Melick's Town Farm
Oldwick Farm Stand
170 Oldwick Road (523/517 North)
Oldwick, New Jersey 08858
Cherry Pie: $12.99
Our lazy summertime efforts at pie reporting led us into the great wild yonder of Jersey farmer's markets, where baked goodies take a back seat to grown goods. Having recently read with (unexpected) interest the succotash recipe in the Joy of Cooking, Jersey Pie found ourselves at Melick's farm stand, face to face with fresh, local lima beans. Had we known that they grew in big, fuzzy, friendly pods? Enamored, we shucked and jived all the way from Oldwick to Jersey City, east on I-78, releasing those gorgeous legumes from their pods while listening to a Michael Jackson tribute on the radio. Now, having tasted the genuine article, we would argue that a canned lima bean is an altogether different thing, and we champion any five-year-old shuckin and jivin before a plate of those pale, tasteless beans.
We brought home the fresh corn as well and an enormous red and yellow heirloom tomato to eat in slices with salt and pepper. And peaches. Melick's peaches may be the best in New Jersey. While selecting corn in our cleavage-revealing summer top, we were told this by a nice gentleman who was leaning over, choosing his corn. Unsure of whether his true subject of interest was cleavage or peaches, we are withholding our opinion, and jokingly refer to the reviewer as "Mr. Cornpeaches." Our supper of succotash and tomato was delicious. However, we have to confess that we suffered from the succotash and will henceforth substitute lowfat milk for the rich, reduced cream the recipe calls for.
And yes we had a pie. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner. Melick's woven-lattice cherry pie is very, very good. The crust, oh, the crust, it was perfect. Crust is so important, as it rescues the sweetness of those jubilant cherries from falling headlong into sour or cloying. If we could convince our local diners to order their pies from Melick's, our cherry pie troubles would all be over. But Melick's charges a tad more than a pretty penny to transport their pies. Nota bene the mark-up you pay for buying your cherry pie at the Hoboken Farmer's Market, where HALF a pie sells for ELEVEN dollars! Sorry, but half of even a Melick's pie, even with its flaky pastry crust sprinkled with delightful sugar crystals, even with its tart Michigan cherries, even with its perfect fruit to crust ratio that allows even a sliver of pie to have a fruit filling, is not worth ELEVEN dollars!! We could not, would not, never will pay it.
While we've enjoyed our trips to the hinterland of Jersey for alternative pie sources, our quest is for a good old slice of pie and cup of Joe at a local eatery, so don't un-follow Jersey Pie yet. We will return to our diner-diving ways once the farm stands close, some time in the autumn. If you prefer our ranting and raving (about the poor local choices) to our engorged, ecstatic prose (about the farmer's markets) ... we'll be back. In addition, we have a first, a guest blogger who recently sampled the pie at Matthew's Colonial Diner in Waldwick, so check back soon!