Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ramstein Beer Video

In case you did not see this fantastic 6:19 minute video about our very own Ramstein Beer in Butler, NJ, here it is.

You can also view the video directly on  Vimeo by clicking on Ramstein from Jason Koontz.

Here is the brief description of the video with credits:

Ramstein is a German-style Wheat Beer and Lager Brewery in Bulter, NJ. They make an array of all natural beers. This video explores what it means to be a micro-brewery and what it can offer to its local population.

Directed & Cinematography - TIGHE KELLNER & JASON KOONTZ

In case the video makes you want to pay Ramstein a visit, here is the latest news re: What's On Tap!

Golden Lager, Winter Wheat Doppelbock, and Classic Dunkelweiss


Monday, December 26, 2011

Didja Know? Smoke Rise Christmas Celebrations

Here is Cornie Hubner's "Christmas Celebrations" from his Smoke Rise Didja Know? series.

Christmas Celebrations

The 1947 Christmas Season Celebration for the two resident Club families was magnanimously provided by bountiful Mother Nature with a three-foot mantle of unblemished crystals that covered the land and turned every tree into an original decorated masterpiece glistening in the sunshine. Relatives, friends and soon to be residents traveled poorly plowed State Highways and untouched Country Roads to reach an unexpected five miles of perfectly cleared roads that led oto the occupied homes and the several buildings under construction.

It was truly a winter wonderland, a dazzling Christmas Card vista that had delighted the Kinneys and their friends almost exclusively (except for the few brave poachers) for many years. The view from the Cottage on the Lake brought a miniature Switzerland to their doorsteps. Indoors a huge, beautiful Christmas Tree, surrounded by stacks of colorful packages provided the Lord of the Manor with a regal setting for the distribution of gifts for the family, friends and members of the staff.

The Franciscan Monastery in Butler provided the Celebrant for the Mass offered in St. Hubert's Chapel on the island when the ice was thick enough to offer safe passage for the worshipers. It was heated by a huge wood burning stove and a fireplace in whose flickering light the gem-like interior presented a  picture of medieval splendor matched only by the private chapels of European Nobility.
(At this point you should be reminded that concentrated effort by dedicated members, implementing the restoration plans long dormant, is needed to restore this one of a kind jewel or at least save it from its continuing deterioration. Tom Kline, a former Smoke Rise resident, has devoted time and money for many years in a losing battle to "hold the line." He, now living at No. 3 Sabeys Beach Road, Kinnelon, 492-2620, would be very happy to explain his plans and welcome your assistance. See "Didja Know" December 15, 1985.)
By Christmas 1949, some 35 hardy pioneer families were located in comfortable homes on over ten miles of gravel roads. One of the early members recalled his first, never to be forgotten, leadership of a group of carolers whose limited talents were offset by its enthusiasm.  His gradually freezing fingers produced the music that covered the off key voices and achieved a genuine welcome in home after home. The exhausted well wassailed songsters made a last scheduled visit, to enjoy a reviving repast, little realizing they had established a prototype for the Christmases to follow.

No, not from Smoke Rise. Rather, the
Rockefeller Center Tree in NYC
The Inn provided the limited area in what is now the Meeting Room for the first formal New Year's Eve Ball with dinner in the area now occupied by the Reception and Cloakroom at the all inclusive cost of fifteeen dollars per couple. By the end of 1950 it was realized that the facilities were inadequate and a roof was built over the patio to join the Inn to the Cow Barn. This previous home of the prize brown Swiss herd, with a low ceiling and many iron pipe supports for the haymow above, after almost fifty years of disuse, became the White Room, in time for the 1951 formal New Year's Party.

Used for Club Meetings it transformed into a place of Worship for the growing Community Church every Sunday, when the organ, vestments and hymnals miraculously made their appearance. It sometimes required the frenzied efforts of the parish to remove evidence of the previous night's party and ride the air of the aroma of the liquid refreshments served. This continued until 1956, when the Church built on three acres donated by the Company was consecrated.

