Little River Bed and Breakfast

184 Union Street, Peterborough, New Hampshire 03458
Innkeeper(s): Paula & Rob Fox

Peterborough: An Antiques Destination! 2 Apr 2017, 8:29 am

The entire Monadnock Region is known as a mecca for antiquing and in just the past few years the antiques scene has exploded in Peterborough.  Whether you are looking for small piece collectibles and memorabilia or large furniture, shabby chic or thrift items, Peterborough has a shop to fit your style!

Google Map of Antiques Shops in Peterborough

Park anywhere in the downtown area and you will find three wonderful shops all within easy walking distance of each other: bowerbird & friendsGrove & Main Antiques and ReMarkable.

Open since 2007, bowerbird & friends is located in a wonderfully bright and cheery space in Depot Square.  The feel is upscale but accessible and we enjoy browsing through the spaces while watching the Nubanusit River flow past their back windows.  Each of the five dealers has a unique style ranging from farmhouse industrial to vintage 50s and 60s to Victorian.
bowerbird & friends
Also downtown and easy to find is Grove and Main Antiques which at the corner of Grove Street and Main Street :)  Although the owner has had her own store for about seven years, she only moved into her current bright and sunny space in 2016.  This is a single dealer shop that features French and other European antiques, focuses on primitives and with everything from textiles to furniture.
Grove & Main Antiques
Just down the block from Grove & Main is ReMarkable, the newest antiques shop in town.  The owners have done a fantastic job renovating the space with natural pine wood floors and light colored walls that makes you want to stay and browse.  Nearly twenty dealers and 2800 square feet of space offers everything from vintage design items to home decor, furniture and more.
Outside of the downtown area but within a two minute drive in any direction you will find a handful of other wonderful antiques and consignment shops.

North of downtown you will find Hidden Treasures of New Hampshire and Our Town Antiques.

Hidden Treasures of New Hampshire can be best described as an "adventure".  You can and will find just about anything in this 6,000 square foot, 30+ dealer shop: household items, vintage goods, toys, collectibles, artwork, glassware and much much more!
Hidden Treasures of NH
Our Town Antiques & Collectibles has been open since 2016 and is a multi-dealer shop offering a menagerie of items from collectibles to furniture and everything in between.  This is a fun shop to meander through with its dealers broken out into small rooms.  Just a heads-up, the shop is tucked into a plaza and can be missed from the road if you aren't looking for it.  Just look for the "L" shaped Brady's Plaza with the Dunkin' Donuts and you will find Our Town tucked in the corner.
Our Town Antiques & Collectibles
South of downtown you will find Twin Elm Farm Antiques and Murray's Home Again.

Twin Elm Farm Antiques is a spacious and charming 1800s farmhouse and barn.  Wander through the rooms of the main house or pop into the barn filled to the rafters with antique, vintage-style and one of a kind home furnishings and accessories.
Twin Elm Farm Antiques
Murray's Home Again is housed in a large three story home.  This thrift shop has something for everyone from little trinkets and nostalgic memorabilia to small and large furniture.  They liquidate complete estates and purchase abandoned storage lockers so ou never know what you will find!
Murray's Home Again
West of downtown you will find Piggy's Fine Repurposed Goods.

Piggy's Fine Repurposed Goods is a consignment store filled with home furnishings and decorative accessories.  Don't miss the "Man Cave" with its tools and other "manly" things and a 50 foot wall of used books!

Planning your April Get-Away 22 Mar 2017, 8:48 am

April is the beginning of Spring which is like a second foliage season...instead of oranges and reds you get greens and many other colors as the flowers start to bloom.

Looking for a get-away in April?  In addition to the Arts on Screen series continuing at Peterborough Players and the live music events at Harlow's Pub, there is the Monadnock International Film Festival (MonIFF) in Keene and magic, dancing and big name folk music coming to Peterborough.

April 1st at Peterborough Players,  there will be a magic show featuring some of the most talented magicians in New England including someone who has been a TED speaker, a mentalist and a comedian.  This one is coming up soon so get it on your calendar fast!

April 1st is also the Play Ball Contra Dance.  Bring your dancing shoes for this six hour dance at the Town House right downtown.

April 9th, the Harris Center is leading a guide hike for waterfowl and waterfalls at Robb Reservoir and newly acquired conservation land.  This should be a great hike!

April 14-16: 5th Annual Monadnock International Film Festival will be held in Keene.

