Finding Food at Findeisen’s

IMG_2198Findeisen’s Ice Cream can be found in both Salem, NH and Hudson, NH, based on my research. I haven’t ever been to the Salem location, but I am happy to report that Findeisen’s in Hudson is a reliable stop for a tasty homemade treat. They were one of the first ice cream places to open in southern New Hampshire this season, and on a day when I had time to kill in the Londonderry area, I made a stop.

The first thing I noticed, after the nonchalant strip mall exterior, was how super the service was! I was allowed to get multiple flavors in “one scoop”, their smallest listed size, and without my even asking, they layered the two flavors for me! I’ve actually never encountered that in a hard ice cream order and I really appreciated the effort. They take Square, so I didn’t have a way to tip on my card, but I made a point of digging out some cash in my car and returning with a good tip before I left.

IMG_2200Findeisen’s is more than meets the eye. For instance, they have some indoor seating – you definitely wouldn’t expect that when you pull up. They also have lots of picnic tables and a little space for kids to be active. So even though it’s tucked into an industrial corner of Hudson right on Route 102, don’t discount it. It’s also a really convenient place to stop as long as you keep an eye out for it within the strip mall.

I decided to choose Coffee and Oreo for my two flavors. My “one scoop” of ice cream cost about $3.80, which seemed standard and the portions might have even been generous for the price. A good deal and comparable to others in the area.

IMG_2201Coffee – This was a fairly subtle coffee flavor. I wished it was more prominent. The ice cream had a very nice mouth feel, but I wanted a little more coffee to balance everything else out in the ice cream. I loved how smooth it was.

Oreo – Classic Oreo ice cream stand taste. It had a tasty base, not the richest but a nice creamy texture, and the chunks of Oreo cookie were fabulous. A very solid Oreo ice cream.

That’s it for this week. Those of you following me on Facebook or Twitter are likely getting extra glimpses of what I’ve been up to. Last weekend, my husband and I went on an ice cream adventure on the Seacoast, getting ice cream three times before the day was over! So you can look forward to a series of blog posts based on our adventures there. I also owe you a post on ice cream making and on the delightful flight of ice cream I had at Jordan’s.

Thanks to everyone who has shared my blog posts for helping to get the word out about us. I really appreciate it.

More and more ice cream stands are opening for the season. I have plans to try one out tomorrow. Have a great weekend, and I hope it involves some ice cream!

p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link!

 

Finding Part of Your World – in Bristol, NH

Last weekend, I was in the band for a local production of The Little Mermaid in Bristol, New Hampshire. The location is out of the way for me – almost an hour from home, and much further north than my usual southern New Hampshire ice cream haunts. So it went without saying that it was important for me to get at least one ice cream visit in while I was in a new area.

My investigations brought up two places carrying local ice cream, which seemed pretty great for this relatively small town with a significant vacation community. Both Newfound Creamery and Mill Fudge Factory sounded promising.

IMG_2257Mill Fudge Factory has actually been on my radar for more than a year, but for whatever reason, it’s never happened. Actually, I know at least part of the reason. They don’t keep typical hours. Their “winter” schedule, which is current, has them open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday (with an open mic night!) and from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday. That’s it! So if I wanted to get there, Friday it had to be. Their savory lunch options are well-reviewed too, but I went just for the ice cream.

IMG_2253I headed there before the show, having a very small meal on my way. The location is absolutely gorgeous, in a cute downtown with a mill, right on the river. The building is quaint and they have a fantastic covered porch which I imagine gets used for live music in the summer months? It would be a great place to hang out, and I bet with the wind off the river the bugs aren’t too bad either.

IMG_2259In addition to their fantastic (24 flavors) selection of fudge, they carry about a half dozen flavors of ice cream. You can also “swirl-in” flavors, choosing from fruit, candy and pie flavors. I will definitely have to return and try a pie mix-in. How cool is that?

They generously allowed me to order the smallest size (kiddie), with is only $3.10, and still fit two different flavors in the cup. Since I had already had a light dinner, it was plenty, but my normal portion would be a small. This is most definitely super-premium ice cream, it feels very indulgent, creamy and rich. I went with chocolate and “vanilla fudge surprise” for my two flavors.

