Vethuvio Pitha

Walking about town on Saturday afternoon with the Beast after just having run into our friend Vince who celebrated his 40th birthday the night before.

Beast: So, what was Vince talking about back there?

Foodie: Excuse me?

Beast: Oh you know!  I take it you did a little dance at this birthday party last night?

Foodie: Listen, I didn’t tell you about it because I was afraid you’d be disappointed in me.  I didn’t plan to dance in a cage.  It just happened.

Beast: I can’t believe you.

Foodie: I was pulled up into it! Against my will! It was right after the professional dancer vacated it to take a break. And just as I was lifted up, the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage started playing.  (Pause)  The music took over me.

Beast: What was Vince referring to with all those hand gestures?

Foodie: Oh, well, that was in reference to my new signature move.  Actually, I should credit you with it because you first brought it to my attention. You know when Danny McBride’s character in the show East Bound and Down pretends like he’s, um, ejaculating?  Well, I guess I sort of kept Danny McBriding all over the crowd.  And they loved it.  They were screaming for more.  I was like a wild maenad up there, overcome by the moment.


Foodie: I think I have too much testosterone in me.  I mean, for a lady. (Pause) You know, I was just saying my goodbyes right before it happened.  I felt completely sober.  But I think I drank a few beers too quickly–you know how dehydrated we get after eating Vesuvio pizza.

Beast: I woke up in the middle of the night and had to drink nearly a liter of water.

Foodie: Exactly.

Vesuvio is a restaurant on Dundas Street West that specializes in North American style Italian food, like spaghetti and meat balls and thick crust pizza.  About once every two months the Beast and I order a party size “Vulcano” pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, capicolo, hot peppers and green olives on half–for me).  A party size pizza has 16 squares.  I think it’s supposed to feed six to eight people.  It feeds the two of us one dinner, plus one lunch or one dinner the next day.  But this time, I’m ashamed to say, the Beast ate all eight of his slices in one go.  And I ate seven.  There was one piece left over after our binge. I’ve never felt more gluttonous in my life.  Maybe this over-indulgence led to my poor behaviour later on in the evening in the dance cage, which was actually more like a wall niche.

Back to walking about town.

Beast: Is there any of that pie left?

Foodie: Yes, two pieces! We can have it when we get home.

Beast: It really was an excellent pie.

Foodie: Yes, yes it was.

Beast: Hey, do you want to go to Walmart to buy The Nutty professor?

Foodie: Why do you want to watch that?

Beast: I just love fat suits. How much do you think it costs? I mean, to get the whole bit of work done, like all the fat face make-up?

Foodie: Probably a lot.

Beast: Did you know that if you have to do a home birth in an elevator you’re not supposed to cut the umbilical cord?

Foodie: Why not?

Beast: Because bad shit will happen.

Foodie: Where is all this coming from?

Beast: There’s been so much written in the press this last week about home births. I just don’t get it.  It’s like camping.

Foodie: How do you mean?

Beast: Well, once the house was invented why would you want to do it? It’s just not necessary anymore. Oh, and I read something else you’ll be very interested in: remember that skit I told you about that I wanted to pitch to Saturday Night Live?

Foodie: Which one?

Beast: That one with a man dressed in a toga reading from a scroll and he sees a young kid reading from a book and he says, “If the scroll was good enough for my grandfather, it’s good enough for me!” Implying, of course, that the book is going nowhere fast. Well, there was an essay in the New York Times book review section about how the Kindle is the only change comparable to that innovation.

Foodie: Sarah thought it was really funny that we both wanted to be Don Draper. She thinks he’s deplorable.

Beast: Ah, I think we’ve decided that you’re most like Sally Draper.

Foodie: The little kid? (Pause) I guess you’re right: the childhood lisp, the chubby body, the unkept hair and over-all messy appearance…

Beast: The deceiving, the physical violence, the plotting, the cheating, the aggression, the stealing and being way too self-centered.

Foodie: You’re totally right.

Beast: I can’t hear her or see her on that show without thinking of you.

Foodie: That’s so sweet!

Foodie: **1/2

Beast: ***

Concord Grape Pie (courtesy of Uncle Ron)

-one basket of Concord grapes (maybe minus an average-sized bunch)
-1/2 cup sugar
-3 tbsp flour
-1 tbsp butter
-1 tbsp lemon

Separate skins (and reserve them in a bowl) from the inside pulp and
juice.  Simmer the pulp and juice for about five minutes. Press
through a wire sieve to separate the seeds (or find seedless Concord
grapes! I think they exist.)  Combine the pulp/juice with the skins
and add the sugar, flour, butter and lemon.  Top with a crumble (1/2
cup flour + 1/4 cup brown sugar + 1/8 cup butter) and bake at 350
degrees for 40 minutes.  Et voila!  (Use any pie crust recipe you love

One response to “Vethuvio Pitha

  1. Gee, that pie looks so good. I’ll have to make one when I get back to Canada.

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