Meatball Mayhem & Madness Challenge/Feast of San Gennaro – IACHH

Hi folks. I’m Sam, the Beach Beagle on Hilton Head, pinch-hitting again for Blog Angel because – as Johnny D says – she has too much going on, and gets her head stuck someplace up her keister – a place I can’t reach because I’m short-legged.  My job is to bring things into focus around here, and get the word out about the only important thing in the world I can think of, right?

A 1,500 LB MEATBALL.

Beagle thinking about meatball

Just saying this, makes me.. me very,… wait… I gotta go outside a minute,… and collect myself….

Okay, let me begin again.  Because these two knuckleheads, Mom and Johnny D, are so strung out, with all their shi-shi events, I knew this blog was going to wind up in my food dish.  See, Mom gets side-tracked with all kinds of dumb PR stuff, forgetting about important things like the Loggerhead Turtle necklaces she sells at the * Italian Club Events,* to help save the little turtle hatchling nests on the beaches at the Coastal Discovery Museum, because a couple weeks ago, she had to dress up like Marilyn Monroe, like last year, to surprise Johnny D, who’s president of the IACHH (that stands for the the Italian.-American. Club. Of. Hilton. Head. for those of you, Unawares), on his birthday for the annual Omni ZinFest, in October.

Except, that little bright bulb idea fritzed-out pretty quick this year for a couple reasons, so she’s running around like a nut, telling everyone that they suck; meanwhile Johnny D, has to be in the dark about it, because he’s supposed to be organizing the annual ZinFest at the Omni Hotel – ON HIS BIRTHDAY, like the JFK bash a bunch of years ago –  because she’s got to surprise him again, and it works; but by the end of the night, I don’t think we could take anymore Marilyn surprises as you can see.

Sammy and Johnny D sleep on the sofas

Johnny D & I crapped out after the 2nd Annual Marilyn Monroe Birthday surprise.

[You know, last year, Marilyn sang after a guy named Matthew stormed through here, now that I think about it. Maybe Marilyn needs strong winds to ride around on her broomstick.]

Awright, just like BlogAngel, I digressed a momento, here…  where was I…

So, Irma comes up from Florida, whirling around, totally ruining the whole Eating Feast, the Hilton Head, Italian-American Club (IACHH) hosts every year for St. Januarius, (which is SAN GENNARO, to you discerning Italian-Americans out there), while SOMEONE IS SUPPOSED TO MAINTAIN CLARITY ON THE GIANT, DRIPPING, 1,500 LB MEATBALL.

Sammy Close up

I lost again… my train… of thoug.. clarity about the…thhe meatburblschmiemiener…

So, the seed for this world meatball record thing got started like, kinda’ like a small snow ball rolling down a hill in Meshanticut Valley Parkway, which is where we used to live in Cranston, Rhode Island, eight years ago like, in this picture,  when Johnny D and I were still getting to know each other.

Johnny D and Sammy the Beagle

Johnny D and Sam make meatballs in Cranston, Rhode Island, (circa 2009)

I was trying to mind my manners, but back then, when I was fresh out of “college” (that’s what the boys on the Hill said, when one of their buddies went someplace for a while), if a guy was cooking ground beef, Johnny D always says, FUGGETABOUTIT! There was no way, I was going to sit on my duff with the moonie milk chocolate eyes my Mom likes, with a little paw at the ready…

No way, when Johnny starts rolling a meatball, and then says, “I’ll make one as big as your head, Sam!” Well. I can’t even think straight, now.

Sam the Beagle in his first city shelter

This was the size of my head, when Mom found me in the Providence City ” college”. She said it was a heart-shaped, mushroom cap for kissing.

A meatball as big as my head? How big is my head?  Mom’s always smooching it, so it can’t be that big, but then I’ve got a lot of thoughts in my head, and she also likes my velvet lop-ears, so, it must be pretty big to handle all that, right? Smooches, thoughts, and velvet lops?  How big a meatball is Johnny D talking about?

Well, I’m telling you now, 1,500 lbs of meatball is more than my beagle brain can handle every couple minutes without getting vertigo, maybe drooling, and my back knees buckling; I am aged 70 -ish dog years, which may be the average Hilton Head Island resident demographic, but it doesn’t mean I’m like Snoopy the Red Baron, flying around at night on top of his doghouse.  I’m just Sam the Beach Beagle, trying to hold it all together down here on Governors Road sucking it up occasionally, for BlogAngel.

IACHH Meatball Festivall 2017, Shelter Cove Park

Starting at 8 am for the 5K Run, and going all day including a Silent Auction, food vendors, craft booths, a kid’s zone, live entertainment. Don’t Fuggetaboutit!

