We picked up our rental car in Boston and headed toward John and Jean’s place, Inkwell Farm, in Epping, New Hampshire. On the way, we stopped in Aylesbury for lunch at the Barking Dog, which seemed appropriate, since we’d eaten at the Barking Crab the day before. Aylesbury was having their big firefighters fundraiser in the parking lot next to the restaurant, which consisted of a chili cook-off and a bouncy house, two things that I’d have thought would not be a particularly good combination…
That night we had warm cocktails containing this amazing liqueur called Cardama, handcrafted by our hostess Jean, followed by John’s delectable chicken dish and romano beans. And the culinary highlight was Maddie’s almond raspberry cake, which was to die for.
When I awoke Monday shortly after 6:30, I enjoyed observing the tight choreography that is the Bennett-Calaci morning routine in the kitchen. Maddie is dressed for her office job, while Muriel pirouettes around the kitchen (she’s a dancer) and blow-dries her hair while making her lunch for school (she’s also a 7th grader) and John makes coffee and Jean is warming milk for coffee and Stella is wagging her tail hoping that someone drops an edible tidbit on the floor. It’s poetry in motion.
But it warms up later in the day and is in fact beautiful outside. We drive around looking for fall color and do find some, but the highlight of New Hampshire is seeing our friends and spending time on their blueberry farm with all the chickens, the guineas, and their Rhodesian ridgeback, Stella.