Thursday, June 30, 2011

Somerville Cruise Night - July 1, 2011

Concerts and cars! Somerville Cruise Night is here again!

Tomorrow's specialty car show features Novas. The specialty cars park in the diagonal slots in front of the Somerset County Courthouse on Main Street. Usually the owners or members of their clubs are in the area and will be glad to answer questions, accept compliments, or swap Nova stories...

The Connie Tarantino Summer Concert presents the Dixie Mix Dixieland Band. The concerts are held on the Courthouse steps starting at 7 p.m. Bring your own seating (blankets, chairs) or just stretch out on the grass.

For info on Cruise Nights go here.

For info about the Connie Tarantino Summer Concerts 2011 go here.

A reminder: wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera. Cruise Night is outdoors. Nice place to bring your dog if he or she is well behaved and does well in crowds. Don't touch the cars without the owners' permission.

Many Main Street restaurants provide outside dining on Cruise Nights at reasonable prices. Many of the area businesses stay open for cruise...patronize them.

This is a true cruise with many of the cars driving up-and-down Main careful. There is a DJ at the church on West Main Street and more cars in the lot behind the church.
The photographs in the slideshow are by Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz and were taken at past cruises. They did their best to pick out Novas...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Halinka Polish Deli

Halinka Polish Deli has been open for a few months and if you haven't been there yet...go!

The front of the store has a small Polish grocery section which is useful to those of Polish descent who miss a taste of home, but you will really strike gold if you go a little further back to the case with the hot homemade food where you can load up buffet-style a selection of Polish food .

Two of the HNJJ staff - one Polish-Ukrainian food aficionado and one newbie -loaded up a few containers to go. Both loved the kielbasi, hunters stew, potato pancakes,and breaded chicken.

The Polish gourmet thought the stuffed cabbage had more meat in it than he was used to, but pointed out that the filling can vary from home-to-home and village-to-village. In his opinion, the blintz wasn't quite to his taste, but he may be more used to Americanized Brooklyn blintzes.

For dessert go for the warm blueberry pierogis. Fabulous! You can only hope that they aren't seasonal with the blueberries; once you try them you will want them all year.

There is a dessert case, but many of the items didn't seem to be purely Polish. The poppy seed cake looked good for a future visit to this family owned deli.

Non-cooks tip: If you look at the slideshow above, notice that if you put the food on a plate it looks as though you made it yourself.

There are a few tables in the deli if you want to eat there.

The Halinka Polish Deli is located in Hillsborough at the Shoppes at Woods Tavern, 438 Route 206 South (just a few hundred feet north of Amwell Road).
Telephone (908) 829-3271.

For more info go to the Hillsborough Economic & Business Development Commission site here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Carriage House Reconstruction Progress

Hillsborough's eighteenth-century carriage house, located at the corner of Route 206 and Raider Boulevard, continues it's journey back in time as the restoration/reconstruction moves forward this week...

The photographs below were taken in 2005 when the corner was still Hillsborough Lawn & Garden and in 2009 when the property had been cleared, but work on the Carriage House, which is formally The Ditmars-Polhemus Farmstead Wagon House, had not yet begun...

For those who are interested in the history...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rt. 206 Bypass Construction Continues

Decades in the planning, the construction of Hillsborough's Route 206 Bypass continues...

Shown in the above slideshow are two sections of the construction. One is the frame for the Route 206 Bypass bridge over Homestead Road. The other shows the section of the Bypass where Amwell Road will go over the new road.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Creative* Food Fractions

Hunt's Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce made with lean ground turkey is a favorite quick meal at our house.

This past week, while browning the turkey, the HNJJ chef took the time to peruse the label...which is apparently more than the label designers at Hunt's have done.

According to the nutrition facts, a serving size is 1/4 cup. Yeah, we know that you would usually use more than that in a Sloppy Joe, but apparently these quarter-cup servings have magical properties!

If you turn the can a little more and read the information advertising that one of their servings contains 20% of daily vegetables...they also advise that "One Serving Contains 1/2 cup" of vegetables.

To recap: A quarter-cup serving contains a half-cup of vegetables.

* So many suitable synonyms for creative came to mind that it was hard to come up with a title: clever, fertile, inspired, ingenious, original, imaginative...
- By Susan Gulliford

Saturday, June 25, 2011

First? Second? Third?

