• 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

    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

    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

     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

     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

    crabs While the flavor is beloved, and many see a pile of steamed crabs, a nutcracker, a table full of friends and a cooler of beer as a vision of shore heaven, there is no denying they are, at first glace, not exactly the most appetizing creatures.

    An earlier column in this series referred to the red of a ripe strawberry as an invitation. Hardshell blue crabs offer no such invitation. Instead, they seem to make a pretty straightforward case to be left alone.

  • 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

     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

    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.




Pirate dinner show is a swashbuckling adventure

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A pirate wipes the window of the a ship window as others look on during a pirate-dinner show at Coconut Cove in North Wildwood. A pirate wipes the window of the a ship window as others look on during a pirate-dinner show at Coconut Cove in North Wildwood.  A group of pirates handed maps to children and sent them off to search for treasure Tuesday, July 31 at the Coconut Cove restaurant in North Wildwood.

Some children found blue flags that were scattered around the restaurant, which overlooks Beach Creek.

Samantha McGuigan, 9, of Atco in Camden County and her twin brother were among the treasure hunters.

They came up empty-handed, but that didn’t seem to bother McGuigan much. She said she loved the treasure hunt, which is part of the pirate dinner show on Tuesday nights.

About 12 actors take the stage every Tuesday at the Pirate’s Cove, which is part of the Coconut Cove restaurant at 400 W. Spruce Ave.

"It's family oriented," said Mary Walsh of Cape May Court House, who is the director and playwright for the pirate-themed dinner shows.

Walsh, a teacher at Wildwood Catholic High School in North Wildwood, directs musicals at the school.

She said the dinner show is designed to be interactive. There are sing-alongs, swordfights and lots of high-energy swashbuckling.

The actors range in age from 10 to 25 years old, she said, and many live in Cape May County. Practicing got under way in May, and the shows kicked off in mid-June.

One of the actors is Ryan Hart, 25, who lives in North Wildwood and in Ocean County and is studying to be a chiropractor at a college in Connecticut.

When Hart is dressed as a pirate, he appears to be in his element.

He said he often goes by the name Captain Hart. Has been performing as a pirate at various venues for about seven years, he said.

He choreographed the stage combat for the show.

"What's more fun than pirates?" he said before the start of the July 31 show, while pirates roamed around the restaurant, greeting the families seated at the dinner tables.

Most of the action takes place on a floating stage next to the restaurant’s outside deck, but during the show the pirates also roam around the tables, talking with the guests, singing and dancing, and getting the little ones involved.

During one of the scenes, a pirate discovered the treasure had gone missing.

“And I spy the scurvy dog that done it!” Hart said, as one of the other pirates, Mangey, sneaks up to the ship’s dock.

Mangey eventually gives himself up, saying he was protecting the treasure.

"Well me, 'earties, what should we do with Mangey?" said one of the pirates.

Mangey said, "Forgiveness!"

One of the pirates suggested having Mangey walk the plank.

The audience joined in with the crew chanting, "Walk the plank, walk the plank, walk the plank.”

Mangey jumped.

At one point the kids were rounded up and taken on stage for an “Arrrrggggg” contest.

The pirate dinner show is presented every Tuesday through Aug. 28. Seating is at 5:30 p.m.

The price is $20 for adults and $10 for children and includes chicken fingers and french fries for the kids, and Caribbean chicken, barbecued or pulled pork, steak fries, and corn on the cob or coleslaw for adults.

For information or reservations call Coconut Cove at 609-522-7600 or see www.coconutcovenj.com. 

 

Children crowd in close to watch the pirates perform. Children crowd in close to watch the pirates perform.

Pirates stop at the tables to greet diners. Pirates stop at the tables to greet diners.

Corey Wertz, 6, of North Wildwood interacts with pirate actor Luke Bischoff of Wildwood Crest, who goes by the name John Silver. Corey Wertz, 6, of North Wildwood interacts with pirate actor Luke Bischoff of Wildwood Crest, who goes by the name John Silver.


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