Growing up in an Italian family, I went to numerous Italian picnics over the years. Some were just us and some other families, and some were huge events for the various Italian clubs in the area. All of them dealt with lots of food and barbeques! And best of all, we always shared our food with those seated around us. We’d make salads and share them…and with the desserts, it was always a competition who made the best crostata! The friendly competitions were always in good fun, and usually the oldest Nonna won the prize! Wines were shared, too, and usually it was a home made brew!
This last weekend, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the yearly picnic of the Marchigiani Club of San Francisco. This group is made up of those Italians who immigrated here from the Le Marche region of Italy. It was a well organized event with fun, and very Italian, games to play! My favorite was the potato toss to win a salami. Four salamis were hung on a string in front of a back stop and from quite a distance away, potatoes were tossed at the salami’s. If you hit one with the potato, you won! You got 10 potatoes for a dollar to try your aim! We ended up walking away with 2 salami!
The other always popular game is to put a dollar on a number and then throw the dice – if your number comes up, you win! On my first try, I won a bottle of Italian olive oil! And then there were lots of raffle prizes as well, but no luck with those!
Even though they’ve played the same games for years, it’s always fun to relive my childhood and go back to the simpler ways of having fun!