Saturday, Aug. 5, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m. at the Arts Academy of New Hampshire (19 Keewaydin Drive, No. 4, in Salem). Tickets cost $15 per person. Join explores how and why people fall into cults, according to a press release. Empathy was created by a small group of performers looking at what “empathy” means in daily life and is set in a restaurant, the release said.

And catch the first presentation of the Nashua Theatre Guild’s I Hate Shakespeare at Temple Beth Abraham (4 Raymond St. in Nashua) on Sunday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m. (a second show is Sunday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m.). The play, by Steph DeFerie, will include the classic stories of Hamlet, Macbeth and more with “talking cows, zombies and other characters [who] will give you a fast-paced intro to the riotous charm of the man himself,” according to an email from the Guild. Tickets to these performances (which will be held outdoors under a tent) cost $5 for adults and children 6 and older (children 5 and under get in free). Cash-only concessions will be available (no outside food or drink), the release said. See

Windham Community Bands
Enjoy some music and get some ice cream at the Windham Community Bands’ ice cream social on Thursday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. at Searles School Chapel in Windham. Bring your own chairs and picnic blankets and enjoy ice cream at intermission, according to a press release, which listed the Windham Concert Band’s musical plans as including parts of Phantom of the Opera, the theme from Spider-Man, highlights from The Little Mermaid, music from Neil Diamond and more.

On Sunday, Aug. 27, at 1:30 p.m. the Windham Concert Band will perform at LaBelle Winery in Derry (14 Route 111, Derry). The afternoon will include free appetizers and a cash bar; tickets cost $20 per person, according to the press release. Call 425-3284 or email

Show for those in the know: Catch Namaslay: A New Puppet Musical by Playdoh (Zah Kolo) and performances by The Lowliest One and Birdorgan on Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.), according to an email from the show’s organizer. The shows take place in a private Manchester residence and are “suitable for adults and teens who are into social justice and DIY,” the email said. There is a requested donation of $15. Contact deixhrist@gmail for the address. See, and to learn more about the acts.

Theater kids: The Palace Youth Theatre will hold auditions for the fall 2023 semester of Palace Teen Company and the Palace Teen Apprentice Company on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 5 p.m. (arrive 15 to 30 minutes early to fill out paperwork), according to a press release. The companies are for performers ages 12 to 18 who want a more intensive theater experience and not all who audition will be accepted, the release said. Bring a headshot and resume; prepare 16 to 32 bars of a song of your choice, and wear or bring clothes you can move in when taught a dance combination, the release said. Auditions will be held at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester). Sign up by emailing the name and age of the student to

Lots of singing and dancing on stage

Peacock Players present Legally Blonde The Musical Jr.

The 2001 Reese Witherspoon classic comedy film Legally Blonde was reimagined into a musical stage play in 2007. Nashua-based theater company Peacock Players will be among the latest to present the youth production of this show, Legally Blonde The Musical Jr., at The Janice B. Streeter Theatre (14 Court St., Nashua) from Friday, Aug. 4, through Sunday, Aug. 6.

“It’s a show about a young woman who thinks her whole life revolves around [a] man,” said Elle Millar, the show’s director. “She finds out that her whole life is actually worth so much more than that.”

Millar has been the executive director at Peacock Players for about a year. Originally from Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, Millar was involved in theater growing up and went on to study opera performance in college. She soon realized being an opera performer wasn’t the lifestyle she saw for herself, and decided instead to be an English teacher.

“Over Covid, like a lot of people, I was doing a lot of soul-searching,” she said. “I really enjoyed what I did but I didn’t feel like I was fulfilling every part of myself. I was the drama director at the middle school but I just felt like, ‘This isn’t the best way to do the things that I love to do.’”

Over the pandemic, Millar was planning to open an arts education nonprofit when the executive director position at Peacock Players opened up.

“I had heard from some of our teens that this was the show that got canceled right before Covid,” she said. “I also love the show personally … [and] it’s always been a dream of mine to direct [it] so it’s really exciting to get to do it here and in this way.”

Making her Peacock Players debut is Gianna Stewart-Markert. The starring role of Elle Woods is quite different from characters she is used to playing, like Carrie in Carrie: The Musical and the role of Matron “Mama” Morton in Chicago that she will play this fall.

“Elle Woods is definitely very bubbly and determined,” Stewart-Markert said of her character.

So when her Harvard-attending boyfriend breaks up with her, she uses that determination to get into the law school herself. She is then assigned to defend famous fitness guru Brooke Wydham, who is accused of murdering her husband.

“She’s this fitness queen [who] makes millions of dollars with her fitness DVDs,” said Lily Azevedo, who plays Wyndam. “She’s kind of a girl boss. … She is definitely strong, independent and an entrepreneur because she’s making those millions.”

