• Summer Magazines

    For strawberries, red means go One of the highlights of summer eating is now ready

    There’s no avoiding the conclusion that strawberries want to be eaten.

    Look at it this way; they don’t exactly hide, do they? At least when they are ready and ripe.

  • Summer Magazines

    No one ever said farming was easy: especially farmers.

    Each year is either drought or too rainy, too cold for one crop or too hot for another, and if everything cooperates, if the season is absolutely perfect, then there’s a glut and the prices drop.

    In Cape May County, the amount of land under cultivation has dwindled for years, and in many cases folks whose parents and grandparents or great grandparents were farmers have decided to find something else to do.

  • Summer Magazines

     pizza So it’s unequivocally late summer. Garden ripe tomatoes are piling up in offices, being traded back and forth among neighbors and co-workers like the seashells of the Trobriand Islanders, only with an expiration date.

    Roving bands of teenagers are forcing brown bags of enormous zucchini on unsuspecting passers-by.

    And while we’re nowhere near out of topics, we’ve covered a lot of ground in this space already, exploring the variety of fresh, local food available to anyone who wants to look for it.

  • Summer Magazines

     spinach You can’t talk about spinach without talking about Popeye, says Ken Thompson, a farmer with a spread out in Tuckahoe.

    It’s a late weekend afternoon, and Thompson is not working on spinach; he’s weeding strawberries, giving the now flowering patch a fighting chance against the competition. In this case, it’s an enormous variety of grasses, stalks, thistles and ivies. Dandelions ready their parachute seeds on white heads, while another shade of green in the tangle explodes on contact, sending a burst of seeds forcefully into the air.

  • Summer Magazines

     Scallop-boat

    Fishing is dangerous work.

    Not that there was any doubt of that, but recent events have made it crystal clear: the men on the boats heading into the open ocean place their lives on the line to bring home the catch, and to make a living in one of the county’s biggest industries.

    This week, the Coast Guard has convened a Board of Inquiry to find out what brought down the Lady Mary March 24, the deadliest fishing accident in New Jersey in years. Of the seven crewmembers out on a multi-day scalloping trip, only…

  • Summer Magazines

     Steve Bradley shows off some of the fruit from his backyard shrub. He said it’s at least 50 years old, maybe close to 100, and seems to be going strong. Figs are said to be one of the first plants humans ever cultivated, apparently beating out staples like wheat and rye by a good measure. Ancient texts mention the fruit from thousands of years before…

  • Summer Magazines

    green beansWhen most folks think of organic farming, they tend to focus on the stuff added to a field that kills things, not what’s added to make things grow.

    The connection is clear and – for some – fairly visceral. Pesticides kill bugs, herbicides kill weeds and fungicides kill fungus, allowing the plants we like to eat to thrive. But many people question what happens when we eat the crops that have been treated with chemicals designed to kill, even if they are said to be harmless if used as directed.

    Others wonder what happens to the…

  • Summer Magazines

     eggplant

    It’s as Italian as parmigiana, as French as ratatouille, and as Arab as baba ghanoush, without even getting started on moussaka, Szechuan-style eggplant and garlic sauce or a few dozen Indian dishes.

    In other words, eggplant tastes like home to a huge swath of humanity, under many names and many, many different kinds of spices.

  • Summer Magazines

     Farm markets offer a direct connectionEverything you eat grew somewhere.

    In the meantime, it may have been canned, frozen, broiled, fried or processed beyond recognition, but somewhere, at some time, the last bite you’ve taken was alive, growing, in a field or a hothouse or a pen or a bay.

    It’s funny how easy that can be to forget.

  • Summer Magazines

    Bill Eisele and his grandson Luke Eisele get ready to remove the honey from frames collected from one of his several bee hives.

    Bill Eisele does not seem particularly worried about stings.

    It’s getting on sunset at his Christmas tree farm in Petersburg, and he’s checking a hive, protected only by a short-sleeved golf shirt and a couple decades’ worth of experience working around bees. No smoking, no mesh hood, no apparent concern.




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the kitchen diva: Irreplaceable pumpkin

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Written by ANGELA SHELF MEDEARIS and GINA HARLOW Thursday, October 09, 2014 11:30 am

the kitchen diva: Irreplaceable pumpkin the kitchen diva: Irreplaceable pumpkin

It's that time of the year when certain foods take the stage in a grand fashion. Fall ushers in a long season of iconic ingredients and homey, familiar dishes. Much has been said and written about and created with pumpkin. Maybe it's because this famous gourd is the very color of the changing landscape. It makes you wonder: Is there anything new under the brilliant orange skin of the pumpkin?

When it comes to our taste buds, fads seem to come and go. One minute we are gushing and gorging on a new sensation, and the next we're discarding it like an old pair of leg warmers. But pumpkins are like diamonds; they will forever be loved and treasured. Maybe it's because we don't feast on them all year long, so when their season returns, they bring to the table that wonderful combination of something new, yet remembered.

