The Lake News Online
by Antonio Prokup
Pasta and Peace
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By Antonio Prokup
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Nov. 18, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Lots of activities took place in our little community over the weekend. My mom's first cousin on the Adams side of her family, Connie and Connie's daughter Katherine, and Katherine's kids, Grace and AJ, came for the weekend. Being the first weekend for deer hunting and Connie and Katherine not interested in hunting, the cousins decided a few years back to come to "the farm," as they call it. They are overjoyed when the weekend they visit is the same weekend the Chiarottino side of the family is making tortelinis for their Christmas meal.
Many years ago, the Chiarottino descendants decided to make tortelinis for our ever-growing family, for the Christmas day meal. With over 75 people who wander down to my aunt and uncle's house on Christmas Day, it was getting to be impossible to feed everyone the traditional meal. So, now we set aside a Saturday in November to make the much-loved Italian pasta called tortelini. Therefore, this past Saturday my Aunt Brie, as I call her, set out the white cloths and covered her huge kitchen table while allowing space for the tortelini makers. Aunt Brie makes and rolls the dough on an old-time, wooden ironing board then transfers the rolled, paperthin pasta to the waiting hands at the big table. Everyone has an assigned tasks and much like a factory toaster line, the tortelinis get cut, stuffed, twisted and placed on a large sheet cake pan in order to be frozen and bagged later. This procedure started at 9:00 and continued into the afternoon with one much-needed lunch break. Connie and Katherine even got to take a few tortelinis home to St. Louis.
While we were making tortelinis, down the road Julio, my mom's first cousin on the Chiarottiono side, was bringing his wife Michelle home after giving birth to twin girls, then fighting for her life in the hospital for one week. We were all so grateful to have her home with her babies where she belongs. Today when I looked from my house toward Julio's house I saw the glorious sight of just
their three vehicles in the driveway. For the last week their driveway has been visited continually with family and friends helping with the daily chores and with the new babies. Now the driveway, less crowded, seems peaceful and calm. The storm is thankfully over, and the calm is a welcomed sight.

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