My apologies for the long break.
It was sad, and traumatic to say good-bye to all of our friends and family. I even had to say good-by to my beloved Bluestar stove. We did stick around long enough to say good-bye to Tony Soprano, and just like that, an eight-year tradition of having friends over on Sunday nights, came to close. Really, was there any other way for the Sopranos to end?
But, I knew it was time to head back to Italy when I went to the fish store, looking for something that I couldn’t buy in Italy, came home with Maine halibut and made it with a Sicilian style caponata.
So we packed up five very heavy bags, 2 cats and headed back to Umbria. The flight was long, the cats were cranky, the house was dirty, but all those things are behind us now. We’re back in our beloved Montone! After all the tension of leaving New York, I’m still sad about leaving our loved ones, but it is so good to back.
The first tip that we are not in Kansas anymore: fresh figs for desert at a highway rest stop. Can you imagine getting fresh figs on the Jersey Turnpike? No. Me either. Italian highway restaurants, like the Auto Grill, are not evil fast food temples of last resort, but actually serve good coffee and decent food.
The weather is gorgeous, sunny, warm and breezy and we are spending lots of time on the roof (which we call Barcelona…. as in, “I’m up here, in Barcelona!”). A quiet morning coffee, some fresh orange juice, and a book. What a pleasant way to start the day.
Last night was another one of those Fellini moments. Our town likes to put on plays or ‘spectacolos’, and just for the fun of it, our resident director, Ivan, hosted a performance of one of the stories from Scheherazade’s 1001 Nights. There was even a torch song singing belly dancer interlude between act one and act two. Most of the cast are our friends from last summer’s spectacolo and it was a big fun to see them all dressed up in Arabian night’s costumes. These shows always remind me of the old Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney movies, “Come on kids, let’s put on a show!”