Monday, June 30, 2008

Match Maker

After a long day of internet searching, self diagnosis, and mild panic attacks, I discovered that my zucchini vine is not, after all, a master plant. It is a horny male with no ladies around and, because of a continued bee blight, my fruit flowers aren't having any sex! What I thought were neat little baby zucchinis are just really stems that aren't going to get any bigger. Ever.

The result of my research is that I have to wait for a sunny day (rare in has rained for the past 30 days in a row...not exaggerating at all) when the flowers will bloom. Then, as soon as I see those big yellow suckers open up, I have to run out there with a Q-tip and rub it all over one flower, then rub it all over the other one. I have no idea which flowers are boys or girls, so I might make some lesbian zucchinis inadvertently. Either way, I need to pull a Yente and help my garden along.

All this time I've been feeling so smug about my advanced gardening skills! Turns out I am a total novice and it will be eons until I get any fruits.

Garden Mania

I think I'm starting to get boring. Every day, my first thought upon being awake is "Are my zucchinis edible yet??" I leap from bed and scramble into the yard to pick peas and just stare at my pumpkin vines. Sometimes I don't even remember to eat breakfast. I just stand in the backyard and smell the tomato plants. I was at a party yesterday after the Tour of PA and all I talked about was my garden. I saw people's eyes starting to glaze over, but I continued blabbering about the joys of weed picking.

Friday, June 27, 2008


There is a tiny zucchini living in my backyard. Actually, there are two of them. I nurtured them from wee little seeds and now they are nearly something to eat! The other day I walked back there to peek at the big, beautiful yellow flower growing out of the vine. As I got closer I saw that the flower was all shriveled and I got really upset, thinking the stray cat of the neighborhood got in there and messed stuff up.

When I climbed up the hill to the garden, I saw that the shriveled flower stuck out the end of an actual vegetable! (Or is it a fruit?) I got very excited and nearly picked and ate it, but I'm trying to behave and wait for it to be big enough for dinner. I just can't wait to roast it with olive oil and salt. Or just eat it like a popsicle as I run around the yard singing joyous songs. Peas and zucchini. I can grow food! Who would have ever imagined I would take joy in such simple things?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fight Gone Bad

I am having a hard time getting out of bed today. I'm actually not really out of bed at all. I limped into my office to get my laptop and then crawled back into the sheets. My whole body feels like I played an 80-minute rugby game, yet somehow all I did was a 15-minute torturous Crossfit workout called Fight Gone Bad.

Every Monday and Wednesday, I sigh deeply as it gets closer to 8pm, when I know that the tiny blond woman--whose tight body bore three babies--is going to make me question the meaning of life and leave me so tired I can't push the clutch in when I drive home (Sometimes I pull out in second or third gear just so I don't have to shift). But I usually feel really amazing by the time it's all over, masochist that I am.

Something about that workout was different. I got a pretty bad score ( of my teammates had 318 and most had around 250) and didn't get the euphoric rush exercising usually brings me. Why is that? Maybe I'm disappointed in my performance. I've gotten used to being the slowest and last to finish on fitness drills, but strength work has always been, well, my strength.

Why couldn't I do more box jumps or deadlift/high-pulls or squats with a medicine ball? Sometimes I feel like no matter how far I drag myself forward, an inner slow, weak, fat girl is grabbing onto my ankle and hauling me away from my progress.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Today I have to drive my car to work, but it's all in the name of nature. I assure you. I am taking a composting class on the South Side tonight. There isn't time for me to bike home and get the car and drive it to the WYEP station (location of snazzy tour AND composting class!) and the class comes with a free, giant composting bin. There is just no way I can finagle such a thing on a bus or Etienne. It puts a strange feeling in my stomach, this knowledge that I'm about to drive the car to work.

But I have been looking forward to this class for months. I even rescheduled my jury duty summons to make sure I'd be available! Things are starting to pop up all over the place in the garden and I want to learn how to best feed the long vines and tall leafy carrots. I want to make compost better than I do currently with the heap of egg shells in the middle of the backyard.

Perhaps as penance for using the car today, I can travel by bus all weekend when my mom is visiting and introduce her to the wonder that is the 71A.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Temperature Control

Our house is constructed such that the downstairs is often cool, pleasant, and breezy while the upstairs is stifling hot and so stuffy it smells like the tomb featured in Poe's "The Telltale Heart." Yesterday was one of those days. It dropped down to the 60s in the evening with a nice breeze and Corey and I had blankets on as we sat on the couch.