From the beginning, J. Alden Talbot, then also president of the American Ballet Theatre, encouraged the formation of the Clubs now functioning. He sponsored the formal Christmas Tea, at which his invited hostesses "poured" using their own silver services that they were proud to display. Interest was created by his guests that at one time included the entire Sadler Wells Ballet, Russian Nobility, and opera stars. The many teas that followed culminated each year at the Women's Club, Garden Club Tea where the Greeting Fund distribution started in 1966. That year the Fire Department and Tri-boro first divided the approximately $1,800 raised. Twenty years later, $30,000 was shared by thirteen charities with about $7,000 each to the original recipients.

Cocktail dances and the New Year's Eve Formal, with well known orchestras (a Lester Lanin Society Unit at one time) were being oversubscribed. By 1960, the full course dinner was priced at $4.50 (including a shrimp cocktail) and the full treatment $10.00 included breakfast.  By 1973, the White Room and the two rooms in the Inn were needed for over 200 at the cost that had risen to $20.00.

The Season was always inaugurated by Mr. Talbot with the lighting of the Christmas Tree at the Inn. Events for the children that featured Santa Claus, Cotillions for High School students and formal dances for College kids began in '57.  The following year an Outdoor Decoration Contest added a new activity to the growing schedule. All Club functions transferred to the Community Church in '77 and formal dances were held at the Rockaway River Golf Club until '81 with gala opening of our present facilities.

Following the period from 1924 when social activities ceased, until the Smoke Rise Club started in 1957, the last forty years have been a period of phenomenal growth and increasingly rewarding activities as evidenced by the thirteen active Social, Religious, Educational and Athletic Clubs now available for the benefit of the more than 800 families of its members.

Merry Christmas & Happy, Healthy New Year 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kinnelon Christmas Concert 2011: Our Lady of the Magnificat Golden Jubilee

After hearing for several years how wonderful the Our Lady of the Magnificat Christmas Concert is, Emma and I were finally able to experience it firsthand on December 18, 2011. It was more than wonderful!

This was the 28th year of the annual Christmas Concert and the OLM 'Golden Jubilee' concert featured not only the Christmas Festival Orchestra of New Jersey conducted by Karen Pinoci, but also Our Lady of the Magnificat's Choir led by Michael Pierce, OLM Church Music Minister and Choir Director.

The evening's program consisted of:

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - F. Mendelssohn/T. Rickets
Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op. 6, No. 8 - A. Corelli
Advent Joy - Th Jarman/G. Weissel

From The Messiah - G.F. Handel - with Caroline Tarnowski, soprano
  • ** And the Glory of the Lord
  • ** Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive
  • ** O, Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion
Silent Night, Holy Night - F. Gruber/M. Hayes
Do You Hear What I Hear? - N. Regney/G. Shayne

O Holy Night - A. Adam/C. Deny - with Kevin Yapaola, tenor

Waltz of the Flowers, from The Nutcracker - P.I. Tchaikovsky
March of the Three Kings - G. Bizet
Parade of the Wooden Soldiers - L. Jessel
"Sleigh Ride" - W. A. Mozart
Sleigh Ride - L. Anderson
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - H. Martin/R. Blane
Winter Wonderland - F. Bernard/D. Smith
White Christmas - I. Berlin/R. Bennet
The Bells of Christmas - arr. B. Krogstad
  • ** Ding Dong! Merrily on High!
  • ** The Bell Carol
  • ** Silver Bells
  • ** I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  • ** Jingle Bells
I captured a few of the pieces on video.

[Subscribers, click on Christmas Concert: Corelli to view the video on YouTube.]

 [Subscribers, please click on Christmas Concert: Messiah to view the video on YouTube.]

This next video is the most beautiful interpretation of O Holy Night that I have ever heard. Performed by Kinnelon's own Kevin Yapaola of Triphobia fame.

[Subscribers, please click on Christmas Concert: O Holy Night to view the video on YouTube.]

These videos barely do justice to this Christmas concert. However, I hope they give you enough of a taste to  consider attending next year.

If you attended, which were your favorite pieces?

