A few posts back I told you how Nonna caused a ziti fiasco when Francesca was planning the Easter menu that almost made my parents get divorced. At least ziti is the most of their problems. It doesn't help that my Mom is married to a crazy Sicilian either, but somehow those two make it work. They have made up and Rocco has full custody of me again. I am 28 years old.
Easter this year, if you are in the Northeast was a glorious day. When you get weather like that on Jesus' favorite day, it makes you almost believe in God. Or you can just move to the west coast and practice atheism in nice weather everyday. Hallelujah!
As much as I make fun of my family and exploit them for your entertainment, I wouldn't trade them for another less crazy family. I never feel like I have to go to family functions. Knowing that my family is there motivation enough, because it is always a good time. And the delicious food helps, too.
Fra as always was the perfect hostess. When we walked in the door, kisses all around and the eating and drinking and craziness immediately began. She is a homemade pizza maker and whipped up all sorts of yummy focaccia's and pizzas for appetizers as well as the meats and cheese and olives you come to expect in a Siclian home.
And to get everyone out of her gorgeous kitchen, because we tend to coagulate where the food is, she set up a long table in her sunlit living room. Twenty plus hungry Sicilians in one room and somehow Fra managed to satisfy everyone and keep them (relatively) under control. That makes her a living saint.
Take a look here at the menu. Everything was insanely delicious. Since Nonna only brought one tray of ziti for everyone, Fra served it as a side dish to the amazing lasagna she made, and we joked that we all got one zito. (Singular for ziti, would be zito in Italian. But get real, who eats only one piece of pasta? So I don't think the word really exists.) Both pastas were fantastic!
One super stand out dish that Fra made really blew my mind. It was angel hair pasta wrapped in fried eggplant. What a great idea. Fried eggplant embracing delicious pasta that is smothered in sweet tomato sauce. A match made in heaven. Now I officially believe in God!
On the deck cousin Paul did his man grilling duties. He sure loves his meat and his Miller Hi-Life! We all enjoyed the beautiful day out back. Uncle Sal was in full beating up everyone around him mode. He thinks he is "play fighting" but he actually punches really hard. When I told him that he challenged me to punch him as hard as I could. He taunts and teases me ALL the time, so I really could not turn up the offer for a little Sicilian revenge.
I felt like Pam on the office when Michael gave her the opportunity to punch him in the face. Unlike Pam, instead of bitch slapping my Uncle, I punched him as hard as I could in the gut. For a sixty plus pasta eating dude he is pretty solid. But of course, my first punch wasn't hard enough for him. So I wailed on him again. All the onlookers, victims of Sal's "rough housing" were thoroughly enjoying the show. The second time, I gave it all I got and I think he tried to hide it but I could see that he flinched a little, and I think I broke my hand. It was so worth it!
And this is how my family spends out Easter, a young woman in her Easter dress punching an old man with all the vengeance she can muster up. And eating a lot! And this is why I would never get rid of these crazy people.