Thursday, June 2, 2011

Italian BBQ

Since the Stoic One and I decided to buy this apartment, we talked to Mani about the need to have a balcony so that we would have a place to grill our food outside.  Grilling is a major part of our food preparation in California, and we can't imagine life without it.  The problem is, as I have been told many times, our apartment is in the centro storico (old part of town) and classified as an antique building, having been started in the 1500's and finished in 1602, and we are right next to the police department and the official offices of the mayor.  All of this means no balcony.  They are very strict about what goes on the outside of the building.

You can imagine I just accept this answer and go on.  Not.  So at first my plan was to get to know the mayor and begin making gifts to the Commune.  Francis Mayes did this to get her road in.  Mani was horrified.  The mayor and 18 out of 19 counsel members are communists.  Literally.  So, I am thinking, they don't take gifts?  The problem is Mani.  He doesn't think we should give them any money since they take everybody's money anyway.  Ok.  My next idea is to put the balcony on the back of the building where no one can see it. The first step in this plan was to get Mani to put in a french door where my current dining room window is.  Mani agrees this is possible after we receive the approval from the commune saying that our apartment is now habitable.  Michael, our engineering friend, explains that just because I have the window put it, it will not be so easy to attach a secret balcony because of the need for braces etc. attached to the old building.  I give up on the French door.  Sono delusa.  (I am disappointed). This time the pouts, sighs, and sad faces have no effect except to make Mani wiggle around uncomfortably and appeal to the Stoic One.  Naturally, the Stoic One agrees with Mani.  I am SOL as they say.

As a compensation for my sorrow, Mani invites us to a BBQ at his house to show us we can do this type of cooking without a balcony. Mani invites Simone, and his wonderful companion Simona, a friend of theirs, as well as Matteo, from whom we bought the apartment.  Antonietta, Mani's mother, who is in the background, takes charge of us, and we have a phenomenal meal.

Barbara, Mani's wife made home made pizza and we had delicious grilled meat.

The Italian BBQ'er

Grandpa and the boys

Mani, his wife Barbara, and the boys live together in the very large house with Mani's father and mother.  It is the job of grandpa to tend to the "orto" or garden.  It is the job of the boys to cause as much "confusione" as possible.  They are in a constant war.  When Mani told her father we were going to have the BBQ in the orto, his father asked with the boys?  When Mani said, "si" the father responded "Let's hope it rains."  Unfortunately for him, it did not rain. The boys caused confusion and we all had a wonderful time.

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