My Italian man comes from a family of ten. Dinner time is never ordinary – including all the ring-ins – there are now 15 of us. There is always laughter, knowledge and plenty of food shared at the table. This tradition started when My Italian man and some older siblings moved out on their own or got married. Mamma would forever be saying she never sees us altogether, so Mamma decided Wednesday would be the night ‘La Famiglia’ would all come together.
Mamma spends most of the day cooking for her clan and never dissapoints, she serves up a fantastic feast – traditional dishes, pastas of every variety, homemade potato pillows of gnocchi, crisp paper thin Chicken Parmigiana, a colossal deep pan Lasagne, wholesome Minestrone like no other, pizza filled with delirious toppings , creamy risotto and the many seafood dishes as the brothers love to go fishing and bring home all kinds of seafood.
On other nights, she will attempt some experimental dishes that she comes across in her library of cook books. For many, this would seem like a chore but she finds so much joy in cooking for her family and bringing them altogether once a week.
Papa’s job is to do the barbequing and getting the family home made wine from under the house to decanter. The homemade wine seems to be a never ending supply (although as we are getting older, the number of bottles keep increasing), he won’t admit it, but he is secretly proud at how many we go through and how much we all enjoy it.
After we have had our fill, chatted a little and mamma has shoved the last bits of salad and bread into us (as it isn’t the best for tomorrows leftovers) all the plates get passed down one by one like clockwork to the end of the table and taken to be washed up by whoever’s turn it is to wash this week.
After dinner is my favourite time. We all sit down at the table to relax and share coffee, dessert and talk about what we have been up to since our last dinner. Occasionally, if Papa feels the need, he will bring out the port and grappa to finish off interesting discussions.The family always look forward to this time, It’s almost turned into a weekly ritual that we rarely miss, If you do, you have to have a pretty good excuse to get it by the family.