Thursday, May 7, 2009

We're moving

I'm moving the blog from blogger over to Wordpress. There will be new posts by mid next week. Until then stop by a farmers market, buy a bottle of wine from a local winery or plant something edible in your backyard.

The Green Cafe in Edgewater Park is now open

Edgewater Park has a new cafe that relies on local and organic foods to make up the bulk of its menu. The Green Cafe @ Whitebriar opened earlier this week. Carole Moore, who owns and runs the place with her husband Bill, answered a few questions for SJ Locavore about this cafe that will use organic produce and eggs from its own gardens and supplement with organics from farms around the country.

You’ve recently opened The Green Café @ Whitebriar. What makes it green?
1st Reason: I've been organic since age 14 when I got my father's Organic Farmer and Gardener, by Rodale Press. (I memorized every article, and lived it since then raising our twin daughters with home made, organic, home cooked, "canned", dried & fresh garden foods)

2nd reason: It's at the end of Green Street,

3rd Reason: My husband is Irish and likes green, Fourth Reason: We're hoping it will bring in some "green backs" so we can pay the enormous mortgage. We originally named the cafe, THE SOUP BANQUE, a play on the "past life" of the building as the Old Fleet Bank, but friends started "volunteering" to serve the "unemployed, and homeless", thinking it was something that it wasn't, so we had to change the name to The Organic Green Cafe @ Whitebriar. Although we are not "incorporated", our "trade name" for our Bed and Breakfasts, Our Childrens and animal Mentoring Program (C.A.M.P. Whitebriar), our Murder Mysteries At the Dunk's Ferry Inn at Whitebriar, always includes "Whitebriar" which is the name of our 300 year old home, next door to the cafe, and we didn't think after three centuries, that we should change it's name. We often answer to Mr. and Mrs. Whitebriar, although we are really, Carole and Bill Moore.

What are the sources of many of the foods you use at The Green Café?
Albert's Organics in South Jersey specializes in what we need, so he supplements us in winter, and what ever doesn't grow in our organic gardens. Our organic -free ramge- chickens provide the eggs for our quiche, cakes, muffins, etc.

Give us an idea about what’s on the menu. Will items change with the seasons?
The organic vegetables in the salad might change, but basically, everything is organic from other parts of the country that have nice weather all year round. Our sandwiches could be either organic beef,pork, or chicken/turkey, which ever one I can find "organic" or "healthy-range fed" or any combination of the above. The sandwich is served on an herbal/oatmeal roll that is about 4" round. We serve it "healthy with a slice of organic tomato and lettuce, but we also have "barbq" sauce, etc. to "doctor it up, if you don't want it sooooo healthy.

We pride ourselves on our Cheese quiche or the bacon/ham quiche, which is served on a bed of organic fancy lettuces, with a few other seasonal vegetables. It's great with our own Pear/raspberry vinegrete but you can also choose traditional creamy italian, french or balsamic vinegar dressings. Home made macaroni & cheese, cucumbers vinegrette, fruity waffles, etc. will be added as we go along. Our Pastry area includes different treats each day. Today it is an applesauce walnut/raisin ring cake, chocochoco cake, Our Prize Winning "Cinnamon coffee cake", Blue berry or pumpkin pie, spice cupcakes, to mention a few.

Besides food, what else will visitors to the Green Café find?
You can find your friends here because we are not trying to be "apple bees". We want to be the "home town cafe", as a matter of fact, that was my second choice, after "Green Cafe". There is a tourism center if you want to travel any place around this state and the 2 or3 states that join us. Everyone brings me back a couple brochures, so we can keep our inventory active. We also have a "welcome center" so if folks would like to leave us with their "new Neighbor's name, address & contact phone or e mail, we will deliver a "welcome basket" from the local business' as well as our cafe.

When are you open?
Well, it took God 6 days to make the earth, but after waiting 9 months to jump thru all the hurdles of this buracracy, it's gonna take me 7 days to pay the mortgage. We're open 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm, so you know where to find me, for the rest of my life....

1101 Cooper Street
Edgewater Park, NJ 08010
phone: 609-871-9555

I want to thank Carole for taking the time during her busy opening week to answer questions. When I get a chance to get to The Green Cafe @ Whitebriar, I'll put up another post. Until then, if you're in the Edgewater Park neighborhood, stop by and give it a try. Then let us know how it was.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Use the abundant local asparagus to make guacamole

Yesterday, I told you about my take from the Collingswood Farmers Market on Saturday and that I was going to try turning some of the local asparagus I bought into asparagus guacamole. I made it last night, and guess what. It was good. I was a little skeptical going into it, but I like it. It's great for dipping crunchy veggies in or tortilla chips.

