Sunday, July 31, 2011

Belgium Mussels: Smoke Rise Inn Recipe

Belgium Mussels: Smoke Rise Inn Recipe
It has been ages since we had Mussels for dinner! Thanks to Chef George Tavolara's latest Smoke Rise Inn recipe for Belgium Mussels, we have an excuse to have them again. Yum!

Ted likes to purchase mussels at Kings in Boonton or at Market Basket in Franklin Lakes. Although he has never tried Corrado's in Wayne, he would buy mussels there. He stays away from Pathmark where he's had poor luck [e.g., 1/3 dead or extremely gritty mussels].

Smoke Rise Inn Recipe for Belgium Mussels


18 to 24 Black Mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
1 large leek, sliced and rinsed of sand
6 tablespoons of butter
½ cup of white wine
1 tablespoon of French mustard
½ cup of heavy cream


Sauté Leeks until soft in roughly two tablespoons of the butter. 

Add the mussels and white wine and simmer until mussels have opened. Once they have, remove mussels and place in large serving bowl. 

Add cream and mustard and simmer until sauce has reduced by half. 

Add remaining butter and pour over mussels.

Thank you, Chef George! I can't wait to try this recipe for Belgium Mussels.

Note: for authenticity, you should serve with fries and beer. We suggest Ramstein Beer ;-).

What's your favorite mussels recipe? How do you serve it? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

August 6: Next MCPC Hike, Schiff Nature Preserve in Mendham

August 6: Next MCPC Hike, Schiff Nature Preserve in Mendham
It's been a long time since we last participating in a Morris County Park Commission hike, but we are hopeful about the next one which takes place on August 6th, 2011 at the Schiff Nature Preserve in Mendham Township, NJ. Any chance you might join us?

Here are the details that Tom Edmunds, MCPC Trails Mapping/GPS, shared in a recent email:

"On August 6 we’ll hike a part of Schiff Nature Preserve in Mendham and some adjacent properties. We’ll meet at and start the hike ( 9AM) on the grounds of The Community of St John Baptist at 82 W Main St. Mendham 07945. This a Religious Order for Women in the Episcopal Church. One of our hikers is a member of their staff and has assisted us in the planning for the hike.

The route will start on a short trail on St john Baptist grounds and then the part through Schiff will include several of their trails, stopping at some of the old/restored Boy Scout sites and the Schiff Preserve HQ if it’s open."

The website for Schiff Natural Lands Trust includes a link to a map of the Schiff Natural Preserve.

Here are the directions that Tom shares for the Schiff Nature Preserve Hike on August 6th:

To get to St John Baptist go west from Morristown to Mendham and look for the sign for DAYTOP on the left a short way out of the center of Mendham, turn left and take the long drive to the right all the way back past the white buildings of the Convent & Chapel and then look for the red brick building which is the St Marguerites Retreat House. Please park to the left of the Retreat House ---we’ll probably get a quick tour of this facility. 

If you are interested, please be sure to contact Tom Edmunds and let him know you are coming. He'll also want you to sign a release form. You can reach Tom via email at

See you then!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Get Your Books! Kinnelon Library Book Sale August 26-29, 2011

Get Your Books! Kinnelon Library Book Sale August 26-29, 2011
Yes, get your books! Get book donations ready for the upcoming book sale and then get ready to find books during the upcoming Kinnelon Library Book Sale taking place August 26 through 29, 2011.

This is the 34th annual Kinnelon used book sale! I hope you've noted it in your calendar.

Here's the nitty gritty.

Kinnelon Library Book Sale Book Donations

Starting today, July 29, 2011, through August 20th, get your book donations ready and drop them off at the Kiel Avenue Firehouse [not at the library!].

Per the official announcement about the annual Kinnelon book sale:

"Why not clear out your book shelves and support the Kinnelon Public Library by donating hardcover or paperback fiction, non-fiction, children's books, videos or books on tape in good condition."

Please: no magazines, textbooks, encyclopedia sets, Reader's Digest Condensed or records.

Kinnelon Library Annual Book Sale

Again, from the official announcement, "Volunteers with the Friends of the Kinnelon Library are meeting to prepare for the Friends 34th annual used book sale to be held Aug. 26-29 at the Kiel Avenue Firehouse. These volunteers will sort and shelve over 25,000 donated books. The book sale is a popular fund raiser for the Kinnelon Library."

The Kinnelon Book Sale will be held August 26 to 29:
  • Friday, from 9 to 6
  • Saturday and Monday, from 9 to 4
  • Sunday, from 11-4

The Kinnelon annual Book Sales takes place at the Kiel Avenue Firehouse located at 103 Kiel Avenue in Kinnelon.

Call 973-838-1321 or visit and click on The Friends link for more information.

This is Ted and my excuse to go into the crawl space of our house and extract those book boxes that we haven't yet unpacked from our move into Kinnelon ~ 7 years ago. What's yours?

What book gems do you think you'll uncover at the annual Kinnelon Book Sale?

