Sunday, August 29, 2010

St. David's 2010 Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour Bike Event - Recap

St. David's 2010 Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour Bike EventTime to recap the St. David's 2010 Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour Bike Event that we described in Kinnelon Hunger Cycle Tour: May 1, 2010...

I've exchanged emails with Mike Odian who, with Rodger Pisani, are co-chairs of this terrific event. Mike filled me in with some of the details about the event.

More specifically, that this third Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour bike event was a terrific event from multiple perspectives:

* the weather was outrageously wonderful
* a record 241 riders enjoyed the roads
* AisleFive's music was appreciated by all
* food was good and plentiful
* charities will benefit from our record earnings

Be sure to save May 7, 2011 for next year's event.

Mike also shared some history on the bike event.  Here is what he says:

"Our bike event started in 2008 as a one-time event to raise $2,500.  Well, that year we (St. David's) attracted 84 riders and raised $8,000.  So, we set a target of raising $100,000 thru the year 2015. 

In 2009 the numbers were 161 riders and $12,000.  This year we hit 241 riders and $28,000.  This was helped by the generosity of an "angel" who provided a $10,000 matching gift if we committed to raising an equal amount of money.  So, in three years we have raised $48,000. 

The 2010 moneys were donated to support clean water projects in Africa and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.  It's a "think globally and locally; act globally and locally". 

One last very important point. I would be remiss in not naming the individual whose idea and vision made all of this possible.  It is Rodger Pisani, an avid cyclist and great guy!"

Thanks, Mike!

Ted, Emma and I had a blast taking part in this bicycle event. We decided to ride from our house to St. David's, do the four mile route and relax a bit to the tunes of AisleFive before heading back home.

The 4-mile tour took us from Keil Avenue behind St. David's to Ricker Road where we took a left through Kinnelon Road, left on Ricker Terrace, right onto Meadow Lane, right again on Ricker Road, immediate left onto Foothills, left on Hillside, right onto Valley, right onto Hearthstone, right onto Hillside, left onto Foothills, left on Ricker then back onto Kinnelon Road with a left heading toward route 23. We took a right onto Maple Lakes Road, right onto old Keil Avenue, left onto Keil Avenue back to Kinnelon Road and into the St. David's driveway.

In our enthusiasm, we turned back into St. David's parking lot about 1.5 miles too soon - as you'll see from the trail ride below.

kinnelon hunger cycle tour

Map your trip with EveryTrail

We still had a fantastic time as you can see from my photos from the Kinnelon Hunger Cycle Tour 2010:

We can't wait for the 2011 St. David's Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour Bike Event. In fact, Emma is saying that she wants to do the 12 mile route which takes you south on Kinnelon Road, left on Fayson Lakes Road, right on Boonton Avenue, right on Rockaway Valley Road to a rest stop, back to Four Corners, left onto Powerville Road then right into St. David's parking lot. Phew!

Perhaps we'll see you there.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cookies! Ranger Cookies! Oatmeal Cookies! Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Cookies! Ranger Cookies! Oatmeal Cookies! Chocolate Chip Cookies!
We like cookies!

And we especially like the cookies we make ourselves.

Because, if we do say so ourselves, these cookies are REALLY GOOD!

Our current pleasure and satisfaction with cookies started out just the other way around -- we did not like most of the commercial cookies we bought and didn't like the cookie dough-in-a-log cookies from the refrigerated section of the supermarket. They had a funny taste.

And as much as we cook and like to cook, we are not bakers. So .. what to do?

But we decided, after all, how hard could it be? They're just cookies, right?

The internet is FULL of recipes for cookies, so we decided to start with well-recognized recipe sources like Food Network, Nestle (Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, don't you know?), Epicurious, Martha Stewart, and so on.

And we discovered that there are only so many basic recipes, and most are more similar than they are different.

