Then there's the name Sclafani. I once knew a family named Sclafani that was unlike any family I had met before. I haven't seen them in thirty years. But I remember them.
I thought of Donna Sclafani the other day when I wrote the story about the Italian one pot meal. She's Italian, her mother was always cooking, and it just made me think of her.
We were friends in 8th grade. She lived down the street from me in a split level house. I have no idea where she is now. But at the time, I had never met a family like hers before.
They were very New York. I don't remember where her parents were from. But my guess is Brooklyn or the Bronx. She had really dark, curly black hair and fair skin and dark brown eyes. She was a bit of a tomb boy - with a very pink bedroom. Which always struck me as a bit odd. Her family was loud. They didn't speak to one another in a normal tone. They were always yelling like George Costanza and his parents on Seinfeld. Or Jerry Stiller in real life! It kind of scared me.
"D-O-N-N-A!!!!" her dad would yell.
We became friends shortly after I moved to Connecticut from Michigan. I was the new girl and she was nice to me. So we hung out for a while in middle school. We eventually parted ways when we went to high school.
Weird things I remember:
- They had doilies on the furniture.
- She was the only girl in the family, and had a canopy bed and a tv in her room which made me extremely jealous.
- She had a little white dog named Corky that bit me. I kinda hated that dog. I never told them he bit me. I was embarrassed.
I bet she made things like Piaaziola, Puttanesca, Giambotta and Baked Ziti - all stuff with funny names that is served on giant platters, to a large family just like on the Soprano's.
The funny thing is I didn't eat at her house very often. We would hang out after school and then have to be home at our own house for dinner. I wish now that I could go back in time and see what she had cooking in the kitchen. I bet it was fantastic.
It's just occurred to me that all this stuff I remember is taking up valuable space in my brain. I need a separate hard drive to download some of this old information to make room for new stuff I want to learn. Like what all the <+>"" stuff means in HTML code, and new recipes, and the names of actors in movies, and how much money I made at my last job. Useful stuff. Not a brain cluttered with old doilies.