Saturday at Nana’s and gramps could be compared to a small circus. Nana and grampa in their room and three uncles and me crammed into the other bedroom would emerge as one body at around seven-thirty. Uncle Mikie who lived with Nana’s parents arrived on cue within minutes. Nana is making bacon and eggs for the horde. Upon reflection the bacon holds no special memories although her fried eggs were unforgettable. My job was removing the toaster from the back closet plugging it in and opening the two doors which were opposite one another. With a word of caution from an uncle or my grandfather I loaded the toaster, checked on the color periodically and when I was sure the bread was cooked properly removed and buttered the slices with an eight year olds perfection. Stacks of toast preceded the mountain of bacon and the call from Nana to sit came shortly thereafter.
How much bacon would be necessary to satisfy five grown men, me, and gram? Conservatively, I’ll say two pounds. When the bacon was finished and removed, without hesitation Nana added olive oil to the already half-full cast iron pan. With a flick of her wrist she would turn up the flame on the stove making sure the olive oil heated quickly. The cracking of the egg shells and the sound of the innards being deposited in the hot oil was deafening. Pop, crackle, sizzle. She spooned oil onto the eggs as they floated on the greasy sea. When the egg whites were brown and crispy around the edge she determined the eggs were done and meted them out to her hungry men. In a flash the banquet was reduced to a lone crust of toast, a wrinkled slice of bacon, and a brown ribbon someone refused to chew from the egg white.
What a mess! Before cleaning the table I would kiss Nana, thank her and get enveloped in a hug only a grandmother could give.
By Carlo Orlando©