It was my first day at a new job… at headquarters for The Asbury Park Press. I had made it almost until lunch when I heard
my boss’s thunderous yell from the cubicle next to mine: “Hey, Witkowski, got any plans for lunch?”
used to him yelling that they just kept on working. Was he kidding? Who has plans on their first day at
work? He must’ve known I didn’t, because
I had no chance to answer before he thundered again, “Well, be ready at noon;
you’re coming with me”.
I got in his car as he sang out loud to the radio (and what
a voice!!!) and told me that some relatives were visiting his mom’s house. We drove off to Asbury Park, and went into a
little house crammed with people and the smell of garlic.
The kitchen was packed with food – and we ate and talked (well,
I mostly listened) from the moment we arrived until we left. There were older women in dresses talking
loudly, their hair tied up in scarves, kids yelling, a dog or two running from
room to room, and pots of sauce(gravy if you’re really Italian) and pasta steaming
on the stove. In fact, it was hard to find an empty spot anywhere.
crammed into my mom’s small kitchen helped – even if her food was Polish and
this was oh, so Italian.
One Christmas we traded recipes, along with the finished
products – our family pierogies for his family’s white sauce. Good eating, indeed.