Chesterfield, New Hampshire
April 8th, 2010 by Judy Hueber
One of the best things about Brattleboro, Vermont is the Brattleboro Food Coop. Phil and I became members of the Coop as soon as we moved to the area and have enjoyed shopping there ever since. I have never been one to use the words enjoy and shopping in the same sentence, but I do when I’m talking about the Food Coop. Walking through the door there is like a walking into an oasis in a busy world.
When you enter the Food Coop, you are standing in the wine section, where interesting wines, as well as the old standbys can be found. Wines are moderately priced and there are many organic wines stocked. Richard, who manages the wine department is very knowledgeable, and is available to make suggestions and answer questions. The beer selection is excellent too, with many local or regional beers as well as beers from around the globe. Then on to the cheese section, which features local artisan cheeses as well as cheeses from around the world. The deli is next , with delicious vegan, or vegetarian, organic, with and without meat, prepared foods. There is a salad bar with a couple of homemade soups each day, as well as a juice bar and a section of prepackaged deli items that you can grab if you’re in a rush.
Fresh flowers are displayed in florists buckets, offering a bright corner at the edge of the produce section. The produce section features mostly organic produce, and as much local produce as the season allows. It’s fabulous. The bulk section is towards the back of the store, where you can purchase beans, nuts, oils, coffee and tea, honey etc. in large and small quantities in bulk, with your own containers or containers provided by the store.
Then there are several aisles of groceries, which include fresh breads from local bakeries, organic cereals, soups, pastas, rices, corn and potato chips of all kinds, and baking supplies. This is where I find unusual ethnic and gourmet food items, things that people who live in a city take for granted. The dairy case is at the back, with local organic milk, yogurts, and lots of lactose free products. The freezer aisle features lots of frozen organic prepared food as well as a great selection of frozen yogurt, ice cream, and sorbets. The meat department has everything a carnivore could want, and all of it is organic, hormone and antibiotic free, free range or locally raised. Seafood is delivered twice a week and is available fresh or frozen. There is small area with things for the kitchen such as dishes, glasses and candles, and a large section for vitamins and food supplements as well as health and beauty products.
The people who work at the Food Coop are friendly and helpful, open to feedback and suggestions. The Coop is a community unto itself, welcoming , warm and inclusive. What a great place to shop!
December 16th, 2009 by Judy Hueber
I love the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day because we cooks have license to use cranberries liberally. After the holidays fresh cranberries are not as widely available, so sometimes I stockpile them so I can extend the season a little bit. There’s something about the dark ruby color of the berries, as well as their tart flavor that sweetens when they are dried or cooked that makes them so appealing to me.
One of my favorite things to make for breakfast is our Cranberry Cream Scones. They are soft, flaky and delicious-a great way to start the day! Here’s the recipe:
Chesterfield Inn Cream Scones
1 cup unsifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Lemon Glaze: juice of half a lemon and enough confectioner’s sugar to make a glaze
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine eggs, cranberries, and heavy cream; stir into flour mixture with a fork, then mix with your hands just enough to combine. Divide dough in half.; shape into rounds about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut each round into fifths and separate wedges slightly on ungreased baking sheet. Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 15 minutes. While the scones are baking, mix up the lemon glaze. Note: it’s easy to over bake these, so remove them from the oven even if you think they’re not done. Let cool, drizzle with lemon glaze.
Another of my favorites for the holidays is a cranberry relish that my friend Betsy Bates taught me years ago. When you see how easy this is, and how delicious, you’ll never buy canned cranberry sauce again! All you need is:
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 jar orange marmalade
1/2 cup orange juice, and more if needed
Put the cranberries in a saucepan, add the marmalade and orange juice. Cook on low heat until the cranberries pop, and everything has melded together nicely. let cool. Refrigerate until needed. Keeps for at least in a covered refrigerated container.
June 2nd, 2009 by Judy Hueber
We now have Walpole Creamery ice cream on our dessert menu at the Chesterfield Inn! The Walpole Creamery is located right on Route 12 in Walpole, which is about a 20 minute drive north of the inn. Their ice cream is made entirely from scratch, using all natural ingredients, and hormone free milk from Walpole farms. You can visit the Walpole Creamery from noon to 8:00 PM daily and sample any of their delicious flavors.
We serve their Sweet Cream ice cream with all of our desserts as the house “a la mode”. It’s just delicious on the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp! Or, if you like, you can have your Sweet Cream in a marbled white and dark chocolate cup with chocolate or caramel sauce. We also offer one of the other flavors as a monthly special. This month the special flavor is Chocolate Chocolate Chip. It’s fabulous!
May 7th, 2009 by Judy Hueber
Spring is definitely here! We know it because anyone who has rhubarb in the garden is picking it, and cooking with it. Rhubarb is the first plant that can be harvested in the spring, generally from late April through June. The stalks are the edible part of the plant, while the leaves are toxic to humans and are discarded. The flesh is red and green and very crisp with a fresh astringent flavor.
