We spent last weekend at the Ashworth By the Sea in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, during their annual Hampton Beach Seafood Festival.  We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there, and the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful.  Here’s a view from our room:

Pretty, huh?  We were so fortunate to have picture-perfect weather.  The school bus was shuttling people to and from surrounding points to provide easy transport to the festival.  We were told there were actually 90,000 people visiting the festival on Saturday…that’s a lot of busing!!  Our hotel was literally 10 steps from the entry to the festival.

So, what’s under all those tents?  Well, there were vendors selling arts & crafts, and there was a Beer & Wine tent, but there were two tents selling nothing but FOOD.  Sizzling skewers of shrimp, bacon-wrapped scallops, and lobster tails.  Soups, chowders, fish & chips, the “bloomin’ onion” (mmmm), and there were signs EVERYwhere boasting the best lobster roll.  We strolled around, munching here and there, just taking in the sights and smells.  And then, that evening, we went back.  No seafood this time…it was all about the dessert.  Miss Bailey’s Comfort Food (booth #58) had a banner that declared “apple crisp voted best festival dessert 2010”.  Lured me right in.

Best, not-the-best, who knows…who cares, but I will tell you it was truly delicious…and it left me wanting more.  So I spent this last week doing a little research and here’s the recipe that comes closest to another dish of Miss Bailey’s:

For some reason, I have a tough time judging if the apples are cooked, and I almost always wind up with an applesauce texture.  All I can say is “try not to overcook the apples”…then let me know how you did it.

Here’s what it looks like before it heads to the oven:

I just love the topping…sweet, buttery, crunchy…heavenly.

We were thrilled to have experienced Hampton Beach, where, along the pristine walkway, there stood this beautiful monument “in memory of New Hampshire’s heroic war dead lost at sea in defense of our country”:

Thank you, nice people of the Ashworth Hotel, for a most pleasant stay, and a special thanks to you, Miss Bailey (whoever you are), for offering the comfort of your wonderful apple crisp AND for serving it with a big, rich scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.  Yum.


And, to Beth and Tony, who surprised us by joining us for dinner, thanks for the happy memory 😉