There is something incredibly precious and genuine within the kitchen, particularly in a home. While judgments and rituals due remain, there is vividly honest expression. Its simplicity is comforting, whether one is familiar or foreign. In this way, you can sometimes learn more about who often spends time there. They do not even need to be much of a cook themselves.
I am in no way saying a neglected kitchen reflects anything on the individual. Its one striking commonplace of the home even if your greatest skill is pressing the button on a Nespresso machine. Being in Siena, staying in my cousin’s home, I am experiencing her and her husband’s weekend routine, with much regards to the kitchen. It is such a simple space, with all the necessities. Sitting, drinking my macchiato with a couple of biscotti in the late morning, I feel overwhelmed with comfort. The tiny table, crammed with fruit, foil, and baked goods, is in no way strained. It is in balance, with my cup complimenting the vacant part of the table.
As I smell pasta al forno con carciofi, I salivate at the meal I actually will not be attending. (I, instead, had lunch at an osteria with their son and his wife, plus some of their friends.) A hearty pasta like that is most comforting on a cool, cloudy fall day. I am not sure if creamy food is the appropriate remedy for sinus congestion, but it definitely will take your mind off of the immense headache.
Spending a beautiful weekend with family, learning more about each other and, also, heavily practicing my Italian brings a calm acceptance to another week buried in activities. I am thankful for each experience. I find it fascinating how easily we forget about the pleasures simplicity brings. It is not the most dazzling object that can provide the most satisfaction, with the exception of a glass of prosecco on a balmy sunny day. Below, are some bits and pieces of my weekend, from scenery to gastronomy.
Buon lunedì a tutti!
A quick stop while driving to Monteroni D’Arbia. My cousin commented that this is a “Windows desktop screen.”
Wonderful, and mostly biological, osteria I dined at for lunch with my family and their friends. It was filled to capacity at lunchtime, contrasting the pastoral setting outside its doors.
Only shot of food I managed to get in the osteria; I was very preoccupied with balancing drinking, eating, and practicing my Italian. Everyone emphasized to me how this place makes the most outrageously delicious desserts. There was no exaggeration. I need to know the secret to that cheesecake (top-right;) it was incredibly light and not overwhelming sweet. The light and smooth texture did not way down on your tastebuds like NY style cheesecake does.
The pasta al forno con carciofi that was eaten for lunch while I was at the Osteria. Thank god they did not eat it all and there were leftovers! Also, piselli, which was served on the side of roast beef for their second course.
This photo is whimsical, and that is why I love it. My cousin and his wife stopped me abruptly on the way to dinner, pointing at the building. They told me to look at the smallest window in the world. Without my glasses, I thought they were losing it. But, there it was, through my squinting eyes, a puny window. It was created for a bathroom. I cannot say if it is actually the smallest window in the world, but that is not the point.
A chaotic pre lunch table, on a different day, of course.
Il cielo Senese
The sunset on the bus ride* back to Firenze.
*I normally take the train, but, with the suggestion by my cousin and her husband, I took the bus instead. It affirmed my preference and loyalty to trains. I arrived home two hours late due to gridlock on both the autostrada and in the city center of Firenze.