HOLIDAY FOOD TRADITIONS? DO TELL!

120314 davis rhubarb cakeRhubarb coffee cake baked in the kitchen of Red Bank resident Sue Davis. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumLike Tevye, in ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ PieHole has tradition on its mind this holiday season.

We’re calling on all home cooks and bakers to share with us the holiday food traditions that grace your table every year.

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BARAKA HOLDS COURT IN RED BANK

barak3Poet and author Amiri Baraka  just before he spoke to a captive crowd at Frank Talk. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He slipped slowly out of the back seat of a shiny black Mercedes-Benz with a slight hunch, shuffled into the storefront at 163 Shrewsbury Avenue, immediately took a seat and started thumbing through a book. It was not the entrance one might expect from a man who’s made his life creating, capturing and transferring an often radical and controversial energy.

But it only took a couple minutes and the reading of a poem on the death of Miles Davis from his book, Digging: The Afro American Soul of American Classical Music, for the Amiri Baraka that the crowd knew to break out of that fragile-looking shell and deliver. By the intense looks on the faces of the two dozen or so who waited the 90 minutes for him to arrive at Frank Talk to speak on Sunday, in celebration of the second day of Kwanzaa, the 75-year-old author, activist and former poet laureate of New Jersey could do nothing less even if he tried.

The crowd hung on his words as he reminisced about his halcyon days spent with jazz legends like Thelonius Monk and Nina Simone, or when he offered critical political analysis, some of it lighthearted.

“Somebody told me that the only reason Obama won is because his mother’s white,” Baraka said. “And I said, ‘All the presidents’ mother’s were white.”

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