Yesterday's Magazette

9 – A Special Supper

A Special Supper

By Ann Favreau

The main meal of the day in our Italian home was called supper and it was served at the kitchen table. It was hearty fare that nearly always featured meat. The main course might be veal, pot roast, ham, bracciole, pork roast studded with garlic, or a chicken raised in the backyard.  When times were tough, Mother made meaty soups and stews.

The only exceptions occurred on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent when we could not eat meat. Then Mother served macaroni and three cheeses, spaghetti with fish sauce, or eggplant.

Accompanying the meat were several vegetables. Even in the winter we enjoyed these, for each year my mother canned over two hundred jars of vegetables grown in our garden. My father insisted on Italian bread at supper. American bread, his term for sliced white bread, was reserved for toast or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Supper always ended with something sweet.

Favor1Sunday supper was special, with antipasto or a big salad to begin the meal. Then came the huge bowl filled to overflowing with spaghetti or macaroni, served with meatballs, pork bones, chicken or sausage. This was followed by one of Mother’s wonderful homemade desserts.

As a child I thought all families ate like mine until the day my friend Bevie invited me to her house for Sunday supper. As I ran between our lots to get to Bevie’s house, I wondered what we would haveto eat. I just knew her family was rich because Bevie had store-bought dresses and expensive dolls.

Bevie’s house did not smell like mine, with the aromas of basil, garlic, oregano, and tomato sauce. It smelled like Noxema because Bevie’s Mother used it religiously to wash her face and Bevie’s to keep them smooth. The jar stood on their kitchen counter in the same place that my mother kept her array of spices and salt.

There was only one pot on the stove and the kitchen table was not set. Bevie took me into her living room. I couldn’t imagine eating here. Our living room was for company and we never brought food in there.

As Bevie showed me her new record player, I heard Mrs. Benson in the kitchen. Then ping, ping went the pot on the stove. Mrs. Benson called out, “Get the bowls, Beverly, the popcorn is almost ready.”

“Popcorn?” I asked with a stunned look on my face.

“Yes,” said Bevie,” we always have popcorn for Sunday night dinner.”

It was delicious, but I knew right then that my mother was never going to let me go to Bevie’s on Sunday again. She would never approve of popcorn for supper.

*Ann Favreau  is a retired educator. She is currently the Director of the Suncoast Writers’ Guild of Englewood, FL.  Her prose and poetry has been published in many magazines and anthologies.  Her recent book Window Eyes highlights her global adventures in which she describes herself as a traveler who marvels at the awesome and finds wonder in the ordinary.  It is available from favray@comcast.net and will soon be available on Amazon.com.

Vol. 38 No. 1 – Yesterday’s Magazette – Spring- 2011

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