Holiday 2016 Issue

Last Updated November 15, 2016
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holiday 2016 cover


For nearly 20 years, my brother Philip and his wife Diane have hosted Thanksgiving dinner at their house. It’s the one time all year where “my side” of the family gets together. My siblings, our spouses and all of our children (and, increasingly, a few grandchildren as well) gather around the tables crowded into Phil and Diane’s dining room. We’ve watched our children grow up in those chairs, and we appreciate the fact that when they arrive, now from near and far, the cousins still prefer to sit at the “kids table.”

The Brannigans’ hospitality is a blessing on many levels. Although I write about food on nearly a daily basis, I am not a very adept cook. Diane, on the other hand, is one of those amazing people who can plan and prep a delicious multi-course dinner for 28 people to be presented at 6pm with such ease that she never misses the town’s annual 5K Turkey Trot run on Thanksgiving morning.

More importantly, what started as a slightly spontaneous get-together has welded into a rock-solid tradition, especially for our children. It is a gift, this touchstone moment to reconnect and re-energize family ties. Part of the dinner’s tradition has come to include a toast whereby each person is required to stand and share one thing they are thankful for. As you can imagine, with toastmasters ranging in age from 2 to 88, the points of gratitude vary widely, and tears, laughter and revelation are a part of the bounty.

I once heard someone say that gratitude is the true secret to happiness. I’ve come to believe it is true. Through the highs and lows of each day, if one can take a moment to be grateful, to find the blessings that surround us in our world and in our relationships, life is brighter. Edible Jersey celebrates the food of the Garden State. We hope that as you read this issue, especially during this holiday season, that you will sense the gratitude we feel toward the farmers, chefs, home cooks, vintners, artisans and others who help create the food that nourishes and sustains us. As I prepare to stand at Phil and Diane’s this year to present my toast, I’ll be thinking of them—and of you. Thanks for reading and best wishes for a wonderful holiday.

-Nancy Brannigan Painter, Publisher

Cardinal Provisions: A Homespun Eatery Fit for Gourmands

Laura Brahn and Grace Crossman owners of Cardinal Provisions and Catering
Laura Brahn and Grace Crossman grew up in Spring Lake and worked together at local restaurants for years. Today they run their own eatery, serving breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch in downtown...

For Your Holiday Cheese Board

cheese wedge from Cherry Grove Farm
The cows at Cherry Grove Farm in Lawrenceville graze on pasture and get milked twice a day. The result is a cream-rich milk that cheesemakers prize.

Fresh Kitchen Offers Healthy Fare for the Holiday Season

fresh kitchen healthy vegetable plates
Face it: You’ll want a break from gluttony this holiday season. When that time comes, head to Fresh Kitchen in Sea Girt, where founder Mike Nitto and chef Chris Burgess prepare nutritionally dense...

Bivalve Fishermen and Farmers’ Market Celebrates a Maritime Legacy

bivalve fishermans and farmers market at the wharf
On the Maurice River near the Delaware Bay, the fishing village of Bivalve evokes a bygone era. Pines give way to marshland; the air is brackish yet sweet. The landscape reveals a history tied to the...

Celery Root: Four Ways

Celery root: what does one do with it? Apparently, you can do a lot. From latkes to soup, celery root won‘t go to waste any more.

Black Walnuts: Nutritious Native Nut Worth Cracking

black walnuts
Black walnuts are strong in flavor, so a little goes a long way. When it comes to nutrition, however, they go quite far as they have high levels of protein, potassium and phosphorus while being rich...

Story of a Dish: Egg in a Nest

egg in a nest
For Chef Greg Vassos, he must prepare and serve 45 dozen eggs and 30 chickens a week in a way that honors the care they’ve received at Double Brook Farm. Egg in a Nest exemplifies the creative...

Holiday Activity Sheet for Kids

edible kids holidays
Holidays are a time to be with your family and friends and to share happiness with the people you love! Print out this sheet to do these activities this holiday season.

All about Beets

Can’t Be Beet
From healing wounds to aiding in the de-icing of roads, beets do a lot more than you probably realized.

Corrado's Market: A Market for Memories

Corrado's Market
While revisiting a store that monopolized her childhood, a travel writer discovers that for her mother, grocery shopping is about more than just food

At LoRé Pasta Two Brothers Bring American Noodles to New Jersey

four types of homemade pasta
For as long as the Zeck brothers can remember, holiday meals have taken place at the New Brunswick home of their Sicilian-born grandmother, Emily Saienni. This year, for the first time, those festive...

Congress Hall’s 200 Years of Farm-to-Fork History

grand dining room set up for a Fourth of July dinner, believed to be at Congress Hall before the fire of 1878
Strolling the stately grounds of Congress Hall, it’s easy to picture the majesty of the bygone grand-hotel era in Cape May. One can almost see cloche hats perched on flappers among the potted palms...

Kitchen Confidence at Elijah’s Promise Culinary School

Promise Culinary School is run by Elijah’s Promise, which opened as a small soup kitchen in 1989. Today, the organization continues to serve several hundred nutritious meals each day, all while...

The Suppers Programs Reroutes the Road to Healthier Eating

healthy ingredients
The Suppers Programs is a free (except for the price of ingredients) program that provides safe, friendly settings in which people who manage food-related health challenges can gather to prepare and...

Christmas Eve in Cranford is More than Seven Fishes

The Attanasi family
The Feast of the Seven Fishes (Festa dei sette pesci), has its origins in southern Italy and the Roman Catholic tradition of eating seafood as a form of abstinence on the vigil of a holy holiday.

Holiday Food & Gift Guide

holiday gift guide
The local businesses featured in this Holiday Food & Gift Guide are the advertising partners of Edible Jersey. They help to create and support sustainable communities and offer this magazine to you...

Pumpkin Brews

pumpkin beer
Picks and pairings to help you embrace the iconic beer of the season: pumpkin brews.

Black Walnut Bisque

This black walnut bisque is rich in nutrients and various vitamins thanks to its main ingredient: black walnuts.

Breakfast Challenge Chili

How will you know if your breakfast habits are causing your problems with mood and energy? Take the Suppers breakfast challenge to get data!

Joe Attanasi’s Scallops Wrapped in Prosciutto

Wrapped in prosciutto, these scallops offer double the amount of flavor and would be great for an appetizer or a main dish, depending on how you choose to serve them.

Egg in a Nest

egg in a nest
For Chef Greg Vassos, he must prepare and serve 45 dozen eggs and 30 chickens a week in a way that honors the care they’ve received at Double Brook Farm. Egg in a Nest exemplifies the creative...

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Bread Pudding with Bourbon Cherries

A lot of times when people think of bread pudding, you think of something sweet. This is a savory bread pudding option.

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