Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Back in Rome - Happy New Year
Tombola! It's the Italian version of BINGO. It was one of my last activities of 2007 and my first activity of 2008.
When we got back to Rome we were invited to join other people in our condominium complex for dinner and Tombola. There were nearly 30 people of all ages crowded around a table for fun and food. Our dinner included typical Roman dishes. There was rigatoni alla pajata, made from the intestines of an "un-weaned" calf, i.e., only fed on its mother's milk. The intestines are cleaned, but the milk is left inside. When cooked, it coagulates and creates a sort of thick, creamy, cheese-like sauce. We also had coda alla vaccinara, a stew made from the tail of an older cow and various vegetables. Its introduction dates back to times when it was customary to pay a vaccinara (cattle butcher) in kind with the entrails, hide, and tail of the animal. Butchers developed a way of turning their fee into a delicacy, thus coda alla vaccinara was formed.
On New Year's eve we joined several friends for dinner. After dinner, we played TOMBOLA until midnight when we opened bottles of champagne and watched fireworks explode from the balconies and roofs of the Monteverde neighborhood. And then, it was back to two more games of TOMBOLA. Vincenzo was a big winner after midnight! He won ambo, terno, quaterna, cinquina e TOMBOLA!