A few weeks ago New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie used a state-owned helicopter to fly from Trenton to his son's Delbarton School baseball game in Montvale in Bergen County then back to the Governor's mansion in Princeton to meet with a group of would-be Republican donors from Iowa who would like to encourage him to run for president.

This use of the approximately $2,500 an hour helicopter caused a bit of a dust-up in a state that he tells us needs a lot of belt tightening.

The Governor shot back in his usual bullying manner that while he is the Governor, he is also a father and that is very important.

So, what we have is Governor Christie telling us that his priorities are father first and governor second. That is not entirely unreasonable.

But this whole family-man-first thing kind-of falls apart when Governor Christie leaves his son's baseball game after five innings to fly to the political meeting in Princeton.

Now we have:
politician first,
dad second,
and governor third.

Photo of Governor Christie in Hillsborough on March 3, 2011.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Somerset County Park's 2011 Summer Concert Series

The Somerset County Park Commission's 2011 Summer Concert Series kicks off this Sunday, June 26th, with the 12th Annual Party in the Park/Family Volunteer Day featuring Dr. K's Motown Revue.

According to the Park Commission's website, from 5-7 p.m....
"...participate in healthy living activities at 5pm. Activities include yoga and Tai Chi, guided nature walk, healthy snacks, kids’ games, reading tent, chair massage, and blood pressure screenings. Bring some school supplies or books to donate to the “Stuff the Bus” project to donate to underprivileged youth. A barbecue meal will be available for purchase. This event is a collaborative effort between the Park Commission and United Way of Northern New Jersey, Somerset County Chapter...."

For a great preview of the music, which runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. go to Dr.K's website.

Bring blanket or chair and a camera.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nanticoke High School Class of 1933

My father graduated from Nanticoke High School in 1933.

At the ceremony, as each graduate's name was called the other classmates clapped. Then the name Pasquale Pizzarusso was called. My father recalls a confused silence.

The Class of 1933 wasn't particularly big and they all knew each other, but no one recognized the name.

Finally Patsy Fisher stood up and went to claim his diploma under his "real" name.

All the years they went to school together and my father never knew that his friend's name wasn't "Patsy Fisher."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Graduation Day

Congratulations to the Hillsborough High School Class of 2011!

Photographs from 2007.

Summer Cut

Today is the first full day of summer, so yesterday I went to the groomer at Furry Tails and got my summer cut...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Flemington Classic Car Cruise - June 18th, 2011

Flemington's Main Street 2011 Classic Car Shows continued on June 18th...

The next Flemington Cruise is scheduled for July 9th with Flemington Raritan Business Association website listing a Corvette specialty for that night.

This car from the Cruise has it's own slide show because the owner took the time to chat with the photographer...
Please be patient while HNJJ tries new slideshow products. has had problems and needed to be replaced.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Flocking to Central Jersey

The growing interest in suburban chicken raising has caused a few ruffled feathers between the pro- and anti-chicken residents in various towns.

Well, maybe not so much anti-chicken as anti-rooster. Because roosters crow.

And this conflict can only increase. In a March article the owner of Rosedale Mills in Hopewell Township reported that they "...used to sell 1,000 chicks a year. Last year we sold more than 3,000...".

It seems safe to surmise that a fair number of those chicks will become roosters and this being a mostly suburban area, they will become pet roosters...with names. A Barnstable, Massachusetts ordinance refers to them as "non-agricultural roosters."

Now, any parent knows that once the family names their chick there will be a problem if it turns into a rooster. Hopewell Township's ordinance states "...Any cockerel (defined as a young male chicken) that crows must be culled or permanently removed from the property within five (5)days..." [FYI for all you non-farmers from Wikipedia: "Culling usually implies the killing of animals with undesirable characteristics."]

Recently I overheard some joking about the Hopewell Township's recent regulation of roosters' sex lives. Their attempts to legislate conjugal visits by limiting the number of nights that roosters can visit the hens even made the international news, rating a Reuters article.

If you are interested, the Hopewell Ordinance "Standards for Keeping Chickens" is available online.

I checked the online ordinances in Hillsborough and couldn't find any chicken raising laws, but the HNJJ roost probably doesn't have enough property for even a small flock. A 4H project rooster lives in a nearby development with larger lots and he crows at various times...not so much at night. It allows us to fantasize that we live in the country. He is a very handsome rooster and well award winner.