I wish you and yours marvelous Holidays, a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Smoke Rise Club Car Badge

The Smoke Rise Club Car Badge

There's more! The articles about Smoke Rise Relic: Car Badge and The Smoke Rise East Gate encouraged Rob Infante to send me the Smoke Rise Club car badge picture above and the message below:
Hello. I saw your piece about the old Smoke Rise car badges and thought you might like another pic of one.  My folks moved there in 1973, and somewhere along the way picked it up.  It was in the car for a while, then, when it started to get tatty, was mounted.
Best Regards
Rob Infante

I followed up with Rob and asked him a few questions: whether his parents still lived in Smoke Rise and whether he grew up there, too.  He responded:
I moved away after high school, so was gone by '86.  My folks stayed there until about '99, at which point they bought a townhouse in Montville.  We were on Sugar Hill Road, so I pretty much grew up around Splitrock Reservoir.  I'm down in Mountain Lakes now, but still enjoy riding my mountain bike up through that way.  Lots of memories.

Thank you, Rob! I really appreciate your sharing this photo and look forward to connecting in person. Any chance you might ride your bike in the 2012 Brake The Hunger Cycle Tour?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Star of the Week in the Papasan Chair: Emma's 3rd Grade Tradition

What classroom traditions do you remember from grade school? I remember getting to write about a Piranha fish instead of doing something else and I loved cleaning the blackboard. None of those, though, were formal traditions that the entire class participated in. Luckily, as we are learning from Emma's classroom experiences, Kinnelon School has developed plenty...

Star of the Week in the Papasan Chair title=Here is a wonderful tradition that Emma experienced in third grade with her teacher, Doreen Kolster: Star of the Week.

When a student becomes Star of the Week, s/he gets to bring to class something special each day and gets 10 to 15 minutes to talk about what makes that item special and answer questions. For example, the student might invite someone to come in and read a book or talk about careers with the class, share a collection or favorite book, create a poster, or share a favorite snack with the class....

Emma was chomping at the bit for her turn to come. And it did... at the end of the school year! She brought in her State Quarter Collection, a snack that Ted made and... me to read a favorite book, I Crocodile.

The Fourth Grade Tradition is called "Spotlight On...". It lasts one day, says Emma.

In the meantime, here is Emma's [brief] account of life as Star of the Week in the Papasan Chair in Mrs. Kolster's 3rd grade class.

Aaah! It is so relaxing to sit in the Papasan chair.

The Papasan chair is in my third grade teacher's classroom. It is big, yellow, comfy and fun. Whenever you are Star of the Week, you can sit in it.
Kinnelon School Traditions When I was Star of the Week, I got to sit in it!!!

Mrs. Kolster, my third grade teacher, used to have a green one, but now it is yellow. I find yellow a very soothing color. Now, that is my opinion and you can have your own!

Just picture yourself sitting in this awesome chair, after a long hard day, coming home to sit in it!

Did you ever have a chair in your classroom like this?

Do you have a chair like this at home?

I would love to hear what it is like.

Thank you.

Emma and Mrs. Kolster
Emma and her 3rd grade teacher, Doreen Kolster
As sad as Emma was about 3rd grade ending, she is loving 4th grade with her teacher, Carol Moore, in the same classroom she had for third grade.

Back to my original question, what were your favorite grade school traditions and memories?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Smoke Rise East Gate New Year

The Smoke Rise East Gate has inspired several former Smoke Rise residents to share stories.

The latest comes from John Connelly, author of several wonderful stories to this blog. John's Smoke Rise East Gate Story takes place at New Year's a long time ago and honors his father, John Connelly Sr.


For Dad
and for those who remember him
in heaven and on earth.

There are whispers around us and in us. We’d hear them but for the din of impatient trivialities.

"Ten!... nine!... eight!... seven!"

Dad and Mom joined the countdown. The Kin-wood Inn (now Piccolo’s) was overflowing with Kinnelon and Smoke Rise neighbors eager to crow goodbye to 1962 and shout-in a new and glorious year. The room was choked with party hats, short tight-bright dresses, minks, perfume and liberal eye-makeup. Dad sported a Brooks Brothers tuxedo. These were the spoils and temptations of their modern age. Scotch Whiskey and Rye made the transition smoother and more joyous.

"Six!... five!... four!... three!..."

Couples stood each with the other in arm, free hand holding glasses high.

"Two!... one!... Happy New Year!"

