If you looked at me these days, you’d know I’ve seen the business end of a dish or two of “macaroni” – or pasta - in my lifetime.

It’s tradition to me – especially on Sundays. Meatballs, gravy (sauce to me!); bracciole, and all that goes with it

And it’s especially traditional on the holidays.

Just not Thanksgiving!

I know – you’re probably thinking, “…Ray, you call yourself Italian, and yet you don’t have pasta as part of the meal?”

Simple answer, NO! It’s too much.

I remember asking my mother why it was that we never had ravioli, manicotti, lasagna – any of the really celebratory kinds of pasta you’d normally eat on a holiday – on Thanksgiving. She’d always brush it off with a wave of her hand and say, “….what, are you kidding, with all we make, it’s just too much.”

Granted, there’s antipasto – marinated artichoke hearts, mushrooms, salami, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, you name it – for starters.

Then some kind of soup – usually hearty chicken with plenty of noodles – or, as my daughter likes to make – pumpkin squash. (I think that’s it. All I know is that it’s orange!)

Then the “piece d’ resistance” – turkey, with stuffing, sweet potato pie, yams, steamed artichokes. Stuffing is really special, since there are two kinds. Bread stuffing, or as my mother likes to make, sausage stuffing. Which she makes on the side – but not in the bird.

Go figure!

But no pasta.

Think about it, how would you be able to eat all that I just mentioned and fit in a dish or two of manicotti, lasagna, etc. – plus the bracciole, meatballs, and whatever else there is to go along with it!

And on top of that – dessert. Can’t be done. Unless, of course, you want to drop dead right after eating.

By the way – not to get preachy or anything, but seeing is how I’m writing about eating in a humorous tone – there are plenty others that only wish they could talk about eating too much.

Many of our neighbors have NOTHING to eat and rely on us – in one form or another – to donate something so that they may share in the bounty so many of us enjoy.

Steve mentioned having taken part in donating a banquet for the homeless and doling out food in one of the most depressed parts of Camden.

A couple of weeks, I’d attended mass - where afterward some folks at the Samaritan Center, an organization that houses displaced families who’ve been the victims of domestic violence – were soliciting food baskets to feed individual families.

If you’d like to find out more about their mission, and how you can help out – here’s their contact info.

Samaritan Center Inc.
PO Box 218
211 Route 522
Tennent NJ 07763.

Their number is 732-446-1142 or you can reach out to them at samaritancenter1@gmail.com.

Thanks, and have a happy Thanksgiving – whether there is pasta or not!