P.S.: You may enjoy reading about last year's Kinnelon Library Book Sale.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Facebook & Social Media Wednesdays, Kinnelon Library

Facebook & Social Media Wednesdays, Kinnelon Library
The initials "FB" have taken on new meaning for Mary Beth Grybowski who recaps here the Social Media Wednesdays presentation series at the Kinnelon Library. They have evolved from Fozzie Bear to Facebook...


FB: Fozzie Bear or Facebook?

Now, it used to be that when someone said to me, “Oh I love FB!” I would reply, “Me too. He’s so funny! Fozzie Bear is my favorite Muppet character.” In fact, I have to admit, he is also my favorite comedian.

Now, thanks to Christine Whittemore’s part 3 of her Social Media series, I will be confused if someone uses the term FB. I will have to think twice and I might even need for them to clarify, “Did you mean that you love FaceBook or Fozzie Bear?

Let me backtrack just a little bit and tell you about what has happened at the Kinnelon Library on Wednesday evenings since the beginning of July.

  • Christine’s part 1 furthered my Google, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter knowledge and I learned about a site that I had never heard of:
  • In part 2, Christine discussed LinkedIn and blogging. The LinkedIn part was review for me since I have been using it since last year, after my boss and one of my employees were laid off.
  • Part 3, which just finished this week, was about Twitter and Facebook.
The attendance was quite good and most remembered to bring a laptop. I must also point out, there were many repeat customers.

During the Twitter section, Christine showed us local groups that post feeds. This included Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey and the Boonton Historical Society. She also showed us that Sesame Street has a Twitter account and I found these other two of interest: Muppet Sightings and The Garden of Vegan. I’ll be investigating all of them further.

I’m sure the reason that most people attended part 3 was to learn more about Facebook. People wanted to know how to set it up and manage its security. I had set up a Facebook account many years ago, but disabled it after a day when people I didn’t know or like wanted to ‘friend me’.

This past Wednesday, I was feeling more bold and armed with my new knowledge, I set up a Facebook account while still at the library. I tightened up all my security settings, removed my birthday and email account from visibility. I uploaded a face image, added my education and put a message that read that I was going to be strict about who I accepted as ‘friends’. While still at the library, I put out ‘friend’ requests to 3 of my 5 siblings, several cousins, my 84 year old dad and one friend.

After the event ended, I headed back home. I quickly walked my dogs, then logged into my gmail account. I could not believe it! In that short time, ALL of my siblings and a friend had ‘friended’ me back and a sister-in-law and my older niece sent me a ‘friend’ request. Before I logged out, there IT was, a request from someone who never said hello to me at work. The next day I used the ignore button on that one. I also let Michael Catalano (the horror writer) know that I am now officially on Facebook. He and my sister have been asking, “When are you going to join? You should!

Now it looks like I will be staying in this swimming pool, instead of sticking my big toe in and deciding that I wasn’t ready to jump in.

Mary Beth Grybowski

Hey Christine . . . why don’t you tell us about your FB encounter when you arrived at the Library on Wednesday evening. You know, the furry bear! This is the bearfort section of New Jersey, if you weren’t aware.

Thanks, Mary Beth! Congratulations on joining Facebook on your terms and thanks for recapping the sessions.

Since you asked, here are my furry bear pictures from last week...

Kinnelon Fuzzy Bear

Kinnelon Furry Bear

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pear Tree Martini Smoke Rise Inn Recipe

Pear Tree Martini Smoke Rise Inn Recipe
Are you ready for another summer cocktail recipe? Here's one for a Pear Tree Martini that Randy Polo from the Smoke Rise Inn shares with us. It uses St. Germain Liqueur.

Are you familiar with St. Germain Liqueur?

St. Germain liqueur is made from Alpine elderflowers and makes simply superb sipping by itself, but with a splash of Champagne or club soda, it’s a summer cocktail. Whether you’re headed to the lake or planning an elegant dinner, St. Germain elderflower liqueur is something special. The 12"-tall bottle is as stunning as any perfume bottle, and makes an impressive gift. In terms of new and exciting, when was the last time anyone had an elderflower martini?

The delicate white elderflower blossoms grow on trees at the foothills of the Alps. As pretty as they are to look at, they are actually edible—or at least, drinkable, when made into liqueur. To that end, locals handpick the blossoms, which are distilled in small batches into a 100% elderflower blossom 40-proof liqueur made by French artisan company St. Germain. Take off the cap and the lychee aroma hits you immediately. There’s a bit of peach, some orange that evolves to grapefruit, and also some pear.

Don’t just take my word for it. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur was a double gold medal winner at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This makes it the new hot drink you can cool off with—straight up, on ice, or in the recipe below. Who would imagine so many exciting things from such sweet little blossoms?

Pear Tree Martini

1 ½ ounces of St. Germain Liqueur.
1 ½ ounces of Pear Vodka (Hangar One Spiced Pear or Grey Goose La Poire)
½ ounce Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice.
A Dash of Bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a slice of D'Anjou Pear and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Thank you, Randy!