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the kitchen diva: Mastering the school lunch

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Written by ANGELA SHELF MEDEARIS and GINA HARLOW Thursday, September 25, 2014 10:13 am

School is back in session School is back in session

School is back in session – and so is your daily lunch-making routine. A good lunch is a balanced one, formed around a dependable main course and punctuated with a solid supporting cast of nutrient-packed sides, a low- or no-calorie drink and even a little treat.Don't worry if your child wants basically the same lunch every day. Just include these nutritious choices that we call the four elements to a perfectly packed lunch. Here are some tips that will keep your child's school mealtimes healthy and happy all year long.Food safetyKeep food preparation areas in the kitchen clean. Wash countertops, cutting boards, utensils and your hands in hot, soapy water. And don't let the family pet jump up on kitchen counters. After preparing lunches, remember to immediately return unused portions of perishable foods -- like cheese, mayonnaise and deli meats – to the refrigerator. Don't let them sit out on the counter. Make sure cold foods are cold before packing them in a lunchbox. If possible, prepare the lunch the night before and store it in the refrigerator. (This also takes the edge off the mad morning rush.) Insulated lunch bags or boxes are the best way to keep food at a safe temperature until noon. Sandwiches made with refrigerated items such as luncheon meats, cheese and tuna salad should be carried in an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack or frozen juice pouch inside so sandwiches will stay extra cool. At school, instruct the kids to store their lunchbox out of direct sunlight and away from radiators or other heaters, if possible. Keep hot food – like soup, stew or chili – hot. In the morning, bring the food to a boil and then immediately pour into a hot, sterile vacuum bottle. (Sterilize the vacuum bottle with boiling water before using.) Lunch foods that can be eaten at room temperature include peanut butter, jam, jelly, bread, crackers, cereals, clean fruit and vegetables, dried meat such as beef jerky, baked products such as cookies and cake, and canned meat and poultry products that are eaten immediately after opening Make healthy choicesIn a nutshell, meat should be lean (no salami or bologna), bread should be whole-wheat, and condiments should be used sparingly. Here are some ideas:- A turkey or roast beef and Swiss sandwich on wheat bread with a drizzle of low-fat Italian dressing (instead of mayo) and loaded with produce, if you can get away with it.

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the kitchen diva: Out of Africa

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Written by ANGELA SHELF MEDEARIS AND GINA HARLOW Sunday, August 10, 2014 02:15 pm

okra okra

There are few vegetables with a more storied past and debatable reputation than okra.

This slender green pod comes from the lovely yellow flower of the seemingly impervious hibiscus Esculentus plant.

While this hardy crop would flourish almost anywhere, okra is grown mainly in the South. Many of those who have grown up eating okra love it, and when separated from it, for reasons of geography or season, miss it.

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CCW Mac and Cheese contest benefits programs for kids

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Written by Staff Reports Saturday, August 09, 2014 01:51 pm

CCW Mac and Cheese contest benefits programs for kids CCW Mac and Cheese contest benefits programs for kids

The Concerned Citizens of Whitesboro organization will hold a Mac and Cheese competition 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30 at the Martin Luther King Community Center, 207 W. Main Street, Whitesboro, to raise funds for children’s programs.

Individuals, businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to submit macaroni and cheese dishes, which will be tasted and judged by attendees of the 26th annual Whitesboro Reunion Festival.

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Fai’s brings a taste of Hong Kong to the shore

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Written by Lauren Dickey Friday, July 25, 2014 12:00 am

Bang Bang Shrimp is one of the most popular appetizers at Fai’s Authentic Chinese Cuisine, according to owner Ivy Lai. / Lauren Dickey Bang Bang Shrimp is one of the most popular appetizers at Fai’s Authentic Chinese Cuisine, according to owner Ivy Lai. / Lauren Dickey Those looking for an authentic Chinese culinary experience might want to try a trip to Fai’s in Ocean View, where the menu includes everything from pork fried rice and General Tso’s chicken toduck specials and salt and pepper calamari.

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The kitchen diva: Cool food

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, July 17, 2014 04:03 pm

Cool food

"As cool as a cucumber" is a much-used phrase, referring to a state of mind rather than the clean crunch of the pale-green flesh of a cucurbit, but it is true. There isn't a summer-fruiting food that is cooler than a cucumber. When the weather wilts you, a cucumber is nature's tasty refreshment.

Cucumbers are a member of a large, diverse family of summer-ripening crops that include melons and squash.

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Frozen bliss

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Written by Lauren Dickey Thursday, July 17, 2014 02:28 pm

July is National Ice Cream Month, and the shore has plenty of places to grab a scoop of this sweet and refreshing summertime treat

In a cone, on a stick or in a cup, plain, topped with jimmies or smothered in hot fudge, ice cream is one of the most irresistible and refreshing treats of summer.

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Jersey corn and tomatoes make an early debut

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Written by Staff Reports Monday, July 07, 2014 05:23 pm

corn-and-tomatoes New Jersey recorded its warmest spring ever this year, and those warmer-than-normal temperatures brought the sweet corn and tomato crops in about a week or two early, according to New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher.

Look for Jersey Fresh sweet corn and tomatoes in your local supermarket, roadside stands and community farmers markets this weekend.

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West Cape May Farmers Market in its 13th year

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Written by Christopher South Monday, June 30, 2014 12:00 am

WEST CAPE MAY - The West Cape May Farmers Market is now an adolescent in terms of its chronological age, but it has grown nicely from what it was.

“We first started out front in the parking lot, where it was 300 degrees on the pavement and people had difficulty parking,” Mayor Pam Kaithern said.

The borough then got a one-time grant from the county for creating handicap-accessible recreation projects. The borough gave part of the money to the West Cape May Elementary School to improve its playground equipment.

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Jersey fresh strawberries are in season

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Written by Staff Reports Tuesday, June 03, 2014 02:37 pm

strawberry Jersey Fresh strawberries are here, and the plump, juicy fruit is available now at farmers markets, grocery stores and pick-your-own farms in the state. Harvesting began in mid-May and is expected to continue through early June.

Nutritionists consider strawberries to be a part of a healthy diet, providing a good source of vitamin C. Strawberries should not be washed until ready to eat because their high water content, on top of the additional water, will result in a mushy berry. Once the caps are removed, an enzyme is released that destroys the vitamin C.

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