Pick Your Own Blueberries in Strafford, NH

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Things To Do in NH This Weekend

A lot of things happening this weekend and the snow doesn’t start until Saturday night so get out there and have fun!  Seacoast Eat Local farmers’ market takes place Saturday at Wentworth Greenhouse in Rollinsford, NH from 10 until 2.  Lots of great farms and food plus it’s CSA day. For more information about CSAs, check out Seacoast Eat Local’s website.

If you’re already in Rollinsford, head over to downtown Dover to support some great local shops.  Just the Thing at 451 Central Avenue is having some great sales and check out the photo below of the cool architectural greenhouse.  Start your seeds in something stylish!

Just the Thing Collage

If you’re closer to Concord, visit the Winter Farmer’s Market at Cole Gardens at 430 Loudon Rd in Concord starting at 10am. They have over 32 vendors selling vegetables, baked goods, chocolate and maple syrup…yum.

NH kids are starting vacation this week so head over to NH Fish and Game and print off the pocket guide to animal tracks. Then head outside for something fun to do in the snow!  Have a great weekend!

track card

Warm Apple Pie

I recently took a day trip to the King Arthur Flour company located in Norwich, Vermont.   Their beautiful building is located just over the Connecticut River from Hanover, NH and boasts a state-of-the-art cooking school, an amazing bakery and store.  The day I visited, I lucked out and was able to snag the last seat in the Winter Pies and Tarts class which was a four hour class on making the perfect pie crust and an elegant chocolate tart.  I learned a few tips and tricks to help make my pie crusts flakier and walked out with a 9 inch apple pie and chocolate tart.  Dinner for us that night was warm apple pie followed by a slice of chocolate tart!

applepie

I managed to take time to snap a picture of the pie before it disappeared! By the way, the yummy pie is sitting on top of one of Matt Mead’s lovely European style table runners.  My mom, sister and I attended Matt’s Holiday Open House in Concord and purchased some beautiful items from his personal collection as well as the table runner.  Stop by his blog for inspiration, great recipes, and to pre-order his new book, Recycled Style. Shop local when you can!

King Arthur Apple Pie

Ingredients:

5 firm medium apples

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon(King Arthur used a Vietnamese Cinnamon)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pastry for one 9-inch double crust pie

Directions:

Peel, core and slice apples and place them in a medium bowl.

Sprinkle the sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt over the apples and toss lightly until the apples are completely coated.

Roll out half the pastry dough and place in a 9-inch pie plate.

Spoon filling into pastry shell

Roll out the remaining dough and place it over the apples.  Seal and crimp the crust and vent the top of the pie.

Bake the pie in a pre-heated 375 degree oven, until it is golden brown and bubbly, about an hour.

Pie Pastry Recipe

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and divided in half

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Directions:

Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl

Cut in half the chilled butter using a pastry blender or your fingers.  For a tender result, the fat particles should be worked in quickly and remain about the size of currants.

Cut in the remaining butter, this time leaving larger shards, about the size of dried cranberries

Sprinkle about three tablespoons of the ice water over the flour/fat mixture and mix just until the dough begins to mass.  You may need to add the additional tablespoon of ice water for this to occur

Remove the dough mass to a work surface, divide into two equal portions and press into flattened rounds about six inches in diameter.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1/2 hour.

Tips:

Try a 50/50 ratio of all-purpose flour and pastry flour for a softer crust

Roll dough from center out and use the plastic wrap on top of dough so it will not stick to the roller

To add sweetness to the dough, add 4 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar to dry ingredients and 1 teaspoon of vanilla with the water

Happy New Year

I hope the first few weeks of 2013 have been healthy and happy for everyone.  We have been busy at the farm clearing brush, pruning out the old blackberry canes and planning events for the upcoming year.  First on the list will be some upcoming cooking classes which we hope to announce soon for the months of February and March.   In addition, we are excited to announce a blueberry pruning workshop to be held on April 13 at 10am at the farm.  Please check our home page of the website for further information about these events.

Knowing that most everyone has probably made the resolution to eat healthier for the new year, I have included a recipe for a hearty salad that includes…what else?…blueberries!  Enjoy

chickensaladingredients

 

Fresh Blueberry Kiwi Salad

4 cups mixed greens

½ cup to 1 cup fresh blueberries

3 kiwis, peeled and chopped in bite size pieces

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese

Combine greens, blueberries, kiwi and tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.  Add cut up roasted chicken for a heartier meal and top with blueberry balsamic dressing.

