La Reina De La Carbonara…

When I was trying to locate the picture of my grandfather for yesterday’s post I happened upon this picture of Sofia when she was just a little baby. As you can tell from the picture, she was a tolerant baby because dad couldn’t resist resting things on her head and putting harmonicas in her mouth. I really liked this picture and it reminded me of one of those old portraits of royalty where the expression on the royal’s face belies the purpose of the portrait in the first place (I assume to present the person in a good light). Anyway, I ended up “photoshopping” the gilt banner below her which reads in broken Spanish… “La Reina De La Carbonara”. Very loosely translated as The Queen Of Carbonara. This was at a time when we were going through a carbonara phase at home. I was introduced to carbonara in graduate school by my sculpture instructor, Tom Walsh, who had spent time in Italy. Once a year he would have the department over to his house and he would make carbonara, pesto pasta and putanesca… he loved to point out (not sure if it’s true) that putanesca is translated as “whore’s pasta” because it was so simple to make, they could make it between tricks. He enlisted the grad students to grow basil in their gardens and we would bring big bags of it to his house preceding the event. Needless to say, if you were a poverty stricken grad student, always hungry, and showed up at Tom’s house and saw these giant bowls of pasta, you were in heaven. I remember eating until I was non-ambulatory. Anyway, I loved to make carbonara and pesto but after my dad died of a heart attack at 56, it lost its appeal and we had it only on special occasions. Now, I’ve completely abandoned it from my diet, along with alfredo sauce and other “heart attacks on a plate”. If my attempts at staving off an early death fail and I’m in a position to reflect on my own demise, I’m sure a tinge of regret will creep in for having given up these things… but we do what we can. So the title of the picture is just silly and matches the regal silliness of the pose…


Apologies for the photo of a print but this picture was one of many pictures lost due to an unexpected hard drive crash (<–redundant) and one reason I got a mac computer. My good friend Andy has a computer forensics and data recovery business and he could not retrieve the pics from the crashed drive. C'est la vie. I'll have to look for the picture with the harmonica.


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4 Responses to “La Reina De La Carbonara…”

  1. judy Shreve Says:

    What a gorgeous june bug she is– even as the queen of pasta! The syringe is such a fitting crown for that intelligent look of surprise — which she still has 4 years later. You’re such a crazy dad! Would love to see her playing the harmonica – lol

  2. gary Says:

    Putanesca is also spicy, like a whore—which is also a reason I have heard.
    My wife, Jim, is not Sicilian, but she speaks it and lived and worked there for awhile.
    Your kid is AWESOME, then and now!

  3. Gordo Says:

    What the heck is it with parents that we make our infants do weird things so we can photograph them? One of my favourite pics of Cameron is him, sitting diapered and holding a huge carrot sitting in a soup pot. 🙂

  4. filippo Docks Pottery Says:

    Buongiorno Jim, Pasta alla carbonara is important to our diet in italy, even if the doctors advise, but we are epicureans in the kitchen.
    After reading your story “…Crita…” I want to come read in English the short story by John Fante “Great Hunger” but I not found on the web and in library, I have only the version translated into Italian.
    J. Fante was an important writer of my adolescence.

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