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How New England Are You?

28. Eat Your Sauerkraut
No marketing blitz. No blaring billboards. Just as it has since it first opened for business in 1918, Morse’s Sauerkraut in Waldoboro, Maine, celebrates the season each mid-September with a simple ad in local Midcoast papers. It boasts just two words: Kraut’s Ready.

29. Test Yourself on the Batten Kill
What the Ganges is to devout Hindus, the Nile to archaeologists, the Mississippi to Mark Twain … Vermont’s Batten Kill is all of that to dedicated Eastern fly-fishermen. You don’t just come up here for a casual weekend of fishing. And maybe, just maybe, what you’ve learned in other streams–Colorado’s, Michigan’s, even New York’s–doesn’t apply here. The sensitive waters … those fussy trout. In May, when the Hendrickson hatch is in full swing, hearty, driven, focused anglers descend on this river, matching wits with nature and the hungry fish. The promise of a new season of dreams awaits.

Ten Recipes You Need to Make At Least Once
30. New England Boiled Dinner
31. Yankee Pot Roast
32. Boston Cream Pie
33. Boston Baked Beans
34. Down East Clam Chowder
35. Indian Pudding
36. Boston Brown Bread (in a Coffee Can)
37. Anadama Bread
38. Sugar on Snow
39. Toll House Cookies

40. Find Your Own Separate Peace at Phillips Exeter Academy
Listen for the First Academy Building’s 6 o’clock bell– maybe even peek inside for a look at the “long white flight of marble stairs”–or just make your way around the Center Common as you tour the campus that inspired John Knowles’ timeless coming-of-age classic.

41. Fowl History
Head to Adamsville, Rhode Island–quite possibly the only place on earth that’s dedicated
a monument to a chicken– and find out why the Rhode Island Red is New England’s most important bird.

42. Know a Little Something About the Other Old Man of the Mountain
Perhaps you’ve taken in the spectacular evening views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area from the porch of the Galehead Hut. Maybe you’ve savored a lumberjack doughnut dipped in sugar at Zealand Falls. Or possibly you’ve found yourself engaged in a serious checkers contest in the game room of Mizpah Spring. Regardless of how you’ve taken advantage of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s eight huts in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, you have Joe Dodge, the visionary behind the creation of the AMC cabins, to thank.

43. Eat Your Apple Pie with a Slice of Cheddar
Like Burt and I … like Fenway and the Green Monster … like the month of March and Town Meeting. These two institutions were made to be together.

44. Take a Swim in Maine’s Penobscot Bay
Better than coffee, better than chocolate–it’s the real Yankee pick-me-up. Those same cold Atlantic waters that reach maybe 60 degrees (in July!) and churn around Deer Isle, Eggemoggin, and Castine produce not only Maine’s dark-shelled lobsters but also the biggest goosebumps on the East Coast.

45. Make a Date With a Registered Maine Guide
Thoreau hired guides when he explored the Maine wilderness; they found him a bit of a complainer, more comfortable in environs not as raw. Whether you want to hike or paddle as deep into the wild as you’ll find in New England–or if you want, in season, to land trout or find a whitetail or a bear–Registered Maine Guides know the territory better than anyone. Not just anyone can wear the famous shoulder patch; the State of Maine tests to be sure they know their stuff.

46. Play the Name Game
Take a gander at the array of political campaign buttons at Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett, New Hampshire–a veritable required stop for presidential candidates come primary season.

47. Argue About Where the Sun Rises First
Untold generations of Maine-iacs know that Katahdin is where America has its first peek at the morning sun–everyone, that is, except people in Washington County, where a welcome sign proclaims “Sunrise County, USA.” And don’t forget about Cadillac Mountain–and the sleeper of this controversy, Mars Hill in Aroostook County. The answer? Depends on the time of year, and, of course, whom you ask.

Talk About the Big Storms Like an Old-Timer

The Blizzard of 1888:
Known as the Great White Blizzard, it dumped 50 inches of snow on central New England.

The Hurricane of ’38:
Gusts reached 186 mph; deaths (including New England and New York victims) numbered 690.

The Blizzard of ’78:
Winds as high as 100 mph were recorded, and that snow–55 inches of the stuff in some parts.

Updated Monday, August 16th, 2010

Bring New England Home

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