September 6, 2008
I got there as soon as I could yesterday, but my stomach was growling and I promised my inner child I could have something Italian, including gelato or a cannoli. The feast was not yet crowded and I walked among the booths looking for just the right thing. At St. Ann's I had seen lasagna and I thought ziti with cheese, but I was being cautious about what I ate and had saved my calories for the famous zeppoli.
Last night there was neither lasagna or ziti, but fried mutz, mutz on a stick, the fragrance of onions browning, sweet and hot sausage sauteeing, calzones in a deep fryer. I decided to have a salad to start. (Talk about being an idiot!) It was mostly celery with a little mutz, a few olives, with a couple of weak-sister tomatoes thrown in for color. I gave it up halfway through and went for a sausage sandwich and a cannoli.
Walking around among all those Italians and the smell of the food I kept imagining I was hearing "Uncle Junior" from The Sopranos, crotchety and complaining about the food either in a nursing home, a hospital, or jail, I don't remember which, saying one of my favorite lines from the series, "I don't want this! We taught the world how to eat!"
My friend "Downtown Chick" tells me the big day is when they have the procession, carrying the Madonna from the church to the feast. It was scheduled for today, but ironically there is the weather forecast for a tropical storm to hit late in the day today. The weather must have followed me from Lower Alabama. (Today when I went outside it was in the low 80's with 100 per cent humidity. It felt like home to me, like stepping up to my eyeballs into a bowl of soup.) After the hurricane leaves we'll have fall sure enough, and everybody will feel wonderful, even without an Italian feast.