Waffle iron chef

LACONIA — There's a battle underway over the heart and soul of the waffle. For most Americans, the light, airy treat, leavened by baking soda, serves as a vehicle for syrup and fruit. Wayfarer Coffee Roasters, which opened in June, is fighting for the other side — a richer, sweeter and chewier waffle. And, if their sales are any measure, they may have picked the winner in the war of the waffle.

Karen Bassett, one of the owners of Wayfarer, is the mastermind behind their salvo of waffles, aimed and calibrated to disavow the popular conception of the food item. Where conventional waffles, often referred to as Belgian waffles, are made from a batter that can be mixed shortly before being ladled into a waffle iron, Bassett carries the flag of the Liège waffle, created using a yeast dough that has to rise overnight and requires much more care and attention. It's worth it to her, because of the difference evident in the end product.

Opening a coffee shop had long been a dream for Bassett, whose husband Reuben and cousin-in-law Aaron Bassett own Burrito Me and are part-owners, along with Ben Bullerwell, of Wayfarer. Like the burrito shop, she wanted to offer a signature food item that would be both unique to the local market and excellent in quality. Other Lakes Region shops were already offering crêpes, doughnuts, bagels and cupcakes. "We wanted something that nobody had been doing," said Reuben, recalling how Karen texted him the idea of waffles, and soon she was learning everything there is to know about the food item.

"I started researching waffles, and I realized there was this battle over waffles," said Karen. She hadn't heard of the Liège waffle before, but was struck by how passionate its proponents were. Also a food of Belgium, the Liège variety is typically sold as a street food and flavorful enough on its own that it can be enjoyed plain, without syrup or other toppings. The risen yeast dough, made with a high-gluten flour, provide a soft and chewy interior texture, while pearl-sized chunks of sugar, derived from beets and imported from Belgium, flavor the dough and caramelize into a crunchy crust on the exterior. The waffles require serious equipment to cook, waffle irons made with 30 pounds of cast iron, digitally controlled to cook within the 185-187 degree centigrade range to caramelize but not burn the pearl sugar.

She ordered the ingredients, made a batch, and knew she had found her signature item.

Wayfarer offers six standard waffle flavors: classic, maple glazed, chocolate glazed, raspberry glazed, ham and cheese, and bacon and maple. Karen also offers a waffle special featuring something appropriate to the season. Currently, the special is a peach cobbler, with a crumble added to the dough, drizzled with a peach butter flavored with spices and vanilla, and topped with whipped cream. All ingredients are made in-house, from scratch, Karen said.

One of their most popular specials this summer was the pizza waffle, featuring mozzarella cheese folded into the dough, pepperoni chunks cooked onto the waffle and drizzled with Karen's farmers' market marinara sauce. She enjoys exploring both the sweet and the savory possibilities. She's currently conceiving what kind of waffle she'll feature for the Pumpkin Festival this fall. "That's the fun thing about this. You can take it everywhere... there's a lot you can do with waffles."

Her enthusiasm is spreading. Wayfarer sells up to a hundred waffles on weekdays and 150 on Saturdays.

"They're catching on, and people are realizing," said Reuben. "We make a lot of waffles." 

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Latham — Natural Roots and Hakuna Café

Chellsey Latham, owner of Natural Roots and Synergy Cafe in Gilford, grew up in southern N.H. where her grandmother owned a family operated health food store for over 28 years. Three generations of family were routinely a part of the business as it grew. Her grandmother, Carol Simone, had extensive knowledge of herbs and natural health which she used on her three children to heal ailments as they grew up, including immune deficiency and blindness. Latham also grew up immersed in a holistic environment with her two younger siblings.

So much knowledge within the family sparked an interest for Latham and as she grew up she was able to assist customers and help with business in her grandmother's store. She didn't realize how valuable this knowledge would be further down the road or what adventure was in store for her as she became an adult. As a girl, she was very passionate about horses and started riding at a very young age, then went on to pursue a competitive equestrian career and business degree. When her grandmother became sick Latham once again became involved with the family store. When her grandmother passed, the store just wasn't the same. This passing brought Latham back to her roots and she realized what special knowledge she had in being able to help people heal and feel better.

