Once a year, my husband's former co-workers host a dinner, and always invite us along. A genuinely nice, caring, good hearted, crazy bunch of Italians. Laughter and good food are always in abundance!
Last night the restaurant was packed, (what economic crisis?) and full of joking, laughing, teasing Italians. These people know how to eat! At one point, the diners at two tables down broke out into song, singing to their hearts content. I think they might have been three sheets to the wind, but jolly nonetheless!
We all ordered appetizers, (three pieces of prociutto, two different kinds of salami, two other cuts of cured meats, three unpitted green olives, pecorino cheese, and three kinds of crostini: liver patè, mushroom, and spicy tomato. Excellent white wine. Then came the pizza! Thin crust, 'as God commanded' like they say in Italy, in various combinations (pepperoni and sausage, capers and anchovies, cheese, ham and artichokes, and olives and mushrooms). Dessert: tiramisu, sorbet, panna cotta, flan, cake. Coffee and after dinner liquor.
Eating and talking, laughing and eating. We ate until midnight! A few men laughed until their faces turned red. Two children were dozing in their chairs, while their parents told us funny stories. The waitress looked like she had swallowed a frog at one point, when she asked who wanted what for desert, and we all gave our orders at the same time...I ended up waiting for the tiramisu a tad too long, but nevermind that! It was worth the wait.
Mind you, we weren't rude or obnoxious. Italians are a joyous lot, especially at the dinner table! Too bad they only do this once a year, at Christmastime. Dinners like this, in good company...what more could you ask for? Laughter really is the best medicine.