Little River Bed and Breakfast
Innkeeper(s): Paula & Rob Fox
The Monadnock Region, a "lakes region" of its own... 3 Aug 2015, 12:47 pmOver the past few summers we have blogged several times about kayaking which has quickly become one of our favorite warm weather activities. This summer we have added to our list or revisited Half Moon Pond in Peterborough, Silver Lake in Harrisville, Highland Lake in Stoddard and Willard Pond in Antrim.
|What an awesome day to be on the water...with Mt Monadnock as a backdrop|
- There are more than forty significant ponds and lakes in the region that offer boat access
- Ten of those forty lakes and ponds are more than 300 acres in size...
- ...totaling over 8,000 acres of lakes and ponds to enjoy (unscientific research) :)
- Within just a ten mile radius of the B&B we have access to over 4,000 acres of that water and that doesn't include the Contoocook River!
Whether you are looking for large open lakes like the 700+ acre Lake Nubanusit or something more intimate like the 100+ acre Willard Pond there are options to fit your desires. We have been paddling for quite a few years now and are still barely scratching the surface of what the Monadnock Region has to offer. So come on out, bring your "yak" or floating vessel of choice and start exploring. You won't be disappointed.
|Silver Lake had plenty of neat small coves to explore!|
|Silver Lake views|
We ended the excursion by taking a short dip in the lake to cool off. I could not imagine paddling here on weekends when the summer homes are all occupied but if you are here midweek...this would be a great day out!
Highland Lake: I paddled here with our niece while Paula picked blueberries at nearby Pitcher Mountain. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was shocked at how not-busy the lake was. At seven hundred acres the lake feels huge and has tons of shoreline to explore because it is very narrow and extremely tall (perhaps seven miles tall). I have now been on this lake twice totaling about four hours and have maybe explored sixty percent of the shoreline. One of the lake houses has a small island off its shore and they have built a bridge across to it...we were able to paddle under it which was fun.
|Rob going under a small foot bridge|
|Rainbow after sun shower on Willard Pond|
The Shattuck Golf Course...without the golfing 17 Jul 2015, 2:35 pmI know avid golfers might cringe to hear this but...Paula and I are not golfers. What this means is that we have never had the opportunity to explore The Shattuck, a beautifully scenic golf course at the foot of Mt Monadnock just fifteen minutes from the B&B.
|The view of Monadnock from the course|
|Yup...me driving a cart...watch out!|
|It's like Jurassic Golf Course...very cool :)|
Tony got us settled in the cart and gave us directions we headed out. We started with the back nine which might be the more scenic side saving the front nine for later if we had the time. We were told we would be sharing the course with golfers so that we should stay on the cart path and be considerate and not drive past while they are playing through. It wasn't a big issue as we had planned our tour for later in the day when the course was quieter but it is something to keep in mind if taking the tour when the course is busier.
|These boardwalks over the marshlands are sweet!|
|Did I mention the wetlands?|
|One last view of Monadnock with wetlands in the foreground.|
Kayaking Halfmoon Pond 19 Jun 2015, 9:56 amMy last blog posting was about my three hour hike on the BU Sargent Center property. This time Paula and I went out together and instead of hoofing it, we explored the property with paddles.
|A panoramic of Halfmoon Pond|
|Paula at the spillway|
So if you are staying with us or in the general area and are looking for a quick and interesting trip out on the water, Halfmoon Pond is a great choice!
Hiking Boston University Sargent Camp 3 Jun 2015, 1:22 pmOK, it is hard to admit: the wonderful BU Sargent Camp (BUSC) hiking trails (managed by Nature's Classroom) are just three mile from Little River Bed & Breakfast but it took me more than ten years to explore them. I remedied that situation last month with a solid three hour easy - moderate hike exploring many of their scenic trails within the 700+ acre property.
|A beaver habitat in the middle of the wetlands|
|It's called Boulder Trail but it should be called Beaver Trail :)|
|At the spillway|
As I lingered along the wetlands admiring all the work the busy beavers had done, I watched herons and hawks soaring overhead. And then a big "SPLASH" in the water. Figured for sure it was a beaver. I kept searching and about five minutes later yet another "SPLASH". I could tell where it was coming from but couldn't spot the culprit. Five minutes later another "SPLASH". I was thinking: 'Grrr...just give me one good look at ya!' Sadly it was not meant to be but as I continued through the beavered woods, I spotted three beaver habitats like the one I posted above. Very cool...and what a beautiful blue sky to boot :) This was definitely the highlight of my hike.
So it may have taken me ten years to finally explore the BUSC trails but it won't take me ten years to return. There are plenty more trails there to hike...and of course that cable bridge to tackle :)
Peterborough Players 2015 Schedule 27 Apr 2015, 3:35 pm
The Peterborough Players are preparing for their 2015 season of seven professionally performed productions. This season appears to be the year of fabulous comedies sandwiched between two dramas.
