Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Kinnelon Memorial Day!

Kinnelon Memorial DayMemorial Day in Kinnelon and throughout the country is a day to remember and give thanks to every serviceman and woman, as well as their families, for the incredible gift of service to our country that each has contributed.

According to, here is the plan for the 2010 Memorial Day activities for Kinnelon and Butler:

Butler and Kinnelon will team with neighboring Bloomingdale for a parade at 9 a.m. Monday. Starting on Van Dam Avenue in Bloomingdale, the parade will travel to Hamburg Turnpike and Sloan Park, where a service will take place. The parade will continue to Main Street in Butler and on to Butler Park for services at the monuments. Then, it will proceed to the Kinnelon Municipal Building for observances. Call (973) 838-5401, ext. 1.

If you take part in the ceremony and care to share with us your perspective, you would be most welcome.

Meanwhile, I found these wonderful photos from the 2005 Kinnelon Memorial Day. I also encourage you to read Memorial Day: Our chance to remember and give thanks to put this day into perspective.

Happy Memorial Day 2010! We remember and thank you who have served our country from the bottom of our hearts.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day BBQ Ribs -- Something (a little bit) New!

Ted's Memorial Day BBQ ribsMemorial Day weekend. Pork Spareribs on the grill. Perfect. Except ... maybe not the same old ribs on the grill, maybe something a little different, and ... a little better even. But not hard to make. That's the ticket. That's what I've been planning for the weekend anyway.

We are not going to brine the ribs. That's too much work. We are going to get major flavor from them, though, in 2 ways.

One, we are going to semi-cure them -- the outside anyway -- and dry out the exterior, so it crisps up nicely.

Two, we are going to a make a sweet bell pepper mop infused sauce, or whatever you want to call it, for a BBQ sauce, to slather on for the last 1/2 hour or so, and some extra, for serving the ribs with. I think it's very, very good.

OK, pick the pork ribs of your choice; they can be baby backs, or spareribs. The only difference will be the cooking time. The sauce that follows is based on 1 rack of ribs -- if you have more increase the sauce accordingly.

With either cut, we will lay the ribs in a large sheet pan, and lightly salt, pepper (use freshly ground black pepper), and sugar (use light brown sugar) the top and bottom of the ribs and the trimmings.

Then put the uncovered pan in the fridge overnight or until a couple of hours before you are ready to grill. At which time, pull them out and let them come to room temperature before grilling them.

I do cheat and start with a commercial sauce; I like a bottle of Stonewall Kitchens Mesquite Steak Sauce, not for steak, but for PORK, and a small jar of Hoisin Sauce, say 8 oz, to start the mop or BBQ sauce, and then:

I add a very nontraditional Bell Pepper reduction. You can do without it if you like or just use your favorite BBQ sauce, but I am willing to go the extra mile! For the Flavor! And the Bell Pepper reduction does combine vinegar (acid), salt, and sweet flavors, which are traditional, so ...

Oh, you need a juicer!

8 to 12 red, yellow, or orange sweet bell peppers, depending on size
16 cloves of garlic
1 large sweet or Vidalia onion
1 TBS salt, preferably sea salt, or to taste
Rice Wine Vinegar, approx 1/2 cup

Juice the first 3 ingredients, and add the salt, and vinegar, but add about 10% by volume only, approx 1/2 cup depending on the juice in your peppers and onion.

Now reduce the pepper juice mixture by about 75%, that is, leaving only 25% of the original volume of liquid.

The remaining pepper liquid should have become a little thick and syrupy.

Preparing Ted's Memorial Day BBQ ribs
Check the seasoning. You should have a bright, sweet, somewhat garlicky and oniony, but not salty liquid -- if the flavor does not pop enough add salt a TSP at a time until the flavor develops.

Good. Mix it all together, that is, the Mesquite Steak Sauce, the Hoisin, and the Bell Pepper reduction you've just made. Taste it. If you want something hotter, add your Hot Sauce of choice, or some Huy Fong Chili Garlic mix, for a really good kick. You don't want to add the Bell Pepper reduction, or make it? Fine. The Mesquite/Hoisin mixture is great by itself.

