Event Report

"My only regret is that it was an AONE event
to which I didn’t get to drive my Alfa!"

By Dave Pratt
Photos by Tom Lesko, Deb Donovan, and Dave

well, we did it again  — planned an Alfa event and were graced with ideal weather! Such was the case for the first-ever ‘Arrosto del Porco’ AONE Columbus Day Pig Roast held at Casa di Pratt on Sunday, October 11th. It was a brilliantly clear and sunny New England fall day, with just a tad more breeze than we might have preferred. But as one attendee put it afterward, "Given the seemingly always near-perfect weather for these Alfa gatherings, one at least suspects that the responsible person up there must have been an Alfista when he/she toured the universe."

Very early in the morning, David Roberto and his cohort Bob of Hog Wild Pig Roasts arrived with two truckloads of equipment and food, trailering a big roaster/smoker behind them. They built a fire and, as it was coming up to speed, began stuffing a 65-pound pig with chopped onions, apples, garlic, and other spices. She was tied to a spit and was turning over the coals before 8AM. There were other preparations to do, but we mainly just had to wait! During that time, knowing that David was a mushroom aficionado, I mentioned that I’d spotted a large mushroom outcropping at the base of nearby tree, but I had no idea what it was. His eyes lit up and we went to look. He recognized it as a delicious variety, found two more big clumps, and later cooked them all up with onions, peppers, garlic, etc. and added it to our feast! It was delicious, disappeared fast, and everyone appeared healthy when they left.

Anyway, people started arriving between noon and 1PM — about 60 of you! I’d planned to cram as many Alfas as I could in the driveway, but realized that wouldn’t work — there’d be too many! So, on Saturday, I made a test run with my Giulietta and discovered that it was possible to drive on the dirt path behind the garage and up onto the lawn without much problem. So we directed the skeptical Alfisti along that route as they arrived and ended up with a very sizable Alfa-only car show on the grass. (The lawn has never looked better!) Here, we would spend some time roaming among the cars, while the roaster in one corner filled the air with hunger-inducing aromas.

A couple of Alfas that we didn’t send along the path and up the hill were the 1930 6C1750 Gran Sport and 1950 6C2500 Super Sport brought to the soirée by Ven and Nick Fonte. These are magnificent cars that we’ve admired at other venues such as Tutto Italiano, but it was a special treat to have them with us in such a casual, Alfa-only setting (and they occupied spots out front where they could be appreciated from the house and patio). We’re grateful to Ven and Nick for bringing them out!

At around 2PM, the pig came off the fire and the food started coming out — and it seemed like it never stopped! While David and Bob carved up the beast, they started us out with barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans, cole slaw — and those aforementioned mushrooms! They cut up the pork and pulled it, chopping it up with the onions, apples, and garlic that had been cooked inside and a little barbecue sauce — it was absolutely scrumptious! An unexpected surprise was that all of this was elegantly served and kept warm in large chafing dishes that they had set up. Well done, Hog Wild!

Seating was at a premium with a crowd this big; some people found spots, others perched themselves on the patio wall, and still others simply munched while wandering among the Alfas. The feast was washed down with various types of wine, soft drinks, and a fair amount of my homebrew. Noting that we didn’t need a whole lot more to eat, we fired up the coffee urn and brought out some biscotti and other light desserts. Eventually, as the sun started getting low, assorted Alfa Romeo exhaust notes were heard springing to life and people started heading for home. Several reported taking long back-roads routes, since it was still a beautiful day and our famous fall foliage was just beginning to hit its stride.

Vi and I had a terrific time and would like to thank everyone who came for contributing to this record-setting club turnout. My only regret is that it was an AONE event to which I didn’t get to drive my Alfa!

Next year, there will be no Arrosto del Porco. Instead, there will be an Arrosto di Maiale. Which translates to ... Pig Roast! (And is pronounced approximately "a rust oh dee my alley".) As a couple of you had pointed out, ‘maiale’ is the more proper word for pig or pork, while ‘porco’, though it does also mean ‘pig’, has a more ... derogatory connotation. I had decided to go with ‘porco’ anyway, since non-Italian speakers could read ‘Arrosto del Porco’ and understand what it meant. But, now that we’ve got one arrosto under our belts (in more ways than one), next time we’re going to get it right!Tiny Quadrifoglio

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