Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ramstein Beer Tour & Beer-Making Videos

Ramstein Beer, Butler NJRamstein Beer held its first open house of 2010 on March 13th. We were there with SR Fresh Hot Sauces and a flipcam.

The result are these three videos of Greg Zaccardi giving a tour of the High Point Brewery and describing the brewing process.

Video 1 is 6.41 minutes long and provides background on the Brewery and how the brewing process starts. Note that four ingredients make up Ramstein Beer: malt, water, hops and yeast.

[Subscribers, click on Ramstein Beer Brewery Tour 1 for the YouTube video.]

Video 2 is 4.47 minutes long. It focuses on the fermentation process. Pay close attention to two critical questions:
+ which ingredient is added at this stage?
+ what is the freezing point of beer? [Note the expert on this topic!]

[Subscribers, click on Ramstein Beer Brewery Tour 2 for the YouTube video.]

Video 3 is 3.5 minutes long and discusses filtering and bottling.

[Subscribers, click on Ramstein Beer Brewery Tour 3 for the YouTube video.]

I hope you enjoy the videos. Let me know what you think.

By the way, Ramstein Beer now has a Facebook Fan Page, and the next Open House is April 10th, 2010.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Didja Know? The Smoke Rise Club

Didja Know?This [very] short article about the Smoke Rise Club comes from Cornie Hubner's Didja Know??? Series. Dated July 1985, it is one of his very first in the series as I discovered last summer when I spent an afternoon locating Cornie's articles in the Smoke Rise Newsletter archives.

My hypothesis with this story is that Cornie hadn't yet fully developed his 'voice' or subject matter. Do you agree?

I intend to date each of Cornie Hubner's stories to provide us with additional perspective. I can imagine that, as he became more involved with his role as Smoke Rise Storyteller, his tales generated more conversation and interaction with readers which in turn led to greater enthusiasm and embellishment on his part. This hadn't yet happened with The Club and a few other first stories.

Getting back to my project of dating the Didja Know? series... during that summer 2009 afternoon, I came across so many delicious stories about life in Smoke Rise & Kinnelon in just one volume of newsletters that I didn't make as much progress as I had hoped - although they will all definitely lead to future blogposts relating directly or indirectly to Cornie's.

Nonetheless, I got started and intend to return to the archives soon. I welcome partners in crime!

The Club

Published 7/15/85

Prior to 1955 the Board of Governors was known as the "Bitch and Gripe Group." It derived its name from the almost weekly encounters with the SR Co. [Smoke Rise Company] to clarify regulations and operations and to establish responsibilities and authority.

During this time the SR Club represented the 10 resident members, by the 6 appointed group. It became an elective body in '52 when 75 residents voted.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wizard Of Oz Scavenger Hunt, Kinnelon Library

Kinnelon Scavenger HuntIf your child hasn't yet taken part in one of the Kinnelon Library's scavenger hunts, I strongly recommend that you not miss the next one! Why? Because your child will have fun and learn in the process! I share with you highlights from the recent Wizard Of Oz Scavenger Hunt...

To put this particular scavenger hunt into perspective, remember that the Kinnelon Library has been celebrating the anniversaries of the Wizard of Oz [book and movie]. The theme, then, had to do with the Wizard of Oz as did the storytelling/art event with Dorothy.

Emma and I took part in our first scavenger hunts last summer 2009. During the first 2, we were partners; by the time of the third, my partner was outgrowing me. The fourth, she did alone. Successfully.

This most recent scavenger hunt she did with her friend Elizabeth. They both looked as if they had had a blast. Especially since they both won second place and tickets to the Kinnelon Movie Theater.

Kinnelon's Yellow Brick RoadI asked Emma which were her favorite clues.

+ To find the lollipops and count them.

+ Go to the bookshelves and find a book on the weather

+ Where was the colorful horse [i.e, the horse of a different color]? It was in the Emerald City section aka little kids' books.

+ Whose feet were under the showcase?

+ Go to the CDs and find a favorite movie.

Some clues were embedded in the 'yellow brick road.'

