L’Aria Africana

by

That’s what the weather report calls our current heat wave. If this is the heat coming up from Africa, then I am damn glad that I’m not in Africa right now!   The heat wave has also been blamed for our village-wide Internet black out of the past few days.

Saturday night was another Corlo picnic, and everyone was in the mood to eat and play.  Since I still had an abundance of zucchini flowers, I thought I’d get a little creative with this last batch. I cut them into strips, getting rid of the stamens, did a 2 time fry, which made them into flower chips, and seasoned them with salt, pepper and smoked adobo chilis. Then brought them to our Umbrian friends to try. Italians in general, and Umbrians in particular are not particularly adventuresome eaters, so I was a little uncertain about smoked chili zucchini flower chips.  The men folk never even got to taste them! Seems desperation led to the invention of something good.

And in case you ware wondering about Italians and meatballs, now come one, weren’t you wondering at all??? Yes, Italians eat meatballs. No, they do not eat them with spaghetti and red sauce. At picnics, they show us as irresistible fried meatballs that are best eaten with your fingers.  Everyone seems to have a slightly different take on them, and Saturdays’ were a soft ground chicken confection. Mmmmm……

While we were feasting, Celina and Magdalena, both about 10 years old, were complaining about how tired they were of eating zucchinis. Zucchini in pasta, roasted, grilled, stuffed, in a flan…it was pretty amusing to hear these two kids run down a very impressive list of zucchini dishes.

All summer, all the kids have been jumping rope. However, Saturday night was hula-hoop night, and the object became what different body parts could you use to hoop the hula. No wonder our neighbors all go into depression during the winter, these long summer picnics are just magical.

Back at work on Monday, and things are moving along so quickly at Erba Luna! We have glass in the windows, a split rail fence, plants are beginning to show up outside, the electrician was wiring the kitchen, a large fireproof kitchen door was being installed and there is just this very productive hum about the place.   It’s starting to look ….incredible.

And just a little note about life in the piazza: Yesterday, we rolled into town about 6:00, coming from the Rome airport, and as we went through the piazza, everyone was eating watermelon!  Not sure where it came from, or why all of sudden watermelon was the thing to do, but there you have it, life in our communal living room.

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