Thursday, June 9, 2011

‘Swing & Sweets’ is a Real Treat!

We can’t wait for the evening of Tuesday, June 14, to break out our dancing shoes for an evening of “Swing & Sweets,” a perfect blend of desserts and dancing to the sound of Swing North Big Band. We invite you to join us at the lovely Sugar Hill Meeting House from 7:30- 9 p.m. for a delightful evening of dancing and sweet confections.

The great music, dance and delicious desserts represent another aspect of our fabulous Fields of Lupine Festival that takes place all around the Franconia Notch region, with dozens of different events in Lincoln, Sugar Hill, Franconia, Easton, and Bethlehem. The Adair Country Inn & Restaurant is among the restaurants and inns that will present a selection of fine desserts during the evening to enhance your enjoyment of the wonderful music that the popular Swing North Big Band is providing during this “Open Rehearsal” concert.

Adair’s Chef Orlo will prepare a gorgeous Lemon Angel Food Chiffon Cake, topped with berries and homemade oreos. This light and airy dessert is one of our favorites and we can’t wait for you to try it, too!

Other desserts on the menu include a Vanilla Sponge Cake with lemon cream and chocolate mousse filling, Chocolate Ganache Cake, Chocolate Eclairs, and a Graham Cracker-Crusted Cheese Cake with fresh strawberries and cream, all compliments of the CafĂ© Lafayette Dinner Train; Strawberry Vacherin and Cocoa Nib Sliders provided by the Mountain Club on Loon; and an old favorite, Aunt Anne’s Blueberry Cake from the Franconia Heritage Museum.

Harman’s Cheese & Country Store will offer assorted cheese and crackers, as a delicious side note to all the sweets. Polly’s Pancake Parlor, Sunset Hill House, and Indian Head Resort are also contributing goodies for the evening. We won’t reveal what their chefs are concocting, but we promise it’ll be worth coming out for.

So, dust off your dancing shoes, grab your partner and join us for a wonderful evening of Swing-era music. Don’t care to dance? Come and listen and enjoy dessert while the 18-piece “Basie-style” band belts out some tunes. Their arrangements include everything from Count Basie and Glen Miller to Maynard Ferguson and Sammy Nestico.

Admission to “Swing & Sweets” is $10 per person or $18 per couple, paid at the door. Call us at Adair at (603) 444-2600 if you have any questions, or learn more about Festival events at

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meet the Author -- Bethlehem Plays a Part in Her Newest Novel

Curling up with a good book and a cup of tea is one of life’s simple and satisfying pleasures. Even better is being able to meet the author of a “really good read.” At Adair Country Inn & Restaurant, we wanted to give our Lupine Festival visitors, guests, and local residents the opportunity to meet author Lois Mathieu, who set part of her new novel in Bethlehem. She’ll be at the Inn at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, for a Tea & Book Signing, and we’d love to have you join us for refreshments and conversation.

Lois has just penned her latest book, “Debut,” the story of a mother and child whose bond is broken when the mother gives her child up for adoption. The two live much of their lives secretly yearning for each other. More than 20 years pass before they meet and come to realize how deeply they have both suffered from their irrevocable loss.

As in any good book, the plot reveals the challenges and obstacles the characters must confront: the birth mom, a New Hampshire girl bound for college, who gives up her first born, and goes on to marry and have three more children, but remains burdened by sorrow and guilt for giving up her first child; the adoptive parents who assume that unconditional love for their daughter is sufficient to keep her from opening the door to the past; and the adoptive child, who wonders about her biological heritage when her extraordinary singing voice becomes evident. The novel opens when she is preparing for her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House and is also hoping to receive a reply letter from her birth mother, after having contacted the adoption agency.

We’re intrigued that Lois chose Bethlehem as the home of the birth mother. “I chose it for two reasons,” she says. “The name evokes the feeling that something special will take place, and I wanted the birth mother character to live in a White Mountains town, in a rural community that would rub against the sophisticated lifestyle of Manhattan and Westchester County. I had a feel for the rural northern New Hampshire setting because my husband and I had hiked in the White Mountains on numerous occasions many summers ago. I was not familiar with Bethlehem, but when I discovered its remarkable history I felt that Bethlehem had chosen “Debut.”