By the way, the St. Germain website is very entertaining. Check out the story of St. Germain, the harvest process, and a list of seasonal cocktails made with St. Germain [bien sûr!]. You can find St. Germain on Twitter and on Facebook - since many of you are wondering. This all assumes you are of age, of course ;-).

I've never had a Pear Tree Martini and can't wait to try one -- ideally sitting outdoors in the patio garden of the Smoke Rise Inn. Will you join me?

And, if you haven't already, consider subscribing to the Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog via RSS or email updates.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Susan Denning, Author "Far Away Home" at Kinnelon Library

Susan Denning, Author
Mark your calendars for the next author event at the Kinnelon Library! This time, Susan Denning, author of “Far Away Home”, will be visiting the library on Thursday, July 28 at 7:00 PM.

Here is the writeup from Bookmarks:

"Escape into a memorable work of historical fiction that will make you believe, no matter how many challenges fate sends your way, the human spirit can triumph. 

 Far Away Home is an American historical novel introducing frontier heroine, Aislynn Denehy. Unique in her ordinariness, she is a true representation of the countless, nameless women who went west after the Civil War. Not a formulaic romance novel; it explores the challenges women faced and the complex relationships real people experience.

For this book discussion program, we are planning a “read the book and meet the author” format with author Susan Denning. 

" Far Away Home” will be available at the Library to check out and will also be available for purchase by the author on July 28 only."

In anticipation of her visit to the Kinnelon Library, I caught up with Susan and asked her a few questions:

C.B.: Susan, tell me about yourself.

S.D.: Following graduation from college, where I majored in American history, I was employed by the City of New York working on sexual harassment, equal employment and women’s issues. During my tenure, I completed two Master of Arts degrees, one in Political Science/American Government and another in Psychological Counseling.

I left the City of New York to consult and teach. I published several articles in professional journals and newsletters. One of my essays was selected for an anthology on sexual abuse, Bite of the Apple. I also received honorable mention in a NOW short story contest and had short stories published in Creative Woman.

While teaching at my local community college, I discovered how little my students knew about American history and approached my chairperson about this problem. Together we discussed creating a text which would be a compilation of vignettes based on historical events. I chose the Transcontinental Railroad for my chapter and to ensure historical accuracy, I began three years of primary research, studying original documents from New York to Utah. For authenticity, I even drove a covered wagon. Although the textbook was never completed, I continued to write until my chapter became a novel, Far Away Home.

C.B.: I bet you have a connection to Kinnelon...

S.D.: I grew up in Pompton Plains and had friends who lived in Kinnelon. We would visit, “hang out,” go to games, etc., although I won’t mention when that was.

C.B.: How did you become interested in writing fiction?

S.D.: As I mentioned, I always seemed to have jobs that required me to write reports, articles for journals and newsletters. However, I’ve always had a very lively imagination and was creating stories in my mind. I love reading fiction and took classes in literature and, on a whim, signed up for a writing class. One of the assignments was to write a short story. It was so well received, I wrote more.

When I was left with all my research for my history chapter, I decided to expand my horizons. Of course, I didn’t know how to write a novel, which is very different from writing short stories. So, I had more research to do. Once I felt I understood that process, I began Far Away Home.

C.B.: How did you decide on the genre and subject of Far Away Home?

S.D.: While researching how to write a novel, I discovered that the bestselling novels are crime stories and historical. My preparation was ideal for an historical and my subject matter expanded from just the Transcontinental Railroad with the development of my narrative.

C.B.: Who is your favorite author?

S.D.: I love F. Scott Fitzgerald. I tried to learn from his techniques and apply them to my writing. I think his words are so precise and alive. In the The Great Gatsby, you’ll find passages like “the lawn ran to the front door, jumping over sun-dials and brick walls and burning gardens- finally when it reached the house, drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run.” In his books, “light volleys through doorways,” and “sidewalks climb to the stars.” I just love the visual texture of his prose, and while I’ll never reach that pinnacle, I can dream.

C.B.: Susan, what advice would you share with would-be authors?

S.D.: I don’t know if I’m in the position to advise others; I’m such a newbie. However, I would encourage anyone with a story to tell to write it; write it for yourself. Even Fitzgerald, Hemingway, all the greats, wrote works that no one ever saw, that were never published or read. It is the act of creating that is the reward.

C.B.: Thank you, Susan! Everyone coming to your event at the Kinnelon Library is in for a real treat!

You can learn more about Susan Denning's book Far Away Home by visiting the website where you will be able to read the first three chapters. You'll find Frontier recipes, too.

You can purchase the book on Amazon by clicking on this link to Far Away Home, an American Historical Novel. The book is available in paperback and Kindle edition.

By the way, as of this writing as you can see from the image above, Susan's book has achieved #17 in Western, #56 in Historical and #79 in Historical. Congratulations, Susan!