All month long the Monadnock Center for Culture and History has an exhibit called "Hooked!", a history of fishing in the Monadnock Region.

Check out the Little River B&B Website for our complete Events Calendar

Apple Pie for Pi Day 14 Mar 2017, 12:26 pm

Today, 3/14, is Pi Day!  It is the day when geeks around the world (myself included), and those who like a good pun, celebrate the mathematical constant Pi (the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter = 3.14159...) with actual pie.  Apple, blueberry, banana cream, pizza... the choice is yours!

So while we here in the Northeast are hunkering down in the midst of an only-one-week-from-Spring Nor'easter storm, predicted to deliver 1 to 2 feet of snow, I figured it was a good time to post my Caramel Apple Pie recipe from this past Fall.  If you follow our Facebook page, you may have seen that back in October, I entered a pie in The Old Farmers Almanac Apple Pie Baking Contest held as part of the Chamber of Commerce's Peak Into Peterborough festival... and my pie won the Professional Division!  I got some cool swag... including cookbooks, a Peterboro Basket pie basket, and a gift certificate to King Arthur Flour... but I also ended up with a recipe that makes a pretty good apple pie!

If you've seen my Cookie Tour blog postings, I rarely just pick a recipe out of a book or the internet and make it.  There is usually some "recipe development" involved... and this pie recipe was no exception.  So, as usual, I started by browsing the internet for a starting point and came across Chef John's Caramel Apple Pie posted on Allrecipes. As a sucker for anything "Caramel + Apple", I was ready to get started.  I made the recipe (mostly) as written, including Chef's John's Easy Homemade Pie Crust, and thought... "it's good, but not exactly what I was hoping for".  With regard to the crust (all butter, with some cider vinegar added), it was tender, but not really flaky. And with regard to the overall pie... one of the features of this recipe was that you poured a caramel sauce over the assembled pie (right over the lattice top crust) so that the sauce would caramelize on top of the lattice and become sort of chewy-crisp.  Unfortunately, this didn't appeal to me (or Rob, since he was the main taste-tester), but the caramel apple flavor was still the way I wanted to go.

So my modifications started... I tried an All-Butter Pie Crust recipe from the King Arthur Flour website, but it wasn't as tender or as flaky as I was hoping for.  Many recipes that had shortening in them claimed to be very flaky, but I just didn't want to go that route.  Then, I remembered reading somewhere that the vodka helped reduce gluten formation in the crust making it flakier, so I went looking for that recipe and in the process I stumbled on the Serious Eats website.  (For those of you that are baking/food geeks... you NEED to check out this site.) There, I came across the "Easy Pie Dough Recipe" by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.  The name of the recipe might be a bit misleading... it was not really all that easy to make (you need to use a food processor to make a butter-flour paste, then transfer the dough to another bowl to add the water, etc.), but the finished dough was incredibly easy to roll out and work with... and the finished pie had the flakiest, most tender crust I had ever made.

As for the filling, I made a bunch of changes... changing sugar and flavorings, adding flour to thicken the sauce, adding a little bit of orange juice to brighten the taste without making it too tart... but the most significant change was to partially cook the apples in the caramel sauce.  The reason for this is not because the apples need more time baking than the crust.  Instead, it is actually a way to keep the apples from shrinking down and turning to mush when the pie bakes.  Partially cooking the apples strengthens the pectin in the apples and allows them to soften and cook, but to still keep their shape when the finished pie is baked. (This also helps avoid getting a gap between the apples and the top pie crust that can happen, especially when making a deep dish pie.)  A few other things to note... chilling the filling before adding it to the bottom crust, brushing the bottom crust with an egg white, and baking the pie on a pre-heated baking sheet all help to make sure the bottom crust bakes up nicely and doesn't get soggy.

As for assembling the actual pie, this was my first time (ever) doing a lattice crust.  I guess I always assumed it was too hard... but it isn't.  Although I didn't take any pictures while I was making my pies, you can find great references with photos or video online.  And if you don't have any coarse sugar crystals to sprinkle on top... go out and get some!  They are the magic dust that adds just the right amount of sugary crunch to the top crust.  (They also go great on muffins and scones... and last essentially forever in the pantry.)

So here's the recipe... enjoy!