IMG_2261Vanilla Fudge Surprise – First of all, this is one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard. Since Mill Fudge is primarily a fudge factory (they ship all over the country, and they offer a subscription service – such a cool gift), for this flavor, they take vanilla as the base and add whatever mystery fudge flavors they want from the 24 they carry. So with every bite, you get a surprise flavor of fudge! Their fudge is really delightful. No graininess which can be so common in fudge. The vanilla was very nice, but somehow it wasn’t my favorite – something about the flavor just wasn’t what I was hoping for. But the fudge was so good! It’s a perfect way to sample the flavors, and if you can’t make up your mind on a type of fudge or want both fudge and ice cream, this is how to have it both ways.

Chocolate – I don’t often go with chocolate, but it’s a classic for a reason, of course. Here it really packs a punch! Super good. Not too sugary and no sign of a fakeness or the kind of sourness that a cheaper chocolate can have. It’s really more like a fudge flavor in its intensity. Highly recommend.

While I was out, I couldn’t resist picking up some maple whiskey fudge for my husband. The tiny piece I sampled was as delightful as it sounds. I really dug the atmosphere at Mill Fudge Factory. I imagine it can get kind of crowded during prime time (not a lot of seating), but I really recommend a visit while you’re in town or even a detour if you’re craving ice cream. And of course if you love fudge, it’s a perfect stop.

Oh, and if you’re wondering – I did try to visit Newfound Creamery. Turns out they closed last year, and although the local Irish pub, Kathleen’s Cottage, bought out their ice cream supply, it’s long gone. I did snag a bite of their “sticky toffee pudding” though. It’s absolutely GIGANTIC, a meal in itself, and out of this world! So long, Newfound Creamery.

Thanks so much for reading. I have been busy visiting lots of ice cream places & collecting information on how ice cream is made too. (Thanks, Amanda!) Since I have a jam-packed summer, I have to stock up now to make sure I have plenty of reviews to share with you. 🙂 Here’s wishing you a delicious ice cream treat in the near future!

p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link!

Free Cone Day Is What You Make Of It

This past Tuesday was Free Cone Day, at least according to Ben & Jerry’s. I’ve only attended Free Cone Day a few times – maybe 3 times? Mostly because a) Ben & Jerry’s is usually downtown and/or out of my way (Meredith & Manchester, NH are the two I’ve participated in) and because b) as much as I enjoy Ben & Jerry’s, it’s more expensive and not super local when compared to my usual haunts, so I tend to gravitate towards the local ice cream places instead. I do love their work toward free trade & organic (and now a vegan flavor) though, so I have to applaud them for that.

In any case, Meredith is more than an hour away for me, which definitely wouldn’t justify a trip…except that I had to go to a rehearsal 20 minutes away on Tuesday. So I had a visit penciled in, obviously. Free Cone Day is fun. You usually have to stand in line for a long time, but it gives you plenty of time to choose your flavor. They usually let you get an extra scoop if you donate a buck to charity too.

Unfortunately, my plans were derailed. The day prior, my husband and I realized that he needed some library books – and because we live in a tiny town aka village, the library wouldn’t be open when he was free. So despite my best efforts to arrive promptly when the library opened at 2 p.m., by the time I’d found and checked out books, I knew that Ben & Jerry’s just wouldn’t fit into my schedule before rehearsal.

Saddened, I began the trip south. But about halfway, I had a realization…if I didn’t have to go out of my way, I would be getting to rehearsal VERY early. Which meant I had time for ice cream! It wouldn’t be Ben & Jerry’s, and it wouldn’t be free, but at least I could fulfill my ice cream craving!

IMG_2221So rather than drive non-stop, I pulled off the highway at M & M Scoops in Plymouth. They’re right downtown, perfect for Plymouth State University students, and they have an old-fashioned ice cream counter that serves soups & basic lunch food as well as Blake’s ice cream. Prices are reasonable ($3.60 for a scoop that is really 2 scoops) and Blake’s is delicious. I have never managed to try anything but ice cream though – let me know if you have!

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I went with an old favorite – Graham Central Station. It’s a guaranteed Jamie-pleaser. Graham cracker ice cream, with “a graham cracker variegate and chocolate covered crisp candy”. It’s delightful. Very smooth and creamy (one of the smoothest textures I’ve found in NH), never icy, rich and awesome. And it was a gorgeous afternoon for ice cream.