Now we are going to grill the ribs at 300 DEG until they are tender and nearly done. For those of you with a digital meat thermometer, that's about 180 degrees. For those of you who do not, that's when 1/8" of bone starts to show at the sides of the racks of ribs and the ribs are knife tender, but not fork tender.

If you are doing this on the grill, be sure to use indirect heat, and do not place the ribs directly over the open flame.

At the 180 DEG point with 1/8" of bone showing, we begin to mop the ribs with the mop/glaze every 15 minutes or so, for about 1/2 hour(3 mops) to 45 minutes (4 mops), at which point the ribs will measure around 190 to 195 DEG , and they will show 1/4" of bone and start to pull apart easily.

They are done.


Happy Memorial Day! Or, at this point, since we are posting late on the holiday, Happy 4th of July!

You don't actually need an excuse ...


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kinnelon Critter File: Foxes

New Jersey Red FoxSmoke Rise neighbor Chuck Mougalian shares these photos of Kinnelon foxes hanging out, appropriately enough, on Fox Ledge Road in Kinnelon for the Kinnelon Critter File.

According to Chuck, he has noticed this fox every day for the past week or so in the neighborhood.

From the pictures, the fox looks to be a red fox [vulpes vulpes], one of two New Jersey fox species.

Interestingly, foxes aren't the largest of critters. From Foxes in New Jersey - published by the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife - they range from 8 to 15 pounds -- not too far from what my cats weigh on the low end.

They are crepuscular critters, active early or late in the day.

Now, I have declared war on groundhogs and am delighted to discover that foxes will consume groundhogs [or woodchucks] and might even take over their dens. Only seems fair. And they don't even eat your flowers.... unlike woodchucks.

Kinnelon Critter File: FoxesI'm curious. Have you encountered foxes? Emma and I once caught sight of one toward the extension of the Pyramid Mountain trail. That was a few years ago.

Have you seen any lately? What have you observed in terms of habits?

I'd love to hear your about what you've observed.

Thank you, Chuck, for sharing these photos.

Added 6/1/10: Here is a link to other entries in the Kinnelon Critter File. If you come across other critters, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kinnelon's L'Ecole Museum's June 5 Garage Sale: We Need Your Support!

Kinnelon's L'Ecole MuseumFor at least the past 13 years, the Friends of The Kinnelon Historical Commission have been sponsoring the annual Garage Sale that benefits l'Ecole Museum in Kinnelon, NJ. This year's event takes place on June 5th, 2010.

The Friends of the Kinnelon Historical Commission are a 501-c(3) Charitable Corporation whose sole purpose is to raise funds to support the historical commission's goals and museum. For example, when you visit the museum, all of the display cases and old photograph frames as well as the funding for such projects is raised by the Friends of the Kinnelon Historical Commission.

For the June 5 Garage Sale, we have several opportunities to help support L'Ecole Museum.

Donate Items For The Garage Sale!

Do you have any quality items to donate for the Garage Sale? More specifically, furniture, art, china, dvds, glassware, unwanted gifts, tools, video games, antiques and other household items. [Please, no clothing or used computer equipment.]

If you do, please bring your donations to L'Ecole Museum located at 25 Kiel Avenue in Kinnelon on Saturdays and Sundays between 1 to 4 PM. The last day to donate is Sunday, May 3oth.

Note: when you donate quality items, you can receive a tax deduction receipt. However, the amount claimed for the donation must reflect the value that could be realized at the garage sale. Simply contact Caryl Keyser at 973-838-2378.

Come To The Garage Sale on June 5th!

The Garage Sale itself takes place on Saturday, June 5th from 9am to 3pm at L'Ecole Museum in Kinnelon. Definitely plan on coming!

Although the museum's tour guide won't be available until 1pm to 4pm, the museum will be open all day. It's a gem of a building so if you haven't had an opportunity to experience it and Kinnelon's history, this will be time well spent...

Here's my post about my visit to Kinnelon's L'Ecole Museum.

Consider Volunteer Day at L'Ecole Museum!