As this was a show involving a lot of dancing, Azevedo went into auditions with an open mind, knowing that even if she ended up only being in the ensemble that she would still get the chance to dance.

“There’s one dance called ‘Whipped Into Shape’ and it’s gotten me whipped into shape,” she said. “[There’s] a lot of jumping and a lot of singing and high notes and belting but it’s like a love-hate relationship. I really enjoy it but it’s also really difficult, but the more we work on it, the turnout will be fabulous.”

According to Millar, strong vocalists are a must for this show. About twice as many kids as the show requires auditioned, and while this called for tough, heartbreaking decisions, it meant the cast would consist of solid, committed members, she said.

“This is a show you don’t attempt unless you think you have the voices to pull it off,” Millar said. “You need a lot of strong singers in a very specific pop, belty style, so this would not be a show I would [have] picked before I got to know the kids, but we had the people we needed.”

Peacock Players present Legally Blonde The Musical Jr.
When: Friday, Aug. 4, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 5, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m.
Where: The Janice B Streeter Theatre (14 Court St., Nashua)
Cost: Tickets range from $12 to $18; call the box office at 886-7000 or visit

NH Mushrooms

Finding the fun in foraging for fungi

On July 7, while walking a trail in Goffstown, mushroom forager Christine Gagnon shared with me her No. 1 piece of advice for foraging beginners.

“Don’t eat anything until you can identify it yourself. [Not] until you’re 100 percent sure,” she said. “The only way to know if a mushroom is safe to eat is if you have learned to 100 percent, confidently, identify that mushroom on your own and you’ve researched edibility. … The only rule is to know your mushrooms before you eat them.”

With about 30,000 different species of mushrooms in New Hampshire, according to Gagnon, it’s no wonder that more and more Granite Staters are joining in on mushroom hobbies from observing, foraging and collecting, to cooking, eating and making dye.

“The interesting thing about the Northeast in general is that I think we have a greater variety of species than a lot of other parts [of the country], or at least the east in general,” she said. “So that kind of makes it exciting.”

Mushroom foraging classes and events

  • Mushroom Walk Join Christine Gagnon of Uncanoonuc Foraging Company for a two hour introduction to all things mushrooms and foraging in Dunbarton on Saturday, Aug. 5 at 4 p.m. The cost is $30 and $10 for ages 10 to 13. Children 9 years old and under are free. Email christine at to reserve your spot, arrange payment and for the exact location. Find Uncanoonuc Foraging Company on Facebook.
  • Friday Night Forage Join New Hampshire Mushroom Co. (153 Gardner Hill Road, Tamworth; for their Friday Night Forage this month on Aug. 4, Aug. 18 and Aug. 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. Attendees will walk or carpool to a neary trail to collect, observe and identify mushrooms using proper techniques. Tickets are $20.
  • Sunday ID Session New Hampshire Mushroom Co. (153 Gardner Hill Road, Tamworth; will hold their Sunday ID Session on Aug. 6 and Aug. 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. Everyone is invited to bring mushrooms they have found to lay out on a picnic table for Eric to go around and identify. The cost is $15.
  • Can you Eat it? Mushroom ID SessionNew Hampshire Mushroom Co.’s next Can you Eat it? Mushroom ID session is on Sunday, Aug. 13, from noon to 4 p.m. starting at the farm (153 Gardner Hill Road, Tamworth; The class begins at the farm with a brief introduction to mushroom hunting before going to the woods to gather some. Students will enjoy a meal at the farm and discuss their findings.
  • Mushroom Walk Join Eric Milligan of New Hampshire Mushroom for a mushroom walk at Weeks State Park (200 Week’s State Park Road, Lancaster) on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. to observe, collect and learn about mushrooms and their role in the ecosystem. Participants will meet on the porch of the Summit Lodge before the start time. Visit
  • Foraging: Wild Mushroom Walk: Beginner Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia) is holding a wild mushroom foraging walk on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon. New Hampshire Mushroom Foraging Co. will guide you along the trails to collect, identify and learn about the different species of mushroom. The event is recommended for adults and costs $30. Visit
  • Mushroom Meander with the Morel Quandary Club in Walpole Naturalist John Benjamin and mushroom enthusiast George Caughey lead this walk through Distant Hill Gardens (507 March Hill Road) in Walpole from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31. Register at
  • Women in the Woods: Fun Fungi Foray Society for the Protection of NH Forests mushroom enthusiast Carrie Deegan leads this foray through the Merrimack River Outdoor Education & Conservation Area in Concord (54 Portsmouth St.) on Sept. 28, from 1 to 4 p.m. Learn about mushroom biology and how to collect and identify mushrooms before putting this into practice on the Merrimack River floodplain. Make sure to bring a basket to collect your findings. This event is limited to 25 participants. Register at

Mushroom season

Gagnon founded Uncanoonuc Foraging Co. in 2021. She led me through our walk much like she would lead her foraging classes on local trails where she looks for mushrooms and talks about the different characteristics that can help people identify them. It turns out, the rain and humidity we got in July made for perfect mushroom weather. Gagnon had returned to New Hampshire from California the day before, and told me how she couldn’t wait to get back.