With that Mr. and Mrs. Wohltmann cried out a toast in an uncharacteristically bombastic hoot, champagne corks popped and the air filled with little multi-colored streamers from a hundred party poppers. A reflexive singing of “Auld Lang Syne” followed like the expected response at church: May the Lord be with you….”and with your spirit.” Mom, being from Scotland, delighted the crowd by singing in the tongue of her homeland:

“We twa hay rin aboot the braes, 
an pood the gowans fyn; 
Bit weev wandert monae a weery fet, 
sin ald lang syn!”

The old gave way to the new with the oldest of traditions. Mom whispered “I love you” to Dad and the crowd celebrated together the passage to a new age.

The party would go past 2 am. Dad, being Irish, felt compelled to be among the last to leave.

Stepping into the cool evening air he realized, for the first time, just how drunk he was. Struggling to focus, he fumbled with the keys, opened the door for Mom and then slumped into the driver’s seat. Back then, drunk or not, a man drove home. Besides, it wasn’t far. We lived on Orchard Road, just up the road, through the East Gate. It was just a few miles away. Head on the steering wheel he could see his shoes. They were covered in cold mud. He’d stepped in a puddle on the way to the car. “Jasus, Mary and Joseph” he mumbled to himself. Fortunately his tuxedo was unsullied.

It was a warmer New Years than normal. Still cold, mind you, but just above freezing. Mounds of blackened snow lined the streets and walkways, and mud was in abundance. The stars twinkled above as only they do in winter.

Mom asked if Dad could drive and he slurred, “Sure enough, my dear, sound as a pound…..I’ll be just followin’ the lines….,” and starting up, he inched out onto Stone House Road, made a right, and crept along, door slightly open, looking down at the lines. He could hear the crackle of the tires against the wet pavement beneath. The cool blast of air kept him awake.

“Just gotta’ keep followin’ the lines my dear…”

Dad had learned early on to follow the lines.

As a young Irish boy he’d sit at his kitchen table in the ironbound section of Newark. His house so small its address was 33 1/3rd Johnson St. They’d squeezed three homes onto one lot. From that table he’d watch the lines around his mother’s crystal-blue eyes as she examined his tea leaves and smiled.

Ye have no worries, Johnnie. Just be rememberin’ Jasus and the Holy Saints in all ye do.

She’d add with wink and a whisper, “and dun be thinkin’ too much of yeself.

At St. Columba Catholic school he learned to stay in line from the boxing Joey Nuncio got in the ear from Sister Ida. He’d stepped a bit too far to one side waiting in line for the water fountain. His ear bright red and so hot to the touch that the kids had to take turns feeling it. He’d learned, too, from Father Duffy who had reminded him to live a life of quiet piety. An altar boy, he’d rung the bell at the wrong time during Mass and was ordered to report to the rectory. The lines of the priest’s eyes were deep as he smiled and pointed to his long white “alb”, or outer priestly garment, and whispered to Dad , “A spot on the alb is seen afar, Johnnie. So dun be shamin’ the good Lord.” These the whispers of a generation.

And so in line Dad took the Holy Body of Christ Communion, and in line he signed up to fight the Germans. He’d waited his turn in line to bail out of a burning plane over Germany and fell to the earth in one heavenly line of white parachutes, only to end up lined against a wall with his crewmates and shipped to a concentration camp. In line they’d entered the boxcar, in line they’d been run up a muddy hill to the camp, crazed dogs lunging at their legs.

There would be lines for eating, and lines for washing and lines that if you crossed you’d get a bullet in the ear. Lines to march in for months around Germany then lines to board ships for home and lines to welcome him back in the States. He’d learned to trust the lines and that night he’d do the same; just a lot slower.

Ten miles an hour, I think. Maybe less.

He’d been the son; the Christian; the soldier. His mother would be proud, he thought. He’d remembered Jesus and the Holy Saints and had never spotted his alb. The lines went by, one by one….slowly. He stayed in line.

But, he was now 38 years old. A successful developer, he’d moved his wife and five children to Smoke Rise. Neighborhoods now existed thanks to him. A hundred families slept this night warm in the homes he’d imagined and created with his Italian partners. It felt good, this moment….line…….line……….line………to be him.

Approaching the gate, he pulled over and stumbled out. Back then the East Gate was closed and locked at midnight. After that hour everyone had to enter Smoke Rise through the North Gate. A thick metal chain was thrown through the East Gate bars and clasped shut with a large lock. The gatekeeper would go to bed. But Dad had charmed a spare key out of one of the gatekeepers and routinely would let himself in at all hours.

