Camels and hippos and rhinos, oh my!

By Fay Jacobs  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the Holiday 2017 issue

flotsam-camel Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #18As Meryl Streep said, in her epic film “Out of Africa,” “I had a ranch in Aff-rica,” But who’d think we’d find an African ranch in Florida? No less one where I could ride a camel and feed a giraffe?

This 47-acre working farm and wildlife preserve near Tampa was deep in an area called the Green Swamp. Well, the name gave me the yips, but you know how I love an adventure.

So we drove to the swamp, crossing Withlacoochee Creek, wondering what the creek would have looked like without lachoochie. And were there other kinds of choochies in the water? Banjo music appeared to emanate from a front porch straight out of “Hoarder TV.”

“Watch where you’re driving!” I yelled, as tree moss hung so far over the road we could be driving through a car wash.

It turned out that the Giraffe Ranch sign was so unobtrusive we drove right past it and had to turn around at George & Gladys’s BBQ stand. They advertised Alligator Bites. Lunch or warning? We’ll never know.

Darkness along the Delaware coast provided good cover for Prohibition-era smugglers

By Michael Morgan
From the Holiday 2017 issue

lookback-bootleggers Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #18The beach was cold, dark and deserted, and the bootleggers were pleased. Aboard the rumrunning boat that drifted a short distance from the Fenwick Island beach, men worked with military precision to ferry tins of illegal booze to shore. Within a short time, more than 200 cloth-covered containers had been stacked on the sands of coastal Delaware.

In 1919, the United States went officially “dry,” when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified to prohibit the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors; and throughout the Roaring ’20s, the Coast Guard played a cat-and-mouse game with bootleggers as they tried to sneak illicit booze into Delaware. The rumrunners began their voyage to the Delaware coast in Canada, where they loaded their vessels with a cargo of illegal whiskey, gin, and other alcoholic beverages. The illicit spirits were often packed in rectangular metal containers that could be easily stacked on a boat. Often the metal tins were covered with a cloth sack so that they could be handled quietly. The cloth covering also prevented the tins from reflecting light that would alert the revenue agents to the bootleggers’ presence.

ProStart program grooms Cape participants for culinary roles and competition

By Pam George  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the Holiday 2017 issue

kid-profile Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #18On a busy Friday, as the clock ticks toward noon, chefs wearing crisp white coats and blousy hats work intently on stainless-steel counters equipped with white KitchenAid mixers. The cooks and their assistants assemble pizza bubble rings — essentially pepperoni-filled refrigerator biscuits baked in a Bundt pan and served with pizza sauce. While the cooks work, dishwashers clean up behind them. The smell of garlic cuts through the air.

“You always need to be busy doing something,” orders Jennifer Cornell, who is clearly in charge of this kitchen. “Coats on. Aprons on. Hands washed. Tables clean and sanitized.”

The kitchen is not in a restaurant, however. It was built for a culinary class at Cape Henlopen High School that follows ProStart, a nationwide program developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Founded in 2000 in response to a shortage of restaurant kitchen labor, ProStart helps students develop skills and build industry contacts. But there is a competitive element as well. Each year, participating schools can send two teams (culinary and management) to state competitions. Winners head to the National ProStart Invitational.