Tag Archives: ice cream

Apple Picking 2019 At “Appleview Orchard”, Pittsfield, New Hampshire — October 11, 2019.

by Anura Guruge

NO post-processing whatsoever.

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Attribution WILL be enforced.

Going apple picking at our ‘local’ (about 7 miles away) ‘Appleview Orchard‘ is a much cherished, must-do annual ritual — which we have faithfully adhered to for at least the last 7-years. Maybe more. Just do a search on ‘Appleview‘ and you will see all the posts, with tons of pictures, from prior years. You will recognize the various points of interest and maybe even notice that my pictures have got slightly better — mainly because I have upgraded lenses and cameras over that time.

Last year we went early — in September. Mid-October, however, is our usual time. This year, for the first time, we did NOT go on a weekend. We have a busy October and Friday was a school holiday in Alton. While we knew that we would miss all the weekend activity, i.e., music, hayrides and apple fritters, we also knew it would be less crowded!

Well, full disclosure. This year, for the first time, we didn’t pick any apples. We bought some and I will confess, that as is my wont, I picked and ate one from a tree — but, I know that Dennis & Mary (the lovely owners) wouldn’t expect anything less from I. [Yes, I did have a long chat with Dennis but didn’t tell him I ate an apple! He knows. We ‘know’ each other.] SMILE. We are cool.

That, permanently borrowed apple, is ALL I ate! The days of me eating 36 apple fritters, 6 servings of apple crisp and a gallon of ice cream, ALAS, are long gone. But, Deanna and Teischan had their customary ice cream and I later found out that a whoopie pie was involved too. I just got in my steps and took pictures.

The farm looks GRAND. Gets better every year. Beautiful foliage.

They are having their ‘AppleFest’ this weekend. Please go. You will love it.


From 2012. WOW. They were YOUNG
and I was HUGE
(thanks to all those apple fritters and ice cream).

Related posts:
Search ‘Apples’.

by Anura Guruge


Braxton, Our Harrier’s 6th Birthday, July 20, 2019 — McDonald’s As Is The Ritual.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

Taking the dogs to the Alton McDonald’s (at the circle) for their respective birthdays, May 15 & July 20, has now been a firm tradition for at least 11-years (methinks). Started with Ulysses when we moved to Alton in 2007. It has continued with Maya and Braxton.

Braxton, being your quintessential British hunting dog, like the Queen, has an OFFICIAL birthday — July 20 (which was Deanna’s father’s birthday). But, alas, unlike the Queen he doesn’t have a real birthday. Given that he is our rescue dog nobody knows for sure when he was born. They think it was around the 3rd week in July.

This year, i.e., 2019, we added ice cream to the menu. Maya is more fond of it than Braxton. Braxton likes his customized cheeseburgers. Given how hot it was today the ice creams were good for them.

It is not the only time we take them to this McDonald’s. They get to go on a fairly regular basis. They know the routine when we get there. They each get two plain cheeseburgers and whatever buns I do not eat. No fries. They are happy.

It is fun. Teischan enjoys it as much as the dogs and, of course, she gets food and ice cream too. So, she does better than the dogs. She is the one that keeps track of these birthdays.

So, both their birthdays in 2019 are done.

Click image to access post and pictures.

Click image to access post and pictures.

Last year’s birthday.

Related posts:
Search ‘Braxton’ & ‘Maya’.

by Anura Guruge

My One Remaining Food VICE — Mediterranean Spinach Swirls (A Variant Of ‘Spanakopita’).

by Anura Guruge

Alas, my supposed restraint when it comes to food still has its limits. I can’t, however hard I try, stop eating these $3 Mediterranean Spinach Swirls from Market Basket. HELP.

It really is killing me — slowly but surely.

Who would have thought that this would end up as my one remaining VICE when it came to food.

Yes, I confess, that maybe once a month, if she grudgingly lets me, I will eat 4 – 5 teaspoons of Teischan’s leftover ice cream (with any chocolate sauce that is lurking around) at a restaurant.

That is it in terms of sweets for the last 6 years (i.e., since January 22, 2013). No cake, no pies, no chocolates, no muffins, no donuts, no ice cream, no cheesecake, no cookies … And I love chocolates, pecan pie, apple pie and ice cream.

I stopped eating nuts 10-weeks ago. And I LOVE nuts.

I drastically cut back on cheese 10-weeks ago. I could live on cheese. I now have a bit every few days.

I dramatically cut back on food 10-weeks ago. I have lost xx pounds in the last 10-weeks. SMILE. Not telling you how much. I am moderately pleased. IF I can lose another 10 pounds I would be orgasmic.