Our current favorites include:

Ranger Cookie Variation (no coconut), other ad-ins:

2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 TSP Salt
1 TSP Baking Soda
2 sticks, 1/2 lb Unsalted Butter at room temperature (you can nuke it soft -- do not melt it)
2 TSP Vanilla (the real stuff, not artificial)
1 cup refined White Sugar
1 cup light or dark Brown Sugar
2 Beaten Eggs
1-1/2 cups crushed Corn Flakes
1-1/2 cups Quick Oatmeal -- optional
2 cups dried Cranberries
2 cups chopped Walnuts
1 cup Nestle Heat Bar crushed Toffee and Milk Chocolate
1 cup Nestle or preferably Ghirardelli White Chocolate

The last 2 items are available in the Baking Section of your supermarket. If you don't like nuts, leave 'em out -- same for any of the other ingredients

Mix the first 3 ingredients together in a mixing bowl, reserve, and add the next 4 ingredients to another mixing bowl and roughly mix by hand/spoon, then switch to a hand mixer or stand mixer and mix for 1 to 2 minutes or until the mixture lightens in color noticeably. Then add the beaten ages and continue mixing for another minute or 2 until well incorporated..

Add the flour, salt, baking soda mixture to the sugar, butter, etc. mixture and fold/mix together for a couple of minutes with a big spoon or a silicone spatula -- you hand or stand mixer will have a tough time with the mixture as it becomes increasingly stiff.

Add the Corn Flakes and optional Oatmeal (if you want), and mix again until well incorporated.

Last but not least add the remaining 4 items, Cranberries, Walnuts, Toffee, White Chocolate and mix again. The cookie dough mixture will be VERY stiff by now. Persevere! It's worth it.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and grab your biggest sheet pan(s). If you have parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, so much the better, but the plain baking sheet will be fine. You will just have to do more pan cleaning between batches.

Drop large golf ball sized  spoons of cookie dough 3 inches or so apart onto the pan or use wet hands so the dough will not stick, and then with a wet spoon or hand, lightly flatten each ball to about 1/2 an inch thick.

Bake in the middle of the oven for anywhere from 15 to 22 minutes according to your oven and personal taste. I like well-cooked cookies, and my oven runs a little cool, so I bake them for about 20 minutes.

The will be great from about 15 minutes after removal from the oven, but best the next day.

Do you have cookie recipes you like?

Yours in cookie dough,

~Ted and Emma

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Kinnelon's 33rd Annual Book Sale: August 27-30

Kinnelon Annual Book SaleAre you ever in for a treat!  The 33rd Kinnelon Annual Book Sale takes place Friday, August 27 through Monday, August 30, 2010 and I believe it will be the most outstanding one yet!

For one reason, I think you will find a rich selection of book marvels to choose from!  You see, book donations to the Kinnelon Annual Book Sale have been at an all-time high. In fact, we hoped to donate another 3 boxes today and were turned down. 

The Kinnelon Annual Book Sale is a gem of an event for finding unexpected treasures. It reminds me of the visits my Dad took me on in McLean, VA when I was a kid to the second hand book store where -inevitably- I went home with another marvelous adventure in hand.

The recent press release gives you a  better feel for what makes the event unique:

"Book lovers from New York City to Philadelphia have discovered Kinnelon because of this event.  We offer fiction and non-fiction for children to adults at incredible bargain prices.  For variety and quality, this book sale cannot be equaled.  Collectors items, best sellers, how-to-books, cook books, great gifts for coffee tables and fellow readers, and just about any other kind of book you may be looking for may be found here. Come to our sale on August 27-30 (Friday 9-6, Saturday & Monday 9-4; Sunday 11-3) at the Kiel Avenue Firehouse (off Kinnelon Road) Call 973-838-1321 or visit and click on the ‘Friends’ link."

Definitely a special event! I hope you'll invite everyone you know to it.

Here are nitty-gritty details for the 33rd Kinnelon Annual Book Sale. It takes place at the Kiel Avenue Firehouse in Kinnelon, NJ.
Kinnelon 33rd Annual Book Sale

Kinnelon Annual Book Sale Hours:

Fri. August 27:  9AM – 6PM (New Hours!)
Sat. August 28:  9AM – 4 PM
Sun. August 29:  11AM – 3 PM Half Price Day
Mon. August 30:  9AM – 4PM Bag Day (Fill a paper bag for $3.)

As some of the Kinnelon Annual Book Sale communications state:

"You can not afford to miss this! (Send a friend with your list if you have to be away.) 

Most hardcover books and trade paperbacks are $2. Standard paperbacks are $1. Gift-quality books and Children's books have special pricing."