Blueberry Balsamic Dressing

1 1/2 cups blueberries

3 Tbl. sugar

1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1/3 cup walnut oil

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan and cook over medium heat on stove until blueberries have cooked down.  Let mixture cool and process to a smooth consistency in blender or magic bullet.  Mix with good quality walnut oil.

In the photo below, I used a combination of romaine and kale for the greens and blue cheese for the topping. We made this salad in the Easy Summer Entertaining Cooking Class and used goat cheese from a local farm…yummy.

Chicken Blue Salad-001

Happy Holidays!

Santa’s elves are working overtime at the farm this week baking, decorating and pruning blueberry bushes (ugh!) Join us Saturday, December 1 from 9 to 4 for a day of shopping at our farmhouse and also in the town of Strafford for artisan wares at Christmas in Strafford.  Below are a few photos of the items for sale on Saturday and check out this easy easy recipe at the end of the post for a quick holiday treat using fresh local honey and goat cheese.

 

 

 

 

Fresh Figs With Goat Cheese and Honey

Fresh Figs

Goat Cheese

Honey

Pre-heat broiler. Halve the figs and place on cookie sheet.  Place a small dollop of goat cheese on each fig and drizzle with honey.  Place in oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt…yummy!

Good News!

 

We are happy to announce that Berrybogg Farm will hold a Holiday Open House at the farm on December 1 from 9am to 4pm.  The Farmhouse will be decorated for the holidays and filled to the brim with jams, honey and delicious baked goods.  Sip hot mulled cider while shopping for charming gifts of antiques, handcrafted quilts, holiday decorations and scrumptious gift baskets.  In addition, we will have gift certificates for purchase to use towards the 2013 Blueberry Season.

During this same weekend, the town of Strafford will be holding their 23rd Annual Christmas in Strafford Craft Fair with over 20 homes of artisans open for holiday shopping.  Visit christmasinstraffordnh.com for maps and more information.

We also wanted to add that our ship’s bell was returned to the farm last week in good condition.  Thanks to everyone who spread the word and hung up posters for us.

 

For Whom the Bell Tolls

****UPDATE**** The bell was mysteriously returned this week to the farm and is in good condition.  Thanks to everyone who spread the word, hung up flyers and sent good thoughts our way!

Apparently, not for us anymore.  Between October 1 and October 5, someone went up into our blueberry field and stole our ship’s bell.  The bell was a gift from my grandfather 40 years ago and my parents first mounted it outside the farmhouse to ring the bell to gather the kids for dinner time.  Years later, they installed it up in the field to ring when the day was done or a thunderstorm was approaching.  Many pictures have been taken in front of the bell with families and friends  showing off the pounds of blueberries just picked.  Nothing else was taken…just the bell…post and all!  I have contacted salvage yards, pawn shops and antique stores in hopes that it might turn up.  We are offering a $500 reward for information leading to the recovery of the bell.  Keep your fingers crossed and spread the word!

Jam It!

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that we now had time to visit some other farms for fresh fruit and produce.  One of the best farms around our area for fruit throughout the growing season is Butternut Farm in Farmington, NH which my husband and I recently visited for some awesome peaches and early apples.  We definitely have “farm envy” when we visit the lovely farm owned by Giff and Mae Burnap.  Lots of peach trees loaded with fruit greeted us the day we picked.

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We hauled our bounty home and I created a new jam recipe with the peaches and blueberries (of course)!

Ginger Peachy Blueberry Jam

4 Cups Chopped Peaches

4 Cups Blueberries (frozen is ok)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup water

5 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon ginger (or 2 if you love ginger)

1 package of powdered pectin for jams and jellies

Peel and remove pits of peaches. Chop peaches.  Sort and wash blueberries or thaw frozen blueberries. Measure fruits into a kettle; add lemon juice and water; add pectin.  Bring mixture to a rolling boil and add sugar.  Return mixture to a rolling boil and continue stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim any foam off top.

Fill hot jam immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe rims of jars with a damp cloth; add canning lids.  Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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It’s not too late to get some great late season peaches at Butternut or the farmer’s markets.  Check out Seacoast Eat Local for a list of area farms and farmer’s markets and preserve your bounty with some easy to make jam.  Have fun!