Mathieu holds a B.A. degree from Syracuse University in New York and a Master's of English at Trinity College in Connecticut. She is also the author of the novel “Quiet but Dangerous,” and her poetry has been published in a variety of literary journals.

Join us at the Adair Country Inn & Restaurant on June 18 at 4 p.m., and enjoy a cup of tea and chat with Lois. She’ll be happy to answer your questions about the book and her writing process. It’s a great opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation with an author. Copies of her novel will be available for purchase and Lois will inscribe a personal message for you, if you’d like. For more information contact the innkeepers at (603)444-2600

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Local Food: Know your farmer, know your food

As I started to write about the Local Food Movement, I was struck by the fact that eating local food should not be a movement, but rather just be the way everyone eats. Food is grown here and eaten here — what could be simpler? It was certainly the way our grandparents and their parents ate. When and why did it become easier to have our foods shipped from hundreds — if not thousands — of miles away? However, this is where we are. Getting foods which are grown and delivered locally, while easier than in recent years, is still harder than getting foods grown from the other side of the country.

Eating local has many more benefits than eating foods produced and shipped from other parts of the country.

• Eating local keeps more money in the local economy. You are giving your money to a local farmer, who, in turn, will spend his or her money locally.
• Locally grown produce is fresher. Food sold to large supermarkets has been picked, stored, shipped and stored again for days, if not weeks. Local food purchased at a farmers market or small independent grocer has often been picked within 24 hours of your purchase.
• The freshness also increases the flavor and the health benefits of the produce. Once picked, the flavor and nutritional value start to decline. A perfect example is the tomato. Eat a local tomato picked and sold within 24 hours and compare that to a tomato purchased at a large supermarket. That tomato was probably picked green and left to “ripen” inside a cardboard box for several days while being shipped across the country. After eating a locally grown tomato you will have a hard time eating a regular supermarket tomato again.
• Eating local food also leads to more variety. A small farmer can grow small crops that would probably never sell in large supermarkets. Larger farms do not have that opportunity as they have demands for large volumes of produce which makes variety more difficult. Local farmers plant what's delicious, healthful and in local demand.
• Eating local also cuts down on pollution and leads to better air quality. Less driving to ship the product and generally less harsh farming practices make local farming greener than large-scale farms. The average supermarket potato travels over 1,000 miles from farm to market. That requires many gallons of fuel and produces many pounds of pollution. Local food reduces or eliminates the costs, both monetary and planetary, of transportation, processing, packaging, and advertising.

While one downside of eating local can be the perceived higher cost of locally grown food, that really is not the case. While the dollar price paid may generally be higher, because the food is fresher it will last longer, giving you more time to eat it instead of throwing it away. Also, because it tastes better, you will be more apt to want to eat it, instead of looking at it and not be excited about eating it. Isn’t an apple you picked yourself more enticing than one taken out of a plastic bag? Another cost saving of eating local is the health benefit. If the food you eat is healthier, you will be healthier, spending less on medicines and prescriptions. Think of it as an extra health insurance policy.

Local food combines production, processing, distribution and consumption on a small scale, which helps to sustain local economies and a strong connection between farm and table. While local may be your neighbor or a farm within day’s drive, buying local ensures that you will often be buying the food from the person who grew it.

Some ways to eat locally include:
— shop weekly at your local farmers market or farm stand
— join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and get weekly deliveries of the season's harvest
— buy from local grocers and co-ops committed to stocking local food
— support restaurants and food vendors that buy locally produced food
— visit local farmers and "u-picks"
— ask your grocer or favorite restaurant what local foods they carry

Native Tomato and Local Goat Cheese Salad

1 Large farm-ripened tomato
2-3 Tablespoons of your favorite local goat cheese
Garden fresh herbs
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice tomato into thick rounds, layer on plate.
Crumble goat cheese onto slices.
Drizzle with vinegar and oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Enjoy the fresh flavors of summer with farm fresh foods.

— Orlo Coots is Head Chef at Adair Country Inn & Restaurant. Enjoy his cooking featuring local produce, cheeses and meats Thursdays through Mondays by making a reservation at 603-444-2600. Orlo can be reached at for questions about this recipe or any other food-related questions. Remember — whether cooking for one or for a crowd, make every bite count.