Mac's Maple Creamees and All Things McNamara in the UV
Agriculture, food, history, and yes, art.
McNamara Dairy's fingerprints are everywhere in the Upper Valley. But Plainfield NH is the place to obtain their maple creamees, and if I may offer advice: do not stint. Say yes to the maple sprinkles. You'll be in the heart of McNamara Dairy country, where maple creamees are imbued, like wine, with terroir. The ice cream is made with McNamara's own milk and maple syrup produced on site by the three generations of McNamaras who live and work there.
Creamees are available in a cone or dish. I chose the cone thinking I could slurp effectively even in the 90 degree heat. No such luck. Within seconds, I was kindly offered a dish into which I inverted the cone and then mopped up sticky hands (featured photo, above). Before or after your creamee purchase, you can peruse some other maple products. Go straight for the maple butter. Check out the beginnings of the photo gallery on the far wall. Mac's Maple is open only on weekends.
A Lisa Lacasse photo of Ringo, one of the McNamara's steers, featured in the photo gallery.
McNamara's has graced the Upper Valley since 1950, when Bill and Hazel McNamara bought the land on River Road. They started with a single cow. Business waxed and waned, resulting at one point in the selling of the entire milking herd. In 2003, heavy snow tragically caused the barn to collapse; it has been replaced by a new and modern facility for its 180 Holsteins.
McNamara's dairy products are fresh from the farm to numerous Upper Valley stores including the Co-op locations in Hanover, Lebanon, White River Junction and Lyme. Among the 40 local businesses that feature McNamara's products are the Canoe Club, Burdick Chocolate, Hanover Inn's Pine Restaurant, Muriel's Donuts, Three Tomatoes, and Umpleby's Bakery and Cafe.
Cows out to pasture (Photo courtesy of McNamara Dairy)
In addition to milk and its maple products, McNamara's sells its farm-raised beef, including sausages: hot and sweet Italian and chorizo. Mac's Happy Hens supply fresh eggs. A Lebanon Co-op employee once remarked that these eggs fly off the shelves. I'm a huge fan.
Last, and perhaps the most interesting bit. McNamara Dairy is featured in an exhibition that opened this past weekend at the Aidron Duckworth Art Museum in Meriden NH. Pride of Plainfield celebrates the "exceptional agriculture" in Plainfield NH.
A peek at part of Pride of Plainfield at the Aidron Duckworth Art Museum in Meriden NH.
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Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge