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Day 42 - Concord, New Hampshire

Man, it is raining cats and dogs up here. I shouldn't complain though. We've been pretty fortunate awhen it comes to the weather. Just so you know, Ziggy never slept on the way up to New Hampshire from Virginia. Most of the time, I had to either tell her to get her head in from the window, or, quit singing. After a few hundred miles, I finally gave up. As we entered New Hampshire, I told Ziggy New Hampshire was the 9th state in the USA and it became a state on June 21, 1788. That's when she finally went to sleep. I should have told her we were in New Hampshire when we left Virginia. Then, I may have had some peace and quiet.

I woke her up when we got to Concord and told her where we were. Unfortunately, we have no subscribers in New Hampshire so no one met us. I took it upon myself to ask Ziggy what hat she had for New Hampshire. Isn't she adorable?

The Capital Building of New Hampshire was closed for some reason. It was really beautiful and you could see and feel the history.

When we went to the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, we learned from the guide the New Hapshire was of course one of the original 13 states. New Hampshire was named after the English county of Hampshire. New Hampshire is called the "Granite State" because of its numerous granite quarries; the nickname may also reflect the state's attachment to tradition and its history of a frugal government. There are no general sales or individual income taxes, which fits with the state motto of "Live free or die." A relatively small state, New Hampshire plays a major role every four years in the presidential election, as it holds the first primary election. New Hampshire's state bird is the purple finch and its capital is Concord. Its neighborhoods and its main street reflect almost 270 years of history.

I really wanted to go to an antique store and so Ziggy and I went to Franklins Antique Store. New Hampshire's premier antique group shop. They have 40 active dealers selling a wide array of quality antiques that include fine art, antique American and European period furniture, oriental carpets, sterling, china, country primitives, smalls, orientalia, Chinese and Korean furniture, and so much more. They are located in the Franklin Falls Historic District in a renovated 1890's brick building. Over 10,000 sq ft. of gallery space. Easily accessible from the Lakes Region, Mt Sunapee area and Concord. 1.5 hours north of Boston.

After looking around at all the old stuff and feeling very young, we were hungry so we asked one of the antique dealers what kind of food New Hampshire was famous for so he directed us to one the many Bed and Breakfasts where we had some Stuffed French Toast! Say what?

So we went down to Horse Haven Bed & Breakfast which was 18 miles from Concord. It had a sign, "Horses and Dogs Welcome!" Should I take a chance with Ziggy? I did and she was welcome too. The 1805 farmhouse is gone forever, but has been replaced by a large colonial. It still has the trademark of the original Horse Haven Bed & Breakfast. Although it was a little late in the morning, Velma Emery told us she'd be glad to fix us some Stuffed French Toast.

My recommendation? Refrigerate bread for 30 minutes or so before making the slit. Then, prep them up and wrap them up and store in the fridge til morning. Here's the recipe.

New Hampshire Stuffed French Toast
Serves 10

2 loaves French bread
1 jar fruit preserves
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
18 to 20 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tsps vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
butter flavored cooking spray
powdered sugar

Cut bread into 1-1/2 inch slices. On the bottom edge of each piece, slice a pocket, leaving a 1/2 inch border on 3 sides. Fill the pockets with 1 tsp of preserves. Slice the cream cheese into the preserve filled pockets. Combine the next 5 ingredients and mix well. I use a large rectangle baking dish to soak bread. Let each side soak 1 minute.

Place on a hot griddle that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook until brown. Serve with maple syrup or pancake syrup. Heat apple or cherry pie filling to serve over toast, depending on the preserves used. Put on plate and dust with powdered sugar.

Breakfast is good.

_______________________________

Before we left, I had to ask Velma what it meant to her to be an American.

Her reply? She said, "Look around. Close your eyes when you walk out the door and take those aromas in a fresh country scents. Ya just can't beat it and we enjoy the freedoms our ancestors fought for and won. God Bless America!"

It was important that we get to South Carolina early so we said our goodbyes and thank you's to Velma and off we went down the wet, and rainy road.

I have to tell you this before we leave today. On the way back through North Carolina, we ran across that fellow I played Texas Holdem with, Jim Watt, on Thursday last week and I had taken all his money. He was standing at the side of the road in North Carolina. He was holding a sign. Wait til you see what it read! Oh my!!

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