“I saw here that it was exploding [with] mushrooms with all the rain and suddenly, of course, [they] decided to show themselves while I was on the other side of the country,” she said. “I got back yesterday morning … and [by] noon I was in the truck … to go look for mushrooms.”

According to Gagnon, as long as they have adequate rain and moisture, mushrooms can be found and foraged anywhere, from your lawn with full sun exposure, to a shady spot in the woods under a tree.

She says August through October, ending around November, is generally the ideal time for mushroom foraging, but each mushroom has its own season, with morels popping up the earliest, usually any time between April and June.

Corey Fletcher, owner and chef at Revival Kitchen & Bar in Concord, who often cooks with mushrooms, adds that chanterelle season is typically in July and August, chicken of the woods around August and September, and hen of the woods in September and October. The seasons all depend on having the ideal weather conditions.

“A lot of times it’s related to rain,” Gagnon said. “If we have a really dry summer, we’re not going to see a lot of mushrooms until the fall when it starts to get wet again.”

Gagnon administers several groups on social media where she helps people identify mushrooms, and speaks at events where she educates people about mushrooms’ role in the ecosystem and planet.

During our walk, she told me how her fascination for mushrooms sprouted when she was in elementary school while living on her grandparents’ farm in Quebec.

“Down the road there was a log cabin in the woods that a Scandinavian family lived in and they foraged for mushrooms,” she said. “I remember going in and they had all these mushrooms on the table … and I became immediately fascinated. Even though I never did anything with mushrooms for years, that image always stuck in my head.”

Her obsession was reignited about five years ago when hiking the Uncanoonuc Mountains with her family.

“I saw the most bizarre mushroom I had ever seen at the time on the side of a tree. … I got it identified as a Hericium americanum, which is bear’s head tooth, … so that’s when I became obsessed again.”

What are mushrooms?

During our forage, Gagnon and I came across Monotropa uniflora, a plant that is often mistaken for a mushroom. While not a mushroom itself, it does rely on mushrooms to grow.

“It [doesn’t have] chlorophyll, so it can’t convert heat to energy [or] photosynthesize,” Gagnon said. “So it parasitizes the mycelium from the ground to get what it needs to grow.”

Mycelium is the organism for which mushrooms are the reproductive body. The mushrooms emit spores to propagate the organism.

As Eric Milligan puts it, the fruit body we pick, the mushroom, is like the apple on a tree. Milligan is the manager of New Hampshire Mushroom Co. in Tamworth, through which he leads forages and identification sessions. While existing underground, mycelium has a white, cotton-like appearance that he says can be found in the woods underneath logs. According to Milligan, the role of mycelium in ecosystems is critical.

“You could say mycelium is sort of like Mother Nature’s internet,” he said. “If we had four pictures next to each other of mycelium underground, … a picture of the internet and how that sends out information, a picture of the human brain and how that sends out electrical impulses and then a picture of the universe, all four pictures are exactly the same. How they operate are exactly the same.”

Mushrooms, he says, keep ecosystems all over the planet balanced, mycelium being an agent for bioremediation, the process through which biological organisms break down pollutants. He notes that mushrooms have been used to clean up oil spills, a species exists that blocks radiation, and some could potentially be used to digest plastic by turning petroleum-based hydrocarbons into biodegradable hydrocarbons.

“There isn’t an aspect of our lives right now that fungi could not benefit,” Milligan said.

Mushroom Turnovers
6-8 servings. 30 minutes.

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed according to the package instructions
8 ounces black pearl oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons truffle oil
3 Tablespoons balsamic glaze
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Preheat your oven to the temperature indicated on the puff pastry package instructions.
Add the oyster mushrooms to the skillet and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and lightly browned. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the mushroom mixture cool slightly.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold the thawed puff pastry sheet. Roll it out slightly to smooth the creases and create an even thickness. Cut the puff pastry sheet into squares or rectangles of your desired size.
Drizzle a little truffle oil and balsamic glaze over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Place a spoonful of the mushroom mixture a few inches apart.
Bake the mushroom puff pastries in the preheated oven according to the package instructions for the puff pastry, usually around 15 to 20 minutes, or until they turn golden brown and flaky.
Once baked, remove the puff pastries from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

Recipes from New Hampshire Mushroom Co.’s forthcoming cookbook, Mycophile’s Kitchen: The Culinary Kingdom Fungi


When you spot a mushroom, you will notice many characteristics, such as its size, the color of the stem, its cap, gills, and spores, and the location where it is found. Some mushrooms even have distinct scents, like candy caps, which Gagnon says smell like burned sugar or maple syrup. There are various factors to consider, making the identification process very tedious. While people often try to make generalizations on how to identify them, Gagnon says there is no one way to identify any mushroom. The description of one mushroom could match that of a totally different one.

