Chesterfield, New Hampshire
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.
August 1st, 2009 by Judy Hueber
One of the best parts of my job as Innkeeper of the Chesterfield Inn is choosing the wines featured on our wine list! I’ve worked on the wine list for years, as it evolves and changes with trends and our guests’ taste. People who stay and dine with us tell me about wines, I taste wines and read about wines, and the list evolves!
In the last year, we have begun a program that features 4 or 5 wines each month. I’m particularly taken with our Summer Wine Specials, which are all from New Zealand and Australia, and I’d like to tell you about them. We have two red wines. The first is a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Barossa Valley in Australia called The Cover Drive from Jim Barry. Jim Barry is a small, quality oriented winery, and this wine is the result of careful wine making. The flavor is dense with rich fruit and the wine has a wonderful nose. The other red wine that we are featuring is from Yalumba Vineyards, also in Barossa, and is a Shiraz/Viognier blend. The Shiraz is blended with Viognier to bring out the color and aroma. The result is a light, fruity wine, with jammy flavors.
For white wines, we have an Un-oaked Chardonnay from Tohu, a vineyard in New Zealand. This is a full bodied chardonnay without the heaviness of oak, with peachy and lemon overtones. Of course, we must have a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in the mix, and the Sauvignon Blanc is Harbor Town, from Marlborough. The wine is made by Alan Scott from some of New Zealand’s finest Sauvignon Blanc vineyards. It has a rich , intense flavor. Then we have a Reisling from Yalumba Vineyard, which is dry with lush tropical friut overtones. This wine is a perennial award winner with a host of food pairing possibilities.
These wines are all delicious. We’d love to share them with you-maybe out on the terrace at sunset?
July 15th, 2009 by Judy Hueber
Monadnock from Route 124
Last Saturday I had some friends visiting from out of town, and we decided enjoy the gorgeous summer weather and climb Mount Monadnock. Mount Monadnock is located in Jaffrey, and is about a 40 minute drive from the Chesterfield Inn. We had breakfast at the inn, got our water bottles, bug spray, and hiking boots, and headed to Keene to pick up lunch to eat at the top of the mountain. From Keene, we followed Route 101 East to Marlborough and turned onto Route 124 towards Jaffrey.
Mount Monadnock is one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world. Its name comes from the Abenaki word meaning mountain that stands alone, and has come to mean in geological terms any isolated mountain that rises above the surrounding plain. The mountain is 3165 feet in elevation and the top has a rocky crown that offers 100 mile views of of all six New England states on a clear day. The mountain can be climbed with starting points on all sides, and has about 40 miles of trails on its slopes. Click here for an overview of the hiking trails and more information on the mountain and state park.
View From Marlborough Trail
Phil and I discovered the Marlborough Trail years ago and we find it to be the fastest way to the top with the shortest drive for us. The trail head is on South Shaker Farm Road, which is a left turn off of Route 124 on the Marlborough/Jaffrey border. The dirt road is a bit rough but is fine for cars without 4 wheel drive as long as you drive slowly. There is a small parking lot and map at the trail head. The trail starts out on level ground but quickly turns up hill and soon you are climbing rock faces on the wooded trail. The trail is clearly marked with white dots, dotted lines, and M’s painted on the rocky surface. At some points the trails is marked by cairns , which are man made piles of rocks in a cone shape, strategically placed at trail turns and junctions. There were several points where we could stop and enjoy the expansive view of the valley below. We made it to the top in about 2 hours, moving at a steady but not too fast pace (not bad for 2 50 year-olds and 2 teenagers).
The top of the mountain has no trees, but is rocky and craggy, with great views, and many nooks and crannies to explore. There were plenty of people up there when we arrived, which was surprising, because we had seen only about 15 people on the hike up. The Marlborough Trail is not the most popular and there are many other routes for people to climb. We sat on the rocks and ate our lunch, which was so much more delicious than it would have been if eaten at home! It was sunny and breezy and cool, which was very refreshing after the long climb up.
We then headed down, back the way we came, and arrived at the bottom about an hour and a half later, with tired legs, but a great sense of accomplishment!
June 30th, 2009 by Judy Hueber
There’s a picture on our web site that several guests have asked about and said ” I want to go there!” There is a waterfall in Chesterfield Gorge, a small 13 acre New Hampshire State Park, located right in Chesterfield. Chesterfield Gorge is seven miles from the Chesterfield Inn, on Route 9 East. Dogs are welcome there, but you can’t take bikes or ATV’s on the trails.
The gorge is a terrific place for a short walk in the woods with a big pay off. You can park in the parking lot right on Route 9, and in 5 minutes, you are standing on the side of the gorge, staring at the rushing water far below. By definition, a gorge is a deep ravine carved from the landscape by flowing water. The gorge trail is very well marked, with red blazes (red wooden trail markers nailed to tree trunks every so often) as well as directional arrows. Footing is generally good and hiking boots are not necessary, although I wouldn’t recommend wearing flip flops. The trees are close to the trail, and it is shady and mossy. In the spring and summer when it’s green and lush, the forest reminds me of scene in Star Wars when the Ewoks and Stormtroopers are riding around on those flying motorcycles.
One of the Gorge Waterfalls
The trail winds down one side of the gorge, with several places where you can stop and enjoy the woodsy views of the cliffs and the Wilder Brook below. The park service has even placed metal fencing at the most precarious points so that you can look without worrying about falling. The trail slopes gradually downward to a flat area where there is a wooden bridge that crosses the brook , allowing hikers to continue on the other side of the gorge.
On the far side of the bridge, if you head up hill a few steps, and over to the edge of the water, there is a calm spot with a sandy area, where kids (of all ages) can actually play in the water. Once you’re finished dipping your feet in the water, and splashing around, you can get back on the trail and head down the far bank of the brook to the second bridge, cross back to the other side and wind your way back up the gorge. There are some very nice views of the waterfalls on this section of the trail, looking up from the lowest part of the falls and up through the cliff and woods. The gorge is a quiet place to walk and enjoy the woods and gorgeous scenery. There are no crowds there, and all you can hear is the wind and the birds singing. It’s a great place to “walk off” breakfast or for a quick walk before you head home.
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!