Volunteers at the Annual Kinnelon Book SaleKinnelon Annual Book Sale Directions:

If you are from out-of-town...
  • 287 to exit 52 towards Butler onto Rt. 23 North
  • When driving 287 South, Exit 52 A&B splits. Go uphill.
  • Merge into a center lane to avoid being shunted into a shopping center.
  • Pass lights at Morse Ave., Boonton Ave., and Cascade.
  • Turn right onto the Kiel Ave. & Kinnelon Road jughandle. Watch for a sign just after Coldwell Banker realtors.
  • Turn left onto Kinnelon Road facing Route 23.
  • It usually takes two lights to get across Route 23.
  • Go three lights to Ricker Road.
  • Pass lights at Kakeout and Maple Lake.
  • Turn left onto Ricker and go about 1/10th of a mile to Kiel Ave.
  • Turn right onto Kiel Ave. Go 2/10ths of a mile.
  • The Kiel Ave. Firehouse will be on your left. 
What's amazing about this event is the scale of it. Here are some stats from 2009:

"Over 20,000 books of fiction & non-fiction for adults, children and young adults. The few books left over after the sale were donated to the Father English Community Center in Paterson, NJ."


"With the book bin over-flowing and bags and cartons of books covering six tables, the sale was set up in record time with the assistance of the Kinnelon Department of Public Works. The book sale volunteers then began the arduous task of sorting and shelving books. Concurrently, more donations were being received. After three long weeks, we were ready for the sale."

Kinnelon's Book SaleI can't even imagine processing or coordinating that many books... And that was last year!

It's an effort that requires taking over the Kiel Avenue Firehouse for the entire month of August.

As well as intense dedication from amazing Kinnelon Book Sale volunteers!  From the Friends of the Kinnelon Library website, here are the 2010 Book Sale Volunteers:

Nancy Barnett, Pat Bianchi, Igor Broz, Pat Canning, JC Cooper, Trevor DeVissor, Lou Diani, Keren and Matt Duss, Helen Egan, Linda Farmer, Bob and Lori Frank, Kris Frank, Louise Gallarelli, Rachael Gallegan, Wanda Gilbert, Avery Hart, Denise and Max Hofbauer, Dee Holtermann, Deven and Trevor Horton, Tom Hurley, Marlys Huss, Arden Knudsen, George and Valerie LeBlanc, Amy Leonard, Ron and Barbara Leavesley, Dorothy McMahon, Sandy Miller, Joe Mitchell, Robin Mitchell, Nancy Morley, Vic and Kathy Oburg, Nancy and Robert Patterson, Kayle and Mary Pitts, Julie Puccia, Charley and Aline Roselius, Shelley Schick, Betty Schmidt, Jim Seeto, Elaine Sheehy, Barbara Sisco, Bill Smyth, Ruth Stern, Elizabeth Tiebk, Peg Wagner, Myrna Weisselberg, Lois Wolfer, Nancy, Michael, and Jesse Zuccagnim


And, a Special thanks to the Pathmark of Kinnelon for their generous donation of shopping bags.

Get your book list ready, and please let your friends know about this amazing Kinnelon Annual Book Sale event. It takes place August 27th through August 30th, 2010.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ramstein Open House in Pictures - 2010

SR Fresh Hot Sauce at Ramstein Open House
SR Fresh Hot Sauce signs by Emma
In case it wasn't obvious to you, we really enjoy the High Point Brewery Ramstein Beer Open House events on the 2nd Saturday of the month in Butler, NJ.

The very first reason is for the friendliness of the event.

And we have lots of other reasons for liking the event, too, many of which follow.

We see our friends from Ramstein - Greg, Tina, Brian, Darren, Dennis and many others.

We see friends from the Morris County Park Commission hikes as well as from Smoke Rise, Kinnelon, Butler, Riverdale, Montville and even Bergen County [thank you, Mimi!].

We're particularly delighted that Klaus, after living in Smoke Rise for ~30 years, has finally located authentic German-style wheat beer worthy of his home town in Germany.

There's the beer itself, some of which changes from event to event, including seasonal beers like the Oktoberfest or the Maibock as well as regular lagers and ales which are brewed in rotation. Each monthly open house is its own celebration of the latest craft brewing process.

We love the discussion of beer making that takes place during the tour Greg Zaccardi gives of the brewery - especially since, every time, Greg adds new details.

