Just before we were married Cesarina and I got along most of the time. We had a nice time talking about what could be, and would be, once her son and I were married. Just after we were married, on the way home from the dinner, things took the dreaded turn. She told me “I believe my son married the wrong sister.” Wow! Really?
Honestly, my sister is a much more easier going person than I am. She is one of those people that can make a person think the sun rises and falls in their assets…I am not that person. One little bit of information that Cesarina also did not know is that my sister is a lesbian. So, there was no way, no how, that HER son, or any other man was going to marry my sister, unless she chose to do so. She told me this little bit of information on the way back to Oakland from San Francisco while we were riding in the limousine. Cesarina was riding back with us, since she lived right across the street. It was not reasonable to take an additional car into San Francisco.
As we started our new family, right across the street. We had our little rituals. Roberto got up early, and left for work, and I worked in San Francisco. He drove to work, and since I worked in San Francisco, I took BART. We would usually get home about the same time. We would have dinner together, and watch some Sci Fi show before we would retire. We took long walks on Saturdays, and on Sundays we spent most of the day and into the evening at his parents house. I loved our walk back home, with the smell of faux orange in the air. It is a very distinctive scent, that seemingly permeates the soul.
I had HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) which is extreme morning sickness. I love San Francisco, but eating anything, at anytime was causing me to vomit all the time. The smell of the salty air, sickening. The smell of urine getting off BART always was disgusting, but now I couldn’t pass it without adding my own layer of disgust.
I lost weight instead of gaining weight. My mother in law told me “these things don’t happen to women in Italy.” Everyone around me told me “this is in your head.” Since I couldn’t keep anything down, and I passed out in BART. My husband took me to the doctor. The doctor prescribed me Zofran. He also told me that I needed to stay in bed as much as possible or they would put me in the hospital. Oh sure, he didn’t have an Italian Mother In Law that thought I was making up the sickness. Everyone she knew already got over their sickness. UGH! It was such an unpleasant time. I wanted to enjoy being pregnant, but it was difficult. I did read “The Rise and Fall of Rome” out loud while I was lying in bed. My husband thought it was adorable, and would tell me that I was going to make our baby into a politician.
Being pregnant and just lying around was so very boring. Taking the pills made me so very tired. Even on the drug, I occasionally would have a bout of nausea. It wasn’t a happy time for me. I could see the disappointment on the face of my husband when he came home, and nothing in the house was accomplished. Then to top it off, Cesarina would tell him that I was delusional. Why would anyone want to be this sick?
Finally, on an April evening our son was born, and Ceasarina was a grandmother. One thing that always brought us together was food. Here she is holding Sergio.
Here are a few items we had as a first dinner, that I kept down…
Prosciutto wrapped around bread sticks. It is as simple as it sounds!
What you will need…
5 eggplant, salt and pepper for seasoning, 2 Tablespoons of butter, 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, four tablespoons of all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of oregano,1/2 cup of purple onion, Four slices of the prosciutto, diced into small pieces, 1 can of tomato paste, 1 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth. 1 1/2 cups of parmigiana cheese. Aluminum foil, Paper towels,
Peel the eggplant and cut them lengthwise into thin slices. Place them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt on both sides. We are pulling out the bitter flavor of the eggplant. You will now want them to stay there for an hour. Then you will dry them with paper towels.
Spread out your aluminum foil, and add your flour, and 1 tablespoon of oregano. Heat up your pan, and add your oil to the pan. Pull each slice of eggplant through the flour and oregano. After the pan of oil is ready, fry each piece of eggplant, fry each side, about 3 minutes. Pat them dry with paper towels.
Clean your skillet for the next round. Use your two tablespoons of butter, add in the purple onion. Once the onion has is browned, add the prosciutto for a minute or two. Add the tomato paste, and 1/2 cup of water or chicken both if you choose. Cesarina used chicken broth if she had it. She always told me that “Americans take everything too serious, you don’t have to follow a recipe to the letter, it’s not rocket science.” The sauce mixture should come to a boil, and it should be a nice consistency.
Preheat your oven to 400, grease a pan with olive oil.
You are going to add some sauce, and then weave in some of the eggplant, then add cheese, then do another layer. Place inside the oven, and in about 15 minutes or after the cheese has melted it is done. You will want it to rest before serving.