Scene in Manchester: 'In-landers' can snap up fresh fish
For the past several years I have enjoyed membership in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) at Charmingfare Farm, which allowed my family to pick up fresh local vegetables and eggs every week during the summer.
The CSF, which operates under the name NH Community Seafood, works the same way. Members can by a half or full share, which entitles them to one or two pounds of locally caught fish per week for eight weeks. The best part is that the CSF has planned a new drop-off location for us "in-landers" in Manchester.
I bought a half-share, and this Thursday will be my first pick-up at Hartnett Lot next to Victory Park between 4 and 7 p.m. When the Manchester Farmer's Market opens on Thursday, June 20, I'll be able to do all my local food shopping in one place. Of course, the CSF needs enough Manchester-area members to make its delivery worthwhile, so I hope many more will join me in buying a share.
You can learn more about NH Community Seafood, the other drop-off locations, and the kind of fish you can expect at www.nhcommunityseafood.com. The regular shares include options for filleted or whole fish of some better-known species like Atlantic pollock and Gulf of Maine cod. There is also a less-expensive "Underdog Fish Share" for a more adventurous pallet inclined to try species like Dayboat Dogfish and Skate Wings.
The NH Community Seafood website says 98 percent of the fish caught in New Hampshire leaves the Seacoast. It makes me wonder where all the fish I eat actually come from.
Speaking of local, I was fortunate to enjoy some delicious local food and meet some of the state's best and brightest entrepreneurs at NH Made's Local Stars Celebration dinner at the Grappone Center last Thursday. While I usually stick to talking about the Queen City and adjacent towns in this column, I get to mention the Concord event because I had the pleasure of sitting with fellow Manchester residents David and Jan Deziel.
David is on the board of trustees for NH Made and is the president of the marketing and communications company Nebesek. Jan is a longtime nursing director at Catholic Medical Center.
NH Made is serious about promoting goods and services from the Granite State. Thursday's entire menu was from local farms, dairies, breweries and wineries. Even the soda and bottled water were local. Yum.
Enjoy lamb and other Mediterranean delicacies at next Monday's wine tasting and auction to benefit the NH Jobs for America's Graduates (NH-JAG) program at XO on Elm St. The 30-year program helps middle and high school students stay in school, graduate and pursue meaningful careers.
Bobby Stephen, a big supporter of the program, said 22 students, many from the NH-JAG program, recently received college scholarships with money raised at this and other annual events.
Tickets are $100 each, $150 for two or $300 for four. So bring a friend. Call 647-2300 for tickets or purchase online at www.nh-jag.org.
Speaking of lamb, it's the beginning of the unofficial Greek Church Fair Season in the Queen City. I've always wondered if a person had to be Greek to be a member of one of Manchester's three Greek Orthodox churches. After all, they seem to have the best parties.
Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church's Parish Council President Bob Leuchs said the city's smallest Greek church is made up of 84 families. Some members are Greek and some, like Leuchs, are not. And their priest, Father Tom Fitzgerald, has a good Irish name. No matter their backgrounds, the members are all excited to welcome the community to their annual lamb barbecue this Saturday. Leuchs was kind enough to explain how each of the city's Greek Church's hold annual festivals in honor of the name day of the saint they are named for. He said Saint Nicholas' name day is actually in December, but the church holds its festival in June so it doesn't come too close to the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church's Greekfest in August and Saint George Cathedral's Glendi in September.
While the church is small, Saint Nicholas is still expecting about 1,000 people to stop by its biggest fundraiser of the year between 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. They will enjoy "George's Famous BBQ Lamb," pastitsio, Greek meatballs, dolmathes, spanakopita, loukaniko, lamb burgers, and plenty of sweet Greek pastries. There will also be recorded Greek music, raffles and a silent auction. The largest raffle has 12, $250 prizes; the church donates 25 percent of the profits from the large raffle to local charities.
I often drive by Saint Nicholas, which is almost hidden on the extended section of Bridge Street that runs between Wellington and Candia roads. It is a pretty little church that looks well cared for by its members. I learned about its Greek festival while serving Mexican food to Leuchs and other members of the church at my waitressing job several weeks ago. The group holds regular "Fair Share" events at Shorty's to raise money for their church. They are a ton of fun to wait on and I hope to stop by Saturday's barbecue and let them wait on me for a change.
For more information on this event and other fun things to do around the city, visit www.NH365.org