He struggled with the freezing lock, harrumphing in the cold night air. Mom was asleep.

“Come on!” he grumbled. The key wasn’t working. Perhaps it was his cold hands, perhaps the alcohol or something else, but the lock did not cooperate. He stood still grasping the metal gate and tried to steady himself. Something about the cold, seeing his breath perhaps, took him back to Stalag Luft IV and he remembered “Big Stoop.”

It had been a crisp winter night like this when Big Stoop, a German prison guard, made Dad and his comrades line up and strip naked under the glare of prison lights. While the prisoners quivered unprotected from the night air, Big Stoop rummaged through the pockets of their discarded clothing and collected the photos of the mothers, wives and girlfriends back home; then rubbed them to his genitals and howled.

When Big Stoop noticed one prisoner had forgotten to remove his hat, he struck him violently to the ground and crushing the man’s throat under his boot screamed out “Respect! Respect!” until the breath of the GI was no longer visible in the cold night air. If you got out of line, Big Stoop would box you in the ear with such force that he punctured many an eardrum. Dad avoided Big Stoop.

When the camp was liberated, Big Stoop’s body was found in a field, his head on a stake. Big Stoop thought too much of himself, Dad thought. He’d forgotten the Holy Saints.

Just then a light went on in the gatehouse.

Who’s out there?” 

“Never mind, I have a key. I won’t be more than a minute.”

Who is that? What are you doing there?”

“Blah, blah, blah” Dad mumbled, his mind dulled with drink.

After a minute or so, the gatekeeper stood on the stone porch bathed in yellow light and called out, “You have to come up here immediately. There’s someone who wants to talk to you!”

Jasus”, Dad thought. He straightened up, suddenly sobered by the gatekeeper’s command. He stepped up the old stone steps and made the little right turn into the gatehouse. The gatekeeper stood indignant and condescending.

There!” the keeper said, pointing to a phone off the hook and sitting on a nightstand, “HE wants to talk to you.”

The gatekeeper was dressed in a tattered robe like some common shepherd Dad had seen in one of his childhood catechism books. Dad stood in tuxedo and topcoat. For just that instant Dad stared disdainfully at him. The Keep glared back indignantly. After all, Dad had interrupted his slumber.

Hello?” Dad said.

Who is this?” a voice demanded.

Dad, usually the jolly fellow was now  irritated.

Who is this?” Dad demanded in return. The gatekeeper began to soften. His face smiling slightly as shock came over him.

This is Gene Tuite!! Gene Tuite!! I ask again, who is this?”

Gene Tuite was about 20 years older than Dad. He’d been one of the first members of Smoke Rise and was now the leader of a “new” old guard, having had it accrue to him and them with the death of the Kinneys; he was now a self appointed ruler of the world behind the gates. But it was the start of a new year and the stars twinkled.

Dad hesitated, and then spoke up.

 “This is John Connelly. What’s it to ya?” 

The gatekeeper was now alive with delight. He was grinning broadly and wildly shaking his fists as if to say “Atta boy Johnnie, give it right back to him!!” Emboldened by the support Dad laid it on thicker. The gatekeeper’s mouth hung agape. He was watching the very power of the heavens being shaken; the ruler of the world being cast out.

Tuite demanded “Where did you get that key?”

“None of your business!” Dad barked. The gateman was beside himself.

You give that key to the Keeper at once!”

“I will NOT! Goodnight to you sir!” 

With that, Dad hung up forcefully, now surprisingly clear-headed. The room was still but Dad knew in that instant that everything had changed. He had arrived. He’d stood up to the baddest, most powerful man in Smoke Rise. He was his equal. Maybe, like a favored son he was his better. He’d been the poorest kid in school, unable to muster the dime required for school books. He’d lost his dad while in eighth grade, was boxed about by every nun from 1st to 12th grade, was the youngest of 8 surviving children, lost two brothers and a sister to childhood diseases, collected scrap metal and cardboard, giving the proceeds to his mother. He’d survived anti-aircraft flak and Big Stoop, married a Scottish beauty, started a business and moved his family to Smoke Rise. He stood straight. The gatekeeper stepped aside to let him pass.