So, during the last 10-weeks these spinach swirls have been my ONLY WEAKNESS! Honest.

Who would have thought. SPINACH — BAD FOR YOU.

Over the last decade I have really acquired a taste for spinach. I eat a LOT of spinach — in multiple forms.

Spinach is said to be good for you.

But, these $3 spinach swirls I eat are killing me. I would be better eating chocolate donuts.

Even the guy at Market Basket, who makes them, told me that they are BAD for ME! 500 calories each.

I have CUT BACK — over the last 10-weeks.

I used to eat 3 every 10-days or so. Sometimes 2 a day. It was KILLING I.

Then 10-weeks ago, I went nearly a month without eating even one. It killed me.

Then I started cheating. One every few weeks.

I had one TODAY — which I bought yesterday.

It is killing.

I am SO ashamed!

This is bad.

I wish I had more control over my diet.


Oh … what happened 10-weeks ago.

That was when I had my knee surgery and discovered my blood sugar had SHOT UP to 103! 103! Damn.

Not good. I am

Related Posts:
Search ‘diet‘.

by Anura Guruge

Braxton, Our Harrier’s 5th Birthday, July 20, 2018 — McDonald’s As Is The Tradition.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

Taking the dogs to the Alton McDonald’s (at the circle) for their birthdays has now been a firm tradition for close to ten years. Started with Ulysses when we moved to Alton in 2007. It has continued with Maya and Braxton. Maya’s 7th birthday was on May 15, 2018, and we took them both to McDonald’s.

It is not the only time we take them to this McDonald’s. They get to go on a fairly regular basis. They know the routine when we get there. They each get two plain cheeseburgers and whatever buns I do not eat. No fries. They are happy.

It is fun. Teischan enjoys it as much as the dogs and, of course, she gets food and ice cream too. So, she does better than the dogs. She is the one that keeps track of these birthdays.

So, both their birthdays in 2018 is done.

Last year’s birthday.

Related posts:
Search ‘Braxton’ & ‘Maya’.

by Anura Guruge

“Buza Dairy Bar”, Concord, New Hampshire — THE Place For Upscale Italian Gelato & Ice Cream.

by Anura Guruge

Full Disclosure: We are friends with one of the co-owners. SMILE.

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

This is the ‘desserts’ arm of “Vibes Gourmet Burgers” that I raved about yesterday. They are next door to each other — and attached. Though I am very sure that this was never a consideration it is a very Kosher-arrangement, keeping the meat and dairy separate.

Very neat. Again as with ‘Vibes’ very airy, modern and pleasing to all your senses. Whereas ‘Vibes’ stresses red (in keeping with the burger theme), ‘Buza’ is mainly white (to go along with the dairy theme). Very cute lights.

While I could vouch for the burgers, I, alas, cannot do so for the gelato or ice cream, though Teischan, an experienced, very fussy aficionado, assures me that the ice cream she had was good. I haven’t eaten any ice cream in 3.5 years! 

25 S. Main Street
Concord, NH 03301

(603) 856-8671

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Check Category ‘restaurants’ >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Shalimar India, Portsmouth, N.H.: Tasty, Authentic Indian Food, Great Ambience & Decent Prices.

P1090172Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related Posts:
++++ Check Categories ‘restaurants’ & ‘reviews’ >>>>


Click to access their eye-catching and rather slick Website.


I am no stranger to the Shalimar. They have been in Portsmouth for 21 years and I have been going there, always eagerly, for at least 15 years — though, alas and alack, not as often as I would like, since we really don’t get down to Portsmouth that often.

We, however, did go to the newly redecorated, “Best of NH” 2009 to 2013, Shalimar, at 80 Hanover St., Portsmouth yesterday evening — that being Boxing Day.

bestofnhlogoIt was a cold, wet, snowy and dreary December night, and as you opened the door to the Shalimar you were greeted, warmly, by a gently waft of curry in the air. You, knew at once, that you were going to be nice and cozy inside; a temporary oasis away from the Winter.

They have redecorated the Shalimar, with great care and panache, over the Summer. Deanna noticed it at once. I have always liked the layout. It is very airy and the large picture window at the front ensures that feels open. You have privacy in the booths but the way they are laid out makes sure that you still get to see the comings and goings in the rest of the restaurants. The Mughal pillar silhouettes very cleverly painted on the walls definitely makes you feel like you are in an historic Mughal Palace in the Punjab (where the restaurant owner and cook, Mr. Harbhajan Singh comes from). Bravo. Nice touch. They also, for a change, have an impressive and informative Website. To me such touches indicate that they are thinking about the business and want to excel. That they have received the “Best of NH” for five years kind of confirms that.