I'm not sure I would feel so kindly toward him if our house were adjacent to his coop and/or his harem.

"The more excited the rooster gets, the higher his voice goes. He's got a little bit of a Barney Fife quality to him." - Jeff Foxworthy

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Last Father's Day

Last Father's Day I made sure that I mailed Dad's card early, ensuring that he would receive it before Father's Day.

A week-or-two earlier Dad's doctors telephoned my brother and told him that tests showed a "mass" on either my father's liver or his kidney (I can't remember which) and that Dad was not a good candidate for surgery. They suggested that we contact hospice care for his last few months or weeks.

A hospice nurse met with him. He apparently told her that he was ready to join my mother who had died three years earlier, she was waiting for him; they had been married over seventy years.

On Father's Day I telephoned his assisted living apartment several times, but there was no answer. Maybe he was at lunch in the dining room or at a Father's Day activity. My brother called later and said that Dad was hospitalized. He died three days later.

I don't know if he saw his last Father's Day card.

According to the note on the back of the above photograph, that is my father "fixing flat on way to Philadelphia - 1946".

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Today's Flemington Cruise

Today's Main Street Flemington 2011 Classic Car Show features Fords.

The cruise officially starts at 5 p.m., but it seems that (in the past anyway) the real cruising starts a little later.

The cruise is sponsored by the Flemington-Raritan Business Association (FRBANJ).

As usual, comfortable shoes and don't forget your camera.

2008 Cruise Photographs Courtesy of Susan Gulliford.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Somerville Motor Patrol Cruise June 10, 2011

The specialty for last Friday's Cruise was Motor Patrol cars...basically, old cop cars...

The concert on the steps of the Somerset County Courthouse featured The Party of Five Band playing oldies, rock'n'roll, and cruisin' classics...

This Friday's cruise (June 17, 2011) lists Corvettes as the specialty show and the Connie Tarantino Concert at 7 p.m. featuring the Somerset Valley Orchestra.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jersey Tomato Rescue

This year it seemed that there might not be any Jersey tomatoes at our house, but we were rescued by an acquaintance who, at the end of a meeting, said "If anyone would like any tomato plants I have extras!"

Well, we now have about a dozen plants - grape and slicing - in our garden.

Thanks, Laurin!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shoppes at Woods Tavern Denied

This evening the Hillsborough Township Board of Adjustment denied the application of The Shoppes at Woods Tavern-Hillsborough Towne Center Associates by a six-to-one vote.

The applicant had proposed a mixed-use development at the corner of Route 206 and Amwell Road. Located on a 5.1389-acre lot on the intersection's northwest corner, the proposal (revised on September 21, 2010) included 27 residential units: 11 one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units, and 2 three-bedroom units.

This evening's agenda showed the application:
The Shoppes at Woods Tavern – Hillsborough Towne Center Assoc. File #BA-10-13 – Block 163.22, Lots 33 & 34 (formerly known as Block 163, Lots 33 & 34) – Intersection of Route 206 & Amwell Road. Applicant is proposing a new mixed-use development for Town Center which adds one residential unit above the existing 18,324sf retail building fronting on Route 206; retains the existing 2-story office-retail building nearest the intersection of Amwell Road and Route 206; construct a new two-story mixed-use building at the rear of the property line; construct a new 3-story mixed-use building at the northerly property line; and construct a new 2-story mixed-use building between the existing building facing Route 206 and the proposed 3-story building to the rear of the property. Revised Plans (revised 09-21-10) provide the Applicant is proposing to construct a total of 27 residential units in the mixed-use buildings consisting of 11 one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units, and 2 three bedroom units. The Applicant is seeking a ‘d’ USE variance for office uses on the first floor of a mixed-use building; a ‘d’ USE variance; ‘d’ USE variance for residential units; BULK variance from minimum building height; 2 BULK variances from maximum front yard setback; and BULK variance from parking requirements on property located in the TC District.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rain Barrel Installation

Today was rain barrel installation day...


Miss Rose, the HNJJ mascot, supervised the entire project...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weather Relief

Last week the heat here in Central Jersey made outdoor chores difficult. On Thursday at 3:15 p.m. it was 101.7-degrees...

Then about 7:30 p.m. a storm blew through - thunder, lightening, gusting winds, and hail. The temperature dropped to 74.3-degrees...