Rhubarb, the First Harbinger of Spring
I made a rhubarb compote on Sunday morning to go with Ruth’s coffee cake (the recipe is included in my blog posting of October 28, 2008) and people were asking for seconds! My favorite way to cook rhubarb is to make a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Here is my recipe:
2 pounds rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 pound strawberries, quartered and hulled
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups quick cooking oatmeal
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, toss the rhubarb with 3/4 cup of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In another bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and let stand for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rhubarb to the strawberries, discarding any extra liquid from the rhubarb. Add the cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Combine all of the remaining ingredients, and mix with your fingers until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake 30 minutes at 375. Reduce the heat to 325 and bake for 30 more minutes. Let rest 10 to 20 minutes before serving.
Delicious with ice cream, whipped cream or both!
October 2nd, 2008 by Judy Hueber
Autumn has officially arrived in the kitchen at the Chesterfield Inn. Chef Bob Nabstedt has created the Autumn menu; we can tell by the enticing aromas wafting our way from the kitchen.
A few of the highlights of the new menu are: the wild game sausages served on balsamic braised cabbage with ale mustard sauce, the roasted butternut squash ravioli with sun-dried cranberry butter sauce and the pan seared scallops served over fresh rosemary papardelle with the tomato, saffron, and fennel broth. To see the Autumn menu in its entirety, click here.
Seared Scallops on Fresh Rosemary Papardelle with Tomato Saffron and Fennel Broth
The food is a bit heartier, and the flavors more pronounced, to go with the crisp air and brilliant colors of the maple leaves. The sun is setting a bit earlier every day and we are lighting the fireplaces earlier against the late afternoon chill.
These crisp clear days are what New Englanders dream about as the warm days of summer pass and we prepare for winter. The garden’s bounty is harvested and the foods that we eat are a bit heavier to keep us warm. Rather than fresh vegetable salads, we’ll look for roasted squashes or root vegetables for dinner.
The desserts that we offer after dinner reflect the season too: warm apple cranberry crisp, pumpkin bread pudding with caramel sauce are a couple of the newest offerings. We’re experimenting with a pecan crusted pumpkin tart, trying to get it just right before it gets added to the dessert menu.
Even what we choose to drink changes at this time of year. Red wines seem to compliment the heartier foods, and we are featuring some delicious Italian reds at the mnoment. The one that I’m most taken with at the moment is an Anglianico from Campania. It’s full bodied, fruit-forward flavors compliment the savory essence of the Autumn menu perfectly.
August 25th, 2008 by Judy Hueber
My visit to Walker Farm today yielded a big bag of vegetables and fruits, and lots of inspiration for dinner.
I started with dessert, of course , which was minted peaches and blueberries. It just took a minute to blanch the peaches, peel and and pit them, and slice them up in a glass bowl with the blueberries and fresh mint in a simple syrup. It helps to make them a few hours ahead so the flavors have time to blend.
Then on to the main part of the meal: I sauteed some red onion and garlic until the onion began to caramelize, and added shredded zucchini, summer squash, and carrots. I stirred and sauteed that for another 5 or 10 minutes until the vegetables were soft and added salt and pepper to taste.
Then I took a handful each of green and yellow beans, tossed them in salt, pepper and olive oil, and put them on the grill until they were cooked through and slightly charred.
The corn on the cob at the farm stand was still damp with the morning dew, so I scooped up 6 ears and took them home for a little corn salad. I boiled the corn until it was tender, scraped the kernels off of the cob, and added it to onion, garlic and red pepper that I had sauteed in olive oil while the corn was cooking. I added some finely cut ribbons of basil, and salt and pepper and it was ready to eat!
The main dish for dinner was a frittata, made with fresh eggs, boiled new potatoes, onion, green pepper, black beans, cumin, cilantro, and fresh tomatoes. I started in a coated pan on the top of the stove, and finished it in the oven, adding grated cheddar at the end for a flavor jolt.
What a luxury to be able to prepare and enjoy an entire meal made with food that was grown within 10 miles of the inn!
August 1st, 2008 by Judy Hueber
It’s time for the long lazy days of summer here in New Hampshire, with hot sunny days and evenings cool enough to throw a sweater around your shoulders. With the beautiful weather comes the bounty of the local farmers’ gardens which is offered at the farmers’ markets as well as farm stands that appear on the back roads in the height of the summer.
Every day, I head to the farm stand that is just up the road from the inn to see what Mary Jo has to offer. Today she has corn on the cob, zucchini, summer squash, and the most gorgeous blueberries and raspberries. I picked up a few boxes of the berries and brought them home to make a batch of Summer Berry Crisp for dinner. Here’s the recipe:
6 cups of fresh berries(can be blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon corn starch
2/3 cups brown sugar
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the berries with half of the cinnamon, the lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the cornstarch. Put into a buttered 8 inch baking pan.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until it is combined and crumbly. Spread the topping over the fruit and bake 30 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. This is the taste of summer!