• Summer Magazines

    The season starts now, but it doesn’t last

    A more mature writer, in a more serious publication, could probably resist a lead like “this is the dawning of the age of asparagus.” 

    Fat chance. 

    The flowers are blooming, the days are long, and those in shorts and flip-flops no longer seem pathological. 

  • Summer Magazines

    tomatoesSometimes, it seems as though there should be sort of a reverse toll at all bridges leading over the Delaware into South Jersey, with a nice old man in work trousers stopping each car.

    “Welcome to New Jersey,” he’d say. “Here’s your tomato.”

  • Summer Magazines

    Here’s one for Joe and Joanne Sixpack. 

    You know, regular folks. The common people. Those with taste.

    Let’s face it, beer gets a bad rap. Its reputation has improved in recent years, but for many, the world’s first alcoholic brew, and the most popular, is shorthand for plebian tastes. Think of Homer (Simpson, not the Illiad author) downing Duff Beer while sitting in the kitchen in his underwear.

  • Summer Magazines

    Some say the berry you wait for tastes best

    So maybe you’ve been feeling pretty pleased with yourself. After all, you’ve switched over to organic greens now that they are pre-washed and easy to use, and you’ve traded sausage and bacon for the frozen simulated stuff in the green box. Maybe you even recycle the box. 

    Then suddenly, one of your friends goes localvore. 

    Here we go again.

  • 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

    beach plums Beach plums are nothing new.

    For generations, locals have gathered the small, tart plums along roadsides and in the dunes, mostly for jellies and jams.

    The fruit is much smaller than the European or Asian plums, to which it is related, and when ripe can range in size from about a pea, to a Bing cherry, or the size of a grape tomato for a really big one.

  • 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

     pumpkin Almost everything about a pumpkin – the color, the taste, its very presence on almost every other doorstep – says fall is here. They line roadside stands, decorate classrooms, and get carved into a million shapes for Halloween.

    Somehow, those big orange decorations are related to the pumpkin flavor found in pies and seasonal specialty coffees, but it seems as though very few people have witnessed the process of turning a fresh pumpkin into dinner or dessert.

  • Summer Magazines

     Doc Adams Through this season, in this space, readers have been enticed, cajoled and nagged to eat local food, and lots of it.

    Not this week.

    Instead, we’ll talk about what once was, and why it’s changed. And why one of the favorite fish for many anglers is now more or less off the menu.

  • Summer Magazines

    Willis Allen (he says he just goes by Junior) and his brother Tony search for some early fruit at the Allen Family Farm this week. The blueberries should be going strong soon A visit to Carol Ann Allen’s farm this time of year is a lesson in potential.

    Fields surround her big white farmhouse on a dirt road in Belleplain. Some tomatoes and pumpkins…




Free TIme, SandPaper

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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