• 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

     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

    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

     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

     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

    Corny ramblings for a late-summer feast

    When it comes to corn, are you a typewriter or a lathe?

    For the digital natives who may happen to read this, a typewriter used to have a little roller that held the paper, which would advance one letter at a time until the carriage was returned, and the type proceeded to the next line. Yes, it was a pain, but still a step up from engraving everything on stone tablets.

    So for corn on the cob, a typewriter eats one line…

  • Summer Magazines

    Cape May Salts are taking offOyster

    At low tide on an overcast spring morning, James Tweed is at the beach.

    It does not look inviting.

    His white rubber boots are covered with a silty mud, and a sweatshirt – hood up – protects him from a portion of the swarms of tiny insects that seem to live solely to bury themselves in hairlines and start biting.

    On this particular morning, he’s oyster wrangling.

  • 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

     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

    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…




bottoms up> Tully Nut has been a secret for more than 40 years

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FT-BU-Tully-Nut-8-26 #1 Tavern

The Super Tully Nut is made at the #1 Tavern at First and Atlantic avenues.

But this is one drink you can’t make at home.

Only one person is said to know the secret recipe, and that’s Mark Tully, who first came up with the formula in 1969. Tully, whose real name is Romolo Leomporra, performed on Broadway and nightclubs with entertainers like Billie Holiday, Phyllis Diller and the Smothers Brothers.

He said he took the stage name of Mark Tully because he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to get work using his own name.

After finishing a tour of the show “Bells Are Ringing” in the early 1960s, Tully came to North Wildwood and opened a small hotel. That venture eventually allowed him to buy the #1 Tavern.

The Super Tully Nut is the bar’s signature cherry-red drink, renowned for its potency and secrecy. Tully said that when he was experimenting with the formula, a few different versions were made first. There were two drinks using four liquor combinations and two drinks with five. He tested the concoctions on his family members and a few trusting employees, and they all picked what is known today as the Super Tully Nut as their favorite.

The one they chose is made with a combination of five different liquors – but Tully said the way it is put together is equally important.

“I have a special room where I make it in big vats. It takes about four days for all the ingredients to marry. Each day there is something I do to it until it's finished,” he said.

In 43 years, Tully said, he has never changed the formula.

Tully said he even has a plan for the secret recipe in the event of his death.

He said he has the recipe on audio, video and written down at a location that only one other person knows. That location, he said, can only be accessed by his wife, but even she isn’t privy to the secret.

“When I die, that person will tell my wife, and she'll be able to go there and get it,” he said.

And don’t try guessing the special combinations of five potent liquors, because even if a guess happens to be right, Tully won’t tell you.

 

 

This county loves to have a good time, especially when fancy microbrews, dirty martinis or a shot of Jack are involved. Follow Freetime reporter Lauren Suit each week as she hops the local bars to drink in Cape May County’s social scene and connect with the people who shake it and serve it.


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