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A Pasquetta picnic in the mountains


By Sara and Mamma Melissa Cannavo-Marino

Sembra che (sem-bra k) It seems like Carnevale was just ieri (e-yair-e) yesterday e gia` sta arrivando Pasqua (a ja sta a-ree-van-do Pas-coo-ah) and already Easter is about to arrive. Di nuovo (d new-oh-vo) once again we are traveling to Sicily to celebrate con i nostri parenti (cone ee no-stree pa-rent-ee) with our relatives.

Pasquetta (Little Easter) is among my favorite holidays because it involves some of le mie cose preferite (lay me-a ko-zay preh-fur-e-tay) my favorite things, including spending the day with friends, a car trip and cibo (chee-bow) food!

Siamo arrivati (see-ah-mo a-reev-at-ee) we arrived on Domenica delle Palme (Palm Sunday) and as always nonno’s cousins were there to greet us. They spent hours catching up while mamma and her cousin took me for a walk through the town. Tutti ci hanno salutato (two-tee chee ah sal-oo-ta-toe) everyone greeted us and mi hanno accarez-zato (me an-o ah-cara-zat-toe) they petted me as I gave out kisses and scodinzolava la mia coda (sco-deen zo-lahz-ava la mee-ah coe-da) wagged my tail.

La Settimana Santa (Holy Week) is somber and quiet. I spend the days with my family visiting relatives and taking lots of walks. One day we go to the beach and another to the market. Easter finally arrives and the family gathers for a dinner of pasta al forno and so much more. Of course, I was able to eat just a bit of il pranzo delzioso that zia Mela prepared because it was a special day. Dopo pranzo (do-po pran-zoe) after lunch the family begins to prepare the food we will take for our scampagnata (scah-m panya-ta) picnic for Pasquetta tomorrow. They packed roasted sausage on the grill and other types of meat, formaggi locali, (for-ma-gee lo-cahl-lee) local cheeses, i carciofi (car-cho-fee) artichokes, noci (no-chee) nuts, frutta e la tradizionale dolce la cassatta to take with them.

Pasquetta arrives and we all get in the cars to head into le montagne (lay mon-tanyay) the mountains. Our first stop is Cousin Tanina’s pasticceria (pah-stee-chair-e-ya) pastry shop to pick up dessert (including some cuddura cu l’ova (a braided sweet bread with a dyed egg baked in it.)
There’s lots of other great dolci (dol-chee) pastries too! At first, I am distracted by all the great scents in the car, but I am soon busy looking out la finestra (la feen-es-trah) the window at the scenery. We take la strada (la strah-dah) the road which exits Graniti and then curves up around the mountain range until we arrive close to the top and park near our picnic spot.

Soon the barbecue is going and la carne (la car-nay) the meat is grilling while Mamma and I explore the area. I am having fun until a herd of big cows walks by us. I bark at them, but Mamma shushes me and tells me to behave. Soon the blankets are spread, and everyone enjoys the feast, talks, and laughs. Mamma lets me have a little bit of salsiccia (sal-c-cha) sausage and un pezzetino di cuddura (a little piece of the egg bread). When the sun starts to go down it gets cold, and we get ready to leave. At home before bed Mamma reads me a wonderful story about Easter and I fall asleep dreaming of a wonderful day!

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