Monday, February 4, 2008

Daydreaming of Dairy...

At the Casa there are only two kinds of milk: cold and hot. The cold milk is for your cereal and the hot is for your coffee or tea. There is no "2%", "1%" or "skim." There are no Latte's with soy milk and an extra shot, either. It's just milk - real, old-fashioned, straight-from-the-cow, rich, creamy MILK. It's like the milk I grew up on - the glass bottles that would appear in the dark of early morning in the metal box at our kitchen door.

At supper nearly every night, (our main meal is at lunchtime,) we have soup, bread and cheese. Sometimes there are other items: an egg dish, left-over pasta from noon, braised fennel (out of this world!). But mostly, it's soup, bread and cheese. I LOVE cutting a substantial slab of what-ever-it-is on the cutting board. We're in silence so I forget to ask what kind of cheese it is. Sometimes, it's like mozzarella. Sometimes, it's smoked. Last night, it was a Brie-type. And, sometimes it tastes like provolone. I like the primal plate: bread, cheese and wine. I think I could live on it happily for the rest of my life.

Yesterday was the very first Sunday since we've been in Rome that we did NOT have gelato. Yup. No Italian ice cream. You can't hear the pathetic lament behind this sentence, but my sisters at home know well enough my love for the frozen dessert. We had a lovely fruit cup and exotic italian cookies. Still... I've decided to relive the memory of my first gelato in Rome to ease my withdrawal. It was the very first weekend we were here...I was just coming down with strep throat...we were soaked to the bone from walking in a downpour near the Piazza Navona...and as we neared the Vatican we saw it...a trattoria with colorful trays heaping with gelato. We got a table and ordered. It was pistachio - real, light green and SMOOOOOOTH! Ah...I feel better now. On Saturday Sister Veronica and I are going into the city together. I think, since Lent is upon us, I better buy a cup of gelato in Rome just in case it never returns to the table in the Guest Dining Room. I hope my sisters in Virginia are going to have a VERY "Fat Tuesday". I hope all the scoops come out and the big vats of Blue Bunny ice cream make a final appearance before the ashes are distributed. I'm not the only sister who could write a poem about an ice cream cone! Love to you all - Sister Vicki