Item #1: Nonna’s wake-up call:
I probably should have written about this earlier today, but it’s never too late for a Nonna story. This morning when Nonna came back from church she greeted me in the following way. Nonna: “YOU UP?!” Me: (eating cereal): Yes Non. Nonna: “You wearing pants?” Me: (…)
Item #2: Tomato Jarring.
In what my friend Ann refers to as my domestic training (she’s hoping I learn to make ketchup – fingers crossed…), I embarked on an adventure which I doubt less strong women would survive (joking). But seriously, who knew that tomato sauce jarring could cause such injury. Today, with the heat index slowly climbing and the air conditioning turned off because it “ruins the tomatoes”, Nonna trained me in sauce making. What I learned soon is that her lesson was a SHAM.
After I had cut and cored the tomatoes and began to cook them, Nonna told me that she is not teaching me how to make her sauce. She is teaching me to make a different sauce because she does not want me to do the sauce her way. Seeing my disappointment she lovingly informed me: “You never going to get it right and I no want people thinking this is my sauce. No one do it like me.” Great. Thanks Non.
After the tomatoes cook you have to peel them. Nonna reaches her hand in scalding hot tomatoes – they had been boiling for a long time – and peels the skin off. Then she looked at me and said…”you try.” Uhh…what. So being a good sport (and knowing my dad would call me a wussy girl if i didn’t give it a try) I stick my hand in and peel the skin off the tomato…and watched my own skin peel and burn because of the heat. Then Nonna looks at me and says “you no supposed to peel it now, you supposed to wait. I test you.” Seriously?!
So we wait, and when the temperature changed from scalding hot to hot as hell we began to peel the tomatoes. I mean, to Nonna’s credit, my hands became numb to the heat after a while…who needs nerves anyway. Then, we begin the jarring process: first, you have to pour scalding hot sauce into the glass jar which becomes very hot. Then you have to take the hot jar in your hands and seal it with a lid. Then using your bare hands you have to take the jar and put it into boiling water upside down. Then you let it boil and remove it with your bare hands. I did it once…and then it hurt to bad to finish the rest. So Nonna did it for me. It was a noble and heroic moment on her part. I iced my hands and watched Oprah. She told me next year we will make “freezer bags” instead of jarring.
Nonna: 1, Me: 0.
Item #3: My wife.
I admit it, I am spoiled rotten. My Nonna does my laundry, cooks for me, cleans for me, and takes care of everything. Note: I don’t want her to do all of this, but I literally don’t have a choice. So today, she told me that I was on vacation for the year. I responded (setting the woman’s movement back 50 years – sorry) by telling her “No, its like i’m married…you’re like my wife.” Nonna laughed and said: “Yes, but I no got this (made a penis gesture in her hands) so you get no pleasure.” WHAT.
Item #4: My sister.
Tonight my sister called to make my Nonna say the word ridiculous. She does this from time to time to get a good laugh…but I have to admit, the way Nonna says ridiculous is pretty ridiculous. She pronounces it: “re-dick-il.” So when she is really mad she yells, “EES RE-DICK-IL!” So my sister calls in from time to time to make my grandmother say these things and hangs up. What my sister doesn’t know is that when Nonna hangs up Nonna says “That bitch is crazy.”
Thank you and goodnight.