My first girlfriend was ravioli. Pasta and cheese all under the same blanket of sauce??? Oh, Mylanta, step back. If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I fell in love with this special made pasta and treasure our courtship. On Sundays after church Papa Spats would drive a couple of us children over to Ravioli Kitchen in Hartford, CT. This was a big moment on it’s own, so many of us vying for Pop’s attention, #winning. Ravioli Kitchen was an amazing smelling place that made these little pillows of joy. The rectangular box was pale blue with white and red accents. It was sealed with plastic red tape. Inside egg and cheese would waft. The pastas were in uniform rows, layers divided by parchment paper. Going to Ravioli Kitchen was like a treasure quest in many ways.
We would only have ravioli on special occasions, there were so many mouths to feed in our house growing up that ravioli every Sunday was not in the realm of possibilities. And with the appetites of Pop’s, Brother John’s and mine waiting, forget it. I remember those Sundays with great love. It meant quality time. It meant family time. It mean all my best friends were getting together for a little party on my plate. It was Yalta to the taste. Happy National Ravioli Day to you and yours. We hope your memories warm you too.
And a little ps here…….
Happy Birthday Sista Trish!!!! We’d put an embarrassing photo up to mark your special day, but remember that you can still punch pretty hard at your age. Go eat some ravioli, it’s the first day of Spring y’know!
AAAAAaaaaaaaah, home for the holidays! Dish It Out is Out! Literally, we’re on the road. Eating a frenzy towards New Year’s. Boot camp has been replaced with food camp. No carb left behind. Cleaning your plate is the highest compliment (and in some countries, so is belching). Seconds is expected, thirds is the new black. Doctor who? Long armed people eat better. I can’t believe that’s not margarine. Feed me, Seymour. Reckless abandon. Need I go on? Oh, but I will.
Christmas Eve has a tender place in my
heart, stomach, heart. It’s a fantastic night for eating special foods and for getting together with the near and dears. A couple lifetime’s ago we used to gather with my awesome Godmother and her five children. (Aunty Mary will get her own post) It was a standing event at which we’d eat some fantastic stuff. My cousin Joey’s calamari; amazing. Aunty Mary’s clam chowder is still the benchmark for comparison. There was always good eating. As I got older I had to have my own Christmas Eve Open House. I made great efforts in decorating, cooking and hosting. Truth be told, I have more than a normal amount zeal for the holiday in my DNA. Tinsel in the cards, wreath on the truck, I’ve been seen wearing antlers. I am a man on a mistletoe. The stakes were high, and soon the guests would be. I would see to it with witty holiday napkins and carefully suspended glass ornaments, with nicely garnished canape plates and spicy cocktail onions that we would eat drink and be merry (or sally or trish or carole) We would make that little cottage by Long Island Sound as full of laughs and love as our stomachs would soon be. Hey, it was Christmas Eve.
That’s what makes the night for me, the gathering and the grazing. There may be no room at the Inn, but there’s gonna be a spot with the Spats’. It’s important to me to put the year to an end in the prescence of good friends and family. Equally impressive is the care that we put into our food then. This extra love put into every bite is awesome to me. We eat the things not made regularly or that are for special occasions only. We use the good olive oil, the good china. Our near and dears are in the house, we’ve all made it another year, come hungry and all that. I suspend my exercise regimen (and sometimes my fat pants) during the Holiday Season. I think it provides me with more time to enjoy the meal. I can always walk the meal “off” and have a conspiratorial visit with a loved one. Quality time’s made here.
In fact, our recent trip back east was strewn with quality time and great visits. Mick and I stayed with Jo Jo who saw to it that our glasses were never empty and the bed was warm. We made sure that all of her dogs received an equal amount of attention. I swear there were ten of them. Alright, maybe three. Jo and I served time together in a restaurant cursed with great food and shiftless owners. It was our salad days if you will. A fantastic host, she put us up to stay even while having her family for dinner the next day. She had snacks ready to drop on our first night of tasty crackers, shrimp, cheese and olives. I could live on this. She then buried us in homemade meatballs, sauce and spaghetti. Oh, and she took care of any extra space with broccoli rabe and sausage stuffed bread. In case the bed was lumpy the bread in the tummy could be slept on. We pulled out the war stories and stopped short of the photo albums. While the time disappeared with the wine, night became day. We awoke to wrap and run. Down the stairs we bound to find her holiday dinner going on all cylinders. Her family was arriving any minute but breakfast made with love, was awaiting on the back burner. . She couldn’t send me to a family dinner hungry, it was after all a very long 45 minutes until. We stayed two more nights and contemplating Occupying Guest Room.
It was a Christmas Eve like any other; Awesome!