So now, Johnny D’s at the Veteran’s Day Memorial event which is very important, and we’re out of ink cartridges and paper, and they got a rule around here that whoever uses it last has to restock the printer, so I better run to Staples before Blog Angel wakes from her nap – she likes her naps – in the mornings, because she works late night with Rachel Maddow and Seth Myers (yeah, really yukking it up with those two, with pencils sticking out of her pony tail and Johnny D, snoring away on the sofa).

oven wrapThe current world record for the largest meatball stands at 1,100 lbs, which is pretty big, when you think about it.  So our own genius engineer, Joe Carpinteri, who designed the oven (with a little input from another member, a retired NASA guy) to conduct heat with like, big stainless steel prongs to go inside the meatball, and then there’s this whole POD- RIGHT-  THEY HAD TO MAKE A POD – to hold the meat in like a form, so it wouldn’t all fall apart while it was cooking, which, I told them I could spread my body around it and hold the thing with my four paws, but Johnny D thought maybe, I was getting carried away.  I could see he was getting that look on his face he gets, when it’s time for me to walk outside and shake it off… you know…

Sam the Beagle yells out the window

Next Saturday, the 18th! A 1,500 lb meatball! Don’t FUGGETABOUTIT!

All right you guys, darn, I don’t have time to tell you anything else, except be there next weekend sharp  in the morning, because of the 5k race, and limited parking, and tv cameras and the Guinness Book of World Record people….

What: Meatball Madness Guinness World Record Challenge – 8t Annual Hilton Head Italian Heritage Festival

When: November 18th, 2017, 8am – 4 pm

Where: Shelter Cove Park, Hilton Head, SC

Cost: $6/Adults, Children under 10/free

Proceeds to Benefit Local Charities with a focus on hunger awareness and organizations that provide our neighbors with the comfort, and nourishment they may be lacking .

Festival Info: Paul Caimano, Festival Chairman (412) 897-1148, paccomkt@aol.com

IACHH President, Johnny DeCecco, (401) 524-1416, jdc3@hargray.com

Meatball Challenge Marketing & PR: Triad Design, Rob Lembo & Christina Belen (843) 706-3320

*IACHH is a 501 (3)(c) non-profit organization. Proceeds from events benefit local charitable organizations and scholarship funds. Proceeds from the Meatball Madness Festival Guinness World Record Day Challenge will go towards hunger awareness specific organizations and charities that directly service the underserved in our community. More information can be found on our website here.  http://iachh.org/about-us.html

 

 

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Trattoria Divina, Excellent Taste of Italy, in Park Plaza Restaurant – Review

Trattoria Divina Main Dining Room, Park Plaza, HHI, SC
   “Like Hilton Head Island needed another restaurant,” you say.  Well, YES IT DID!  And what a winner we have in Trattoria Divina, an Italian restaurant in Park Plaza just outside the main Sea Pines Gate, a few doorways down from the theater.  My husband and I ate there this past Friday night just before our 6:50 pm show, (big date night), and were just delighted with the whole meal and friendly staff.  The bartender, Paul, greeted us around 5:00 just when they had opened and kindly showed us around, including the bar/pool room they were preparing to open next door (more on that in another blog, but right now I can say, WOW).
One of several wall murals 
by Wyatt Ramsey 

One thing to mention about both the pool room and the restaurant, are the stunning murals painted by Isaac McCaslin, a senior at SCAD, and his friend, Wyatt Ramsey, two bright talents whom we will most definitely be hearing more about down the road.

When we returned to the restaurant, our waiter, Brendan, made all the right menu suggestions and we didn’t go wrong in any of our choices. We were pleasantly delighted with everything from the artisan bread made exclusively for Trattoria by a Sicilian baker working from a recipe that had been in the family 1000 years (now, I understand the phrase, Old World), to my entree of Orecchiette Gamberetti E Broccoli (homemade pasta tossed with spicy black shrimp, prosciutto, broccoli, Tuscan white beans, mixed in a white wine/zest of lemon sauce, to the molten chocolate cake with vanilla gelato.  Johnny started his dinner with a generous portion of tuna tartare, with slices of fresh tomato and chopped, chunky and ripe avacodo, was probably the best appetizer we’ve had in many a moon.  Then he moved on to an angel hair pasta dish with large seared scallops, black tiger shrimp, tossed in a light, zesty tomato sauce with freshly chopped tomatoes.

Salmon Scallop Chef’s Special

My husband ordered directly off the a la carte dinner menu, while I had the two-course 5-6:15 pm menu for $16.95.  The price was right however you order and with wine appetizers, three glasses of wine and large bottle of sparkling water, the check was still just under $100.00.  All the staff were very attentive, checking on us frequently, keeping our drinks and bread basket full.  Very professional and also friendly; not an easy combination to achieve so fluidly.

Chef Hugo Lee, originally from Mexico City, has an amazing resume that demonstrates a recognized talent that was essentially discovered and recruited all the way to Hilton Head.  From his early training at Il Fornaio in San Diego, to a scholarship at the CIA culinary school, and a stint working for famed Thomas Keller of the French Laundry, Lee wowed himself through a stellar pedigree of training and restaurants.  How fortunate for us he wound up here!
    That concludes this, my first food review for HiltonHeadsup.com.  Hope you enjoyed it and will give this restaurant a try while enjoying your stay in one of our luxury vacation rentals. Grazie.