Try something different and fun...
June 17 - 28 Red: The season kicks off with "Red", winner of six Tony Awards about the work of famed abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko.
July 1 - 12 Intimate Exchanges: Nominated for London’s prestigious Olivier Award and New York’s Drama Desk Award. The New York Times called it an “abundant buffet of domestic comedy.” The idea is simple: at many junctions in life we are faced with either/or decisions, and the consequences can be vastly different. Ayckbourn’s comedy of chance leaves its outcome to the audience. 10 characters are played by two actors, and you choose how the comedy works out. If you don’t like the ending, you have no one to blame but yourself!
July 15-26 Outside Mullingar: Tony nominated for Best Broadway play in 2014. Set in rural Ireland, it tells the story of the Muldoon and Reilly families, and of their rival heirs, Anthony and Rosemary. Each are loners, eccentrics, approaching 40, and just possibly, meant for each other. This romantic comedy is a very Irish story filled with delightful off-kilter humor, and so tender it could melt a stone.
July 29 - August 9 Charley's Aunt: One of the most successful and entertaining farces of all time, Charley’s Aunt centers on two Oxford undergraduates without an appropriate chaperone for a proper visit from their girlfriends. A quiet luncheon turns into a hilarious masquerade as the young ladies are introduced to the boys’ friend posing as Charley’s Aunt from Brazil — where the nuts come from. When the real aunt shows up, classic comedic confusion ensues!
August 12 - 23 Born Yesterday: Millionaire junk-dealer Harry Brock goes to Washington to buy a Senator, and in the process hires a sophisticated writer to polish up his seemingly dim-witted girlfriend, Billie Dawn. Brock soon learns that a little learning can be a dangerous thing. A comedy of men, women and politics that ran for three years on Broadway.
August 26 - September 6 Stella and Lou: Is a second chance at love still possible — for two people who have a lot of miles on them? Lou is just about to close up his bar for the night when Stella, one of his favorite regulars, walks in. When Stella suddenly reveals an unexpected surprise and even more startling suggestion, they wrestle with the realities of aging, loneliness, loss and dreams unrealized. With humor and warmth, the two come to grips with their past, present, and possible future together.
September 9 - 13 Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece: In the dark of night, a violent crime is committed — and nothing will ever be the same. Dan Hodge, the first of Peterborough’s Whitmore award winners, returns to the Players to perform his own one-man interpretation of Shakespeare’s epic poem. “The performance...is the sort of bravura, visceral acting that makes you want to grab the lapels of friends who care about theater and shout Hodges’ praises until they agree to see it.
20th Annual Maple Syrup Weekend, It's All "Grade A" 27 Mar 2015, 6:34 amThis weekend (March 27th - 29th) is the 20th Annual New Hampshire Maple Syrup Open Doors Weekend. This is a great event and a lot of fun for people of all ages.
Read about our 2011 Maple Syrup adventure for ideas on how to plan your weekend.
I thought I would use this blog posting to note a change that we have heard is coming for years and has finally come (and honestly makes things more self explanatory). Maple Producers are changing the grading system.
- Grade A Light will now be Grade A Golden
- Grade A Medium will now be Grade A Amber
- Grade A Dark remains the same
- Grade B will now be Grade A Very Dark
Check out this link to a more in depth explanation of the different grades.
For the record, at Little River B&B we use Grade A Very Dark all the time. It is richer in nutrients than the other grades and it has a rich maple flavor. Its great for cooking but we think its great for everything.
Travel Planning: Places to See, Things to do! 30 Jan 2015, 8:20 am
|Harrisville, Hancock, and Madame Sherri's Forest|
|Parker's Maple Barn and Pickity Place in Mason, NH|
and last, but not least... Peterborough!
Madame Sherri's Forest (in West Chesterfield, NH)
Pickity Place (twice) (in Mason, NH)
Parker's Maple Barn (in Mason, NH)
|Scenes of downtown Peterborough|
Cookie Tour 2014 - Peppermint-Swirl Sugar Cookies 21 Dec 2014, 10:08 am
The 2014 Currier and Ives Cookie Tour took place on Saturday, December 13th with partly cloudy skies and cookies galore! This was our fifth year participating and as has become our tradition... we had a new cookie to share. This year's Peppermint-Swirl Sugar Cookie is fun to look at and fun to make! The recipe is a pretty simple slice-and-bake-type refrigerator sugar cookie dough, but there is a little bit of technique involved in shaping the dough into the peppermint-swirl shape.