Here's the recipe taken from the Taste of Home website:

  • 1 pd fresh asparagus that’s been trimmed and cut into one inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup chopped seeded tomato (I didn’t seed)
  • 2 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3.4 tsp minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 6 drops hot pepper sauce
  1. In ½ inch of water, bring trimmed asparagus to a boil then reduce heat and cook until fork tender (about 5-7 minutes).
  2. Drain asparagus very well and place in food processor or blender with the onion and garlic; blend until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients then add the asparagus mixture and combine. Chill.
  4. Serve with raw veggies or tortilla chips.
Hey, don't forgot that the Westmont Farmers Market opens today. If you're in the area, stop by on your way home from work and pick up something local for dinner tonight.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Opening day at Collingswood Farmers Market

I wasn't there at exactly 8am - closer to 8:30. By the time I got there the market was already buzzing even with the damp, gray weather. It threatened to rain the entire time I was there, but it didn't. It did begin to rain a little later in the morning, though, so I'm sure the market got some rain.

All of the regular vendors that I had missed all winter were there - Springdale Farms with the cider donuts for my boys; DanLynn Farms had the organic fertilizer for my vegetable garden that worked so well last year, organic scallions, and eggs; Hillacres Pride Farm supplied me with grass fed ground beef from happy cows and a half pound of bacon; Buzby Farms sold me a couple of eggplant ($1 each!) and pepper plants (50 cents each!) that were leftover from their own planting; Sikking Flowers had beautiful fresh cut tulips; and Mind Your Own had my favorite wildflower honey.

Not everything I bought was local - lemons won't ever be local and the peppers I bought were from Florida.

My favorite part of the morning was getting breakfast. Chef Mark Smith from the Tortilla Press had set up a booth and gone to the vendors before the market opened to buy produce to make breakfast with local ingredients. He made quesadillas with broccoli or with leaks and spinach. I had a leak and spinach quesadilla for breakfast, and it was delicious. I can't wait to see what he comes up as more and more local produce comes into season.

I walked away with three shopping bags full of food including some asparagus that I'm going to try to make asparagus guacomole with. If it's a success, I'll post the recipe here.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Westmont has a farmers market. Who knew?

I got waylaid by a million yard sales yesterday on my way home from the first day of the Collingswood Farmers Market (pictures and report to come tomorrow), and as I was hopping from yard sale to yard sale I saw a lawn sign on a corner about The Westmont Farmers Market.

Huh? How did this slip past my radar. Don't know, but it did. Their website isn't up and working yet, but I was able to get some information on this mid-week market.

The Westmont Farmers Market opens this Wednesday, May 6 on the corner of Haddon and Stratford Avenues from 4-7 in the evening. It will run each Wednesday through October and will be offering fresh, locally grown produce, meats, cheeses, bedding plants, fresh cut flowers and prepared foods direct to Haddon Township and the surrounding community. Started as a one-time event in October of 2008, the market’s popularity led to the opening of a summer mid-week market this year.

I am really happy that there is a mid-week market in the area. I love waking up on Saturday mornings and heading to the market, but it's not possible to get there every weekend. This market will give me the opportunity to make it to a farmers market each week, pick up items I run out of mid-week, and become acquainted with more vendors and local foods.

Guess where I'll be late Wednesday afternoon.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Garden State Blues & Wine Festival: May 23 & 24


The Garden State Wine Growers Association will hold its annual Blues & Wine Weekend Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24 at Natirar Park -a 411-acre preserve set in the scenic hills of Somerset County.

This year's festival brings together a weekend celebration of hundreds of award winning wines, live blues, artisan vendors, gourmet food and kids activities. Special treat will be the appearances of the Craig Thatcher Band Saturday from noon to 4:30 p.m. and the Matt O’Kee Band Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m.. The Craig Thatcher Band has a well earned reputation for blending classic rock and blues standards with impressive original tunes, all with a joy of playing that's up front and bold. Blues performer, Matt O’Kee, is a Blues guitarist who has performed and shared the stage with such legends as BB King, Buddy Grey, Leslie West and Mountain, the Marshall Tucker Band and The Outlaws.

Both bands will be playing against the verdant setting of Natirar, which showcases many aspects of the area’s rich architectural, cultural, historic and archaeological heritage. Festival participants can blend their wine and their blues with a two-mile walk along Natirar’s picturesque loop trail that passes along the scenic North Branch river corridor, through wooded areas and across open fields.

Festival hours for both days are noon to 5p.m. Tickets are $20 per person at the gate. Advance tickets can be purchased only at the association web site for $18 a person.

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