Yesterday I was anxious.
I bit the inside of my lower lip and despite the inner voice commanding me to stop, I only paused and immediately resumed this terrible habit. I worried over the toughness of the meat I had bought for the Daube. What processed me to buy meat labeled “musculo”? I imagined my friends politely pushing the gristled bits around on their plates, while assuring me the stew was wonderful.
Every hour I went out in the rain to check on the condition of a very pregnant goat.
Six weeks has passed and it is time for me to leave Italy. Tonight I will say goodbye to my friends in the country and return to Fiesole to pack. I made a big pot of Daube and roasted potatoes in herbs. Elettra prepared the antipasto: anchovies on toasted, buttered bread and an array of cured meats and homemade olives. Emmanuelle and Stefano arrived from Rome in the afternoon with artichokes and got to work preparing them. Roman artichokes are rounder than the ones grown in Tuscany. After they were cleaned, the kitchen was alive with the aroma of mint, garlic and parsley.
When Cristina and Lucca arrived, their car got stuck in the muddy rocks and could not be budged. They will borrow a car from Andreas and return tomorrow to meet the tow truck. Cristina’s babbo, Antonio, is 94 and cannot be left alone all night. Anna and Francesco made a salad but we forgot to bring it to the already laden table.
Cristina brought dessert, pistachio and crema gelato and whipped cream, a perfect bed to nestle the candied violets we made last week.
Dianna, who I met many years ago when she lost a cat is now the shared owner of Pietro, the le Celle dog. Barbara and Tiziano were also guests.
I was not present during the party. I was toasted with prosecco, and complimented on the food, but I was already somewhere else. I wondered if I would be able to make my long time dream of a cultural exchange business a reality.
What will it be like to wear my down jacket again and try not to slip on the ice that still coats Toronto? Can I keep eating like an Italian and lose weight?! This time next week, what will I be doing?
The sky opened earlier today with thunder and lightening, cold again, like it was when I first arrived. It seems so long ago, but six weeks passed in a flash. Now the sun is out and I will go outside to search for a rainbow, the storm is over. For some reason, rainbows are plentiful here! I will be back in October but I have some work to do before then.
A presto Toscana!