Who Needed Halloween, anyhow, when you had an old-world or other-worldly Sicilian Grandmother!
It has oft been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, ‘submitted for your approval,’ is a lovely picture of my Sicilian grandmother, Catherine ‘Merlino’ Barbera. But first be warned though! View with extreme caution only after deep prayer!
But first, I submit Rod Serling’s famous introduction to his circa 1960’s ‘The Twilight Zone’ TV show to first set the mood!
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call … The Twilight Zone.
I also submit some choice words about Nonna Catherine to add some old-world Sicilian spice and flavor!
Nonna Catherine was blind in her later years. She also did not speak any English at all. When I visited her as a little child she would just examine my face with her cold, rough hands and mumble in a Sicilian dialect. A scary experience for me at the time, indeed!
Being blind, she spent most of her time in her second story bedroom. She was usually mad about something. Especially, about my mother, who wasn’t Catholic! So she would loudly pound her bedroom floor with her cane to get attention.
It was rumored that she was a ‘White Witch’.’ That she freed people from curses given to them by someone else’s ‘Evil Eye,’ let alone her own eye(s)!
Her food secret ingredients, choices and recipes were different. Some to ‘die for’ like her ‘salsa di pasta e zuppa di polpette!’ And some to ‘die because of’ like her:
—Delicious blood pudding
—Fried or pickled pig’s brains & yes,
—The whole-damn-chicken soup.
Luckily, the feathers were first plucked off! But most everything else was left floating in the large pot!
She also liked to put pin holes in raw egg shells and suck the contents out through the hole.
Drinking milk and such directly from the bottle was a given.
And finally, I suspect that she may have skewered a house pet or two! Animals seem to avoid her house at all costs!
But enough said about my Nonna’s Sicilian ‘il Addamsino Famiglia’ adventures!
Bring on the ghost clowns!