Keep talking

Whenever I have too much to do and it won’t fit neatly in my head, and it’s sliding off the pages of my calendar, I panic that I’m going to forget to put my clothes on before I leave the house or forget my English, which is a problem, because I don’t really have much of a command over any other language. The challenge here–and it is the same with cooking–if you are wondering where I’m going with this, is to decide before hand what can take the hit. This is especially true when you have 12 people coming for dinner who have traveled across a major body of water to get to you in Italy, and you have the compulsive need to have them taste nearly everything there is available to eat in this food crazy country, on the first night; or, when the big Thursday rolls around and you can’t do without the 21 traditional dishes that your family has collected over three generations, or maybe the 37 dishes an evil food magazine lures you into with pretty pictures of their family happily cooking and eating, all with nice teeth.
The thing is, if you don’t decide before hand that you can do without the pickled onions, without even thinking about it, you could be driving back to the grocery store at God knows what time because you forgot to the get the onions in the first go round and then back again because you messed them up and boiled them without the liquid, and then before you know it–somewhere on the highway to some grocery store way way far away because the first one has no more tiny onions–you remember that the turkey has not gone in the oven and the people are arriving somewhere in the next ten to fifteen minutes.
Before you start to cook, make a reasonable list of what you are going to make, and then make red marks with a big magic marker next to anything not show stopping critical.
Because I tend to freak on the first night that my group comes I make the simplest menu possible. If I forget any part of it, or the proscuitto takes flight out the car window on the way to the house, there is always something else to eat.
We are having cannellini with soffritto (white beans with slowly caramelized onions, carrots, celery and garlic), paper thin slices of prosciutto, finochiona, and mortadella, a few different pecorni, a tossed green salad, and an apple cake from the bakery. If something has to go, it will be the beans, the only thing I have to cook. And you never know, it may get down to that, but I’m going to try to keep the faith, keep my clothes on, and keep talking so that I have no time to forget.

2 thoughts on “Keep talking

  1. This is so exciting! I don’t watch reality shows on TV, but I am fascinated by the one you are providing online (except no one is going to be kicked out of the villa, right?).

Leave a Reply