I admire that the clues require that the kids figure the children's library out, that they wrestle with the Dewey Decimal System [something I wasn't exposed to until High School], that they check out the resources available online and that they use their eyes to observe what's on display in the library.

In other words, there's a lot of learning going on while the kids have fun!

Galina Adair addresses the Kinnelon Scavenger Hunters

To give you a feel for how engaging this celebration of the Wizard of Oz is in the Children's Library, imagine encountering these props and scenes as you walk in through the doors.

Enter through the Kinnelon Library and step onto the Yellow Brick Road
I will miss the Yellow Brick Road!

Kinnelon Tornadoes
Beware the Tornado!

Wicked Witch Feet in Kinnelon
Yes, those are witch's feet - minus the ruby slippers. Dorothy got those.

Let me know what you think of the scavenger hunts. And, if you haven't yet taken part in one, do so and then let me know!

Happy scavenging!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Save March 21: Dinosaurs Rock at Kinnelon Library!

Dinosaurs Rock in KinnelonDo you have your tickets for what sounds to be one of a kind experience on March 21, 2010 at the Kinnelon Library: Dinosaurs Rock!

We'll be there at 2:30pm.

As described on the Kinnelon Library website "we bring the museum to you!" It sounds huge - in more ways than one. Please note that you must be pre-registered to attend.

Emma is particularly pleased as she had been looking forward to seeing Walking With The Dinosaurs [Note: link opens onto big sound, but offers interesting footage of the program], which was a second grade field trip for the previous couple years.

By the way, if you attend Dinosaurs Rock and want to report on your experience, I welcome your contribution!

I look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dorothy Visits Kinnelon Library

Dorothy at the Kinnelon LibraryDorothy from the Wizard of Oz actually visited the Kinnelon Library on March 4, 2010. She decided she needed to tell her story about her adventures in the Land of Oz.

In full Dorothy garb - and temporarily accompanied by her dog Toto [aka Coco, dyed for the occasion] - Dorothy [aka Louise Solomon] started out explaining how bored she was living on a farm, in the country....

In the background played "Somewhere over the rainbow..." as Dorothy talked about her wish... to find a "place where there isn't any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain."

The children walked with her through a "twister" and OVER a rainbow to the Kinnelon Library storytime room [i.e., definitely not Kansas!] where Dorothy told them an abridged version of the Wizard of Oz during which they met a munchkin, saw a house with 2 legs sticking out with ruby slippers...and followed the yellow brink road in the room, where Dorothy meets three friends, who are all looking for their hopes.

Dorothy in Kinnelon

The children enjoyed scared themselves by imagining lions and tigers and bears and saying "OH MY"... [half of the group said the animals and the other half replied].

They slept in the field of poppies and came across a witch. Luckily, Dorothy had a bucket of water (pieces of paper) and threw them on the witch and the kids.

Dorothy in the Land of Oz
Finally, they all reached the land of OZ:, everyone got what they needed (heart, brain, courage). Glenda reappeared and everyone repeated "there's no place like home......" Dorothy reminded the children that "whatever you are looking for, whatever you feel you DON'T have (courage, being scared...etc.), it is all inside you."

Dorothy in the Kinnelon storytime room
As you can tell from the pictures, the storytime room was marvelously decorated with characters, lights, curtains, etc. -- all thanks to Louise Solomon who also worked with the children to make a rainbow shake-snowball of the colors of the rainbow. Emma loved hers!

The children also received a handout with:

+ The words to Over The Rainbow
+ An explanation: a horse of a different color is a different matter or separate issue altogether
+ Quotes:

" Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," says Dorothy.

"Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking," says Dorothy.

"A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others," says the Wizard of Oz.

"Close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, there's no place like home."

Tin Woodsman: "What have you learned, Dorothy?"

Dorothy: "Well, I - I think that it - it wasn't enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em - and it's that - if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?"

"There's no place like home."

Last part of the evening included a scavenger hunt for grades 4-5. If you haven't yet taken part in the Kinnelon Library scavenger hunts, you need to get with the program. Stay tuned for a separate post on the subject.

