Eating Our Way Through New Jersey

nina jo di.jpg


As I wait to hear on my latest book proposal, John and I decided to take a pre-holiday, visiting-relatives-trip to New York and New Jersey. It’s been great, complete with a (small) snowstorm last night. Although John grew up in Virginia, many of his relatives are on Long Island, and I lived in  New Jersey until I was twenty. Mostly, we’re eating ourselves through the two states. All really bad-for-you and totally delicious food. Lot’s of diner stuff and take-out. Why can’t North Carolina make pizza like they do in New Jersey?? I’m going to import my pizza from NJ from now on.

di st mary's 2 copy.jpg

Anyway, this first picture is, from left to right, my sister’s aide, Nina, my sister Joann, and me.


Nina’s Georgian and she just gave me a great-sounding Georgian recipe to try when I get home. If it’s a winner, I’ll share it with you. (note: Nina just walked out of the kitchen with this gigantic platter of some kind of Georgian meat blitzes she made for John and me to take back to North Carolina with us! The eating continues. . . )

I dragged John to my hometown, Plainfield, and he took this picture of me in front of St. Mary’s, the church where I practically lived as a kid. Seems like we were always in church.

joanna rainstick copy.jpg

 Then we went to my great niece Joanna’s school, where her class made a presentation on Native Americans. Here she’s demonstrating a rainstick. She’s a cute girl whom I can picture someday being an actress, a writer, a scientist or president–in short, anything she wants to be. She’s amazing. 

John and I head back to North Carolina tomorrow. It’s been a great trip, but we’ll be glad to get home and back to work.




  1. brenda on December 17, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I see the resemblence…beautiful women…
    Have a safe trip home…

  2. Gina on December 17, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing your pics Diane. Glad you are enjoying your trip. Isn’t that the truth about the pizza? The bread too! You should see my suitcase on the way back from NJ…it’s FILLED with food. LOL
    Have a save trip back. Thanks for keeping in touch with us!

  3. Margo on December 17, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Brenda made me hungry in the last blog writing about all the wonderful foods she’s making and now Diane has me craving a pizza and breads! Yum Diane! Everything sounds wonderful…and isn’t that what vacations are for?…to have fun and eat!
    Be safe coming home.
    P.S….you look young, beautiful and so happy. Obviously your family keeps you smiling. (-O:

  4. Krysia on December 17, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    I’ve never gotten to experience the east coast pizza that everyone raves. I want to go to Philly just to get a real cheese steak sandwich. It has been very winter like here this week. We just got 6 in of snow yest and I don’t think it’s been above 0 all week, well maybe 4 degrees. Gunnar is getting big, he’s almost 6 months old. He’s sitting up already and trying to crawl. He’s very ambitious. He wants to eat everything you eat but I have to talk him out of it since his teeth haven’t come in yet.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on December 17, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    As I continue eating my way through New Jersey. . . tonight we ate an Italian restaurant and I had one of my favorite dishes: gnocchi. Mmm. That’s it for NJ food. Sigh.
    Krysia, good to see you back on the blog. Hard to believe Gunnar is 6 months old! I know you’re going to enjoy the holidays with him, now and in the years to come.

  6. Margo on December 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Krysia, Gunner’s 1st X-mas should be lots of fun! Hope your able to share some pics with us! Like you, it’s typical winter weather…freezing cold, lots of snow…this afternoon we’re suppose to have an ice storm with snow on top…scary if anyone’s out driving. I’m staying in today. (-O:

  7. brenda on December 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Krysia-have missed you but remember those first sweet months…as to food-well, I cancelled my Y membership today-price too expensive although I LOVE it…they also won’t give me guest passes for once a year when my family is here-ridiculous. As to pizza-I LOVE LOVE NY pizza…by the slice…yum…won’t be long…I have shopped for food a couple of times-few more trips…
    Margo-what are you reading? Gina-I love your book club site…
    Diane-safe trip…

  8. Gina on December 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Thanks Brenda! I love when you stop by. Appreciate it.
    Hope everyone is having a great day. Stay warm everyone. Can’t believe Vegas got all that snow. They haven’t had snow in 3 decades! Yikes!