Don't forget! Kinnelon Public Library. Thursday, July 28, 2011, 7pm. Book discussion with Far Away Home author Susan Denning. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Push To Walk Ladies Tennis Event on 7/26/11 in Kinnelon

Push To Walk Ladies Tennis Event on 7/26/11 in Kinnelon
Kinnelon neighbor, Kristen Totaro, is a board member of Push To Walk, a local non-profit organization providing specialized therapy for people with spinal cord injuries. She recently forwarded me information about an upcoming Ladies Tennis Event on 7/26/11 taking place in Kinnelon.

Are you familiar with Push To Walk? Long time Kinnelon residents, Cynthia and John Templeton, formed Push To Walk in 2007 after their son, Darren, sustained a C5 spinal cord injury (SCI) in July 2004. The organization inspires and motivates people with spinal cord injuries to realize their individual potential. Located in Riverdale, NJ, the non-profit organization provides rigorous one on one workouts in a specialized gym with certified trainers utilizing state-of-the-art equipment.

[See Disabled get in shape to grasp a better future from 1/24/08.]

Kristen wanted me to know that Push To Walk is hosting a Ladies Tennis Event on Tuesday, July 26 at the Smoke Rise Tennis Club. Registration for the Tennis Round Robin begins at 8am. It is followed by luncheon at The Smoke Rise Inn and is sure to be fabulous! Lunch includes networking and a silent auction with great items as well as goody bags and prizes.

The flyer pictured above states:

Ladies Tennis Event
The Smoke Rise Tennis Club, Kinnelon

Speed round robin format! Six 20 minute rounds with 4 games per round. Individual scoring. Players will be grouped by level. All levels welcome!! No partners needed.

Space is limited! Open to all Smoke Rise residents.

8:00 am - Registration at The Smoke Rise Tennis Club
9:00 am - Round Robin Play begins with individual scoring
12:45 pm - Lunch & Silent Auction at The Smoke Rise Inn

Round Robin - Lunch - Silent Auction - Prizes
Proceeds to benefit Push to Walk NJ

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Rain date Wednesday, July 27

Hit It! Push to Walk
Tennis Event 2011
The event is open to Kinnelon residents as well as Smoke Rise Tennis Member and Non-Members. All levels of tennis are welcome - from beginner to Venus Williams! LOL - Come out, play a great game and have fun!

Kristen says, if you don't play tennis, simply come lunch with the Push to Walk Ladies Tennis Event participants. Several vendors - Stella & Dot, the hottest in jewelry, B-Skinz Ladies Wear, tennis and casual wear, and Court Time Clothing - are participating and will have available fashionable yet functional tennis apparel from Fila, Fetch, Jerdog, Lija, 4 All by JoFit, DTL, Tail and more, and tennis bags from Whak Sak and Maggie Mather. They are donating a portion of their proceeds to Push to Walk.

Sounds like a not-to-be-missed event for a terrific organization! I hope you'll consider participating.

To register, click on this link which takes you directly to the 7/26/11 PushToWalk Ladies Tennis Event Registration.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Infused Vodka Smoke Rise Inn Recipe

Infused Vodka Smoke Rise Inn Recipe
Do you enjoy flavored vodkas? Have you ever wanted to make your own flavored or infused vodka? Thanks to Randy Polo, Smoke Rise Inn General Manager, you can now make your own infused vodka. Here's the recipe that he shares. 

How to make your own Infused Vodka at Home.

As many of you are probably aware, there are so many flavor infused vodkas on the market these days. From Peach to Cherry, Lemon to Lime, Apple to Orange just to name a few. What you are probably not aware is that infusing vodka is easy to do and can become as much of a hobby as home wine making.

Infusing your own vodka is the best way to add a twist and have a story to tell with every cocktail when entertaining. With plenty of your favorite vodka, a jar, some fruit, and some time, you can customize your vodka and make it your own. Below are some helpful and easy to follow steps to guide you in your maiden voyage in the sea of infusing vodka.

Step #1 Choose a Flavor.

Decide how you want your vodka to taste, and get plenty of the desired fruits, berries, peppers or herbs. Use the following guidelines for infusing one liter of vodka.
  • If infusing fruit, use 1-3 depending on their size. Aim for about two large apples' worth; one is usually enough for larger fruits (i.e. grapefruit), but you'll need 3-4 for smaller fruits (apricots, plums, etc.)
  • If infusing fresh herbs, use 1-2 fists filled with the herb, depending on its potency. Use about half as much of dried herbs or spices.
  • If infusing berries, use 2-4 fists filled with the berries.
  • If infusing peppers, use as many as you want. The more you use and the longer you infuse, the spicier the end product will be.
Step #2 Preparation.

Wash all fresh ingredients thoroughly. Slice fruits finely to increase their surface area and speed up the infusion, removing any pits, seeds, or stems. Leave berries whole, but bruise by very gently squeezing them and remove any stems. Crush herbs gently, as it will help to release their flavor. Place all of your ingredients together in a clean, airtight container (glass works best). The relative proportions of each ingredient, if you're using more than one, are a matter of personal preference.

Step #3 Infuse!

Fill the container with vodka, seal it, and put it someplace safe and away from direct sunlight. (Very Important)

Step #4 Wait.