Goodnight to you sir” the keeper said with a slight bow. 

And goodnight to you” Dad countered like some imagined Lord from the Old Country.

Dad stepped onto the porch. It was his moment. He’d followed the lines and had arrived. He could be forgiven, he thought, for thinking just a bit of himself in that instant. Surely mother would approve. This new world, America, had been kind to the Irish. He, like fellow Irish immigrant Francis Kinney, had risen in the less than two decades since the war above his peers his ancestors and his circumstances. He stood for a second, elevated there, bathed in soft yellow light. He smiled the wry smile of a monarch.

The cool air embraced him. His soft blue eyes looked out at his new Ford LTD. He saw his lovely wife, her tan cheek against the window. He thought of his 5 children asleep at home in their beds. He thought of his business partners; his bank account. Proudly he stepped straight forward into the night …..

…..and, “wwwhhhhhhhhh!” a whoosh of cool air passed over his ears like a long cold whisper.

He’d forgotten that Kinney had not built that blasted stoop in a straight line, but rather, curved it around to the left. He fell forward slowly in the dark, then downward. Past howling Joey Nuncio and whispering Father Duffy, smiling in his white alb. Past red-faced, fist-clenched Sister Ida and Big Stoop, lunging dogs and soup lines, scrap yards and tea leaves. Through streaming lines of multi-colored paper and tight-bright dresses, past lines of Scottish verse and lined crystal-blue eyes, Jesus, the Holy Saints and little ringing bells until he landed, face flat, in a small lake of mud and snow and ice.

Rising slowly, he surveyed the cold thick mud from nose to toes.

Jasus, Mary and Joseph!” he whimpered. Then, after a moment of frustration, he suddenly laughed to himself as he pictured his mother’s wink and listened afresh to the wisdom in her whisper.

Unlocking the gate, driving past and relocking it, cold and looking as any penniless old-world beggar, he once more slowly followed the lines.

Once more they got him home.


Note: John Connelly Sr. lived with his family in Smoke Rise from 1962 to 1980. He is 86 years old now and lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his second wife Winona, having lost Jeanne in 1988. His war experiences were recently written about on a front page story in the Jacksonville Florida Times Union  in  Jacksonville veteran's story is different from all the others and also Jacksonville man integral part in establishing museum in town where he was a POW.

Photo from John Connelly: Dad is front row, second from the left.
Thank you, John, for this amazing story.

Image credit: photo taken of amazing watercolor of East Gate from Kinnelon Library's 2011 CLL Art Exhibit.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lobster Cream Puffs Recipe - Smoke Rise Inn

Lobster Cream Puffs Recipe
The Holidays bring to mind getting together with friends and family, not just over elaborate formal meals, but also over festive exchanges of delicious bite-sized delights that the French refer to as "amuse-bouche" or "amuse gueule". The following Smoke Rise Inn recipe from Chef George Tavolara for Lobster Cream Puffs - in my estimation - falls into that category.

Try them out and let me know if you agree...

Smoke Rise Inn Lobster Cream Puffs

For the Pastry

2 Cups Water
Pinch of Salt
½ Pound Butter
2 Cups Flour
8 Eggs

Melt butter in a medium pot with water, bring to a boil, add salt then flour and work the dough over a high flame for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat dough adding eggs one at a time.

Pipe dough out on to a sheet with a pastry bag about the size of a golf ball. Bake 300 degrees for 40 minutes.

Lobster Filling

1 lb of freshly cooked lobster meat. (4 1¼ pound lobsters will yield 1 lb of meat)
¼ Cup Diced Celery
1/8 Cup Minced Red Onion
¼ Cup Mayonnaise

Thank you, Chef George!

Image courtesy of Tea Time with Lobster Bites from Salvo-Lutions

Friday, December 9, 2011

Save Tomorrow,12/10/11 Saturday for The Ramstein Open House, & SR Fresh Hot Sauce

Here is a reminder for this weekend’s Ramstein Beer Open House and Tour, this Saturday, Dec. 10. Directions are at the website link above.

There will be 2 tour and tasting sessions -- 2 PM and 3:45 PM. (Correction!)

Sadly, this will be the last Tour and Tasting of 2011, and there will be no more until March of 2012 with the introduction of the Maibach. 