IMG_2212So, I celebrated Free Cone Day by paying for ice cream. But you know what? I really lucked out, because at least for me, it was Free Parking Day in Plymouth! Someone left me 90 minutes on the meter. Pretty great!

I haven’t been able to blog about all of my recent ice cream adventures, so you can look forward to more soon. I love having a back catalogue of ice cream awesomeness.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful week!

p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link!

 

Opening Day at the Right Place for a Scoop

Happy April, ice cream fans! Careful readers may have noticed that I’ve mentioned Just the Wright Place for Ice Cream in Stratham a few times since this blog began. The reason, of course, is that it’s been my favorite New Hampshire ice cream AND frozen yogurt place for many years. I used to work in Exeter, NH, part-time, and that put me close enough to this gem to visit as much as 2 (or even 3) times per week during their season. So for many years, I’ve made a point to get frozen yogurt (or occasionally ice cream) at the Wright Place, as it just didn’t feel like summer without it. Even if it meant driving an hour each way!

IMG_2163When they announced they’d be opening this past Saturday, and it was already a day that I had free and was planning to be in southern NH, I knew it was the perfect excuse for a visit. Unfortunately, the weather was not “ice cream weather”. It was very rainy and cold, at least by the time I arrived around 1 p.m. But of course it meant that I didn’t have to brave any lines or deal with crazy children, so there was a definite plus to the weather too!

If you’ve gotten ice cream near or on the Seacoast, you know it can get very expensive. (It’s particularly expensive because the portions tend to be HUGE out this way…when an ice cream place is openly advertising 1/2 scoops and even 1/4 scoops at some place, you know something is a little off…) I’m happy to report that ice cream is actually very affordable at the Wright Place. Prices went up a tad this year, so that “one scoop” is $3.80. But as you might be able to tell from the picture, one scoop here is at least 2 or 3 scoops…I’ve made the switch down to 1 from 2 and have never regretted it, so unless you regularly consume gargantuan portions, I’d recommend one scoop. (And yes, they’ll give you a half scoop if you ask.) Two words of warning – they only take check or cash, so hit the ATM before you come, and make sure you’ve used the restroom as well as there isn’t a public restroom here.

Since I knew all of my readers would want a report on their ice cream (and since I was solo for this trip), I started by trying Sweet Almond Cream ice cream. It’s absolutely delicious. Smooth, a richer buttery flavor with almond chunks. I highly recommend it! I of course would have been happy to try every flavor (they’ve never failed me, except for one time when my “cookies” enhanced frozen yogurt had no cookies!) but I knew you’d forgive me for considering my waistline as well as my appetite for ice cream.

IMG_2170One of my friends has recently informed me that the Wright Place makes the best ice cream sodas in the state, according to her wife. If I’d had a partner in crime that day, we would have tried one, but as a solo adventurer I didn’t think I could handle a whole ice cream soda last weekend, so that will have to be saved for a future trip. It comes highly recommended though if you’re into ice cream sodas! They also have some wonderful sundaes & other fun treats.

My favorite things to order at the Wright Place are frozen yogurt. Their hard serve frozen yogurt is extremely good. Except for an occasional feeling that the texture isn’t quite as creamy as ice cream (and trust me, it’s only occasional), I absolutely love them. They use high-quality ingredients, from fruits to cookies and chocolate, and they don’t skimp just because it’s frozen yogurt. Is this stuff as healthy as a low-fat frozen yogurt from your local supermarket? I can’t imagine it is. But you’re not going to the ice cream stand for your health, you’re going for deliciousness, so I can’t recommend it more! I’m particularly partial to the flavors with cookies in them (oreos, cookie dough, oatmeal cookie, etc.) because they tend to be loaded with cookies on top of a nice base. I never eat this stuff and think “oh yeah, this is just frozen yogurt”. It’s way better than that.

The most unique thing that I can get at the Wright Place, by far, is their fat-free frozen yogurt soft serve. Would I get it if it weren’t fat-free? Obviously. The fact that it is? Just icing on this incredible cake. If you typically enjoy “twisting” two flavors, like vanilla and chocolate, be sure to ask them to layer two flavors of your choice here. They do an awesome job with it and it’s a great way to try two flavors in one scoop of ice cream.

