Homemade cheese is good sweet or savory

By on Mar 3, 2016 in Recipes |

Ricotta and farmer’s cheese are two easy-to-make-at-home fresh cheeses, fresh meaning that they aren’t meant to be aged but are consumed within a week of being made. Both are fun to create, especially with kids, because watching the milk coagulate and separate into curds and whey is not only fun, but a great lesson on the protein structure of dairy products (which I don’t have space for here, but an internet search on cheese-making will turn up lots of information). Ricotta is milder than farmer’s cheese. It is made by curdling warm milk with an acid, such as white vinegar or lemon juice. The resulting soft, granular white cheese is then drained a bit before being stuffed into ravioli, layered in lasagna or mixed with eggs, sugar and a bit of citrus for a simple souffle, among many other possibilities. Farmer’s cheese is a bit more complicated. Cream and milk are left to sit at room...

A Pig’s Life: From piglet to pork-chop, Week 3

By on Mar 2, 2016 in A Pig's Life, Stories |

I’m quickly understanding that raising piglets for meat can be delicate from the beginning. I learned this first-hand on Friday, when I received a sobering communication from Carole Soule. Pink the piglet had been accidentally kicked by her mother Thursday night when the sow was trying to stand up. Pink died. Reading that message, quite honestly, ruined my afternoon. But I knew this was always a possibility. Pink was among seven piglets in her litter that were stillborn, too cold or lain on top of by Sarah, and didn’t make it. This project, of course, will continue. On Sunday, Soule introduced me to “Pink 2.0.” He’s a male piglet who was similar in size and color to Pink, except he has a couple darker patches of skin. Two weeks in, this piglet has grown – fast. In her farrowing shed, Soule picked up Pink 2.0 and handed him to me – holding him by his round middle, I was surprised how...

‘More than a business’: Corner View Restaurant to close Saturday

By on Feb 25, 2016 in Stories | 9 comments

The Corner View Restaurant in Concord is a family affair. Art Thomas said his father, Paul, bought the property at the corner of South and Clinton streets for $15,000 off a gambler in 1940. A Greek immigrant, Paul Thomas owned grocery stores and restaurants – and then he opened the Landmark Restaurant on that prime piece of Concord real estate in 1979. “Back in 1978, we were flying back from Greece, and he said, ‘I’ve got a little corner in Concord,’ ” Art Thomas remembered. “I said, ‘Dad, you’re not considering another restaurant, are you?’ And he said, ‘It’s a great corner. Let’s go.’ ” Thomas stepped in to help his father for a year or so when his health was failing, and then they turned the Landmark over to another Greek family. But when those owners moved on to another business in 1996, Thomas returned and opened the Corner View. But after 20 years, Thomas will retire, and his...

Joan O’Connor: Worm wrangler and local food facilitator

By on Feb 22, 2016 in Stories |

As far as she knows, Joan O’Connor is the only worm wrangler in town. “How many worm farmers do you know in New Hampshire?” she asked Thursday. O’Connor, a 64-year-old Henniker resident and businesswoman behind “Joan’s Famous Composting Worms,” has been selling crawlers for two decades. It all began when she bought her first worms in 1992 at Shaker Village’s Herb Day after researching better ways to recycle food scraps during New England winters. “I was growing frustrated with the outdoor frozen compost piles,” O’Connor said. She was thrilled with the prospect of an indoor composting system, and went for it. Over the years, O’Connor has learned all the tricks. She explained as she poured out a bucket of worms, newspaper and dirt onto a plastic sheet in her living room Thursday. “You want them to be happy, fed and having sex,” O’Connor explained. She pointed out proof that this was the...

Farm to retail: Doing local business

By on Feb 21, 2016 in Stories |

A New York City transplant who thought she could make use of berry bushes in her Antrim yard. A Bedford mom who returned to culinary school and decided to re-create spices her mother always cooked with. A Dover man who ran a construction business most of his life and then expanded his passion for cooking and became “The Soup Guy.” These homegrown food producers, along with close to 40 others specializing in meats, fruit, vegetables, pastries or chocolates, were eager to learn how to expand business at the first-ever Farm to Retail Collaborative at Amoskeag Beverages Warehouse in Bow on Thursday. Hosted by the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, New Hampshire Grocers Association and New Hampshire’s Own, the “matchmaking” event was intended to help farmers get connected with grocery stores, food service companies and local markets. Division of Agricultural...