AUTHOR TO MEN: SAUTÉ WITH SWAGGER

Debra Picard, author of Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook for Men, says there’s nothing sexier than watching a guy cook. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Rumson’s Debra Levy Picard thinks men and women cook differently.

“A woman might cook because she wants to prepare something to look beautiful and perfect and impressive,” she says. “A guy just wants to eat – he’s hungry, and is happy to eat out of the pot without a bouquet garni

A 52-year-old north Jersey native and lifetime foodie, Picarrd has traveled extensively in Europe, Israel, the United Kingdom – she’s lived in both England and Switzerland – and the United States, enriching her understanding off cooking and culture. She recently published a cookbook, Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook For Men, to help men “just get food from the grocery store to the plate.”

redbankgreen sat down with Picard to talk about why women are turned on by a man behind the stove, how come guys always seem to get stuck at the grill and learn what local celeb doesn’t know his way around a kitchen.

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RED BANK: FRESH FROM THE VINE

A six-second Vine tour of the season-opening edition of the Red Bank Farmers Market last Sunday. The market, located at the Galleria at Red Bank, at the corner of West Front Street and Shrewsbury Avenue, runs on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m into November. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

YOUR WEEKEND OPTIONS, RIGHT HERE

Images of 20th century Red Bank and other Monmouth County locales are featured in a show of photos from the Dorn’s Collection beginning Saturday at Red Bank Frameworks. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, May 10:

RED BANKSandy Hackett’s Rat Pack infests Count Basie Theater. Join faux Frank, Sammy and Dino for performances produced by the legendary Buddy Hackett. Tickets are $19.50, $29.50 and $39.50. 99 Monmouth Street.

RUMSON: The third annual “Gayla!” prom, a fun and safe evening with food and DJ takes place at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. The Rumson Fair Haven Gay-Straight Alliance partners with Make it Better for Youth to provide support kids ages 13-19 in middle, high, or home school. The prom runs from 7 to 10 p.m. tickets are $20; parental permission required. 74 Ridge Road.

RUMSON: The boys from Madison Avenue are back and will perform at Molly Maguire’s Black Point Inn. The show begins at 9 p.m.132 East River Road.

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RED BANK: FARMERS RETURN TO MARKET

Among the myriad culinary and craft-shopping options available throughout the Green on Mother’s Day is one that bristles with green freshness: the Red Bank Farmer’s Market, above, which reopens Sunday for its six-month season in the parking lot of the Galleria of Red Bank, at West Front Street and Shrewsbury Avenue. The open-air market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through mid-November. (Click to enlarge)

SLEDGER: FAKE-FARMER LAW NEEDS TEETH

A recently enacted state law aimed at culling ‘fake farmer‘ landowners “will eventually give local tax officials the power to force out fakers,” but doesn’t go far enough, the Star-Ledger says in an editorial published Friday.

Championed by state Senator and Red Bank resident Jen Beck – who won her seat in 2007 after a battling an opponent she tagged as a fake farmer – the reform bill signed by Governor Chris Christie this month goes too easy on wealthy individuals, developers and owners of office parks who took advantage of the old law to duck some $95 million a year in local taxes, the Sledger says.

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RED BANK: GARDENERS FINALLY DIG IN

Members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 1556 working the soil on the first day of planting Saturday. Below, Linda Mulhausen stakes a plot. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

From the intricacies of composting – weeds in or out? – and soil amendments to the development of a satisfactory water plan, the Red Bank Community Garden has finally come into being. And there’s still room for more gardeners.

After political battling last year over where to site the garden, gardeners got oriented last Tuesday night, meeting with RBCG committee members and several local experts who have been part of the two-and-a-half-year process of establishing the facility.

On Saturday, under bright spring skies, the urban farmers tilled soil for the first time.

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

Regarding last week’s Where, which showed a tumbledown red barn, reader Fred Gill wrote:

Looks like the old Red Barn on Newman Springs Road, Red Bank almost to Broad Street. Backs to the railroad tracks and if it is that site then they use to have weekly auctions there in the early 1960’s.

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A WAGGING, PLANTING, ROCKING WEEKEND

Is veganism “like being a nun at an orgy”? “Vegucated,” a documentary screening in Lincroft Sunday, explores that question and others. The Wag, below, is at the Red Bank Public Library Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, January 25

RED BANK: Aaron Lewis, formerly of Staind, is on tour solo for the first time and will stop at Count Basie for a set of new tunes and old favorites. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50, $39.50, or $55. 99 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: Bob Burger, New Jersey singer-songwriter, returns to the Walt Street Pub for an 8 p.m. set. 180 Monmouth Street. 

