Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 20 My beautiful tomatoes

I bought the most beautiful bunch of tomatoes today, perfect little orbs no more than an inch in diameter and still on the vine. We'll have some of them in a salad for dinner tonight.

My three housemates and I gather at dinner time daily. We never talk about whose turn it is to cook but, somehow, a lovely dinner always appears on the table. In the afternoon someone decides to make something and does it. Around 8 p.m. we all show up in the kitchen from our separate rooms to see what else needs doing.

One of the oenophiles (not me, I swear!) pours some rich red stuff into long-stemmed glasses (they pour mine into a liqueur glass so I won't feel left out) and somebody else does the salad, and so on. Although we bitch and complain that there's no more room, usually someone has bought dessert.  Roxy's makes the most delectable almond paste cookies, and macaroons and little things shaped like Hersey's kisses with fig hidden inside.  There's always room for a tiny cookie, isn't there?

Frances, who claims she is no cook, has been cooking up a storm. Yesterday, she surprised us with a pot full of lentils flavoured with garlic and wild rosemary. This afternoon, she made a tomato sauce with fresh sausages spiked with lemon rind. I can't wait.

These days I find myself much more interested in food than in working on my novel.  Well, if I'm truthful, it's always been that way. I can just image how many novels I would have written if things had been the other way around.

Actually, I haven't eaten much today. Maybe that's why I managed to produce a half dozen written pages this afternoon. I even did some exercise. Shay and I shared a yoga session. In the middle of it, Frances left to go and see a tree -- yes, an olive tree, which is so old and so big it can shelter four people from the rain.

Frances is a professional photographer and she's in Martignano to put together a book on ancient olive trees, which will include recipes and ghost stories as told by local Nonas. She'll photograph them using black and white film, and old-style cameras. The other day a courier arrived with a big box containing the special equipment she'll be using: a pinhole camera and a big black one, the kind a photographer has to put a towel over her head to use, like in the old, old days. She's also trying to raise funds to help her complete the project:

As for me, it's half an hour to dinner time, and I can hardly wait to try France's sausage-spike sauce.

 Little tomatoes are delectable in salad

Shay, Frances and Barbara waiting for a taste of Frances' sauce.

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