IMG_2166For opening day, they had a bunch of my favorites available, including vanilla, chocolate, black raspberry and mudslide soft serve yogurts. I went with mudslide and chocolate, layered. I love this combination so much. Mudslide – it has such a super strong prominent flavor. So smooth and a really intense frozen experience. Chocolate – this is a sweeter, darker flavor than you might get elsewhere. The intensity is lovely and you better have a sweet tooth if you order this! It doesn’t taste like high milk fat would, of course, but there’s still a richness to it. Both flavors together are super smooth and creamy, if a tad more watery than ice cream due to the lack of fat. And this combination will for sure remind you of your favorite rich creamy adult drink.

IMG_2172Because I live so far from the Wright Place (if I drive straight through, it’s actually about a two hour drive for me), I try to stock up when I do visit. In fact, last year, my husband’s parents picked up some frozen yogurt for me as my birthday gift! So thoughtful, right? I asked what they had pre-packed out back. (They can also hand-pack, but as a former ice cream scooper in high school, I remember how painful that is!) For frozen yogurts, they had black raspberry chip and coffee cookies and cream available….they also had chocolate chip, but I went with the first two because I knew I liked them and they’d fit easily in my cooler.

I haven’t tried coffee cookies and cream yet this year, but I’ve been indulging in the black raspberry chip yogurt regularly. Fluffy lighter texture full of fruit flavor. It’s creamy but not too rich – reminiscent of raspberries with milk. It reminds you how awesome nature is to provide flavors like this to play with. The chocolate chunks are fantastic – dark and full of flavor. And they’re large enough to satisfy chocolate lovers who wouldn’t normally pick a fruity flavor (like me!).

Clearly I am biased toward the Wright Place, but it’s definitely with good reason. Have you visited this gem in Stratham, NH yet? Have you heard about any other openings I should know about?

I hope you have a sweet week – thanks for stopping by!

p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link!

 

Yes Mom, I Had To Eat Two Bowls of Ice Cream

IMG_2097I thought about using “A Jaunt to Jordan’s” as the title of this blog post. It’s kind of catchy. But honestly, there was something much more monumental in my life last weekend, hence the more unusual title.

Easter Sunday is normally a fairly religious day for me. My morning started off that way – I played the piano and organ for two church services (and sang and led a choir for the second service). But by 11:15 a.m. or so, I’d finished playing, had a quick snack and headed out the door to meet my husband before we headed home via a to-be-determined ice cream location.

Since we were in Concord, and had to head north from there, our ice cream options were somewhat limited. I knew Arnie’s was nearby but I was hoping to check out a new ice cream place and report back to you. After a couple of quick Google searches, I stumbled onto Jordan’s Ice Creamery in Belmont, NH. Not only had I never been before, but I’d never even heard of it! But the flavors and photos they were posting on Facebook were out of this world (Salted Caramel Crunch! White Chocolate Chocolate Cookie! Sea Salt Caramel Cookies & Cream!) so I figured there must be some amazing homemade ice cream goodness to be had there. And conveniently for us, it was due north, only adding a few extra minutes to our trip. An easy stop on Rt. 106 near Tilton.

Ross, my husband, hadn’t been feeling well for quite a while, so we agreed that skipping a fancy sit-down dinner would be better for his health. And he knows my blog (and my ice cream addiction) is important, so he wasn’t going to get in the way of my plans! We set out in a bit of a caravan to our destination.

IMG_2105Easily found, we parked and headed toward the ice cream stand after I took a few photos. Well, I headed there, at least. I knew something wasn’t right because Ross seemed completely engrossed in his phone instead of smiling at me or looking at the menu. I tried to ignore it, but soon I had to ask him…and he admitted he really just wasn’t feeling good. Yes, he’d get something, but I should just order and not worry about him.

IMG_2106Well, I was kind of in heaven when I looked at the menu. Not only did they have a huge menu of ice cream flavors, but they also carry a LOT of frozen yogurt, both low- fat and non-fat, and they were unusual flavors too. Not to mention the no-sugar added silliness that I’m sure some of you might look for occasionally. (I can’t, Splenda makes me sick!) IMG_2108My plan is normally to get ice cream if I’m indulging in a once a week treat, but their variety of flavors reminded me of my favorite Just the Wright Place, so I knew I had to give their yogurts a try. I knew that Ross would most likely get ice cream, so that should mean I get to sample the real stuff as well and report back to you. (And also, you soft serve fans will be happy that they carry soft serve ice cream AND soft serve yogurt. Will have to come back to taste.)