Printer-Friendly Recipe - Caramel Apple Pie

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Caramel Apple Pie
By Paula Fox, Little River Bed and Breakfast, Peterborough, NH

This recipe uses a few less-than-common techniques, but the results are worth it! The unusual pie crust recipe results in the flakiest, easiest to roll dough I have ever worked with. Pre-cooking the apples in the caramel sauce keeps the filling from shrinking down as the pie bakes. Refrigerating the filling before adding it to the crust (along with the egg white wash) helps to ensure that the bottom crust doesn't get soggy.

2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 1⁄2 sticks cold salted butter (1 1/4 cups), cut into 1/4" pats
6 Tablespoons cold water
4 to 5 large apples (about 6 cups), peeled, cored, and sliced, about 1/4" thick 
6 Tablespoons salted butter
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon orange juice
1 Tablespoon milk (or half & half, or heavy cream)
coarse granulated sugar crystals, for sprinkling

1. For the crust, place 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 Tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse once or twice to combine. Distribute butter pieces over the top of the flour mixture and pulse until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough begins to collect in soft clumps (about 25 two- second pulses, but more or less if needed - my food processor is on the small side so it generally takes around 40 pulses for the dough to clump). Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the dough clumps back around the bowl of the food processor. Distribute the remaining 1 cup flour over the dough and pulse about 5 or so times, until the dough is broken up, leaving a mixture of large and small buttery clumps. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle it with the cold water. Using a large rubber spatula, fold the dough over and press it together with the spatula to incorporate the water and bring the dough together into a cohesive ball. Divide the dough roughly in half, form each half into a disk about 4 to 5 inches in diameter, and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before rolling and continuing. If desired, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days before finishing up the pie, just let it sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before rolling.

2. For filling, melt 6 Tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add flour to melted butter and stir to make a smooth paste. Continue cooking and stirring the butter-flour mixture for an additional 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and orange juice and mix until smooth. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture comes to a boil, then turn heat down to low and add sliced apples, stirring to coat with caramel mixture. Continue simmering and stirring the apples in the caramel mixture for 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer apples and caramel mixture to a clean bowl or large baking dish and place in refrigerator to cool completely, about 1 hour.

3. To assemble the pie, preheat oven to 400F and place a large baking sheet on a lower rack to heat up. Remove pie crust dough disks from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for several minutes. Using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll one disk to fit a 9-inch pie pan with about 1-inch overhang. (I like to roll to about 14 inches, then trim the extra.) Trim any excess dough. Optional: Brush bottom and sides of crust with a beaten egg white (this helps keep the bottom crust from getting soggy). Roll the second disk into a 12-inch circle and cut 10 to 12 strips, about 3/4-inch wide.

4. Pour the chilled filling (apples with caramel sauce) into the prepared bottom pie crust. (If there seems to be too much caramel liquid in the filling and it looks like it might overflow the pie plate, it is OK to leave some of the liquid out and not transfer it all into the bottom crust.) Weave the top crust strips into a lattice pattern over top of the filling and cut off any excess dough. Brush a little water under the edges of the lattice strips to help them stick to the bottom crust. Fold and crimp the excess crust to create a nice outside edge for the pie. Brush the top crust with milk (or half & half, or heavy cream) and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

5. Bake the pie at 400F for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 350F and continue baking for another 40 to 45 minutes. Check the pie every 15 minutes or so and if the outside edges start to get too dark, cover the outside edge of the pie with foil and continue baking until the overall crust is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Note: The pie crust follows the ingredients and general technique of the recipe "Easy Pie Dough Recipe"by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt posted on the Serious Eats website. The pie filling was inspired by "Chef John's Caramel Apple Pie" from the AllRecipes website, but was reworked considerably to achieve the final result.

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This isn't the easiest recipe to make and you will get lots of pots, pans and dishes dirty in the process, but it is delicious!  Award-winning, even!  My suggestion: if you are going to the trouble of making one pie... make two!  One to eat and one to share (or save* for later)!  *I have read that with most apple pie recipes you can assemble the pie, then freeze it unbaked, then when you want it, let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bake it as usual (adding a little extra baking time if needed).  I have not tried it myself with this recipe (or with any pie recipe for that matter), but I might do so next time.

Happy Pi(e) Day!

When life gives you limes... 6 Mar 2017, 8:19 am

A guest from the West Coast recently stayed with us and brought us some lovely limes from her very own lime tree.  I know, I know... many of you are thinking... margaritas! But I have never made margaritas at home, and frankly, I like mine served with fresh chips and salsa on the side! So instead, I decided I'd try some cookies I could share with guests.

