Sunday, September 13, 2009

I Vitelloni

Saturday morning, 7:30 am

I share a house with three crazy Italians, that's all there is to it.

The first one, Fellini, slunk in from the garden like a truculent teenager, pretending as though nothing was wrong. It was the first time he had stayed out on the town all night and evidently there were to be no apologies. After engaging in a staredown with me to prove he wasn't tired, he immediately fell asleep sitting up.

Moving into the kitchen, my second Italian was standing in the middle of the kitchen looking utterly dazed. I threw myself into action mode. Before you could say, "uno, due, tre," I had a moka pot filled with personality bubbling away on the stove.

Just as the true indication of royalty is the inability to sleep on a pea, the true Italian undergoes a transfiguration when orally infused with caffeine. Sure enough, within minutes, my uomo went from from grumpy to garrulous to outright giddy.

Espresso coursing through his veins, he proceeded to whip up a batch of my father's famous Norwegian pancakes with such focus and speed that I was rendered mute by his prowess.

We were just sitting down to a breakfast al fresco...
...when loud thumping on the stairs heralded the imminent arrival of the third ragazzo in the house. Without a word to either of us, he stomped outside and plopped down by the pool.
Me: Good morning, sunshine.
Silence.
Me: Are you hungry?
Silence.
Me: Daddy made pancakes.
Silence.

Anxious to prevent his sleepiness from mushrooming into churlishness, I realized I needed a game changer. Fast.
Me: Well, you're sitting awfully close to the pool and we're just about to eat breakfast, so be careful. I don't want you falling in. Do you hear me? Do. Not. Even. Think. Of. Accidentally. Falling. In. The. Pool. With. Your. Clothes. On.

And peace was restored to the land.

After all, pancakes eaten when wet taste much more delicious than pancakes eaten when dry.

And how was your weekend?

21 comments:

Odette said...

That was a wonderful, wonderful post. :)
(and now I want coffee & pancakes, even though it's the middle of the night here)

A Super Dilettante said...

Beautiful photos. Fellini - such a great name!

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

I want to move into your household...sounds divine!

PS. My mom never would have seen the merit in eating pancakes in wet clothes....you get my vote for coolest mom too.

Gigi said...

I loved this post! You brought a smile to my face this morning. Oh, and I love that little detail about the cat falling asleep sitting up. So wonderful. xo

Meg said...

precious!!!

Scott Fazzini said...

What a fantastically adorable and inspiring post. It seems that you are as deft at running a perfectly well appointed home as you are at crafting beautifully well written posts.

Mickie Antognoli said...

weekend breakfasts...one of my favorite loves. thank you for this!

Laura [What I Like] said...

Any chance of the Norwegian pancake recipe? You've got me craving those gorgeous things...

Anonymous said...

Super post, but. . .Not to be little miss stuck up, but as a teacher, your laughing when your son disobeys you makes me cringe.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Laura: Andreas Viestad's pancake recipe in his book "Kitchen of LIght" is exactly the same as my father's (but don't tell him that). If you don't have it, email me and I'll write it out for you.

Anonymous: Not to be contrarian, but I think you've missed the point of this post...!! There was no 'disobeying' or 'laughing' (your words, not mine)...there was sleepiness, pure and simple.

Angie Muresan said...

Your son and my kids must be in agreement. It takes a dip in the cool pool water to wake them up and make them realize how hungry they really are. And oh, those pancakes... I'm sitting here fantasizing about them!

Giner said...

Since I'm adopted, I now understand that my absolute dependence on delicious, rich coffee is simply because I must be part Italian (which would also explain my love affair with Florence and all Italian food). I hereby endeavor to relinquish all caffeine guilt!

As for the protest from Anon, in my humble opinion, part of being a loving and effective parent is knowing when to foster playfulness and silliness...and knowing sometimes to break the "rules".

Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

Bart Boehlert said...

Great pictures - you caught it all!
bb

Pink of Perfection said...

your uomo is like a modern marcello mastroianni. well done! :)

pve design said...

Would you like to adopt me, I am house trained and I always lick my plate?
pve

Rocio said...

That is an intelligent woman at work, I must say!!
Through the years I have come to learn that my "partner in crime" is not to be spoken to in the mornings (unless absolutely neccesary) at least till he is half way through his "café con leche"...but once the machine starts working....there is no stopping him!!!!
Great start to a lovely weekend, I hope!

VictoriaArt said...

Yes,yes, yes, humor has it and wet is good, eating wet is better and having a mother understanding the difference is best....

penelope said...

that was one of my favorite posts i've read in a long while. much obliged....!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Ah yes, the secret of magic... misdirection. Brilliantly played. I took notes.

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dervla kelly said...

eeek i love that he fell asleep sitting up! Isn't it amazing what an effect coffee has? For me, it's as much about the ritual as it is about the gobs of caffeine shooting through my veins.

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