This was the first time I had been to an Indian restaurant since I started my low-carb diet in January. So, I had to be careful as to what I ordered, plus, Devanee, the other Indian food aficionado in the family, was not with us. So in reality we didn’t order anything like the range and volume of food we had in the past.

I know that most folks in New Hampshire shy away from Indian restaurants because they are not sure about how and what to order. The Shalimar (where the name, befitting the new decorations on the walls, denotes a Mughal garden), to their credit, tries to make it easy for those that are still trying to unlock the mysterious delights of a full repertoire Indian menu — like the one they offer. They have vegetarian and non-vegetarian appetizer (sampler) platters and and combo ‘special dinners’ for 1, 2 or 4. That is good. They also have a lunchtime buffet — where you can sample a lot of different dishes.

We ordered the non-vegetarian  appetizer platter and 4 Samosas, two vegetarian (for Deanna and Teischan) and two with minced lamb for me. The Samosas, as I knew they would be, were first class. The minced lamb with a couple of peas were outstanding. The platter, overall, was good and well worth the $10.95. Teischan gobbled up all the chicken in record time.

I ordered my de rigeur Lamb Korma. I can and will eat extremely hot curry but I don’t feel the need to eat as such when I go to a restaurant like the Shalimar. Hot curries are easy to make and I can, with paste that I buy, make a curry, at home, that exfoliates 4 layers of cells from my intestines. When I go to a class joint like the Shalimar I want the subtle, delicate Indian treats that I can’t make at home. Hence the Korma. A Korma, when cooked well, with its spices and nuts, makes you feel like an Mughal emperor. The Shalimar did not disappoint. It was the first time in my life I had eaten a Lamb Korma sans carbs — Biryani and a stuffed, typically an Aloo, Paratha (potato stuffed, fried bread). But, eating it on its own was good. Just the taste of the Korma. I enjoyed it.

I did order an Aloo Paratha for Deanna (who likes them too) and a Saag Paneer — spinach with cubed, cooked cheese. It was good.

I did not have my customary Kulfi — Indian ice cream with almonds. I did, however, given my need for daily yogurt, have a Lasi — a yogurt shake. It was refreshing.

I had a glass, of course, of Pinot Noir and some coffee.

It was a great meal. We were there for about 80 minutes. Despite the lousy weather outside there was a respectable crowd at the Shalimar. Since we were about the last to leave we got a chance to have a long chat with the owner’s middle daughter, Kulbir Kaur, a recent graduate from UNH. She was very nice and told us a lot about their family and business. We were impressed.

Not much that I can say that will bolster the accolades they already have, but I give this Indian restaurant my unstinted praise. I will be going there again, as soon as I can (diet permitting).

I Bought A Painting At ‘Laconia Multicultural Day’ + My Favorite Booth In 2013.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> 2013 Multicultural Day: Impressions — Aug. 4, 2013.
>> Shame on Belknap Mill … — Aug. 3, 2013.
>> Laconia Multicultural Day, 2013 … — July 12, 2013.
>> Laconia Multicultural Day, 2013: Program — July 30, 2013.
For all the posts related to 2012 ‘Laconia Multicultural Day’:
++++ Search on ‘multicultural‘ using sidebar search (at top) >>>>

Saad & Hassan Hindal

Art from Memory

Iraqi Artists now living in Concord, NH.

Click to ENLARGE.

Father and son, Saad and Al (17) at their tent. The painting on the easel, with the school bus, painted by Al. I like that one TOO.

Father and son, Saad and Al (17) at their tent. The painting on the easel, with the school bus, painted by Hassan. I like that one TOO.

The painting I bought, or at least got. Haven't paid for it yet, though it now hangs right by our front door.

The painting I bought, or at least got. Haven’t paid for it yet, though it now hangs right by our front door.



THE picture, to the left, as it was hanging in the booth.

They were there last year too. I had seen their paintings and had liked them.

I, of course, stopped again this year, as soon as we got to the Mill. I spoke to the son, Hassan, and told him how much I liked the paintings.

Later on in the day, around noon, I went back to take a picture of the father and son. That was the picture at the top. The father was seated.

I told Hassan to tell his father how much I liked all the paintings, but the nude in particular and how I would buy it if I had the money.

Hassan translated. The dad told him something back, and both their faces lit up in smiles.

He tells me that his Dad has said: ‘Take it. Pay when you have the money‘!

I was shocked. They didn’t know me from Adam. That was an amazing gesture. There was no time period mentioned. Just unconditional goodwill.

With close to 38 years of marriage experience under my belt, I am savvy enough to know that you don’t buy a painting, especially a nude, without at least mentioning it to the wife. So, I explained that and we left. Devanee was with me and she was amazed.