The timing isn't scientific but most recipes will infuse within two to five days. Generally, citrus fruits or strongly flavored ingredients will infuse more quickly, but softly flavored or fibrous ingredients (vanilla beans or fresh ginger) may need up to a week or more. Luckily, you need not do anything but ignore the jar. Some advice will recommend two weeks or more infusion time, but this is only necessary for a large restaurant-size batch. A week is plenty of time for a liter of vodka to infuse properly.

Step #5 Sample and enjoy!

The first few batches you make may not taste the best, but with practice you will get the hang of it. Drink, adjust, and try again!

Thank you, Randy, for this Smoke Rise Inn recipe! I've been thinking about several infused vodkas that I made a [long] while back - one with the most aromatic cantaloupe I had ever tasted and another with jalapeños... They were terrific and made for great stories. Time to recreate those infused vodkas!

What is your favorite infused vodka flavor? Let me know in the comments. Tell me, too, about your success with this recipe. Did you use fruit, berries, herbs or peppers?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Missing Cat "Mister" Lost Off Kinnelon Road

Missing Cat
Have you seen this cat? His name is Mister and he's gone missing. We believe he's wandering through the woods around Silas Condict Park off of Kinnelon Road.

Our neighbor, Chuck, shared the news with me today.  Mister's owner, Aileen Florio, has put together the flyer pictured here which reads:


Loving family missing healthy indoor, short-haired domestic cat, part Russian Blue
One year old

Last seen: Wednesday, July 13 running into woods next to Kinnelon Veterinary Hospital, Kinnelon Road

Please call 201-910-0121
or 973-492-2124

Aileen explains that Mister escaped from the Vet’s parking lot. More specifically,

"This morning while taking our cats for their first vet check up, the crate buckled and collapsed, sending one of our cats, Mister, bolting into the woods next to Kinnelon Veterinary Hopital on Kinnelon Road. The woods are expansive and lead through Silas Condict park, to Route 23, and for many miles in various directions. We have contacted Animal Control, local shelters, and nearby residences and businesses.

Mister is a very important family member and we are desperate for help.

Please see the attached flyer with Mister's information and photo. We ask you to please spread the word to all your neighbors to be on the watch for Mister. We are offering a generous reward to anyone who returns Mister to his family."

Would you help get the word out?

Also, would you be on the lookout for Mister?

If you see him, please call Aileen.

Many thanks for your help.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 16 Boonton Walk, Industrial Heritage Tour MCPC

Boonton Walk, Industrial Heritage Tour MCPC
One of the benefits of living in an area so rich in history is taking part in the Morris County Park Commission (MCPC) Industrial Heritage Tours. The next one takes place this Saturday 7/16/11 for a walk through the Boonton Historic District.

Joe Macasek, whom you may remember from the Split Rock Village Furnace Tour & Hike  and Roxbury's Ledgewood Inclined Plane, Morris Canal Hike, will be leading the Boonton Walk. Joe explains that this is a walk "included in this year's schedule by popular demand."

If you plan on participating, please send Joe an email.

Here are details:

When:  Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 10am

Where:  Meet on Main Street in front of the Boonton Post Office near the corner of Williams Street.

Parking: Since the tour will probably run longer than two hours [the limit on the Main Street parking meters], you are better off parking in the residential area north of Birch Street where there are no meters. The parking authority is active giving tickets on expired meters.

Directions: From the south get off I- 278 at Exit 44. From the north take Exit 45 and follow Myrtle Avenue south to Main Street.

Historical Background on Boonton

The story of Boonton’s growth from a small iron making village to large industrial town involves real estate speculation, venture capital, and insider information and would fit right in to today’s headlines. It started in 1831 when the New Jersey Iron Company brought cutting-edge technology to a spot where abundant waterpower and the newly completed Morris Canal would make it possible to build what would become one of Morris County's largest industrial complexes employing as many as 600 workers.

On this tour we will walk to entire site and see the remains of the iron works, a Morris Canal Inclined Plane, the bases of two anthracite blast furnaces and the oldest workers houses in town. The walk will end with a visit to the Boonton Historical Society Museum. For those who want more there will also be an opportunity to visit the nearby railroad trestle and turntable.

This moderate hike will involve walking along trails, city street and include some off-trail exploration.

Don't forget to let Joe know if you are attending. If you do go, I hope you'll take photos and share with us what you enjoy most!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Save 7/13/11 for Social Media at Kinnelon Library - Part II

Save 7/13/11 for Social Media at Kinnelon Library
The Social Media Presentation Series at the Kinnelon Library continues on Wednesday 7/13/11 at 7pm

Will you join us? 

It's free, it's fun and filled with valuable information. If you don't believe me, judge for yourself based on what Mary Beth Grybowski - who contributed an article about Kinnelon author Michael Catalano - writes below.

Simply call the Kinnelon Library at 973-838-1321 and come by at 7pm on 7/13/11. Bring your laptop so you can follow along as we discuss part II in the social media series: LinkedIn & Blogging.

If you missed part I - or simply want to review it - you can check out the presentation slides below. Note the homework! :-). 