Due to the high winds many of us were able to spend Friday morning adding to our woodpiles for next winter. ..

This week's return to spring weather is appreciated.
Ignore the time shown on the thermometer. The HNJJ staff cannot figure out how to reset it.
Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while. ~Kin Hubbard

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Briefly Blueberries

These are some of the blueberries in the HNJJ backyard. They are just getting their first blue tint.

For the last few years this is as close as we have gotten to actually harvesting and eating our own homegrown blueberries as the birds have discovered our crop.

We tried netting the bushes and trapped some birds. This made us feel worse than having them eat the we just gave up and let them have them. We always hope they will leave us two or three to taste.

One can always hope.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rain Barrel 101

The two-hour Build-a-Rain-Barrel Workshop held at the Hillsborough Municipal Building this past Thursday was easy and very encouraging. Everyone who participated went home with at least one rain barrel...

The presentations by Rutger's Extension Specialist Christopher Obropta and Program Associate Sara Mellor were understandable and their helpers seemed to be everywhere.

Oh, yeah...and it was fun!

This Rutgers' New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station program was sponsored by BoroGreen, Sustainable Hillsborough, and Sustainable Montgomery.

For more information on the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Water Resources Program on Rain Barrels go here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

RVSB Pops Concert 2011

The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band presents its spring 2011 pops concert America: The Story of "U.S." this Sunday, June 12th at 3 p.m. at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

According to the RVSB press release:

"...The concert will take the audience on a musical journey through the history of the United States. The music will begin with “Chester,” William Schuman’s tribute to the Revolutionary War, and follow with “Gettysburg” by Randy Edelman, from the score to the 1993 movie that chronicled the Civil War. “Shenandoah” by Frank Ticheli will evoke images of the serene and beautiful hills and valleys of Virginia.

A pair of tunes by John Williams, “Cowboys” (from the 1972 film starring John Wayne) and “Liberty Fanfare,” salute the American west and the Statue of Liberty, respectively. “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite March” by Karl King, will showcase one of the most well-known circus marches (also known as “screamers”) ever composed.

Moving to the twentieth century, the concert will include “New York 1927” by Warren Barker; Leroy Anderson’s 1950 classic “Blue Tango,” the first instrumental to sell one million records; and an arrangement of tunes popularized by “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” Frank Sinatra. There will be some musical surprises included in the concert as well, including a choral accompaniment and some guest conductors..."

There is no admission fee although donations are always welcome.

For more information about the Raritan Valley Symphonic Band go here.

"A nation creates music - the composer only arranges it." - Mikhail Glinka (1804 - 1857)

"I must study politics and war, that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain."
- John Adams (1735-1826)

"The truest expression of a people is in its dance and music." - Agnes de Mile (1905-93)

"[An intellectual] is someone who can listen to the "William Tell Overture" without thinking of the Lone Ranger." - John Chesson

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Somerville Cruise 2011: June 10th

Another Friday night cruise and concert in Somerville this week. The scheduled featured cars are listed as Radio Motor Patrol...

This week's Connie Tarantino Summer Concert from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Somerset County Courthouse lawn will feature Party of 5. According to their website they specialize in classic rock'n'roll, Oldies and doo wop...this could be a perfect match for classic car buffs and boomers!

Just a reminder: The weather may be warm...plan accordingly. And, as usual, comfortable shoes and camera.
Here are a few pictures from last Friday's cruise and concert...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gift Wrapping

When you need to wrap a present, think creatively.

For smaller gifts you can buy some fabric that is themed for the occasion...and there is fabric for just about every theme. We wrapped a Bat Mitzvah present in blue-and-white-material with a design of Stars of David.

For a larger or more awkward gift use a plastic tablecloth, the ones lined with felt are good. They cost about a dollar or two - cheaper than wrapping paper - and can be used later.

To hold everything in place, just wrap some inexpensive wool around the whole thing and tie a bow.

This is an old household tip, but recent recipients seemed surprised and pleased, so the HNJJ staff is passing it along to another generation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Here Comes the Groom...

Miss Rose here, doing another guest post. I have been trying to keep a low profile ever since I heard some discussion around here of having me groomed.

This is what happened last time. I was innocently sitting around, looking cute...

Suddenly I was scooped up and driven to Furry Tails in Hillsborough and groomed...

Let me tell you, I lost that bow really fast! I mean, geez, the cat was laughing at me.

