• 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

     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

     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

    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…

  • 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

    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

    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

    Economy and trend meet in canning revival

    It’s late summer, and for now we are awash in fresh, local food. Markets, produce counters and your neighbor’s garden overflow with tomatoes, squash and other goodies, but the leaves are falling and the first cold snap can’t be too far away.

    If only there were some way of preserving these summer flavors for the winter.

  • 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

    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. 



Jersey fresh strawberries are in season

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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.

Be certain to remove the caps after rinsing to prevent the strawberry from becoming waterlogged and from losing vitamin C content.

Look for strawberries that are plump and firm, with a bright red color and natural shine. The size of the berry is unimportant; color and fragrance are the best indicators of flavor.

Caps should be fresh, green and intact. Avoid strawberries with green or white color, or those that appear mushy, shriveled or leaky. Strawberries do not ripen after harvest, so they should be picked as close to consumption time as possible and immediately stored in the refrigerator.

When purchasing strawberries, check the carton for stains, which can indicate over-ripeness. Remove the strawberries from the market or store container and store in a shallow container on a paper towel in the refrigerator for up to three days. For best results put paper towels between the layers.

Remove from the refrigerator and serve at room temperature for optimum flavor.

Freeze strawberries by coating in a water and lemon juice mix.

To find Jersey Fresh strawberries and other Jersey Fresh products see the Jersey Fresh website at www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov. Recipes can be found at http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/recipes.


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