04/29/10 12:00am
04/29/2010 12:00 AM

“This is a whole other breed of folks. There’s lots to know, like what kind of rubs are best, a number of types of wood to choose from, various sizes and shapes of barbecue pit and grills, all kinds of things to consider like smoke rings and barbecue ‘flavor prints,’ whether to cook fast or slow, hot or medium. But most of the barbecue cookers that do it for a living have already learned the real secret: The barbecue business is when you get to charge for doing something you love and would probably be doing anyway. Barbecue men have to have stories to tell, too, and they tell them best while stoking the fire and getting the meat ready. They also tell them best when they’ve got one hand free to motion and one hand filled with a cold can of beer, for leverage.”

“Barbecue Men” by Big O’s restaurant in Valera, Texas

Barbecue is a complex word. We barbecue on a grill, we eat barbecue, we go to a barbecue and we like barbecue sauce. We’re not even agreed on how to spell it. But we do know that when May rolls around we move out onto the deck, uncover the grill and get ready to barbecue. When we grill food, we do it on an open charcoal- or gas-fired grill, usually at high heat, but not always. When we slow-cook food over coals or wood chips, we are smoking or barbecuing it. Both methods produce some delicious food that is often enjoyed out on the deck with friends.

Traditional barbecuing involves less tender cuts of meat that are slow-cooked over indirect heat and usually covered. Hickory, mesquite or other wood chips are placed on top of the coals for flavor. Sometimes a bowl of water is placed under the meat to collect juices and provide steam. Long, slow cooking with a basting barbecue sauce results in well-done meat that can be very tender. Beef brisket, pork shoulder, country style ribs and bottom rounds of beef are examples.

Grilling is the best method for small, tender cuts of meat and poultry. Often beginning with a marinade, we place the food over hot coals and cook quickly, sometimes basting with barbecue sauce as we go.

Barbecue always requires a little forethought and lots of patience. But if you let the marinade do its magic and if you prepare the coals properly and let the slow cooking happen — you will be rewarded with some amazing food.

Slow-Cooked, Hickory-Smoked Short Ribs of Beef

Season 8 short ribs with coarse salt and pepper. Make a mound of charcoal in your kettle grill and ignite. Push the coals to one side and place a stainless steel bowl of hot water (about 3 quarts) on the other side of the coals. Wrap 2 handfuls of hickory chips in heavy foil and punch holes in the top. (You do not need to soak the chips.) Place this packet on the hot coals. Put the grill over all of this and place the short ribs on grill over the water (not over the coals) to cook with indirect heat. Put the grill lid on, with a small vent open, and cook for 3 hours. If the temperature gets too low, add more charcoal. Keep the lid on during cooking or you will lose heat. After 3 hours, remove the lid and baste the meat with the following sauce.

Serves 4.

Kentucky Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Sautà 1 cup chopped onion in 1 tablespoon butter until soft and golden. Stir in 1 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Simmer over low heat and add 1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons molasses, a few drops of Tabasco and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Let cook, uncovered, about 30 minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Check for seasoning and add a little salt and more Tabasco if desired.

Barbecued Spatchcock Chicken

This is the method of butterflying a whole chicken so it lies flat on the grill. The term originated in 18th century Ireland. When prepared this way, the chicken looks very attractive and cooks evenly.

Purchase a whole 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken and remove the giblets. Place it on a cutting board breast side down. With a stiff boning knife make a cut along one side of the backbone. The cartilage is easy to cut through but you must go wide around the leg joint. Repeat on the other side of the backbone so that it is totally removed. Open the chicken up and make a small notch with your knife through the cartilage at the breastbone. Bend the chicken back with your hands and the hard keel bone will become exposed. Remove this with your hands and the chicken will lie flat.

Prepare a marinade with 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Marinate in a zippered bag for 2 hours.

Heat the barbecue grill until the coals are white. Preheat the grill and wipe clean with a towel dipped in vegetable oil. Pat the chicken dry and brush with oil. Place it skin side down on the grill and cook until grill marks show. Rotate the chicken and cross-hatch the grill marks. Turn the chicken over and move it to the side of the grill so that it cooks with indirect heat. It should take about 45 minutes to cook. Check with an instant-read thermometer to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove, cut into quarters and serve.

Serves 2 to 4.

Mesquite Smoked Spareribs with Texas Rib Rub

Purchase one whole rack of spareribs (not baby back) and cut them in half so they fit on the grill. Make a rib rub by combining 1/2 cup brown sugar; 1/4 cup paprika; 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder; and 1 teaspoon each of cayenne, black pepper and coarse salt. Rub this mixture on the ribs and let them sit while preparing the fire.

