Wednesday, October 17
It was a Cucina Italiana today at work. Or, as my co-worker, Jen, an east coast Italian, and I called it, Eye-talian Night. We prepared lasagna and sausage and peppers for dinner. I ran over to Bridgeport Village in the morning to pick up hazelnut and pistachio gelato from Tutto Bene. I had picked up Italian cookies, as well, including a fantastic Capricornio cookie shaped in a horn and made with almond paste, egg whites, sugar and topped with almond slices and a fine dusting of powdered sugar.
We got to work as soon as Jen made it back from the grocery store, picking up all of the ingredients. I put on my apron and she donned a chef’s shirt with this funny name tag she found on a rental table cloth that read: Sheila Solomon, Mother of the Groom. All day she was Sheila. I was Giada, as in the Food Network Italian-American maven.
As the harvest staff came in and out of the kitchen all day, we gave them New York Italian attitude, frequently yelling out, “Aaayyyy, paesan!” and “badda bing, badda bang!” We created an event. And it was a blast. We set the table in the cellar and lined up bottles of Chianti in the sign of a cross and lit candles. It was pretty funny, in the cellar setting it looked rather gothic, as if we were going to make a sacrifice.
I made a bowl of baked gluten-free ziti and we all dined together. The lasagna didn’t hold its squares, mostly because we used no-cook lasagna pasta that didn’t hold so well. It would have done better if we didn’t slice into it right after pulling it from the over. Either way, we were told it tasted awesome. The harvest crew seemed to love the dinner. And they were super excited by the gelato and cookies.
After, a few of the crew members came up and helped us clean up in the kitchen. It was a fun day of preparation and hard work, but well worth it!