When we got upstairs, he insisted it was still cold and shut all the windows. I felt roastingly hot and suffocated by the still air, so I turned on the fan. He was taken aback at my being hot, yelling that it was freezing cold in there as he dove under the blankets. I insisted it was hot, like a pizza oven, and threw open the window. He finally yelled, "Well you have sunburn! That's why you're hot!"

It was one of those moments where I felt so stunned by this ridiculous accusation I didn't know what to say. I wasn't sunburned at all. Not even a little. Thanks to Val, I had 45 on all weekend and kept reapplying. It was simply hot upstairs, perhaps hot enough to burn my skin where the sun failed. I just ignored him and enjoyed the breeze from the fan as I read my book.

Then, twenty minutes later, he sprang from bed exclaiming, "I can't believe you only turned the fan on low! It's so hot in here!" He might be crazy.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I scored a try yesterday. My first. A Zulu, if you will (though I wouldn't because I only get naked for Corey). As soon as it happened, I turned around to the girl who didn't tackle me and started jumping up and down yelling, "I never did this before!!!!! This is my first try!" She looked slightly less excited than I did.

I heard Big Perm cheering for me from the sidelines, because she understood the monstrous significance of that try. I have played rugby since September, 1999 (nearly a decade) and never once scored a try. The rest of the day people asked how I was and I said, "I scored a try!" and they shrugged like it was nothing. Then I said, "It was my first!" and they thought I meant my first that day. I had to repeatedly ram home the idea that yesterday was the first moment I had earned points in a rugby match.

When I was finishing my manuscript for graduate school, I wrote this of a dream I repeatedly dream:
In my dreams every night after practice, I would dart across the tryline and touch the ball down.
In the dreams, I was filled with terror as I ran near the white paint. Time slowed and I looked right and left. I was always wide open, received the ball with a wide running lane. Sometimes, in the dream, a teammate stood near me waving me forward. I caught the ball in my hands, tucked it under my left arm, and dove. Then, nothing.
I stood in the try zone waiting for everyone to realize what had happened. The monumental occurrence. Katy, after years of struggling, achieved the improbably, impossible, inconceivable thing. But no one ever noticed. They took the ball from me and ran over to center field to kick off and I woke up. I was always soaked in sweat with my fists clenched after the scoring dream. When I had it, I woke up feeling empty and sad because I had stopped believing it would happen.

But I don't have to dream this dream anymore and it didn't happen like that at all! The score came from a series of passes. It came from my team all working together, and instead of feeling really excited for myself (that came later) I felt an overwhelming rush of togetherness, of working as a part of a larger whole. It felt like life. I loved it!

Then I drove back to Pittsburgh and Talbert bought me a shot and, even though I don't drink liquor because it makes me upset, I enjoyed it and went to bed completely satisfied.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Corey and I signed up for a farm box through Isidore foods. I mentioned it the other day in gushing about granola. Our 8-week subscription is for dairy (milk, eggs, cheese, butter), bread, and meat. The dairy and bread parts have been what we expected: plentiful and delicious. The meat box, however, has so far exceeded my expectations I'm not quite sure what to do. When I say this, I mean there is so much meat I cannot carry it all home with me comfortably.

Look at this meat picture, taken with my cell phone in shock at the pickup site:
You are gazing at an entire ham, a rump roast, a pork shoulder, a packet of stew cubes, and two pounds of ground beef. All of it pastured, sustainably raised, and humanely butchered! But I digress, because the treatment of the animals did not make it weigh less.

I had shown up with my huge L.L. Bean bookbag from college, thinking I could just carry any extra meat in my arms. After I stuffed the ham and the pork shoulder into the shoe compartment, slid the smaller packs of meat in between the milk and bread and cheese, there wasn't room for another breath of air in that backpack. So I had to stagger onto the bus with a rump roast on my lap. Can you imagine what people thought of me? A girl with a rump roast on her lap and two pounds of cheese dangling from her right arm?

