Sunday June 5
After breakfast I talked with Signor Michele about writing an article about La Piano dei Mulini. He is very involved in archeological projects in the region and discussed some of this with me. I will e-mail him after I return home to interview him for the article.
I went with Antonella, Gianluca and Santina to Mass at the church of my grandparents, where Antonella sings in the choir. I actually could understand some of Don Fredy’s sermon. After Mass we went to Antonella’s mother’s (Isabella’s) house, where the entire family would be coming over for lunch.
Isabella must have been working since early in the morning, because when we arrived I could smell good things from her cucina.
She was making stuffed shells, eggplant, chicken, and from the looks of things, much more.
I met the whole family including Santina’s fiancè Marco, and also Pasqualina’s husband and teenage children. What started out to be lunch turned into an all day food event.
Isabella loves cooking and she just kept bringing more food to the table, saying, “It’s just a little something.” In addition to the stuffed shells, grillled eggplant and chicken, we had home-made prosciutto, formaggio, salad, home-made wine, fruit, pasticcia from Pasquallna, cream puffs and caffè.
Everyone sat around the table for hours, talking fast and at the same time in typical Italian style. I could understand some, and knew when they were speaking dialect. Isabella lived many years in Canada, so she speaks excellent English as well as Italian, so that helped. I enjoyed the animated conversations even if I didn’t understand it all. I also loved watching as they played cards, briscola and scopa. The men sat at one end of the table and the women at the other.
Later they took me for a drive into the mountains to Castelpetroso, where there is a magnificent cathedral.
It was absolutely beautiful inside and out. Rick and Monica and I had seen this from the autostrada and wondered about it. We also went to an area close by where Mary had appeared to two young girls, and there was a small church and shrine there. It was cold as we were so high in the mountains that I could see some snow, but it was beautiful, quiet and very tranquil.
When we returned to the house for a “snack” of dinner, Isabella had more of the same food and then some, as though this was another full-course meal.
She had pomodoro bruschetta, tartuffo bruschetta, watermelon, cantaloupe, popcorn and ice cream too, and of course more vino! I had a wonderful day and really felt like part of the family. Carolina and Michele drove me back to La Piano dei Mulini at 9 pm. It was a wonderful day in Colle d’Anchise with my cousins!
Santina, Carolina and Antonella
Cathedral was magnificent. Really and truly and I am sure I am not the first to say that. However, the food, oh the food. One thing I have to ask about. Did they take a zuchini and cook it like we fry plantains? I saw the fork marks and that is what I thought of; twice fried plantains. Ah food, fast food people have no idea what they are missing.
I asked Isabella how she cooked the eggplant and she grilled it. That is what the marks are.
This is what it’s all about! When you are visiting family, friends, close associates, or a combination of the above, everyone goes out of their way. No ” pot luck” there! Everyone takes the event very seriously with a gusto and comittment that overflows for the rest of the day. The rhythrm is relaxed, special treats are planned, excursions or little “pensierini” =thoughtful surprizes, are incorporated into the agenda. Ahhh, the slow, careless rhythm of life abounds and each time one is connected to the earth and its bounty!