Prepare the kettle grill by mounding charcoal on one side and igniting it. Place a stainless steel bowl alongside the coals with 3 quarts of hot water in it. Put two handfuls of mesquite chips in heavy foil and punch holes in the top. Place the chips on top of the coals and put the grill back in place. Put the ribs over the water on the grill and cover, leaving the vent open a little. Slow-cook about 3 hours at 250 degrees (or thereabouts) until the meat is very tender and coming away from the bone. During the last hour of cooking baste with the following sauce.

Classic Barbecue Sauce

Combine in a saucepan 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. Add to this 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 2 tablespoons canola oil. Simmer for 30 minutes at low heat. Check for seasoning.

Char-Grilled Marinated Duck Breasts with Smoked Duck Legs

Purchase 2 whole 5-pound ducks and remove the breast meat, leaving the skin on. Remove the leg and thighs, leaving them in one piece. You will have 4 breasts and 4 leg pieces.

Prepare a marinade with 1 cup Grand Marnier (or triple sec), the juice and zest from 2 oranges and 1/4 cup sugar. Marinate all the duck pieces overnight. Prepare the grill as above for slow-cook smoking with hot coals, a bowl of water and wood chips. Smoke the legs for 3 hours until they are fully cooked and very tender. Remove them and keep warm. Add some fresh coals to the grill, remove the water bowl and grill the duck breasts at high heat until medium rare, about 5 minutes per side. Brown the skin over the coals, but do not burn.

Cut the smoked legs into two pieces each and slice the grilled duck breasts. If desired, roast the duck bones and make a stock from them, using the marinade as flavoring.

Serves 8.

John Ross, a chef and author, has been an active part of the North Fork food and wine community for more than 35 years. E-mail: [email protected]

04/29/10 12:00am

Hello, friends and neighbors. I hope everyone had a terrific week. This month has just flown by, hasn’t it? But we are that much closer to summer!

The next general meeting of the Friends of The Big Duck will be held on Tuesday, May 4, at the David W. Crohan Community Center, Flanders Road, at 7 p.m. Come on down and bring a friend.

Don’t forget the Craft Fair/Flea Market on June 5 at the Big Duck Ranch. They need to raise funds for the improvement of Big Duck Ranch and restoration of the buildings and a bathroom. If you would like to book a spot for the day, please call the Friends at 727-0593 or visit the website at bigduck.org. This will be a beautiful Southampton Town Park of 37 acres for all of us to enjoy. Please support the Friends in any way you can.

Attention, all business owners: If you need summer or year-round staff or can provide a learning opportunity for interns, come to the FREE Job and Internship Fair sponsored by Southampton Town Youth Bureau on Tuesday, May 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Community Center, 25 Ponquogue Ave., Hampton Bays. To obtain a registration form call 631-702-2421 or download a registration form at southamptontownny.gov/youthbureau. Please respond by Monday, May 10. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Town of Southampton Youth Bureau at 702-2421.

The annual Flanders Fire Department Memorial Service will be held at Flanders Memorial Park on Flanders Road on Sunday, May 2, at 10 a.m. All are welcome to attend. This is a ceremony that honors our departed members and firefighters and is a great way to pay tribute to those who have served our community and are no longer with us. Refreshments will be served at the fire department following the ceremony.

The Riverhead NJROTC is hosting a spaghetti dinner on Wednesday, May 5, at the Riverhead Moose Lodge, 51 Madison St., Riverhead. Dinner will be served from 5 to 8 p.m.; tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children under 12. Takeout is available. A 50/50 raffle and auction will be held also. Tickets are on sale now through any NJROTC cadet or at the high school by calling 369-6806 or at the door that evening. Please try to attend to help support our NJROTC youth.

Spencer Shea came home for good last Thursday evening, after 12 weeks in the hospital following a serious car accident in January. On that evening quite a few rainbows were seen around town but the one that really got me was the picture someone took and posted on his Facebook fan page. It looked like it was sitting right on his house. I know rainbows are light passing through water in the atmosphere but I truly think this was a sign that all is well with Spencer.

Well, folks, that’s all for this week. Please remember to call or e-mail me with any news you’d like to share with the community. Until next time, be safe and be kind to one another.

04/29/10 12:00am

David Zimbler

Riverhead High School principal David Zimbler pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge of driving while ability impaired in county court in Central Islip. He was fined $500 and his driver’s license was suspended for 90 days.

The 39-year-old Mr. Zimbler lives in Commack and has been Riverhead High School principal since 2007. He was charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated and one count of failure to stay in his lane on a Long Island Expressway service road in Brentwood on June 13, 2008.