I was so happy to hurl that feast into the freezer. We are going to have meat and dairy products for months. Everyone should come to my house for ham dinner. There's plenty!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I have a very busy day planned. I am working on some projects all morning, and then having CUPCAKES in Squirrel Hill with my friend Elaine. After that (and who could ever think something could be better than that??) I am playing SCRABBLE with my friend Sulli's boy-toy, who I suppose also doubles as my friend Travis. After that, I am picking up my box full of pastured beef in Oakland and grilling myself some dinner. I'll probably round out my evening with a nice long ride on Etienne and some sit-ups in the park.

I ask you, could there be a more perfect day in the universe?

I think the answer is yes, because immediately following all this glory, my friend Val flies in from Boston. Together, we shall eat more cupcakes, watch baseball, play rugby, and stuff our faces on vegan brunch. Then I might share some pastured beef with her and do puzzles. It's like I'm on vacation in my own town.

I love the way that summer surprises me with strings of days like this. When the weather is warm, somehow everything promises to be all right and I find more space in the days for playing. Or perhaps the fact that I've spent three years cranking out 12-hour days makes me feel like I need long periods of extended enjoyment. Someday very soon I will be on here lamenting the huge pile of freelance projects eating holes in my day. But for now, I am going to aim for a triple word score with "xu."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I'm pretty excited with the new granola that we bought. There is this CSA program called "Farms to Pitt" that lets you basically pick and choose what sustainably grown products you would like to purchase each week. Then, on Thursdays, they deliver it all to campus and you take it home. We bought 32 ounces of granola, with organic oats and yummy honey and all sorts of wondrous nuts.

I just ate a big bowl with yogurt and strawberries, and I must say that I feel ready to take on the world. I think I need to order another bag of it and hide it from Corey so I can eat it with my fingers secretly throughout the day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I think I am obsessed with CrossFit. Last night's workout was so fun. I can't even stand it. This is what we did:
50 situps
50 double-unders (where the jump rope spins twice per jump! Hello whipped legs)
50 situps
50 lunge walks
50 situps
50 burpees
50 situps

Then we all went outside and flipped giant truck tires up and down the street for awhile and ended with hand stands.

My favorite part about it was working in small groups to motivate each other through the exercises. There is no way I could have gotten through 50 burpees on my own, but I had Lust and Joey standing there telling me I could and somehow I just found the ability to do them, claps and all. It felt really powerful.

After all the workouts were finished, the rugby girls started playing as only rugby girls play: climbing ropes and cargo nets, seeing who could do more pull-ups, playing with kettle bells. The same thing happened at Rum Shakers after the full weekend of rugby games in Pittsburgh. All the MARFU girls were jamming and noticed pull-up bars in the club. What were they going to do? Continue dancing and NOT see who could do more pull-ups to the crazy techno beat?

I am always surprised when I hang out with other people and they don't try to compete at things, like who can drink their lemonade the fastest or who can go to the bathroom in under 30 seconds. I believe that the designers of CrossFit secretly had rugby players in mind. Only crazy competitive people could complete such a workout and then, for fun, do more strenuous things.

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Buses

Today was the first day of increased 71A service. I didn't notice a difference. I rode home from work in the rain pressed against hundreds of angry, stinky people. I myself had lots of stinky armpit sweat from the humid day, so I didn't add much pleasantry to the scenario. The whole thing made me grumpy. It's supposed to rain again tomorrow, so no Etienne. I wonder if the second time will be the charm in terms of the bus?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bout Time!

My lungs feel excited today. So do my clothes and my husband. Pennsylvania finally joined the rest of the civilized world and banned smoking in public places. It's hard for me to express how much this ban means to me, in all aspects of my existence. I can take my laptop to a bar and write with a beer if I feel like it. I can meet friends after work wearing clothes I don't have to burn afterword. I'll never have to swat away the awful smoke smell when Big Perm sneaks a butt at a baseball game.

Most important to me, I can spend more time at the rugby bar. I really love that place and it means a lot to me to spend time with my teammates after practices and games. The social atmosphere of rugby is absolutely what has shaped my life and kept me playing for ten years. But in a tiny little bar filled with many, many smokers, the air just gets too much for me. I can't do it. I start feeling sick, my nose stops up, and I have to soak my glasses in bleach because even the nose pads reek of stench when I leave.

