Saturday, June 27, 2015

Two Dinners

by Stephanie Jentgen 
Early Saturday evening, the Cagli Class ventured to the Bocciodromo to learn bocci ball and to enjoy a delicious meal of pasta and sausages. The president and other patrons of the bocci club welcomed us and proceeded to show us how to play the game.

As in golf, the speed of the rolling ball can be deceiving. Our two-person team’s goal – to roll our balls within inches of the smaller red marker ball – did not materialize on most attempts. That ball just kept going, and going, and going, much like the Energizer bunny.

Patrick and other staff prepared a tasty meal of watercress salad, pasta with spicy pomodoro sauce and the most delicious grilled sausages I have ever tasted. I ate just enough to enjoy the meal, yet not feel full.

Thank God.

Suddenly, I looked up and saw Simone. We had met the handsome Simone on Thursday evening, when Leona, Sophie, Autumn, Kate and I joined him and his parents, Patricia and Luciano, for a fantastic vegetarian meal at a popular restaurant on the edge of town. Simone and Vinizio had somehow found us at the bocciodromo

Simone quickly motioned to me, so I joined him and he walked me outside the bocciodromo. There stood Vinizio, another of our Thursday dinner guests. Both men were speaking to me in Italian, motioning with their hands, and looking exasperated. I understood just enough to realize that on Thursday, we apparently had made dinner plans for this night with Patricia and Luciano’s, Simone and Vinizio. Patricia had prepared a home-cooked Italian meal and they wondered why we were at the bocciodromo and not their house.

I asked Simone and Vinizio to wait a moment, quickly found Leona, Sophie and Autumn, and explained what was going on. What a major meal malfunction on our part! Obviously, we had to go to Patricia’s for our second dinner. I explained to Dr. Caputo that we had dinner dates of which we were unaware. Six of us piled into a car meant for four and off we went back to Old Cagli.

Simone and Vinizio shook their heads and gently chided us the entire way. All Leona, Sophie, Autumn and I could do was laugh at our stupidity as Sophie literally sprawled across us in the back seat of the compact car. We arrived at Patricia’s a few minutes later.

We quickly explained that we did not realize that we had made dinner plans, and begged forgiveness. Both she and Luciano laughed loudly, and finally Simone and Vinizio relaxed.

Our second dinner – organic and vegetarian – was served lovingly in courses. Patricia had prepared a feast for our eyes, nose and tastebuds. First she served crackers, water and wine. Then, a light pasta with tomato sauce, clams and what looked like little langostino lobster tails. Being allergic to clams, I simply ate more crackers. Then Patricia presented tomatoes, onions and zucchini cut in halves, topped with bread crumbs and seasoning and baked until just tender. Magnifico! She also served bread and homemade hummus with lemon. The final course was a type of cake that ended the meal perfectly.

Throughout the meal, we discussed politics, food, school, music and cities in Italy and the United States. Though their English and our Italian was limited, translation programs, sign language and lots of patience made for a delightful second dinner.