An Evening with Christine B. Whittemore at the Kinnelon Library

I discovered the Smoke Rise Blog, in the Spring of 2009, when I went searching the Internet for details about Smoke Rise and the Kinney Family. I already had a fair amount of information about the borough of Kinnelon, thanks to Lucy Meyer, the town historian. I was gathering information for a Spring Hike around Kakeout Reservoir for my Stonybrook Highlands neighbors. I titled the hike ‘Test your Kinnelon History’. It seems all the hikers were much more knowledgeable than I that day, which wasn’t a bad thing.

In the 2 years since I first subscribed to Christine’s blog, she added the word Kinnelon to the title. Last Wednesday, she hosted the first of a 3 part event at the library. When I saw via her blog that this would be on Social Media, I knew I had to attend, for several reasons. First, I have been hesitant to join FaceBook. Actually, I joined for one day and people who I didn’t care to stay in touch with wanted to friend me. So I panicked and I disabled my account the following day. Second, I do follow several blogs, Christine’s being one of them. Third, I thought it would be nice to meet Christine in person since I was grateful to her for featuring me last month.

Am I glad that I went to the event? You bet! I really did learn a great deal in those two hours. I now know what a QR code is and what it looks like. I can create one just for me at I found out that the Boonton Historical Society even has pictures on; I love discovering the history of local people. I learned about setting up alerts on, so if I want to see if someone publishes something on the internet that I would like to track, I can set up an alert.

I now know that is where I can go to find out what the top stories are for the day on the Internet. Did you know that when you ‘tweet’ on Twitter, you are limited to 140 characters? Who knew? Not me before Wednesday, but now I do.

Mary Beth Grybowski
Until last week, I thought that YouTube was still just for amateurs trying to show off.

I am running a writing contest called ‘A Song Tied to a Memory’ and every entry included a YouTube link to their favorite song. So I went looking around and found my favorite singer Alison Krauss. She has music videos on YouTube; I love her new song : Paper Airplane - Alison Krauss & Union Station. Christine told us that YouTube is now the second most popular search engine and was purchased by Google®. She even noted that they have watched old TV shows and Shirley Temple movies on YouTube. Isn’t that priceless? And it’s free!

Christine showed us a page on her Simple Marketing blog and told us to look up her ‘Top 10 Tips for Getting Started With Social Media’. She must have been a school teacher in her earlier years or perhaps a past life, because she gave us a homework assignment for session 2. We need to bring our laptop computer and have 3-5 blogs ready to show or discuss. It kind of reminds me of show and tell. One final thing of note : the Kinnelon library has does have wireless internet access. Good to know!

Mary Beth Grybowski

Thanks very much, Mary Beth! The teacher in me is impressed with all that you learned!

Here is part I of the Kinnelon Library Social Media Presentation Series: an Overview. 
I hope you'll join us on July 13, 2011 at 7pm for part II of this social media series.  Do you have specific and burning social media questions about blogging and LinkedIn? Share them in the comments and we'll be sure to discuss them on Wednesday.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shakespeare at the Kinnelon Library 7/10/11

If you're looking to get out of the sun and enjoy some Shakespearian entertainment, you will definitely enjoy tomorrow's Shakespeare program at the Kinnelon Library. Here are the details [which are also included in the Kinnelon Public Library's Bookmarks].

A Center for Lifelong Learning Performing Arts Program
Next Stage Ensemble

A witty and hilarious ode to youthful aspirations, infatuations and follies!

The young King of Navarre, along with three of his loyal friends, decide to dedicate themselves to the "noble pursuit of knowledge" for three full years, locking themselves away from all distractions...especially women.

The ambitious "ivory tower" is soon shaken, with the arrival of the lovely Princess of France and her three gamesome ladies-in-waiting. Filled with dazzling wordplay, strong comic characters and a few unexpected twists, Love's Labour's Lost not only charms, but also touches the heartstrings of young and old alike.

Sunday, July 10 at 2pm

This program is supported by generous grants from the Westerhoff Foundation and the Columbia Bank.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Save 7/9/11 for Ramstein Open House, SR Fresh Hot Sauce

Ramstein Beer Open House

Here is a reminder for this weekend’s Ramstein Beer Open House and Tour, this Saturday, July 9th. Directions are at the website.

There will be 1 tour and tasting session, at 2 PM only. 

Beers on tap - filtered Golden Lager, Blonde Hefe-Weizen, and Unfiltered Amber - notified and updated at 4 PM Fri. 

And there will be a special treat - "Christmas in July", which is Winter Wheat Doppelbock available for samples and growler fills while supplies last.

1  and 2 liter growlers will be in stock

And SR Fresh Hot Sauce will be there with the Fresh Cayenne-CherryHabanero Gold, and XXXXTra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce. We will have Cayenne-Fresno in 2 Heat levels, Mild and Wild, and also our new SR Sriracha “Thai Style” Hot Sauces along with our Spicy Aioli in 16 oz jars -- that's Hot and Spicy Mayo for those of you scratching your heads. Come try them! And buy them!

