Photo: Grandmom Philomena, Me,
and my Mom (standing) at my baby shower, 1999
Most of my fond memories from childhood center somehow around a meal. I can remember the aroma of (tomato) gravy & braciole floating out to my grand-mother's front porch as we went through her front door for Sunday dinner.
Grandmom would be in her apron, bare feet, welcoming us, grabbing our faces with her garlic-scented hands, and giving us rapid-fire kisses that made our ears ring. Pepe, her maltese poodle, would be barking and running back and forth, and Pop-Pop would be getting up from his recliner, gesturing and yelling "stai zitto!" (put a cork in it) to the dog. (Apparently Pepe understood Italian!)
Then came the food. Lots of it. I mean, if a bus broke down in front of the house, the passengers could all have a full meal, and there would be leftovers! Delicious, home grown, home cooked meals, all carefully prepared and served - thoroughly seasoned with love.
When it was our turn to entertain family or other guests, I got to help my mom (meaning wash the hundreds of spoons, spatulas, bowls and dishes she used) in the kitchen. She, like my grandmother, was a dynamo, often doing several things at once before I could event think of doing it.
Two things struck me about these two women: the first was that they genuinely loved to cook and entertain guests. The second was that of all the times I watched and helped them entertain, I never saw them sit still & enjoy. They would be popping up and down during the meal, ensuring that everyone had what they needed. Salt, pepper, grated cheese, an extra napkin, more wine, etc. They never got to enjoy their delectable kitchen creations, or visit with cousin Sylvia, or Aunt Nada, who had to come from North Jersey-about 2 hours away, or anyone. Even after the meal was finished, they would be packing up leftovers and cleaning dishes as guests were walking out the door to go home.
My original party service (Party Genie-Servers & Bartenders for Any Affair) was motivated from what my mother would express as regret. Regret that she didn't get to spend time with her own guests. Even with my help, she still would up doing it all. (She wouldn't allow her guests to help even when they offered. After all-they were guests) That early experience was what helped me shape my original home & hospitality services, and commit to providing extra sets of hands to help families who entertain at home.
Recently I have had the opportunity to expand those original services (Event Genie) and fuse hospitality and entertainment into a full set of services for event staffing and design. Messages from the Bottle is designed to inform, inspire, and entertain visitors & readers, as they plan their own celebrations, whether at home, at a park or at their favorite local venue. I aim to remove the mystery & reduce the stress that builds around entertaining, and to introduce simple ways to welcome, entertain and spend maximum time with your own guests!
I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy sharing!
Vivere ub abbondanza
(May you live in abundance!)
Event Genie of PA
*(Chief Entertainment Officer)
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