Topping and tailing : Fagioli lessi

“I’m gonna grab an espresso. Any else want one?” Sam’s raises his hand, then continues dragging a giant crate of string beans over to one of the long wooden tables in the cortile. He lifts the crate and dumps them out in front of Cybelle, who is sitting and waiting patiently for us to join…… Continue reading Topping and tailing : Fagioli lessi

Sweet and sour : Zucchini in agrodolce

The dog has pancreatitis. The beaches in Chicago are still closed. I sprained my toe three weeks ago and still can’t run on it. The coronavirus continues, leaving in its wake remnants of hope and optimistic spirits. The end is nowhere in sight and despair is never farther than a few breaths away. This week…… Continue reading Sweet and sour : Zucchini in agrodolce

Tomatoes, again : Pan con tomato

When I was a kid, my mother had a couple clusters of garden space situated on the periphery of our giant backyard. Our backyard was a rectangle shape and had two small hills of man-made landscaping on either side. The fence line buttressed the bike path and, behind that, the Metra, a commuter train that…… Continue reading Tomatoes, again : Pan con tomato

Don’t be a bonehead : Turnip soup with greens

In Italian, turnip is rapa; the plural, rape (pronounced RA-peh). Rapa also means bald or shaved head; in slang, una rapa is someone who’s acting like a bonehead. Every time I see one of the college bros who live down the street from me throw garbage into the blue recycling bins, I want to yell:…… Continue reading Don’t be a bonehead : Turnip soup with greens

To live in the gray : Couscous salad with fresh peas and mint

I got a box of English peas in my CSA last week, my first peas of the year. The skins were firm and taut. They snapped like twigs as we shelled them. Inside were neat rows of perfectly round green orbs the size of pearls, sweet and tender enough to eat straight from the shell.…… Continue reading To live in the gray : Couscous salad with fresh peas and mint

Forgetting to see : Aromatic chicken soup

Last Friday, I rushed into the fish store. I was feeling behind and in a hurry to finish my errands. I needed some Caponi gluten-free pasta for an event I was cooking the next day. The fish store is the only place that carries Caponi. A large crowd was gathered around the counter ordering pounds…… Continue reading Forgetting to see : Aromatic chicken soup