Thank you, Louise, for once again putting on a memorable Dorothy visit for our children!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ramstein Beer Fest this Saturday @ 2 PM

For all of you who've missed the monthly tours at High Point Brewery in Butler: They are starting up again after the winter hiatus with the intro of the Maibock, their traditional, spring lager.

In owner Greg Zaccardi's own words:

"This Saturday will be the first tour of the year and will debut the Maibock. There will be a new format for the tour - 2 sessions for up to 120 people per session - 1st Session at 2 PM, 2nd Session at 3:30 PM.

We have 2 Liter Growlers in stock.

We have the Classic and Blonde available in bottles."

I personally am a huge fan of the Amber Lager, Double Platinum Blonde (Ale), and, of course, the Maibock.

Come and get some!

Chrtistine, Emma, and I will be there with The SR Fresh Hot Sauces, our Habanero Gold, Cayenne Red, and XXXXTra Hot Habanero, as we have this past fall.

Come try some!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Wizard of Oz & The Kinnelon Library

The Wizard of OzWere you aware that momentous anniversaries are in the works here in Kinnelon? I am talking Wizard of Oz and the Kinnelon Children's Library which is celebrating in engaging and creative fashion!

The book The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz written by L. Frank Baum was first published in 1900, making it officially 110 years old.

According to the Wikipedia entry on the book, you can choose to take the book at face value or interpret it in terms of the political, social and economic environment of the late 1800s.

For the sake of the children, we'll stick with the face value, but it is fun to consider the story as part of a larger context... [Hmmm, I wonder what Francis Kinney's take on the story might have been?]

Wizard of Oz, the movieThe movie The Wizard Of Oz marks its 75th anniversary this year - a milestone I find hard to believe given how timeless the production seems. I remember seeing [parts of] the movie as a child; it terrified me. Luckily, I have outgrown my terror and now have renewed appreciation for it...

For the Wizard of Oz celebration, the Kinnelon's Children's Library has transformed itself into a magically engaging Emerald City filled with a yellow brick road, a tornado, lions, scarecrows, witches, tin men and books.

You can watch the movie, admire the ruby slippers [silver in the book], and also take part in many of the activities that Galina Adair, Head of Children's Department, Louise Solomon, Nancy and the oh-so-patient student assistants have organized.

Over the rainbow, in KinnelonIn a separate post, I'll share additional details and photos relating to the Wizard Of Oz celebration taking place at the Kinnelon Library.

In the meantime, I encourage you to explore what our library offers by visiting the website.

For example, there's Storytime for kids age 2 to 5. Children can build their reading confidence by reading to therapy dogs Senna and Hannah on Saturdays from 10:30 to 11:30am. The dogs' next appearance takes place on Saturday, March 20th, 2010.

Look for mentions of scavenger hunts. They are terrific fun and teach our kids how to discover the many resources available at the library. The prizes are cool and the kids' enthusiasm for the hunt palpable!

I wish my library had been this much fun when I was a kid!

Friday, March 5, 2010

February's Fosterfield Hike: MCPC Hike a Park a Month

Gliding along the Fosterfields hikeTomorrow we're off to hike Randolph, NJ. Only fair to share with you details from our February Fosterfields hike, right?

As Tom Edmunds from MCPC reports, fourteen showed up for the Fosterfields hike, and four used snowshoes for a portion of the route - including Emma who did pretty well for a first time snow-shoer. For the record, it did tire her out. It also prepared her for the snowshoeing lessons that the second graders had this week at school!

We started out at the back end of Fosterfield and covered approx. 4.3 miles in 2 hours.

Tom explains: "this was our first hike in the Municipal Trail series as we traversed a short section of the new Spence-Doremus trail in Morris Township between Washington Valley Rd and Schoolhouse Lane."

Many thanks to Trails Foreman Russ Nee who followed us in the SUV to collect snow shoes and rescue a tuckered out Emma!

Fosterfields to Patriots Path

Map your trip with EveryTrail

What I enjoyed about this hike: experiencing Patriot's Path, realizing that Fosterfield's Farm leads to unexpected trails and a very satisfying hiking loop, and connecting to municipal trails.

Thank you, Russ, Janet and Tom. I can't wait for our Randolph adventure!
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