Yesterday afternoon, the calm and gentle voice of Ann Marie called to tell me that they were stopped and the middle of the highway. She said that they had had a wonderful time in Assisi and would be home as soon as they found the road. While we waited, Darlene and I got lamb shoulder seasoned with salt, seared off and in the pan to braise in the oven along with an inch of chicken stock, white wine, and chunks of caramelized carrot, onion, celery and garlic. We made a flying leap from the written menu and started a polenta finished with fresh butter and parmesan, instead of the gnocchi al romano, because the polenta was so delicious last night at the Villa and there was a need to know how to make it. I found chickory at the market, which is a great bitter side bite to have with rich meat and mellow corn grits. There were two lemon tarts with cream for dessert because why not, it was the last night.
I will never forget our sweet salutation–“Hello, Ladies” that came over the walkie talkie from one car to the other, and then even if there was silence and no response from the other car because of the stress of nothing familiar, our deliverer of all news would press on–“everything is OK;we are 99% sure that we are about to make a turn.
I will miss them all.