In addition to the regular tours, L'Ecole will also be hosting a volunteer day - also from 9am to 3pm - during which interested residents who wish to help out can volunteer with the Friends of The Kinnelon Historical Commission and find out how to help expand and preserve Kinnelon's collection of historical memorabilia.

What an opportunity on all counts! I hope to see you there.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kinnelon's 2010 Poetry Contest

National Poetry Month in Kinnelon, NJThe third annual Kinnelon poetry contest took place this past April 2010 with the showdown on April 29th. Sadly, I was out of town and missed witnessing how much our children have blossomed since last year in their poetic abilities. However, Ted and my Flipcam filled me in, and Galina Adair who heads up the Kinnelon Children's Library provided me with the facts... Galina reports as follows:

We had over 100 entrees fro the Written part of contest. Over 50 signed up to recite - BUT 42 actually did show up and perform/recite their poem of choice.

PNC Bank very graciously donated the $100 Savings bond for each category, i.e. $100 for every winner in grade categories and written/recitation ($600 worth).

Here are the Kinnelon 2010 POETRY CONTEST WINNERS!!!!

2010 Kinnelon Poetry Contest Recitation Winners

K-1st - Emma McManus
2nd-3rd Jenny Vecchione
4th-5th Anna Rose Collins

2010 Kinnelon Poetry Contest Written Poem Winners

K-1st - Julia Hackney
2nd-3rd - Brian Haines
4th-5th - Jessica Lisowski

These are their poems:

by Julia Hackney, 1st grade

I love to subtract
I like to add
I like math and I think it's bad

I love numbers
They are fun to divide
They sometimes are even

There are all different shapes
That we see everywhere
Like a stop sign is an octagon
And a window is a square

Math helps me measure
I can use my ruler.
Some people use centimeters,
but I think inches are cooler.

From my circular hula-hoop
To the squares in my path,
Everything everywhere
Is made up of math!

by Brian Haines, 2nd grade

Turning around in a twisted maze
Needing to go all different ways.
Stars shooting, lights getting lit,
Gotta stop living in this illusion
Why does it always have to be something unexpected?

Something just popping out of nowhere.
Looking down for a hill so high,seeing all the birds just pass by.
Why does everything I see have to be upside-down?
Why can't I just turn my life around?
Spooky eyes in a weird gaze.
Looking beyond the universe all different ways.

by Jessica Lisowski, 4th grade

I'm from mysterious books
I'm from an older sister and crying younger cousins
I'm from colors of the rainbow
I'm from my room
I'm from fights with my sister
I'm from pets
I'm from winter and summer
I'm from shopping with my mom
I'm from friends
I'm from hot chocolate and Christmas
I'm from hot gingerbread cookies coming out of the oven
I'm from dancing, soccer and softball
I'm from love and family

Congratulations to the winners of the 2010 Kinnelon written poetry contest and the poetry recitation contest! And, thank you, Galina, for creating such exciting opportunities for our children and sharing the results with us here!


Emma participated in both the written poem and the recitation contest. This is her third year participating. Here is her poem:

My Spring Allergies
by Emma Whittemore, 2nd grade

My allergies annoy me.
They're as irritating as can be.

I sneeze and sneeze and sneeze again,
I rub my eyes and nose.
I've taken all the pills and drops,
I will not smell a rose.

Boy, I hate that pollen so!
It looks like someone punched me, no?

I rub and rub and rub again.
I have to take a bath
To clean my hair and face
'Til pollen is no place.

There has been so much rain,
Mold has become a pain.
Trees are my enemies, too.
Achoo! Achoo! Achoo!

Complaining won't work.
Rubbing won't work.
Taking medicine won't work.
Even ignoring it won't work.

My allergies definitely annoy me
And are as irritating as can be.

And the video. You'll note that it starts at her second stanza.
[Subscribers, please click on this YouTube link for Emma's poetry recitation.]

We are very proud of her!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

4th Annual Kinnelon Conserves Earth Day Fair Success!

Kinnelon ConservesWere you there? Did you take part in the 4th Annual Kinnelon Conserves Earth Day 2010 Fair at Pearl Miller School? We did and had a blast. I invited Kinnelon Conserves' Avery Hart to share highlights from the event.

