Il Poggiolo has an oven. It’s the only one on Our Side of the village. Codiponte has three. One is in a courtyard of a house on the other side of the stream in a labyrinth of alley-ways, yet to be explored by Yours Truly. And the other is up at the Borgo Castello high above il Poggiolo. Geographically, too far away. Back in the olden days, neighbors would bring what was needed to be cooked to the nearest oven… from breads to potatoes to meat. The daughter of Our Sadly Deceased Neighbor told us that practically everything or anything could be pushed-in raw & pull-out cooked to perfection in Our Oven, well beyond the above mentioned array of meats & potatoes faire… from savory pies, to cakes, stuffed veggies, sausages and so forth.
This was Great News to You’s Current Codiponte Court. This font of folk-followers sprung spontaneously from a collective visit these Folk had made to said Doctor in his private studio up in Genoa one fine Saturday morning. Seven Folk suffering from one eye irritation, malady or another, seeking succor from il Dottore You. From that moment on, he was theirs. They were his. What bed-fellows. Let me say… if I haven’t before…
when you are IN with any or all Italians YOU NO LONGER BELONG TO YOUSELF. You’re their personal possession. Nothing more to do but let whatever flow…
anyway, the Folk’s affection does not include me. You’s un dottore… un essaltato dottore. I’m merely in the way. The Folk call me only to know when You will next be in Codiponte. The Folk call You to invite him to dinner one fine Saturday night and in the last seconds of the call haphazardly add that I would be welcomed too. I’d be less bent-out-of-shape if they’d just included one of The Dogs in the invitation over me. And, the Folk stop by to give me a plastic basket filled with some ghastly vegetable You said he adored, asking me if it wouldn’t be too much trouble to burden me with it. Seriously friends, I’ve serially risked the contemplation of dumping the entire lot in the river. So, you see, I am violently offended!!! Up until that one fine Saturday morning, I was the King of the Roost here. People sought me out and not Il You. I have been side-lined. It hurts. I am unused to these feelings. These Folk climb over me to get to You. I may resign. No chance of that though.
One special aspect of these Folk… all women and a few inconsequential men added for color & balance since, none can cook, clean, do ironing or, sew… LIKE I DO!!!… are nearly competition-level cooks. Another reality show in the making. When You invited the Team Leader Folk to make pizzas in Our Oven a month ago… BOOM!!!… she & her cohorts arrived pronto per farle!!!… the dough, the fix-in’s and the toppings too! The success of that evening spawned last Saturday night’s 2nd Invitation for A Pig-out At The Ol’ Poggiolo Oven. At six in the afternoon… I hadn’t even thought of taking a shower, much less thinking I’d see 9 persons gaping at me… and which, at that hour, I am normally foraging nel frigo for something to assuage My 6 o’clock Hunger Pangs, so conditioned am I from 30 years of living & eating in the US of A… Team Leader Folk and her two burly assistants & wives & children had arrived to begin shoving in… pork sausages, basted ribs… a pork roast!!!… potatoes, stuffed vegetables, savory pies… and lasagna… to pull them out an hour and a half later for a sit-down orgy of eating for 20 + children.
I can admit, You set a splendid table…here is a pre-orgy shot of You & a few Folk… please note The Dog Numero Uno spying the b-r-e-a-d… Oh! And You has already sent me a text message to remind everyone to pay special attention to il centro tavolo….
Being of minor importance, I was NOT ALLOWED near the Oven Work Zone so, the only thing I could ferret from the proceedings was that it is mightily important to keep the casings on the sausages, so the fats… I can hear My Mother grown… will burn off and the meat will set nicely. Personally, I HATE the casings and never miss a moment to cut & tear them off. Not anymore. There’s A Good Reason that they are there.
The food was spectacular. Nothing else to say except there was too much! And the desserts were equal to the taste, variety & quantity of the main meal… 2 ice creams & cookies, a semi-freddo, watermelon and a cake.
And, to add misery to injury, the Folk did an amazing clean-up job afterwards. I hardly lifted a finger. How pleasant it was to wake-up Sunday morning… birds chirping, puffy clouds moving towards Parma to dump their rain, motorcycles growling as drivers & their WO-MEN wove their leather-jacketed way up to the Carpenelli Pass, to know that there would not be a dirty dish or a bit of clutter to attend to. Maybe it’s not so bad to be over-looked? Gads.