26th July 2014 was the date for the annual International Supper in Petritoli when all the stranieri (foreigners) living in the town, make a dish from their own country and bring it for others to share. There are over twenty different nationalities her in Petritoli which has a little over 2500 residents. (Correct me if I’m wrong please).
This year chose to make Coronation Chicken, but first I had to Google the recipe as I wanted it to be as authentic as possible. I discovered that the dish was invented by Constance Spry and that It was a long and quite complicated recipe starting with braising the chicken in a well seasoned and herb/spice filled stock, allowing to cool, removing the flesh then covering it in a sauce made from curry spices, apricot and cream…no hint of mayonnaise, raisons or almonds! Well, blow that for a laugh. I decided just to buy a cooked chicken and use mayonnaise with curry powder and my homemade apricot chutney. The result was delicious and the dish was gobbled up in no time at all. (I did feel a bit of a cheat though).
We had some Swedish guests staying, Stina and Thomas, and I invited them to join us and to make a contribution to the supper. Of course, they made meatballs and brought herrings in a mustard sauce and soused herrings together with redcurrant sauce. They also brought a packet of Swedish biscuits that were a bit like Rivita but very much tastier and not at all like cardboard. I marvelled at how they managed to prepare everything and then they let me in on their secret, ‘We went to Ikea,’ said Stina conspiratorially and laughed. Who could blame her, why go to too much trouble when you’re on your hols?
Usually the event is held in the open air in the BorgoTrento a pleasant level road leading to the park, but this year the weather was a bit suspect to so we transferred to the local bowling alley. That is a large covered building where people play bowls, as opposed an American bowling alley. To be honest I’m not sure exactly what kind of bowls they play there.
The rain did come down, thunder roared and the lightening flashed. What a good job we were all inside. They had hired the services of one John Healy to sing for us. He did a sterling job giving us renditions of some great songs including a couple of Irish ballads. The problem for the poor guy was that every time he got into the swing of his act a bouncy Italian woman who was the compèrie for the evening, interrupted him to make some announcement or other…I think he began to despair and wonder why on earth they had hired him!
The evening ended with the compulsory raffle but this year, thank goodness, only three hampers up for grabs. Last year there were about 50 prizes and the raffle went on for an hour and a half!
The Man had a very hard task, I felt so sorry for him. He was asked to sit on the judging panel and rate the desserts. I don’t know how he managed it, twelve samples of delicious puddings from different countries. He wasn’t too impressed with the jelly, but his vote went to the baklava from Albania. I THINK that might have been the overall winner but these things are always so confusing at an Italian event!