My grandparents came from the same small Italian town, Gorga. I’ve been there once, and it is a beautiful, quaint place. I would love to post photos of when I went to Gorga, but I went 10 years ago (before digital cameras and before my parents’ house fire). I have to work on restoring the pictures and saving them digitally. I hope to go back soon, but in the meantime the annual Gorga picnic will have to do.

4 Generations

 Every year the immigrants from Gorga and their families try to get together for a day. Because Gorga is a small town, most people know each other or are cousins of cousins. I love it because I get to see my Grandmother and Grandfather’s families and all the other gumbas and paisans in one venue.  <3 This year there was at least 4 generations of Gorga descendants. We even have a celebrity in our mix: the former bassist of Blondie.

Starstruck. Baby could you blow my heart up?

Now, if you’ve never been to an Italian family picnic, the menu may shock you. I am to understand that a regular American picnic consists of sandwiches, cold salads, chips, cookies, maybe some burgers and hotdogs and some other easily transportable munchies. I assure you, all of these food items were in attendance at our picnic, but they aren’t enough. Antipasto, garden vegetables, lasagna, mussels marinara, eggplant parmesan, sausage & peppers, sautéed pork chops, chicken cutlets, meatballs, biscotti, cake, and cupcakes were some of the foods I saw, but not all. Is it practical? Of course not. We have to lug coolers and sternos and other catering utensils with us the whole way. Is it worth it? Absolutely.


Of course, we worked off the calories with a dance party.

Dance Machine

I brought one of the more “Americanized” dishes…super easy, yummy, and perfect for potluck picnics. I bring croissant pinwheels to potlucks all the time, and they are always a hit.

Roll out the croissant dough
Spread a thin layer of horseradish sauce on the dough (optional)
Lay about 4 pieces of roast beef, leaving about 1/2 inch at the bottom with no meat
Lay down 2 pieces of Swiss cheese, also leaving space at the bottom of the dough (this ensures that the filling doesn’t squeeze out once you roll)
Roll the entire roll top to bottom
Place on a cookie sheet, seam side down
Refrigerate about 20 minutes (this makes it easier to cut)
Cut the roll into 8 slices
Bake in a 350° oven until the tops are golden brown.

If you don’t already make croissant dough pinwheels, it’s time you start. They are the easiest things in the world, and you can fill them with anything. For this picnic, I also made pepperoni and mozzarella rolls. Ham and American cheese is the most popular roll I make.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Happy New Year! | My *Asterisk* Life
  2. dinakiwi
    Sep 09, 2013 @ 20:18:03

    “My dear Lizzy, Lizzy, Lizzy, killed by a bad…NEVER HAD A CHANCE, NEVER HAD A CHANCE…” We had so much fun in Gorga, wish we were back there and wish I made it to the BBQ…didn’t even know about it!


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