“A lot of mushroom books have a key where you start by saying, ‘Does it have gills, pores, tubes or teeth?’”she said. “‘Does it have a stem or does it not have one? Are there decorations on it? ….’ There are so many things to look at when identifying and the rules aren’t across the board, so you really have to learn each mushroom or least genus of each mushroom.”

While it’s important to be confident in the identity of a mushroom, confidence can be a killer.

“Sometimes when people are new they start to get a little confident,” Gagnon said. “Deadly mushrooms I think make up 0.2 percent of all the mushrooms in the world, so it sounds very small, but they occur a lot. They’re here all the time. There’s a mushroom called Galerina marginata, also called funeral bells or deadly Galerina, and it looks very much like some more edible mushrooms.”

Gagnon cited a time when someone posted a picture on social media announcing that she found what she thought was wild enoki and was going to cook with them for Thanksgiving. Come to find out, it was actually Galerina.

“I [was] desperately trying to reach her and message her not to eat those,” Gagnon said.

Luckily she saw Gagnon’s message before it was too late.

Common edible mushrooms

According to Gagnon, some of the most common edible types in the state are chicken of the woods, hen of the woods, chanterelles and black trumpets. The following descriptions come from Michael Kuo at

tree trunk with frilly looking mushroom growing off the bottom
Chicken of the Woods. Photo courtesy of Christine Gagnon.

Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus and Laetiporus cincinnatus)

Characteristics: Perhaps the most obvious characteristic for this mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus) is its yellow and orange colors, but the suede-textured caps eventually become dull, sometimes almost white as they age. They can grow to be 90 centimeters across with overlapping clusters and no stem. Their flesh is thick, watery and soft when they are young, but becomes tougher with age.

Where they grow: Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) is a saprobic mushroom found living on oak trees, dead or live ones, and sometimes on other hardwoods as well. Gagnon adds that Laetiporus cincinnatus has a white pore spore surface with rose and peach colors, and this mushroom appears to grow near hardwoods from the ground.

white and brown frilly looking mushroom at the bottom of a tree
Hen of the woods. Photo courtesy of Christine Gagnon.

Hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa)

Characteristics: Hen of the woods has clusters of brown caps spanning 15 to 40 centimeters across and 10 to 30 centimeters high. Each individual cap is around 3 to 14 centimeters across, can be dark to a pale gray-brown and are usually fan-like in shape.

Where they grow: These mushrooms can be found near the base of oak and hardwood trees.

single orange colored mushroom with inverted cap growing within pile of leaves at base of tree
Chanterelles. Photo courtesy of Christine Gagnon.


Characteristics: There is an unknown number of chanterelle species, and not all will match any given description. In general, they are usually recognized as being medium or large-sized mushrooms ranging from yellow to orange in color. They are known for their fruity aroma, similar to the smell of apricots.

Where they grow: Chanterelles do not tend to have any specific mycorrhizal relationships. They are usually found in hardwood forests.

hand holding dark brown mushroom, seen from top of inverted cap
Black trumpets. Photo courtesy of Christine Gagnon.

Black trumpets (Craterellus fallax)

Characteristics: The cap and stem of black trumpets are not as clearly defined as in other mushrooms. While they are black, their outer surfaces can turn yellow or orangeish as the spores mature. They stand about 3 to 9 centimeters high and 1 to 5 centimeters wide with smooth, sometimes slightly wrinkled outer surfaces and have thin, brittle flesh.

Where they grow: Black trumpets are mycorrhizal with oaks and possibly other hardwoods as well and are usually found in mossy areas.

According to Gagnon, they can also be found in dead oak leaves. She says they grow in small clusters or scattered loosely down embankments and slopes where water travels after rainfall.

Common toxic mushrooms

These descriptions also come from Michael Kuo at

cluster of orange mushrooms with smooth round caps and thin stems, growing up from base of tree
Jack O’Lanterns. Photo courtesy of Christine Gagnon.

Jack O’Lanterns (Omphalotus illudens)

Characteristics: Jack O’Lanterns, often confused with chanterelles, are bright orange mushrooms with gills that run down the stem and spores that are white or pale yellow.

Where they grow: You will find these mushrooms often growing in large clusters on buried roots or stumps.

multiple rounded capped mushrooms growing on tree
Deadly galerina. Photo courtesy of Christine Gagnon.

Deadly Galerina or funeral bells (Galerina marginata)

Characteristics: Deadly Galerina are fairly small mushrooms with brown or tawny colored caps

Where they grow: They grow on rotting hardwoods and conifers.

