The average day of my neighbor Olga in Italy:Â rise at 6, put on about four layers of clothes, including hand knit stockings and sweaters, then head over to the bar on the other side of the fountain in the piazza for about one measured tablespoon of espresso with about 4 miniature teaspoons of sugar stirred in.Â Squish into the car the size of a lost button with husband and various pieces of farm equipment and drive up the hill, over Pien di Marte and down to Corgna.Â Feed the cows, find the sheep, round them up, feed the lambs, feed the dogs, cats, chickens, geese, and rabbits.Â Kill a chicken, plunge it into boiling water and pluck.Â Make a fire, grill thick slabs of yesterdays bread and cover both sides with olive oil.Â Get the prosciutto from the huge wooden chest and slice it by hand.Â Make a pot of espresso.Â Feed everybody who comes, mirenda (snack.)Â Clean up, sweep up, walk up into the hills to find the sheep again and cut fire starter wood from Scotch Broom bushes, and any stray bitter greens growing along the road.Â Carry the bundle of brushwood (about as big as the button car) back to the house.Â Set a pot of salted boiling water going in the fireplace for the pasta.Â Make the pasta from a pile of flour and a few eggs.Â (Get ready; this is the fifteen minute part:)Â Cut up three or four red and yellow peppers and an onion.Â Saute in a glug of olive oil with three cloves of thinly slivered garlic, a few sprigs of roughly chopped parsley and a small twig from the rosemary bush. Give it a pinch of sea salt and a whole pepperoncino. Let it sizzle for as long as the water takes to come to a boil and the pasta to cook.Â At the last minute, add a tiny drizzle of an aged balsamic.Â Spoon out some of the pasta’s cooking water in a cup.Â Drain the pasta when it still has plenty of bite to it.Â Add to the peppers and onions with a big handful of Parmigiano Reggiano and enough of the pasta water to make everything come together (about 2-3 Tablespoons.)Â Sit for as long as it took to make the pasta and then clean up.Â Knit more sweaters and socks.
Faye, all you needed to do when asked about your credentials for writing a column was to refer the asker to your blog. To this entry. Bravo! (That’s about the extent of my Italian…)