Saturday, December 15, 2012

An Italian-American Christmas at the Garofalos

Elizabeth and Michael Garofola know how to throw a great party. He's a joker, but not a toker, like his dad, Rico. Neither Rico nor Ellen were there, Mike's parents, as they're both gone, as is his brother Tony, who passed on December 11, 2011.

Michael re-introduced me to his Aunt Connie, short for Conchetta, by saying I had wrin a poem for Tony which was read at his funeral last year.

Here's Aunt Connie who came to America from Italy when she was 7.

Her late brother was 13 when the family arrived. He had a slight Italian accent. She said that if you arrive by the time you're 10, you usually don't have an accent.

Like my Aunt Selma, who's 94, Aunt Connie developed mac degeneration about 7 years ago. At 93, she still bakes delicious Italian delicacies, tho she gave up making Honey Balls which sounded scrumptious!

She lives by herself tho her daughter Patty lives a few doors down. Connie loves her independence. With such a big family, there's no need to cloister people in old age homes.


This is part of my dessert plate. Karen, mother of 3-yo Gabe, made the shortcake on the right.

Let's hear it for the shortcake! It's made with only five ingredients: flour, butter, sugar, fresh rosemary (!) and salt. My mom wants to make something for my birfday party and I think I'll order the shortbread. You could taste the salt and it was deee-licious!

To the left are Dream Bars, which I remembered from last year's funeral celebration.

Many generations were represented at the family. Absolutely beautiful young people who paid attention to everyone, even me, an outsider.

Here are some of the delicious things this five-foot gal ate with gusto:

Tomato Pie from Sam's Italian Market

Fried chicken from Aldie Supermarket dipped in a hot buffalo wing sauce.
Half a piece of Ruth's whole wheat bread spread with butter

Green beans
Olives on the appetizer tray
Asparagus from the app tray
Marinated mushrooms
Marinated zucchini

You know how much I love houses! This is the basement family room with soft carpet. Many toddlers attended the party like blond blue-eyed pink-cheeked Andrew in Mom's arms. He looked like a cherub in a Little Golden Book.

Hiding in a corner in the laundry room was a new baby kitten. See if you can find it. I sure can't. Its nest  is in front of the white laundry basket. Double-click and ye shall find.

Remember Tino? That was Tony's tiny dog he bought after his dad Rico died. Tino is now living on five acres of land in Michigan at the home of Elizabeth's parents.

Woof woof, hello y'all back east!

With a drum roll from Garrett, Santa strode into the house. Brother Stephano in yellow is wearing his new glasses. Everyone said he looked great in them.

Parents brought gifts which Michael stowed in his car and then gave to Santa who comes complete with his own white beard and glasses.

After saying goodbye, I went outside and adored the Baby Jesus in the manger. I'm one Jew who really loves the Christmas story and admire Christ for standing up for his beliefs.

Guess what I did first thing upon coming home? The usual.....checking my emails, reading The Times, all procrastinatory measures for getting on my stationery bike.

I rode for half an hour while watching Downton Alley, or maybe it's Downtown Abbey. Held my interest while I pedaled away.

And now if you'll excuse me, Scott is waiting for me. What movie will we watch tonite?

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