By JOHN T. WARD
It’s a big block party weekend here on the Green, with close-knit streetfests going on in several locations in Red Bank (Elm Place, South Street) and Fair Haven (Poplar Avenue). Each offers a chance for home cooks to show their neighborliness in the universal currency of food.
Last Saturday, at a rain-soaked block party for residents of Madison Avenue in Red Bank, Faith King reminded attendees that the desire to share isn’t solely an adult impulse.
Twelve-year-old Faith showed up with an armload of coconut chocolate-chip cookie bars, supplementing a spread catered by Lino’s Mexican Café and array of side dishes, desserts and (ahem) jello shots provided by the older set.
Faith told PieHole that she went looking for a cookie bar recipe at Very Best Baking.com after she grew “tired of making cookies.” She found one, but altered the recipe by adding coconut shavings and chocolate chips where none were called for.
For a second batch, when she was short on butter, she substituted coconut oil, at the suggestion of her babysitter. They tasted much better, “so now it’s become like a thing, that we only use coconut oil,” she said.
Does that make it a healthier dessert?
“I don’t really know,” she said. “I mean, there’s no butter in it. So you take out the health issue of butter and add in the health thing of coconut oil.
“I mean, it’s still dessert,” she added. “There’s still chocolate chips in it. But it’s less fat, I guess.”
Block party organizer Sandy Riddle, who’d previously tasted the treats when Faith made them for her birthday, insisted the Red Bank Charter School student bring them to the Madison Avenue soiree.
“Then she jimmied the assignments,” said Faith, “and made sure the even-number houses made the desserts,” while odd-numbers were tasked with side dishes.
Faith has never been short on confidence among adults. redbankgreen readers may recall her impromptu red carpet interview of film star Ryan Reynolds a little over a year ago.