You Hot Sauce people can check out the 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

Boonton Historical Society on Facebook,Twitter, Flickr

Boonton Historical Society on Facebook,Twitter, Flickr
For those of you curious about the history of our greater Kinnelon area, you might want to join the Boonton Historical Society's recently formed group on Facebook.

It's an open Facebook group with ~ 78 members as of July 2, 2011.

By joining the group, you'll receive notices about events taking place including historic walks around the town of Boonton.

You'll also learn about - as I did - the Boonton, NJ Flickr photo group where marvelous photos of Boonton historic sites have been posted.

Finally, you'll discover that the Boonton Historical Society is now on Twitter.

[Note: to view and join the Facebook group, you will need to have a Facebook account.]

What other local organizations have you come across that are active online and on social networks? Please let us know in the comments.

P.S.: come to my next social media presentation on Wednesday 7/13/11 at the Kinnelon Library and we'll discuss what you've found.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kinnelon's Camp Rickabear

Kinnelon Camper ready for Kinnelon's Camp RickabearSummer Camp at Kinnelon's Lake Rickabear - a Girls Scouts of Northern New Jersey day camp - begins today and camper Emma has been chomping at the bit. [You see her here on her first day of camp last year.] This is her third year attending camp at Lake Rickabear, a 40 acre spring-fed lake, and enjoying 332 acres of Kinnelon natural beauty. Life truly doesn't get much better for a kid!

[FYI - Lake Rickabear was the site of Lake Rickabear Club, a private recreational facility for professional men and their families per a 1955 and 56 entry in Google Timeline. I'm told it was also a corporate retreat facility, possibly for Curtiss-Wright? Readers, if you can help me fill in the gaps, please let me know in the comments. Thank you!]

In anticipation, Emma writes the following:


Every summer I go to a fantastic Summer camp. This camp is called Rickabear. During the camp season there are three sleepovers. I go to each and every one. I like the counselors, lifeguards and specialists. My favorite counselor is Dani. We have a lot of fun together.

In the beginning of each week, we have a swim test. Last year, I started out as a bullfrog, then got retested and became an angelfish. After I passed angelfish, I became an iguana. This is the order of categories for swimming: bat, beaver, bullfrog, alligator, angelfish, iguana and sea serpent.
  • A bat needs a lot of training.
  • A beaver needs some help.
  • A bullfrog swims with a noodle and works on strokes.
  • An alligator swims sometimes with a noodle, but mostly swims without.
  • An angelfish starts going to the farther docks and does laps.
  • An iguana swims to the red dock and learns the butterfly stroke.
  • A sea serpent has mastered all of the strokes.
Depending on your swimming category, you get a different color swim cap. Bats, beavers and bullfrogs wear green. Alligators and angelfish wear a yellow swim cap.  Iguanas and sea serpents wear white. When you reach a yellow or white swim cap, you can go on a kayak.

There are other things that you might do during the day like Sports, Arts & Crafts and Boating. If you are ten and up you get to do archery. I am 9 and 3/4 to be exact. Miss Amanda helps out at Arts and Crafts. Melissa does Sports. Oh and then I forgot Miss Jess who does Nature Fun. Miss Lisa also does Nature. Then we have our nurse; I forget her name.

There are units you get assigned to. There is unit 1 through unit 12, then you go to the teen unit. The highest unit I've been in is Unit 6. My friend Kathleen also goes to Rickabear.

There are 8 or 9 different buses. I am on bus 6 - Minnie Mouse.

The head lifeguard's name is Meg; her partner is Trish. Sometimes we have drills. The drill is when we can't find any campers.

I have so much fun at camp all Summer long!

If you'd like a visual taste of Kinnelon's Camp Rickabear, you might enjoy Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey's YouTube video.

I wish I were a kid again...

What were your favorite memories of Summers in Kinnelon? Let us know in the comments.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ted Interprets Mango Cucumber Salsa Recipe - Smoke Rise Inn's Chef George Summer Recipes - 4th Part of 4

In my last post - Mango Cucumber Salsa: Smoke Rise Inn's Chef George Summer Recipe -- 3rd Part of 4 - I shared with you Chef George Tavolara's recipe for Mango Cucumber Salsa. In this post, I give you my interpretation...

Ted Interprets Mango Cucumber Salsa Recipe - Smoke Rise Inn's Chef George Summer Recipes
The Whole Plate Entire

Now my version of this Salsa quadruples all of the quantities and adds 1 large red onion in a small dice, about 2 cups. You could also add 2 cups of finely chopped green onion. And I did this because ... I am not using it as a topping but as an actual side dish that has to stand up to the Spicy Asian Glaze on Pork Spare Ribs.

Ted's Version of the MCS Salsa
Ted's Version of the MCS Salsa
SR Inn Mango-Cucumber Salsa (Ted's recipe uses 4X these quantites)

1 Cup Small Diced and Seeded English Cucumber
1 Cup Small Diced Mango
2 TSP Chopped Cilantro
3 TBSP Lime Juice
3 TBSP Salad Oil
1 Vanilla Bean
¼ Cup Small Diced Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Split and scrape vanilla bean in to mixing bowl and combine with lime juice, salad oil and a pitch of salt and pepper. Toss in Mango, Cucumber, Cilantro and Red Pepper. Let mixture sit for one hour as flavors develop. Use as a topping for your favorite fish, especially tuna or halibut. 