Gagnon adds that they can also be found in mulch.

Cooking with mushrooms

From broth to tea, the possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking with mushrooms. Each mushroom has its own flavor, which is something you likely have not experienced if you’ve only ever had mushrooms from the grocery store.

“In the grocery store, if you buy a button mushroom, a baby bella or a portobello, those are all the exact same mushroom at different stages of growth, so they’re not going to taste much different,” Gagnon said. “If you don’t like mushrooms and that’s all you’ve ever had, I would always suggest trying wild mushrooms because … each mushroom has a completely different flavor.”

One of Gagnon’s favorite mushrooms to eat is chicken of the woods. When it’s young, she says, it has a moist, meaty texture with a hint of lemon flavor, and as the name suggests, can be prepared the same way you would prepare chicken for many dishes.

“Hen of the woods [is] very similar but they have the tendency to be more flaky,” Fletcher said. “They have more of a grain to them so you can almost shred them. Some people will make a pulled mushroom dish with them depending on the size. I’m simpler in my preparation of them [as] I just want the natural mushroom flavor, look and texture to be there, so I’ll just do a quick sauté with oil or butter, salt [and] maybe a little … garlic and let them speak for themselves.”

Gagnon adds that hen of the woods, which she says has an earthy umami flavor, is very versatile, makes for a great chicken marsala, and can be pickled and made into jerky.

Chanterelles, on the other hand, have a fruity aroma according to Kuo. Fletcher, who says their texture is soft and meaty, loves to pair them with corn as the earthiness of the mushroom pairs well with the sweetness of the corn.

According to Fletcher, there are some classic Italian recipes that call for mushrooms. Black trumpets, which have a strong, sweet aroma and nutty, smoky taste according to Gagnon, are often the one of choice for risotto. Mushrooms also offer nutritional value, according to Milligan. He gives the example of king oyster mushrooms, which have five grams of protein, fresh weight, and all 11 essential amino acids.

In order to reap the nutritional benefits, he says almost all mushrooms need to be cooked, as humans do not have enough of the necessary enzymes to break down the mushroom’s cell structure. In fact, some mushrooms are toxic if eaten raw. Button mushrooms, brown mushrooms, baby bellas and portobellos, which are all the same species, contain chemicals that do not flush out of your system but instead build up in your liver when consumed raw. Heat is required to cook these chemicals away.

Buying fresh mushrooms

Two mushroom varieties that you are likely to find at local farmers markets this season are chestnut mushrooms and black oyster mushrooms. These mushrooms are listed on Joyberry Farm’s website as seasonal mushrooms as well as on New Hampshire Mushroom Co.’s website as mushrooms that they cultivate. Joyberry Farms attends the Bedford, Nashua and Salem farmers markets, and New Hampshire Mushroom Co.’s products can be found at the Concord farmers market.

Once you get them home, Fletcher says, it is best to keep them in a cool, dry place, ideally the refrigerator. As far as when to eat them, he says the fresher the better.

“You want to try to eat them as soon as possible because the quality of them is just going to diminish [and] you’re not going to get as much flavor out of them,” he said.

According to New Hampshire Mushroom Co., phoenix oyster mushrooms have a mild flavor that makes for a great addition in creamy soups, over pasta, with eggs or other lighter dishes. This fluffy, woodsy-flavored mushroom, as reported by Joyberry Farms, is very versatile and is also great when sautéed with butter or olive oil, onions and garlic.

Chestnut mushrooms have a nutty flavor that goes well in gravy, stuffing, stir-frys and roasted with chicken, according to New Hampshire Mushroom Co.

Mushroom farms

  • Cindy’s Mushroom Farm 189 Route 302, Glen,, 733-7012
  • Dunk’s Mushrooms Products and Foraging 313 Route 125, Brentwood,, 952-7411
  • Joyberry Farms 369 Briggs Road, Mason,, 577-0578
  • New Hampshire Mushroom Co. 153 Gardner Hill Road, Tamworth,, 323-0097

Where to buy local mushrooms

Dunk’s Mushrooms Products and Foraging

  • Benedikt Dairy (97 Shirley Hill Road, Goffstown)
  • Dowie Farm (2 Collettes Grove Road, Derry)
  • Johnson Golden Harvest (412 W. River Road, Hooksett)
  • Sunnycrest Farm (59 High Range Road, Londonderry)
  • Trombly Gardens (150 N. River Road, Milford)

New Hampshire Mushroom Co.

