Last week we were talking to someone we had just met, over lunch at our synagogue. We were talking about all sorts of things, and honestly, I have no idea how this even came up. Nonetheless, as we were chatting, this woman started telling us about when she was married to an Italian man and lived on Staten Island. His grandmother taught her how to cook.
The first saga was learning how to make pizza. Our new friend brought over all sorts of ingredients, and a friend’s child she was watching, to grandma’s house for the cooking. Grandma was appalled that she didn’t have a large tub in which to make the dough. No worries, grandma had one handy. Why would our new friend have a giant tub? Where would she store it? What else could she use it for? As she asked these questions, grandma was quick to reply that yes, she does in fact use it for other things. What kind of other things? To soak her feet. Yes, the foot bath doubled as the pizza-dough-making-container.
Then she starts telling us of the rest of the grandma cooking experience. As they began gathering the ingredients, grandma took out the olives and stuck one in her mouth. Our friend thought she was tasting them – you know, quality control, and all. Not so much, as it turns out…
When she asked grandma if the olives tasted good, grandma replied “I don’t actually eat them!” as she spit out the pit and olive into two separate containers. Yes, she was using her teeth to pit the olives that would then be served to her dinner guests.
Our friend did warn some of the members of her family not to eat the pizza.
This whole saga has me looking at pitted olives in a whole new light.