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     Steve Bradley shows off some of the fruit from his backyard shrub. He said it’s at least 50 years old, maybe close to 100, and seems to be going strong. Figs are said to be one of the first plants humans ever cultivated, apparently beating out staples like wheat and rye by a good measure. Ancient texts mention the fruit from thousands of years before…

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    An earlier column in this series referred to the red of a ripe strawberry as an invitation. Hardshell blue crabs offer no such invitation. Instead, they seem to make a pretty straightforward case to be left alone.

  • Summer Magazines

    Bill Eisele and his grandson Luke Eisele get ready to remove the honey from frames collected from one of his several bee hives.

    Bill Eisele does not seem particularly worried about stings.

    It’s getting on sunset at his Christmas tree farm in Petersburg, and he’s checking a hive, protected only by a short-sleeved golf shirt and a couple decades’ worth of experience working around bees. No smoking, no mesh hood, no apparent concern.

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    Dave Fuschillo takes fluke from the bay to the table

     Dave Fuschillo takes fluke from the bay to the table  They look like something Picasso dreamed up on a bet, but fish fans say they taste wonderful.

    Ocean City local Dave Fuschillo had high hopes of bringing in some keepers this week, when he planned to spend an afternoon in the back bay around 17th Street casting for summer flounder.

  • Summer Magazines

     eggplant

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    In other words, eggplant tastes like home to a huge swath of humanity, under many names and many, many different kinds of spices.

  • Summer Magazines

     Rob, Catherine and Karl Giulian join their dad, Karl Giulian, to talk about backyard gardens. The youngest, David, is not pictured.  Karl Giulian can’t wait for his kids to get older.

    He’s looking forward to it for all the usual reasons of course, but there’s an ulterior motive as well. The swing set is in the way of his garden expansion.

    His 12-foot-by-12-foot garden has already slipped its borders, with potted colonies…

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     Scallop-boat

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    Not that there was any doubt of that, but recent events have made it crystal clear: the men on the boats heading into the open ocean place their lives on the line to bring home the catch, and to make a living in one of the county’s biggest industries.

    This week, the Coast Guard has convened a Board of Inquiry to find out what brought down the Lady Mary March 24, the deadliest fishing accident in New Jersey in years. Of the seven crewmembers out on a multi-day scalloping trip, only…

  • Summer Magazines

    Some say the berry you wait for tastes best

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    Here we go again.

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     pumpkin Almost everything about a pumpkin – the color, the taste, its very presence on almost every other doorstep – says fall is here. They line roadside stands, decorate classrooms, and get carved into a million shapes for Halloween.

    Somehow, those big orange decorations are related to the pumpkin flavor found in pies and seasonal specialty coffees, but it seems as though very few people have witnessed the process of turning a fresh pumpkin into dinner or dessert.

  • Summer Magazines

     Farm markets offer a direct connectionEverything you eat grew somewhere.

    In the meantime, it may have been canned, frozen, broiled, fried or processed beyond recognition, but somewhere, at some time, the last bite you’ve taken was alive, growing, in a field or a hothouse or a pen or a bay.

    It’s funny how easy that can be to forget.



Pirate dinner show is a swashbuckling adventure

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A pirate wipes the window of the a ship window as others look on during a pirate-dinner show at Coconut Cove in North Wildwood. A pirate wipes the window of the a ship window as others look on during a pirate-dinner show at Coconut Cove in North Wildwood.  A group of pirates handed maps to children and sent them off to search for treasure Tuesday, July 31 at the Coconut Cove restaurant in North Wildwood.

Some children found blue flags that were scattered around the restaurant, which overlooks Beach Creek.

Samantha McGuigan, 9, of Atco in Camden County and her twin brother were among the treasure hunters.

They came up empty-handed, but that didn’t seem to bother McGuigan much. She said she loved the treasure hunt, which is part of the pirate dinner show on Tuesday nights.

About 12 actors take the stage every Tuesday at the Pirate’s Cove, which is part of the Coconut Cove restaurant at 400 W. Spruce Ave.

"It's family oriented," said Mary Walsh of Cape May Court House, who is the director and playwright for the pirate-themed dinner shows.

Walsh, a teacher at Wildwood Catholic High School in North Wildwood, directs musicals at the school.

She said the dinner show is designed to be interactive. There are sing-alongs, swordfights and lots of high-energy swashbuckling.

The actors range in age from 10 to 25 years old, she said, and many live in Cape May County. Practicing got under way in May, and the shows kicked off in mid-June.

One of the actors is Ryan Hart, 25, who lives in North Wildwood and in Ocean County and is studying to be a chiropractor at a college in Connecticut.

When Hart is dressed as a pirate, he appears to be in his element.

He said he often goes by the name Captain Hart. Has been performing as a pirate at various venues for about seven years, he said.

He choreographed the stage combat for the show.

"What's more fun than pirates?" he said before the start of the July 31 show, while pirates roamed around the restaurant, greeting the families seated at the dinner tables.

Most of the action takes place on a floating stage next to the restaurant’s outside deck, but during the show the pirates also roam around the tables, talking with the guests, singing and dancing, and getting the little ones involved.

During one of the scenes, a pirate discovered the treasure had gone missing.

“And I spy the scurvy dog that done it!” Hart said, as one of the other pirates, Mangey, sneaks up to the ship’s dock.

Mangey eventually gives himself up, saying he was protecting the treasure.

"Well me, 'earties, what should we do with Mangey?" said one of the pirates.

Mangey said, "Forgiveness!"

One of the pirates suggested having Mangey walk the plank.

The audience joined in with the crew chanting, "Walk the plank, walk the plank, walk the plank.”

Mangey jumped.

At one point the kids were rounded up and taken on stage for an “Arrrrggggg” contest.

The pirate dinner show is presented every Tuesday through Aug. 28. Seating is at 5:30 p.m.

The price is $20 for adults and $10 for children and includes chicken fingers and french fries for the kids, and Caribbean chicken, barbecued or pulled pork, steak fries, and corn on the cob or coleslaw for adults.

For information or reservations call Coconut Cove at 609-522-7600 or see www.coconutcovenj.com. 

 

Children crowd in close to watch the pirates perform. Children crowd in close to watch the pirates perform.

Pirates stop at the tables to greet diners. Pirates stop at the tables to greet diners.

Corey Wertz, 6, of North Wildwood interacts with pirate actor Luke Bischoff of Wildwood Crest, who goes by the name John Silver. Corey Wertz, 6, of North Wildwood interacts with pirate actor Luke Bischoff of Wildwood Crest, who goes by the name John Silver.


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