Italian

Day 2 of Unemployment

Today is the Friday before Labor Day weekend. I won’t lie, things could be worse.

Every year, at the end of summer, my grandparents make tomato sauce in their backyard. The entire block smells of boiling tomatoes and hard work. In their old age, they’ve moved into the summer home they’ve owned since 1978; a newly renovated beauty in a beach town that has the second highest concentration of Irish-Americans in the US, called Breezy Point, NY. They’ve always been the “odd man out” here, not truly understanding the Irish customs or traditions that their neighbors celebrate and vice versa. But, after emigrating to Brooklyn from a small southern Italian town in the ’60s, they’ve learned to keep their heads down and cause no problems.

Anyway, today was the day for sauce. I was the lucky one chosen to pick up the tomatoes this morning at 7:30 and make the traffic-filled trek out to Breezy Point with a pickup bed full of tomato bushels and a Nesquik in hand.

After MANY hours of work, we have finally added the finished jars to the heat to seal and preserve them. Today was full of annoying issues and difficult situations, but finally, all 20+ bushels are done and we can celebrate. As all 16 of us sit around the table for the first taste of our newly made sauce, it’s great to remember that I wouldn’t have been able to help today if I had a job, I wouldn’t have been able to carry on the tradition.

I guess we can consider that the silver lining.

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Naples, Day 2

Today was the first day I’ve been to the beach since August… Needless to say it was magical.

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herro children

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my sister wanted to text but the sun made it hard for her to see her phone

Today, as fun as it was, is also Good Friday, for those of us who partake in the Christian religion. Because today is the day Jesus was crucified, as a Christian, you are supposed to fast and contemplate your sins. Well I mean I didn’t really have lunch… for today, my family makes scalcione, an inside out pizza of sorts with olives, onions, peppers and anchovies (gross) inside.

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Since I don’t enjoy anchovies as much as the rest of my family, eating scalcione is like walking through a mine field barefoot. You may think that’s overly dramatic, but today I took a bite and there was a giant chunk of the little furry fish that almost caused me to vomit.

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always gotta check, just in case

I still haven’t found out whether scalcione (which I’m probably spelling incorrectly) is a tradition with roots in the Italian culture, the culture of Puglia, the Molaze culture (stemming from Mola do Bari, where my family is from,) or something my family made up because it tastes good. Either way, we look forward to scalcione and Good Friday all year long.

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it was called a Vincenzo and was a flour-less chocolate cake with caramel ice cream- so delicious

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Oscar Wilde reminding me to stay thankful that I’m actually employed… Because so many people my age are not

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Island company, my new favorite store

Day 2 was a success and I look forward to breakfast and day 3!