Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Dreaming a Weekend

Suppose I had a weekend to design. a weekend that flows spontaneously, revolves around food, good wine and friends, is active but leisurely, it might be something like this:
The journey will begin on Friday as I will start the weekend a day earlier, traveling to Fair Verona for VinItaly, the annual national wine expo. It might be foggy and wet when I leave, but by the time the bus will arrive in Verona the sun will be out and not a cloud in sight. I will stroll around the historical centre, passing by piazzas, several churches, a Duomo and some balconies, before settling down in a small Osteria in a quiet square far from the crowded tourist areas. There will be an internal courtyard with tweeting birds and several locals that will enjoy the sunny noon with a cool Spritz. A light lunch would be topped with a tasting of the local ice cream.

Once nourished, I will be ready for some wine tasting. Perhaps some Barolo, followed by Barbaresko, and a Brunello di Montalcino. That would be a drunken ending to a nice day.

Saturday would be an early start, catching the bus with friends to the organic market set up in Parma. A sheep's milk ricotta canollo at just the right size, leaving me wanting more would be the ideal snack at mid morning. A quick train ride would then transport me to Modena. Unfortunately though, it would rain pretty much all day. However, Modena is equipped with a Mercato Coperto, a covered market, providing shelter from the rain.
I would probably buy apples from Trentino, Sicilian strawberries and fresh fava beans, but would also wish I could by so much more…

Opposite the market would be a small trattoria called Trattoria Aldina. A flight of stairs would lead to a restaurant full of diners and a long line of locals waiting to be seated. Two mammas in the kitchen would prepare the food while the waiters serve as 'Italian speaking only ' menus, reciting the dishes on offer for each course once the previous course has been cleared. I would order the Lasagna, being the local specialty, and it would not disappoint, it would be the mother of all lasagnas and bring a new meaning to it. I would also enjoy the panna cotta in blueberries sauce for dessert.
In the afternoon I would return to Parma to a pizza night at friends' house. We would take turns making pizza, creating individual interpretations and variations of toppings on baked dough, allowing for each carb creation to be fully enjoyed and appreciated.
I would slip under the covers late at night, exhausted, slightly drunk as I have been steadily drinking since noon, full and happy.
On Sunday I would have friends over for a planned spontaneous brunch, enjoying some bubbly wine with healthy cereal and grain based salads mixed with local and seasonal fruit and vegetables brought over from various markets and countries recently visited (such as a barley, feta, pear salad, a lentil, chorizo, fava and tomato salad, a farro, red peppers and olive salad, and a fresh peas and feta salad). For dessert I would make a strawberries, apple and pear crumble to accompany a macchiato. I would spend the rest of the afternoon sitting under the sun, outside a café in the local piazza emptying slowly, yet steadily, 6 bottles of bubbly wine with great company.
This would be my weekend. This was my weekend: Unplanned and surprisingly perfect.

I am grateful.

1 comment:

  1. You're grateful and I'm so jealous... Tsufi