Carrying on her grandmother's legacy became a lifelong goal. Latham went on to receive her Doctorate in Natural Medicine and focus on nutrition and preventive maintenance of natural health.

Latham had been vacationing in the Lakes Region for most of her life, and with each trip it seemed more like going home and and going back to southern N.H. seemed like it just wasn't right. She felt like she belonged close to the water and mountains where there is more space to get in touch with nature. Latham and her husband moved to the Lakes Regions in 2013 and Natural Roots & Remedies LLC was born in Gilford, N.H., located at 1429 Lake Shore Rd, next to the Wild Bird Depot. Originally the business started out as strictly a health food store with her mother, Sharon Camasso (certified herbalist) and Latham offering private holistic consulting services. Soon, though, Latham realized many people didn't know how to feed or nourish themselves properly. Making smoothies with raw, organic ingredients was the beginning of a resolution to help people get nutrients on a regular basis. As customers demanded cleaner food, what started as a health food store also became an organic café, serving fresh juices, smoothies and sandwiches daily. High quality supplements and health foods are still a major part of the Gilford location. "Focusing on quality is really important and separates us from other retail health food stores," Latham said.
Opportunity arose for a second location in early 2015 in Meredith that allowed for more of a food establishment environment. The Hakuna Café is now open at 48 Main St, Meredith below Midnight Moon Tattoo and next to Refuge Hair Salon.
The name Hakuna is a part of a Swahili phase, "Hakuna Matata," meaning "no worries for the rest of your days." This name was carefully chosen to represent the passion for real, clean, whole foods with the least amount of chemicals and processing so that consumers have no worries when enjoying the food. Latham believes in supporting organic and local farming so that she can deliver the most nutritious foods and drinks possible.
"We decided to solely focus on food here at Hakuna, consumers need better, healthier choices," Latham stated. She is excited for the future of Hakuna as it establishes itself in downtown Meredith. For fall they plan to offer organic premium cocktails with freshly made juice infusions and a selection of organic and non-GMO beer and wine as well as a small plates menu and fresh seasonal entrees. Latham's sister, Natalie Camasso, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University Culinary Program, will be joining as a chef. The sisters are excited to be collaborating and joining their passions of cooking and wellness.
Both Natural Roots and Hakuna offer an organic juice cleansing program called ReVive. There are different programs based on nutrition goals, such as, weight loss, improving cholesterol or reducing inflammation. There are options for length of cleanse and customized juices.
Latham, a holistic nutritionist, is available by private appointment to discuss wellness goals and help clients achieve balance. Programs and protocols are designed for each client individually. Find more on www.loveurrootsnh.com

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At Cozy Cabin Rustics, Arthur Card curates the comfortable and creative

PLYMOUTH — Arthur Card knows just about every item in his showroom by a first name – the name of the artisan who created it. That's the way he prefers to do business these days, though it wasn't how he started in the furniture business.

Card went into business for himself in 2003, operating Warehouse Furniture Direct out of his garage. It was typical furniture retail. "I was doing mattresses, hot tubs and pool tables. I never liked it, because it's not my roots."

Growing up in the Lakes Region, Card spent his summers on Lake Winnipesaukee's Bear Island, where his dad was the cook at Camp Nokomis. As a young man, Card apprenticed with a jeweler and spent a decade on the craft fair circuit. His retail furniture company was growing, but selling factory-made items didn't feel like a fit for him. So, in 2010, he re-created his business as Cozy Cabin Rustics. 

It was a redesign that made Card feel more at home, and customers who stopped by his showroom found items they wanted in their home. Since his business image makeover, Card has opened two other locations. He opened a store in the Mill Falls Marketplace in Meredith in 2011, and in May of this year opened his biggest showroom yet, in Tilton.

Card stocks his store with furniture, lighting fixtures and accessories, folk art and a few antiques. Taken together, the items make up a style that Card has heard called Adirondack, lodge, camp, cottage, rustic, or log cabin. "It's back to nature, the natural beauty of this state is brought indoors. It's homey, comfy, cozy and relaxing." The items  are sourced from crafters and vendors Card has a one-on-one professional relationship with. Many of them he knows through his days on the crafters' circuit, others he has met since then. There are more than 100 individual craftspeople represented in his stores.

