It’s so refreshing to see a group of New Jersey meatballs simmering in a pot of sauce where they’re being useful, and not simmering in a beach house in Seaside Heights or Miami Beach doing absolutely nothing interesting. Johnny and Megin DeCarlo are possibly one of the most real and inviting couples I have met in a long time. When they invited me into their home in East Rutherford and allowed me to interview them about their roles in Vh1’s upcoming series My Big Friggin’ Wedding I had no idea what I was in store for.
As I crossed the threshold of their home, I was not only overwhelmed by Megin’s warmth and beauty--hugs and kisses on the cheek; smiles and sincere welcomes--but by the fusion of aromas mingling in the air: tomato sauce, parsley, garlic, pork, salt, parmigiano cheese, and braciole. As I stepped into the inner-sanctum of the kitchen, Johnny was standing at the altar of his stove. The noon sun burst through the windows anointing the pot of gravy over which Johnny kept watch. (“Whenever there’s meat in the sauce it’s always called gravy,” Johnny instructed as he swirled the seasoned wooden spoon around his seasoned pot.) As he stirred the sauce, I mean gravy, all you could hear was the slow burp and bubble of the gravy thickening, the tick of the clock on the wall, and the contented murmurs of a baby in his swing. All that was missing from this scene was my Nonna in her housecoat. I swear, I felt like it was 1968 and I was back in my grandmother’s kitchen at 116 Main Street in Fort Lee. Johnny is authentic old school North Jersey Italian.
After making sure that the sauce was seasoned to perfection, Johnny and Megin sat and talked with me about planning a wedding, starting a life, and building a business all while the cameras were rolling. Megin put it perfectly when she said, “Do you have any idea what it’s like trying to carry groceries and a baby up the stairs with a camera focused on your behind?” Johnny found the cameras a little less intimidating which is no surprise since it was his idea to audition for the show. “I saw Vh1’s listing for the show on the internet and I thought, ‘Why not?’”
Why not, indeed! Unlike other reality stars, Megin and Johnny actually have a talent that extends beyond the cameras. They have a business that they are building together “Johnny’s Meatballs.” Let me tell you, coming from a family where Nonna’s meatball recipe was taken to her grave, and my mom and aunts closely guard theirs, I know a little something about meatballs. Mom, cover your ears. Johnny’s meatballs are the best meatballs I have EVER tasted. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s a definite combination of taste and texture that makes them fantastic. Like every serious Italian cook, Johnny won’t give up his recipe. All he’ll reveal is that his recipe is a blend of both his grandmothers’ meatball recipes. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Corrado’s Market in Clifton and Wayne is now selling them so you can taste them for yourself.
After meeting Johnny and Megin, and seeing the trailers for Vh1’s My Big Friggin’ Wedding, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they will be the break out stars of the series. It doesn’t matter though. Regardless of what notoriety the show may bring them, they’ll do well for themselves because it’s not all about the show. It’s about staying true to their dream of building a business together. The show is simply an opportunity that may help them to achieve that goal. Finally, hard-working people who make New Jersey proud!
Vh1’s My Big Friggin Wedding premiers Monday, November 1st at 9pm. You can watch full episodes at www.vh1.com.
To see the video of my interview with Megin and Johnny click on the link below:http://momtomomtv.com/picspicks/mybigfrigginwedding.html