choir members (approx. 30)
paella (5 large pans of)
cameras (at least 2)
herbal tea (including diuretic angelica)
Taboo (1 set)
cakes (large, in varying flavours)
guitar (1 + player).
First, prepare your choir members. The best way to do this is to organise choir practice on Friday night. Banter loudly over the correct way to breathe from the diaphragm. Sing a few songs. Laugh lots. Make sure that everyone has a car to share to the restaurant on Saturday.
The following evening, ferry your choir members to the restaurant. Once everyone is assembled, seat around tables and serve with tapas, followed by large communal pans of paella. Tell the English girl to stop being so silly when she worries about not having pre-ordered paella, and pile twice as much food onto her plate as everyone else’s. Laugh. Take photos of everyone with seafood hanging out of their mouths and grins on their faces. Take more photos of various unlikely members of the choir (bald, white-haired, bearded etc) draped in Antonella’s long, curly, brunette hair. Laugh until you almost can’t laugh any more.
At this point, leave the restaurant and divide your choir members into groups. Most should now go home until the following day. Keep aside Choir President Gianluca, Domenico, Emmanuel, Antonella, Mirella and Kate. Put these 6 into a Range Rover, making sure that Gianluca is placed in the boot, behind the dog bars. Add CDs of music written and performed by Domenico and Emmanuel. Turn up the volume. Giro. Add more laughter.
Decant remaining 6 choir members from Range Rover to Gianluca’s flat. Water down slightly with herbal tea and honey. Ensure that Domenico receives the angelica, as it will lead to amusing bathroom-related stories on Facebook the next day. Shake in the Taboo set. Don’t worry if at this point Kate becomes speechless with laughter and starts chewing her scarf – this is perfectly normal. Drizzle in some whispered translations by Emmanuel and a generous handful of cheating by Domenico and allow to bubble joyously until the not-so-early hours of the morning.
On Sunday, don’t start too early. 3pm is perfectly adequate. Place Kate into Adele’s car and transport to Giovanni’s summer house to reunite with some of the choir members put aside after the meal the previous evening. You should already have added partners, children and assorted friends to the mix, and seated them around a large table under a vine-covered pergola, as well as feeding them large amounts of food. Leave the cakes on the table, along with wine and rum. Feed the same to Adele and Kate. Add Franco’s guitar. Separate Kate from the rest and coax into singing. Gently draw in all members of the assembled company until there is no-one left at the sides. Feed with more cake. Sprinkle with just enough rain to bring out the scent of the roses in the garden. Leave to settle for a couple of hours.
As a final garnish, add a little Calabrisella Mia and enjoy.
Image by Timbo on flickr.