The kitchen and the table are the very center of the Italian soul. Having friends and several generations of family gather to have their stomachs and souls nourished is almost a daily ritual - and as we know, today, in Italy, this is simply not possible.
It's not possible here now, either.
And isn't it interesting how much we miss it? Even if it wasn't really a regular thing before the virus changed our lives?
Even if we are not accustomed to family dinners, when it's prohibited, it suddenly takes on new meaning.
It's no wonder so many of you who requested the Lasagna Bolognese recipe from me, also shared what you've been doing a casa, at home.
The overwhelming response was time being spent in the kitchen. Baking, trying new recipes or making dishes that come from our pasts - that remind us of family time, holidays, Sunday dinners, picnics. Thanks for sharing some of those recipes with me!!
When this crisis is behind us, my hope is that we will bring back those rituals. Or create new ones. Rituals and traditions deepen our connections - they satisfy the natural longing we all have to belong.
So until then, why not set your table beautifully, even if you are doing it for only yourself? Use the good china and linens.. Light some candles maybe. Turn off the news and listen to some beautiful music. Bring in Spring and place some blossoms to grace your table. Make room for the future - I invite you to set an intention to expand on this when it's time once again to embrace each other.
Speaking for myself, I want to create regular Sunday afternoon meals for family and friends when this is over. I love the idea of every Sunday, making beautiful food for the beautiful people in my life - not just on holidays.
Didn't we used to do this long ago? Aren't they wonderful memories? Before cell phones appeared at the table? Before we were all so distracted and in a hurry?
This is a challenging time, but it is also a fertile, rich time. A time to cultivate our respective "gardens" - the gardens that feed us as Spring plantings turn into summer abundance - but what about our emotional and spiritual gardens?
What are you "planting" during this time of solitude that will result in more abundant life?
I'm sharing another recipe - one I made over the weekend. Gnocchi with Sage Butter and Parmigiano. Talk about comfort! Click below.
To all of you, and especially to my dear friends and family who are reading this from Italy, I look forward to being a tavola with you as soon as it is possible. Take very good care of yourselves.
No matter where I am....whether in Italy or Indianapolis
I am not saving things for special occasions. Especially when I am alone, using my grandmother's table service makes me feel like she is with me. So I am not alone, am I?
Whether I am alone or bringing people to the table...
I try to bring beauty to the experience. It takes just as much time to set the table with lovely things as it does with paper and plastic. The Italian culture has taught me this: Beauty and good food are for every day. Buon Appetito.