  • Brasen Hill Farm (71 Warren Road, Barrington)
  • Seaport Fish (13 Sagamore Road, Raymond)
  • Concord Farmers Market (Capitol Street., Concord) Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Joyberry Farms

  • Bedford Farmers Market (393 Route 101, Bedford) Tuesdays, 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Nashua Farmers Market (6 Hartshorn Ave., Nashua) Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Salem NH Farmers Market (1 Mall Road, Salem) Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Devriendt Farm (178 S Mast St., Goffstown)

Blueberry and Black Trumpet Mushroom Upside-Down Cake
2 servings. 15 minutes

Ingredients for the topping:
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries
4 to 6 black trumpet mushrooms, sliced

Ingredients for the cake:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk
zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350℉ (175℃). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves.
Pour the butter and brown sugar mixture into the prepared cake pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle in blueberries and sliced black trumpet mushrooms.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate large bowl, cream the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract.
Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk. Fold in the lemon zest, if using.
Spread the batter over the topping in the cake pan, ensuring it’s even.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, invert the cake onto a serving platter or plate.

Recipes from New Hampshire Mushroom Co.’s forthcoming cookbook, Mycophile’s Kitchen: The Culinary Kingdom Fungi

Dyeing with mushrooms

One of the things I was most surprised to learn during my walk with Gagnon was that mushrooms can be used to make dye. According to Allison Allen, this is a fairly new phenomenon.

“The earliest publication on using mushrooms to get a rainbow of color is from the 1970s from Miriam Rice out of Mendocino, California,” she said. “She was a natural dyer and was drawn to experimentation with it … found mushrooms and threw them into a pot of boiling water, simmered them with wool and, lo and behold, she started getting really promising results of color. We’re still in our infancy of discovery with what fungi can do as far as getting color.”

Allen started her business, Mycopigments, a term she coined back when she started dyeing with mushrooms in 1998, in 2011. From Seattle, Washington, Allen travels where she is requested to hold workshops. Having formerly lived in Massachusetts right on the New Hampshire border, she would often forage mushrooms in New Hampshire, and still comes back to the Granite State to collect mushrooms for dyeing.

“It’s a pretty simple process … and there are some nuances to testing mushrooms for color that I teach in my workshops,” Allen said. “Basically, you boil the mushrooms and you add the fiber and then that mushroom imparts color into that fiber and it’s permanent … brilliant dye.”

When choosing what fiber you want to work with, Allen says that wool, or other protein, animal-based fibers like silk, work best. In some instances you can even add mordant, mineral salts such as aluminum sulfate or ferrous sulfate, to intensify, brighten or darken the colors. For efficiency, Allen prefers to dry her mushrooms before using them for dye due to their high water content.

“It takes away the guessing game of how much mushroom you have to dye your wool,” she said. “When you’re dyeing wool you use one part mushroom to one part fiber by dry weight, so if you have an ounce of wool, you’re going to need an ounce of dry mushroom, which is actually a lot of mushrooms. But if you had an ounce of freshly picked mushrooms, depending on where you are with the rain cycle, they could be 99 percent water and so that ounce isn’t very much mushroom dye material. It’s just water so you can miscalculate and get disappointing results, so by dehydrating them you take away that guessing part.”

One New Hampshire mushroom that is suitable for dyeing is Cortinarius semisanguineus. These are small mushrooms, about 2 inches across with a mustard-colored cap and blood-red gills and result in a bold red when used with aluminum sulfate mordant. Red dye, according to Allen, is historically considered one of the most precious.

Dyer’s Polypore is a fairly common mushroom in New Hampshire that grows with conifers and pine.

“It is one of the strongest dye-makers in the fungal world, so a little bit goes a long way for that mushroom,” Allen said. “If I find it fresh and young … [I] can get away with using one part fungus to five parts fiber. … It will make a brilliant yellow and a deep gold and a nice olive green depending on how you extract the dye and what mordants you add.”

It is fairly simple to achieve yellow according to Allen. She breaks up the fungus into smaller pieces and adds a splash of vinegar to the mix. If you’re more advanced, you can add modants to get the yellows to come out, but vinegar does the trick just fine, she says.

To get a green hue, add iron by using ferrous sulfate power. You can even use iron vitamins, Allen says, after washing off the coating.

The most complicated color to achieve from dyeing with mushrooms is blue. To get a dye this color from mushrooms, Allen says you need identification skills, as very few mushrooms have the potential to make blue, access to pristine forests and a little bit of open-mindedness on the definition of blue.

“Blue is really hard to achieve in the mushroom dye world, especially as a beginner,” Allen said. “You have to have the right mushroom, you have to pre-mordant your fiber … then you have to monitor the pH of the extraction and then you can get, if you’re lucky and the temperature didn’t get too hot, some blue-green shades.”

Mushrooms in New Hampshire that have this potential belong to the Hydnellum, Sarcodon and Feldon genuses.

A mushroom that proves that what you see isn’t necessarily what you’re going to get for dye is Tapinella atrotomentosa, a suede brown-colored mushroom with tan gills that makes purple without any mordants and a deep forest green when iron is added.

