Monday, November 29, 2010

Come to the Hot Sauce Talk at L'Ecole, Wed. Dec. 8th at 7 PM

Kinnelon Community Gardens has invited me to talk about Hot Sauces and the making of Hot Sauces as a part of their Monthly Education Seminar Program, so .. that's what I'm going to do, on the evening of Wednesday Dec. 8 at 7 PM at L'Ecole, 25 Kiel Ave. in Kinnelon. I will also bring some of the Hot Sauces that I make for tasting and sale.

I myself have liked spicy and hot food including Hot Sauce since my late teens and have been making Hot Sauces for over 20 years. Check out The Fresh Hot Sauce Blog, and the SR Fresh Hot Sauce website for more information, including reviews of popular hot sauces, in my inimitable writing style.

I attended the Bee Keeping Talk earlier this fall and enjoyed it a lot. We had a good crowd and I am not surprised since most people do like honey, after all.

I'm wondering if there are enough Hot Sauce enthusiasts out there interested in hearing about the history of Hot Sauce in America, from McIlhenny's commercial  introduction of Tabasco in 1868 (yeah, that long ago), to more boutique and colorfully named brands such as Dave's Insanity and Blair Lazar's "Death" Sauces in the last 2 decades of the 20th century.

I will also talk about popular methods of crushing, chopping and juicing peppers and related hot sauce ingredients and methods of preserving and bottling the results as Hot Sauce.

Do you like Hot Sauce?

Wanna make some???


OK. Just come and listen!

Don't like Hot Sauce???

I am sorry for you -- you can stay home.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010!

No, this isn't a turkey, but it is a real Heron photographed in Smoke Rise and with it we wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Many thanks for being part of the Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog. We truly appreciate it.

Christine, Ted & Emma

PS: If you are cooking for the Thanksgiving Holiday, what is your favorite recipe?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

MCPC Hikes: Discover Morris County's Trails

If you haven't taken part in a MCPC [Morris County Park Commission] hike, you are missing out on one of the best local activities available for discovering Morris County's Trails. The hikes take place monthly on the first Saturday of the month, and explore the many parks and municipalities of Morris County.

I shared with you how I first discovered the program in this post from 2009 titled Morris County Hiking Trails In Daily Record. Since then, we've participated in many of the hikes, learned a lot about the area, and met fun people.

Most amazing about this program are the three MCPC people who organize each hike, map it out, prepare the trail, guide, and invite local representatives to join in and provide perspective on the creation of the trail:  Russ Nee, Tom Edmunds and Janet McMillan.

By the way, Russ Nee, MCPC Trails Foreman, quoted in the 2009 Daily Record article, is pictured here in this September 15, 2010 article titled "Patriots Path runners trail being resurfaced."

MCPC Hikes: Discover Morris County's Trails

MCPC Hikes: Details of our Discovery of Morris County's Trails

Here are the details of the MCPC hikes we've been on. These posts include trail map, photos and any historic references I'm able to find. I will add to the list as I complete posts about more recent hikes.

Let me know if you have any questions. We'd love to see you on an upcoming MCPC Hike.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Smoke Rise Spirits Shop

Have you ever taken a walk behind the Smoke Rise Inn? There's a doorway there with a green awning that I believe may have been the door to the Smoke Rise Spirit Shop.  You know, the place from where Smoke Rise Spirits Survive came.

After receiving those Smoke Rise Spirits photos from Herb Fisher, I asked him for details and learned that his Dad, Herb Fisher Sr., had run the Spirit Shop!  Here is what he shared:

"Herb ran the Spirit Shop (volunteer/no compensation) with his "lady friends".

Why he stopped? I really can't add much to this story.  We lived down in Texas and the only exposure I had was when we visited my parents in Smoke Rise during that one summer. 

Several times during that two or three week period I would help him stock the shelves or carry stuff in from the delivery truck -- while I was there I did not want him to carry cases of booze and beer. 

He enjoyed doing it (kept him busy) plus at the back of the current bar at the Inn was a window type arrangement, so Herb could chat with the bartender (think his name was Jim Rodda) and chat with anyone who was sitting at the bar. Besides a pilot, Herb was a Public Relations expert and enjoyed BS-ing with everyone!

Jim Rohrer was running Rosernes at the time and there was some reason why Harry Rohrer, Jim's oldest brother decided not to get involved with the Inn. I cannot really remember."

I asked Herb about his Dad's bar and whether it was stocked with Smoke Rise Spirits.

Emily Fisher
"No, Herb's bar at home, from as far back as I can remember, was stocked with "top shelf" liquor.  His favorite was Scotch: Chivas 12 year old, 18 year old Highland Park, etc., or other whiskeys - Jack Daniels Single Barrel, Crown Royal, and the same for vodkas and rums.  Herb made one huge unreal Bloody Mary for overnight guests that accompanied Emily and Mitzi's/Nana late morning super brunches.  That drink was a 628 Mountain Road specialty (Emily enjoyed one or two on occasion... See photo).