A bit of background first... the inspiration for these cookies started over a year ago with some adorable Peppermint Candy Sugar Cookies I saw on the Bakerella blog via Pinterest. I loved the way they looked and the way they were packaged with the two twisted ends, but when I read the recipe and realized the beauty was in the icing, I was pretty sure I would never succeed in making the 300 - 400 cookies we need for cookie tour. So I pushed the idea to the back of my mind and moved on to other things. Fast forward to October of this year when I tried a recipe for Candy Corn Cookies. They are basically a slice-and-bake sugar cookies that has been layered and cut to look like candy corn. I didn't think there was anything too special about the way the cookies tasted, but they looked really cute. So, if I could make slice-and-bake cookies that looked like candy corn, why can't I make slice-and-bake cookies that look like peppermint candies, right?
So after some general Internet and YouTube browsing didn't turn up any ready-made solutions for my idea, I decided I would need to figure it out for myself. I did, however, find a cool YouTube channel by yoyomax12 where she makes really cute slice-and-bake cookies with a panda face! So if yoyomax12 can succeed in making cookies with a panda face, I should be able to make cookies that look like peppermint candies, right?
And off to the kitchen I went. I made a basic refrigerator cookie dough (my recipe is below, but if you already have a favorite recipe, you could probably use your own), divided the dough in half, colored one half red, left the other half plain, and got to work making the design. To be honest, the technique for forming the pattern in the dough is not all that difficult. I actually got the technique to work reasonably well on my first try, but it is really hard to put into words so I'll just have to count on pictures... and even a YouTube video... to show you how.
Here's the video...
Or if you'd rather just see photos, here you go.
|Start with two equal-sized discs.|
|Cut each disc in half and join one red and one white half.|
|Cut disc in half again and flip over one half to get alternating colors.|
|Cut again, into fourths, diagonally across white and red segments.|
|Rearrange segments to alternating colors.|
|Turn disc on its side and start rolling into a log.
Make sure to keep rolling in the same direction.
|Roll until cylinder is about 2 inches thick and 8 inches long.|
|Wipe off flour from outside of dough to help sprinkles stick.|
|Roll in sprinkles or pearl sugar. Wrap in waxed
and chill for several hours or overnight.
|Cut chilled dough with a sharp, serrated knife.|
|Transfer cookie slices to prepared baking sheets and bake as directed.|
|Even cuter when wrapped to look like peppermint candies!|
Here's my recipe for the cookie dough. It contains cream cheese in addition to the butter, which makes a soft, not too crumbly cookie. The peppermint flavor is not overwhelming, and the recipe includes just a bit of vanilla in addition to the peppermint to give it some nice flavor.
Peppermint-Swirl Sugar Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
1 ½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
red food coloring gel
nonpareils, sprinkles, or pearl sugar
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening
Make dough: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar, egg, vanilla and peppermint extract. Add flour, salt and baking powder and mix until combined. Divide dough in half and add red food coloring to one half until desired color is obtained. Wrap each half of the dough in plastic and chill for 15 to 20 minutes, or up to an hour.
Shape dough: Working on a lightly-floured surface, form each half of the dough (red & white) into a thick disc, about 5” diameter. Using a large knife or bench scraper, cut each disc into 8 wedges of equal size. Next, rearrange the wedges so you have two discs that each resembles a wagon wheel with alternating red/white segments, making sure all the points meet in the center. Carefully start squeezing the pieces together and rotating in one direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise) to start forming a cylinder. Turn the cylinder over, and rotate in the opposite direction. Lay the dough cylinder on its side and finish rolling the dough into a log, about 2 ¼ inches in diameter and 8 inches long. To get the characteristic swirl, make sure to continue roll in the same direction. Put a thin layer of sprinkles in a shallow pan and roll each log in the sprinkles to coat, pressing lightly to adhere. (If you use a lot flour when rolling the dough, dampen outside of dough with a wet paper towel to help sprinkles stick.) Wrap each log in wax paper and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Bake and finish cookies: Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Working with one log at a time, use a sharp, serrated knife to cut ¼” slices and place slices on prepared baking sheets. (Note: Dough will cut best when cold. If knife gets sticky, clean it between cuts with a damp paper towel.) Bake 8-10 minutes, until cookies are baked, but before edges start to brown. Let cool. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips with shortening and frost bottoms of cookies with chocolate. Place cookies, chocolate-side-down, back on silicone baking mat or on a clean piece of wax paper and allow chocolate to fully cool and harden. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry location.
