Last Wednesday, Guy and I left North Carolina to trek northward for our brother-in-law's funeral. Since both of us hate driving and particularly hate I-95, we tried an alternate route. Normally, the trip to New Jersey takes about 7-1/2 to 8 hours. With the alternate route, it was 10 hours and a lot of traffic lights. We made the viewing by the skin of our collective teeth. I was hoping things would smooth out; but, unfortunately, at the funeral the next day, one of our good friends took a nasty fall and wound up in the emergency room with 5 stitches. She's ok, but missed the four-course funeral luncheon at the legendary Washington Crossing Inn. I was going to skip dessert until I saw it: dark chocolate raspberry truffle cake with dark chocolate ganache and raspberry sauce.
Even though the mood of the trip was
somber, we enjoyed ourselves. It's been a long time since I returned to New Jersey -- 7 years, in fact -- and we were surprised at what we found. The Chambersburg section of Trenton (Italian section) is totally changed; many of the businesses have moved out, or are ready to. The Italians are mostly gone. Neither of us was ready for that. We spent a lot of time in Chambersburg in our younger years. When I told my sister, who lives in Knoxville, TN now, she couldn't believe it either. Somehow, we expected Chambersburg to always stay as a tight-knit Italian community.
More changes: Friends and relatives attending the funeral who used to be kids, are now grown with families of their own.
One thing that hasn't changed is the wonderful produce from the Garden State. I had forgotten how good a Jersey tomato tasted. I mean it actually has flavor. And the corn. We visited the Farmer's Market and bought tomatoes, corn, beets and peaches. I'm using Debbie Meyer Green Bags for all the produce because the green bags keep vegetables and fruits fresher longer. We bought Italian sausage from Prevario's, rolls from Italian People's Bakery, and Red Pack tomatoes for sauce. And I was able to find coconut flour, almond meal and whole wheat pastry flour at reasonable prices. How I love bigger cities where there are so many more choices for everything from clothing to produce and flours. Our little town of New Bern has a limited selection for foodies like me.
We both decided that the return trip should be via I-95, much as we dislike that route. Wouldn't you know -- there was a disabled vehicle and traffic was backed up from just below Washington, D. C. almost to Richmond, VA. We lost 2 hours. So the trip home took 9 hours.
I don't know what it is about returning home, but it takes me a little time to readjust. Maybe I went into vacation mode and can't get back into work mode. Whatever. I'll try to get back to recipes soon, I promise.