When we told Deanna, we discovered that she too had seen the pictures and had liked that nude. Bingo. She too was amazed at this amazingly generous and brave gesture. She wanted me to get it.

So I went back and told them that I would come back at 4 pm, when the activities concluded. I wanted them to have it on display as long as they could. I think they were kind of surprised.

Just after 4 we all went to pick it up. Saad, in conjunction with Hassan, explained to us what the symbols meant. Some of them, like the cats and the 2nd from top symbol on the thigh denote good luck. Her lips are sealed about her prior life — but she is not a ‘virgin’. She is dreaming of another man. The fish skeleton and the whole fish indicate before-and-after.

It is vividly bright, very evocative, strangely compelling picture. We all love it.

I plan to pay for it at the end of this month. To be fair, it is not much — and many would find it amusing that I actually don’t even have that much in liquid cash. It is the first ‘original’ I have bought in decades!

We are truly honored that Saad trusted us and of course, we will not let him down.

Moreover, he now has a AVID supporter for life. Of course I am going to promote their work.

Not only do we like their art, we think they are remarkable people.

They have been living in Concord for 3 years. Hassan goes to highschool there. Saad has three other children, another son and two daughters.

We plan to visit their inhome gallery and do a longer interview. Also take some more pictures.

So stay tuned.

IF you are interested in their work, in particular their paintings, contact me (see sidebar) and I will put you in touch with them.


Their trust and generosity reminded me of an incident from 44 years ago, i.e., 1969, which also involved a person from the Middle East. I had just started at ‘Mill Hill’, the private school in London I was consigned to when I turned 16. There was a fair number of foreigners at ‘Mill Hill’. Most of us, who were new at the school and were foreigners had a fairly torrid time from the locals. But we weathered it. We were allowed to walk down to Mill Hill village three or four times a week. I was at the village and was buying an ice cream when I saw one of the other foreigners. He was older than me and bigger. He didn’t speak very good English at the time and I knew that he wasn’t too happy. On a whim I asked him if he would like an ice cream. He, of course, wanted one. So I got him one and handed it to him. It was just a cone. When he took it from me, I could see tears in his eyes. I asked him what was bothering him. He replies: ‘I have been in this country four months now, and this is the first thing somebody bought for me‘.  Wow. I really didn’t know how to react. But, I can still remember that incident. Well yesterday, the shoe was on the other foot. I felt like the young man receiving the ice cream.

BIG Thumbs Up For Friendly’s On Loudon Road, Concord, NH. Always A Fun Place.


Anura Guruge

7thbirthdayinvite Related post:
>> ‘Krazy Kids’,
>>Concord … —
>>March 24, 2013.

So, after ‘Krazy Kids‘ it was, per what was promised on the invitation, off to “Friendly’s” on Loudon Road, Concord, NH.

We started going to Friendly’s, mainly the one on Loudon Road, around Christmas 2011. Deanna is not a great fan of buffetsfriendleysso the ‘Red Apple’, which had been the perennial choice prior to that, was falling out of favor. The two kids will live on ice cream so Friendly’s with their reasonably priced menu options for kids seemed the obvious choice — especially since we invariably go up and down Loudon Road whenever we are in Concord — which is quite often.

Friendly’s hooked me in, in the nicest possible way, with the gift card promotions they were having at the time. You could get a $25 gift card for $20 — and I think they had a few other promotions. But I ended up with a bunch of discounted gift cards — and I would buy another each time I used one, provided it was $20 for a $25. If I had gift cards we would obviously go there so that I could use them. Very clever.

We like the menu. You can actually get some healthy choices.

The folks are always very nice. It is always a fun, uplifting, cheery place. I like that.

Teischan did not want an ice cream cake! Yes, she can be strange like that. Instead she wanted a chocolate cake baked by Deanna.

Deanna called up to find out whether it would be an issue if we brought our own cake. They said ‘No’. I was impressed.

Of the two kids that came to ‘Krazy Kids’ one got picked up at there, by her father, as she was going to Boston for the night.

So we were down to one guest.

Friendly’s was very welcoming. No problem with the cake. They even offered plates through Deanna had brought her own.

They did the Friendly’s Birthday Chant — which was very good. They provided balloons.

I had a salad. Everybody else had ice cream and cake.

It was very reasonable. I was happy.

Thank you. Nice job. We will be back soon.

Click to ENLARGE.


Click to ENLARGE.

We Went Apple Picking At ‘AppleView Orchard’ Pittsfield, NH — Colombus Day Monday, October 8, 2012.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

  by Anura Guruge

Click picture to have it ENLARGED to FULL SIZE.

