Friday, October 03, 2008

Sunday dinner for Italians

According to Pat DiNizio -- who's perhaps my favorite singer-songwriter of all time -- this is how Sunday dinner went down (no pun intended) in an Italian household:

Italians have a $40,000.00 kitchen, but use the $259 stove from Sears in the basement to cook.

There is always some sort of religious statue in the hallway, living room, bedroom, front porch and backyard.

The living room is filled with old wedding favors with poofy net bows and stale almonds (they are too pretty to open).

A portrait of the Pope and Frank Sinatra in the dining room.

God forbid if anyone EVER attempted to eat Chef Boyardee, Franco American, Ragu, Prego or anything else in a jar or can (tomato paste is the exception).

Meatballs are made with Pork, Veal, and Beef. We are Italians, we don't care about cholesterol.

Turkey is served on Thanksgiving, AFTER the manicotti, gnocchi, lasagna and soup.

If anyone EVER says ES-CAROLE, slap 'em in the face -- it's SHCAROLE.

If they ever say ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP, let the idiot know that there is no wedding, nor is there an Italian in the soup. Also, the tiny meatballs must be made by hand.

No matter how hard you know you were going to get smacked, you still came home from church after communion, you stuck half a loaf of bread in the sauce (GRAVY in my house) pot, snuck out a fried meatball and chowed down (you'll make up for it next week at confession).

Sunday dinner was at 2:00. The meal went like this ...

Table is set with everyday dishes ... doesn't matter if they don't match ... they're clean, what more do you want?

All the utensils go on the right side of the plate and the napkin goes on the left.

Put a clean kitchen towel at Nonna & Papa's plate because they won't use napkins.

Homemade wine and bottles of 7up are on the table.

First course, Antipasto ... change plates.

Next, Macaroni Nonna called all pasta Macaroni ... change plates.

After that, Roasted Meats, Roasted Potatoes, Over-cooked Vegetables ... change plates.

THEN and only then (NEVER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEAL) would you eat the salad (HOMEMADE OIL & VINEGAR DRESSING ONLY) ... change plates.

Next, Fruit & Nuts - in the shell (on paper plates because you ran out of the other ones).

Coffee with Anisette (Espresso for Nonna, 'American' coffee for the rest) with hard Cookies to dip in the coffee.

The kids go play ... the men go to lie down.

They slept so soundly you could perform brain surgery on them without anesthesia ... the women clean
the kitchen.

Getting screamed at by Mom or Nonna - half the sentence was English, the other half Italian.

Italian mothers never threw a baseball in their life, but can nail you in the head with a shoe thrown from the kitchen while you're in the living room.

The true Italians will love this, those of you who are married to Italians will understand this, and those of you who are friends with Italians will remember and will forward it to their Italian friends.


Rose said...

Thank you, thank you, tahk you for that! I have never heard of Pat Dinizio, but I am going to look for him now. That sounds so much like Sundays at my house. My Grammy Oliveri came from Italy. She lived with us from the day I was born until she died when I was 10 th grade. She made tomato gravy every Sunday. Grammy called it her Pomodoro Pomodoro. She always said it twice. If I ever acted up at Mass I had to stir the gravy for at least an hour. Acting up was anything from nodding off to not standing up quick enough during the service. Grammy could fry little meatballs that would just melt when you put them in your mouth. They always had to have veal. I was a first year student at Penn state the first time I had a salad dressing that was not just olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. Always red wine vinegar. Thank you, thank you thank you!

webbie said...

I have Joisy friends who wax poetic about Sunday Gravy. I've even tried a hand at it myself a time or two (with helpful advice from my friends.) Good stuff, but somehow the lack of saints and Sinatra made the experience somewhat lacking.

Tammy Allen said...

House That We Used To Live In is the best song EVER! Smithereens are the best band EVER! I would walk 10 miles to eat over cooked meat and veggies with Pat!