Miss Hampton Beach 2012

Miss Hampton Beach 2012

A story I wrote for our local Patch online news site: Crowning achievement: youngest competitor wins Miss Hampton Beach. I snapped the photos too.

A 16-year-old from Haverhill, Massachusetts has been crowned the new Miss Hampton Beach. Christina DelRosso was the youngest of the 19 contestants, but her poise and cheerful self-confidence helped her win top spot in the 66th annual Miss Hampton Beach Pageant, held Sunday afternoon at the new Seashell Stage in Hampton Beach.

Beauty on the new Seashell Stage

Read the rest.

July by the numbers

6 different kinds of flowers, now blooming near the pond

1 Ronde de Nice squash from our garden that is ripe and ready to eat

2500: number of words in a feature story I wrote for the September issue of New Hampshire Magazine

64: different wines made in New Hampshire that I have tasted since I accepted the assignment on July 2

555: miles driven to and from, and between, New Hampshire wineries since July 2

25: number of years John and I have been married as of last Tuesday, July 17. We celebrated with a swim in the cold North Atlantic at Plum Island, followed by a Nautical Dinner for Two. Also, we have a very special adventure planned for later this summer.


Nautical dinner for two

Arr, matey!

Two lobsters, 1 1/2 lbs and $9 each, from Al’s Seafood, North Hampton. Just add melted butter, corn on the cob and potato salad.

One bottle of brand new Sea Hagg Silver Rum, $28, from Sea Hagg Distillery in North Hampton.

Sea Hagg Silver Rum is crafted in small batches from sugar cane molasses grown and produced in the United States. Our rum is distilled in a traditional copper alembic pot still, aged in custom toasted barrels, and bottled by hand at our distillery. This product is a full bodied clear rum ideal for sipping slightly chilled or cocktail mixing.

The first batch of 125 bottles is now available at the distillery. Mix with ginger beer and a squeeze of lime. It’s like a Dark n’ Stormy, but Silver, smoother and more deliciously thirst-quenching on a hot summer night.

Strawberry wine

WindRoc Vineyard in Newfields, today

I especially liked their strawberry wine, made with fresh strawberries from Applecrest Orchards in Hampton Falls. What a nose! And a delicious, thirst-quenching flavor. Not cloyingly sweet. Just really nice.

I’ve been visiting New Hampshire wineries. You can too. Stay tuned. First I’ve got to write the magazine article, then I’ll share a few local highlights.

July = beach

North Hampton State Beach the other morning

We have been having a stretch of fine, distinctly summery weather. We go to the edge of the sea and face our chairs to it.

The bathhouse at North Hampton has been hooked up to the sewer line, so now the toilets are working properly and not overflowing or clogging like they have done for the past few years. Next season we will have a new bathhouse as well. Huzzah!

Roses, and chicken for dinner

Bouquet from my Honey Perfume rose bush

Wanted: good home for crowing rooster. At least he waited till 5:38 a.m. this morning. He has exercised his vocal chords as early as 5:15. My daughters and my house guests have all slept through his morning serenades, somehow. But I’m afraid to ask the neighbors.

I am finding my little packets of sleep – interrupted by, say, a daughter going out at 10:30 p.m. or coming home at 2 a.m., or my husband leaving for work at 3:30 a.m., or birds ratcheting up at 4:30 a.m. – to be less than adequate for full mental alertness.

But I did have a nice technicolor dream during my little packet of sleep between 5:45 a.m. and 7:41 a.m. this morning when my rooster-awakened, early bird husband could no longer refrain from coming into the bedroom for a pair of socks or something. I had gone to Japan on a ship and was riding through the countryside on a train. Pretty red deer were on the hillsides next to the tracks, and at the station there was a strange and beautiful creature half monkey-half fox, with lush red fur and a bushy tail, sitting on a picnic table, watching us get off the train, perhaps waiting to be fed by tourists.

Yesterday at the Exeter Farmers’ Market, I bought a whole chicken, peppercorn-fennel sausage, and ground beef using my meat CSA with New Roots Farm. Also bought a few bottles of Jewell Towne wine – must give the owner a call today with a few questions for my article.

Overheard at the farmers’ market: “Are you coming to my kombucha party?”

One man was selling eggs from free-range chickens and I asked him how he kept the foxes away. “I lose 10% of my chickens.” Also, as a fox deterrent, he set up speakers and he plays classical music in his fields.

The crops for sale were beautiful and green, the flower bouquets lovely, but the most eye-catching sight was little girls dressed in colonial garb – long skirts, straw hats – walking sweetly and primly, antiquely obedient, through the market with their baskets in hand. They are attending a roleplaying camp at the American Independence Museum and will be on hand during the upcoming Independence festival in Exeter.

Bonus from my bookmarks: things that recently made me smile

snopes: Dear Rich Bastard. TRUE

Iowahawk: DNC scientists disprove existence of Roberts’ taxon

Jeremy Clarkson on: driving

The Credible Hulk

Live free and sip wine

T-shirt or die!

We went a-wine-tastin’ at Flag Hill Winery & Distillery in Lee, NH yesterday, my stepmother, my daughter, her friend and I. I had sips of Apple Cranberry, Cayuga, and Marechal Foch wines, Pommeau apple brandy, and their new White Mountain Moonshine.

Flag Hill grows all it’s own grapes, and buys local fruit for its fruit wines. We toured the vineyard and facilities, bought a few bottles, and had a late lunch at the Riverworks Tavern in Newmarket.

Fun fact: General John Stark vodka is made with 100% New Hampshire apples.

I have visited 6 NH wineries, so far, for a September magazine article I’m writing.