IMG_2110The pricing was very reasonable. We paid less than $4 each for a regular, which was two good sized scoops. When we went to sit down, Ross started to realize he couldn’t eat much…and he really needed to go to urgent care while we weren’t too far from one. Rather than continue to “contaminate” his ice cream with his germs, he made an incredible sacrifice – he handed me his ice cream and asked if I would be able to eat it with my own frozen yogurt. Of course at this point I’d tried it and knew how amazing it was. IMG_2112“Of course!” I replied. So I gave him a hug, he went to urgent care, and I moved into my car (it was cold out) to enjoy two bowls of frozen goodness, for what I believe was the first time ever.

Life’s tough, right?

So here’s my full report on what we found at Jordan’s, besides a super nice employee who seemed to get a kick out of the fact that I’m a blogger – I mentioned it as an explanation for why I had to try so much. 🙂

Non-Fat Kahlua Fudge Hard Yogurt – It’s a pleasant Kahlua base. Not as good as the soft serve Kahlua I know so well from the Wright Place, but everyone has their favorites. It’s not too sweet. Occasionally it had an icy texture. The fudge tastes kind of healthy…not indulgent. It reminds me of the fudge in the fat-free ice cream I sometimes had as a kid in the early ’90s at home…It does have a great texture for fudge! I’d like a larger fudge to Kahlua ratio. If you don’t have yogurt or ice cream often and are okay with a healthier tasting yogurt, this could work well for you.

Low-Fat Milky Way Hard Yogurt – I wish it had a richer chocolate base. This one reminds me of chocolate malt. The chocolate chunks are dark and not too sweet – maybe semi sweet? The tasty caramel is kind of candy bar like, not rich. This is definitely a light yogurt taste but the chocolate chunks definitely class it up a lot. It might disappoint people who’ve gotten Milky Way elsewhere as there’s no hiding that it’s low-fat. Overall it’s too icy and light for me to rave about.

Wildberry Crumble Fat-Free Hard Yogurt – I only took a sample bite of this, so I can’t fairly compare it to the flavors I got. But oh my goodness, this is amazing!!! It’s got a brilliant raspberry flavor that takes over your mouth, an awesome sour fruity intenseness…and the crumble is everything you’d hope for. Should have gotten a scoop of this…hindsight and all that. Texture was great. As is the normal rule, it’s usually much easier to make a killer fruit yogurt than a killer chocolate yogurt. Whether you’re normally an ice cream or a yogurt fan, if you like fruity flavors like this, you should definitely get it. Wow. Honestly, you’d never suspect this could be fat free!

IMG_2115 (1)Kettle Cracked Corn Hard Ice Cream – This is one of the amazing flavors I saw posted online before choosing to visit, and I’m so thankful I saw it scribbled in at the bottom of the list. I tried it, went nuts over it, and then Ross ordered it. Thank you Ross! They describe the base as a kettle corn flavor. I don’t know what that means, but it’s awesome! In fact, my notes indicate I thought it was perfect! Smooth and creamy, like an idealized shake texture might be…It also has chocolate covered kettle corn pieces (yup!) and a sea salt caramel swirl. Surprisingly you don’t really notice the chocolate covered aspect because there is so much other stuff happening….the kettle corn was actually my least favorite part of the ice cream, but I liked it just fine, thank you and would eat it all again in a heartbeat. And the caramel…oh, the caramel…it’s rich and delicious and the perfect texture.

I am so glad I made it to Jordan’s to check out their ice cream! What a way to celebrate Easter, right? And yes, if you’re wondering, my husband is beginning to feel better. Also, if you’re wondering how much ice cream and frozen yogurt I can put away before I feel like I’m done (yes, it was my dinner), here is the aftermath.

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Last week I mentioned some of the great ice cream places that had opened or were planning to open. Here are some of the others I’ve heard about:

Cremeland in Manchester, NH is open

Memories in Exeter, NH is open

Moo’s Place, which I wrote about here, in Derry, NH is open today!

King Cone (not my usual homemade standard, but still) in Merrimack, NH is open

And my favorite New Hampshire place (so far), Just the Wright Place in Stratham, NH, opens this weekend!

Where are you headed for ice cream? Any other openings I should share (and check out)?

p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link!