RUMSON: Pat Roddy, singer-songwriter from Belmar, will be performing a free set at Molly Maguire’s Black Point Inn at 10 p.m. 132 East River Road.

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RUMSON: TAKEOUT PLACE REPLACES OLD DELI

Keeping it local, the sandwiches at Locals Creative Fresh Takeout are named for local places, heroes and legends. Below, returnable baskets customers can use to tote lunches to the beach. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new lunch spot has quietly popped up in the former home of a beloved Rumson deli.

Locals Creative Fresh Takeout soft-launched January 7, offering a menu of sandwiches to-go in a space where Rumsonites lined up for decades at Butler’s Deli, which closed in October.

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WEEKENDER: HOME SHOW, RECOVERY, SATIRE

The Daily Show political correspondent John Oliver brings his mordant wit to the Basie, and former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand is at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional to to discuss his book, below. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, January 11

LINCROFT: The Robert J. Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College hosts the 23rd annual expo of home improvement contractors, vendors and manufacturers, a three-day event showcasing everything from spas to sponges, and every helpful/healthful thing between. Hours are from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, 11 to 8 Saturday, 11 to 5 Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 kids 12-17, under 12 are free. Newman Springs Road/Route 520.

RUMSON: Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, paralyzed in a game, talks about his effort to recover, as described in his book, ‘Believe: My Faith and the Tackle That Changed My Life’ (available at River Road Books). 7 to 10 p.m. 74 Ridge Hill Road.

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LITTLE SILVER: COASTAL CHOW OF THE PAST

Author Karen Schnitzspahn with her latest book, and some of her earlier works, below. (Photos by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

For Karen Schnitzspahn, food isn’t just about textures, tastes and smells – it also has deep cultural and historical aspects to it.

The Little Silver writer explores these facets of food in her latest book, Jersey Shore Food History: Victorian Feasts to Boardwalk Treats.

Complete with recipes such as “Mrs. Mulford’s Clam Fritters” and “Jesse Eigenrauch’s Butterscotch Pudding,” and chock full of photographs, the book dishes on food from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, all along the coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May.

“It’s not just about the pizza, the hot dogs, and the saltwater taffy,” says Schnitzspahn. “It’s the whole cultural thing – the cultural influence and how certain foods became popular.”

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SHREWSBURY COUNCIL MEETING RECAP

By: REBECCA DESFOSSE

Monday night’s council meeting, convening at 7:30 p.m., was adjourned in time for  attendees to be home to watch the 49ers take on the Bears at 8:30 p.m. – or “Dancing with the Stars” if that’s more your taste.

Louis Ferraro’s contract as police chief was approved unanimously. The specifics of the contract were not discussed at the meeting and were not included in the resolution passed at the meeting.

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WEEKEND: HENRY, HOCKEY, & HEEBIE JEEBIES

Staged by Michael Sexton of the Shakespeare Society, the Bard’s Henry V opens a three-week run at Red Bank’s Two River Theater Friday night. (Photo by T Charles Erickson. Click to enlarge)

We’ve got a solid block of entertaining and educational diversions available on the Green this weekend. Getting right to it…

Thursday, October 25

7 p.m. – Middletown Public Library will host a free wedding planning workshop and presentation by Rachael Citron of Glass Slipper Wedding and Events. Q&A session will follow. Register online or call 732-671-3700×320. 55 New Monmouth Road, Middletown.

7:30 p.m. – Executive Hockey Editor for the Associated Press and Fair Haven resident Tim Sullivan will present details on this year’s Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils. Hosted by River Road Books, the event takes place at the Nauvoo Grill Club. Contact River Road Books to reserve: 732-747-9455. 121 Fair Haven Road, Fair Haven.

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HIDDEN IN RED BANK, A CHEF’S PARADISE

Jimmy DiBartolo, below, orients his business toward the restaurant trade, but has draws the occasional individual shopper, too. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In terms of kitchen provisions, it may be Red Bank’s best-kept secret.

Tucked behind the Colorest art supply store on Newman Springs Road, its odd name all but lost on the sign out front, DiBartolo’s Quick Stop Food & Paper sometimes elicits audible gasps when first-timers stumble into its parking lot. Not because of the menacing-looking electrical substation it faces, that is, but the unexpected bins of brightly colored fresh fruits and vegetables on display.

redbankgreen was present recently when a woman entered DiBartolo’s warehouse store through the wind curtain that covers the front door and cooed, to no one in particular, “I had no idea this place was back here.”

“We get that a lot,” says owner Jimmy DiBartolo.

