Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I was honored to accept a dinner invitation to Melissa and Paul's place to be followed by watching the Phillies get their asses kicked by the Yankees in the World Series. (Sorry Melissa, just stating facts.)
Melissa, along with Meredith and myself are on the board of the Eyetalian Girl's Club, a supper club (at Melissa's) in which we share our mutual guido craziness over delicious homemade local food (that Melissa makes) while Paul sits perplexed and sometimes scared of the three of us.
The mental condition of having Sicilian DNA (even if your halfsies) in a female body is recognized most commonly as being sickeningly nurturing and loving while constantly obsessing over food and making sure everyone around you is well fed. A look further and the alarming quality of being cunningly intuitive if not full on psychic is also observed. Nonna is a full psychic Sicilian. She just knows.
While chatting about our plans, we agreed to a "simple" meal, then watch the game. The evening was about the World Series after all. Simple meals to most people are Mac n' Cheese, Soup and Salad or Pizza, but to Sicilian DNAers this is how the conversation went:

Melissa: what time is the game?
me: 8pm
early enough that it could interfere with dinner
see i think we need to be in a sports bar with d-bag yankee fans when they win tomorrow
for your sake
5:21 PM Melissa: i get home around 6:30. Lets do a simple dinner. I'll make the pesto tonight, we can have it with whole wheat fussili, and I'll saute some cubed butternut squash on the side. I'll have Paul roast an eggplant before I get home and well have that as an app with some good bread. We can go to the Turkeys Nest to watch the game after. Oh and we'll have your apple crumble for dessert.
You'd gonna need all the fule you can get to deal with all that crying.
me: LOL!
sounds perfect
5:22 PM Melissa: Manley waants to make vegan ice cream. I'll have him do that tomorrow morning.
me: wowoowwo
crazinessMelissa: GO PHILLS!!!!!!!!!Thats sounds simple to me. I arrived early and Paul (AKA Manley) had just crossed the last TO DO off his prep list that Melissa had emailed him. There was some serious bulleting involved:
  • Wash, peel, and cube butternut squash, put in small baking pan and set aside
  • Boil Manocotti, drain and set aside in baking dish
  • Wash,soak and drain arugula. Set aside in bowl
  • Pull out big food processor and put on counter
  • Pan toast walnuts, set side in small bowl or on paper towel.
  • Wash and peel beets, cut them into thin slices, set aside in small baking pan
  • Cut baby carrots in half length wise and add to beets.
  • Wash eggplant and poke a MILLION holes in it with a knife and set aside in baking pan
I should be on chat. Let me know if you have any questions.

Good Luck.

Thank you.
Can I first say that I adore these two? I was impressed but not surprised by Melissa's thorough and detailed instruction and Paul's on point follow-through. Everything was prepped to perfection, but Paul looked a little frazzled juggling about 18 roasting dishes. He showed Meredith and I the walnuts he toasted.
"Burnt, right? We should get more," he said.
"They are fine," I said. Thats so my mother in me (who is non-Sicilian by blood)
"Paul's right," Meredith said, "Melissa is gonna flip out. Let's go get more walnuts."
"Really?" I said.
They weren't that bad. Not to warrant going to the store but Melissa is a perfectionist, I get it.
And there is something very admirable to be said about being a perfectionist. But forget about that, lets talk about Melissa's frightening sense of smell and her psychic abilities. As we were leaving for the store, Melissa arrived, looking cute coming home from a long day at the bakery. We gave each other a nice big hug, then she pulled back, gave me a funny look then took a big whiff of me. I did shower that day and I'm a hygienic person but by the way she sniffed I thought maybe I smelled great or something.
"Did he burn something?" Melissa said.
My jaw dropped in awe. How could her sense of smell be so acute especially in such close proximity to the Newtown Creek?
"Its the Walnuts, right? Paul burnt the walnuts," she said.
Meredith and I walked away very slowly trying not to make eye contact. How in the world did she know that Paul burnt the walnuts? And there is the condition of Sicilian Psychic Prowess demonstrated most aptly in regards to food. I am still blown away by it.
I am also blown away by the excellent meal Melissa and Paul tag teamed. (Sorry, not too many visuals for the food porn lovers.)
The Roasted Eggplant with Market Italian Bread was like buttah and so addictive.
The Roasted Butternut Squash and Tofu Manicotti topped with arugula walnut pesto was delicious. It had the texture of ricotta cheese. Meredith and I helped assemble them. It was the first time I had stuffed manicotti and I was ridiculed with "What kind of dego are you?"
The sides of roasted carrots, brussels sprouts and beets were perfect accompaniments.
For dessert I brought an Apple Crumble which was topped with Paul's vegan vanilla ice cream made with coconut milk.
We wined and talked, and by talking I mean yelled over each other and interrupted one another and had about 15 conversations going on at once among the 4 of us. Oh and I almost forgot that we watched the World Series. And the Yanks won.
Thanks Melissa, Paul and Meredith for another successful Eyetalian Girls Dinner!


Rocco Galatioto said...

I was enjoying the read that, as usual,is funny and very descriptive, and was totally enthralled until I read tofu manicotti. How could you. What happened to that Sicilian DNA. My poor child I cry over such cultural lapses. I will not tell Nonna as she may simply decide to die. I'm shedding elephant tears as I write and must end now before the floor gets totally wet.
Tofu manicotti, ma che cazzo!

Javelina Bomb said...

As a fellow sicilian-american, I also am horrified by the tofu.

Jennifer Galatioto said...

I am NEVER going to be able to live this down! Geez. I didn't make it. My vegan friend did. Dad you taught me to never turn down food and I didn't and it was good. Might I also add that Rocco eats and entire block of tofu in one sitting. Sure its not combined with pasta but that justs gross. So stop judging me! I am a good half-Sicilian. Now leave me alone! Don't be scared Casino, I don't bite!

Javelina Bomb said...

"I don't bite" said the girl holding the gun.