Kinnelon Conserves would like to thank the community for its participation and assistance in making our 4th Annual Earth Day Fair at Pearl R. Miller School another success. The fair was attended by over 350 visitors who were treated to an array of up-to-date, cutting edge, eco-displays and information.

BobolinkFair-goers were met with a bonanza of scientific information, creative interpretations and artistic displays created by students from local schools, including Our Lady of the Magnificat Catholic School, and representing the public schools, Kinnelon’s Director of Technology & Curriculum Science, Smoke Rise resident Noreen LaFergola, working with Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Diane DiGiuseppe, to assure full student participation.

Pearl R. Miller School Principal Mark Mongon welcomed a swarm of grassroots volunteers into his school with a smile, and maintenance staff member Danny Pregenzer did an efficient job setting up and breaking down the event.

Kinnelon Conserves Earth Day FairOver 40 business and civic entities were represented, including from the Kinnelon Public Library, NJ Highlands Coalition, and NJ Native Plant Society to home energy companies, natural health products, makers of biodegradable toys and handbags constructed from recycled gum wrappers. Local beekeepers Don and Allison Lynch and about 1000 of their furry flying friends convinced attendees to appreciate the place of bees in our human lives.

The Water LadyMontville’s Sue Marinello, AKA“The Water Lady” fascinated fair goers with her knowledge of water issues.

A Kinnelon Conserves generated exhibit, “Read the Fine Print” provided attendees with magnifying glasses so that they could identify (and avoid) potentially toxic ingredients that lurk in everyday products, a long list of which was posted on the gym wall.

Student clubs and Girl Scout troop #1308 created and ran interactive activities and lent plenty of energy and muscle to the Fair’s success. KHS senior, Matt Vail, managed all the road signs and also made sure that bins were provided for the Adopt-A-Family used sneaker collection that benefits those without shoes in Africa.

Kinnelon resident Vic Oburg once again proudly displayed his "Smart Car” for all to see, and several Dept of Public Workers were on hand to chat with residents about local environmental and recycling concerns. A large number of non-profit exhibitors heightened awareness of the important roles we all play in protecting the natural environment.

Local guitarist Tony Christopher serenaded attendees with song as they took in displays of nature photography, demonstrations of martial arts, and viewed animation, The Story of Stuff.

Kinnelon Community GardenThe Fair offered a wide array of products and services all designed to demonstrate to attendees how to live more lightly on the earth. Fair-goers enjoyed locally-made organic cheese, bread, cakes and cookies. They sniffed aromatic organic soaps, bought wooden products crafted from fallen Kinnelon trees, and had a chance to examine solar panels and insulation close up. They were exposed to alternatives to toxic garden and lawn products, offered green ideas for home remodeling, and a chance to sign petitions.

The most popular petition by far was one signed in support of a public Kinnelon Borough Community Garden.

Sign the petition for the Kinnelon Community GardenPeople with smiling faces ended their afternoon at the Fair by taking home the free perennial plants they’d potted themselves, some sample products, plus lots of ideas for protecting the earth that sustains us.

Special thanks to these organizations which contributed and exhibited during the 4th Annual Kinnelon Conserves Earth Day Fair:

Adopt a Family Program
Plant Health Alternatives
Toys Camp
Eberhard’s Recycled Wood: 973-838-7691Pot your own free perennials!
Young Living with Avery
Berrios Creative Crochet
Paul K Tiajoloff, Architect LLC: 973-402-0277(O)
PNC Bank
Solar Living Inc.(
Glenwild Garden Center
Natural Turf
Only Green
Jim’s Organic Coffee
The Awarenest
Tony Christopher
Harvest Morn Honey: 973-838-0964
Home Energy Matters
Finishing Touch Landscaping
Stone Cliff Cleaners
Tri-Boro Animal Welfare
Global Shade Tree Professionals
Red the Tender Clown creates paint magic!The Land Conservancy of NJ
Holistic Mom’s Network
Bobolink Dairy & Bakery
Bob’s Clocks: 973-838-6735
Designs by Eleanor
Ellie's Health Shoppe
Evergreen Healing Arts: 201-704-0823(cell)
Cipriano Landscape Design
Purple DragonEmma's lovely catRenewable Resource Systems:
Ross Solar Group:
Shop by Stella:
Traditional Okinowan Karate:

These organizations contributed, but weren't able to exhibit:

Samantha Peterson-Salvador, Barefoot Books: 732-787-1812
Joseph D’Aloisio, Shop to Earth: 973-728-3516

For information about joining Kinnelon Conserves, please call (973) 492-3404, go to or send email to

Thank you, Avery, and congratulations, Kinnelon Conserves on another successful Earth Day Fair!