Monday, June 6, 2011


The Hillsborough Township Planning Board approved the application of Primus Green Energy for a pilot plant in connection with its biomass conversion process.

According to the June 2nd agenda, the applicant proposed to build a "...structure to contain processing equipment for a pilot plant in conjunction with the biomass conversion process...".

The pilot plant is a steel based structure (158' long by 26'4" wide) with a metal roof, approximately 4,160-square-feet and will be located on a 5+-acre lot on Homestead Road which also contains a 34,500-square foot building.

The Primus Green Energy conversion system is designed for developing a process to convert bio-mass (wood pellets) to a bio-gasoline by heating at high temperature. The wood pellets are commercially available bio-mass material composed of natural wood waste (i.e., bark and wood trimmings from a lumber yard).
Primus Green Energy's website is here.

For more information, Biofuels Digest published a news brief April 22 2011 headlinedPrimus Green Energy plans biogasoline plant in New Jersey.

*This post is called "Alchemy" because the HNJJ staff is scientifically challenged, particularly in the chemistry field, and all of this discussion of biomass may as well be alchemy:
"any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value."

From the HTPB agenda of June 2nd:
Primus Green Energy, Inc. – File # 11-PB-10-MSR - Block 200.04, Lot 6 – 219 Hillsborough Road. Applicant seeking Minor Site Plan approval with parking spaces ( 5 required, 17 to be provided) to construct a new 4,067 sf. structure to contain processing equipment for a pilot plant in conjunction with the biomass conversion process on property located in the LI District. (EC Review 05-23-11)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weddings and Anniversaries

In the last two weeks we have attended a bridal shower and a 50th anniversary party.

Both celebrations confirmed our faith in America and Americans.
Past, present, and future.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Barreling Along in the Garden

Hillsborough is hosting a Build a Rain Barrel Workshop on Thursday, June 9th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the municipal building.

For a $45 per barrel fee the participants will build their own rain barrels and take them home.

This Rutgers' New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station program is being sponsored by BoroGreen, Sustainable Hillsborough, and Sustainable Montgomery.
For more information and registration go here.
Here are two photographs showing what's blooming in Hillsborough this week:

"God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done." - Author Unknown.
...and to fill our rain barrels!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Somerville Cruise Night

Today's weather is perfect for Somerville's Cruise night...

This evening the free Connie Tarantino Summer Concert Series presents Marshall’s Dixieland Band Jazz from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Somerset County Courthouse.

Take a camera. Wear comfortable shoes. Have fun!

Photographs of past cruises and concert courtesy of Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz.

Chase-ing Approval

Yesterday evening the Hillsborough Township Planning Board began hearing Southeast Investments' proposal to construct a Chase Bank on the former Charlie Browns Restaurant site on Route 206.

The applicant's engineer, architect, and traffic specialists testified and answered board members' questions regarding the lot size, impervious coverage, floor area ratio, lighting, site plans, traffic, and street trees.

Chase Bank agreed to remove one wall sign in order to make the plans more conforming to Hillsborough's sign ordinance.

There was extensive discussion regarding the traffic pattern around the remote drive-up which resulted in suggested changes.

The application was carried to the July 7th meeting to allow the applicant to make the suggested changes for the Board to review.

HNJJ Quote of the Day:
"[Our signs] are in conformance except for the waivers."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Bank at Old Charlie Browns?

The Hillsborough Township Planning Board is scheduled to hear Southeast Investments' proposal to construct a Chase Bank at the location of the old Charlie Browns Restaurant at 381 Route 206.

The 1.4191-acre lot is located on the northbound side of Route 206 at the intersection with Hamilton Road. The applicant proposes to raze the old restaurant building and construct a 4,120-square-foot one-story bank with 26 parking spaces.

Variances are needed for the lot size as the lot is undersized by .509-acres and for the size and number of the signs.

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 2nd, at the municipal building:

Southeast Investments, Inc. – File #11-PB-09-SRV – Block 181, Lot 2 – 381 Route 206. Applicant seeking Preliminary/Final Major Site Plan approval with ‘c’ Bulk Variances for relief from Minimum Lot Area; Minimum FAR; and Waivers to construct a 4,120 sf. one-story Chase Bank after demolishing the former Charlie Brown’s restaurant on property in the GA District. (EC Review 05-23-11)