But not for long! Starting 90 days from this moment, I will sit on a stool at Ruggers long into the night drinking celebration beer from my personalized mug (which I keep forgetting to pay for...) and breathing deeply.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gush Fest

Sunday I went to see David Sedaris and I MET HIM. I got to the venue 2 hours early, assuming the entire sane world would do likewise. You see, last time Mr. Sedaris came to Pittsburgh I waited more than five minutes to buy tickets and he was sold out. The ticket taker told me, hopefully, "Well, his performance IS during Passover, so perhaps you'll have a shot at the waiting list." It was thicker than the phone book. I missed the show.

So there I sat, book in lap, with only about 15 other people. I got a prime aisle seat. I selected the third row rather than the front so I wouldn't be self conscious about crossing and recrossing my legs when my feet didn't reach all the way to the floor. Plus then I could prop up my stubby legs on the chair in front of me.

Anyway, Mr. Sedaris came super early, too. I got to talk to him. He asked me what I do, and I told him what I aspire to do: I am a sports writer. He then asked whether he might have read any of my work in America's Best Sports Writing and told me I would never have to worry about competition from him. Ever. He also told me he recently met a woman who studies spite in monkeys.

Finally, he signed my book thus:
His reading was marvelous. I love him even more now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Man Down

I fell off Etienne on my way to work today. I am uninjured, as is Etienne, but I was really scared. I was on the second-to-last road, the last stretch of the grueling uphill climb to the bike rack, when I began to skid on construction gravel. The traffic on the road moved along very slowly due to the steam and death sounds coming from the jackhammers. I feel like if I had more room to manuever, I could have righted myself, but just as I regained my traction the wheels caught on those ginormous steel plates they use to cover up holes.

I felt the bike whiz out from under me toward the left, and luckily I could get my foot on the ground to the right and didn't slam all my weight down on my wrist or arm. I just sort of rolled like a bug. More luckily, the cars moving in both directions were majorly slowed due to the construction so neither I nor Etienne was run over.

Several people checked whether I was ok and just as soon as I stopped spurting cuss words, I assured them nothing but my pride was injured.

What is the lesson here? I don't quite know what to do about the very, very dangerous conditions on that road. It's the only one that leads up to my work building. I don't want to not ride Etienne. Maybe I'll take the bus tomorrow and wade through the danger zone on foot, which may be a tad safer, and hope that the street is all cleaned up by Monday.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Corey has to order new checks. We sat around talking about checks and he joked that he might order ones with a wolf howling at the moon. My mom, by accident she claims, clicked the wrong box on a form once and ended up with a packet of ridiculous cartoon checks with the extra carbon page. She looked like one of those ladies in holiday sweaters with plastic earrings, pulling out her animated checks with the carbon page.

It reminded me of my K-Mart days, when you bet your ass I would judge people based on their check preferences. Mennonite women always seemed to have Disney checks, while men in hats always had NASCAR ones. Frat boys tended to have Eagles or Penn State checks, but there were also people who rocked the gold-embossed monograms or Mickey Mouse. Adults! With Mickey Mouse!

My cousin Addy works as a bank teller on college breaks, and I asked her to tell me what sort of checks she sees these days, ten long years since my last K-Mart transaction. Here is her compilation of regular basis checks:
Disney characters
Harley Davidson
Wizard of Oz
Breast Cancer

I can't decide which ones are the most embarrassing. I am leaning toward leopard, but Scooby-Doo is high up there! Which checks do you find most embarrassing?

Sunday, June 08, 2008


There is a neighborhood in Pittsburgh called Bloomfield. Much like the Bloomfield we inhabited in New Jersey, this version is heavily settled by those of Italian descent and is, in fact, nicknamed "Little Italy." Corey and I have been known to go there for gelatto, but mostly the neighborhood is known for the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, which serves Polish food.

On the corner of Liberty Ave (the main street) and the Bloomfield Bridge is a giant, cheap grocery store called Shur Save. It brims with generic products, the workers have a union and thus fair wages and lots of benefits, and it sports a flashing electronic side outside. This sign flashes the weekly specials in two word chunks. "Asparagus $1.99 lb." "Canned Corn $.50." My favorite part is when I get the red light and get to read the whole series, because then I get to giggle about the chicken sales.

