Back to Sicilian Me

December 5, 2013

A whirlwind two weeks of work (read: hard labor) in Republika Srbija is over.

As we rolled from one misty town to the next, the slate-gray sky spewed rain, sleet and snow. There were mutterings of discontent: We’re waiting for more war, someone said. There could be revolution, another whispered. Coal dust fell from chimneys. I felt dim. Everywhere I drank cappuccino, but nowhere did it taste anything like it should have. I looked for cornetti where there were none. Only the brilliant eyes of 450 teachers kept melancholia at bay.

Today I had real coffee on my very own sun-dazed piazza. Hot rays hit my cheeks and I yanked off my scarf, then my jacket and sweater in a kind of joyful frenzy. My impish pal Salvatore sat across the table. It’s the scirocco, he said, pointing south. From Africa.

Later, sitting with my cutting board in the blue air, I snip off rosemary and bay leaves from the clay pots. I set a tomato sauce to burble away on the stove and turn up Bocelli, who belts out an old Sicilian tune, E vui durmiti ancora.

I guess you could say I’m undergoing a metamorphosis. Back to Sicilian me.

Cooking Near the Cathedral at Ragusa Ibla, copyright Jann Huizenga

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