Posted by: lisetta | October 21, 2009


Escaped the surreal tangles of administrativia today with a walk to the post office, where, after random small talk, the friendly clerk at the passport photo desk asked, “Do you have children?”  He was the fourth man in less than a week to ask this very same question (otherwise preceded by, “Are you married?” and followed by, “Do you you have a boyfriend?” and gasps of disbelief, to which I offer only a stare in response*). In conversational reflex, I returned the question, learning that he had two: a 9 year old girl and a 21 year old son, who had just been killed. His eyes welled with tears; I didn’t have the courage to ask what had happened, but expressed my sympathy as best I could. He said he couldn’t talk about it or else he’d cry, then walked me over to his buddy with a scale that worked and made sure my passport renewal was on its way. He’s been swirling through my thoughts all day.

Afternoon meeting was as fruitless as the morning; conversations leading to nowhere, with expectations scattered and promises unkept. It’s only fitting that I should come home to a refrigerator with random remnants of meals gone by.

Ravioli redux, disassembled

Boil water. Add salt.

Break apart leftover pieces of fresh pasta from the squash ravioli. Peel from the parchment the remaining three ravioli.

Crumble the once fresh sage leaves into the leftover squash, half of it mashed for filling and half left in chunks.

Toss the squash in the microwave and the pasta in the pot, and wait not very long.

Open the gigantic piece of vacuum packed parmigiano that Simona brought over in – gasp! – July.  Break a piece off and curse the wretched dry Reggiano we get even at the best stores here. Break another piece off and reassess the decision to eat less cheese. Look forward to my December trip to Italy.

Assemble the cooked pieces, microzest the parmigiano and eat in silence, grateful that all is well in my world.



*Any ideas for a formulaic comeback here? “No”, “nope” and “not yet” elicit, “Why not?”: a question I cannot answer even on my best days.


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