BY JOHN COSCETTE
SPECIAL TO THE EAN
Editor’s Note: John Coscette is a native New Yorker now living in the south. He arrived in Prattville, Alabama with his family around 15 years ago and has taken that time to keep up his skills in Italian cooking, but also learn some of the rich culture of our area, including the food. His stories of growing up and his take on life in general, are genuine and heart felt. We will be sharing his columns called “Life’s Moments” from time to time, and believe you will truly enjoy them. We welcome reader’s submissions! You can email them to Sarah Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It always starts with the three taps. Every morning, the three taps of a teaspoon against the metal filter of the espresso pot, la moka. A household kitchen, as well as any restaurant awakens by the start of one person.
I entered the kitchen, like most any other Sunday, waking it up with the three taps. I hear the movement of my dog as he stretches out and yawns. “Relax Tony, Poppa needs his coffee,” I say as the dog wags his tail. I don’t like to talk much in the early morning hours but rather enjoy the peacefulness of the silence. I get the espresso on the heat and I let the dog out. By the time I come back to the kitchen, I can hear the gurgling of the coffee. “Ahhh.” Most of your coffee drinkers understand the meaning of the beautiful sensation of that first sip.
My mind goes into preparation mode as to what I will be making for dinner. This is Sunday and I eat “macaroni” or as the sophisticated call it, pasta. I had planned on making a traditional meat gravy so I begin on taking out the big heavy pot. The additional clanking of the metal pot on the stove top and the utensils that I began to wield start to bring the volume up slowly in the kitchen.
The chopping of garlic cloves on the cutting board, the kitchen cabinets, refrigerator door, and the sound of movement bring the kitchen to life. The smells of sizzling sausage waft throughout the house as the kitchen makes it known to all, that it is fully awake. These smells and sounds will gradually awaken everyone from their sleep.
When another person enters you begin to hear the small talk of two people. A third person will make their entrance and the clatter rises in the kitchen. I remember times when I would enter the kitchen and I would see my parents and relatives sitting down at the table just enjoying their coffee and conversation. Some of them would be hovering over the stove while others would be serving something to go with their coffee. If you ever ate breakfast at a diner, that is what it seemed like.
With the gravy at a low simmer and everything else wiped down and cleaned, it’s time for another cup of espresso with a piece of bread. I need a little something in my stomach because the other food is making me hungry. The kitchen is now in full swing and is ready to welcome family, friends, customers, and any other person that feels that the kitchen is the welcome spot in a home. A quick stir of the gravy and then three taps of a wooden spoon against the pot and the kitchen will handle the rest.