The beer-related t-shirts are fantastic!  Here are a few I took pictures of recently:

Relax with Beer

Get Your Hands on a Ramstein Blonde
"Get Your Hands on a (Ramstein) Blonde"

Support your local brewery
"Support Your Local Brewery"

Beer is Food
"Beer is Food" (especially with SR Fresh Hot Sauce!)

Finally, it's an international and cultural experience! Our Dutch friend Alex visits; I've chatted with French and Canadian visitors.

Most recently, we met a couple from Ukraine, pictured here with Emma as she poses holding their magnificent Ukrainian ceramic growler.

Ukrainian Growler
Emma learning about Ukrainian Growlers.

I bet you will have good reasons for liking the Ramstein Open House, too!

By the way, Greg shares this article by Warren Bobrow on where to find great beers in Morris County, NJ: A brewing hotbed: Discover serious brews throughout Morris County.

The next Open House on Saturday, September 11th is a big Oktoberfest event. We'll send out a reminder as we get closer, but do make a note of it in your calendar.


Kinnelon Community Gardens - Update 8/16/10 Meeting

Kinnelon Community Garden
The Kinnelon Community Gardens (KCG) held its first meeting on August 16, 2010 at the Kinnelon Library.  Galina Adair reports as follows on the meeting and next steps, including the next meeting to be held Monday August 30, 2010!


Kinnelon Community Gardens Timeline

The timeline for breaking ground for our Kinnelon Community Gardens would be by OCTOBER 1st.

Kinnelon Community Gardens Mission Statement

We spoke about creating a Mission Statement, but we did not want it to be complicated. Sustainable West Milford has a GREAT mission statement – so, we recycled it a little and made it our own:

Kinnelon Community Gardens hopes to empower residents to be advocates for sustainable communities. Enabling community members to transform Kinnelon into an environmentally friendly and sustainable community through their personal participation and leadership.

Kinnelon Community Gardens Property Search Committee

I guess the biggest question on everyone’s mind is Where Will The Kinnelon Community Garden Be?  We do not know yet, Mary Cobell and Galina Adair volunteered to do a property search. 30 acres behind rec and behind town hall as well as areas around schools were suggested.

Kinnelon Community Gardens Master Gardener List

A list of Kinnelon Master Gardeners needs to be put together, because we will be deferring to them for help. Possible sources mentioned were Frelinghuysen and Rutgers Co-op Extension. Theresa Haulser will be looking into this.

Kinnelon Community Gardens PR Committee

Kathy Valischeck and Kim Mazurkiewicz

Kinnelon Community Gardens Resource List

Mary Derstine

***If you would like help w/any of the above committees please contact the individuals involved already.

Decisions Made

We did decide upon the following issues:

* The Kinnelon Community Gardens are going to be ORGANIC!!!
* It can be a Public Garden/Education Center.
* Approach local business for work donations.
* Glenwild is a local GREEN garden center…
* Is this going to be just vegetables or include flowers also?

Next Kinnelon Community Gardens Meeting

Monday, August 30th, 7-8 will be the next meeting. Local community garden representatives will tell us how they got their gardens started. We will be able to ask questions. RIGHT AFTER this meeting, we will have our Kinnelon Community Garden meeting.

There were a multitude of other questions as well…..will we need insurance, how long will the plots be, should we charge, etc. For next time.


All exciting news! 

Do you want to be involved? Attend the 8/30/10 meeting or contact Galina Adair via email at:

Thanks, Galina! Congratulations, Kinnelon Community Gardens!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

NJ Open Coffee, MontClair, Thursdays 11am-12:30pm

NJ Open Coffee Montclair
If you are interested in technology and how to make use of social media marketing, you might be interested in NJ Open Coffee in Montclair.  It takes place every Thursday, from 11am to 12:30pm at Cafe Eclectic in Montclair, 444 Bloomfield Avenue.

For more details and to RSVP, visit Meetup for NJ Open Coffee, Montclair. You can register, receive email reminders and learn more.

The conversation is stimulating, informative, and fun. It ranges from music to geo-location based social applications, to launching new businesses and highlighting news from recent conferences. 