According to Allen, the most prized dye species in New Hampshire is the Hapalopilus.

“This mushroom makes a purple dye that is dark and deep and really permanently binds to the fiber, so in that way I think it’s one of the most precious purple dye makers in the world because other purple sources tend to have some fading and some trouble with sticking around.”

According to Allen, mushroom dyeing is a very approachable mushroom hobby.

“You go out and you forage them and you don’t have to worry about if they’re edible or poisonous or anything,” Allen said. “it’s a really accessible way to get your hands on mushroom hunting without taking any risks at all. It’s a way to get engaged with nature and access these colors.”

Featured photo: Chanterelles. Photo courtesy of Christine Gagnon.

This Week 23/08/03

Big Events August 3, 2023 and beyond

Saturday, Aug. 5

The annual celebration of fine craft that is the League of NH Craftsmen Fair starts today and runs through Sunday, Aug. 13, at Mount Sunapee in Newbury. The fair is open daily, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 200 craftsmen take part in the event, many offering demonstrations of their work, according to, the League’s website, where you can purchase tickets (general admission tickets cost $18, or $28 for a two-day pass). The fair also features music daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This weekend catch Decatur Creek (playing Americana, folk and bluegrass) on Saturday and Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki (pictured) with Matt Jensen playing Celtic fiddle and guitar on Sunday, the website said. The fair features a food vendor area, special daily events and workshops and a Fair Craft Clues’ Scavenger Hunt for kids as well as a Kids Create tent, according to a press release (children under 12 get in free).

Saturday, Aug. 5

The Merrimack Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale today from 8 a.m. to noon at St. James Church (646 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack). The sale will feature perennials, houseplants, a silent auction, a kids’ table, fresh cut flowers and a free pack of wildflower seeds.

Saturday, Aug. 5

Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will unveil a mark today at 1 p.m. at the Derry Opera House (29 W. Broadway in Derry) to celebrate William Hobdy, a ragtime musician and the first known Black business owner in Derry, according to the organization’s newsletter. The day will include a pop-up museum and activities exploring Hobdy’s era with music, games and history, the newsletter said. The afternoon will culminate with a walk to the Derry Rail Trail to unveil the new marker at 1:45 p.m. and participants can have some ice cream, according to

Saturday, Aug. 5

NH Roller Derby holds its season closer tonight, starting at 5 p.m. at JFK Coliseum (303 Beech St. in Manchester). Doors open at 4:30 p.m. The first bout is the NH All-Stars vs. Fog City. At 7 p.m. there will be an all-gender mixed scrimmage, according to Tickets cost $12 at the door (veterans and kids under 12 get in free).

Saturday, Aug. 5

Catch comedian Mark Scalia tonight at 8:30 p.m. at Headliner’s Comedy Club at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Manchester. Tickets cost $20; see Find more shows in our Comedy This Week listings on page 36.

Save the Date! Friday, Aug. 25, & Saturday, Aug. 26
The New Hampshire Irish Festival will run Friday, Aug. 25, and Saturday, Aug. 26, with shows at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester) and the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester) as well as outside, according to Shows take place at the Palace at 7 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday and at the Rex at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 25 and 5 p.m. on Aug. 26. Tickets cost $49 (for each location and day). Seamus Kennedy, Reverie Road and The Spain Brothers are slated to play the Rex; Ronan Tynan, Screaming Orphans (pictured) and Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones are scheduled to play the Palace. The outdoor lineup: on Aug. 25 Speed the Plough at 5 p.m., Pat Kelleher at 6:15 p.m. and Marty Quirk at 7:30 p.m.; on Aug. 26 Pat Kelleher at noon, Christine Morrison’s Academy of Celtic Dance at 2 p.m., Matt and Shannon Heaton at 3:15 p.m. and Boston’s Erin Og at 4:30 p.m., according to the website.

Featured photo: Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki. Photo by Mark Meyers.

Quality of Life 23/08/03

Weird weather

The National Weather Service (NWS) has confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Dublin, New Hampshire, on July 27 during a Tornado Warning. In a press release, the Department of Safety’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management emphasized the importance of preparedness as severe weather events are becoming more prevalent. HSEM provides preparedness resources for residents and visitors, available online at

QOL score: -1

Comment: This is the first tornado confirmed in the state for 2023, whereas two tornadoes occurred in 2022.

Help for families

United Ways across New Hampshire received a donation of $175,000 from Eversource Energy. The funding will support United Way’s efforts to address pressing issues faced by local families and individuals, particularly in areas related to health, education and financial stability, and will directly benefit thousands of individuals who rely on United Way’s services.

