3.19.2006

Great Hill Maple

It should be sugaring season, but with the weird winter we've had, most all the producers are off. No matter, the sugar shacks are open and in full swing. Although the Cilley family of Newmarket lost most of their trees a few years back, they still offer breakfast in season (and for a bit in the fall) on Sundays from 7-12.

The service is friendly, the atmosphere homey and quaint, what with the wood stoves providing all the heat and the chairs salvaged from a school a while back. But what sets this place apart is how great the food is.

Real maple syrup, plentiful pitchers of it, on every table. I always start with a donut, a homemade cake one served with a side of maple cream to slather on. Also highly recommended are the french toast (plenty moist), pancakes, and the baked beans. I really love these baked beans, with their strong maple flavor. New England breakfast at its best. I get them with kielbasa.

The only thing I don't like about this place is the coffee - it's weak and church-coffee-hour-like. But this is forgivable, because the rest of the experience makes up for it. I just try to drink my coffee before I get there . . .

Great Hill Maple
Hershey Lane
Newmarket
Sundays, 7-12 until Mother's Day

3.13.2006

Rosemary cordial - damn fine.

The backstory: B & I stopped by 43 on our way to dinner to get liquored up (we weren't looking forward to that particular dinner w/ friends - they chose the place). It was a quiet Wednesday night, it was early. We sat at the bar. The bartender was in a good mood, and when we tried one of his special drinks off the menu and loved it, he offered us some other fun stuff he'd been making. Cordials, bitters, and so on. All very good, very fun. But what blew me away was the rosemary cordial. He added pear nectar, a squeeze or two of lime, and crushed juniper berries - zowie.

Fast forward a few months, we're back at 43 because I need more of that rosemary cordial. And he doesn't have any more - he's on to new things, cool things, but they just aren't the same. So I basically start whining about the lack of rosemary cordial, so he tells me how to make it:

steep a bunch of rosemary in vodka (he recommends Cold River vodka, from Maine, a real and wonderful potato vodka, though he definitely endorses using cheaper stuff for the cordials because the taste will be mutated) for a week. Stir in half as much sugar as vodka, let it steep another week. Taste it. Take the rosemary out if you like it. Drink it.

That's it.

So of course we didn't just make rosemary, we made rosemary with honey, regular rosemary, chai spices, and hot pepper - you know those little asian dried hot peppers? We also tried to make cilantro - but after the week it was funk dog so we tossed it.

The chai is amazing - we made an iced cocktail with condensed milk and black tea. I've been drinking the rosemary with pear and lime and crushed juniper berries. The hot pepper - well, the cocktail part eludes us. The cordial is very very very hot. So we're still mulling it over.

3.12.2006

drive-by news . . .Greenland, NH

Ozzy's Farmer's Market is now called Mizuna, and the Breakfast Hill Golf Club is now serving b, l, & d on Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays. I haven't had a chance yet to check out what these changes mean. Anyone?