Today is cloudy, and without the sun, the house felt cool so I turned off the AC and opened some windows. The house got hot quickly. The adage not the heat but the humidity must have been coined here in New England sometime in August. I’ll throw another one at you, the dog days of summer. We’re caught in both of them.
My friend Maria called. She and I have been friends since the fourth grade for me and the fifth grade for her. I remember when I was in high school going many times to her Sunday family dinner. Every dish was Italian. Every dish was delicious.
My Aunt married an Italian. She was my mother’s older sister. My mother used to tell us my aunt wouldn’t even carry Italian bread so my mother thought it ironic that my aunt married an Italian. To top it off he owned a fish market in East Boston which was heavily Italian back then. My father and my uncle were great friends. They fished together for smelt, and my father used to help him around Christmas. Because of the Night of Seven Fishes, the market was non stop customers. I have a new dad story from his time selling fish just before Christmas. A woman wanted a fresh eel. She said they looked dead. My father grabbed one, which was dead, and moved it around as if it were fighting him. The woman bought the “live” eel.
All of the above is the back story connecting Italian and my aunt. I remember visiting her in East Boston with my parents. She and my uncle and two cousins lived in the tiniest apartment. On one visit, she served spaghetti in clam sauce. I liked spaghetti and I liked calms, but I never would have put the two together. She served and grated cheese on top. I tried some out of courtesy. It had an unexpected taste. It was delicious. I don’t think I’ve had it since.