Chris Kieff
Chris Kieff
Not only will you learn about new local businesses - e.g., - and talk about best practices, you'll also connect with others interested in social media, technology, marketing and PR.

NJ Open Coffee is organized by Joe Mulligan who writes Backpage Notes [he's also passionate about extreme music, beer, and biking] and  Chris Kieff, author of 1 Good Reason
and soon to be Adjunct Professor at Bergen Community College!

[Note: Chris also hosts NJ Open Coffee in Englewood, NJ on Fridays if that's more convenient for you. I recently realized that my friend Brad Jobling [see Brad Jobling on Social Media and Columbia Department of Surgery] is a co-organizer with Joe Mulligan for the Englewood NJ Open Coffee! Small world.]

Joe Mulligan
Joe Mulligan
The setting in Montclair at Cafe Ecletic is extremely friendly with big chairs and sofas, good lattes and pastries, local artwork on the walls and WiFi if necessary. Here is a link to Cafe Eclectic's MySpace page.

I'd love to see you at an upcoming NJ Open Coffee Montclair.  I make it every 3 or 4 weeks as my schedule permits.

If you're on Twitter, consider following NJ Open Coffee on Twitter. You can also follow me at @CBWhittemore. [If you need Twitter guidance, I've written a post on the subject titled How Do I Do Twitter?]

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Smoke Rise Summers - Now & Then

Smoke Rise Beach 1960
Smoke Rise Beach 1960
How are you capturing memories of your Smoke Rise summers?  Are you taking pictures? Here's a really good reason: so you can appreciate how wonderful Summer is and was back then...

These images from Smoke Rise Summers past come from Herb Fisher Jr. [read his previous contributions] who remembers endless great days growing up in Smoke Rise.

Aren't they fabulous? I'm enjoying noticing how much hasn't changed, and what has.  For example, I'm trying to figure out where those rocks in the photo above were [to the right as you look at the swim lanes?]...

These photos remind me, too, to take more pictures including ones of the Sunday sailboat races. 

Some details from Herb.

The first five photos date back to 1960 and capture Herb and his parents, Herb Sr. and Emily Fisher.

Smoke Rise Beach supplied the Adirondack chairs that you see Herb and Emily sitting in on the Rotunda.  Notice the rope barrier [which is now a solid fence].

If I'm not mistaken, adults wanting to get away from children on the beach went to the Rotunda. Children may also not have been allowed there? Does anyone have details and know how long the Rotunda was used in this manner?

Smoke Rise Beach Rotunda 1960
Herb and Emily on the Smoke Rise Beach Rotunda, 1960

Emily Fisher, Smoke Rise Beach, 1960

 Young Herb Fisher, Jr. on Smoke Rise Beach.

Young Herb Fisher, Jr. on a sailboat... having given up on sail worthy wind?

For these next two pictures, step forward twenty-five years to 1985 when Herb Jr. and his wife Jan visited Herb Sr. and Emily in Smoke Rise.  Their daughter, Jenny is ~ 7.

By the way, that slide looks fantastic! Emma's reaction when she saw it: "Lucky!"  Notice the swimming platform.  I don't see any lane markers, though. Was a formal swimming area [outside of the swim lanes] not marked off?

Jenny Fisher at 7 years old, Smoke Rise Beach

Jenny Fisher, 7 years old, Smoke Rise Beach

Finally, a photo from 1991 when Jenny is 12 captured here with her mom and grandmother. The lifeguard chairs haven't changed too much!

Jenny, Jan and Emily Fisher, 1991, Smoke Rise Beach

Herb says movie night on the beach was a regular occurrence while he was growing up. And, although he doesn't remember camping on the beach, he says that Jenny participated in it when she visited. Jenny loved visiting Smoke Rise.  According to Herb, "The magic is still there. There is no better place on earth for Emma or me or others to grow up in than Smoke Rise."

Inspired by Herb's marvelous photos, I took this one a few weeks back with miPhone. I'll have to take more with my regular camera so you can see better detail. There's our slide [not as dramatic an incline, but a big hit nonetheless], the marked off swim area and general summer fun from July 2010.

Smoke Rise Beach, July 2010. Notice the slide in the distance....

Thanks, Herb, for sharing these images of Smoke Rise Summers back then.

What memories do you have of growing up in and around Smoke Rise and Kinnelon?
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