Since the font is so large on the sign, there really isn't room for detailed description. Shur Save doesn't care, though. They feed you the info in chunks, like Morse Code. "Skinless chicken" will flash at you a few times and, just as the light turns green and you stick the car in first gear, you get your parting, lasting shot:

"Breasts $1.99."

It's sometimes my favorite part of the day. I call it the boobs sign.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Since our return from Italy, exciting things have been happening in the garden. The basil plant has leaves. The garlic is getting tall and sturdy. I eat of the thyme bush daily. The vine fruits (zucchini and pumpkin) look a bit like actual vines and the tomatoes are getting thick. But all of that is nowhere near as exciting as the pea patch.

Last night, I prodded them as I do daily, examining their purple flowers and tucking the vines in and among the trellis to help them choose a good growing path. They were just viney flowers then. This morning, when I went to get the paper, I saw what looked like a large green butterfly or worm eating my pea vines. I got so angry! I have been nursing these peas since Easter! I stomped over there and gasped in shock.

The worms were peas. Actual peas! Growing on the vine! Even though it was seven AM, I started yelling Corey's name and, picking two delicious snappy peas, tromped up the steps to feed him my bounty. We climbed in bed together and sunk our teeth into the crisp, sweet peas grown in our own yard. I fed my family.

It felt so amazing. I can barely describe the sense of accomplishment I felt at nurturing life. It was unlike any previous achievement. So seemingly mundane, certainly something that happens daily. I grew something and then ate it. I went outside and harvested all the mature peas: four of them. We ate them immediately.

What a wonderful place the earth is.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Post Script

After my last post about buses, I went to the bus website to discover that the domain name had expired in May! What the hell? Do I need to go drink ten beers so the city can have my $2 to renew the domain name? What does something like that cost? Who is in charge here????


I hear tell the 71a might return to its former glory days of 10 routes per hour. This would make my heart sing, because I just cannot stand the bus in its current state of 3 per hour carrying the same overloads of people. I will not spend another morning with a penis pressed against my ear, I tell you!

Just yesterday I was complaining with my co-workers about the drink tax money. Starting in January, Pittsburgh began taxing each alcoholic drink poured in the city at 10%. That's a lot of money. Millions of millions of dollars, and they've been collecting it for six months. It's about time they started putting the money back into those bus routes.

I can't decide what the solution would be to our public transportation woes. I like that the bus drivers have strong unions and good salaries and nice retirement, but I hate that a bus driver could potentially retire at 38 years old and draw pension and full insurance for decades. Why should I have to work until I'm in my 60s while my bus fare goes up, up, up and the drivers get to retire after just 20 years? Perhaps I should try to get a job as a bus driver to supplement my income. I'd love to drive the 54C on a Friday night and haul around the drunk students from the Southside.

Oh wait. That would be a miserable, rotten awful job, worse perhaps than my bottle counting days at the factory. I tell you I want those drivers to have good benefits because they do thankless work that's important for the environment. But at the same time, those benefits are making it impossible for the city to maintain public transportation. It's a dilemma all right. At least I feel glad to know that when I drown my bus woes over a beer, the money finally goes toward getting me home.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Thunder Vision

I read Bill Bryson's Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid while on vacation. I have decided to adopt his idea of zapping people with thunder vision rather than wanting to stab them or plunge forks into their eyeballs when they bother me. For example, when we were boarding the plane and standing in an eternally unmoving line an octogenarian tried to fit a steamer trunk in the overhead bins. We were watching amusedly, not moving because there was nowhere to go, and a woman behind me kept shove, shove, shoving me to move. Physically shoving me. I had been up all night, and normally I would say I wanted to pluck out her eyebrow hairs and pour salt in her bleeding pores.

Instead, I just mentally zapped her with thunder vision and a few hours later, she didn't have a functional airplane seat and was an object of ridicule standing in the aisle forlorn with no chair. Thunder vision speeds up karma. I'm sure of it.

At the Newark airport, a bunch of stupid American girls from somewhere in the Midwest babbled on and on how Italy sucked because they had no Rita's Italian Ice. I zapped them with thunder vision, too. In return, I got the creamy memory of eating pistachio gellato along the Grand Canal in Venice. Thunder vision is my new coping mechanism for stupid people.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Little Forward, A Little Back

My first national publication is in print. Go to the grocery store/media stand and buy Bicycling magazine and then turn to page 20. There you will find my article, which has been edited down to two paragraphs. I have a lot of mixed emotions about it. First, I am filled with joy to be printed in a national magazine! Yay! A great start!