After a quick Google search, I discovered that Cook's Illustrated magazine had published a Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookie recipe in 2010.  I like chewy cookies, so this sounded like an excellent one for me to try!  Although I couldn't access the original recipe, I found it mentioned on a few blogs, including Sweet Pea's Kitchen, which is the version of the recipe I worked with.

If you aren't familiar with Cook's Illustrated, they take a very scientific approach to their recipes, trying all sorts of ingredients and techniques until they develop a recipe that they feel is the best example of whatever it is they are trying to achieve.  This recipe is pretty true to that style.  In addition to the butter and egg you would find in a traditional sugar cookie recipe, this recipe also has cream cheese, vegetable oil, and milk.  I suspect that these extra ingredients are there to enhance the chewiness of the cookie (but without the original recipe, I can only guess).  And as for technique, the butter is melted and added warm to the sugar and cream cheese... another variation from a traditional sugar cookie recipe.

Here are some pictures from the cookie-making process...

Sugar, lime zest and cream cheese.

Melted butter added.

I wasn't sure how well it would work, but the warm butter, cream cheese and sugar mixture all came together nicely.

Wet and dry ingredients mixed together making a very soft, shiny dough.

Cookies scooped, flattened slightly, and sprinkled with just a little coarse sugar.

After 12 minutes in the oven, the edges of the cookies were just barely starting to have some color, but the cookies were definitely looking done.

The end result... pretty good, definitely chewy, with subtle lime and coconut flavor.
Would I make this recipe again? Hmmm... I'm not sure. The recipe had a lot of ingredients, a lot of steps, and made a lot of dirty dishes for a cookie recipe.  On the positive side, since the butter is melted, you don't need to use a mixer to make these cookies.

I did make a small change to the recipe when forming the cookies. The original recipe calls for scooping the dough into 2 heaping tablespoon-size portions and rolling the dough in sugar before baking, making 24 very large cookies. Instead, I used my standard #50 cookie scoop (about a tablespoon), sprinkled just the tops of the cookies with a little coarse sugar, and got about 42 cookies.  I am also a stickler for the ingredients in a recipe being listed in the order in which they are used (or should be used), so here is my version...

Printer-Friendly Version

Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies
(From Cook's Illustrated, by way of Sweet Pea's Kitchen blog, with modifications by Paula.)

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, chopped fine
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces 
6 tablespoons butter, melted and still warm 
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon lime juice
coarse granulated sugar crystals, for sprinkling on cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. 
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, lime zest, and cream cheese in a large bowl. Pour the warm melted butter over the cream cheese mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the oil, egg, milk and lime juice and whisk until fully
4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix by hand until a soft, somewhat wet, dough is formed. Drop dough by tablespoonsful onto prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly with the heel of your hand. Sprinkle each cookie
with a little coarse sugar.
5. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 14 minutes or until slightly browned on edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. 


P.S.  No margaritas this time, but when I was done making the cookies, I had just enough lime juice for a Moscow Mule.  Cheers!

Planning Your March Get-Away 26 Feb 2017, 3:00 pm

March is "Maple Season"...a great reason to get to the Monadnock Region and enjoy a get-away.

Looking for a get-away in March?  In addition to the Arts on Screen series continuing at Peterborough Players and the live music events at Harlow's Pub, there is also a special appearance by Ken Sheldon (of Frost Heaves fame) and lots of sweet maple syrup.

March 24th & 25th is Maple Syrup Open House Weekend.  The Maple Sugar houses all over the state  are open for the weekend inviting and welcoming the public to learn about the maple syrup making process, a chance to taste some of the many sweet products they make and of course an opportunity to stock up on syrup for the coming year :)
Thank you for the image, you do great work!
In addition to the open houses, Stonewall Farm near Keene is hosting their annual Sap Gathering Contest where teams of horses (from around the state) compete by racing around a tree'd course gathering sap buckets and returning them to the boiling house.  It is lots of fun for the entire family!

Click here for more details.

The Waterhouse Restaurant in Peterborough, NH presents Ken Sheldon’s Round the Mountain: fine dining, music, and laughter with “NH’s answer to Garrison Keillor.” Ken Sheldon has appeared on New Hampshire Chronicle and in the pages of Yankee Magazine and New Hampshire Magazine. He is the creator of the hit variety show Frost Heaves and has traveled across New England as Yankee storyteller Fred Marple. He will be joined by David Nelson, providing musical and comical support.

