Garden centers, farm markets, and even many New Jersey supermarkets are loaded right now with Jersey tomatoes. Most of these tomatoes are beefsteak or Ramapo varieties, not known as great sauce tomatoes. We do grow Roma or plum tomatoes, which are known for making better tomato sauce.

The first thing you should do when you get the tomatoes home is NOT put them in the fridge. This may extend their shelf life a couple of days, but then you might as well just buy the one shipped in from Florida or California that kind of tastes like real tomatoes. Put them on your countertop and they should be good for almost a week.

At the end of the week, if you still have some Jersey tomatoes in the house, they'll be perfect for making a quick sauce. You can do a small batch for one meal or use a whole bunch to make some to can or freeze. The taste is so special and so unique that you have to try it at least once.

For the record, it's the sauce. If you want to make a "gravy" out of it, add some meat. Growing up my mother always called it gravy because she spent all Sunday morning cooking meat in it. Whew, glad I solved that debate for you!

New Jersey has the best tomatoes: Here's how to make a quick sauce

It may seem a little labor intensive, but it takes less than half an hour and the taste is so fresh and unforgettable, that you'll want to do it every time you have extra ripe tomatoes on your counter!

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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This has to be the best farmers market in New Jersey

If you’re looking for a great farmers market, you have to visit the Summit Farmers Market. This year they have over 50 vendors, offering a large selection of great produce from various local farmers, lots of specialty foods and more. There is also plenty of free parking. My dog and I went for a visit last week and took pictures of what they have to offer.

Vendors Not Pictured:

  • Adventure Kitchen
  • Angel Planet Foods
  • Anita's Baked Wonders
  • Bull 'N Bear Brewery
  • Fit Fed Puppy
  • Foraged Feast
  • Hummus Boss
  • Jana's Jammy
  • Java's Compost
  • Kariba Farms
  • Louis Organics
  • Luxx Chocolat
  • Made with Clay
  • Mangalitsa
  • Our Woods Maple Syrup
  • Roaming Acres Farm
  • Spice Sisters
  • Stefan's Polish Foods
  • Sustainable Haus
  • Valley Shepherd Creamery
  • WoodsEdge Farm

The Summit Farmers Market will be open every Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will last until November 20th. The market is located at Park & Shop Lot #1 on the corner of DeForest Avenue and Woodland Avenue.

Below are photos of some of the local vendors joining the farmers market this season:

The bass are biting in New Jersey fresh waters

Starting in mid to late May the largemouth bass started biting on my favorite lake. I finally got a chance to get out and see how good the fishing is this year and it didn't take long to catch. I got two bass in the first 10 minutes on the lake. We used to fish exclusively with live bait, either worms, nightcrawlers (the bigger worms), or minnows. That got too easy and it's not what "real" fishermen do.

It's more of a sport if you fool the fish into biting your hook with the right lure and the proper presentation. You have to figure out what they would be feeding on that time of year, pick a lure that resembles that and finesse it in a way that makes it look enticing to the fish. To most people, this is a stupid waste of time, but to those of us who caught the fishing bug as a kid or an adult, it's almost addictive. OK, it is addictive.

Most people look at a body of water such as a pond, lake, river, or stream and admire it for its natural beauty. Fishermen try to figure out what kind of fish are below the surface and what would be the best spot to catch them. If you have small kids and you know how to fish, you can create amazing memories and give a great lesson on nature. My dad and my uncles did that for me and those of some of the best memories of my childhood.

There are so many different kinds of fish and fishing in New Jersey's fresh waters. We usually think of fishing at the Jersey Shore, but there are plenty of fishing opportunities not far from where you live. Make sure you know a few simple rules and ask a local tackle shop for some good advice on what to buy and where to go, and you're good to go. It's a great way to enjoy the diversity of landscapes we have here and challenge yourself a little.

I challenged myself for the first time this season to try and catch a few bass on Thursday afternoon right before the rain and thunderstorms and had success right away in one of my favorite fishing holes in Medford.