County Court Judge John Toomey Jr. dismissed those charges Thursday and allowed Mr. Zimbler to plead guilty to driving while ability impaired, a lesser charge than DWI.

The sentence requires Mr. Zimbler to participate in a panel discussion sponsored by a Stop-DWI program that includes students from Suffolk County schools, according to Bob Clifford, a spokesman for District Attorney Thomas Spota. The charge will be erased from Mr. Zimbler’s record if he isn’t arrested again for a year, Mr. Clifford said.

“All the original charges were dismissed and I was issued a traffic violation,” Mr. Zimbler said Friday.

Mr. Zimbler said the suspension of his license would not jeopardize his getting to work because he is still allowed to drive to and from his job. The court noted that this was his first offense.

Under New York State law, driving while ability impaired is considered a traffic infraction and carries fines of between $300 and $500 or a maximum of 15 days in jail. Driving while intoxicated, as a first offense, is a misdemeanor and carries fines of between $500 and $1,000 or up to one year in jail.

A blood alcohol reading of .08 percent or more triggers a DWI charge; DWAI can be charged with a reading of between .06 and .08. Police traditionally issue two counts of DWI on each DWI arrest, one based on the blood alcohol level and one based on the officer’s observation.

The Board of Education two years ago delayed Mr. Zimbler’s tenure by a year in the wake of the arrest, and also required him to participate in an employee assistance program and in community service at the time.

[email protected]

04/29/10 12:00am

Peconic River Sportsmen’s Club member Paul Sebastianelli of Medford sits with his grandson, Jarod Alfasi, 10, of Virginia, watching fish jump out of the water on Lake Donohue in Calverton. Chemicals have been found in drinking water wells at the club, which is south of the former Grumman plant.

In a move that shines “a light at the end of the tunnel” for residents long worried about extensive groundwater pollution flowing from the former Grumman naval weapons plant in Calverton, the U.S. Navy last week unveiled a plan to start testing treatment systems there this summer.

Based on the results of those tests, the Navy will present a comprehensive plan, called a Corrective Measures Study, in February that will include long-term cleanup options. After a 30-day public comment period, the study will be amended, if necessary. Once it is approved by the state, the actual cleanup could begin.

“The Navy was for the first time was talking about active remediation, and pinpointing … specific locations where they could do remediation,” said Bill Gunther, a Brookhaven National Lab research engineer and community co-chairman on the Navy’s Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), which met last Thursday in Calverton to discuss the Navy’s progress.

Once installed, treatment systems would target high concentrations of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that are flowing from the former Navy property toward the Peconic River.

VOC concentrations as high as 1,090 micrograms per liter have been found in the area. State drinking water standards are five micrograms per liter.

The News-Review first reported the existence of a wide-ranging plume in Calverton groundwater last March. The report caught the attention of Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other federal lawmakers, who have since been pressuring the Navy to move quickly to clean up the mess. The Navy previously contended that the chemicals were disappearing naturally as they flowed south toward the river, a theory that community members on the RAB, county health department officials and Mr. Schumer were all unhappy with.

“I commend the Navy for finally heeding our call on this matter and committing to swift action to protect Long Islanders from dangerous pollution,” Mr. Schumer said this week. “For too long, the Navy sat back and watched as dangerous chemicals migrated towards critical drinking water wells and the Peconic River.”

“It’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr. Gunther said of the Navy’s apparent about-face, “but [lawmakers] need to keep pushing and continue to show the level of importance that we think this is worth.”

Used for decades to clear grease from jet engines when Grumman operated an assembly plant and flight test facility on the naval site, the chemicals could have harmful effects on humans and wildlife. And they have already been found in the river. Grumman ceased operations in 1994 after about 40 years there.

The Navy has identified three sites in and near the former Grumman facility where they will run pump tests, starting in June. The tests involve a “controlled extraction of groundwater, coupled with monitoring of water levels … to determine the aquifer’s characteristics,” explained Navy spokesman Tom Kreidel.

The tests are needed to evaluate possible treatment systems, the most common of which is a pump-and-treat mechanism. “The pump test will mimic a groundwater pump-and-treat system, but on a smaller scale,” Mr. Kreidel said.

But the Navy will also run preliminary tests on another cleanup method called a biodegredation system. This approach involves injecting the groundwater with corn-based organic materials that help to degrade the chemicals, Navy officials explained at the RAB meeting last Thursday.

During testing, the organic materials will be injected where the highest concentrations of VOCs have been found, and groundwater flow will then be monitored to see if a permanent biodegredation approach would be effective, Mr. Kreidel said.