Ramstein'sWinter Wheat :

Beers on tap - Unfiltered Amber Lager, Double Platinum Blonde, Classic Dunkelweiss, and Winter Wheat Doppelbock. Happily, we are going out with a bang, so to speak.

1  and 2 liter growlers will be in stock

And SR Fresh Hot Sauce will be there with the Fresh Cayenne-Cherry PepperHabanero Gold, and XXXXTra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce. We will also have our new Caribbean Hot Sauce, and brand new Thai Style Habanero Sriracha, Cayenne Sriracha, and Jalapeno Poblano (our first green pepper saucealong 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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy IdeaPaint News! Kiel School Has Won Makeover

Congratulations, Annika Levitt's first grade class at Kiel School, on winning the IdeaPaint makeover! In case you are not subscribed to Textcaster, here is the news sent out at 9:24pm tonight:

Dear Friends of Kiel School,

You may have heard the news, but just in case you did not hear us “shouting from the rooftops,” Mrs. Levitt’s First Grade class at Kiel School WON the IdeaPaint Makeover Contest

The IdeaPaint Makeover Contest includes a consultation with the IdeaPaint “Ambassador of Innovation” Keith Whittier, followed by a 500 sq. ft. IdeaPaint installation.  Thanks to the AWESOME video submission and your votes, our students will have endless opportunities for learning through the creativity and versatility of IdeaPaint! 

Mrs. Levitt shared the following:  “In my eyes, the kids were already winners, but now it will be written on the walls!” “I am so lucky to be the teacher of these amazing kids!” 

I would like to extend my gratitude to Mrs. Levitt, the wonderful students and staff at Kiel School in addition to the entire Kinnelon School district, and our extended school community.   THANK YOU for forwarding the contest link to your family and friends!   Our school is about to become an even more exciting, fun-filled learning community! 

One Very Proud Principal, Jodi Mulholland

Check out the IdeaPaint Makeover Contest Winner Announcement on the IdeaPaint Blog.

[Also, see the interview with Annika Levitt about the IdeaPaint Submission.]

Thank you for voting and helping make this contest submission a success!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kinnelon's Trash-2-Treasure Contest 2011

Kinnelon's Trash-2-Treasure Contest 2011
Kinnelon Library's Galina Adair

What a week! The 2011 Trash-2-Treasure Contest took place with entries due by 5pm on Monday, November 28 and award ceremony on Thursday, December 1st.

And what a Trash 2 Treasure contest! Galina Adair from the Kinnelon Children's Library reports that this year's contest had 69 entries.

I asked her about the outreach that had taken place to get the word out in the Kinnelon Schools. Galina writes:

"Ms. Mulholland, the principal at Kiel School, and Mr. Mongon, the principal at Stonybrook School, were very receptive to having the Kinnelon Library Children’s Dept. come to their schools and promote the Trash2Treasure Program.

Outreach for Trash2Treasure was done in the Kiel School with the help of Ms. Santagato, the art teacher. I visited the students at Kiel School with the intent to motivate local students to creatively “upcycle” their garbage. I was putting forth a challenge to the kids to create a piece of art or functional item using garbage that would normally be recycled.

The early winter storm this year not only challenged the road and utility crews, it also challenged library and school schedules. Unfortunately we were not able to actually visit Stonybrook School and present our Outreach program to the students. However, Ms. Scully, the art teacher at Stonybrook, was our advocate Outreach person. In her art classes she promoted our Trash2Treasure contest.

The Trash2Treasure Program was meant to teach budding eco-artists and future inventors and creators to think twice about what they threw out. “Upcycling” is the way to go! And it’s COOL!"

Here are photos from the awards ceremony. I encourage you to go visit the Kinnelon Library and check out the entries. At the same time, you can admire the Kiel and Stonybrook student art show.