Dennis Straight, Co-Owner of ‘AppleView’, a full-time pharmacist in Vermont and all around nice guy. He is there most weekends. Seek him out and talk to him. Lots of information. Lots of fun.

Prior post:
Apple Picking At ‘AppleView Orchard’ Pittsfield, NH – The Best Apple Fritters In The Universe! — Sept. 28, 2012.
Related post:
1977 MGB (BMC) In Pittsfield, NH — Oct. 8, 2012.

Appleview Orchard Website.

It was a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours on a very typical Colombus Day Monday. Temperature in the low 60s was just right. It was cloudy, but not gloomy. Though we had lots of rain last night the ground was quite firm, so not mud to contend with. That is always a bonus.

The apples are getting picked, though there is a lot on the ground. I know that that gets picked up and used, but it distresses me. The apples, in general, were good.

The fritters, when hot, are divine. Make sure they are hot. If they are not, insist that you want freshly fried ones. They can palm off the cold ones to those that don’t read this blog.

We had, has we invariably do, bought 1/2 peck of apples at the Sandwich Fair (on Saturday). This year, the ‘Apple Tent’ (or at least the only one we know off, which is by the ‘Craft Buidling’), only had Jonamac apples: a cross between a Jonathan and McIntosh. The ‘kid’ who was selling them said they were combined the taste and sweetness of the McIntosh with the crispness of the Johnathan. Boy, was he right! So, I wanted more.

AppleView didn’t have any Jonamac but they had ‘Empire‘, a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious. I tried one. They were good. They only had 6 Empire trees available for picking and there wasn’t much left. But, we managed to pick enough.

We bought 3 big bags of apples, 2 medium size pumpkins, a very small apple pie, a small ice cream and 12 apple fritters. Came to about $52. That is OK — I think. It was fun. The folks, especially Dennis, his wife (who works for UNH) and the Farm Manager (who always get the plumb job of driving a hay ride), are delightful. We had a good time. Teischan did her ‘I want to be difficult for the sake of being difficult’ act and got sent to the car sans ice cream. But, that is Teischan.

About Apple View Orchard
(per Dennis Straight)

Owners: Dennis (pharmacist) and Mary (UNH) Straight, who have owned it for the last 5 years. Prior to the 1980s it was a potato field.

Size: Main farm is 12 acres and they just got an additional 10 acres one mile up the road. So, 22 acres in total. In the 12 acre main farm they have 3,000 apple trees in 20 different varieties, some of them new ‘exotics’ they are experimenting with over the last couple of years.

They are growing other fruit trees, peaches, pears and cherries in the new 10 acres. They also have 3,000 strawberry plants.

Hannaford and Shaw’s supermarkets sell their apples.

Apple Picking At ‘AppleView Orchard’ Pittsfield, NH – The Best Apple Fritters In The Universe!

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

  by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE. This was last year at AppleView Orchard.

Click to ENLARGE. Apple fritters with ice cream on the porch. Seating can get a bit tight.

Click image to access the Appleview Orchard Website.

Going apple picking is now yet another of our annual rituals, though we only started doing this ‘without fail’ in fall after we moved to Alton in 2007. Prior to that we had gone once to the big, very famous farm in Loudon, with views all the way to Boston, whose name I can no longer recall; Google tells me that there are 3 farms in Loudon, but since there is no mention of the views all the way to Bean Town I cannot work out which one we actually went to. They were OK.

Deanna found AppleView. It is very close to us, which makes it even better. In 2007 we actually had the chance to buy the house next to it, but I refused to get out of the car and take a look at it, when a Realtor drove us to it, because it was $30K more than my set price at the time. As it happened, a few days later we bought this house for $40K above my original set price. So every time we go to the orchard and take the free hay ride, we go past that house and I wonder whether I did the right thing.

The Fritters at AppleView are divine. There is no other word for it. I could eat them till I explode, so I set myself a budget. When I have spent that on fritters, usually in three batches — once as soon as we get there and then twice at the end — I stop. If nothing else go there for the fritters, but they only have them on weekends. They are fine without the ice cream, but the ice cream definitely rounds it out.

Nice people. Nice farm. Decent apples. Decent pricing. Compelling store. Compelling views. Free hay rides with an entertaining and educational commentary by the Orchard Manager.

I met and had a long chat with the owner two years ago. He is a pharmacist who owns a pharmacy in Vermont. The apples are an (expensive) hobby. But, per his estimates they are planning to turn a profit soon.

We recommend AppleView, and if you somehow missed it — we think the apple fritters are out of this world.

P.S., They also have some good cheeses.