Herb kept a bottle of Smoke Rise Scotch, Bourbon, etc. at the house more as a novelty. He would also send them as gifts. Ya know, living in an upscale gated community with it's own liquor label, status!

When I see a picture like the attached... Emily reminds me of Barbara Billingsley, mother of Wally and the Beave/the TV show "Leave it to Beaver".  Those were better times. Glad I lived them."

Thanks, Herb, for helping us imagine The Smoke Rise Spirits Shop! Any chance you have Herb's unreal Bloody Mary recipe?

Do you have memories or stories relating to the Smoke Rise Spirits Shop? What about recipes for favorite drinks served at the Smoke Rise Inn or even at family events?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Coyotes In Our Community -- They're Here to Stay!

Coyotes In Our Community
Coyote in the "Light Phase" Color Doing Its Thing

We have coyotes in Kinnelon as permanent residents and we're going to have to come to terms with them! That's the message we took away from the Coyotes in Our Communities lecture given Monday, Nov. 8, 2010 at the Kinnelon High School, by the The NJ Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish & Wildlife.

In a fairly informal lecture with statistics and pictures with questions asked and answered afterwards, a moderate sized crowd was given a picture of the rise of the coyote population in NJ over the last 60 years, a bunch of facts, what to expect of coyotes, how to deal with them, and what the State of New Jersey's policy is toward coyotes.

First some facts:

For whatever reason, coyotes are new to New Jersey, and in fact the entire Eastern United States. They have pushed eastward from their traditional range in and around the Rocky Mountains in only the last hundred years or so. It's not a case of them having been hunted to extinction, and that they are now bouncing back, but simply that they are now able to expand in a way they have not been able to before.

The guesstimate of a population for coyotes in NJ is about 3,000 individuals, based on sightings, roadkill, diseased and/or dead animals reported, and hunter kills, which are legal during deer season, and which must be reported to the State within 24 hours of the kill.

The greatest density of animals is in the north and west of the State, and northern Morris County is in the high density area.
Depending on sex and age, adults vary size from 35 to about 50 lbs; they live less than 10 years in the wild, and perhaps as little as six.

Most coyotes do not make it to adulthood, but die before reaching the age of 1 and before they've learned enough to stay alive. They are hit by cars, taken by disease, and/or fail as hunters when they are pushed out of the family group at about 6 months of age.

Litters are produced in the spring, and only in the spring, and they are on their own by early fall. Which means that each adult pair produces a maximum of 6 new coyotes per year, most of which do not survive that first year.

Coyotes come in different colors or "phases" from from lightish beige and grey, to to a darkish charcoal color.

They have bushy tails which they hold still and down, unlike many dogs.

Their scat is somewhat dog-like but contains a lot of small bones and fur.

They do NOT hunt in packs and are not pack animals. Sightings of multiple animals are FAMILY sightings, which top out at around 8 animals, a typical litter of 6 and 2 parents.

They hunt small prey, considerably smaller than themselves, principally rodents such as rabbits, mice and voles, as well as birds, up to and including wild turkeys, and will consider small dogs up to about 20 lbs, and possibly even small children of a similar size, to be prey.

They are dusk and nocturnal hunters but not exclusively, and may be seen in daylight.

Coyotes ARE afraid of people and WILL give ground if charged or approached, if they are not cornered.

New Jersey has only 5 employees for the entire state to deal with larger animals, including mammals and birds, such as bear, deer, turkeys, owls, falcons, bobcats, and, yes, coyotes.

The state will not take any pro-active action against coyotes in any area, but will only address specific problems such as repeated taking of livestock, or attacks against people, because of a lack of NJ State resources, and because the experience of Western states has been that it has not been possible to eradicate, or even curtail the coyote population, even with the commitment of substantial public funds -- which NJ does not have.

That's about it for the facts I remember.

In remarks after the lecture itself, we were told that the best way to protect pets and children is to keep them inside, and not to let small dogs and children run free or far from adults when outside.

Incidents in other communities in NJ were discussed, just a very few over the last 50 years, involving attacks on people which led to the State's trapping of a specific animal which then ended the problem.

Several people expressed unhappiness over the State's policy and felt that NJ ought to do "something" about the coyotes, and 2 recounted tales of having their small dogs taken during a walk or from their backyards when their pets got a distance away from them, and were then grabbed by a coyote.

After a combined hour of lecture, slides and questions, the meeting was ended with thanks to the representative of NJ Fish and Wildlife and applause, as well as a few grumbles from those who wanted more to be done.

There you have it.