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A POT OF SAUCE IN ONE FAT TOMATO

Natale Siclare, garden manager at Sickles Market in Little Silver, calls out the weight – 3.26 pounds – of the winner of the store’s annual biggest-tomato contest Saturday. The tomato was home-grown by Mike Mansfield of Oceanport. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

IN SHREWSBURY, CULTIVATING COMMUNITY

Della Benevides stakes a tomato plant in one of the “Plant a Row” plots designated for the needy. Below, a hot chili pepper. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Fair Haven’s had one for decades. Tinton Falls has had one since 2009, and Red Bank, after much baring of teeth, appears about to finally get one.

Community gardens have become widespread as places where neighbors can kneel side-by side in the dirt and cultivate homegrown veggies together. Now, Shrewsbury has joined  the trend with a month-old mini-farm that is already yielding eggplant, peppers and more.

“This was our whole point, that it improves the quality of life in the community,” said Maureen Collins, President of the Shrewsbury Garden Club.

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TRADE YA: SWAPPING HOMEMADE FOODS

Food swap organizer Wendy Weiner (right) samples some of April Lippet-Faczak’s hand-milled oats, which were served with toppings such as molasses, chopped walnuts and fresh bananas. Below, Lois Blake’s chimichurri. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

There’s a quiet thrill in making something from scratch, a reassuring sense of independence that comes from throwing together homegrown ingredients to produce something tastier and cheaper than store-bought items.

This is one of the underpinnings of food swapping, which has now made its way to Monmouth County.

Wendy Weiner of Little Silver was first introduced to the concept of swapping when she read an article in the summer 2012 issue of Edible Jersey magazine. A group known as the South Jersey Swappers learned it from a group in Brooklyn, and the trail apparently leads all the way to England.

“As soon as I read it, I said, ‘we totally have to do this,’ ” said Weiner.

Swapping is an easy way to foster sustainability and make participants more “dependent on community neighbors rather than the government,” she said.

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A FRESH APPROACH AT LUNCH BREAK

In addition to its customary slate of hot meals, clothing, social services referrals and job counseling, Red Bank’s Lunch Break is now distributing fresh produce and flowers grown by local gardeners.

The free Gardeners’ Market is open from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday through September. Growers who wish to contribute  are asked to drop off their produce on Monday afternoons or early Tuesday morning at Lunch Break’s home, on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. For more information, call 732-747-8577. (Click to enlarge)

FARM MARKET CULTIVATES A RELAXED VIBE

Artist Matthew Becker comes to town each Sunday to sell his paintings. Below, mushrooms from ‘the Mushroom Capital of the World.’ (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

A mushroom buffet, freshly picked callaloo and a vegan lunch truck: all are staples for Red Bank Farmers Market customers, many of whom trek dozens of miles week for these delicacies, as well as clothing and art.

Everything, it seems, is homemade, handcrafted, passed down for generations or grown on a farm owned by someone who spent his life savings to buy it. Everything has a story.

Matthew Becker, an artist whose full-time job is running a karma yoga practice, comes every Sunday from Point Pleasant, even though he doesn’t do a tremendous amount of business selling his work. He uses the time to paint and to soak in the market atmosphere.

“I like to spread good vibes around for people,” he said, pointing out the “chill-out trance music” playing from his speakers in the parking lot of the Galleria at Red Bank. “It’s my most relaxing day of the week.”

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COW PUT DOWN AFTER RIVER PLAZA ACCIDENT

One of the two cows that got loose in lower Middletown early Tuesday. Her half-sister was destroyed by police after she was struck by a car. (Photo courtesy of Mary McGrath. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

One cow was struck by a car and had to be euthanized after she and her half-sister wandered away from a farm in the River Plaza section of Middletown early Tuesday morning, police said.

The accident occurred at about 12:20 a.m. on West Front Street near Chris’ Deli, police said.

The sight of the second cow on the loose in a residential development near the Navesink River caused a stir among neighbors.

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KEEPING BUCK AND VIOLET COOL AND CLEAN

3:20 p.m.: Pudgie Conroy feeding Violet, a calf, at Sheep’s Run farm on Rumson Road in Rumson. (Photos by Connor ‘Solstice’ Soltas. Click to enlarge)

“Okay, Stinky. That’s it.”

The one-year-old calf’s name is Violet. But to Pudgie Conroy, a Middletown native turned full-time stable tenant in Rumson, calling her bovine charge “Stinky” – not to mention “muddy” and  “sweaty” – on the year’s hottest afternoon yet works just as well.

Said Conroy, “I feed Violet once a day, but I’ve been cutting her back little-by-little because she’s a year old now and doesn’t need as much.”

Once Violet’s milk bottle is drained, Conroy heads to the stables to shower Buck, a horse.
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