Click here for more details.

Check out the Little River B&B Website for our complete Events Calendar

Planning Your February Get-Away 1 Feb 2017, 7:22 pm

Looking for a get-away in February?

As we mentioned in the January Get-Away blog posting...its still winter so you can still get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.  Check out the free guided hikes and x-country skiing the awesome Harris Center leads on the events list below).

A special for the winter...stay with us, bring your skis (downhill or x-country) and save $10 per night off our standard rate.
Rob winter hiking with friends
If music, theater and exhibitions sound good to you, Harlow's Pub has Celtic music every Tuesday, Open Mic on Wednesdays and a variety of hip artists rotating through on the weekends (see the listings below).  Peterborough Players offers its "Arts on Screen - Live in HD" series while the Folk Music Society and Bass Hall will host more great concerts.
Live music on the Harlow's Pub stage
There's also a new exhibit opening at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture.  Check out "Hooked: the History of Fishing in the Monadnock Region.

Peterborough also has a wonderful 100 seat intimate and cozy movie theater that shows first run movies.  There's just one screen so check the listing but it is a great alternative to the mega multiplexes of today!

If your preference is to just get away and do nothing.  Little River B&B offers rooms with cozy gas stove fireplaces and several common rooms for curling up with a good book.  Downtown has fabulous dining options and the pedestrian friendly shopping district is filled with unique independent shops.

Check out our Events Calendar for more details but here's a list of things going on nearby that might be of interest to you (we will continue to update the blog post as more events get announced).
  • Feb 1-4: Peterborough Players presents "Mass Appeal"
  • Feb 2: Little River B&B celebrates ten years of hosting guests 😁 and Happy Groundhog's Day!!!
  • Feb 3: Northern Stone/Sheepdip live at Harlow's Pub
  • Feb 4: Keene Snow and Ice Festival
  • Feb 4: Music - Music at Bass Hall presents Cold Chocolate - a unique sound that fuses bluegrass and folk with a dash of funk
  • Feb 4: Phileep live at Harlow's Pub
  • Feb 5: BOLSHOI Ballet in HD @ Peterborough Players presents Swan Lake
  • Feb 8-11: Peterborough Players presents "Mass Appeal"
  • Feb 11: Eric Gagne live at Harlow's Pub
  • Feb 12: Harris Center guided hike of the Eastview Rail Trail in Hancock & Harrisville
  • Feb 14: Happy Valentine's Day 😘
  • Feb 15-18: Peterborough Players presents "Steel Magnolias"
  • Feb 18: Harris Center guided x-country ski of Tenney Pond in Hancock
  • Feb 18: Music - Peterborough's Folk Music concert @ Bass Hall presents Dala - winners of the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year
  • Feb 19: National Theater in HD @ Peterborough Players presents Hangmen
  • Feb 22-25: Peterborough Players presents "Steel Magnolias"
  • Feb 24: Music - Music at Bass Hall presents Los Sugar Kings
  • Feb 25: Mardi Gras celebration with Folksoul live at Harlow's Pub
  • Feb 25: Live at The Met in HD @ Peterborough Players presents Rusalka

Monadnock... A Literary Inspiration 23 Jan 2017, 10:58 am

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of hosting some of the faculty for the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s MFA Writing for Stage andScreen program.  In this two-year, low residency graduate studies program, students, faculty and mentors come together twice a year for 10-day residencies that feature a collaborative approach.  One of the really interesting aspects of the program (especially from a non-playwriter’s perspective) is that each semester, professional actors are brought in to read the students’ works and offer feedback.

So with all of the literary creativity buzzing around the bed and breakfast this month, it just seemed fitting to write a blog on other literary artists inspired by or in the Monadnock Region.  (I’d also like to give a nod to MonadnockLiving magazine that included a feature on “Literary Monadnock” in their Fall/Winter 2016 issue.)  Among the “biggies” are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Willa Cather, Elizabeth Yates, and Thornton Wilder.

Ralph Waldo Emerson brought attention to Mount Monadnock with his 1846 poem Monadnoc.  His passion for the mountain seemed to bring many other literary leaders to visit the area for inspiration.  He is reported to have climbed the mountain several times, and there is a lookout, Emerson’s Seat, named for him on the mountain, but actual details are thin.

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