Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Leftover Ham

April 22, 2014

"Do you think a ten pound ham will be big enough?" I remember asking that last week as I was buying it for Easter dinner. I'm sure there was an Easter miracle here, somewhat like the fish and the loaves, because I still seem to have at least 20 pounds of ham left over in my refrigerator! I had a few slices in a sandwich last night when I got home from work but that didn't make a dent in the pile left over. I remember worrying about the amount of food...will it be good, will there be enough variety, but most of all will there be enough? Even after Annemarie said, "It's a mid day meal not the last supper." The anxiety that every Italian woman feels when preparing a meal for her family... I even considered getting a tray of eggplant form my neighborhood Italian deli.

But when I woke up Easter morning and started cooking I felt strangely calm. And happy. Of course there would be enough food. All the "kids" where bringing dishes. How did they get old enough to do that? How can they be in their late twenties when I feel like I'm only in my thirties?!!! And Jocelyn, I'm officially handing over the mac and cheese to you. It tastes so much better your way! From the huge antipasto to the delicious desserts and the warmth of family it was a perfect afternoon. Even the weather cooperated. And as they say in the Master Card commercial having Margo cleaning in the kitchen was priceless!

                                             My beautiful Easter gifts, including a whimsy!

                                                       Margo in the kitchen! Love You!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Eating Our Way Through Florence

April 17, 2014

I have been so busy these past few weeks. I've been working a lot since I returned from vacation.
Eating, drinking and traveling in Florence, Italy. A place I have always wanted to visit. Two years ago I was lying, prostrate on my bed, crying that I would never leave my house again. Never go out to a restaurant, let alone go to Italy. I'm so happy I was wrong about that!

My trip was fantastic. My memories will last forever. And I hope Josh and Jocelyn will always remember the fun we had. The two gelatos a day, the cappuccinos at breakfast, the happy hours in our apartment and the very late dinners. And all the wine, and the strawberries and the Italian potato chips with the cat figurines that I collected and are sitting on my bulletin board now. Our own special grocery store and the Pitti Palace right down the street. Federico our landlord and Martin, our tour guide. The bus trip to Sienna and the lunch we had there outdoors on the steep street. The cooking class in Federica's apartment, with the view of the Duomo from her daughter's window. The churches and museums and paintings and sculptures. And for Josh the medieval manuscripts and buildings. For Jocelyn, all the craftsmen, especially Giuliano Ricchi who took us through his workshop and proudly showed us his handiwork. My little upstairs room where I went to sleep and woke up to the sound of church bells. The tiny kitchen where I made Italian coffee every morning. So many wonderful moments that I will treasure.                          

                                                                  Lunch in Sienna


                                                              Our Apartment


                                                            The Produce Stand

                                                                   Our Market

                                                        The View from the Duomo

                                                             Federico, our landlord