March 2, 2013
After three days of dreary downpours and hellish winds–during which I worked so slavishly on a translation that getting out of my PJs completely slipped my mind–Saturday dawned sunny! I put on real clothes and clickety-clacked my way down to the piazza with Marcella Hazan in my bag.
I dropped into a chair, leafed through Marcella, and wondered: will I EVER be able to cook like an Italian?
I am studying this 1973 book–bought for a buck at a library sale–as if it were the Bible itself. I’m trying one recipe a day and have loved every one. (The updated version is Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking).
Then I looked at the palms waving overhead and wondered: Will you survive, dear friends?
Horrible winged black bugs are eating palm trees to death in Sicily. Our piazza has already lost one. I mourned it like I’d mourn a best friend.
I looked to the right and I saw a gaggle of guys. I got up and asked for a photo. They were a little shy, especially when I spoke to them in English. They wore braces. They were sweet sixteen.
I remember the braces I wore at that age, gap-toothed and horribly shy.
And I wondered: Would I like to be sixteen again?