Also see Kinnelon Critter File: Coyotes

Image courtesy of EnviroPolitics Blog.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ramstein Open House and SR Fresh Hot Sauce this Saturday @ 2 PM

Ramstein Beer Open House

Here is reminder for this weekend’s Ramstein Beer Open House and Tour, this Saturday, Nov.13. Directions are at the website.

There will be 2 tour and tasting sessions, one at 2 PM, and another at 3:45 PM

The Ramstein Double Platinum Blonde Hefe-WeizenRamstein Winter Wheat (for which there will be the seasonal intro), and Ramstein Dunkelweiss will be available, as well as my very favorite, the Amber Lager, which, if it were not for other considerations, I could drink all of the time!

2 Liter Growlers and pint glasses will be in stock.

And SR Fresh Hot Sauce will be there with the Fresh Cayenne-CherryHabanero Gold, and XXXXTra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce. Come try them!

Also, we will have some Cayenne Blast and a small amount of Ripe Red Fresno-Jalapeno Hot Sauce. Sweet and Hot.

You Hot Sauce people can check out the new SR Fresh Hot Sauce Website, where the sauces are explained and sold. Check out the Fresh Hot Sauce Blog as well.

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

See you there!

Ted and Christine and Emma

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Smoke Rise Inn in Pictures: Indoors

I promised you more photos of Smoke Rise Inn activities taking place during the early Smoke Rise days in The Smoke Rise Inn In Pictures: Outdoors. Here follow images of several types of events that took place indoors at the Smoke Rise Inn.

These first two photos seem to relate to a sale of Christmas items - perhaps books, cards, ribbons and calendars. Based on the poster announcing an auction on October 17th, I assume this photo was taken in early October [note short sleeves and scene through the glass door. However, the little girl behind "Frenchy" in the second photo is wearing earmuffs... and I can't figure out the wintery scene behind the glass doors.]

Of course, I'm assuming the two photos were taken at the same event based on Mrs. Chantler's outfit.

Women at the Smoke Rise Inn
Pictured here are: Marion Dougherty, Ann Nevius, Mrs. Braks, Mrs. Chantler.

Intense conversation at the Smoke Rise Inn
Louise "Frenchy" Scott and Mrs. Sam Chantler.

Note the food items for sale behind the two women: cole slaw, fresh cauliflower, spinach. What do you suppose is in the tins?

Events at the Smoke Rise Inn look to me to have been marvelous affairs and perhaps not so different from those taking place today. What do you think? I love the details that these pictures capture.

Halloween at the Smoke Rise Inn
Halloween Party at the Smoke Rise Inn - 10/29/1949

Smoke Rise Inn conga line
Conga line on the terrace outside? - Smoke Rise Inn Party - 9/3/1949

Santa visits the Smoke Rise Inn
Santa visits the Smoke Rise Inn 12/19/1948

Christmas at the Smoke rise Inn
As the children listen carefully. Or, are they more interested in the photographer?

These next photos relate to the same dinner event.  I'm assuming the evening started out in the seating area, moved on to the bar and then to the dinner table.  That's how I've organized them.  Unfortunately, no dates or names... Must have been early '50s.

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 1
Magazines on the coffee table:  TIME, Bazaar. I love the hat.

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 2
I'm assuming this took place during the warmer months. Notice the open window and also short sleeves. Why is that young man seated on the floor?

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 3
I love the patterned dresses.

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 4

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 5
Notice the windows are open. Also, the boy-girl seating.

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 6

Fun, no? Do you have stories or memories related to these events? Let me know!

Many thanks to Tom Kline for sharing these photos.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Calling For Kinnelon Stories!

Calling For Kinnelon Stories! Contributions Welcome!
Ted and I are realizing that there are so many stories - current and past - to be shared about Kinnelon and not enough time to do it in.  Might we rope you further in? Might we convince you to help tell even more stories than you have already?  We are officially Calling for Kinnelon Stories!

What makes the Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog so wonderful for us - and hopefully for you, too - is the interaction we are having with you, our readers, and the perspectives you've shared about living in Kinnelon.  We love your contributions, comments and emails.

We want more!

More about the past and more about the present!

More specifically, what about our Open Spaces and the Weber Tract? What about the Kinnelon food pantry and the animal shelter? Which are your favorite activities and charities? Which hospitals do you recommend and why? What about service providers? What makes KEHSA special?

What about Fayson Lakes, Route 23, Butler and beyond? Have you taken art classes during the Art Inn event at the Oscar A. Kincaid House of History?

Who do you call if you need an electrician or a plumber? Where do you like to hike and pick pumpkins? Have you taken part in mushroom picking in West Milford? Which are your favorite restaurants?

What about the people of Kinnelon and their history and talents? What about favorite photos?

We welcome and encourage your Kinnelon stories. Simply email us at cbwhittemore [at] gmail [dot] com.

Looking forward! Can't wait!

Photo credit: Muir Houses, UCSD
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