This weekend my cousin Jed Scala and his significant other Paula Wardynski hosted a weekend family reunion for the Scala, Bachner and Alberti branches of the Ferlo/Scala clan at their beautiful home in the Berkshire’s in Massachussets. When we were little, there were many of these hosted by the old timer Italians who brought endless trays of lasagna, sausages, pizza frite, cannoli’s, played Baci, sang songs and idled away the day out at Lake Oneida in New York State. Those are fond memories.
For many of us–that was the last time we saw each other! Jed and Paula–managed to gather this group AND cook and serve food and drink Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday morning brunch. Even though they both work full time–they had the meals organized, some things made in advance, others contributed by cousins but MOSTLY they pulled the whole thing off by themselves in one of the most effortless feasts of entertaining I’ve ever seen.
Anchored in part by the amazing smoked and cured meats of of Paula’s family business, run by her brother –the Polish sausages took the spotlight at this Italian family picnic! Check it out. Order the kielbasa and hot dogs (especially the chicken Asiago). They are really outstanding.
I admit to feeling a little shy about revisiting the past and seeing so many folks for the first time in years BUT–there was nothing but a feeling of goodwill and amazement at the generations–how family endures–how different we all are yet the connectedness of blood and marriage grounds you in this world. The youngest generation will delight–lovely fruits fallen from the same variety of different trees is a wonderful thing to behold. If you’ve been thinking about having your own extended family reunion, DO IT. Take a cue from Jed and Paula–serve an abundance of a few simple dishes featuring seasonal ingredients rather than too many different offerings. Crank up the grill and procure a variety of your favorite sausages. Everyone loves sausages and for the vegetarians in the group–the side dishes will satisfy.