  9. brenda on December 18, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I am officially in the spirit of C’mas…just changed place mats and napkins-linen on the dining room table-I have the other decorations up-did most of those around T’giving time when I was off…now the table is formally set…have to get out china and crystal…I can’t wait to see the family sitting around that table…although we are not large in number, we are close. What foods do the rest of you have on the day?

  10. Margo on December 18, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Brenda, I’m reading THE HOST and I love it!…how ’bout you? I’m sorry you cancelled the Y…I go there so I can swim.
    As to foods for X-mas, Gary bakes a ham with a homemade sauce and places pineapple and maraschino cherries over it…delicious! I make scalloped potatoes and a green bean casserole…I also make my own cranberry sauce and watergate salad which is my mothers favorite…relish and vegetable tray with homemade veggie dip, hot rolls…dessert is pie with whipped cream. X-mas Eve is snack type food…cold turkey and cold meat platter to make sandwiches…buns…cheeses and fruits…veggies and dip…chips, etc….I make party mix…champagne and wine…ice cream…sometimes I also make my own hot barbeque beef which marinates thru the day in the crock pot and we make sandwiches to go with the meat platter on X-mas Eve.
    I’m ready for the holiday too.

  11. Denise on December 18, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    wow, great photos–gorgeous women!
    Sounds like a perfect kind of trip…food sounds divine!
    broke my wrist tuesday night so i can only type with one hand and lower case. am getting it set tomorrow and dread it.

  12. Diane Chamberlain on December 18, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    denise, i’m typing in lower case in support of you. i’m so sorry! i hope it heals quickly and perfectly and that your doc can give you something to keep you comfortable in the meantime. what a crummy time of year to break a bone.
    we arrived back in NC late this afternoon. it was a super trip, but we’re glad to be home.
    stay safe, everyone.

  13. Gina on December 19, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Oh Denise! Ouch! Hugs going out to you sweetie.
    Wanted to pop in and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. It’s my turn to leave for NJ and NY tomorrow and staying for a week. I’ll try to pop in here from my sister’s computer.
    Happy Holidays everybody.

  14. Margo on December 19, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Oh Denise, I’m so sorry!…I’ve been there & done that 7 years ago on Thanksgiving day so I know how you feel. If you wear a cast feel lucky…mine was shattered and I went thru 3 surgeries and had 8 pins inserted. You’re very lucky if a cast does it for you, believe me. If your right handed I hope it wasn’t that wrist! Take care of yourself friend.
    Gina I hope you have a wonderful time in NJ and stay in touch with us.
    Welcome home Diane…I bet your sister was so happy to have you visit. I also bet Keeper and Jet were ecstatic to have you and John home. Now you can put your feet up and relax, right?
    Merry Christmas all! (-O:

  15. brenda on December 20, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Denise-I am so sorry. Gina-have a great time…
    Margo-email me that recipe for barbeque-I am a vegetarian, but my children eat other things-they don’t eat much except chicken/turkey…but they might like that…Nathan liked barbeque when he lived in Texas-of course….
    Just finished N. Sparks’ latest…it was a little different and quite predictable but an interesting read. Am reading one of Lian Moriarity’s now-she writes in unique way…
    Lots to do today…
    Almost to the big day…

  16. Diane Chamberlain on December 20, 2008 at 10:22 am

    denise, i hope you’re getting some much needed rest.
    Brenda, I loved Moriarty’s THE LAST ANNIVERSARY. is that what you’re reading? very different and fun.

  17. Denise on December 20, 2008 at 10:48 am

    thanks, my friends! am getting surgery on xmas eve to put in a plate…that’s about all i understand. lol will be out-patient.
    gina, have a great trip!

Leave a Comment