Peterborough and a Chocolate Factory 8 Dec 2014, 1:07 pm"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
- Charles M. Schulz, creator of the comic strip Peanuts
As we progress through the holiday season, it is hard for me not to think about sweets... especially, chocolate! Cookies, cake, brownies, candy, hot chocolate... you name it... it all holds a special place in my heart. Now, Peterborough has it's own chocolate factory to add fuel (cocoa and sugar, of course) to my dreams. Chocolate maker Neely Cohen opened the "bean-to-bar" Vicuna Chocolate Factory and Cafe at 15 Main Street opened in October. During the week, Vicuna Chocolate Factory produces five varieties of chocolate bars including Pure, Maras Salt, Cocoa Nibs, Coffee, and Yellow Chili. On Saturdays and Sundays, the cafe is open offering tastings of the chocolate bars, a variety of homemade cookies and pastries, hot chocolate, tea made from cocoa bean husks, and locally roasted coffee.
Neely's own story is fascinating. Still in her 20s, she has studied dance, fashion design, religion, political science, and languages. She graduated from the chef training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York and worked as a pastry chef. She moved to Peru and worked as a chocolatier for Choco Muzeo (Chocolate Museum) in Cusco, Peru, teaching bean-to-bar chocolate making. She competed on the Food Network show "Sweet Genius"... and won! (These, and other stories, are shared via the Vicuna Chocolate Facebook page.)
As a special treat, Vicuna Chocolate made the Boston Globe's list of New England chocolatiers who "set the bar high".
And if that isn't enough chocolate, the multicultural Mariposa Museum across the street will feature their "World of Chocolate!" exhibit through January 31, 2015. The exhibit invites you to learn the stories of many cultures through the trail of chocolate. From ancient Mexico, to sugar plantations in the Caribbean, to chocolate factories in Europe, the United States and more. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, learn about the author's fascination with chocolate and how he came to write his story.
Chocolate, chocolate, everywhere! Peterborough sure is a great place to be!
Peterborough - Celebrating 275 Years! 12 Oct 2014, 7:57 pmAfter months, even years of planning, the week-long celebration to commemorate Peterborough's 275th Anniversary began under less-than-ideal weather conditions. And well, yes... it did rain on our parade... but it didn't seem to dampen spirits! The parade stepped off Saturday, October 11 at 10:00 AM, led by the 6th New Hampshire Regiment (portraying soldiers and civilians from the Civil War), followed by the Governor's Horse Guard, marching bands, antique cars, local organizations, floats, and more! (For more photos of the parade and other events of the day, please see our Facebook page.)
|6th New Hampshire Regiment Infantry Company E leading the parade.|
|Peterborough Food Pantry "Float"... very creative!|
|William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corps|
|The Lexington Minute Men|
|Monadnock Community Hospital - The most enthusiastic marchers on this rainy morning!|
|Fred Marple, the official Frost Heaves "dignitary" in the parade.|
The celebration also included special tribute to William Diamond, a Revolutionary War drummer in Lexington, Massachusetts under Captain John Parker. In April 1775, a teen-aged William Diamond beat his drum as the call to arms, summoning the village's minutemen to the start of the Revolutionary War. He is famously portrayed as the young drummer in the "Spirit of '76" painting by Archibald Willard. In 1795, William Diamond and his wife Rebecca settled in Peterborough, purchased land to farm, and raised their family here. He died in 1828 and is buried in the town's cemetery on Old Street Road. The tribute to William Diamond featured participation throughout the day by the William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corps, The Lexington Minute Men, and the 10th Regiment British Soldiers. In addition, William Diamond's drum and desk were on display at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture, courtesy of the Lexington Historical Society.
|The Lexington Minute Men, the 10th Regiment British Soldiers, and the William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corp gathered for the special presentation in front of the Monadnock Center for History and Culture|
|Actor portrayal of William Diamond, giving an account of his life|
|William Diamond's drum|
Other activities in town also included demonstrations by Colonel Ebenezer Hinsdale's Garrison Company recreating aspects of 18th century colonial community, a traditional blacksmith creating late 16th and 17th century armor such as that worn by the Polish Winged Hussar knights, music performances by the Temple Town Band and the NH Pipes and Drums band, the rededication and grand opening of the original Main Street entrance to the Town Library, a special Farmers' Market, food court, and activities for all.
|Participant in the Garrison Company's community cooking chicken over the open coals (said to take about 4 hours to cook this way).|
|Blacksmith working on armor|
|Tent in the 6th NH Regiment's camp|
The day ended with a great fireworks show over the rivers in downtown Peterborough at Depot Square Park, sponsored by The Peterson's Real Estate.
But the party isn't over just yet! Additional events this week include a talk on Peterborough in the 60s at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture on Wednesday, concerts on Friday, and Ken Sheldon's Frost Heaves live comedy show, an Open Hearth Cooking demonstration, the Peak into Peterborough Festival, a contra dance, and more on Saturday, October 18, 2014!
(For more photos of the day, please see our Facebook page.)