And, you’ be dead, too if you’d have had my day yesterday.
Allow me to digress…
For YEARS Peppe’s friend’s mother has invited us to lunch at her home. Literally – for years…Naive as I am, I persuaded Peppe to accept the next invitation.
“I feel guilty,” I told Peppe. “She keeps asking and asking…”
“We will die, Cherrye. Are you sure you want to try? Last time I was sick for days.”
Well, knowing Italians are drama-prone, I assumed this statement was a mere over-reaction. I assumed wrong.
It all began yesterday morning when Peppe and I drove to one of my favorite little villages around Catanzaro.
We’ve been many times; they have the most refreshing water and cool, crisp air. I simply *heart* Cortale.
Shortly after we arrived, Peppe’s friend took us for a drive to see their land.
His mom picked a bag of cherries for me and we stopped for a group pic.
She asked us to take her home so she could begin preparing lunch. Peppe, his friend, Marcello, and I continued to drive though the mountains. When we arrived back at Marcello’s house there was a table set and the antipasto was ready.
I’m not quite sure what this is called, but it was goooood. You spread a little on some freshly baked bread and eat it with provolone cheese.
Insalata di mare, or seafood salad, was also part of the antipasto, as was this pecorino cheese.
Marcello sliced the pecorino while Peppe and I were already getting full on the rest of the antipasto.
In addition (and not pictured) was fresh homemade sausage and homemade vino!
Then, came the first plate!
A baked pasta dish with penne pasta, homemade meatballs, ham, and sausage with a tomato sauce. Up until this point, I was ok. The antipasto dishes and the first plate were to-die-for. Unfortunately for me, so was everything else!
Homemade stuffed eggplant…
Then the, I assume, second plate..
“But, this is waaaay to much for me to eat, ma’am.”
So, she switches my plate…
That’ll teach me to open my mouth!
After I moved this around on my plate a little while, she came out with something else! Even Marcello was pushing her away!!
But this plate was the best. Unfortunately, I couldn’t REALLY taste it, since I was already on food-overload. But, I did manage to get some of it down.
Ahhh, finally…the fruit! It is like a beacon in the night saying – IT IS ALMOST OVER!
After the fruit we were offered gelato, which we were able to decline without too much insistence. She then prepared coffee, and gave us a splash of homemade limoncello. I didn’t have pictures of these, you see, because my camera’s internal memory was FULL!
But, just in case you haven’t been able to see what all this lady can do in the kitchen…
Homemade sausage, homemade limoncello, homemade olive oil, etc. etc. etc…Here are some pictures from her rose garden.
And one more – just for fun!