QOL score: +1

Comment: According to a press release, the contribution was part of a larger $2.6 million donation made by Eversource employees and the Eversource Foundation to United Way organizations in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Getting gold, helping kids

Acadia Gelineau, an 18-year-old Girl Scout from Nashua, has achieved the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award for her program called “Mighty Minds,” according to a press release. With a focus on helping children cope with stress and anxiety, Gelineau created a patch program that teaches students from kindergarten through 12th grade about anxiety and its effects. The program includes age-appropriate steps to develop positive coping strategies, such as breathing exercises and creating coping tool boxes filled with sensory tools like fidget toys. Gelineau’s program, along with the children’s book she wrote, will soon be available online for Girl Scouts across the country.

QOL score: +1

Comment: Gelineau said her own journey through Girl Scouts has been personally transformative, helping her overcome shyness and develop leadership and communication skills.

QOL score: 81

Net change: +1

QOL this week: 82

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at

The week that was

The Big Story: Four months into the 2022 season the Red Sox are f-i-n-a-l-l-y the big story in town. They’ve won 15 of 22 in July to climb to within 2.5 games back of Toronto for the final wild card spot to start the week, something that seemed quite unlikely even a month ago.

Better yet, the schedule is in their favor as they have three with those Blue Jays this weekend followed by 10 straight with bottom-dwelling KC, Detroit and Washington.

So if they held their own vs. the three, with wild card competitor Seattle earlier in the week, they’ll have a chance to pass both current WC place-holders Toronto and Houston this week.

All of which makes for an exciting time for baseball in these parts over the next month at least.

Sports 101: The Red Sox have had 15 different guys pitch for them who have won the Cy Young Award. Four did it for them while the other 11 did it elsewhere. How many can you name?

News Item – AL Pennant Race Update: With Baltimore and Tampa Bay on top, the Yanks in last place and the Sox a game ahead of them, the AL East seems like Bizarro World. But with a 1.5-game lead on the faltering D-Rays, the Orioles are the surprise of baseball, while even with their struggles TB still looks like a lock for the first wild card. That leaves a free-for-all for the last two wild card slots between current leaders Houston and Toronto followed by the Sox, Yanks, Mariners and, after smartly committing to not trading Shohei Ohtani, the Angels bunched a few games back.

News Item – Patriots With Most On The Line: With pre-season camp underway, one interesting story line is guys who have a lot on the line. Here are the top three: Mac Jones – No surprise. He needs to show the brass he’s the guy to build the team’s future around. Bill O’Brien – After last year’s offensive disaster, he’s back in the mix to be a head coach this winter if Mac gets back to where he appeared headed as a rookie and the offense becomes reliable. Bill Belichick – He’s 19 wins behind Don Shula to become the all-time winningest coach in history. So he needs at least 10 wins to be in position to do it in 2024.

Random Thoughts

What does it say about Bruce Bochy that after the three-time world champion came out of retirement to manage Texas, they’re on pace to win 94 games after losing 94 in 2022 with mostly the same players?

Got to think dumping a considerable chunk of Max Scherzer’s (probable) $57 million contract for 2024 via his weekend trade to Texas signals the Mets will be all in on the Ohtani free agent sweepstakes this winter.

Of the Week Awards

Player: Speaking of Ohtani, he’s not going into free agency quietly. He did something last week only five others in history have: pitched a shutout on the same day he hit two home runs. The shutout was a one-hit, 6-0 Game 1 win over Detroit, and the bombs came when the Angels routed them 11-4 in the nightcap. It was also his first career complete game, and the homers boosted his league-leading total to 38.

Weirdest No-Hitter: First, Portland using three pitchers is a reminder of how the powers that be don’t get that a single pitcher throwing a no-no is the most suspenseful one-game moment in the game and relentless micro-management of pitchers is eliminating that.

Second, the trio of Sox prospects, all-name teamer Wikelman Gonzalez and relievers Brendan Cellucci and Luis Guerrero, managed to give up one run without a hit, not once, but twice, in separate innings during the 6-2 Portland win.

Triple Play: The Red Sox ran themselves into a rare triple play after Adam Duvall inexplicably ran to second on a routine pop-up to center, to become the second out when CF Michael Harris II threw to first baseman Matt Olson, who then threw out Masataka Yoshida trying to go to third. It was the first 8-3-5 triple play since the Boston Beaneaters last pulled one off in 1884!

Sports 101 Answer: The Sox’ four Cy Young winners were Jim Lonborg, Roger Clemens. Pedro Martinez and Rick Porcello.The other 11 are Sparky Lyle, Fergie Jenkins, Tom Seaver, Bret Saberhagen, The Eck, Frank Viola, Jake Peavy, Bartolo Colón, Eric Gagne, David Price and Corey Kluber.

Final Thought – Thumbs Up, Patrice Bergeron:Tip of the cap to a great Boston sports all-timer upon his retirement after 19 years of excellence. Reliable, tough, clutch and, most of all, classy.

Bravo and thanks for the memories.

Email Dave Long at

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