I did not have a vanilla bean, surprise, surprise, so I made the salsa without it -- probably kept it from being the last word in haute cuisine salsa, but I thought it was great.

How To Slice/Dice Mango

How to slice mango from the pit
Slice the Mango from the Pit

  • You want to get a mango that is ripe but still firm, so you can cut and dice it without it turning to mush. 
  • The best way to break down the mango is to use a very sharp knife and slide it along the very flat pit from one end of the mango to the other, taking the top of the mango off and leaving the bare-sided pit with the balance of the mango. 
  • You then turn the mango over and repeat. Once both sides are cut free, take a large metal serving spoon and slide it between the skin and the flesh much as you would scoop out the flesh of an avocado. 
  • Then you can halve the flesh along the flat again, cut into slender strips, and then across the strips for the dice. OK.

So I am serving the SAG Ribs and the MC Salsa with Jasmine Lemon Rice cooked semi-Persian style. Here is my Microwave Rice Cooker Recipe:

Jasmine Lemon Rice

2 cups Jasmine Rice ( I use Carolina Brand Jasmine Rice)
1 cup finely diced Vidalia or other Sweet Onion
Zest of 1 large Lemon finely grated (yellow part only!!!)
1 TBS fresh Lemon Juice
1 rounded TBS powdered Chicken Stock
3 TBS melted Salted Butter
2-1/2 cups Water

In my microwave, I cook this all together in the rice cooker for 16 minutes at high power, although your microwave may take a longer or shorter time depending on its power. I then fluff the rice and mix it well, recover it, and let it sit for 5 or more minutes before serving.

The whole thing is not complete without something fun to drink -- this weekend we made a tart and refreshing fruit punch based on White Zinfandel:

Ted's White Zin Fruit Punch

1-1/2 liter bottle White zinfandel of Choice
2 Nectarines Sliced fairly thinly
2 Plums Sliced fairly thinly
1 whole Orange (or Tangerine, etc.) sliced in 1/4 " rounds
1 Lemon sliced  in 1/4 " rounds
6 good sized Strawberries  quartered
1 cup less or more to taste Chef George's Mint Lime Simple Syrup -- SR  Mojito Recipe May 27th

White Zin Fruit Punch with Mint Sprig
Happy 4th and Bon Appetit!


Photo Credits:  Ted

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mango Cucumber Salsa: Smoke Rise Inn's Chef George Summer Recipe -- 3rd Part of 4

Mango Cucumber Salsa: Smoke Rise Inn's Chef George Summer Recipe
Ted's Version of the SR Inn Mango Cucmber Salad
Here is the 3rd part of our 4 part 4th of July Holiday Series based on recipes from the Smoke Rise Village Inn and Chef George Tavolara -- the recipe for the Mango Cucmber Salsa. [If you're tuning in for the first time, here are links to Part 1 - the Spicy Asian Glaze- and Part 2 - Applying Chef George's Spicy Asian Glaze.]

SR Inn Mango-Cucumber Salsa

1 Cup Small Diced and Seeded English Cucumber
1 Cup Small Diced Mango
2 TSP Chopped Cilantro
3 TBSP Lime Juice
3 TBSP Salad Oil
1 Vanilla Bean
¼ Cup Small Diced Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Split and scrape vanilla bean in to mixing bowl and combine with lime juice, salad oil and a pitch of salt and pepper. Toss in Mango, Cucumber, Cilantro and Red Pepper. Let mixture sit for one hour as flavors develop. Use as a topping for your favorite fish, especially tuna or halibut. 

I think this is a great side as well for spicier summer food such as BBQ, since the bright flavor of the lime and mango will balance the heavier and meaty flavors of, for example ribs with the SR Inn Spicy Asian Glaze.

In any case, tomorrow I will discuss making it and how I altered the recipe. That's allowed, you know!

Bon appetit,


Photo Credits: Ted

Friday, July 1, 2011

Indian Cliffs Hike Tomorrow Sat., July 2nd 9 AM for SR Days

View of the Split Rock Reservoir Looking South from Indian Cliffs

Attention Smoke Rise Hikers! We are leading a group to the Indian Cliffs as a part of the 4th of July Weekend SR Days celebration.  Don't miss the most beautiful and one of the easiest local hikes in our own backyard! We are gathering tomorrow at 9 AM at the end of Beechwood Lane, west of Red Oak Lane, where there is room to park your car right next to the trail head for our hike.

Take a look at the posts in the SR and K Blog for previous trips to the Indian Cliffs overlook. Bring your camera. You may want bug-spray and a bottle of water. Do wear sturdy shoes for hiking. It's a fairly easy trek and we should be back well before noon.

See you there!

Ted, Christine and Emma
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