Both methods could ultimately be used in the cleanup effort at the site.

[email protected]

04/29/10 12:00am

We are finally getting some work done in the garden! Although the weather hasn’t been great, it has been good for weeding and moving plants. We have a graduation coming up at the end of May, so there’s a little more preparation that needs to be done. The nice thing about having an early outdoor event is that the initial work gets done faster!

Plan to take some time out of your own garden to visit Colorful Gardens’ Blooming in Health gardening seminars. Discover the simple joys of life that come from simple living. Monica at Colorful Gardens will be offering these sessions all summer long. Each week there will be another topic offered for gardening your soil and your soul. These complimentary sessions will be offered on Saturday mornings, 10-11 a.m., at Colorful Gardens’ Enchanted Cottage. The first session is this Saturday, May 1, at 10 a.m. The topic is “Healthy Soil, Healthy Gardens; Container Gardening.” The seminars are free, but call to register at 722-5400.

Marie Deuel wants to offer her thanks. “Just wanted you to say a very big thank-you to all my neighbors on Melissa Lane, Manor Lane and Herricks Lane and the Riverhead police officer at the firehouse for all their concern and caring as we searched for our little Yorkie who wandered from our yard on Sunday. I was frantic and very upset, and someone did find him and returned him to us on Monday morning. Thank you, Jamesport neighbors.”

Congratulations to all the children who made their First Holy Communion at St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church in Riverhead.

If you want a really great activity for your kids this summer, check out the North Fork Swim Club. My daughter has been swimming with them for about five years. It is great exercise, and taught her great sportsmanship. The swim season includes weekly practices, fun events and swim meets. The season concludes with a swim-a-thon to help local charities. Register for the North Fork Swim Club on Saturday, May 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Tuesday, May 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Mattituck library. The swim season runs from July 12 to Aug. 19, and there’s room on all levels. More information is available on the website, nfswimclub.com.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Actually, I like to consider May to be Mother’s Month! Anyway, plan to attend the Dayspring Dance and Performing Arts Center’s bake sale at Walmart on May 8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The proceeds will benefit Dayspring Dance. More details to follow.

Please send me your news for the column by Sunday, May 2. Johanna and I will be heading to Florida for a few days to relax and to bring back my older daughter from college! Have a wonderful week!

04/29/10 12:00am

By Denise Plastiras

When your feet hurt your whole body hurts. My mom said this many times when I was in my 30s and she was in her 50s. It didn’t mean much then but I get it now. Recently I have seen a surge of patients coming to my practice for treatment of foot pain associated with various diagnoses. By far, plantar fasciitis is the most common.

There are two reasons. More people are exercising — walking and running way into their 70s and 80s and many baby boomers are now suffering with stiffness and pain in their knees and hips from degenerative arthritis. Since these symptoms are usually unilateral, stress can be put on the opposite foot.

Taking the first step in the morning can be agony for those who suffer from tightness in the foot associated with plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. As the foot hits the ground, a burning pain may be experienced in the arch of the foot, at the heel, or in both areas. The pain may last for several moments, several hours, or throughout the day depending upon the amount of tightness and inflammation.

Plantar fasciitis is a repetitive-stress injury to the fascial sheath which surrounds the muscles on the bottom of the feet. Fascia can best be described as a protective envelope of connective tissue. Fibrous in nature, fascia runs in line with our muscles, therefore, it shortens and lengthens as muscles contract and relax. When injured, the fascia may shorten and pull at its insertion at the heel, causing inflammation and pain.

Specific activities which call for repetitive motions such as walking and running can put undue stress on a posturally normal foot. Increasing mileage or speed or exercising with poorly constructed athletic footwear can elicit an acute plantar fasciitis. Ice and rest from prolonged weight-bearing activities and new supportive footwear should enable a quick return to activity. On the other hand a person with a high arched foot or a flat foot who has an onset of symptoms may not return to activity as fast and may be forced to seek out podiatric care and physical therapy.

Probably 90 percent of my patients who present with a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis have high arched feet, known medically as pes cavus. Patients with pes cavus have a shortened plantar fascia predisposing them to strains at the heel and along the fascia due to excessive loading. If symptoms are not treated early and become chronic, tissue will continue to lose extensibility. Physical therapy treatment usually involves moist heat, ultrasound, massage, and fascial release techniques. Instruction is then given to the patient on self-stretching techniques to the arch of the foot and to the heel cords.

Chronic plantar fasciitis may take months of treatment. Close monitoring of the patient by the podiatrist and the physical therapist is a must to ensure a return to pain-free weight-bearing and function. A steroid injection may be indicated and shoe inserts prescribed during the course of treatment.

