I leave for Italy in 10 days. I will be away for just over two weeks. It will be, by far, the longest the Beast and I have ever been apart. He keeps joking that he’s going to move back in with Marg and Dave, his parents, to get him through the separation, so he won’t starve.
This will be my sixth trip to Italy. The first time was a 1992 high school trip with Becky, Julie and my mom, who came as a chaperon. It was one of those whirlwind rides through Venice, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome and Pompeii. I remember listening to Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints over and over again on my walkman on that tour bus.
My first boyfriend was perfect on paper. He was the quarterback of my high school’s rival (edgy!) He was an all-star point guard. He was the pitcher for the city’s baseball team. He was polite to my parents, when I sanctioned any sort of dialogue between the two. And he drove a motorcycle.
But he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, which I discovered on a date driving into the Big Metropolis of London, Ont. to see a movie. I can’t remember how we got on the topic of dinosaurs, but I do recall him turning to me and saying, “Yeah, but how do we know dinosaurs existed? Like, actually lived?”
After dinner on a recent Friday night at the cottage playing Trivial Pursuit, drunk:
Foodie: How does USSR appear on the Soviet flag?
Foodie: Nope. It’s CCCP.
Posted in At Home
Tagged cottage, Finding Forrester, grilled salmon, jumpsuit, Madame Bovary, Muskoka, Peter O'Toole, pork chops, strawberry shortcake, trivial pursuit, War of the Worlds
There have been times in the past when the messes in our house, from piles of books on the stairs to piles of clothes on the bed, have driven me mad. But lately, I’ve been a free spirit. I don’t care.
Except, that is, for one night last week after work. I got home before the Beast and the mess was all I could see.
It was a rough week for home-cooking. The Beast decided to make gnocchi from scratch on Wednesday night. We’ve been watching Italy Unpacked, a BBC TV series featuring the Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli and art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon. They travel around Italy and discuss local dishes and art. (You can watch all three episodes in their entirety on YouTube.)
Locatelli’s cookbook, Made In Italy, came into the store where the Beast works. That’s where he got the idea to make the gnocchi with goat cheese and chives. (I think it may also be the source of inspiration for the Beast’s desire to grow his hair.)
When I got home from work, he’d nearly finished preparing the gnocchi.
Because the Beast is trying to gain 10 lb. and I am trying to lose 10 lb., settling on dinner has become a bit trying.
I’ve taken to starving myself during the day: drinking black coffee for breakfast, eating a shitty low-calorie salad or soup for lunch, gorging on whatever I want for dinner and washing it down with half a bottle of wine. I’ve finally started riding my bike again and am running on Saturday and Sundays. So far I’ve lost two-and-a-half pounds.
Meanwhile, the Beast, who never eats breakfast or lunch during the work week–he just drinks black coffee and smokes cigarettes–bought some dark chocolate, bagel chips, cereal and whole milk to increase his calorie intake. He has remained the same weight, despite getting back on track with his weight-lifting because he wants a ripped and toned body come summertime.
The other night I decided on a healthy dinner: an eggplant, tomato and chickpea casserole, using this recipe that my friend Katie passed on to me years ago, and salmon.