The FUN thing about getting married late in life is acquainting yourself with the family that came before you: Kids, x-wives and....
I am marrying into an Italian family.
I spent the afternoon with Shirley making home-made raviolis (including the pasta) for Christmas. It is a 40 year old tradition. She's adorable...but I keep one eye open.
I've seen episodes of Everyone Loves Raymond.
Bowl of flour, eggs, water, ricotta, cheese, parsley and bits of ham.
She made pasta, I made the filling.
ITALIAN Mother: "Charmaine. Place the pasta sheet over the rack, fill with cheese, cover with pasta sheet. Press out the air, dust with flour, roll with rolling pin and release the ravioli".
Charmaine: "It's pretty easy, eh?"
ITALIAN Mother: Silence
ITALIAN Mother: "That's too much filling"
Charmaine: "No problem.Voila."
ITALIAN Mother: "That's not enough filling."
ITALIAN Mother: "You didn't dust with flower."
Charmaine: "Flour, dust thyself upon my raviolis." Dramatic flourish of flour. I giggle.
Husband-to-be: "You have flour on your stomach."
Charmaine: "If it was on YOUR stomach we wouldn't have any left."
ITALIAN Mother: "You'd better be nice to my son. He's my baby, you know."
Charmaine: That's one BIG baby. "I know he's a mama's boy."
ITALIAN Mother: Gazes at me.
Charmaine: "In a GOOD Way."
On the 107th ravioli I thought; Why don't we buy these fuckers at Whole Foods?
But traditions are fun.
On the way out... I gave her a hug.
ITALIAN Mother: "Next time, work faster. The pasta dries out."
(She lingered, sweetly, at the door, waving, until we were out of sight.)
Later, I recalled the strong smell of the Ricotta. It smelled "off". I didn't want to say anything.
(It's Christmas Day and the family is vomiting...racing for the bathroom....)
ITALIAN Mother: "Charmaine made the ravioli this year."