Tomatoes and Mittens

This weekend marks my second month here in Italy. As the honeymoon phase slowly untangles itself, a sense of being home has settled over me and I find I am quite happy in my little town of Bra. I know where things are, I can now understand every tenth word spoken to me and my cell phone works about 75% of the time.

As I type this I am admiring the beginnings of a nice dark tan, while wrapped in a blanket, drinking a cup of hot mint tea. The juxtaposition of spring to summer has been rather entertaining as I’ve only been caught in a torrential rain a handful of times. Needless to say, the hot here is really hot and the rain comes out of nowhere…summer is going to be rough on my PNW sensibilities. I will have a pretty good tan though.

Last week, I received a package from Kathleen. The day it arrived, the weather warmed up considerably and I was getting restless to be out of the classroom. I raced up to Hanna’s office to grab my package (i love being in college and getting care packages again!). Inside were a pair of striped hand-knit woolen socks and a  pair of mustard-colored fingerless mittens. Attached were the wool care instructions and details about where the wool had come from. I was so touched by the beauty of her craftsmanship and laughed at her note, which acknowledged their late arrival in the season. I cant wait for fall!!

After arriving in Bra, I stopped by my favorite vegetable shop for a few supplies. Although this shop  always carries a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, they tend to stick close to home and sell what is in season. For the first time, I noticed the infamous Italian cherry tomatoes of the season. I was so excited! At home, I take for granted that I can have fresh peas and watermelon in January. But for me, here?  I have never eaten so many artichokes and asparagus and fava beans. I know they wont be around for much long. Plus a big bunch of pencil thin asparagus spears is about .90.

That night i made fresh pasta with cherry tomatoes, garlic, onion and pepper. I am waiting impatiently for beets and peaches and fall…


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