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filicudes of fivedock ~ a saga in 3 parts ~ chapt 2

…… continuing from Part 1. A quickening of tempo and signs of a storm gathering. Continued from here.

italian kitchen


Elio was not expected at the restaurant until two o’ clock this particular day as his young wife Frattiata was seven months pregnant with their first child and they were the two of them attending the doctor.

They had decided to call the baby Francesca if born a girl and Tony if otherwise.

Frattiata loved her Elio so much he was now almost three sizes larger than the boy he was when they were married just four years ago. Her specialty was salmon fettuccine with tarragon cream twice a week and every night early to bed.

So because of this, El Dottore, Elio was not there to take the deliveries today.

A great pity.

– for on this day the boxer arrived for lunch again with no reservation and he was accompanied by as many friends from the gym as he had brought with him the previous time. The group naturally walked through the restaurant to the back tables and took the reserved seats by the Pizzeria and by the time Gennaro arrived from the back courtyard where he had been polishing his Aston Martin they were all smoking and drinking and ready to eat.

Gennaro did not mention that the seats were reserved for a party of accountants from the bank next door. He was never brave like that but what he told his women was something else of course.

The boxer, who sat deep amongst his friends, asked if Rosa was cooking today and when he was told that this was still the case he ordered bolognaise for all. Eleven plates, same as before. Rapidamente!

Of course the bank accountants who had held the reserved seats were also important. The restaurant naturally owed money to banks as we all do and the plans of Elio and Gennaro were to add a second story and verandah with another fifteen tables. For this plan to succeed a further loan was to be negotiated and this is why the accountants were to be given the best seats today.

This is also why Rosa was asked to do the restaurant specialty – Prawns Caprice followed by Marinara Filicudi with taglietelle, Cassata Alla Sicilinia and Lavarzzo coffee – a simple lunch for an Italian, a banquet for a banker. Lastly a small glass of chilled limoncello, a digestivo, and all would be well.

For this meal much preparation was required and that Rosa was not to be interfered with was understood by everyone in the kitchen except Gennaro who suddenly burst in and demanded that she make a bolognaise for eleven without delay.

A grave error of judgment.

Rosa stood very still with her hands full of prawns and flour and said nothing. Gennaro went flap flap flap with his arms and his gold chains chingled away and his anger at her grew shrill. How handsome men grow silly when their vanity overcomes them ..

Rosa said it was not possible. Gennaro replied that not only is it possible but preferably possible before the restaurant specialty was ready for the accountants.

Rosa wiped her hands and gave Gennaro a little anger of her own. ‘ We have no meat sauce ready – only enough for just two or three plates remains. Am I a magician? Where do we find more? ‘

– and it so happened that the boxer was standing outside the kitchen door listening to this conversation, he was on his way down the passage to the toilet and the sound of an argument in his native tongue had halted him. In the gymnasium it is either English or Lebanese and both of them spoken without grace.

‘ I will fix that problem, it is only a phone call, ‘ said Gennaro with great disdain, ‘ just you get on with the pots and pans and let me run this restaurant. The meat sauce will be here in time.‘

The boxer continued his way. Rosa threw the handful of prawns into a pan of garlic and ginger and asked Clara to find what little bolognaise sauce remained in the cooler. Gennaro went back into the restaurant to a telephone and rang his cousin Hectore who had a similar business a little way distant. Fivedock after all is Italian more so than Leichhardt.

Hectore said he could spare some meat sauce and a waiter was to be sent for it in thirty minutes.

Everything for the better thought Gennaro as he replaced the phone.

A mistake of great magnitude.

Meanwhile –

The doctor told Frattiata that the baby was well positioned and he could see that by the sheen on her hair and the light in her eyes she was happy with the way things were.

Dr. Agosta was a Genoese and had fathered five daughters.

~ ~ ~

Gennaros’ mastiffs.

These big dogs required much in the way of feeding, each as much as a young man perhaps, and Gennaro had an arrangement for the weekly delivery of their canned food to the restaurant where he could load it into his car. He would usually take home four or five cartons of the best tinned dog food available, especially for Hercule who had won a blue ribbon at the Palermo Briggadacio re-union a few years back.

All restaurant deliveries were routinely directed to the back entrance and into the courtyard. However today the courtyard gate was locked because Gennaro had parked his car inside for safety and so he could do a little polishing in his spare time. He valued his silver Aston Martin so much and his business so little.

The delivery man knocked, and he waited, and nobody came.

A great pity, in fact a tragedy,  for much was to come of this.

…. to be concluded here

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