Trash 2 Treasure: Kinnelon Library's Nancy McMurrer
Kinnelon Library's Nancy McMurrer

Trash 2 Treasure: Kinnelon Mayor Bob Collins announced the winners
Kinnelon Mayor Bob Collins announced the winners

2011 Trash 2 Treasure Winners

Kindergarten through 1st Grade Trash 2 Treasure Winners

  • 1st Place:  God’s Creation – Julia Coyne
  • 2ndPlace:  Globe – Sara Barrow
  • 3rd Place:  Alligator Bride – Alanna Gallagher
  • Honorable Mention:  Dairy Queen -  Kaitlyn McLuaghlin

2nd and 3rd Grade Trash 2 Treasure Winners

  • 1st Place:  Christmas Tree – Chloe Fernstrom
  • 2ndPlace:  Go Green Garden – Emma Schmidt
  • 3rd Place:  Robot Toka – Hilal Bas
  • Honorable Mention:  Hunter the Sports Boy – Andrew Weiss

4th and 5th Grade Trash 2 Treasure Winners

  • 1st Place:  Voyage from Trash to Treasure – Emma Whittemore
  • 2ndPlace:  Snip to Save – Ben Waalberg
  • 3rd Place:  Christmas Poinsettia – Daniel Cauz
  • Honorable Mention:  Science Lab Project  - Katarina Coyne

Kinnelon's Trash 2 Treasure Contest
Emma receives her award! 

Thank you, Galina, Nancy and all of the staff at the Kinnelon Library who made the 2011 Trash-2-Treasure contest such a success! Thanks, too, for inspiring our kids!

Below are photos that Ted took today of the 2011 Trash2Treasure Contest entries.

The Go Green Garden

Chloe's Christmas Tree

Emma's Ship! Behind it, notice Ben's "Snip To Save" Penguin

Daniel's Christmas Poinsettia

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Kiel School's IdeaPaint Contest Submission: Interview with Annika Levitt

Annika Levitt's first grade class at Kiel in Kinnelon
Annika Levitt's 1st Grade Class, Kiel School, Kinnelon
Have you checked out Kiel School's IdeaPaint Contest Submission? Pretty cool, don't you think? Here's an interview with Annika Levitt, Kiel School First Grade Teacher who, with her students, put together a contest entry.

First, some background information.  Annika Levitt began her teaching career in 2005 in Westfield, NJ where she taught 2nd and 3rd Grade at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a B.S. in both Elementary Education and Psychology.  She joined the Kinnelon District in 2009 and has taught at both Stonybrook and Kiel Schools in a range of classrooms.

Her favorite quote : "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." ~William Arthur Ward

C.B.: Annika, could you give me more background about the contest?

I came across the contest searching through the web on a Saturday afternoon the third week of school. Since I had just set up the classroom, I was in the process of searching for ways to maximize our space. We have the smallest classroom, but I wanted to be creative. Originally, I thought about painting on that chalkboard paint, but was not sure how that would work. Then I saw the video for IdeaPaint, asking for a school or small business in need of more space and… voila, I was sold.

C.B.: What caught your attention about the contest?

Two words: “maximize space!” I was always taught, as a teacher, that the classroom environment and set-up is crucial for learning. Over the summer I must have changed the room 10 times until it felt “just right.” I played the goldilocks game (too big, too small, etc.), except there was never a “too big!” The contest seemed doable and right up our alley.

C.B.: How did you get the students involved? 

I decided to bring it up during a morning meeting with the students, the Monday after discovering IdeaPaint. I showed the kids the contest video on our Smart Board.

Every Monday we explore a new poem. Sky-Lynn, one of my students, raised her hand and said, “Why don’t we just write a poem about IdeaPaint?” As I often try to do, I listened to the voices of my students.

C.B.: How many students participated?

The contest required a “handful” of students to participate in showing off the classroom. To make it fair, I picked names through a computer generated random selector we use in class. 5 students were featured in the video, but we ALL had a speaking part.

C.B.: How difficult was it to put together the IdeaPaint contest submission?

After we made it into Round 2, IdeaPaint asked for a second submission of the teacher/representative and more footage of the room. Here is the second IdeaPaint submission link. I shot that video while the kids were at recess, highlighting our classroom “nooks & crannies.”

C.B.: Thank you, Annika! What an awesome process and submission. I hope your class wins!

You might also enjoy this recent video from Kinnelon Patch's Ariana Cohn-Sheehan: Kiel Class Needs Help Winning Whiteboard Room Makeover.

Don't forget to vote a few more times for Kiel School's first grade entry for the IdeaPaint contest!

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