La Cantina di Papa Ggiru
Our daughter had a very strict schedule when we were living in Charleston, dinner at 5:00, bath at 6:00 and was usually in bed by 6:30 or 7:00. I was one of the few moms I knew who was able to keep this schedule with my almost 2 year old, but it was born out of survival. My husband had a gruesome schedule and would turn into a pumpkin not long after she did. I have abandoned all hope of that early bedtime here, we are lucky if she is in bed by 8:00. I am OK with that, she is still getting the sleep she needs and she is 2 now, and therefore a big girl. I also know that once we have moved into our new house, we can set a new schedule and create a routine that will work for all of us. No more quiet dinners, just the two of us, it is time that she starts eating with us, she’s always eaten what we were eating, just a few hours earlier or the next day.
My main concern are her table manners, she’s been terrible about this since we have been here. The worst are those feet, they are everywhere, dangling off of the side of her chair, on the table pushing her chair back for escape, or standing for a better view of the room and a concussion. This is where I loose my patience. I’m not concerned that she is still basically eating with her hands, she can use a spoon, is working on the fork and it will all come easily to her soon enough, but those feet and those dirty little shoes on that clean white tablecloth. I feel my Oma’s spirit horrified, my mother’s groans from across the ocean and I have been channeling both of them, telling her to sit behoorlijk aan de tafel, which is what my mother and my Oma used to say to me. Somehow being reprimanded to sit properly at the table in Dutch is so much stronger than in English or in Italian.
Despite our new dining room becoming La Lanternaia for the past month, we have had the opportunity to try a few of the restaurants in Grottaglie. A nice rustic change from the elegance of our usual mess hall. We went to La Cantina di Papa Ggiru the other night and loved it. My husband had been here when he had come on a business trip and recommended it highly. The atmosphere was cozy, there was a fire in the fireplace and ceramics all over the walls. Grottaglie is famous for its ceramics.
We were the first customers at 8:20, but despite the late hour of our dinner our daughter was pretty happy that night. She had a pizza, which she ate 1/8 of, but delighted her. We started out with the antipasti della casa which was a wonderful mosaic of delicious morsels. Polpettine, grilled mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto, mushroom flan, a parmigiana di zucchine, pasta filled with prosciutto cotto, a potato croquette and a stewed involtino di carne, delicious, but mystery meat. I could have stopped there. We followed that with a kamut pasta with sausage, artichokes, arugula and what tasted like a ricotta salata and a lasagna al gratin. Our waitress was kind enough to have the chef hold off on putting our spiedino on the fire because our daughter was over her pizza, had read all of her books and was starting to use my hand as a pillow. It would have also been impossible to eat another bite of anything. We used to be pros, but lost the elasticity in our stomachs those three years in the States.
One Year Ago: Gemelli with Cauliflower and Saffron
Two Years Ago: Brasato