Friday Foodstuffs 7.17.09: Drowning Here in South Jersey’s Summer Food Cauldron

Drowning here in Summer’s Cauldron
Under mats of flower lava
Please don’t pull me out this is how I would want to go
Breathing in the boiling butter
Fruit of sweating golden inca
Please don’t heed my shout I’m relax in the undertow

When Miss Moon lays down
And Sir Sun stands up
Me I’m found floating round and round
Like a bug in brandy
In this big bronze cup
Drowning here in Summer’s Cauldron

“Summer’s Cauldron” by XTC

Whenever you can work XTC into a blog post, I say go for it!

This time of the year is equally wondrous and frustrating. It’s wondrous in that there are so many food events taking place around South Jersey, and it’s frustrating in that, well, there are so many food events taking place around South Jersey. I would love to be able to just fly around all weekend and partake a bit in everything, but then I get an image of Lisa and the kids chasing me around shaking their fists (even our baby, and she can’t even walk yet) while the sounds of ‘Yakkety Sax’ play in the background, just like an ending to a Benny Hill show. So, to keep the sanity of the house, we pick and choose our events wisely.

And what choices you have this weekend!

Let’s start with the county fairs, which are coming fast and heavy. The Cape May County 4-H Fair & Chicken BBQ is going on now until the 18th, while the Ocean County Fair runs through the 19th. Peeking around the corner are the Burlington County Farm Fair (7/22-25) and the Gloucester County 4-H Fair and NJ Peach Festival (7/23-26).

Looking for something a bit more ethnic? The 134th Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel is still going on and will run through the 19th. The South Jersey Caribbean Carnival is happening tomorrow at Wiggins Park on the Camden waterfront. On Saturday and Sunday, cultural diversity is being celebrated (with food included) at the Culture Fest at Historic Cold Spring Village in Cape May. And on Sunday you can travel to Russia and other parts of Asia by way of Vineland and Cherry Hill, respectively.

Jersey corn? You got it.

Jersey tomatoes? It’s covered.

Jersey seafood? On the case.

Jersey ice cream? Not a problem.

Jersey ice cream and own a British motorcar? You too.

Jersey beer??? Yes, we’ve even got you there.

And speaking of beer, which I seem to be doing a lot of these days, High Street Grill has its Summer Beer Lunch taking place this Saturday. Next week is the big honking Farm to Fork Week, with many many MANY restaurants participating in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties. Looking ahead to the 22nd, you have a Wine Tasting Dinner at Annata Wine Bar in Hammonton.

Cook Learn Eat-wise, it’s another busy weekend as well. The cooking class series at the Burlington County Farmers Market in Moorestown continues this Saturday with Chef John Pilarz of Anthony’s in Haddon Heights. And from this article, it sounds like folks are enjoying the classes. Saturday is also a day for making tortilla pizzas at The Long Beach Island Foundation in Loveladies. Passion Vines in Somers Point will be having a vodka tasting that afternoon as well. If you want to get outdoors, take a blackberry hike at Crystal Lake Park on Axe Factory Road in Mansfield Saturday morning. And finally have your kids enjoy making ice cream sundaes on Sunday at Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown.

Blogging Out Hunger

As was mentioned earlier this week on Jersey Bites, 3500 pints of Jersey blueberries were donated by members of Farmers Against Hunger on Tuesday to folks in need all around South Jersey. This gesture was very well received.

Rutgers Against Hunger has raised almost $49,000 and has collected 20 tons of food since November.

A “Community Food Pantry Fund” is being considered by Gov. Corzine as the demand on food banks continues to increase. This is a bill that has already passed through the Assembly and Senate, and would allow individual taxpayers the option to donate a portion of their refunds to the fund.

Recipe Rewind

While I don’t have specific recipes this week, I do want to take a moment to mention one of our favorite South Jersey food blogs, South Jersey Locavore. Every week this summer, Robin Shreeves is posting recipes where she has used only local foodstuffs. She definitely has the South Jersey pride. Keep on locavoring South Jers-ily, Robin!

And in the news (for the last couple of weeks)…

Pastry chef John Gallagher of Medford was named to be part of the American Culinary Federation’s National Pastry Committee.

The rain in June has made it tough for some local farmers, and some harvests may be smaller than usual.

A young man tragically dies from falling into a chocolate vat in a plant in Camden – a plant which may have been operating illegally.

Some time back, I mentioned a story about a man who tried to steal 91 pounds of lobster. Well, for this man’s five-finger discounted seafood buffet, the final bill came to 4 years in prison.

And lastly, kudos to Kelly Feeney for her ‘Eight Great Barbecue Joints in New Jersey’ article in Gourmet magazine. Along with our wineries, roadside barbecue places are one of our great culinary secret weapons.

Enjoy your weekend!

– John


4 thoughts on “Friday Foodstuffs 7.17.09: Drowning Here in South Jersey’s Summer Food Cauldron

  1. Fantastic list of great events. Thanks. The "Cherry Hill" item related to Russia is a broken link, though. I'd love to know what that's about.

  2. Mark – fixed the Cherry Hill link; it's actually an Asian festival at the D&Q Plaza on Route 70 on Sunday. Their site is very, erm, skimpy on details, though. Glad you like our site! – John

  3. John & Lisa,Thank you for the Friday Foodstuffs post. I try to check it weekly. Also, major props for the XTC reference! "Summer Cauldron" was on the Skylarking album, which was produced by local rock god Todd Rundgren, and in my opinion, one of the best LPs of the 80s. Did you guys get a chance to see XTC when they played Emerald City back in the day? Rundgren just played Hangar 84 in Vineland two months ago… GK

  4. Glad you like the Friday Foodstuffs posts. Didn't see XTC back in the day, but I do have a bootleg copy of that very show. Can I say that? – John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s