But then I am filled with sadness because a story I've been working on for months got boiled down to two paragraphs. I've worked in magazines. I know how space and layouts and things are important. But I'm still pretty bummed about it. Sad even. I need approximately 26 hours to feel sad, and then I'll put the situation in perspective and build on it.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Our house in Senese was surrounded by edible plants: olive trees, basil and rosemary plants, grape vines, and three enormous, heavily laden cherry trees. Not many people know that cherries are a big deal in my extended family. My Aunt Judy loves them so much that my mom has to hide cherries when she buys them from the farmer's market for fear that Aunt Judy will come over and eat the whole bag in one sitting. Because she's done it in the past. We all love them.

When I arrived in Tuscany, jet lagged and miserable from nearly 24 hours of travel, the final three being Corey's "fun" race car driving on the Autostrade, I wanted nothing more than a shower and sleep. But then I saw the cherry trees and perked right up. I climbed the tree out back by the washline and started eating. My fingers were stained red with the juice of the squishiest, most tartly perfect cherries I ever encountered.

Every day, they were more ripe. By the end of the trip, I had eaten every cherry within my reach and had to daily solicit help from my lanky husband. He stretched himself tall to bend down the branches so I could get the nearly black ones the birds missed. They exploded as I bit them, and I spit the seeds into the field. One time, when Corey was bike riding and I needed a cherry fix, I used a dog leash to lasso a high branch and shook the last of the cherries into my shirt pouch.

Despite nearly an entire tree of this sinful fruit, I was still basically unable to poop the whole week.


I will probably spew short hiccups of my Italy trip for a long while, so be ready!

I just emailed my friend Dotsy to tell her that I thought of her frequently as I vacationed in the Holy Land. Dotsy has a love for nuns, and Italy is teeming with them in full habits. When Corey and I were in Venice, we visited only one cathedral, the Basilica Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. This came recommended by my guide book as one with fewer tourists and glorious paintings by Titian. It also came with a pack of nuns on vacation from many different lands, touring the cathedral and getting guided tours in various languages from monks.

The nuns were sporting their "summer habits" of creamy white flowy material. I can only assume this is to beat off the oppressive heat already smoldering the wet city. The walked in matching strappy sandals, hands clasped behind their backs, admiring the art that has stunned the world for so long. I should have been appreciating what a powerful force God must be to inspire such beauty, nodding along with the nuns as they shared in the mighty faith.

Instead, I thought only of one thing: none of these women had had sex. Ever. Chastity. All I can think about when I see a nun is chastity. How do they do it? Do they actually remain chaste? Why? Then I started wondering if this made me an awful person, because immediately after I think the word chastity, my brain starts thinking about sex. I felt like I was being disrespectful to the nuns inside my head, so I looked away until they walked softly past.


I think perhaps the greatest thing I learned on my trip to Italy was to always order the dish with the name of the restaurant in it. Linguine del Billy in Cinque Terre's Trattoria del Billy. Spaghetti Astronave in Senese's Astronave. It never failed to be a good idea.

This trip to Italy was one unending round of eating. We became hobbits, eating first breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, snack, dinner, and dolci EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was, as Corey put it, an orgy of food. Nothing extravagant (though I did eat octopus on my anniversary), but everything grown locally with care and prepared fresh. The cheese in Senese likely came from the brown cows chewing grassy plants in the middle of the roads or the goats an old man walked on a leash through downtown. I saw the waitstaff frequently head outside to pick herbs from pots and plots growing outside even the tiniest restaurant.

So we went everywhere and ordered either the thing named after the restaurant or the thing called "chef's choice." I'm not really how to describe what it tasted like to eat something an Italian chef was so proud of, he or she named it after his or her establishment. The sauces were creamy and complex. The meats melted, so soft I could cut them with a butter knife. The cheese...well I ate 18 pounds of it for certain.

My greatest joy is that I can come home from the trip and at least attempt to recreate the care taken to prepare meals. My garden is growing like crazy, and I have only a few weeks left (surely) before I can pick my foods and experiment to recreate the flavors I found.