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

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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 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!


The Real Hunger Games!

Not the movie…the new cookbook recently written by Fifi O’Neill titled The Romantic Prairie CookbookRomantic Prairie Style Cookbook

which features many great farms and their recipes including two recipes from Berrybogg Farm.  Fifi and Mark Lohman came to the farm back in June of 2011 and we had a great time watching a photo shoot evolve during a 90 degree day which culminated with a huge thunderstorm and a power outage!  Despite the obstacles, the results are fantastic and the entire book is a work of art.  I can’t wait to try the Dark Chocolate Chip Raspberry cookies from Raspberry Fields Farm, the Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Lizzie McGraw, and Fifi’s own Tourtiere recipe which is a staple at the holidays in our neck of the woods.

March has been a busy month of pruning at the farm in temperatures sometimes 40 degrees above the norm for this time of year.  Time will tell what the increased temperatures will do to the plants this season but when we had a similar warm spring two years ago it pushed up our opening date by 10 days. However, warm temperatures or not, we will still hold our annual plant sale on May 5 and May 6 with lots of blueberry, raspberry, blackberry plants and peach trees for sale.  Stay tuned for more information.

This year we are planning on holding cooking classes in the new farm kitchen during the summer and fall with help from local caterer extraordinaire Chef Randy Brisson.  We will be updating the website with more information on these events but we hope to offer a wide range of classes using local ingredients and of course blueberries!


Happy New Year


Most of us start the new year with resolutions to eat healthy but a yummy, warm dessert also helps to brighten those cold days of winter! The above picture is a blueberry gingerbread cake warm from the oven with a dollop of cold vanilla ice cream. My mom makes the recipe in an 9 inch square pan but this version was made in an 8 inch cake pan to look more like a traditional cake. Either way, it’s a great way to use your frozen bluberries.

Blueberry Gingerbread

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour milk (to 1 cup milk add 1 tablespoon vinegar)
1 teaspoon baking soda (added to milk)
3 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup blueberries

Cream shortening and sugar; add beaten egg. Combine dry ingredients and alternate with sour milk in which soda has been dissolved. Add molasses and blueberries; mix well. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture on top. Bake in 9 X 9 pan in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Delicious served warm!