"How many women you see in this kitchen? Only me. Why do you think that is? Because high cuisine is an antiquated hierarchy built upon rules written by stupid, old men. Rules designed to make it impossible for women to enter this world, but still I'm here. How did this happen?"
"You think cooking is a cute job, eh? Like Mommy in the kitchen? Well, Mommy never had to face the dinner rush while the orders come flooding in, and every dish is different, and none are simple, and all different cooking time, but must arrive at the customer's table at the exactly the same time, hot and perfect! Every second counts and you CANNOT be MOMMY!"
"What is this? Keep..your..station clear! Messy stations slow things down, food doesn't go, orders pile up, disaster! I will make this easier to remember: keep your station clean......or I WILL KILL YOU!"
I don't know about you guys, but I am hooked on this Jersey thing! The hair, the fashion, the insanity presented as fact, and above all the food. Behind every Guido or Guidette there is a family member that can cook which fixes every smack-down about to go down.
Well, one night I was watching Jerseylicious,(yes there is such a show) and the girls wanted to have a sauce cook-off. My interest was peaked, hmmmm I could learn something beside fist-pumping. The seed was planted..the magic word was SUNDAY GRAVY. Is there such a thing? Or is it an inside joke that those that cannot fist-pump understand. I watched in fascination as Anthony, the only male on the Jerseylicious cast whipped up a sauce that I would have snuck into his house to steal. He called it Sunday Gravy, it actually had a title..I was on a mission. A Jersey mission!!!!
One thing about America, everything and I mean EVERYTHING is available to you, at anytime, anywhere, quite different from other places on Earth. Might be hard to get a mango in Greenland, or a snowball in Death Valley. My point is, immigrants arriving from Italy had opportunity and used it to their advantage. What was costly and unavailable in Italy, became lavish meals dressed in Sunday Gravy in America. We all have had Sunday dinners, where the meals took hours to prepare and less than half the time to eat. I am Irish, and I can remember boiled dinners that simmered slowly all day while we played outside, and the stuffed uncomfortable slow wind-down after. We just used potatoes, the Italians used pasta.
But all this talk about Sunday Gravy what is it? It is a big pot of tomato sauce infused with fat from the incredible meats that it includes~ pork butt, chuck roast, meatballs, braciole (which is thin slices of meat rolled with cheese and bread crumbs), Italian sausage, and veal shoulder. Heaven in a pot.
I can appreciate tradition and there is nothing more comforting than waking up to a house full of relatives preparing a feast, laughing and reminiscing of times past. Those are some of my most favorite moments, sharing ribbon candy with my Grandma Burke and waiting for those delicious kool-aid cookies my Dad's mother used to make. That is what life is about...FAMILY..when everyone falls to the wayside, they will stand with you, for you and in front of you. Tradition is so important, whether it is in Sunday Gravy, Thanksgiving, family reunions, or the annual ______(you fill in the blank) . Life can come in a burst, and if our eyes are closed we will miss it. I am always telling my boys to slow down, relax and wait. Good things take time, and if you are patient it will happen. This is so very true, good things are better experienced with others and if you have someone that is patient with you...WOW WHAT A WIDE WONDERFUL WORLD IT IS!!!! :)
Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.~ Ernestine Ulmer