With so many creators, there's a wide variety of styles represented within the "rustic" category. He works with experienced masters of traditional styles, as well as emerging artisans finding new ways to use familiar materials. There are the conservative works of the Amish crafters he works with, as well as unconventional creations, such as an end table crafted out of driftwood and river stones for the base. Because nearly everything in the store is hand-crafted, Card said there's a high degree of customization available.

Card's business has steadily grown, year over year, despite sometimes countervailing economic trends. He attributes his growth to re-investing his profits into the business, finding a niche and placing a premium on customer service. Every day, he hears from at least one repeat customer. "I attribute it to quality at a fair market price, and service. If I have a problem, I take care of it," he said.

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Piper — Selecting trees to last a lifetime

By Mundy Wilson Piper,

Owner & General Manager, Chippers Inc


One of the most commonly asked questions of our arborists is "What tree do you think I should plant?"
There is no single answer for any situation, but we do have a few words of wisdom to offer.

Haste Makes Waste
When it comes to trees, a decision in haste really can lead to a lifetime of regret. Many trees grow more
beautiful generation after generation but others have the potential to create decades of trouble,
dropping messy fruit or bothersome leaf litter. So, take your time and select the tree that offers the best
combination of qualities you will enjoy.

Form Follows Function
Begin your selection by asking: Why do I want a tree? For shade and cooling? For a windbreak? To
attract and shelter wildlife? For beautiful flowers, leaves, bark or fruit? To block the view of the
neighbor's less‐than‐lovely backyard, or to screen your house from the road, or the driveway from the
house? The purpose the tree will eventually serve helps determine the form to select. A tree's growth
rate also may have a bearing on your choice. The slower growers are hardwoods and tend to live longer.
If it's important to establish shade or have flowers relatively quickly, choose a fast‐growing tree. They
are typically small, have soft wood and don't live as long.

A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place
In general, smaller trees should be placed near the house and the taller ones farther out in the yard or at
its edge. Scale trees to their surroundings by using small or medium‐sized varieties for smaller houses
and yards. And always consider mature tree size when evaluating a planting size. Deciduous trees lose
their leaves in the fall and are bare all winter though the leaves often give a final show of beautiful color
before dropping. They are wonderful planted on the south and west sides of houses to provide cooling
in the summer and yet allow warmth and light in the winter. Evergreen trees retain their foliage year
round for winter interest in the landscape and are excellent windbreaks on the northern side of

Take the Bitter with the Sweet, or Every Cloud has a Silver Lining
Every species of cultivated tree has assets that suit it for a particular landscape use. Each also has certain requirements critical to its survival in the yard, including cold hardiness, disease resistance, drainage conditions and exposure. Many do best in rich, moist, woodsy acidic soil. Others prefer more alkaline soil that tends to be dry because it's not as rich in moisture‐holding organic matter. Some trees, such as Red maple can even tolerate periodically soggy soil.
Trees also have their liabilities. Some have thorns that make them unsuitable for homes with children or
pets. Others are invasive; some are messy; some need a lot of maintenance; some are inherently
hazardous over time. However, if you choose the right place for some of these less‐desirable varieties,
you often overlook their foibles and enjoy their virtues.

Knowledge is Power and There are Plenty of Fish in the Sea
Always choose disease resistant varieties of trees appropriate to our growing zone(s). The hardiness
zone in the Lake Region can vary from 4a to 6a, know your zone! Visit http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/ for an interactive map. Many local nurseries and garden centers can recommend varieties of trees and shrubs that are disease resistant and able to cope with our harsh winters.

Another resource is the website maintained by the USDA Forest Service Northeast Region in cooperation with Rutgers University and University of Florida. The interactive Tree Selector program is designed to match specific tree species to particular sites based on a multitude of compatible characteristics. http://orb.at.ufl.edu/TREES/index.html. List of trees generated by the Tree Selector should be viewed as a guide, not as the final authority in a tree search. Also check out www.treesaregood.org and http://tcia.org/resources/consumer‐resources. Both sites provide all kinds of consumer information on trees.

Last but not least, Chippers ISA certified arborists are always available to help you put the "right tree in the right place."

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