Denise Plastiras is a physical therapist at Maximum Performance in Greenport.

04/29/10 12:00am

Owners Alex and Christine Galasso celebrate their 40 years in business.

Owner: Alex Galasso

Year established: 1970

Location: 229 Meetinghouse Creek Rd., Aquebogue

Phone: 631-722-3400

Number of employees: 18

Established in 1970 and celebrating its 40th anniversary, Larry’s Lighthouse Marina is a second-generation-owned business. Located in Aquebogue, off Great Peconic Bay, the full-service marina has 170 boat slips and can accommodate boats up to 70 feet for dockage.

On-site amenities include fuel dock, dockside dining and tiki bar, Gunite pool, climate-controlled showers, laundry, transient dockage, 35/55-ton travelifts and powerboat rentals. The marina offers outdoor and heated indoor storage, and there is a full-service brokerage on premises. They sell EdgeWater powerboats.

According to owner Alex Galasso, “Service is at the heart and soul of the marina.” The award-winning service department services Yamaha outboard, Mercury, Mercruiser and Yanmar and Cat diesels.

Larry’s Lighthouse Marina is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit them online anytime at lighthousemarina.com.

04/29/10 12:00am

Time for tea and talk
Mary Paone (left) of Manorville joins friends Louise Ramsey, Pat Bolt and Nancy Flesch, all of Riverhead, in Hallockville’s historic Naugles Barn Friday afternoon for a traditional spring tea. The afternoon of tea, food and stories – tales of scandal in old Northville told by Richard Wines and Nancy Gilbert – was organized by the Hallockville Knitters, which also auctioned off hand-knit pieces made by members. Proceeds support Hallockville’s educational programs.

Forty members of the Long Island Antique Power Association, using tractors and plows dating from 1937 to 1960, joined together April 18 to plow 50 acres at Tuccio’s buffalo farm on Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead. This was the association’s first activity for 2010 and although it was hard work, it was also lots of fun for those who participated.

The annual roll call and inspection of the Riverhead Fire Department will be held on Sunday, May 2, at 6 p.m. at fire headquarters. A memorial service for deceased members of the fire department will also be held. The public is welcome to attend.

Congratulations to Heather and Christopher Abatelli on the birth of their son, Tyler William, who was born on April 17 weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces. Grandparents Fran and Bill Schaefer are thrilled with the new addition to their family.

The Long Island Organizing Network, in conjunction with First Baptist Church, will hold a meeting with concerned residents, FEMA and local politicians regarding the flooding on Horton Avenue, on Saturday, May 8, at 9 a.m. at the church, located at 1018 Northville Turnpike in Riverhead. Shirley Coverdale and Sister Margaret Smythe are working together to assist the families residing in the 20 homes that have been affected. Donations can be sent to First Baptist Church at the address above, or to Sister Margaret Smythe at the North Fork Spanish Apostolate, 220 Roanoke Ave., Riverhead, NY 11901. Donations of pots and pans or linens would also be appreciated and can be dropped off at the Apostolate. Let’s help those less fortunate during these trying times. There will be light refreshments. Hope to see you there.

Due to the closure of the George G. Young Community Center, the Riverhead Garden Club will hold its May 4 meeting at noon at the Jamesport Meeting House on Main Road and Manor Lane. Parking is available in the community center parking lot. Dessert, coffee and tea will be served.

The Riverhead Community Awareness Program, in partnership with Riverhead Central School District and the Riverhead Prevention Coalition, will be hosting a parent forum featuring Dr. Stephen Dewey on Thursday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at Riverhead High School. Dr. Dewey’s presentation, “The Effects of Drug Abuse on the Human Brain,” will explain how alcohol and drug use affect the developing adolescent brain. He will discuss a range of drugs from alcohol to heroin and illustrate his data with actual brain scans. For more information, call Riverhead CAP at 727-3722.

Belated happy birthday wishes to Peter Podlas on April 16.

Happy birthday to Mark Griffin on April 29; Kyle Harris (who turns 15) on April 30; Kristen and Emily Brophy (who turn 13), May 1; Peter Friszolowski, May 2; Joe Arnau, Tina Atkinson, Diane Gianni and Andrew Buczynski, May 3; Kevin Curtis, Brian Block, and Anthony and Felicia Miles, May 4; and Glen Schafer, Amari Langhorne and Russell Murray, May 5. Be sure to celebrate.

Happy wedding anniversary to Walt and Lynn Smith on April 30 and to Barbara and Joe Vail on May 4. Hope your day is extra special.

Get well wishes to Leo Jasinski.