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My Great American Road Trip – New Hampshire

August 28, 2020

Ah, New Hampshire. I’ve spent some time in New Hampshire. A lot of time.

It is the home to generations of my family and while I’ve never officially lived there, it’s possible that I’ve spent more time in New Hampshire over the years than I have in Brooklyn.

I went to summer camp in New Hampshire as a camper and a counselor- my beloved Waukeela Camp for Girls . My mom and my aunt went there too, as did both of my nieces. If you know any girls, you should send them there as well. It is perfect!

My father’s family spent their recreation and sometimes retirement along the state’s rocky shores (that’s my dad and stepmom in red in the back of the family reunion shot) and I make a stop every holiday season in Rye Beach to celebrate with my dad’s wonderful cousins Brenda and Frank and, when I’m very lucky their kids and grandkids.

Most of my trips to the Granite State are in the summer or the holidays. My mom’s parents built a house on Lake Winnipesaukee, the location of many of my most favorite family memories, as is North Conway, where I spent my Christmases.

My mother was even Miss Lake Winnipesaukee! For all you music fans out there – that’s John Adams’s grandfather crowning my mother.

And New Hampshire is where I learned to love to hike. Who knew that I’d go from Mount Chocorua to Mount Everest.

Anyway, all that to say, I know New Hampshire. I was golden when it comes to cooking for New Hampshire. And as predicted, I reached a new milestone cooking New Hampshire – I made myself sick.

I decided to make apple cider donuts. YUM! Donuts are not easy to make. Or maybe they are, but just not for me.

To start you have to boil down a cup and a half of apple cider to a concentrated third of a cup. While that’s happening you cream together a cup of sugar with 5 tablespoons butter. To that you add the apple cider, a half cup buttermilk, and a tablespoon of vanilla. In another bowl you mix together 3 and a half cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and one of baking soda. Then you mix the dry with the wet ingredients. Then the whole thing gets wrapped in plastic and popped into the freezer for about half an hour.

When it comes out you cut it with a donut cutter. I totally don’t have one of those, so I tried to form something that looks like a donut which you drop into hot oil. My broke apart in seconds.

After I fished the bits out, I ate them and it was awful! Greasy and not cooked through and I felt sick for 2 hours.

After I felt better I looked up alternatives to deep frying, which is a thing I will never do again. You can bake them in a donut pan, which of course, I also don’t have. But what I do have is a madeleine pan! I filled the pan and put it in the over at 350 for about 10 minutes. They puffed up with the right little bottom mound, which Top Chef tells me is key for a proper madeleine. Then, to get the right donut feel, I dipped them in a mix of sugar, cinnamon, and, to shake it up, a little cardamom.

They smelled like the apple cider donuts, and happy memories, of my childhood and when I bit into one, like all good madeleines do, they sent me down a rabbit hole of reminiscing.

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