Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Pains of Childhood

The Pains of Childhood - Grating Parmesan Cheese

An Italian Child's Nightmare a block of Parmesan Cheese
Block of Hard Parmesan Cheese
I will now share a painful childhood memory with you. Being the children of the family, my brother and I were given the job of grating an endless mountain on hard blocks of Parmesan Cheese, with a manual hand cheese grating machine, with a crank handle. Most of the time, I got the job.   And my arms were very sore from the process.

Crank Style Manual Cheese Grating Machine
The Manual Cheese Grating Machine

Now, I realize that many of you reading this are like, yeah, I heard the stories of walking to school, bare footed, uphill, etc.   But this is how Italian parents used to really torment their children in the old days…  Especially when your friends want to play and you can’t, because you parents just came home with another 30 lbs of cheese, in hard blocks, that you need to grate.  You know, I think I was grating cheese for all of my relatives, too.  

Something that took what seemed like hours! Usually, I would be given this task on a hot summer day.   I would crank and crank and crank the handle until it seemed like my arm would fall off.   I would actually have nightmares of my parents or grandparents bringing home more cheese!

They took the grated cheese and put it in plastic containers.  Then, they froze it. We had an extra full sized freezer in the basement that stored the cheese and meats.   We couldn't put the cheese in our regular freezer, because Ice Cubes would take on the flavor of the grated cheese!

After this, it took me years to actually like Parmesan Cheese again…   So, Parents of the word, please get an electric cheese grater….

Get This Type of Cheese Grater.  The Electric Cheese Grater
Get This Type of Cheese Grater.  The Electric Cheese Grater

I hope by sharing my childhood nightmare, that I may spare the arm of a small Sicilian child today.

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