A special thank you to "Red, the Tender Clown" for her magical face and arm paintings. Emma was enchanted with her cat.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Orange Trail Hike, Ringwood NJ On 5/16/10

As promised in a previous post, here are details about the next Smoke Rise & Kinnelon hike organized by the Smoke Rise Lake & Environmental Committee... It takes place on Sunday May 16th, 2010 and will take us to Ringwood, NJ, to a newly created trail!

The newly created Orange trail off West Brook road in Ringwood.

Plan to meet on Sunday May 16 at 1PM in the parking area at the Smoke Rise Inn.

Per Ken Bitz' description:

"This hike will be led by members of the NY/NJ trail conference who made the trail. We will be seeing Iron Ore mines that functioned from the revolutionary war through WWI to provide iron used in making cannon balls. Our guide will give us information on how these mines functioned as well as local history including the Ramapough Indians and the evolution of the Jackson Whites."

Note [added 5/10/10]: As described in the reference for the "Jackson Whites, " these people themselves prefer to be referred to as the Ramapough Mountain People, because of a historically pejorative connotation attached to the original phrase.

Please contact Ken Bitz at for more information or if you are interested in participating in this hike.

I hope to see you next week!

PS: Our hike is the featured NY/NJ Trail Conference hike of the week! See Lake Sonoma and Overlook Rock via Manaticut Point Trail. Thanks, Estelle! [added 5/10/10]

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Pond Trail Re-Opened

On May 2nd, 2010, Ken Bitz with Kathy Tabor and Lola Weiss - two long time residents and hiking enthusiasts - spent several hours re-blazing the old Blue trail from the West Shore Drive trail head in Smoke Rise to re-open New Pond Trail.

For the first time since the South Glenn Road construction project [~ 6 years?], Smoke Rise hikers may now hike from Beechwood Lane along old Mountain Road to New Pond to West Shore Drive without obstruction and without going near the South Glenn homes. [See post titled The New Pond Trail.]

[This hike, by the way, will be the one we take for the annual Smoke Rise Days hike in July. More info to follow.]

As Ken said in his email to me: "It was great to be able to re-open the trail!"

Thank you, Ken, Kathy and Lola, for making this possible!

PS: Ken says that Kathy and Lola confirmed the existence of the Bear Mountain Trail in Kinnelon. That's the mountain between Spice Bush and Kinnelon Road that you drive by on the left as you exit the East Gate. Plans are to reopen that trail in late June. Stay tuned for more info.

Happy Hiking!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ramstein Beer Open House and Tour this Saturday, May 8

Here is reminder for this weekend’s Ramstein Beer Open House and Tour, this Saturday, May 8. Just as in April, there are two tour and tasting sessions:
  • 2 PM, 1st session, and
  • 3:30 PM, 2nd session
There will be the Golden Lager, Double Platinum Blonde, Classic Dunkel Weiss, and Maibock (last call) available on draft as well as the Blonde in bottles.

I am very partial to the Golden Lager, which is the best lighter lager I have ever had, and t
he Ramstein Maibock just received a 100 rating on Ratebeer. com.

Growlers (1 and 2 liter ) will be available for sale, and SR Fresh Hot Sauce will be there with the Fresh Cayenne-Cherry, Habanero Gold, and XXXXTra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce. Come try them!

As usual, there will also be a tour and explanation of the brewing process by Greg Zaccardi, the owner. [See previous post with videos for a primer.]

And a big serving of gemutlichkeit!

See you there!

Ted and Christine and Emma
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